Sonos Announced Its Ace Headphones and Didn’t Mention AI a Single Time

Sonos Ace Headphones

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Sonos has finally made a pair of headphones after folks have seemingly been asking for some time for them to do so, following years and years of making mostly-excellent home audio equipment. The headphones are called the Sonos Ace, will arrive in June, and start at $449. They look as premium as the price suggests they should be and come with all the features, but there’s something else that stood out to me about this product reveal – they didn’t mention AI a single time.

Sonos put out an entire press release for the new Sonos Ace headphones, as well as a fancy store page, and neither of them mention AI. They don’t talk about how extra-smart the headphones are because of some AI algorithm or how often they listen to your every conversation to warn you if someone is trying to scam you. They aren’t inflating their audio quality based on some language model and they don’t plan on ruining the entire music industry by using AI to steal from music creators. They are just headphones. They might even be good.

The Sonos Ace come in black or white, feature spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, can handle lossless audio, support Dolby Atmos and Bluetooth 5.4, work with Apple and Android devices, have wear detection, and of course, have what is promised to be really excellent Active Noise Cancellation. They were “responsibly” made with vegan leather and recycled plastics, have a matte finish and mix of shiny metal, and should hug your head with “pillowy soft memory foam.”

When wearing them in your home, you can swap the audio from a compatible Sonos speaker to the headphones to bring in a surround sound experience, wear them for up to 30 hours on a charge, and then rapid charge them in a few minutes. These new headphones from Sonos come in a fancy case, have physical buttons for precise interactions with them, and they also just look like normal, yet high-end headphones. Everything about these looks quite good, as long as you are fine paying $450.

But again, what grabbed my attention from this whole announcement was the lack of AI. We’ve been so flooded with talk of AI that it has become wildly tiring. I’m so in need of an AI break. That Google I/O keynote from a week ago, that had mostly alarming demos with few positive vibes, was a lot to take in. And now Microsoft is creating AI PCs that will probably disappoint. I’m sure Apple may bring up AI in a couple of weeks at WWDC for the first time. Adobe had a random AI announcement today for Lightroom. AI companies are even in headlines these days for stealing Scarlett Johansson’s voice for their AI assistants.

I know the talk of AI won’t slow any time soon, but at least today I can look at Sonos and thank them for giving us a minor break. It was needed.

And if you’d like to pre-order the Sonos Ace, here’s the link.



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