Alt du trenger å vite om vår nye personvernerklæring

Alt du trenger å vite om vår nye personvernerklæring

Neste uke kommer vi med noen viktige oppdateringer av personvernerklæringen vår. Sonos-eiere og alle som besøker nettsidene våre, vil bli bedt om å bekrefte de nye personvernreglene når vi oppdaterer programvaren og systemene våre de kommende dagene. Den nye personvernerklæringen forteller hvilken informasjon vi samler inn, hvordan vi bruker den, og hvilke valgmuligheter du har tilknyttet begge deler.

Vi bruker dataene du deler med oss, til å forbedre lytteopplevelsen din. Informasjonen vi samler inn, gir oss blant annet informasjon om ytelsen til anlegget ditt. Denne informasjonen bruker vi til å forbedre Sonos-programvaren og ivareta sikkerheten. Dataene gjør det også mulig for oss å tilby hjelpemidler som Trueplay-justering, slik at høyttalerne dine høres bra ut i alle rom. I tillegg bidrar dataene du gir oss, til at vi kan lansere nye funksjoner som fungerer optimalt. Det kan blant annet være nye måter å styre Sonos-anlegget på, for eksempel via tale, musikkapper eller smarte hjemmeintegrasjoner.

Når det gjelder bruk av opplysningene som angår deg, har vi noen enkle prinsipper. Vi vil være åpne med hensyn til hvilke opplysninger vi samler inn, og hvorfor. Vi vil beskytte dine data som om de var våre egne, største hemmeligheter. Og vi kommer ikke til å selge dine data. Vi har aldri solgt dem før, og vi kommer ikke til å selge dem i fremtiden.

Oppdateringene av personvernerklæringen gjør den enklere å forstå enn den forrige versjonen. Den nye erklæringen gjenspeiler også dagens og fremtidige Sonos-brukeropplevelser på en bedre måte.

Da vi gjorde disse endringene, tok vi oss tid til å jobbe med eksperter på personvern for å følge mønsterpraksis og sørge for at språket var klart, egnet for fremtiden og med så lite forvirrende juridisk sjargong som mulig.

Før vi ber deg om å godkjenne endringene om noen dager, deler vi den nye erklæringen med deg på forhånd, slik at du får tid til å lese den, sette deg inn i detaljene og eventuelt stille oss spørsmål.

Endringene i denne oppdateringen faller under tre hovedområder, som hver er utformet for å forbedre brukeropplevelsen din og redusere tiden det tar før du kan høre musikk.

Hva Sonos hører, tar opp og beholder

For det første vil du legge merke til at vi har lagt til en del om hva det innebærer hvis du aktiverer en taleassistent til å kontrollere Sonos-systemet når denne funksjonen blir tilgjengelig i ditt land. Det er ingen hemmelighet at vi har jobbet med dette en stund, og vi vil sørge for at du er godt forberedt før det blir tilgjengelig. Det viktigste for deg å vite, er at Sonos ikke beholder opptak av taledataene dine. De går til taleassistenttjenesten (for eksempel Amazon) som du har aktivert på Sonos-systemet. Vi har også tatt med informasjon om hvordan vår Trueplay-teknologi analyserer rommet ditt for å optimalisere hvordan produktet produserer lyd, hvis du velger å bruke den.

Deling av data med partnerne våre

Fordi Sonos er en plattform som samarbeider med strømmetjenester og andre hjemmeenheter, deler vi enkelte data med partnerne våre. Dette er data som er nødvendig for at den aktuelle partnertjenesten skal fungere med Sonos og gi en kvalitetsopplevelse. Når informasjon deles, vil det være med et produkt eller en tjeneste du har bedt om eller godkjent. Vi har tatt med denne informasjonen i tidligere versjoner, men i den nåværende versjonen er vi mye mer konkrete og klare på hva slags informasjon vi samler inn og deler med disse partnerne.

Forbedring av kundeopplevelsen

Og til slutt vil vi begynne å samle inn enkelte grunnleggende opplysninger om Sonos-systemet ditt, som feilinformasjon og lydinnstillinger, slik at vi kan jobbe proaktivt for å identifisere feil før de blir til problemer. At du deler denne informasjonen med oss, gjør at vi kontinuerlig kan forbedre brukeropplevelsen din.

Vi respekterer personvernet ditt og vi er opptatt av å beskytte de personlige opplysningene du bestemmer deg for å dele med oss. Hvis du har spørsmål, kan du se Vanlige spørsmål eller kontakte oss på privacy@sonos.com.

Med vennlig hilsen,

Craig Shelburne
Chief Legal Officer

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Sonos-appen vår har fått en ny seksjon: Hjelp og tips

Sonos-appen vår har fått en ny seksjon: Hjelp og tips

Få mest mulig glede av Sonos.

 

I juni oppdaterer vi appen vår med en ny og praktisk Hjelp og tips-seksjon. Selv om dette er en liten endring, vil den gjøre en stor forskjell. Den vil nemlig hjelpe deg og familien din å få enda mer glede av hjemmelydanlegget deres … ved å lære dere å bruke det på måter dere kanskje ikke engang visste at var mulig.

  • Visste du for eksempel at du kan stille inn musikkalarmer som vekkerklokke?
  • Lage dine egne spillelister?
  • ler la ungene prøve seg som DJ-er med crossfade-funksjonen?
  • Kanskje har du heller ikke prøvd berøringskontrollene ennå, eller hørt med egne ører hvordan Trueplay kan gjøre lydkvaliteten så god som overhodet mulig – i alle rommene i huset.

Alt dette og mye mer kan du lære i Hjelp og tips-seksjonen, som snart dukker opp i appmenyen. Og i tillegg forbedrer vi også Kontakt oss-funksjonen, for å gjøre det enklere å nå oss hvis du skulle ha behov for det.

 

La dette bli den beste musikksommeren noensinne!

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Food, Folk and Fatherhood with My Morning Jacket’s Patrick Hallahan

Photo Credit:  Jessie Kriech-Higdon

 

The kitchen of the Hallahans’ beautiful home in the Cherokee Gardens section of Louisville gets a lot of morning light. This is both by physical and by social design. In this room Patrick — a big teddy-bear of a man who rose to prominence as the drummer of My Morning Jacket, and whose new local culinary venture, Butchertown Grocery, has been hailed as one of America’s best new restaurants —creates sprawling meals for, and with, his family. It is an airy, bustling eat-in space, where the family congregates before Brigid, a school librarian, goes to work — and when she returns. It’s also where their five year-old daughter Flora dances and builds forts and sits down to draw, using it as a primary staging area for her childhood. Naturally, this room has a freewheeling soundtrack.

 

Patrick Hallahan cooking with Flora, his daughter.

 

“We always play music when we’re cooking, making banana bread” says Patrick, one morning in late May. He’s just finished cleaning up after breakfast. Flora is floating between a pair of towers she’s erected out of her toys, while Harry Belafonte’s great calypso, “Man Smart (Woman Smarter),” a part of her personalized playlist, is pulsating, quietly but insistently, from the PLAY:5 speaker perched on the backrest of the reddish wood bench. “And I feel like Sonos has introduced us to a more varied and non-stop listening situation.”

Patrick was raised not far from here, in Hikes Point, a working class suburb of eastern Louisville, at least the sixth generation of his mom’s side of the family to grow up around the old Kentucky port town on the banks of the Ohio River. Shared songs and shared meals are his heritage.

Says Hallahan, “My grandmother Joni Brohm was a lounge singer, and she’d rehearse her band in her basement. I was probably three-years old, thinking ‘Oh My God, this is amazing.’ I was so blown away by it that I’d never leave.” Patrick calls his grandmother’s basement  “a haven for my musical upbringing and my siblings as well.” There was of course a record player and a glass cabinet filled with 45s of songs Joni’s band was learning — “we cut our teeth on that stuff.” Soon the basement featured a toy drum, the kids were playing band, and the family stereo moved to the room that Patrick shared with his younger brother. “There was always music in the air, and an underlying current of it in whatever our family did.”

 

Patrick Hallahan reading to his daughter.

 

“And,” he quickly adds, “cooking came to me the same way music did. It wasn’t something I sought out — it’s been a part of me forever.” The oldest of four, two brothers and a sister, Hallahan says he began reading cookbooks when he was four or five years old. “I started learning basic stuff, cooking for myself and for my siblings, at an early age; but we’d also wake up early and make my parents breakfast. In fact, if you would have asked me in 5th grade what I was going to be, I would have said, ‘a chef.’”

The twin passions of cooking and music have naturally entered his own household: “When we’re all home together, our family loves to spend time in the kitchen, cooking and socializing. Flora comes down the steps in the morning and I start making her breakfast. Sometimes she helps mix things in a bowl, but sometimes she sits down at the kitchen table and starts drawing or doing something creative and immediately wants to listen to music — and it’s because these are her [musical] choices playing out of those speakers. That’s another tradition I’m trying to pass on to Flora. I think a natural progression of having an attraction to something, is to follow that attraction.”

The family-member whose musical habits seem most shaped by Sonos is Flora. According to Patrick, from a very young age “Flora took to a kids program called Music Together. That became a backdrop to her childhood, associated with movement and social time, a real positive thing.

Following his attraction shaped Patrick’s own life. Music, and discovering its many variations has been core to the relationship between Hallahan and My Morning Jacket’s primary songwriter Jim James since they first met in grade school. They’re a part of small cabal of friends who’ve been in and out of each other’s bands since 7th grade, united by the kind of growth that creates career musicians.

“We just formed this group of people who liked to talk about music and turning each other onto stuff.” They relied on each other to move from Joni’s Motown singles and Led Zeppelin (“holy sh*t, that’s not hair-metal”), to the then-current Louisville hardcore and indie scene (“Urchin and Rodan and Slint, bands that were blowing our minds, totally different than anything we were listening to at the time”). “We were never scenesters,” Patrick says. “We were always just kind of in the middle of all of it.”

This is the atmosphere in which Patrick and the rest of My Morning Jacket first discovered the power of SONOS. “One great thing about being in a band like ours is that everybody is actively seeking new music all the time. It’s a great brain trust of people, sharing and comparing.” While recording the 2015 album The Waterfall, the band set up pairs of PLAY:5s and PLAY:3s in the Stinson Beach house they all camped in together, extending the studio sessions and playing tunes off their iPods and iPhones for another. “We found that it became our jukebox, but more of a visceral listening experience.”

Naturally, the possibilities of a personalized listening experience have taken firm roots in the Hallahans’ home. There’s the huge record collection Patrick’s built over his lifetime, which is now newly transportable. “I have my Sonos set-up through my main stereo, and I can drag a PLAY:5 out to the screen porch, drop a needle and listen to my records out there.” He says that Brigid likes to “set it and forget it. She just puts on, like, a Dinosaur Jr. playlist and, boom, she’s off and running.”

 

Patrick Hallahan playing with Flora and listening through a PLAY:5.

 

The family-member whose musical habits seem most shaped by SONOS is Flora. According to Patrick, from a very young age “Flora took to a kids program called Music Together. That became a backdrop to her childhood, associated with movement and social time, a real positive thing. When we got Sonos, we selected the Music Together radio station on Pandora, and both Brigid and I were paying attention to what she was reacting positively to, and started building a customized station for her. It’s been great because it introduces her to music we wouldn’t necessarily play; and now there are voices that she gravitates towards like…” he snaps his fingers. “Belafonte, Bob Marley, Ray Charles, that Louie and Ella Verve album.

