(Pocket-lint) - Sonos has been the subject of plenty of rumours of late, with seemingly a number of products in the pipeline. Sonos headphones have been speculated for years now, and a Sub Mini has also been doing the rounds, with a launch expected soon.
You can read all about the rumours surrounding the Sonos headphones in our separate feature, and we also have one covering off everything we know about the Sonos Sub Mini.
Here though, we're looking at the next flagship Sonos speaker. This is everything we have heard so far.
What will the next Sonos speaker be called?
- Optimo 2?
- Sonos Five (gen 3)?
Rumours surrounding the next Sonos speaker have referred to it as Optimo 2. It's said that's a codename, suggesting it could be an internal name and the speaker will in fact be marketed as something different when it arrives.
For example, the Sonos Ray soundbar was codenamed Fury before it's official name leaked a few weeks before its release. If Optimo is the codename and not the official name, it's likely we won't know the official name for several months.
That's of course if it doesn't just get the Sonos Five name and a 3rd generation tag. We suspect that's unlikely given the rumoured design differences though. Normally the generation updates are internal so we would expect a different name.
Rumours have also mentioned Optimal 1 and Optimal SL speakers too, adding to the idea the Optimo 2 - or whatever the final name is - could be part of a new range of speakers from the company, like the Sonos Play speakers were before the Play name was dropped in favour of Sonos One and Sonos Five.
Sonos Optimo speaker release date and price
- Sometime in 2023?
We aren't expecting to see the next Sonos speaker until sometime in 2023 - probably the first half. The company committed to two product launches a year a while back and it usually makes announcements between March and May, followed by September every year, give or take a few weeks.
With Sonos having launched the Ray soundbar in May 2022, along with new colours of the Sonos Roam and Sonos Voice Control, and the Sub Mini rumoured to launch before the end of 2022, it would be surprising to see a new flagship speaker this year too.
We would therefore put our money on early 2023 - possibly May 2023 or earlier - for the next Sonos speaker, but for now, we are just guessing based on previous launch cycles.
The Sonos Optimo 2 is claimed to be positioned as the "best-sounding speaker that Sonos has ever produced" based on the rumours about it so when it comes to price, don't expect cheap.
Assuming it either replaces the Sonos Five, or sits above it, the Sonos Optimo 2 will likely cost upwards of £500 in the UK and $500 in the US.
Sonos Optimo speaker design
- Dual-angled shell
- Black and White colours
There's quite a bit about the design of the Sonos Optimo speaker thanks to a leak from The Verge, which published a work-in-progress image and offered some detail on what to expect.
The Sonos Optimo speaker will apparently have a "funky, dual-angled shell". It almost looks like a backwards Sonos Five with an extra section attached, based on the image. The image also shows where the Sonos tag would be - which is where it sits on the Sonos Five - though it doesn't show controls.
We'd expect capacitive touch controls on the top somewhere, likely the front section of the dual-angled shell, and we'd expect ports at the rear. We'd also expect to see white and black colour options, as is standard for Sonos products, with the only exception being the Sonos Roam and the Sonos One, the latter of which came in limited edition colours at one point.
A polycarbonate shell is also likely, as this has been the main material of choice for most of Sonos' most recent speakers, including the Sonos Ray, Beam 2 and Arc soundbars, as well as the now older Sonos Five. It's also expected that the Sonos Optimo will be a large speaker, resembling the size of the Sonos Five.
What is worth keeping in mind though, is that while this design is cool and would mark quite a big departure from current Sonos speakers, Sonos typically goes through several design prototypes before deciding on the final design. It is therefore possible that the Optimo's design will be different to what is seen in the 3D render image created by The Verge.
Sonos Optimo speaker hardware
- Twice RAM of Sonos Five
- USB-C line in
- Dolby Atmos audio
- Built-in mics
As mentioned, it's rumoured the Sonos Optimo 2 speaker will be the company's best sounding speaker to date. That's a pretty big claim to meet given the Sonos Five is excellent.
According to The Verge, the Optimo 2 speaker will have "an arsenal of drivers, including several that fire in different directions from beneath the shell between the front speaker grille and backplate". The report also claimed one of the drivers appeared to be upwards firing, allowing for Dolby Atmos audio.
Exactly what the internal sound architecture will offer remains to be seen for now though.
It's also said the Optimo 2 speaker will have twice the RAM of the Sonos Five, and eight times more flash memory than any previous Sonos speaker, opening it up for plenty of future software updates. Other hardware features are said to possibly include a USB-C line in port - the Sonos Five offers a 3.5mm line-in - and built-in microphones are also reported.
Sonos Optimo speaker features
- Trueplay, Adjustable EQ
- Compatibility with over 100 music streaming services
- Apple AirPlay 2
- Sonos Voice Control, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
The Sonos Optimo speaker will no doubt offer all the features we have come to expect from Sonos devices. These include Trueplay tuning, the ability to adjust EQ settings, Apple AirPlay 2, compatibility with over 100 music services and the ability to group Sonos speakers together seamlessly, or use each speaker independently.
As the Optimo speaker is rumoured to have built-in mics and support Sonos Voice Control based on the rumours, we would also expect to see support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant too. It's possible the Optimo speaker will also offer automatic Trueplay tuning like the Sonos Roam, rather than you having to manual perform it, though that's not clear yet.
Other features mentioned in rumours are not only music playback over Wi-Fi, like the rest of the Sonos portfolio, but Bluetooth audio too. At the moment, the only Sonos speakers that offer music playback via Bluetooth are the portable options - Move and Roam - so this would be quite a big feature for the company to introduce into a non-portable speaker.
Best Bluetooth speakers 2022: Top portable speakers for every budget By Conor Allison · 25 August 2022 · Updated
What are the best Bluetooth speakers? We put each device through its paces in both indoor and outdoor environments to seek out the top options.
You can read our Sonos tips and tricks feature to get the low down on all the other features we would expect to see appear on the Sonos Optimo.
Sonos Optimo speaker rumours: What's happened so far?
Here is everything we have heard so far about the Sonos Optimo speaker.
25 August 2022: Sonos reportedly working on multi-directional speaker with Dolby Atmos
The Verge published an exclusive report detailing what we can expect from the next Sonos flagship speaker, codenamed Optimo 2.
Writing by Britta O'Boyle.