Wireless home audio company Sonos has entered the TV audio market with a sound bar product called Playbar. Retailing at £599/$699, it is first move by the connected devices maker expressly aimed at the TV audio market. Featuring nine amplified speakers in a slim casing, it connects to optical output of TV - but also connects wirelessly to other Sonos components to play music from local storage or internet services.
This move fulfills long-held strategic ambition to enter the market for TV audio systems, which Sonos believes - probably correctly - is under-developed. The company has previously released other speaker units that can now be optionally combined with Playbar to offer full 5.1 surround sound system. Sonos has now sold enough units to serve 2.5m rooms (requiring at least one device per room), up from 1.5m units a year ago. Sonos's revenues are evenly split between Europe and North America (45 per cent each); with Australia accounting for 8 per cent. We believe the move into the growing sound bar market should both help to increase Sonos's addressable market as well as helping to differentiate it from 'me-too' vendors that have attempted to take a slice of the growing wireless audio space.