Archive for Sonos

Sonos Announces Sonos Arc And Other Hardware & Software

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 6, 2020 by itnerd

Today, Sonos introduces Sonos Arc, the premium smart soundbar that brings immersive, cinema-quality sound to your living room. Arc builds on Sonos’ industry-leading innovations in home theater, a design elegant for the home with software-driven audio that immerses listeners in dramatic detail, crystal clear dialogue and impressive bass, featuring support for Dolby Atmos. Equally great for music and home theater, Arc is more than just a soundbar, delivering brilliant sound for TV, movies, gaming, music, podcasts, radio, and more.  

Alongside Arc, Sonos introduces additional updates for hardware and software: 

  • The new Sonos Sub (Gen 3) brings the same great sound performance and iconic design with updated internals, enabling even more. Sub (Gen 3) can be wirelessly paired with a Sonos speaker for even more bass for home theater or music. 
  • Introducing Sonos Five, an update to Play:5 (Gen 2). Five brings updated internals and design updates to Sonos’ most powerful speaker for music. The acoustic architecture and experience of Sonos Five remains consistent with its predecessor, with a fine-tuned monochromatic design.
  • The new S2 app and operating system will be available on June 8, enabling new experiences for customers including support for higher resolution audio, updated interface, and more personalization including saved room groups. Sonos Arc, Five, and Sub (Gen 3) will run exclusively on the new S2 app.

Sonos Arc ($999 CAD), Sonos Sub ($899 CAD) and Sonos Five ($599 CAD) are available for pre-order today on Sonos.com, and available globally starting June 10.

Sonos Radio Rolling Out Via A Software Update Today

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 21, 2020 by itnerd

Sonos is launching Sonos Radio, a free, ad-supported streaming radio service, available to Sonos customers in more than 10 million homes rolling out today with a software update. Nearly half of all listening time on Sonos is dedicated to radio and Sonos Radio was built as a new way for customers to explore radio and discover new music and services on Sonos.

Starting today, Sonos customers will be able to: 

Listen to more than 60,000 stations from multiple streaming partners in one place. Complementing the 100+ streaming options available on Sonos, the new service introduces a holistic and cohesive way to explore radio. Listen to music, news, sports from around the world from long-time partners, including TuneIn, iHeartRadio (North America), and more partners to come. UK-based radio service Global and Radio.com in the US will be added soon. 

Sonos Original Programming Coming Soon: 

Sonos Radio will feature original programming that includes music handpicked by DJs and artists. Sonos’ original programming is available in X and will roll-out to other countries over time. 

  • Stream Sonos Sound System: Sonos’ signature ad-free station, curated and hosted by the Sonos team, features a stream of new and well-known music, behind-the-scenes stories, as well as guest artist radio hours. A 60-minute artist hosted radio hour is released every Wednesday, featuring music and commentary about inspiring artists, releases, and the host’s latest work. 
  • Ad-Free Artist Stations Ad-free artist stations feature song selections from artists inspired by their own influences and obsessions. In the Absence Thereof…, from Thom Yorke, premiers today. Artist stations from Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, David Byrne of Talking Heads, and Third Man Records to follow. 
  • Sonos Stations, offering 30+ stations of handpicked music inspired by Sonos customers most loved genres.

Sonos will also debut its new sonic branding created by iconic composer Philip Glass with Sonos Radio.

Global radio stations will be available for all customers worldwide. Sonos’ original programming will be available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia beginning today. Support for additional countries will follow.

Sonos Illustrates How Music Can Help Us During This Difficult Time

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 3, 2020 by itnerd

As many people are adjusting to their homes taking on new meaning – place of work, the classroom, the gym, the cinema, the concert venue, and more – here are a few ways Sonos can help by making it easy to stream great sound for anything. 

Home office help

Music can help increase productivity and boost your mood during the work day. In a study we compiled last year (more insights below), 67% of people said listening to music helps them get more done than drinking a cup of coffee. Try a pair of Sonos Ones or One SLs in your home office, or if you find yourself working everywhere from the patio to the kitchen, Move is the most versatile option to bring the music seamlessly from room to room.

Stream it all in brilliant sound 

Whether the latest Netflix binge, a workout on Hulu, a cooking class on YouTube, or a live concert on Instagram – you can listen to it all on Sonos. Meanwhile, your favorite albums, podcasts, and audiobooks are a great way to break up the screen-time. Beam is the best option for people who want great TV sound with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Airplay 2 built in. Sonos also has home theater sets for those looking for 5.1 surround sound. 

Escape with music

As a company, Sonos is obsessed with music and audio. It drives everything they do and is getting all of us through this time. In their research last year, we also learned 80% of parents said they hope their kids like their favorite music, and 65% of people listen to music their parents introduced them to.

With help from Sonos colleagues, they are adding new playlists including one for parents and kids. Here are three of the latest on Spotify (also available on other platforms).  

Finally, along with fast and free shipping, Sonos has extended our return policy to 100 days (money back guarantee) and there are some offers for the next few weeks on Sonos.com for OneOne SLBeam and speaker sets.

