Why is the Sonos Port so expensive?

  • 30 March 2021
  • 4 replies
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Long time Sonos user here. I have an old ZP90 (first gen Connect/Port) and slowly it seems like my ZP90 is slowing down or not connecting at all at random times ever since the S1 and S2 platform integration.  

 

What i don’t understand is why the latest Connect remains so damn expensive for a “Line out” box.  From the outside looking in from a consumers perspective: Though apples to oranges, fundamentally the Play5 and other Sonos products offer similar network/wireless capabilities as they are relatively the same Sonos internal infrastructure and computer proprietary integration, Ethernet ports, Line in, etc. Those products offer much more by being indeed a multi speaker device with drivers that will produce you sound.  Great sound at that. The Connect and Port on the other hand is a Sonos enclosed box with a rear I/O panel, and with internals similar to whatever Sonos product lesser in price you want to name off. 

So Why such the mark up? Our feeling is Sonos somewhat penalizes those who have their own receiver setup.  I’m sure their margins are the biggest on something like Port vs an actual speaker.  I’m in need of two Connects/ports, for the living room receiver and for our finished basement which we use as a second living room.  Any cheaper alternative for my two setups where i can still be connected to Sonos?  Its hard to justify the expense when its $900 for just two separate Line Out.

Thanks,

Gino 


4 replies

I think it’s a little bit understating things to be calling a Port ‘just a line out box’, but the point is taken.  There are few reasons that might help explain the cost.

1 - Sonos doesn’t sell that many of these, so shared development cost is higher per product, thus they need a higher price to have a profit margin.  I have no idea, just guessing here.

2 - The product is geared mostly toward professional home installations, which are perhaps not as price sensitive, and a higher price may give an air of prestige and actually increase sales rather than discourage.

3- Along the same lines as you pointed out, Sonos does not think it would be a successful business model if the Port were cheap, and customers opted to buy several Ports to turn their existing products into whole home audio.  Instead, they would prefer you outfit your home with Sonos gear whenever a Sonos product fits the job.  If, for example, the Port cost $200, then view people would buy the Sonos amp, since they could pair the Port with a $200 3rd party amp.  Even for a room that you could use tw Sonos Ones SLs in, many people would opt for a $200 port, plus cheaper amp and passive speakers.  And it doesn’t really show off what Sonos can do.

At the same time, they don’t want to deter people who have invested in high end systems, either for home theatre or ‘old school whole home audio’ from being able to intergrate what that with Sonos.  So, it makes sense that a Port that is ‘affordably, but not too affordably’ priced...is the way to go.

That said, I personally think $450 is too high, but I don’t Sonos sales stats, nor know anything about marketing. 

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The cost of the Port is completely unjustifiable on parts cost terms alone. It’s a relatively inexpensive device to manufacture.

So, apart from the obvious motivation of making Sonos a nice profit, I think @melvimbe is correct that this its pricing is intended to prevent cannibalisation of other products in the ecosystem.

Sonos will also have done ‘elasticity of demand’ price profiling, as @melvimbe alludes.

Thanks for replies.  Without doing any research, ZP90 ironically was around before actual Sonos Speakers.  I believe first gen5, ZP5, was the first Sonos Speaker.  

Yet here we are justifying the price point in the Port to balance out the price of the rest of Sonos’ lineup. Like Virtuoso said, the Port is unjustifiable on parts cost which is blatantly obvious.  

IMO the sweet price point for a Port would be at $299.  $450 seems a bit egregious. Well, $900 for me as i’m in need of two zones. 

Sonos units are digital also in the sense they don't slow down. They work or they don't. The connection issue you are seeing is quite possibly a network issue and there still may be useful service life left in the units.

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