“And her choices are changing and growing…” — it is then wonderful to hear Patrick’s parental aspirations as a music fan excitedly spread their wings — “…Like, she started reacting to The Clash the other day and I thought I was going to faint cause that’s one of my favorite bands of all time.” Of course, there is a great, age-old pop vs. rock moment a few minutes later though, when Flora, asked if there’s any music she likes to listen to, does not hesitate to say, “Taylor Swift” — before adding “and daddy’s rock and roll.” The 45s of Joni’s glass case have found a new form.

Towards the end of the chat, Patrick pondered which parts of fatherhood he had already internalized, while simply and unconsciously tying together the traditions of his familial past and future: “My mornings with her,” he said as the morning light streamed in through the kitchen window. “The Music Together playlist that we’ve accumulated over two years. Those are some of my most tender moments. I go to those when I am out on the road and I am lonely, and when I am thinking that I can’t wait to get back home, and make banana bread with her. Watch her add the ingredients and mix it up. Those are just really special times for us as a family.”


Flora’s Banana Bread Recipe

Ingredients

3 over ripened bananas (Place in freezer two days before. Thaw before baking.)
1/3 cup room temp butter
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
Repeat listens of Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in The Line” and Dion’s “Runaround Sue”

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat a 9×5″ bread pan with butter.
  2. In one bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth using a mixer. Add in bananas and vanilla extract. Take a sniff. Life is good.
  4. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, stirring only until fully combined.  Make sure there’s is plenty of good music playing.  We find that dancing helps bring the ingredients together.
  5. Pour into buttered bread pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).
  6. Lick the bowl and mixer clean!  Make sure to get some of it on your nose.  This step is most important.
  7. Remove finished cake from pan and let cool for 30 minutes.
  8. Share cake with friends…it just tastes better that way.

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Murdoc Niccals Takes Us Inside Gorillaz Spirit House & Beyond

We recently created an immersive audio and visual experience with Gorillaz called the Spirit House to celebrate the launch of their new album, Humanz and the launch of our new PLAYBASE. We had the opportunity to sit down with Murdoc and talk Spirit House inspiration, listening out loud, and movie soundtracks.

 

 

Tell us a bit about what a Spirit House is?

It’s a cocktail bar, isn’t it? Ah, no, I get you. The other kind. Well, Spirit Houses are audio-visual chateaux through which you can live out your Gorillaz fantasies. You ears and eyes will be penetrated by music and mind-altering visuals, through state-of-the-art tech and physical installations. Plus, there’s a ton of pictures of yours truly to drool over.

 

What can people expect to find inside the Spirit Houses that’ve been popping up in New York, Berlin and Amsterdam?

Great tunes, custom Gorillaz artwork, epic digital projections. Me, floating through the depths of space with no trousers on. Pretty much all your wildest dreams come true in one fully immersive experience.

 

What makes a good room for listening?

A banging speaker system with enough welly to rip your ears clean off. Next question.

 

Gorillaz Spirit House Entrance

 

What music did Gorillaz listen to together when you recorded the new album?

Well, obviously a truckload of classic Chicago house, that being the vibe of the record. Frankie Knuckles, also Jamie Principle (who actually appears on the album). Then for that techy futuristic edge we fired up a bit of 80s minimalist German techno, care of the great Thomas Brinkmann. But after a day’s recording, sometimes you just want to whack on something totally different to clear the old noggin. That might mean Medieval Gregorian chants, or early Kylie Minogue. Depending on my mood.

 

Describe the perfect conditions for listening to Humanz?

In the bath, so your aural pores are clear and open to let in the maximum amount of insanity.

 

We see you’ve got a Sonos Playbase under your TV. What’s your all-time favourite movie soundtrack?

Beaches. I well up every time I see that film.

Music is an integral piece of the transformative experience of the Spirit House, how do you think music helps transform a home? 

It can help block out unwelcome noises coming from the basement, like scuttling or the rattling of chains.

 

Finally, if you’re at home and want to play some music… REALLY loudly, what would you listen to?

The Star Wars soundtrack. Then I chase 2D round the house with my lightsaber. And by lightsaber I mean an actual sword.

 

Ready for a transformative musical experience?

The Gorillaz curated a playlist with some of their musical influences and favourite tracks, have a listen.

 

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Reimagining the future of fashion with music and technology

Our visit to Borre Akkersdijk’s home marks the continuation of our special collaboration between Sonos and Freunde von Freunden.

 

Borre Akkersdijk heads up the studio of his namesake brand Byborre in Amsterdam West, producing textiles that push the boundaries of wearable technology.

 

Borre Akkersdijk heads up the studio of his namesake brand Byborre in Amsterdam West, producing textiles that push the boundaries of wearable technology.

Fashion and music are often riffing off each other, deeply linked by the creatives who breathe life into these industries. Borre takes the literal inspiration of each industry, merging the two and creating pieces that are not only attention-grabbing, but also thought-provoking. His music-playing onesie to help dementia patients communicate was featured at SXSW and pushed the dialogue about the future of wearable technology and music.

 

PLAY:3 in the home of Borre Akkersdijk

 

In his studio, the 12-man team works with various rolls of fabric, mannequins, and knitting machines that roll out textile samples. While the studio is never quite silent with production happening in the background, music plays a pivotal role in changing up the mood. Deep in work, the team can get silent and focused on their respective projects. However, as the hours pass, the curated playlists can change from blues to hip-hop. Changing rhythms and impromptu dance parties keep the team connected.

“Music plays an important role in that,” he says. “I don’t want everyone to always be wearing headphones. We work in silence when there are meetings at the studio but turn the music on when we’re working with our hands. It could be working on textile development or collaborating in creative sessions.”

Whether it’s waking up in the morning or creating pieces in the studio, music sets the mood and “brings the room together.” Borre admits that he is envious of and inspired by artists who perform on stage, playing music that can touch so many people. He seeks to create the same kind of connection with his clothing.

“I’m a very chaotic person,” he says, “but when I see something, I can build a world around it. That’s also how most of our projects go.”

His enduring sense of curiosity is the driving force for pushing textile development, one thread at a time.

 

Photography by © Jordi Huisman
Freunde von Freunden full article: here

 

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“Furniture Pimp” Jim Walrod talks music waking up his home

At Sonos, we’re on a mission. We want people to switch off from work, stow away their laptops and celebrate the joy of listening out loud. It’s what we call 'waking up the silent home’ – and designer Jim Walrod is all for it.

 

Jim is the man behind some of the world’s most iconic and extravagant interiors – from hotels and nightclubs, to rockstars' pads and billionaires' playgrounds. So it might come as a surprise that his own apartment lies on a blue-collar block in New York’s Chinatown, entered through a hardware store and up three steep flights of stairs.

Inside, however, the appeal of the place is obvious. Vast windows. Soaring ceilings. And 2,000 square feet of space in which to read, create and listen to the music he loves.

 

Jim Walrod uses the Sonos app to select his favorite songs.

 

White-walled and light-filled, this loft is an inspiring workspace. But Jim has an office not far away and likes to keep some degree of separation between business and pleasure.

“At home, I love to be away from work and find it can help me bring new ideas to the table. My relationship with the internet is important too. I use it only as a tool, not as a source of entertainment. It feels throwaway at times, so I prefer to read – you really need to invest something with books.”

Put simply, “I like looking at something and going, ‘Holy shit. Why is that in a room?’”

Throughout his career – kickstarted by Andy Warhol in the 70s – this self-taught, straight-talking designer has always gone against the grain. He stubbornly resists traditional notions of style – instead, championing the odd and ugly, and pioneering a more challenging, eclectic look he likes to call “atonal”.

Put simply, “I like looking at something and going, ‘Holy shit. Why is that in a room?’”

 

Jim Walrod music books.

 

When it comes to music, Jim is just as uncompromising. As a teenager, he fell headlong into the avant-garde scene after seeing a gig by the seminal new wave act Suicide and says:

“Before I even got creative, there was a lynchpin between me and my friends – separations and likenesses within music. People were going from listening to prog rock and heavy metal to punk rock. It was a cultural dividing point. A line in the sand. How could you go listen to a Yes record after [Suicide]? If you don’t like it, I’m not your friend”.

In the years since, he’s rubbed shoulders a Who’s Who of rock royalty, from Bowie to the Beastie Boys, who famously dubbed him their “furniture pimp”. And today – at the age of 48 – Walrod is as passionate about music as ever. It’s still a driving force in his work and remains a defining feature of his friendships, old and new.

“I remember walking into David Bowie’s house years ago, seeing his boombox and thinking, 'Have stereo systems become that clumsy?'”

So what’s Jim loving right now? At home in his apartment, you might find him kicking back to Frank Ocean, or blasting Kendrick Lamar on his multi-room Sonos system. But listening out loud has also given him a newfound appreciation for old favourites like The Fall.

“It’s a beautiful thing. You can move from room to room and hear details you never heard before,” he says.

“I remember walking into David Bowie’s house years ago, seeing his boombox and thinking, 'Have stereo systems become that clumsy?'” Back then there were a couple of speaker systems that looked beautiful in a very retro way. But they weren't things that could easily be incorporated into an environment. You had to look at music. You had to look at speakers. With the Sonos system, it's very easy for it to disappear and then have the magic of what music is about just fill your house."

Simple, universal pleasures for an endlessly surprising designer.

 

Sonos PLAY:1 in Jim Walrod's window sill.
Images by Collin Hughes.

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The Silent Home – årsaker og følger

A Silent Home, eller et stille hjem på norsk, er et sted der fraværet av musikk fremhever stresset og presset i den moderne hverdagen. Det er et hjem der folk bor på samme sted, men ikke sammen – noe som har blitt et problem i over to tredjedeler av alle hjem.

I fjor utførte vi et eksperiment for å se om det å lytte til musikk sammen hjemme, kunne påvirke de mellommenneskelige forholdene. Og vi kom frem til at de som bodde i hjem fylt med musikk, både var lykkeligere og hadde nærerer og mer kjærlige forhold seg i mellom.

Når fordelene er så store, hvorfor spiller ikke alle mer musikk sammen? Hvorfor er ikke hvert eneste hjem fylt med musikk?

Vi har snakket med noen av verdens fremste eksperter innen ulike fagområder, fra psykologi og media til design og arkitektur, samt medlemmer fra 9000 forskjellige hjem, for å finne ut hvorfor hjemmene våre har blitt så stille.

Voksensyndromet

Når vi er unge er musikken veldig viktig. Den skaper mening i kaoset vi opplever og definerer oss … inntil jobb, regninger, voksenproblemer og den evige teknologiske tilstedeværelsen tar over styringen og presser musikken ut på sidelinjen.

Nesten alle teknologiløsningene som skulle gjøre musikken bedre, har utilsiktet gjort ting verre. Vi jobber sent, fanget i en endeløs tidsklemme, og når vi ikke jobber er vi opptatt med telefonene våre eller andre tekniske distraksjoner.

Hverdagsoppgavene har blitt for mange

Den dyrebare tiden vår blir tøyd til det ytterste. 58 % av de spurte oppga at de har problemer med å rekke alle sine daglige oppgaver, og fire femtedeler sa at de skulle ønske de hadde mer tid til å gjøre ting sammen med familie og venner.