Brilliant Sound Survey Insights (global)
Music has a transformative power to increase productivity and reduce stress.

  • 67% of people say listening to music helps them get more done than drinking coffee.
  • 74% of people say listening to music helps reduce stress.
  • 76% of people say that listening to music helps them produce their best work. 
  • 42% of people say podcasts had a relaxing effect on their mood. 
  • 75% of people say music has made them laugh or cry unexpectedly.

Listening Motivates Us Toward Health Goals

  • 68% of people say that music helps motivate them to workout when they’re tempted to skip it. 
  • Majority of listeners say that music helps encourage them to workout longer (52%), push themselves further (55%) and exercise with greater intensity (51%)
  • 75% of people say that music has a bigger impact on their workout regimen than any supplement does.

Sonos Will Release Sonos S2 App & OS…. But Some Hardware Will Be Left Behind

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 18, 2020 by itnerd

Sonos has posted a FAQ that details an upcoming app and OS called Sonos S2. It’s going to power their next generation of products and services. One key feature is that Sonos S2 will allow for higher-resolution audio which is beyond the CD quality audio that they currently offer. There’s other functionality that Sonos S2 will offer, but there are not a whole lot of details on that just yet. I suppose that we will hear more in June when this is supposed to ship.

Now to facilitate this, Sonos is leaving some hardware behind. Specifically:

  • Zone Players
  • CR200
  • Bridge
  • Connect (Gen 1)
  • Connect:Amp (Gen 1)
  • Play:5 (Gen 1)

The company has said that these devices will no longer receive new features as of May since they lack the necessary processing power, though they’ll still get bug fixes and security patches.

I think this is a necessary move. Sonos has to move forward and they can’t do it by having to try and support hardware that can’t do what they want it to do. So unlike their shambolic trade up program, which they eventually had to walk back, this is something that I support. I for one will be interested to see the capabilities of Sonos S2. Hopefully Sonos will share those details soon.

Sonos QUIETLY Walks Back The “Recycle Mode” Fiasco

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 5, 2020 by itnerd

You might remember that Sonos had a program earlier this year where a customer who leverages this nets a 30% discount off a new device. But the catch was that you had to put your existing Sonos speaker in what Sonos calls “Recycle Mode”. That starts a 21 day countdown that at the end of the 21 days, your existing Sonos device gets “bricked”. And by “bricked” I mean it no longer works. Forever. You can then take it to your local eWaste recycling center or send it back to them.

To nobody’s surprise, this was an #EpicFail. But according to The Verge, that’s changed:

The trade-up program still exists, and customers who own eligible legacy products can get the same discount, but they’re no longer required to permanently brick devices that might still work just fine.

With the change, Sonos is now giving customers full control over what happens with the older gadgets they’re “trading” up from. They can choose to keep it, give it to someone, recycle it at a local e-waste facility, or send it to Sonos and let the company handle the responsible recycling part. Sonos quietly removed Recycle Mode from its app last week and replaced it with language asking anyone seeking the discount to call customer service. Within the next few weeks, Sonos will update its website with a new flow for the trade-up program that no longer includes Recycle Mode, and you won’t have to call anybody.

Well, that’s a great change. But it’s a quiet change. They might have been better off saying to anyone who will listen that this change happened and they’ve learned from their mistake. But they didn’t do that and I guess that they were hoping that nobody would notice.

So much for that.

There’s one other thing. Sonos still isn’t going to bring new features to older speakers. I guess they have to give you an incentive to get a new speaker.

Spend Family Day With Sonos

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 6, 2020 by itnerd

Since Family Day is right around the corner, I wanted to share the perfect soundbar to bring your family movie nights to the next level in case you’re planning to cozy up for the long weekend.

Sonos Beam is a 3-in-1 soundbar that delivers brilliant sound from your TV and all the music you want when your TV is off. Plus, Beam is equipped with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, so you can set a timer for the pizza in the oven or ask for fun facts about your favorite characters.

Available to $499 CAD, Beam is the perfect way to up your streaming experience, and make the most of all the newest shows available on Disney+, including a childhood classic, Because of Winn-Dixie (releasing on Feb. 14) and more Marvel greatness —Marvel’s Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United (releasing on Feb. 16).

Sonos Creates Problems That It Didn’t Need With Its New “Trade Up” Program

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 2, 2020 by itnerd

Happy new year! Here’s the first controversy of the year for your reading pleasure.

Sonos has a new “Trade Up Program” that if you take advantage of it, nets existing customers a 30% discount off a new devices. That sounds great…. But here’s where the problems start. To get this discount, you have put your existing Sonos speaker in what Sonos calls “Recycle Mode”. That starts a 21 day countdown that at the end of the 21 days, your existing Sonos device gets “bricked”. And by “bricked” I mean it no longer works. Forever. You can then take it to your local eWaste recycling center or send it back to them.

So let’s recap:

  1. You want a new Sonos speaker and you want to take advantage of their 30% discount for existing customers.
  2. You have to agree to “brick” a perfectly working speaker to get said 30% discount.

