Apple insists that the best path forward for audio is going wireless. And if that’s going to be true, the future needs to involve a lot more than just earbuds. So today it’s been announced that Sonos speakers are coming to Apple’s retail locations. You’ll be able to buy either the Play:1 ($199) or Play:5 ($499) starting today on Apple.com in the United States. They’ll be in physical stores beginning October 5th. Web sales will also be available in international markets over “the coming weeks.”
Anyone who buys a Sonos speaker through Apple will receive a free three-month gift card for Apple Music. That promotion is effective immediately and runs through December 31st. Sonos speakers are available from a lot of stores already (Best Buy, Target, etc.), and you’re not going to find any price differences at Apple; that gift card or maybe a convenient location close to you are really the only incentives to buy Sonos from Apple. The company apparently won’t be offering Sonos’ Play:3, Playbar soundbar, and subwoofer.
Unlike AirPods and wireless headphones, Sonos speakers do not function over Bluetooth. They instead use Wi-Fi (and the Sonos app on your phone or PC) to play audio from your own music collection and popular subscription services like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, and yes, Apple Music. But they’re wireless and sound great, which makes for a nice demo of Apple’s “vision” of our audio future.