Overdreven planlegging

Dagene våre er fylt opp med jobb og sosiale arrangementer. Resultatet er at vi føler oss i en konstant tidsklemme. Vi verdsetter hvert øyeblikk ut fra hvor nyttig det er i jakten på et fremtidig mål. Men når målet er nådd, begynner vi umiddelbart å fokusere på et nytt. På denne måten lar vi livet gå oss forbi.

Isolasjon forårsaket av skjermer

Dagens familier har bedre tilgang til digital teknologi enn noen gang tidligere, men forbindelsen mellom familiemedlemmene blir stadig svakere. I nesten 50 % av husstandene, bruker de mer tid på å samhandle med personlige teknologiske enheter enn med hverandre. 62 % oppga at de fleste sosiale interaksjonene deres er i den digitale verden.

Arbeidsuken tar aldri slutt

Kl. 8 til 16 har blitt til 24/7, og vi føler presset – 58 % ønsker seg en bedre balanse mellom arbeid og fritid. Det kommer neppe som noen overraskelse å høre at mer enn sju av ti personer (i USA) sover med eller ved siden av telefonen sin, og hvilken virkning dette har på hjemmelivet er innlysende.

Antisosial lytting

Dagens boliger er utformet for å fremme menneskelig interaksjon, med åpne løsninger som skal oppmuntre til samhold og samhandling i familien. Men i realiteten skaper slike åpne løsninger et så høyt støynivå at vi ofte lengter etter atskilte rom. Så vi trekker oss tilbake – 44 % av oss lytter som oftest alene eller med hodetelefoner og stenger alle andre ute.

Lydanlegg på steroider

Komponentbaserte stereoanlegg gir fantastisk lyd, men er kompliserte og holder musikken fanget på kun ett rom. Hjemmekinoer kan være like kompliserte, og er som regel ikke spesielt godt egnet for musikk fordi lyden er optimalisert for spesialeffekter.

Bekvemmelighetens kompromiss

TV- og PC-høyttalere eller Bluetooth og bærbare enheter kan nok virke enklere, men vil aldri kunne levere like imponerende lytteopplevelser som et godt lydanlegg. Og dessutten vil det alltid bli avbrudd og forstyrrelser.

Det er på tide å gjennopta kontakten med musikken, planlegge mindre og ta tiden tilbake. Vi må invitere musikken inn i livene våre igjen.

I de følgende ukene og månedene vil vi med kampanjen vår, Wake up The Silent Home, for alvor gå inn for å vekke liv i hjem der stillheten har tatt over.

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TRUEPLAY for Playbar

In the pursuit of the best possible listening experience, designing great equipment is only half the battle. Sound is beautifully imperfect. It changes constantly from song to song and room to room, which means that even the most precisely-tuned speaker will sound different in certain environments. The solution? Embrace the change. If no speaker fits every context why not use software to give every speaker the ability to create true sound in any context? That was the conviction that drove us to create Trueplay, a unique tuning technology that anyone can use to quickly and simply fine-tune your Sonos speaker to produce spot-on playback in any room.

Trueplay for PLAYBAR brings amazing sound to the world of television, games, and movies.

Trueplay instantly makes the Sonos system smarter, more aware, and more responsive by using your smartphone to measure how sound bounces off walls, furniture, and all the other surfaces in your space. With that data in mind, it perfectly adjusts the speaker to produce sound that’s true to the music and right for the room. Any room, any setting, any possible speaker setup. Pure and honest sound, every time. And crucially, tuning with Trueplay is easy. Just open the app on an iPhone or iPad, pick a room and tune. No need for clunky accessories or having an expert over.

And now with the new Sonos 7.0 update, Trueplay is ready to make its debut on another member of the Sonos family: PLAYBAR.

The visceral immersion of the cinema and the sweeping soundstage of the multiplex are coming home. Trueplay for PLAYBAR brings amazing sound to the world of television, games, and movies, giving PLAYBAR owners the chance to have the best home theater audio experience without having to make your home look like a theater.

It all works on the same smart technology as the original Trueplay. First the software analyzes where your PLAYBAR sits in relation to your favorite viewing spot. Then it adjusts the timing, EQ and loudness of each of PLAYBAR’s nine internal speakers to make sure the sound reaches your ears at exactly the right instant and volume. Playbar uses the walls of your room to bounce sound, creating a bigger soundstage. But (luckily) we don’t all live inside perfectly shaped boxes. So, Trueplay listens for the specific placement of the walls in your room and tunes the speaker to match. Got a heavy curtain that hangs only on one wall? Trueplay knows that area will absorb more noise, so it aligns your PLAYBAR so that sound arrives at the exact right time and volume.

Which means your PLAYBAR can now give your cozy living room the depth and resonance of a spacious concert hall, or turn your echoing bedroom into a crisp soundstage. No matter where you like to watch in your home, Trueplay works to create the ideal viewing environment. And that goes for any combination of devices - if your PLAYBAR is connected to a SUB or rear speakers, Trueplay tuning will optimize to fit your individual configuration.

Like every great listening experience, Trueplay’s effect on sound goes way beyond a few tweaked settings. With Trueplay, games, TV, and cinema start to feel more…well, cinematic. Your home theater actually booms like a real theater. Rapid-fire comedies are free from mudled dialogue. Horror movies get their creepy edge back. And when the strings come in for the big climax, you won’t miss a single note.

Dive into Sonos Update 7.0 and experience Trueplay in every room of your house.

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The Next Generation of Sonos Leadership

As the founder and CEO of Sonos, I am always trying to find leaders who are capable of taking Sonos to the next level. Part of that means assessing my own role. With Sonos now poised for a new phase of growth, I am excited to pass the role of Chief Executive Officer to a well-prepared Patrick Spence. Patrick demonstrated his leadership most recently with Sonos’ success during the holiday period, but more importantly, there isn't a person who better embodies Sonos’ values and culture.

Patrick Spence and John MacFarlane
Patrick Spence (left) and John MacFarlane

Patrick's leadership comes at a magical moment for Sonos. Music has made the transition to streaming. It took longer than we expected but it's fully here now, leading with a handful of paid subscription services: Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Google Play Music, QQ Music, Amazon Music, SoundCloud, Tidal, etc. There will be many more options for music lovers as the music labels learn to make a start-up friendly ecosystem and the paid subscription services build platforms. Today, a Sonos owner can play almost everything ever made, and tomorrow we will certainly be able to do that with all manner of preferences, niches, themes, and mixes. Music is a wonderfully unique and developing thing, making our mission the most motivational in the world. It's never been a better time for connecting music lovers in their homes to music creators.

Add to that the advent of useful experiences with voice assistants in the home to complement the smartphone, tablet, watch and laptop in finding the right music, at any given time of your day. Here at Sonos, we all came to this epiphany differently and at different moments, but the work we’re doing now will deliver meaningful experiences for music listening at home.

Other elements around our home ecosystem are maturing as well. Home Wi-Fi is becoming mission critical, (the reason we developed our mesh network and Boost) and it is now reflected in the growing diversity and depth in the consumer Wi-Fi market. The smart home is on the cusp of becoming an experience beyond early tech adoption.

The pivot that Sonos started at this time last year to best address these changes is complete. For us, it's now about accelerating and leading. I can look ahead and see the role of Sonos, with the right experiences, partners, and focus, with a healthy future. In short, the future of the home music experience and the opportunity for Sonos has never been better. Never.

There are no typical transitions of leadership, especially for founder-led companies where the strength lies in a central interpretation of the culture that is essential for the formation and development of a new company in a complex and rapidly changing environment. However, the culture must move beyond the founder, and that's a unique path for every company. That moment has come for Sonos. I trust Patrick and the team with this growth.

Moving forward, I will remain as a Sonos employee, with a mission to help and advise. In addition to mentoring Sonos leaders, I will be focusing on two areas that I am most passionate about. First, I’ll help to center and potentially expand Sonos’ commitment to STEM education. Second, I’ll continue to work within the music and tech industries to help create a start-up friendly ecosystem.

It's been a pleasure and honor working toward a mission of filling every home with music. The fifteen-year journey has been filled with fantastic adventures, hard learnings, and everything in between. I look forward to our next chapter.

Sincerely,
John

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FEATURED PLAYLIST: Chef’s Top Choices

Along with creating what might have been the world’s most epic potluck dinner, we asked the top chefs in our Mind of a Chef Music Special to put together their ideal dinner party playlist. Just like their cooking, each one is a perfect reflection of the individual chef’s background, taste and personality. Read on to hear their selections and get inspired to create a Playlist Potluck of your own.

April Bloomfield

“I remember this van my dad used to call Chug-a-Boom. Me and my sisters used to sit in the back and I remember hearing ‘Under the Ivy’ by Kate Bush. I could listen back to that track and it just makes me take stock.”

Chef April Bloomfield built her name on bringing the carnivorous pleasures of traditional British cuisine into the modern age. Her playlist selections draws from the same rich and meaty sources, pairing classic UK cuts from Kate Bush and UB40 with decidedly contemporary hits from Fatboy Slim and Amy Winehouse.


Danny Bowien

“Eddie Van Halen playing that solo, it was challenging to me in a way I had never been challenged before. I really think from the first moment that I pushed play on that CD player, something clicked.”

Chef’s Danny Bowien’s iconoclastic approach to Chinese cooking is fueled by pure anything-goes emotion, and his ideal potluck playlist is a perfect match. Heart-on-sleeve emo joins up with arena rock’s biggest smashes for a concentrated blast of rocknroll power. Saves the Day and Van Halen in the same playlist? Right on Danny.


Sean Brock

“Willie Nelson playing Have I Told You Lately that I Love You…it was the first time I’d actually seen music touch someone in that way. Really move someone. I’ve paid a little more attention to the lyrics ever since.”

Chef Sean Brock’s connection to music runs as deep and true as his relationship to the land itself. One part southern-fried rock/blues and one part acoustic folk/country , Sean’s playlist is a genuine mix of sincere feeling and heartfelt pride.


Inaki Aizpitarte

“It’s like that here. Each of us plays his music, and we have a frenzied show. We have people come up to us because they like the songs we play. It makes them laugh sometimes to see the cooks all of a sudden animated by the rhythm.”

Chef Inaki Aizpitarte’s focused, nuanced take on the lexicon of French technique is punctuated by stabs of wild innovation. His potluck playlist perfectly translates his approach into sound, reaching deeply into obscure French postpunk for a spiky, wiry collection of influences that’s not quite like anyone else in the world.

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Play Music from Spotify Straight to Sonos with Spotify Connect

We’ve teamed up with Spotify to make it easier than ever to keep the music going strong. Now Spotify Premium users can control their Sonos straight from the Spotify app using Spotify Connect. Use all the features you love on Spotify: the curation, discovery, and sharing, and hear it all throughout your home in crystal clear sound. You can also access the multi-room power of the Sonos home sound system directly in the Spotify app. We’ve brought out the best of both worlds to give you the smartest and most seamless home sound system yet.

Bring the music home.
Hate missing the end of a track because you arrived back home before it finished? Spotify now lets you control your sound system from the same place as your mobile soundtrack, so you can go straight from listening through your headphones to listening out loud with a simple tap. The music doesn’t stop when you walk in the door.

All together now.
Having guests join the party is a piece of cake. Visiting friends can now play music on your Sonos system straight from their Spotify app. Build the playlist together, trade-off DJ duties, and add individual tracks to the soundtrack, all from the Spotify app. Hosting the perfect Playlist Potluck just became as simple as getting the right friends over to your place.

