The new SONOS AMP not only delivers more power—125 watts per channel into an 8-ohm load—but it’s also outfitted with HDMI (with ARC), so that it can connect directly to your TV.
In this scenario, the Amp can drive wired front left and right channels, any other pair of SONOS wireless speakers (apart from SONOS soundbars) as surround channels, and a wireless SONOS SUB (or any wired powered sub connected to the Amp) for low-frequency effects. If your TV is equipped only with an optical output and not HDMI, SONOS sells an adapter you can use.
If you have a large home theater, you can use both a SONOS SUB and a powered wired sub at the same time, and/or a second amp to power wired surrounds.
You won’t get a true center channel, but the Amp creates a convincing phantom center channel by blending the audio from the left and right front speakers. You certainly won't miss having a dedicated center channel in your favorite movie.
The SONOS AMP can also handle wired speakers that present less than 8 ohms of impedance, producing up to 187.5 watts per channel while driving a 6-ohm load and a whopping 250 watts with 4-ohm speakers.
The Amp can accept standard banana plugs or you can use its robust binding posts with bare wire (between 10 and 18 AWG). In the latter configuration, you can wire two pairs of speakers to the Amp in parallel to deliver the same music to two stereo pairs (with speakers in the same or in different rooms), provided the impedance presented to the amp doesn’t drop below 4 ohms.
There are touch-sensitive controls on the front of the Amp for play/pause and volume up/down, but I don’t imagine these will see much use since the SONOS app is so much more convenient. You can also control the SONOS AMP using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, just as you can do with other SONOSs components, but you’ll need a smart speaker (or the appropriate mobile app) to do that because the Amp doesn’t have a microphone of its own.