Sonos codename S14 - new soundbar

  • 29 May 2018
  • 8 replies
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Userlevel 4
I unfortunately consider myself a Sonos fanboy. Not the bad kind - not the kind that'll bash on people for buying other brands. Sonos has many flaws in their current system and I accept it. I am the type of guy who bought a Sonos Play:1 and have been hooked on expanding my Sonos system ever since. And I get very excited about buying a new Sonos product even if it saps my wallet dry haha (hence the second word of the post).

Right now, I own 1 play 5, 2 Play 1's, a SUB and Connect. Next up, Playbar. Or will it be...?
Currently, the Playbar is very lackluster in terms of a proper home theatre experience. There is an announcement that will be made in San Francisco on April 6th which will hopefully uncover all the details of this soundbar.

I have seen recently (heard early rumors a month ago) that Sonos have a new soundbar on the horizon? Codename 'S14' and it's been said it MAY have HDMI support, with mics for Amazon Alexa as shown by FCC filings. This opens so many doors. We're talking Dolby sound, and Sonos moving away from what they usually focus on - great sounding music, for multiple rooms and entering a new market of audio enthusiasts.

I always saw, and still see, the Playbar as Sonos wanting to stick more to the music side, but want people to add Sonos sound to their TV regardless of if it's less fancy as it's competitors. It's Sonos, it plays music, but it's connected to your TV too. That is the premise of the Playbar from my eyes, it even says it's for music lovers on the homepage. And Optical seemed to be an attempt at keeping that Sonos simplicity, while not distracting the system away from music to home theatre.

I'll admit, I was surprised Sonos have filed some technology with the FCC to pretty much confirm the rumors that head in the direction of HDMI input. It's just not something I didn't see Sonos doing a few months ago. But, I am not complaining! I'd LOVE to get a Sonos soundbar with proper Dolby surround that also plays music as well as the current Sonos home theatre setup!! My god, I would be way less hesitant to spend £700 on a soundbar that does that.

Speaking of price... let's get into my wishes for this new product
Please, PLEASE keep this product £700 (or under, at least). It's just I really can't see the product doing too as well if it was any more. The electronics store I work in at the moment has the Playbar as the most expensive option out of all of its competitors that include Dolby surround technologies! I think it'd be mad for them to price it any higher. Reduce the price of the Playbar too if you choose to keep supporting it!

Secondly, please implement proper Dolby surround technology! I don't know why.. but I can picture you guys adding HDMI support, but not the codecs! And it will probably be followed by an excuse of "But it isn't important enough. We're currently focusing on other technologies." in typical Sonos fashion.

What I am hyped for
A Sonos soundbar, with the simplicity and sound of Sonos, with proper Dolby surround, revamped design that fits the Playbase, Play 5 and One with voice control either Alexa or the Google Assistant (which is coming soon). That sounds like a very exciting product for me and if all is true, I will be buying it in a heartbeat!

https://www.cnet.com/news/sonos-invite-hints-at-new-playbar-2-with-alexa-voice-control/
https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/sonos-home-theater-speaker-news/
http://www.hiddenwires.co.uk/news/article/documents-suggest-sonos-to-launch-s14-home-cinema-speaker
https://www.whathifi.com/news/sonos-readying-smart-soundbar

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8 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Nice post. The announcement is on June 6, not April 6. :-)

The image release regarding the announcement seems to imply that the new product has a lot to do with controlling other devices. That could be mostly about Onkyo receivers being controlled by CONNECT through the Works with Sonos program, but I would be surprised if it doesn't apply to the S14 as well. So you could guess that the HDMI utilizes ARC to control the tv, receiver and such. I would guess that they've included additional codecs as well, probably more because they want to make the new product easy to use and reduce any compatibility concerns, which is an issue for the current playbar.

As far Sonos sticking to the music side, I don't think their goal has really changed all that much. They have always been about control of a whole house system, and house usually have tvs in them. One thing that their current competition (in terms of Apple and Amazon) doesn't do all that well is integrating their whole house system with the tv. Sonos does that fairly well, and looks to be trying to make that better to give them a further edge in this area.

That's the way I see it anyway.
Userlevel 4
Nice post. The announcement is on June 6, not April 6. :-)

The image release regarding the announcement seems to imply that the new product has a lot to do with controlling other devices. That could be mostly about Onkyo receivers being controlled by CONNECT through the Works with Sonos program, but I would be surprised if it doesn't apply to the S14 as well. So you could guess that the HDMI utilizes ARC to control the tv, receiver and such. I would guess that they've included additional codecs as well, probably more because they want to make the new product easy to use and reduce any compatibility concerns, which is an issue for the current playbar.

