Sonos today announced the launch of the Sonos Amp, a new audio hub that's designed to replace the existing Connect:Amp. The Sonos Amp is able to connect to traditional home audio speakers and integrate them into a Sonos home sound system.
According to Sonos, its new Sonos Amp is twice as powerful as the Connect:Amp with the ability to power four speakers with 125 watts per channel, up from two. It supports AirPlay 2 and more than 100 streaming services, in addition to including an HDMI Arc port to connect to TVs and line-in ports to connect devices like turntables, CD changers and other audio components.
Two Amps can be paired together for surround sound, and using the aforementioned HDMI Arc port, it can be used to add stereo sound to a TV or wireless rears to a home-theater setup.
Sonos is pricing the Amp at $599, $100 more than the previous Connect:Amp product. It will be available to professional installers in the U.S. and Canada starting in December, with global availability coming in February 2019.
The Amp is part of a new three-prong approach to better integrating Sonos into smart homes, which also includes speakers created in partnership with Sonance and new platform APIs.
Sonos is partnering with Sonance for three new architectural speakers, including in-wall, in-ceiling, and outdoor, which will be able to be paired with the new Sonos Amp. The three new speakers will be marketed and sold by Sonos and will launch in early 2019.
Starting in September, Sonos plans to open up its developer platform to all potential partners, and it will introduce a new set of Control APIs that will make it easier to integrate Sonos products into smart homes run by systems like Control4 or Crestron.
The new Control APIs will include support for line-in switching to allow line-in components to be selected within a third-party control interface, volume pass-through for easier volume control, the ability to add Sonos playlists using a third-party interface, and as a preview option, capabilities to provide notifications and alerts from third-party devices like doorbells through Sonos speakers.