Discover. Out loud.
Now you have all the power of Sonos all over your home, directly through Spotify. Crank up the volume in every room of your home with one-tap access to grouping and ungrouping rooms right in Spotify. Pick a song, pick a room, and start playing.

True harmony.
No more playing solo. Now you can control the music from any phone or tablet, using your choice of either the Spotify or Sonos app. Start listening to playlists you create on Spotify, and skip or pause tracks directly from Sonos. Both apps show you exactly what’s playing from Spotify.

Ready to dive into the new Sonos? We joined forces with world-class chef and part-time rockstar Danny Bowien to create the ultimate way to share the experience of listening out loud: Playlist Potluck. Spend an evening at Danny's place as he shows you how all the new features make it easier than ever to bring your friends together over music.

 

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Sonos & Spotify bring music to the table with Playlist Potluck

Music, food and drink bring us together in a new tradition of friendship celebrations that are as important to us as family gatherings.

Who are your friends?

At first, it seems a simple question. But think again: when was the last time you saw your best friend? Who did you spend your weekend with? Who are the people you really care about and how do you stay close to them?

Science tells us we can maintain a network of up to 150 friends but that we, really, only could count our close friends at 15.

We maintain connections in their hundreds, sometimes thousands, on social media and our networks of “friends” are linked by likes and shares. We can go for months without a face to face interaction with some of the people we consider closest to our hearts.

Today’s friendship has become abstracted by our globalized and increasingly virtual lives. We have become more nomadic, moving in our careers from town to town, to new countries even. We make new friendships as we go, with more and more of our life taking place online.  

With social media, we don’t have to let friendships lapse, keeping pace via feeds and photographs; snatched moments of connectivity that create a feeling of close proximity regardless of distance. These changes are having a fundamental impact on friendship itself.

We are making more and more friends than ever, but we often struggle to meet in person. The psychology of what we’re experiencing is unique to our time: we are negotiating friendship on entirely new terms, with new tools, and we’re struggling.

What used to be a sci-fi dream of virtual reality is here now, and it is distancing us from the deeper relationships our spirits crave. Against this backdrop, the need for tactile friendship has risen to the fore, and we’re witnessing a renaissance of friendship’s truest forms.

The ‘friendship ceremony’ - coming together has never been more important

In our busy lives, time is precious, and we choose carefully who we spend it with.  Whether we are distanced by time or by continents, connecting physically with our closest friends takes on a new significance.  

These moments are not just dear to us, they affirm the importance of the people we choose to spend them with. They provide much-needed breaks in our lives: a time to truly enjoy friendship in a world moving at breakneck speed.

Now, more than ever, the need to get together has become truly vital. Loneliness has entered the domain of the sociologist, doctor, and epidemiologist; technology has offered us incredible connectivity but we’re fighting against a reality of increased distance and isolation.

Conventional social milestones: weddings, births, birthdays, don’t really serve our needs in this way. The ‘Pintererestization’ of these events can feel almost competitive, with all eyes on the star of the event.

In the gap between, we have started to create our own ‘friendship ceremonies’, sometimes complementing, occasionally replacing traditional family gatherings with something that is altogether more vibrant, loud and fun.

These events are an opportunity to confirm your presence in the social circle, to demonstrate personal value and show appreciation to those around you through inviting them into your home – your most sacred and personal space.

Invitees are finite, usually around 13 - a number that is consistent across countries. Amongst 8 countries studied the biggest average friendship celebration is still only 15, in the USA.


Potlucks: the perfect antidote

Potluck, an old English phrase meaning to accept a situation in which one must take a chance that whatever is available will prove to be good. It has also come to mean a meal shared by friends in which everyone brings a dish to the table. It’s a custom that is shared by many cultures, in many countries, each in their own interpretation.  

Potluck dinners are spontaneous; they focus on the group, not the individual. They put the opportunity to celebrate and nurture friendships front and centre. New friendship rituals from Galentines Day, Friendsmas, Friendsgiving, and even Game of Thrones season finales, provide moments to get together and celebrate without the formality of more traditional occasions.

Over half of our global sample (57%) say they look forward to Friendsmas and Friendsgiving gatherings more than their family’s holiday celebrations.

Potluck expresses a desire for flexibility, an opportunity to incorporate the diversity of our modern lives. We are remixing rituals on our own terms.

The locations in which Friendsmas is celebrated implies that people are aiming for greater control of the gathering. Homes are more popular than public places. 49% say they’ve had these events in their own home and 41% a friend’s home, compared to 31% in restaurants, 15% in bars and only 4% in nightclubs. For 74% of people, the event has to involve catching up with old friends and the home is the best setting for this.

It’s surely no surprise to see the perfect holiday gathering events have four key ingredients: friends, music, food and drink.


People and music

2_middle_imageAdding music is fundamental to the holiday party, a condition, alongside good company and great conversation, that is truly fundamental.

85% of attendees say there has to be music playing at these gatherings, and the same percentage believe that just behind the presence of good friends and good conversation being in flow, music is the next most essential ingredient.

"Music has always been part of celebrating Christmas to the point that it is unthinkable to have Christmas parties without music. With Friendsmas parties, music has taken on an even more significant role." Dr. Daniel Müllensiefen

A generation that grew up to a sound-track of poor-quality compressed mp3s has matured and calibrated to an expectation of high quality sonic experiences.

79% valued the sound quality of the music played through the speaker system as ‘important.’

"(Now) music is among the goods you can savor and appreciate in a high quality mode, not just consuming it as you go along."

Services such as Spotify have accelerated our ability to discover music exponentially. Simultaneously, the speed of sharing and conversation happens faster than ever before. Thanks to these exciting new resources, our tastes are diversifying and we are becoming more empowered to develop and showcase our newfound obsessions.

63% say there needs to be a large music library to choose from while 67% think it should be easy for guests to pick a song. 60% believe that it’s important that everyone has the opportunity to add to the playlist.

"This is in contrast to the idea that there should be a DJ scripting the event. More importantly it’s about sharing access to the playlist; the process of choosing music can help to increase the feeling of togetherness. It’s more democratic, and very few people would try to hijack that and to impose their taste."

Setting the tone with the right music choice helps us to connect and feel comfortable. Helping the conversation from the kitchen to the dining room.

The style of music matches the taste of the people at the gathering: 80%.


Music, food and drink

end_imageAnd talking of the kitchen, the centre of any home, where would we be without great food and drink?

"Once you’ve found the right kind of music, that matches the event, it sends the immediate signal that we’re all on the same page. Then, other types of interaction, like eating together, or cooking together, will benefit from that experience, as the music helps everyone feel the same emotion."

Music is not only a vital ingredient, it’s an enhancer. Where every second is precious, every detail should be optimized.  From our tastebuds to our eyes, music infuses and enhances every aspect of the Potluck.

Music makes the food and drink taste better for 62% of our sample.

"This idea that our senses are separate and completely independent is simply not true. They interact in the brain together: arousal in one sense will carry over to perceived arousal in another sense."


Playlist Potluck: playlists and modern friendship

Playlist Potluck. A potluck in which we all contribute to the food, the music, the atmosphere is perhaps the truest, democratic expression of the friendship ceremony; an essential antidote to the stress and anxiety of modern life. It’s a wonderfully simple and flexibly created social setting to make lasting collective memories.

"One of the reasons music exists at all is around social interaction, bonding and the communication of emotion. Things you couldn’t easily say in language can be much more easily communicated by music."

Playlist Potluck provides the perfect opportunity to reinforce and nurture our most important social bonds with friends.

"Music generates and triggers the same emotions in people. If you feel an emotion triggered by music and you have the impression that someone else is feeling the same emotion, it creates a strong bond. Music is particularly good at doing that – because you are listening to the same stimulus, you want to generate more of this feeling of togetherness, and that might carry over to other activities."

Music at these parties helps 82% relax, and 78% use it as an ice-breaker.

Casting convention aside, there’s no need to follow any rules or guidelines. It’s this informality, the ability to choose together that makes for the best conditions for all, creating shared playlists, enjoying them out loud, as they should be heard.

As we set out on bigger and bolder journeys, the true form of friendship that we long for faces real challenges. But we are finding our own way to tighten connections and strengthen bonds between us. We hope you’ll join us this holiday season by celebrating your own Playlist Potluck with Sonos and Spotify, bringing the perfect collaborative soundtrack into your home.


Survey highlights

  • Over half of our global sample (57%) say they look forward to Friendsmas and Friendsgiving gatherings more than their family’s holiday Christmas celebrations.
  • 85% of attendees say there has to be music playing at these gatherings, and the same percentage believe that just behind the presence of good friends and good conversation being in flow, music is the next most essential ingredient.
  • The music at these parties helps 82% relax, and 78% use it as an ice-breaker.
  • 79% valued the sound quality of the music played through the speaker system as ‘important.’
  • 63% say that there needs to be a large music library to choose from while 67% think it should be easy for guests to pick a song.
  • 73% believe that music encourages people to sing along.
  • Music makes the food and drink taste better for 62% of our sample.
  • The style of music matches the taste of the people at the gathering: 80%.

  • 60% believe that it’s important that everyone has the opportunity to add to the playlist.
  • Invitees are finite, usually around 13 - a number that is consistent across countries. Amongst 8 countries studied the biggest average friendship celebration is still only 15, in the USA.

What we did

The Study

In August 2016, Sonos and Spotify commissioned a quantitative global study of adults aged 18-40 across the UK, U.S, France, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Australia and Netherlands. We spoke to over 9,000 people in these eight countries, and compiled usage data from millions of Sonos homes and Spotify customers. Our analysis was also informed and supported by two independent experts and Flamingo Cultural Intelligence.

The Experts

Oliver Burkeman - new relationships and milestones

Author and Journalist, Oliver explores the evolving fabric of everyday life and relationships, from ‘The trouble with modern friendship’ to ‘Can you make your own happiness?’

Dr. Daniel Müllensiefen – music psychologist

Music Psychologist, Course Director and member of the Music, Mind & Brain research group at Goldsmiths University, London.


Still want more?

Please head over to our friends at Polygraph for some interactive fun.

pp_link

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Share Food. Share Music. Introducing Sonos & Spotify Playlist Potluck.

POTLUCK /pätˈlək/ noun
North American: A meal or party to which each of the guests contributes a dish.

PLAYLIST /plāˌlist/ noun
A list of songs to soundtrack a mood or event.

PLAYLIST POTLUCK /plāˌlist pätˈlək/ noun
A collaborative dinner party where each guest brings a unique dish and music to share.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sCPyGj9rNE&feature=youtu.be

One of the most vital ingredients to a successful dinner party is the music – whether it be the topic of conversation, an ice-breaker with a stranger, or the soundtrack to your event. With streaming music becoming more and more popular every year, playlists are becoming the preferred way to curate our social gatherings.

As the holiday season approached, we started to think more about the idea behind the traditional potluck concept and the fact that people around the world use this time to get together with their friends in person. At a potluck, every guest’s flavor is reflected in the party, and we thought this translates to musical tastes as well. Starting this November, we want to help bring people together to listen out loud. We want to extend that feeling of shared contribution and experience to the party’s soundtrack, so we’re teaming up with our friends at Spotify to make it happen. Introducing Playlist Potluck from Sonos & Spotify.

It’s the same concept as a traditional potluck. Plus music. The host kicks things off. Give your party a name, start a playlist off with some songs, invite your guests to add their own songs, and your work is done. Just add friends and food.