As far Sonos sticking to the music side, I don't think their goal has really changed all that much. They have always been about control of a whole house system, and house usually have tvs in them. One thing that their current competition (in terms of Apple and Amazon) doesn't do all that well is integrating their whole house system with the tv. Sonos does that fairly well, and looks to be trying to make that better to give them a further edge in this area.

That's the way I see it anyway.


Oh yeah the date, whoops! My error haha.

Thanks for the reply! I am by no means an expert in home theatre, but my TV has ARC support, and that's a point I forgot. That would be very useful for me. Honestly, even if they don't utilize the HDMI to its fullest right off the bat the fact that's it there, means that the new soundbar has huge potential. A quick update and the versatility just gets better and better - especially when you consider it fits seamlessly with multi-room speakers (as you said, something other companies haven't quite mastered as well as Sonos).

I am really excited, June the 6th is super close!
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
My guess is a new centre speaker, only needs 2woofers & a tweeter in a box (keeps costs down) and HDMI with DTS:X codecs etc. HDMI 4k pass thro would be nice as well.
This new box can then process all the signals and pump out to 4 x play1s and a sub or 2 ;O)
Userlevel 4
My guess is a new centre speaker, only needs 2woofers & a tweeter in a box (keeps costs down) and HDMI with DTS:X codecs etc. HDMI 4k pass thro would be nice as well.
This new box can then process all the signals and pump out to 4 x play1s and a sub or 2 ;O)


Oh my god that would be AMAZING!
Centre speaker, with say any combo Play speaker as front LR and any combo Play speaker as rear LR...
I can only dream. If they do this... I can put my other Play 5 to use by buying another (RIP wallet)! I don't use it as much because my brother uses it in his room. I listen to my two Play 1's w/ SUB.
But having two Play 5's as front LR and two Play 1's as back LR would make Sonos a great home theatre powerhouse with amazing sound with super easy setup.
I can't tell you how much I love your idea. My only concern is that it MAY end up being a lot of configuration on Sonos's part. They need to work out Trueplay with every combination, and that's a LOT of work.

But with 4 Play 1's, a centre speaker and SUB would be more than enough to satisfy my needs!
My guess is a new centre speaker, only needs 2woofers & a tweeter in a box (keeps costs down) and HDMI with DTS:X codecs etc. HDMI 4k pass thro would be nice as well.
This new box can then process all the signals and pump out to 4 x play1s and a sub or 2 ;O)

That is on the lines of something I have long proposed here; it will do away with two big limitations of the present TV solution from Sonos; one, it will allow a wider soundstage for movies that will allows sound panning across the screen effects to be well rendered.

And, two, it will allow for more ability to tweak the sound such that dialog can be heard clearly without having the music and sound effects to be overpoweringly loud at the same time.

Actually, there is a third important plus as well; this will serve much better for just audio/music minus the TV; the two separated speakers will also deliver better stereo imaging of 2 channel music content.
JackWright, you may want to read these threads as well:

https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/sonos-s14-thoughts-and-wishes-6806726/index1.html

https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/next-generation-playbar-2018-6793521
Badge
The new Sonos PLAYBAR needs to have at least 2 HDMI 2.1 inputs. Only 1 is technically needed for new HDMI 2.1 TVs via eArc, but let's say at least 2 for TVs with HDMI 2.0b and below.

1 HDMI 2.1 (eARC) output.

4K Dolby Vision and HDR10+ passthrough.

Support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X respectively.

With HDMI 2.1 comes eARC. eARC will allow the following audio formats to be transported:

Dolby Digital Plus (up to 7.1 channels)

Dolby TrueHD (up to 7.1 channels)

Dolby Atmos

DTS-HD High Resolution Audio (up to 7.1 channels)

DTS-HD Master Audio (up to 7.1 channels)

DTS:X
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
The new Sonos PLAYBAR needs to have at least 2 HDMI 2.1 inputs. Only 1 is technically needed for new HDMI 2.1 TVs via eArc, but let's say at least 2 for TVs with HDMI 2.0b and below.

1 HDMI 2.1 (eARC) output.

4K Dolby Vision and HDR10+ passthrough.

Support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X respectively.

With HDMI 2.1 comes eARC. eARC will allow the following audio formats to be transported:

Dolby Digital Plus (up to 7.1 channels)

Dolby TrueHD (up to 7.1 channels)

Dolby Atmos

DTS-HD High Resolution Audio (up to 7.1 channels)

DTS-HD Master Audio (up to 7.1 channels)

DTS:X


And multichannel PCM too please 🙂 Some of us have PC's connected to our TV or Soundbar 🙂