Sonos acquires Bluetooth audio launch software T2, protocol reports adding fuel to rumors that Sonos is developing its own headphones. T2 is working on the implementation of the new Bluetooth LE Audio standard and LC3 codec, which provides better sound quality at lower bit rates for improved headphone battery life.
A recent LinkedIn post by Sonos Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications Pete Pedersen suggests that the launch of Sonos headphones may be inevitable. He said the company was looking for a marketing agency to help it launch a “new category of products” aimed at a new audience / consumer segment.
A Sonos spokesman confirmed the acquisition of protocol. “Sometimes we will acquire teams, talents and / or technologies that complement our existing and future product roadmap,” the spokesman said. T2 Software was acquired by Sonos in November 2021, protocol reports, about three years after the initial founding of the startup.
Sonos’ long-running debut pair of headphones can benefit the most from an energy-efficient Bluetooth codec like the LC3. Headphones usually have to make difficult trade-offs between having large enough batteries to offer good battery life and light enough to be worn for long periods of time. The promise of the LC3 is that it can help soften this trade-off with higher sound quality, which requires less energy.
If you want to hear what benefits the LC3 Codec can provide, Bluetooth SIG has an interactive comparison on its website that allows you to switch between different audio encoders and bitrate. The tool shows how LC3 audio remains audible at a bitrate much lower than the usual SBC codec. And most interestingly, he notes that the encrypted audio streams are provided by T2 Labs, the old name of T2 Software.
In the past, Sonos has avoided streaming via Bluetooth in favor of Wi-Fi for its home speakers and has only recently adopted Bluetooth audio for portable speakers such as the Sonos Move and Sonos Roam. It is reported that the Sonos headphones will compete with high-end competitors from Sony and Bose, while integrating well with existing Sonos speakers.