Sonos partners with Audi to bring audio technology to cars

Sonos has teamed up with Audi to equip the automaker’s Q4 E-Tron with sound, a first for the California audio company best known for home speakers. The news was confirmed by Sonos CEO Patrick Spence on Tuesday after Audi released images of the interior of the Q4 E-Tron showing the Sonos logo. Protocol was the first to report the case.

On Tuesday, Audi released a slew of photos showing the interior of its upcoming electric vehicle, the Q4 E-Tron. As the German automaker focused on its new augmented reality heads-up display, others took note of the Sonos logo, despite the lack of mention of the collaboration in the press release.

Let’s take a closer look at the Sonos-branded speaker on the Q4 E-Tron’s passenger door.

“We want to be in all of the different categories of audio, and a lot of that is in the automotive industry,” Spence said during Q&A at a planned investor event. “Our first partnership to bring our sound experience to automobiles is with Audi.” Sonos CEO and former RIM executive said more details on the Audi partnership will be shared “soon,” presumably when the Q4 E-Tron launches in April.

With this announcement, Sonos joins a long list of audio companies that have made the leap to the automotive industry, including Bose, Bowers & Wilkins and Bang & Olufsen. Partnerships are seen as a way for home audio businesses to diversify their revenue streams and for automakers to use brands known for their premium audio to influence your buying decision.

The news follows Tuesday’s launch of Sonos’ most portable speaker to date, the $ 169 Sonos Roam. Sonos is also rumored to be working on headphones as the company expands its reach from whole-home audio to delivering sound where you want it.