New Sonos S18 satellite speaker shows up in an FCC filing

sonos s18 satellte speaker fcc filing 23398919522 87771c5d5b k
Nan Palmero/Flickr

Most companies like to wait for a major conference or event to unveil a new product, but Sonos may have gotten scooped by a new set of filings made at the Federal Communications Commission. Documents reveal that Sonos is working on new satellite speakers that could add surround sound capabilities and voice control commands to its popular Playbar soundbar, according to a report from Variety.

The filing, published by the FCC on Monday, December 31, is heavily redacted but still offers enough detail to give us an idea about what is coming down Sonos’ pipeline. The new satellite speakers, labeled with model number S18, appear to have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and is designed to connect with the Playbar soundbar. The document mentions the Playbar as a “master device” and calls the S18 a “wireless smart speaker.” The connectivity between the existing device and upcoming speakers suggests Sonos is working on an expanded home theater set-up.

In addition to serving as satellite speakers, the S18 also appear to use touch controls. The feature would likely be similar to the controls found in the Sonos One speaker and other Sonos devices like the Playbase, Play:5, Beam, and Amp. The feature allows you to swipe with your finger to skip tracks forward or backward, or tap to adjust the volume. The speakers may also include a built-in microphone for far-field voice control.

Assuming the Sonos speakers are as they appear, the improvements would add some longevity to the Playbar. The soundbar was first introduced back in 2013. Earlier this year, the company released the Sonos Beam, which is basically a smaller, cheaper, updated version of its popular soundbar. But for folks who aren’t ready to make the jump to that product, adding satellite speakers will extend the lifespan of the Playbar and owners will also benefit from features found on newer speakers.

Sonos also relies heavily on repeat customers adding to their existing audio ecosystem. The company says that 38 percent of its sales are made to people who already own at least one Sonos product. Allowing people to keep building their sound system rather than having to start over is better for both the company and its customers.

Product Review

Focal’s ultra-clear Sphear Wireless bring sexy back to banded Bluetooth buds

Focal’s Sphear Wireless are a sleek and simple pair of banded Bluetooth earbuds with exceptional sound and an affordable price, making them some of the only non-true wireless earbuds we’d consider buying right now.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.

Nintendo 2DS XL vs. Nintendo 3DS XL: Which handheld reigns supreme?

The 3DS family of systems hasn't shown any signs of letting up in the age of the Nintendo Switch. With the New Nintendo 2DS XL in the picture, let's compare the newcomer to the New Nintendo 3DS XL.
Smart Home

Google Home Mini vs. Amazon Echo Dot: Which smart home speaker is better?

We put the two most popular smart home speakers -- the Google Home Mini and the 3rd generation Amazon Echo Dot -- together and tested them on appearance, audio, and abilities. So which should you buy? Find out how they did in our showdown.
Home Theater

Apple's new AirPods could arrive within months, pack health sensor tech

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.
Home Theater

Apple will reportedly launch its new video-streaming service at March 25 event

The rumors about what Apple will announce at a March 25 event continue to swirl. A new report suggests that it will debut its much-anticipated video-streaming service, which will compete with Netflix and Amazon's Prime Video.
Home Theater

Bose’s technology patents could save an earbud’s battery life

Possibly taking a cue from Apple's popular AirPods, Bose filed a patent application for earbud IR technology that could save battery life, improve sound quality, and possibly help people locate lost earbuds.
Home Theater

ATSC 3.0: The next-gen TV update explained

ATSC 3.0 is the next major update to the broadcast standard we use today. Will this be the second coming of free, over-the-air TV? We're here to explain everything about the new standard.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

Samsung will stop releasing new Blu-ray players in the U.S.

Samsung, the first company to produce a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, is now exiting the Blu-ray market entirely in the U.S. The move comes after Oppo Digital also dropped out of the market last year.
Movies & TV

The Breaking Bad sequel might air on Netflix before it arrives on AMC

A Breaking Bad sequel starring Jesse Pinkman (and, possibly, Walter White) is on the way from series creator Vince Gilligan, and you might get your first look at it on Netflix, not traditional cable.

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…