Sonos working on new 'Sonos Base' home cinema speaker with Alexa

Will fit into Sonos multi-room speaker setups and should also include an HDMI input

The Sonos One introduced direct Alexa voice control to Sonos's range of music speakers. Now it looks like Amazon's ever-game assistant is coming to the brand's home cinema range too, with an update to the Playbase or Playbar. Following the new naming convention laid down with the Sonos One, presumably it will be called the Sonos Base or the Sonos Bar.

There's no official name for it yet, however – this FCC filing refers to it as the S14 – and the only available image of it looks like the below. We think it's safe to say the finished version will have a rather more subtle appearance, as opposed to being literally a featureless white square with a label on the bottom.

The Sonos One was a straight replacement for the old Play:1 with a very similar appearance and sound, but the introduction of a much more powerful processor so it could handle new features such as Alexa, and the likes of AirPlay 2 and Google Home, both of which should arrive this year.

The FCC filing clearly points to a voice assistant being in the new device, because there's a less basic image included in it: the control panel. It's the same as the Sonos One's, including a microphone mute button and touch volume controls.

Given the extreme squareness of the diagram on the FCC filing, it seems feasible that it's the Sonos Playbase getting the upgrade – it looks like this (for non-afficianados of such things, it's a soundbase, which is like a soundbar, but your TV sits directly on top of it). 

The Playbase only came out last year so it would seem more logical to update the older Playbar soundbar instead. Perhaps Playbase sales have made it a more obvious candidate for getting Alexa and a swankier chipset, though. We don't know. Of course, it is entirely possible that the 'picture' of the new device is not intended to bear any resemblance whatsoever to its finished appearance. 

Other details are limited but we can confirm from the FCC filing that it will have dual-band Wi-Fi with 4x4 MIMO in the 2.4GHz band. Various outlets are reporting there will be an HDMI connection as well – the Playbar and Playbase only had an optical input. 

This would make perfect sense as it would allow easier setup, and support for newer surround sound formats. It must be said that there is no reference to HDMI in the FCC filing so it is not clear where that claim comes from. Sonos doesn't comment on rumours, so you'll just have to wait and find out.

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."