New Sonos device "S18" on FCC web site, with Bluetooth support

  • 31 December 2018
  • 22 replies

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Hard to say what exactly this is from the limited documents posted, but it has 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios, and BLE (bluetooth low energy). The controls look like those on the One, but that's all I can really see there. Embargo on documents ends in June.

Check the docs out yourself at

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22 replies

New satellite speaker, per Variety.

Likely that these will provide voice control to Playbar/base, as well as additional sound channels.
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Why Bluetooth if they are just satellite speakers? Are they a Sonos One replacement (a Two?). Hmm.
BT might just be there to simplify setup. I’m guessing these will be a more flexible replacement for the Ones.
Maybe front speakers to allow the Playbar to be used as a center channel in a more traditional surround configuration.

Maybe portable speakers with the fact that the Playbar was used in testing being just because that is the piece of Sonos gear they happened to have available to use in the test setup.
I'm pretty sure (if memory is correct...) that the Beam has BT LE for setup purposes. Not sure whether that's true on the Sonos One or not...but might make sense. And more of the moving away from the desktop client.
Could be a simplified redesign of the One, to boost margins on what surely must be Sonos best-selling product. Remember this teardown comparison? The One is apparently over engineered, needs a redesign, per this product engineer...
My bet's on a Play:3 successor. About time.
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Would be pretty cool if they were standalone (a la One) as well as compatible with the Playbar as front/rear surrounds for true 5.1 capabilities. That said, they don't make a ton of sense as an immediate One replacement, unless they are the re-work for margin purposes as noted above. And a satellite-only pair without any other differences from the original :1 and One? Could be a confusing entry.

Still, as front or rear 5.1 satellites (non-standalone, but able to supplement the existing :1 or One pair many of us have) with voice capabilities, a lower price point could be compelling. $299 for the pair would be bangin.
It would be incredibly surprising for these to be intended for use as front satellites (right front, left front) speakers. This would require a substantial (albeit not impossible, I think) rework of the way the software works, as well as the ability to change the way that the three current soundbars work (PLAYBAR, PLAYBASE, Beam), all of which have three separate signals hardwired in them.

I tend to agree with passop, the thing that makes the most sense is a PLAY:3 replacement.....called the Sonos Three.

The part I find interesting is the suggestion that it will allow voice control of the PLAYBAR, which in the past hasn't been possible due to the nature of the "bonding" process. So, there's definitely some code work here, to be sure.
Voice control of the Playbar is possible via One surrounds. Airplay is not.
Ah, I keep getting that wrong. Sorry.
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I hope its a speaker that makes true 5.1 possible. Sonos should update playbar instead try to extend its cyclus.
IF this s18 is a sattelitte i hope it allows beam to be the center of a 5.1 setup.
I am struggling to understand why people think a different speaker would be needed for front left and right satellites, rather than a firmware update. Not that I am particularly expecting that through any route.
The BLE is almost certainly for setup, as Bruce commented. I don't think this means Bluetooth is coming to Sonos in any other sense.
Yea, I would bet this is some sort of play:3 or play:5 replacement, although I don't think of the play:5 as a satellite speaker. BLE is surely for setup only. If they were going to introduce Bluetooth support, they wouldn't do it through BLE.

As far as introducing front speakers for the 5.1 setup, I can't see this happening until the develop some sort of speaker-less control center or center channel speaker for a master. Using the playbar/playbase/beam to send signals to front speakers doesn't make a ton of sense since the products have those speakers built in. I can't see this as a top priority though, even though I wish it was, since the market for a separate front speakers is partially met with the Sonos amp, and all the other wired solutions out there.
John, I'm also confused by this ongoing contention that Sonos doesn't provide 5.1. They do.
So long as we’re wildly speculating here, how about a Dolby Atmos upward firing set for use with the Playbar/base? The cheaper Play:1s for rears, these would also provide voice control. Who knows?

Wait, would require HDMI, which the Playbar/base don’t have. Hmmmm.
So long as we’re wildly speculating here, how about a Dolby Atmos upward firing set for use with the Playbar/base? The cheaper Play:1s for rears, these would also provide voice control. Who knows?

Well, well. Looks like Atmos surrounds are being considered...

I'd think that DTS would be easier to implement than Atmos....but I'm no engineer.
Is This Sonos' Answer to Amazon's Echo Dot?
Although a speaker smaller than the Play:1/Sonos One has been requested, I doubt this is it. The fact that the new speaker works as a surround speaker isn't really useful information. Any speaker that doesn't connect to the TV itself + the Connect can be used as a surround sound. Not a surprise.

I think the fact that it has built in voice assistant is more useful information. I don't think Sonos would create a speaker who's primary use is to be a surround speaker would have a built in voice assistant. Primarily because Sonos will turn off the voice assistant when used with a Beam. Assuming a hypothetical playbar 2.0 also has a voice assistant, voice assistant in the surround sound will be practically useless (except for existing users who probably already have satellite speakers and playbase users).

If this new smaller speaker also has a use as a stand alone speaker, the areas where it has been requested is in hallways and bathrooms. Both places where a voice assistant isn't that useful and/or not wanted at all. Not to mention that the voice assistant feature has a bit of a footprint, meaning Sonos would need to possibly do some redesign on this as compared to the Sonos One.

Then there is the cost. Such a device would need to be priced below $150, so unnecessary features would likely be dropped. I understand that the temptation would be to compete with the echo dot or an echo, I really don't think Sonos would be able to match that.

If this is some sort of Atmos add-on (which I highly doubt), I see no point in a voice assistant. And I think we'd hear about a playbar 2.0 first.

If I were to guess, this thing is something closer to the play:3, bigger option to a Sonos One, then an smaller option. I have a hard time getting too hyped about this. Most of the news seems to be rumors and speculations stacked on top of each other. Or maybe it's because the products I'm looking for from Sonos wouldn't look like this.

I do think the level of interest does seem to be encouraging though, as if a new product has a good chance of success if Sonos were to release something that brings something new to the Sonos family of products.
So... it’s the Sonos One Gen 2
Seems that way. With BLE for set up. I'm not sure if it has more, or less microphones, but apparently a better CPU and more memory. Those are very unspecific details 🙂