Share Food. Share Music. Introducing Sonos Playlist Potluck.How do you make your party even better? Host a world-class chef. We’re offering a chance to win the ultimate Playlist Potluck experience to anyone who creates a Spotify Playlist at playlistpotluck.sonos.com. Which means having a world-class chef come over to your house and take care of the cooking. Plus we'll make sure your sound system is on point by setting you up with a set of Sonos speakers. Check out the details here.

So jump in and try it yourself. See how much better getting together at home is when everyone brings something to the table - and the playlist.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see what world-class chefs bring to the table in the upcoming episode of Mind of a Chef this December.

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SONOS x KBH: Furniture with Sound Design

Are you sitting comfortably? Chances are you aren’t sitting at all. Technology’s changed the way we read, the way we live and – of course – the way we listen. But it also has a habit of taking center stage at home when we’d really rather spend time doing what matters. Enjoying the music. From removing the need for that RCA jungle to designing sub woofers that don’t need hiding out of view, we’re on a bit of a quest to help us all listen better and live a simpler, less cluttered life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgOJ9WOh95c

It’s this mission that’s opened a lot of doors to working with folks that share the same values. Stripping back to the bare essentials to make the basics sing. That’s why we partnered with Copenhagen-based furniture workshop Københavns Møbelsnedkeri for the launch of our new white SUB speaker.  A collaboration in music and design, their unmistakably Nordic minimalist approach sits nicely with the SUB’s versatile aesthetic.

We asked KBH to create a piece of furniture that could act as the perfect set up for an immersive listening experience. The result was the team’s custom-built lounge chair which brings together design, comfort and a love for music with a shape that echoes the SUB’s form.

SONOS x KBH: FURNITURE WITH SOUND DESIGN

KBH’s awesome design credentials speak for themselves. But it was the fact that they’re music lovers with passion that spills over to their craft that appealed to us the most. It’s a connection that resonates with Kim Dolva at KBH “the way you would create a song and you would create a piece of furniture, there’s a lot of the same things” he told us. “The way we created this chair, it’s not an open chair – it’s taut and it kind of surrounds you! We wanted to make it as comfortable as possible so you can sit for hours and hours and enjoy music. It’s about shutting down and just listening.”

We can’t think of a better way to spend the next few hours and hope you'll take a pause next time you're sitting in your favorite chair to shut down and listen out loud.

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The New Sonos Sub: A Vision In White

Soul-shaking sound. Heart-pounding design. One-button setup. Just a few of the qualities that made the Sonos SUB such a welcome addition to the homes of music and home cinema lovers the world over.

As the new all-white version becomes available, we caught up with the folks behind the bass to find out what made the original SUB so special and what the refresh means for home design today:

“Once we decided that we were going to make a SUB, we were trying to tackle two problems,” explains Mieko Kusano, Senior Director of Product Management. “One – typical subs are just pretty ugly! Two – most are basically designed as large cubes making them very inflexible to place. We wanted to design an object that was beautiful enough that people wouldn’t want to hide it and which was also very flexible.”

Sonos Sub. Soul-shaking sound. Heart-pounding design. One-button setup.

You might say we have a passion in trying to make our speakers more in tune with how we’re all living, so it’s no surprise that the team then looked at some basic architectural principles for inspiration:

“The challenge we have with our products is that they have to live in your environment, but frankly we also have to design them to disappear,” says Tad Toulis, VP of Design. “We only want them to come forward when you’re actually using them.”

“Before, it felt like technology had to try and be dressed up to feel appropriate in the house, and now we’re past that and it just needs to be done really beautifully”.

Using some classic Nordic design principles, the SUB’s new white makeover takes Tad’s vision a step further. Now able to blend seamlessly into homes with lighter décors, its stripped-back beauty allows the SUB to be as present or as passive as it needs to be.

It’s this sense of domestic revolution that inspired Creative Director Dana Krieger: “Before, it felt like technology had to try and be dressed up to feel appropriate in the house, and now we’re past that and it just needs to be done really beautifully”. But its chameleon-like qualities belie an awesome punch that doesn’t give the typical rattle of most sub-woofers, explains Mieko:

“There’s a tremendous amount of force coming through that hole, but if you put a glass of wine on top of it you don’t see any movements. And you’ll notice that our speakers are kind of like Lego blocks that fit together – put them together their behaviour changes. If you don’t have the SUB, the other speakers have to generate the bass and so you’re actually taking some of the midrange out of them to enable them to do so. So the moment you add a SUB to your set up, not only are you going to get more bass, but also the speakers that were trying to generate the bass before suddenly get to a better, fuller sound”.

So from making your house party sound system complete, to hearing every boom, crash and rumble thundering from the latest blockbuster, the all-white SUB brings the bass back home again.

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Mark Chamberlain: Home Glamour Revolutionary

Over the past decade there’s been a quiet revolution in the way people decorate their homes, as conservative tastes handed down from mid-century modernism have given way to an explosion of vibrant colors, patterns and textures. Mark Chamberlain has had a front row perspective on the whole thing, not only as an in-demand designer and painter specializing in vividly patterned floors and walls, but as a blogger who – for eight years – maintained a column on Apartment Therapy where he urged homeowners to take more risks with the way they treat their spaces.

Mark Chamberlain

Chamberlain has a BFA in art as well as a fine art career, but he’s never thought of interior design as something less than worthy of the same type of respect people pay more “serious” art forms. “People have been adorning their walls with scenes of daily life and spiritual life since the caveman,” he points out. Design and fine art, he says, are two sides of the same coin. “The inspiration is the part I love,” he says. “Sometimes a designer will come to me with a swatch or a tear sheet out of a magazine and says, ‘Make me this.’ It’s the same thing as fine art. It’s all creativity.”

The Chamberlain-designed listening room at the Sonos flagship store.
The Chamberlain-designed listening room at the Sonos flagship store.

In his Apartment Therapy columns, he’d use seemingly quotidian concerns – like what color to paint your living room – as starting points for passionate discussions of art history, color theory and the nature of the creative impulse. He explained why things like the color of our living room walls really matter and, in the process, helped change the way many of us look at the spaces around us.

“I was in it on the ground floor,” Chamberlain says of this sea change in design sensibilities. “Twenty years ago everybody just wanted to paint their living rooms beige or powder blue, and that was fine. Now with the internet and ‘shelter porn’ and just this explosion of images, everybody has unlimited access to unfettered glamor. And everybody wants some of it. Paint a room dark black glossy? No problem. Wallpaper it chartreuse? No problem.”

Mark Chamberlain

It’s not just trends that have changed, Chamberlain says, but Americans’ whole way of approaching home decor. “People are much more adventurous,” he explains. “It used to be the wives and her designers, and the husband’s job was to shut up and pay the bill. Now men are involved in it. It’s really been a design revolution. That was very fun for me to be involved with. I’m not going to sit here and say I started trends, but…”

Chamberlain says that his job as a writer was “to provide inspiration,” which included sharing some of the skills that DIYers could use to give their homes some of the same glamor he’s made his professional trademark. His advice boils down to a few simple points. “Find your inspiration,” he explains. “Decide how talented you are. Can you hand paint stripes yourself? Do you have to tape them? Match your talent to your project. Look at pictures, Google what other people have done. Go to Barnes & Noble and flip through design magazines. Just dig around. Listen to your inner voice. If your inner voice says, ‘I want a blood red dining room,’ listen to it.”

He also advises against listening to hand-me-down knowledge from the previous design era, like the myth that dark colors make a room feel smaller. “I do plenty of rooms in the darkest midnight blues, dark charcoal grays, dark brown, off-black,” he says. “One very counterintuitive thing is that if you have a small room, like a foyer, people say don’t paint it dark because it’ll get too small. Sometimes the exact opposite happens. It gets vast like the night, more important, more precise.” (The key, he says, is to spend the extra money for the highest quality paints.)

Bold, customized wallpaper features heavily in Chamberlain's design.
Bold, customized wallpaper features heavily in Chamberlain’s design.

His favorite advance in design over the course of his career? Do-it-yourself wallpaper. “Anybody can make a painting, manipulate it, turn it into a .jpeg, give somebody a disk, and they’ll print out your own wallpaper for you,” he says in amazement. “That would’ve been impossible when I first started thinking about this 15 years ago. It would have cost a fortune. Wallpaper used to be one thing. Now there’s a lot more options.”

Chamberlain has used his favorite technology to turn six original paintings inspired by 1940s wallpaper patterns into digital wallpaper for the new Sonos flagship store in SoHo. Is it fine art? Design? If you’ve been paying attention to his career, you’ll know that there’s really no difference. Whatever it is, he says, “It sure beats waitressing.”

Want to experience Mark’s design philosophy in action? Stop by his personally designed listening room at the Sonos global flagship store.

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At Home With: DELS

We recently wrapped up London Design Festival at Sonos Studio, an event schedule packed with our friends from the creative world including Hole & Corner, It’s Nice That, PATTERNITY and MUBI.

Amongst those friends was rapper / art director Kieren Gallear AKA DELS, who spoke at our ‘Listening By Design’ event hosted by It’s Nice That. In his talk, he took us on a sonic journey through the listening habits of his day and discussed how the music inspires his creative output.

This week, DELS invited us into his North London home to show us how his two worlds as a both an art director and music artist merge and are influenced by what he listens to in his living space.

How much of your creative process starts at the home? Does that differ for art direction and music?

The nature of what I do creatively is so broad. I’m more inclined to come up with ideas for illustrations, screenplays and songs at home in my own space, than anywhere else. I can create my own worlds within these disciplines. I often draw inspiration from fantasy when working on illustrations and writing songs. There are parallels in terms of a creative mindset. It’s impulsive, instinctual, and very personal. At my desk in my bedroom, I often pin up reference imagery and my own ink drawings. Without them, the impulsive, creative bursts of energy wouldn’t happen. It feels like a form of escapism after a long day working on client based Art Direction projects or working at agencies.

DELS Desk

When working on art direction projects, are their any rituals around listening to music that gets in you a creative mindset?

Before I start work, I usually begin with something really uptempo musically. That can range from energetic new hip hop records, Punk to new DJ mixes that I discover online. Before midday, I usually try to focus a little more and genres like Soul, Jazz, Afrobeat really help with that focus. I get lost in the rhythms. I can’t listen to hip hop when I’m actually designing because it puts me in an alternate mindset. Hearing rappers like Andre 3000 pulsate through the speakers gets me so excited and I suddenly get so eager to start writing down words.

In the evenings, when I’m just winding down from a long day, I have a playlist that has loads electronic ambient works on them. There’s something about the space and mood in this song Xtal by Apehex Twin that I find so therapeutic. Whenever I’m trying to relax, I often play this song. It’s because of this very song that I am writing film scripts in my spare time. Words and imagery just flow in my mind when I hear it.

DELS Drawing Book

Is there something about the relationship between space and sound and its ability to clear the the mind here?

It’s the cinematic feel and mood. The stripped back sound of this particular electronic playlist is soothing. I just get lost between the spaces between the individual sounds. I know it sounds weird, but sometimes music feels three dimensional to me and I feel like I’m manoeuvring between each individual sound and they are washing over me. That’s even without the influence of drugs. I know I sound like a nutcase, but it all makes perfect sense in my mind.

DELS Plants

Your living space seems to define your creative state of mind now but what were your influences at home when you were growing up?

