Damn! Sonos’ newest products show just how smart the company is

Sonos is a fascinating company. In the 20 years since its founding, the company has carved out an enviable niche with its multi-room audio service.

In fact, it’s hard to think of any other consumer technology company that holds such sway over the market. From TVs to headphones, laptops to game consoles, few companies dominate their spaces like Sonos.

This does not mean that the company not have competitors – I’ve written extensively about my adoration of Bluesound gear and Bose has been in this field for a while – it’s just that they’re not on an equal footing.

For example, Bluesound doesn’t quite do the same, as its focus is more on the audiophile community. Second, while many of us could call it a competitor to, say, Microsoft Windows, far fewer would do the same for Sonos.

The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that Sonos’s biggest competitors aren’t companies in the precise space (that’s multi-room, wireless audio equipment).

The biggest threat to Sonos is the tech giants that make voice-activated speakers.

186 million smart speakers were shipped in 2021 alone. Their growth has been spectacular, reaching 6.5 million in 2016.

Why are these numbers important? Well, a major selling point of the most popular smart speakers — the Amazon Echo and Google’s Nest range — is how damn affordable things are.