Sonos continues to do battle with the competition like Apple’s HomePod and has recently added support for AirPlay 2 to all of its most recent speaker releases, which is great news. Today the company also debuted a new piece of hardware, an updated Sonos Amp, which too will support AirPlay 2 when it goes on sale in December, at least to professional installers.

The Sonos Amp is around twice as powerful as the Connect:Amp that it will replace, meaning it will be capable of driving bigger and better speakers without a degradation in audio quality. There is also a raft of changes on the hardware front with the new Sonos Amp featuring not one, but two Ethernet ports as well as support for HDMI ARC for those televisions that support it. This being Sonos, there will also be support for over 100 different sources of streaming audio out of the box.

While all of this sounds great and anyone will be able to buy a Sonos Amp eventually, the staggered release dates – December for installers, February 2019 for the rest of us and costing $599 regardless – should give some sort of indication as to the target market for this thing. High-end installations are where the Sonos Amp will likely live, with support for line-in for fancy audio setups, including turntables, giving installers a way to get any audio into the Sonos ecosystem.

That will also mean that when connected to speakers, whether indoors or outdoors, users will be able to take their plastic disc music with them.

On top of all of this, Sonos also announced that it will be making some new APIs available to developers. This again ties in with the plan to make the Sonos Amp part of professional installations, allowing developers to make it a central part of integrated smart homes via the use of those new APIs.

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