I was heavily influenced musically by my Mother and Father who both listened to a lot of forwarding thinking, bass driven, music. Dad leaned more towards early rave, Chicago-House, Jungle and my Mother was more into Soul, Reggae/Dancehall, Hip-Hop & contemporary R&B. Growing up in Suffolk, we didn’t have access to Galleries and stuff, so looking at the artwork on those vinyl record sleeves was my early introduction to the art world in a sense. Meticulously scanning the credits and studying the artists names that created those iconic artworks.

I’ve been revisiting these old Jungle mixes from the early 90’s in the morning all Summer this year. My father used to play them to me as he was a big raver back in the day. When I listen to them, I am instantly transported back to my old bedroom where I’d be reading comic books and sifting through those vacuum formed rave tape packs that my Dad picked up after each rave. I loved the dream-like imagery of those tape packs, juxtaposed with the DJ names emblazoned across the front in bold, cheap typography.

DELS Portrait

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Sonic Artifacts from the Underground

Thurston Moore
Thurston Moore

Words by Thurston Moore

The cassette always had the hottest, most excited sound for my ears.

I love physicality in music production – the vibrating speaker in an amp-powered cabinet, bass throbbing and guitar shredding. Record player tonearms licking through the vinyl grooves of tiny, hilly mounds and valleys. The electromagnetic impulse feed flashing through the stylus and cartridge and coming manifest through the cosmos of soul static stereo speakers.

But cassettes are the best, ruling with moving parts, the fat ferrous oxide tape sliced into thin strips holding sonic information zapped off of magnetic heads, whipping, rolling like an automobile in sweet cruise gear.

Thurston Moore's tape collection.
Selects from Thurston’s tape collection hang on the wall in the vinyl listening room at the Sonos flagship store.

In the ’70s we had the 8-track cartridge. Big, clunky and with zero regard for the fact that a song may have to fade out before the track actually finished. The cassette, at first a little cousin to the 8-track, soon became the more sophisticated and applicable medium, and by the mid-’80s was as popular as the LP.

When hip-hop hit big, it was the cassette that carried the news, from the Jeep to the playground. Of course, CDs and digital media came along and reformatted the listener paradigm, but for those of us who wanted to share ideas with some sense of economy, the cassette became our medium, away from the interest of the mainstream.

«…the cassette became our medium, away from the interest of the mainstream.»

My love for cassettes starts with the mixtape, those love letters we’d gift each other of the songs that defined our personalities – or at least the personality we’d want our giftee to think of us by. This practice did indeed fade with the CD, which enticed us to “burn” songs – a lovely thing to do for awhile, until that faded away as well.

At some point in the ’90s I noticed more and more young artists from the estranged musical underground of the globe issuing their sounds on home recorded cassettes with bedroom art/love designed card covers.

Thurston's tape collection, close up!
Thurston’s tape collection

The proliferation of this activity, documenting all the shared and growing aspects of noise, free improvisation, avant-folk and uncategorizable music-making became a scene unto itself, particularly in tandem with the network of communication the internet offered.

From the late-’90s into the ’00s, we had a golden age of underground music made in a wholly alternative environment, away from the standards of commercialized music production. I spent most of this golden age not only active in this scene but fully engaged in archiving as much as I could within my own parameters of absurd reason.

What we have here is but a taste, a morsel, a flash into the dynamic that is the true underpinnings of contemporary music, both experimental and popular. Cassette culture, as underground reportage is still extant today, with films documenting its continued life and sub-sub genres like the most marginalized recesses of black metal avowing elite “kult” status to the holy, lowly tape.

«What we have here is but a taste, a morsel, a flash into the dynamic that is the true underpinnings of contemporary music…»

I suggest locating a decent, inexpensive cassette recorder with built-in microphone, some blank tapes and a head full of steam, mixed with the pleasure of touch. Allow your fingers to push down the play/record buttons, let your inspirations rip, then pass this masterpiece of heart and soul on to the one(s) you love. It’s that easy.

See selects from Thurston’s personal tape collection on display in the vinyl listening room at the Sonos flagship store in Soho.

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Where Vinyl Comes Home: Rough Trade In Their Own Words

Rough Trade did more than just survive the digital music revolution. They flourished. At a time when most of NYC’s veteran record shops were putting up “For Sale” signs, Rough Trade was building the biggest record store in the entire city: a 15,000 sq. foot warehouse stacked with thousands of vinyl records, books, complete with coffee shop, bar, performance space, and as of this week, a brand new Sonos-designed listening room.

What kind of mind does it take to keep a classic record shop thriving in the modern age? We sat down with Rough Trade store Co-Owner and Director, Stephen Godfroy to explore the vision that's made an independent mainstay stronger than ever. 

Take us back to the start. Where does Rough Trade begin?
Rough Trade first opened in 1976, West London, on the doorstep of punk. This small neighborhood shop soon became not just a place to purchase the latest records from the exploding DIY music scene, but also a place to hang out for the artists spearheading the groundbreaking DIY movement.

So Rough Trade grew out of London's DIY scene. Now it's many years later and you've expanded across the ocean. What motivated you to open up stateside? 
The decision to open in Brooklyn was made following the success of our flagship London store, Rough Trade East - a store that overcame the odds to prove that a record shop in the age of instantaneous downloads (2007) could be successful not just as a place of exciting new music discovery and purchase, but also a place of congregation for curious minds of all ages.

Having made the model work in East London, we then looked for locations that displayed similar characteristics, e.g. a burgeoning creative arts community. One location that stood out just happened to be the other side of the Atlantic - but the challenge proved irresistible. Four long years later, Rough Trade NYC finally opened in November 2013.

Rough Trade NYC Interior

How does Rough Trade's new community in NYC compare to the established one in London? 
New York music lovers are more vinyl orientated compared to those in London, where CDs still have a (surprising?) role to play. In the UK, Rough Trade has an established recommendation authority for new music, compared to New York, where people are discovering us for the first time, hence only just beginning to appreciate our forty years experience as curators. Consequently, sales driven by our edit are greater in the UK stores, in comparison to NYC, but the gap is narrowing with each passing month.

The digital revolution has upended the traditional business of selling records. How have things evolved for Rough Trade over the years?
Rough Trade stores, large or small, have always served as a meeting place for the artist community, hopefully reflecting our efforts to faithfully represent music as an art form, not a commodity, despite our obvious retail context. With this as a guiding principle, how we then develop a store as a 'destination' beyond being simply a place of purchase, is something that we aim to creatively reinterpret with each new store. If possible, as with our music offer, we look to embrace emerging trends before they surface on a wider scale.

Whether that’s being one of the first (UK) record stores to introduce a cafe (2007), introducing a custom b/w photobooth (2008), or hosting intimate in-store gigs, Rough Trade stores have a ‘petri-dish’ like freedom to experiment, which complements our primary focus on championing innovative and emerging recording artists.

Sonos Listening Room

What separates listening to vinyl from other ways of listening? 
Vinyl is arguably the definitive audio document - an enshrined, crafted moment of creative self- expression shared between artist and audience. Commanding ceremony, tactile care, the ritualized respect of the encased audio is preordained, conditioned to be loved and absorbed. Consequently, the bond forged by vinyl, between artist and listener, is regarded by many as the most trusted, fetishized, intimate music format-induced relationship there is.

Vinyl sales and interest declined for a while. Now they're back and seemingly bigger than ever. What do you think is responsible for this sea change? 
Now that it’s possible to stream the celestial jukebox for the price of two cups of coffee, music lovers, particularly digital natives, can increasingly afford more than one listening format, enjoying the best of both worlds. Given the immense value and reward vinyl provides the listener, its popularity has returned, not as a token of nostalgia, but as the most lavish, multi-sensory form of music immersion available.

Listening Room at Rough Trade NYC

What does having a space to listen out loud mean for you in the store?
To offer a Sonos listening room, in which visitors to our NYC store can sumptuously enjoy listening to the best new music on vinyl, is a dream come true. It’s a perfect encapsulation of modern, multi-format listening enjoyment, reflecting how increasing numbers of music lovers now combine the respective merits of all formats, digital and physical, harmoniously.

We’re incredibly proud, excited and humbled to have Sonos become part of our NYC store experience, further enhancing our kaleidoscopic celebration of music culture.

What’s the experience you hope everyone who visits Rough Trade takes away?
The excited joy of having encountered the future!

The Sonos listening room at Rough Trade NYC is open now for everyone to come listen. Even better, the listening room is available for booking on Airbnb - apply for the chance to live out your ultimate record store fantasy and spend a night at Rough Trade NYC. 

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Healthy Habits Of Home: Music, patterns and the art of de-clutter

PATTERNITY is the baby of art and interiors duo Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham.  We joined forces with them at the London Design Festival and talked to Grace about the patterns that shape our homes, lives and listening habits.

You’re something of a unique entity!  Tell us a bit about how PATTERNITY came to be?

Anna and I set up PATTERNITY because pattern is everywhere, from the mundane to the magnificent. We’re on a mission to inspire positive living through pattern research, design and experience.

Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham
Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham

What kind of influence can patterns have in shaping the rhythms of daily life at home?

There are so many unseen patterns that shape our daily lives that are so easy to overlook. So we’ve been looking at the power of rituals and simplification. There’s a big shift for us towards ‘design’, and what this actually means beyond aesthetic and starting to consider our patterns of behaviour, or how we design our lives. When you reflect on the less visual patterns that shape life you really start to learn more about creativity which is a big part of what our event is for you is about.

Patternity de-clutter strategy at play

The art of simplification played a big part in your workshop for us. How can the art of de-clutter bring joy in the home?

We’re living in a complex, oversaturated world and we can feel totally overwhelmed by the amount of ‘stuff’ we have to deal with on a day to day basis. The home environment is an extension of our individuality so it’s really important that you surround yourself with things that are authentic and pleasing to you. So be it through visual art, colours, smells and – of course – sound, curating your space to really nurture our senses.

Patternity plants

What role does music play for you in all of this? Let’s hear some of your inspirations?

I think music and sound is hugely important to our process and wider purpose – it has been since the beginning as it was how Anna and I first met – in the club!

We either commission soundtracks or work with sound artists for our events, it’s an important part of crafting the space for tranquillity and creativity to flow. The soundtrack we commissioned for this event, starts off as a backdrop to the talk – an ambient collation of percussive sounds and gradually builds to a more rhythmical, industrial pace. The repetition of drums and beats can help focus and concentration and detach the analytical mind and reinstate the creative mind.

We listen to a real variety in the studio – it slightly depends on what we’re all working on and the time of day. Generally the mood is relaxed and meditative, playing world music like Midori Takada, Ethiopiques or bird song.

Maybe something a little more jazzy in the afternoon like Dorothy Ashby, Alice Coltrane and Cinematic Orchestra. The mellow rhythms of Suzanne Kraft, CFCF and Project Pablo are great for focus, but calming when I’m designing. Music is one of the simplest ways to craft or change the mood at home or in the studio – and there is always space for a disco classic to shake it all out!

Grace Winteringham

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The London Design Festival at Sonos Studio

We’ve got a packed line-up down at the studio for this year’s London Design Festival. Join us to celebrate home listening through design, interiors and maker culture:

Workshop: ‘Relaxed Fluidity’ with Hole & Corner – Sat 17th & Sun 18th September

Our favourite craft journal Hole & Corner hosts two maker workshops celebrating music’s role in inspiring a more creative home. You’ll be able to craft some unique art guided by a custom playlist soundtrack from furniture designer Yinka Ilori (Saturday) and ceramicist Stephanie Buttle (Sunday).

