Sonos wireless speakers have touted Apple Music compatibility in beta since last year and officially since this year, and now Apple is selling Sonos speakers for the first time. Apple’s online store will begin selling the Play:1 and Play:5 later today, and Apple’s physical stores will carry the two speakers starting October 5. “At Sonos, we believe that music deserves a central place in our lives and in our homes. Playing music out loud makes everything better, more profound, joyful, meaningful and affirming. The easier we make it to fill your home with music, the more people will listen.”
“We’re very excited to announce today that we’re making it easier than ever by expanding our collaboration with Apple and bringing Sonos into Apple’s physical and online retail stores. Two of our most popular speakers the PLAY:1 and PLAY:5 will be available later today at Apple.com in the USA, at 468 Apple Stores around the world starting October 5, and Apple.com in the coming weeks in most markets outside of the USA.”
Better still, those who buy a Sonos system at Apple retail stores or at Apple.com between today and December 31 will receive a free three-month Apple Music Gift Card. Sonos enables Apple Music streaming directly to the wireless speakers without Bluetooth or AirPlay from another device; your iPhone or Mac is simply the controller. Sonos also provides multi-room playback and automation that can’t be accomplished on iOS alone.
The answer to why such an Apple-like company as far as design and experience goes isn’t present in Apple Stores. Is it lack of Bluetooth or AirPlay, or something else? The short answer is that there has been talk in this space in the past, but there hasn’t been a compelling reason for both Apple and Sonos yet. For one, multi-room playback is difficult to demo in busy Apple Stores, but Best Buy and Target do okay with selling Sonos speakers. Apple Music could be the missing link for both parties, though, as selling Sonos speakers would be another point to promote Apple Music subscriptions. Since then, Sonos has opened its first retail store of its own in New York City, and Apple Stores carrying Sonos speakers is a major endorsement of the products.