Sonos has announced a major software upgrade coming in June that will advance the system greatly and add new features — including higher res audio capabilities and room groups.
According to the company (via The Verge), S2 “will power the next generation of products and experiences. In addition to new features, usability updates, and more personalization moving forward.” At this stage, they say Sonos S2 “will enable higher resolution audio technologies for music and home theater” and increased audio bandwidth.
Presumably, this means new hardware will move beyond the 16-bit/48kHz audio that Sonos has for years insisted is “good enough.” It could also mean that the company is looking to support object-based codecs such as Dolby Atmos and/or DTS:X.
These updates won’t arrive immediately, though — the only new feature detailed so far is called “Room Groups.” This allows you to create lasting groups of particular zones that you often use in unison – the lounge and kitchen, perhaps – so that you don’t have to do so every time you start playing. You’ll be able to do this as soon as the Sonos S2 platform launches.
Room Groups alone may not seem like a reason to get too excited about S2, but we expect that more new features will be detailed in the run-up to launch. The new S2 Sonos software also paves the way for new hardware (any and all new devices launched after May will be S2-only), so we’d be surprised if new Sonos devices weren’t announced shortly before or after the arrival of S2.
If you have older Sonos hardware that isn’t compatible with Sonos S2, things will continue to work just as they do today. The Sonos app on your phone will be renamed to “Sonos S1 Controller” and everything will work as expected. Security updates and bug fixes will continue to be pushed out, but new software features will be no more.