Register for Yinka Ilori Workshop

 

Workshop: ‘Relaxed Fluidity’ with Hole & Corner - Sat 17th & Sun 18th September

Register for Stephanie Buttle Workshop

 

Workshop: ‘Relaxed Fluidity’ with Hole & Corner - Sat 17th & Sun 18th September

Talk: ‘Listening by Design’ with It’s Nice That  – Tuesday 20th September

The It’s Nice That crew host a panel discussion with three leading creatives to talk home, studios, workflow and how music shapes their day.

Speakers confirmed are photographer and founder-editor of hip-hop magazine BRICK Hayley-Louisa Brown, Ninja Tune-signed rapper and art director Kieren Gallear aka DELS and graphic designer Ben Drury, whose work includes the album cover of Dizzee Rascal’s scene-shaping debut album Boy In Da Corner.

Register for It’s Nice That Talk

Talk: ‘Listening by Design’ with It’s Nice That - Tuesday 20th September

Talk & Workshop: ‘Healthy Habits of Home’ with PATTERNITY – Wednesday 21st September

The girls from PATTERNITY explore the patterns that shape our homes and lives with de-cluttering coach Juliet Landau-Pope. Work out healthy habits, rituals and rhythms for a simplified home life. Then get hands-on with their block-printing workshop to create meaningful, personalised homeware to take home and enjoy.

Register for Healthy Habits Of Home Talk & Workshop

Talk & Workshop: ‘Healthy Habits of Home’ with PATTERNITY - Wednesday 21st September

Screening: ‘Exploring Design in Film’ with MUBI – Thursday 22nd September

Our friends at MUBI join us to celebrate cinema, home design and interiors with a special screening of Academy Award-winning thriller Ex Machina. Get down early to catch an introduction from the film’s production designer Mark Digby, hosted by Monocle’s Ben Rylan

Register for Ex Machina Screening

 

Screening: ‘Exploring Design in Film’ with MUBI - Thursday 22nd September

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September Events at 101 Greene St.

There's a lot going on at the Sonos flagship store. Come listen.

WEEK TWO

9/8 | GROUPLOVE Listening Session
Join the band for a rare pre-release premiere of their new album “Big Mess”. (6 - 8PM) 

WEEK THREE

9/12 | The First Listen - How To Dress Well "Care"
Join Tom Krell (How To Dress Well) at the store for a first listen of his new album "Care" before it arrives Sept. 23 on Domino Records. 

9/14 | The Big Quiet MediCircle
Get centered at 101 Greene St. as The Big Quiet hosts a guided meditation session. (8 - 10PM)

9/15 | Vinyl Me Please Happy Hour
Drinks on us. Soundtrack courtesy of our friends at Vinyl Me Please. (5 - 7PM)

WEEK FOUR

9/26 | Brooklyn Craft Terrarium Workshop
Come through to learn the art of terrarium building (in just 20 minutes) from the talented crew at Brooklyn Craft - and take home your finished terrarium at the end of the class. (5 - 8PM)

9/28 | Heavy Metal Happy Hour
Join us for complimentary beverages and heavy metal on the sound system, hosted by our friends at Metal Injection and MetalSucks. (5 - 7PM)

 

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Listening Out Loud Just Got Easier With Your Sonos App

scene-02-moview-clip

“You gotta listen to this one song. It’ll change your life, I swear.

When Natalie Portman’s manic pixie dreamgirl archetype dropped a knowledge bomb on a young Zach Braff in the form of The Shins, the moment represented way more than just an indie meet cute. In retrospect, it was a major sign of things to come: personalized song recommendations were gearing up to enter the mainstream. Half a year later, Braff’s Grammy-winning, platinum-selling compilation soundtrack for Garden State firmly established that a handpicked list of songs could be a legitimate musical form in its own right. And the modern playlist was born.

All of which sounds a little bizarre to our ears today. Was there really a time when playlists weren’t an essential part of how we listen to music? Yes – at least not in the way we’ve quickly accepted as normal. Sure, the radio always provided a sort-of playlist function, but its one-size-fits-all approach left out anyone who didn’t fit into its very specific (and repetitive) mold. The modern, personalized playlist is decidedly a result of modern technology. Without the CD burners and a-la-carte song purchases made possible by cutting-edge 2004 tech, collecting independent songs together simply couldn’t happen. And neither could playlists.

So the way we listen has always evolved alongside technology. And 2016 is no exception – in an age where streaming has opened up the world’s music to everyone, personalized playlists have exploded in diversity, quality, and abundance. Playlists are now designed around a rainbow of possible moods and life moments – everything from making breakfast in bed to spending the night hanging at home with your cats. Every genre, from Acid Jazz to Zydeco, can be explored at the touch of a button. And for those too independent to fit into any categories whatsoever, Spotify’s Discover Weekly and Apple Music’s ‘For You’ features personalize each list for an audience of one.

Your SONOS channels

The result is that all of us are able to access a world of music that was previously reserved for only the biggest collectors and record junkies. We’re listening differently. More and more Sonos listeners are choosing curated radio stations and custom playlists over individual tracks. Less time spent searching for single songs, more time spent filling your home with a continual flow of music. So in response, we’ve evolved our Sonos App to make this new style of listening as fast and easy as possible.

Speaking of ease, you’ll now be able to tap a song and have it play instantly, instead of having to select “Play Now” or “Play Next.” Not only that, but when that song ends Sonos will now immediately play whatever is next.

Tap_to_Play

For those times when curated playlists just aren’t cutting it and you want to build your own to perfectly compliment the mood, you still can! We know our faithful Sonos friends have grown quite used to the ins and outs of the current app, so rest assured you will never lose a queue you’ve built because you accidentally hit a song or are still getting used to hitting *** instead. It will always prompt you before you replace it with a new queue.
 Add_song

It all adds up to a faster connection between you and your music, designed for the way we listen now. So go ahead – update your Sonos and press play on a brand new playlist and listen out loud.

Already updated? Test out the improved playlist experience with one of our favorites.

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Sounds of Seattle

Is there a better place to be than Seattle? Not if you ask the folks that call it home. We recently had the pleasure of getting together with some of Seattle’s finest under one fantastically designed Airbnb pad. Music was of course pouring through every room all weekend (as was the wine). So as a souvenir, we asked some of these fabulous folks to share their soundtrack to Seattle, the tracks that inspire them daily and fill their home.

Sub Pop Records

Sonos in Seattle - Day 1


«Seattle is our home. It’s simply impossible to imagine Sub Pop existing anywhere else. The music from this region and the community that supports it is not only vital to our success, it’s what inspires us to keep doing what we do.»

Seattle Seed Co.

Sonos in Seattle - Day 3


«It seems redundant to say that Seattle means everything to Seattle Seed Co., but it’s true.  This city has given us life that might not have been possible somewhere else.  Seattleites are passionate about global citizenship, sustainable living, and supporting local businesses, which are all the things that we stand for as an organic company.»

Mystery Made

Sonos in Seattle - Day 3


«Mystery Made is a design collective rooted in the Pacific Northwest, driven by three close friends with years of experience in action sports and brand design.  Mystery Made strives to elevate and innovate creative designs that communicate our clients’ products and ideas.  With the recent launch of their men’s boutique, the shop vibe embodies the authentic PNW outdoor feel from the moment you walk in the door.  The background music, reclaimed wood, campfire incense, and curated collection of clothing, goods and gifts truly reflect the modern Northwest pioneer.» 

8 Limbs Yoga

Sonos in Seattle - Hands in the Air


«In yoga philosophy there is a word, ‘Nada,’ which means deep listening, or to heighten one’s ability to tap into the primordial sound vibration that is present in everyone and everything. When I craft a yoga playlist I aim to create an atmosphere that lifts the practitioner up from the mundane towards a more extraordinary state of consciousness. Music is so important! To me, Seattle represents something a little rugged, a little innocent, a little bit heady. I hope this playlist can express the vibe of the city that shaped me!»

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You’re Better Than This

Because we’re surrounded by music out loud all day at Sonos, it’s easy to forget that some people have given up on that experience, or maybe never even had it. When you spend so much time engineering great sound, it can be a real bummer to realize that many who do listen out loud, have traded quality for convenience. . . and never looked back.

We’ve compressed rich music into tiny files…and sacrificed the sound.
We’ve shoved those tiny files through earbuds…and sacrificed the joy of listening together.
We’ve played music through disposable Bluetooth speakers…and sacrificed fidelity.

You're Better Than This

Then, sadly, in the very quest for quality, some of us traded listening out loud at all.   Huh?

That’s right:

We went all-in for a nice stereo in the living room.
We set up home theater in a very special room. . .or maybe just in our living room.

The only problem is that we never seem to be IN that room listening to music.  The party never makes it in there—it’s always stuck in the kitchen.   Because you’re in the kitchen, you turn it up loud in the living room.  Then you DEFINITELY don’t go in there, because it’s so loud it makes your eyes water.

We’re not okay with this. We believe you and your music deserve better: quality AND convenience wherever you are in your home and without any interruptions.

Why?  Because you have the internet!  If you have the internet, chances are you probably have WiFi, and that means that you can have great music anywhere and everywhere in your home.  All you have to do is get Sonos, download our app, connect once, and never again.

Listening out loud on your iPhone or sharing a pair of earbuds is fine, if you’re both 11.  It is!   Tweens of the world, rock on!

But if you’re old enough to live in your own home, then you’re old enough to fill it with music.  In an age of Wifi, why have wires?  If you don’t need wires, then why tether yourself to a speaker with Bluetooth?   Sure you can carry that speaker around your house-  like it’s 1987 and you’re headed out on the 4 train with your boombox to the Bronx.

Except you’re not.   It’s 2016, and you’re in your home.  Laptop speakers are totally fine, until Rashida Jones comes over.

At that point, you’ll probably want something better.  Because YOU’RE better.  And we make Sonos for you.

Joy

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Ask A Designer: Music + Home Design

Homepolish was created with one mission: update interior design for the way people actually live today. While teaming up with Homepolish in Seattle, we linked with designer Lindsay Pincus to hear her thoughts on how music and listening affect her approach to design.

Design by Lindsday Pincus of Homepolish
Design by Lindsday Pincus of Homepolish

Tell us about your design process. How does music and sound fit in?

When I’m seeking inspiration for a new design project, I almost always connect the design concept to a song that I play on repeat. For this project I used Radiohead’s new song ‘Daydreaming’.

I’ll also channel the client’s favorite artists and seek to reflect their musical interests through furniture and finishes.

When you’re designing a space for music lovers, what are some things you’d recommend?

I of course recommend a surround sound environment. It’s clearly become cool again to have your speakers proudly on display, rather than hidden in the walls or a built-in. Make them just as much a part of your shelf-styling as your photos and the vintage bowl you scored at the flea market. When your room both looks good and sounds awesome, you’ll likely find that 2+2=5.

What’s an easy design technique that anyone can use to make listening better in their homes?

Invite Taylor Swift to your next dinner party. If she can’t make it, treat yourself to surround sound. You deserve better than those awful built-in TV speakers.

Tell us about some homes and spaces where you thought sound was perfectly integrated into the design.

I designed a living room for a young family who loves music. We did a custom built-in media center to display their equipment, and incorporated a beautiful grand piano to give the room depth. Whether it’s the speakers, the piano or the kids and dogs, the room is the home’s beating heart and is always full of sound and life.

