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!