Skip to main content

Sonos could soon be the soundtrack for your next shopping trip

Sonos has announced Sonos Pro, a new way for companies with multiple locations to manage all of their Sonos wireless speakers from a central, web-based command center. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) product has subscription pricing: each location you want to control costs $35 per month. It’s a U.S.-only service for now, with additional markets planned for the future.

Store manager using Sonos Pro to control a local speaker.

The system is flexible, letting companies decide how much control over individual locations should be in the hands of their employees — all the way from full control to no control at all. The days of your local Kroger running its own quirky playlist could be over if that sort of thing goes against the brand’s standards for its in-store experience. Or, companies could decide that a local flavor is exactly what they want to promote and give their store managers a big influence on the music their customers hear.

The system also includes a feature called schedules, which is effectively an enhancement of the alarms option within regular Sonos home systems. Playlists or other music can be set to play at specific times of day, in specific locations, or even in specific zones within locations. As part of a subscription, companies will get access to “on-demand premium support from anywhere,” although no mention was made of the support hours that customers can expect.

Example of a Sonos Pro dashboard.

In addition to providing an intuitive dashboard that lets companies see the exact state of each Sonos speaker in each location, Sonos Pro also provides subscribers with a new way to steer clear of the potential licensing headaches that could result from using a personal Apple Music or Amazon Music account in a store. It’s called Sonos Backgrounds, a commercially licensed music service featuring a range of music from independent artists.

When Digital Trends asked if Sonos Pro users would still be able to play music from non-commercially licensed subscription music services if they chose, we were told that Sonos planned to take an active role in educating its customers about the appropriateness of such a decision, but that it would not ultimately interfere.

Apart from the centralized control and availability of commercially licensed content, Sonos Pro works just like a regular Sonos system. It’s compatible with every Sonos product that can be controlled via the company’s S2 app, including the newest Era 100 and Era 300 smart speakers.

Employees who have been granted some level of control over their local Sonos system will be invited to log in via the Sonos app on their smartphones. Sonos Pro administrators can decide which product-specific features will be accessible. For instance, the line-in feature supported by products like the Era series could be locked out.

For companies that already have a cloud-based smart control system, there’s a good chance that Sonos Pro will be able to play nicely — it already works with Crestron, Lutron, and Control4.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
Report: Sonos Ace headphones will get wired and wireless lossless audio
A possible leaked image of the unreleased Sonos headphones.

Sonos can't catch a break. It seems that almost every time the brand has geared up for a new product launch, someone has beaten it to the punch, leaking most of the key information beforehand. This time, the victim appears to be Sonos' much-anticipated wireless headphones. And the culprit? A German Sonos parts dealer called Schuurman.

For a brief period -- the page has since been taken down -- Schuurman's site listed the "Sonos Ace" along with a few photos and, perhaps most intriguingly, a price: 403.58 euros (approximately $534). The slipup was originally reported by The Verge's Chris Welch, who has since released a follow-up article that claims to confirm many more details about the as-yet-unreleased Sonos product. Welch did not indicate his source for the information, but his previous Sonos reports have proven to be highly accurate.

Read more
Bose has a bigger Bluetooth speaker to power your next pool party
Bose SoundLink Max in blue.

Sometimes, your outdoor (or even indoor) gatherings require a bit more power when it comes to blasting out the tunes. Bose's new SoundLink Max is designed for just that scenario, and it can be preordered in black or blue starting May 2 for $399. Shipping expected on May 16 -- just in time for the start of the summer season.

The SoundLink Max is essentially a larger, more powerful version of the existing SoundLink Flex. The two Bluetooth speakers share a lot in common, including their design. Both are fully waterproof and dustproof (and can float) thanks to an IP67 rating, both have a USB-C connection for charging, and both can be wirelessly linked to other Bose Bluetooth speakers and soundbars via SimpleSync.

Read more
Sonos app gets a major overhaul as the company prepares for next-gen products
A hand-held iPhone showing the new Sonos app's home screen.

Sonos will update its S2 mobile app with its most extensive redesign to date on May 7. It will also replace its native apps for Windows and macOS with a new web app that lets Sonos users access their systems from anywhere using any modern browser.  Sonos says these moves are aimed at helping customers manage their music and their Sonos system more easily, and with fewer taps.

However, Sonos’ team also spent considerable time in thier media briefing talking about the app’s modernized underpinnings and how they will let Sonos continue to innovate in the future. You don't need a crystal ball to know they mean products like the as-yet-unreleased Sonos headphones.

Read more