Perhaps I am missing something but how does that begin to make sense?

Sonos is effectively asking their customers to create eWaste by “bricking” their speakers which are working just fine so that they can get a deal on a new one at a discount. And while Sonos tries to spin this as a “simple, sustainable way for you to recycle your used devices and upgrade to a better listening experience”, it is anything but. 

The thing is that quality audio gear, and I would put Sonos under the category of quality audio gear, lasts a very long time. Thus they could easily be resold to someone and not create the eWaste that Sonos wants you to create just to get a deal. Thus if it was me who wanted to upgrade their audio game, I would follow these instructions to reset the speaker back to factory defaults, and then offer it up for sale on Craigslist. That makes way more sense. Then with the cash that I just got from responsibly selling a perfectly working speaker, I would have to think long and hard if I wanted another Sonos speaker given this rather ill advised scheme. Maybe I would buy another Sonos product, maybe I would look at something else. The fact is that the company has now given one reason to consider other options. 

 

Spotify Is Free Today On Sonos

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 12, 2019 by itnerd

You can now stream Spotify Free on Sonos through a free software update that rolls out today. Spotify Free enables even more listeners to enjoy the best of Spotify in great sound on Sonos – offering even more choice for current or soon-to-be Sonos customers this holiday season.

Queue up your Discover Weekly or favorites like RapCaviar on the One SL – the powerful, microphone-free speaker (MSRP $229).

Or, if you’re leaving home for the holidays and your friends/family don’t have Sonos yet, bring the party with you with Move, the indoor/outdoor, battery-powered smart speaker (MSRP $499).

Spotify Free on Sonos includes: 

  • Access to Spotify’s entire catalog on shuffle, making it even easier to listen to music, podcasts, and more.
  • Listeners will also have access to 15 personalized on-demand playlists, including Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mix, favorites like RapCaviar, Viva Latino, and more.
  • Stream Spotify Free on Sonos through the Sonos app or directly from the Spotify app. Start playlists with voice based on title, genre, or mood with the Google Assistant on a voice-enabled device.
  • Whether you regularly use Spotify or not, remember you don’t have to pick just one streaming service on Sonos. Add Spotify Free in addition to one of the other 100+ streaming services on Sonos to discover even more music and content.
  • Get started: Make sure your Sonos app is updated to the latest software. Go to Settings > Services > click Add a Service under Music & Content > Set-up or Log-in.

Today’s software update will also include a new design for browsing Spotify in the Sonos app, making accessing favorites more consistent with the Spotify app.

First Look: Sonos Move

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2019 by itnerd

This morning, I got a very quick look at the new Sonos Move which will be available for sale later this month. If you’re in the Toronto area, you can take look at the Sonos Move as well. Click here for details.

The Sonos Move is the first of its kind from the brand. It takes all of Sonos’ trademark features like fantastic audio quality and ease-of-use, and packing them into a ruggedly handsome enclosure built to withstand almost anything you can throw at it.

What is cool about the look that I got today was that they showed you how it was tested:

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You can interact with most of these displays, and it gives you the confidence that it will survive anything that you could throw at it. It is dust and water resistant as well as drop resistant.

Now over to the speaker itself:

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It comes in two pieces. The speaker itself which weighs about 6 pounds, and the charging base which is designed to be idiot resistant. As in I can’t see how anyone would mis-align it so that it wouldn’t charge. Speaking of charging it, the Move will serve up 10 hours of battery life. In terms of functionality, It works over WiFi and Bluetooth. Thus the use case would be that you could use it at home like any Sonos speaker via WiFi. But you could take it outdoors and use it over bluetooth with your phone.

But I am sure that you want to hear about the sound that the Move is capable of. Well, I was outdoors and it sounded crisp, clear, and having a healthy amount of bass. I was impressed by it. But I really want to give this a really good test indoors and outdoors. And thanks to Sonos I’ll get the chance to do so shortly. Please keep an eye out for that review.

See The Sonos Move At The Sonos stackt Pop-up In Toronto

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 13, 2019 by itnerd

If you are in Toronto, the folks at Sonos will be serving up the Sonos stackt pop-up where they will be unveiling their newest speaker, Sonos Move: a powerful, versatile, and durable battery-powered smart speaker for indoors, outdoors, and on the go (a must for – finally legal in Ontario- tailgating season!)

And when I say durable, I truly mean it! To show just how tough the Sonos Move is, Sonos is also bringing their mini durability lab to stackt this weekend so you can see for yourself some of the extreme tests we put this speaker through. Everything from extreme heat to rain showers, dust storms and drops!

Details:

  • What: Now Playing: Sonos Move at stackt market
  • Description: Stop by our retail pop-up at stackt in downtown Toronto and check out the new Sonos Move: a powerful, versatile, durable, battery-powered smart speaker
  • When: Saturday, September 14, 10am – 7pm & Sunday, September 15 11am – 6pm
  • Where: 28th Bathurst Street, #3118

I’ll be dropping by on Saturday to take have a look. Watch of pictures to appear on my Twitter feed while I am there and I’ll add them to this post later in the day.