Sonos Amp renews smart home function. The elderly Sonos Amp is replaced by a new model with more power and a totally different design. That made Sonos known at an event in Berlin, during IFA. With its tighter design, the Sonos amplifier looks more modern than before. The Sonos Amp comes with an HDMI input for the first time, so it can serve as a solution for better TV sound. You still have to connect your own stereo speakers. “This is the most flexible amplifier we ever built,” says Sonos himself.
Sonos Amp renews smart home function
The Sonos Amp is an amplifier with Sonos functions built in, intended for people who prefer to listen to their own (passive) speakers. More than ever, it beckons to the installation market. This is evident from the more compact form, which fits into a rack, and a new Sonance collaboration to bring the corresponding built-in speakers to the market. There are speakers for installation in the ceiling or wall, and for outside. Sonos also says that Trueplay can only be supported with these speakers via the Sonos Amp. If you choose your own floor uprights, then Trueplay is not possible.
The Sonos Amp will also be available for installers first and will only be available to the consumer in February 2019. The cost price is 699 euros.
Big step forward
Technically the Sonos Amp has improved enormously. As you would expect from a compact amplifier of 21 x 21 x 6 cm, it contains energy-efficient class D amplification of the DDFA type. According to Sonos, the device now delivers 125 Watt per channel, to 8-ohm speakers, but also capable of controlling 4 and 2 Ohm speakers.
The Sonos Amp can be used in different ways for 4.1 setups. This can be done by connecting four wired speakers (front 2, rear 2), but you can also use two Sonos speakers as wireless rears. For a demo in Berlin, two Play: 1s were used for this. A final option is to place a Beam or Playbar next to the TV and use a Sonos Amp only for the rear channels.
If you want to, you can add a set of speakers with an active output via a sub-output (with adjustable crossover). subwoofer. This can be interesting if you use small bookshelf speakers that do not perform strongly in the low. An alternative option is working with a wireless Sonos Sub.
An important novelty is the HDMI input. Via this HDMI port with ARC support you can connect a television and adjust the volume with the remote of the TV. There is also an input (which can function both analogue and digital) for an audio device, such as a turntable with an amplified output. Sonos has no additional HDMI inputs, so the Sonos Amp remains away from a real AV receiver.
Fully compatible with Sonos platform and the app
Of course the Sonos Amp is completely compatible with the Sonos platform and app. So you can listen to dozens of streaming services or your own music files, and control multiple Sonos devices in multiple rooms. In addition, it is also ready for Airplay 2, so you can place the Amp in a multiroom setup with other Airplay 2 devices.
Despite the focus on the installation market, the Sonos Amp can still be used in an ordinary living room setting. For this the new device is sufficiently tightly finished, with a matte black design and touch control at the top. We have been able to watch and listen to the new Sonos Amp at the event, and in terms of appearance and build quality it is completely at the level of the new Play: 5 and Beam.
At the event, attention was of course strongly paid to the Sonos Amp but equally interesting was the announcement that Sonos wants to make its platform accessible. It does this by releasing a series of APIs, allowing smart home systems to directly control Sonos. With more control than before, for example to make notifications known. That way a smart doorbell could sound about Sonos speakers. A step further is the opening of a development platform so that anyone with knowledge can write software that intervenes on Sonos. That is already possible in the coming weeks.