Sonos CEO says he wants to eliminate soundbar cables completely

Mike Wheatley

Audio firm Sonos says it’s been pushing to remove the HDMI cable from soundbars and enable a new generation of wireless TV audio.


The comments came from Sonos CEO Patrick Spence, who was speaking about the launch of his company’s new Sonos Era 300 speakers, which provide surround sound for the Sonos Arc or Beam soundbars. They don’t work as standalone speakers though, as that would mean Sonos has to add an HDMI module or some kind of wireless link between the TV and the speakers.

Already, Amazon, Apple and Roku do this with their Echo, HomePod and Roku TV speakers, respectively. The Apple HomePod, for instance, is able to connect wirelessly to the Apple TV 4K, while the Echo and Roku TV speakers can connect wirelessly to compatible Amazon Fire or Roku TVs using WiFi.

Spence told Digital Trends that he has been “pushing the team for a long time”, and that he doesn’t want a wire to the soundbar at all. He wants everything to be wireless. “Let’s make it even easier,” he said.

If Sonos is able to implement a wireless link, it would mean users could connect a pair of Era 300 speakers directly to any compatible media player or smart TV, without the need for cables. However, Spence conceded that very few people actually do this with their HomePods.

"We haven’t seen a lot of people actually using (the HomePod) that way," Spence said. "Most people are still picking up a soundbar instead."

The CEO’s comments lend weight to rumours that Sonos is working on an internal project known as “Home Theatre OS” that relates to applications and experiences connected to TVs. The big question for Sonos will be how it can convince TV makers to embed its technology within their TVs, so a fully wireless surround sound setup becomes possible.