Sonos unveils powerful new Amp, partners with Sonance

posted on Thursday, 30th August 2018 by Steve May

Sonos  Architectural  Smart home  Multi-room 

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Sonos has unveiled a new generation of Sonos Amp, designed to integrate a Sonos wirelesss system with conventional wired speakers. The announcement indicates a doubling down on the smart home custom install channel for the brand.

Twice as powerful as its predecessor, the new model supports Apple’s AirPlay 2, a host of streaming services, and includes an HDMI port, with ARC, for TV connection.

Designed to fit standard AV racks, the second generation amp can power up to four speakers with 125 watts per channel. Line inputs support turntables, CD changers, and other audio components. When wirelessly connected to an Amazon Alexa-enabled device, like a Sonos One or Beam, the Amp is controllable with voice commands.

Reliability looks good. The amp features a centralised heatsink, air inlets, and a discrete output stage, in order to run cool. The amp also support banana plugs.

Sonos _Amp _05

Sonos has also announced a partnership with architectural speaker maker Sonance. The duo have collaborated on three new models, in-wall, in-ceiling and outdoor, that gain functionality when paired with the Sonos Amp. These are also due early 2019.

Sonos has also committed to expanding its developer platform, by fully is opening it to all potential partners. The company will also add a new set of Control APIs, to simplify home integration with control systems such as Control4 and Crestron. New features include in-line switching, volume pass through and the ability to add Sonos playlists within a third-party interface.

“The growth of the Sonic Internet, the convergence of paid streaming, the smart home, and artificial intelligence through voice technologies drives everything we do at Sonos,” says Sonos CEO Patrick Spence.

“While plug-and-play options like Sonos Beam and Sonos One are an important part of the equation, architectural sound and making it even easier to integrate with lighting and home control are equally as important. We’ve listened to custom installers and dealers to create Amp, a versatile product designed to be at the center of the smart home sound experience.”

The new Sonos Amp will launch globally in February 2019, with a US list price of $599. US installers will have access to it from December 1.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and Ideal Home (amongst others).

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