Sonos is preparing for the release of a new product that, according to FCC documentation, is likely to be the company’s second portable speaker with a rechargeable battery. The unannounced device, listed at the FCC as model number S27, is shown in testing diagrams to have a wireless charging dock and offer both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) wireless technology.
The mandatory FCC label reveals that this new product uses less power than existing Sonos speakers like the Sonos Move, lending more credence to a smaller overall size. The circular label design, and the fact that Sonos says the label is visible on the bottom surface of the product hints that this Sonos speaker could feature a cylindrical design similar to Bluetooth speaker mainstays like the UE Boom.
The current Sonos Move’s size and weight help it to put out strong sound, but they also make it a less practical speaker for taking on the go. At a hefty 6.6 pounds, it’s something you’d bring from inside out to your porch, maybe, but Sonos still lacks a speaker portable enough for tossing into a bag and traveling with. S27 might just be the answer for that. The original Move, which was leaked soon after its own FCC filing, is model number S17.
This would also be the first speaker from Sonos to include Wi-Fi 5; the Move supports Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n). Bluetooth would come into play more often when using the speaker outside somewhere, but improved Wi-Fi could help performance when playing it around the home as part of Sonos’ multi-room systems.
Other products that Sonos is rumored to be actively developing include a pair of premium headphones. But a line in one of the FCC documents seems to rule out that we’re looking at those. “For satisfying FCC RF exposure compliance requirements, the device must be used with a separation distance of at least 20 cm from all persons,” it says. So all signs — especially that wireless charger — point to a small, rechargeable device. As much as I’d love to see a Sonos shower head speaker or something a little unconventional, I’m banking on a Move Mini. And hopefully for a price significantly lower than the $400 Move.