Sonos Begins a New Era in Smart Speakers
After much speculation, audio company Sonos released new smart speakers. Named the Era 300 and Era 100, the speakers feature updated designs (to help support spatial audio), a variety of wireless connection formats, and access to voice activated digital assistants. The unique shape of the speakers (similar to an hourglass) is intended to maximize the spatial audio experience. Two Era 300s added to a second generation Sonos Beam or Arc soundbar will support 3D audio. Alexa and Google Assistant can be accessed via the app or on the speakers themselves. The Era 100 sells for $249 and the 300 costs $449.
The Circana Take:
- Though smart speaker sales have been weak over the last several months, Sonos joins Apple in recently redesigning its smart speaker line. Sonos, as a pure audio company, has a different objective in this market from leaders like Google, Amazon, and Apple. While the company is invested in having its devices connect with the industry’s largest Smart Home platforms, the company is not promoting their own platform for smart devices.
ADT Moves Into Costco
ADT has announced a new partnership with Costco to sell security systems at the retailer, including some components from Google Nest. Costco members will have the choice between a 9-piece and 13-piece system from the provider. The 9-piece system includes an outdoor Nest Cam, Nest Mini, ADT Command panel and a bevy of sensors while the 13-piece adds additional sensors, another Nest Cam and a Nest Doorbell. The packages require installation from ADT, as well as a 2 year agreement for $50 a month, representing a $10 discount for Costco members.
The Circana Take:
- Expanding on its existing partnership, ADT and Google are bringing their security solution to Costco’s affluent membership. The packages offered give users flexibility in how they set up their home security systems and offer devices that connect into Google’s popular ecosystem.
- The packages also draw on ADT’s expertise in installation, providing consumers the best of both worlds in choosing their own devices and having a professional set them up.