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Listening Out Loud: Glass Animals

On this edition of the Listening Out Loud podcast, Glass Animals frontman Dave Bayley takes us on a sonic journey through the listening habits and home living spaces of the weird and wonderful characters he has created for the band’s new record, How To Be A Human Being, released August 26th.

The success of their critically acclaimed debut Zaba, took the band around the world and helped them break stateside, a journey which has been rich in creative material for Bayley.

“It all started with recordings of people. When we were touring I was meeting all of these people everywhere and they’re all telling you these amazing stories. I have a terrible memory, so I wanted to record them on my phone”.

Those phone recordings soon became the basis of these fictional characters who each represent a track on the album. Every character has their own story – where they live, what they wear and what they do, have all been considered with meticulous detail.

Joined by host Jamie Milton, Dave introduces us to six of these characters, inviting us into their worlds and choosing one song he thinks they would listen to.

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Better Together: Home Design for Listening

Design by Mystery Made
Design by Mystery Made

Home design and home listening were born to team up. Either one is perfectly nice on its own, but it’s when you combine the two that you can really start to transform the mood of your home. 

We linked with the sweet minds at Homepolish to get some quick tips from an pro interior designer on how to refine any space for a better listening experience.

Homepolish designer Tali Roth breaks it down:

Sofa is Key

«Everyone uses music in different ways. Some love having it in the background no matter what they’re doing, some use it for entertaining, some while cooking and some use it to relax and unwind on the sofa. My favorite relax and unwind sofa is ‘The Cloud’ from Restoration Hardware. It is literally the most comfortable piece of furniture. Perfect for the ultimate music session.»

Design by Lindsay Pincus of Homepolish
Design by Lindsay Pincus of Homepolish

Get it lit

«Music creates mood and atmosphere, just like lighting. Be sure to fill your space with ambient lighting and loads of dimmables to create the perfect chilled out vibe.» 

Design by Lindsay Pincus
Design by Lindsay Pincus

Turn the Music into Design

«If you’re a diehard music fan, consider creating a montage of your favorite bands or display your collection of vinyls in a creative way.»

Keep it Consistent

«Make sure you install Sonos all over your home for a consistent experience – indoor to outdoor and in the shower!»

Got your home design on lock? Go deeper into how music can change the way you connect at home: 

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Soundtracks to the City: New York

To celebrate the arrival of the Sonos flagship store in Soho, we asked some of NY’s finest to share their personal soundtracks to the city. Listen out loud:

THURSTON MOORE

Thurston Moore & Walter Schreifels
Thurston Moore & Walter Schreifels

RAKIM

Rakim
Rakim

«I don’t like to keep it [the music] in my ears for too long myself. It feels like it cuts everything else off. When you listen to music on speakers, you can enjoy it, you can think about it. It might be a memory, might be a moment. Might be something going on.» – Rakim

EL – P

Miss Info & El P
Miss Info & El P

NANCY WHANG

Nancy Whang & Doris
Nancy Whang & Doris

«For me, enjoying music means being in a space, and hearing it around me. Listening to music on speakers is like you’re floating on top of water. You’re above it, you can relax, your mind can wander. On headphones, you’re underwater. It cuts off everything else and for me, I lose all my sensory perception. It’s a little disorienting for me.» – Nancy Whang

KYP MALONE

Kyp Malone & Nancy Whang
Kyp Malone & Nancy Whang

WALTER SCHREIFELS

Walter Schreifels & Rakim
Walter Schreifels & Rakim

The Sonos flagship store is now open in our permanent home at 101 Greene Street in Soho. Come listen.

Les mer

August Events at 101 Greene St.

There’s a lot going on at the Sonos flagship store in August. Come listen.

 

First Listen Fridays at Frankel's Deli

 

Happy Hour at 101 Greene St.

 

Check out our partners:

FRANKEL’S DELICATESSEN

FACTORY FLOOR

JUXTAPOZ MAGAZINE

GLASS ANIMALS 

Les mer

Listening out Loud: Wild Beasts Talk New Album «Boy King»

“We’re all a bit… psychotic in our listening. We all can listen to something very soft—Max Richter—followed by Nine Inch Nails ‘Closer’. We have that in our make-up.”

UK rock quartet Wild Beasts have grown stronger with each album, and new record ‘Boy King’ is no different. Slickly produced and oozing with swagger, it looks sure to be one of the year’s most acclaimed releases.

«After five records there had to be an element of ‘what the fuck?'» explains the band’s Hayden Thorpe. «I think ‘Boy King’ is an apocalyptic record. It’s about swimming in the abyss. When you think about sex, you’ve got to think about death, they’re one and the same.”

The dark pop of the new record was born and raised over the course of a year of 9-5 workshopping in East London, before the band decamped to Dallas to work with The War On Drugs / St. Vincent producer, John Congleton. There, they kept up their disciplined approach in the studio while also living together for the first time since their Leeds days.

Together under the same roof once again, they rediscovered the joys of sharing music and influences with each other, helping fuel the creative process behind the new album.

Speaking to The Quietus’ Luke Turner in our new podcast, they reveal some of the music they’ve been listening to along the way and give an insight into the making of this fine new record.

Boy King is out today. Buy it here and listen out loud at home on Sonos.

Les mer

Hi Bandcamp. Welcome to Sonos.

SONOS Bandcamp is a global community of hundreds of thousands of artists and the fans who directly support them.

There’s a new arrival in the Sonos streaming family. And we’re especially stoked about this one coming home. Bandcamp is a global community of hundreds of thousands of artists and the fans who directly support them. This artist-first platform is now a permanent part of the Sonos experience.

There’s plenty of reasons to be hyped for what Bandcamp brings to music lovers. At its core, Bandcamp gives artists and fans maximum control over their own music. Artists set their own prices, sell their music and merch, and can update everything in real time. Fans can stream all their purchased music instantly on the free app and through Sonos, or download in both lossless and MP3 formats.

Bandcamp is the place to find amazing independent music across the world in all genres, from well-known independent artists and labels to new discoveries and exclusives not found anywhere else.  Fans use Bandcamp to support their favorite artists and to discover new music, by following artists and fans whose taste they love. More than 20% of music bought on Bandcamp is sparked by these community discovery features.

All this means you now have access to a world of new music on one of the most artist-friendly platforms around. So dive in - find new sounds, support some of your favorite independent artists, and blast it all on your Sonos.

So much new music is a lot to take in at once - here are a few excellent places to get started.

Car Seat Headrest
Bandcamp is the place you can discover someone like Will Toledo, who released eleven records of increasingly excellent indie rock on the site, before signing to Matador Records for album twelve, also available on Bandcamp. Get the rare chance to hear an artist grow into his own in real time.

 

Sheer Mag
Innovative genre combinations are everywhere on Bandcamp. Sheer Mag’s blend of glam-rock swagger and supercharged raw punk is so compelling you’ll wonder why nobody else thought of it first.

 

Michael Christmas
Listening to Boston MC Michael Christmas rap is like hanging out with your funniest and coolest friend - the vibes are so good, you don’t even mind when he’s clowning on you.

 

Gospel Claws
More rare sounds and genre hybrids - Gospel Claws reach back half a century to the golden age of doo-wop to inspire their retropop sound. RIYL sock hops and 50s teenage blues.

 

Geotic
Tons of artists take advantage of Bandcamp’s openness to experiment and stretch their wings. Baths frontman Will Wiesenfeld created Geotic as an outlet for his more atmospheric and mellow side. Good move - the records are pure electronic bliss.

Les mer

Listening Out Loud: De La Soul

30 years in the game and still going strong: De La Soul are unique in hip-hop. They’ve never split up; they’ve never stopped making music; they’ve never stopped performing. Crucially, their output has rarely faltered, and they’re still making vital music to this day.

The New York trio began life with their cut ‘n’ paste, collage sound in the late-’80s to great acclaim with ‘Three Feet High & Rising’—one of the genre’s all-time classic. Sampling everything from Johnny Cash to nursery rhyme records to Barry White and Liberace, they pushed hip-hop into fertile new ground where the source material wasn’t restricted to instrumental breaks. In doing so, they paved the way for the likes of DJ Shadow, Wu-Tang Clan and countless others.

“We were willing to listen to everything. We were raised on that.”

Their eclectic approach to source material continues to this day. New Kickstarter-funded album ‘…and the Anonymous Nobody’ saw them record hundreds of hours of session musicians and collaborators and create samples from what they captured—making for a tongue-in-cheek reference to the litigation they faced for uncleared music use on their 1989 debut.

From Damon Albarn—who helped drive their desire to work with other artists when he brought them into his Gorillaz project—to Pete Rock, Estelle, Snoop Dogg, David Byrne and even The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins, it’s an incredibly varied list of conspirators that helps make the new record such a rich listen.

London DJ, Tayo Popoola, spoke with Pos, Dave and Maseo ahead of their listening party at Sonos Studio to hear about the album, their early days of sharing music in their homes and how their eclectic nature was formed. Check it out below: 

Les mer

Celebrate at the Sonos Store

We can’t believe it, but the moment is really here. The first ever Sonos store officially opened its doors at 101 Greene Street. Opening day may be behind us, but we want the celebrations to continue and all of you to listen out loud with us. Come join us and our NYC friends for food, drinks, and music all week long. Full schedule of events below: 

JULY 20 – HAPPY HOUR
5 – 7PM

Pour a glass (or pop a can) in celebration with us as The Drop Rose hosts a free pop-up bar at 101 Greene St.

JULY 21 – BAOHAUS BITES
5 – 7PM

Boost your listening experience with free snacks and bites courtesy of Eddie Huang’s Baohaus.

JULY 22 – NEW MUSIC FRIDAY WITH FRANKEL’S
12 – 2PM

Join us for first listens on two brand new releases, with lunch supplied by the smoked meat wizards at Frankel’s. This week we’re spinning Nao debut long-player For All We Know and a new EP from Floating Points, Kuiper.

JULY 23 + 24 – PITCHFORK RADIO
12 – 7PM

Pitchfork Radio broadcasts live from 101 Greene Street all weekend with appearances, interviews, and mixes from Will Butler (Arcade Fire), Prodigy (Mobb Deep), Prince Paul, Frankie Cosmos, Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz), the Range, the Morbid Anatomy Museum, Yumi Zouma, and more.

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The Ultimate Sell-Out

While training the new staff at our first-ever Sonos Store, I asked, “How many of you are in a band or are musicians?” Almost all of them raised their hands. That means that for most of them, Sonos is their day job. Like any musician, they’re dreaming it will be their last. What advice could I possibly give them as someone who turned her day job into a career?

Well, first, that I once shared their dream. When I was a line cook, record store clerk, barista, etc., I remember that day jobs always came with a tinge of humiliation. A little bit of, “this isn’t really me, what I should be doing, what I’m capable of…” For me, the most humiliating day job was not the one that required me to clean the toilets at the end of the night. It was the one that took me back to my small southern women’s college in Decatur as an (egad!) staff member. Specifically, I was the Student Activities Coordinator responsible for arranging undergrad mixers, playing matchmaker to sorority types, and booking the entertainment. After having been such a star student, I could just hear my professors saying to themselves, “What happened? So much potential! Tsk tsk.”

I swallowed my pride for the great pay, reasonable hours, and health insurance. And then I discovered the budget! Wow- so much cash to pay bands! I booked them in the auditorium, the amphitheater, even with peach cobbler in the date parlor. There was Catpower when she was still Chan and working at Fellini’s; there was the now-famous-artist Roe Ethridge’s band, Joybang. Goodie Mob played with their then lesser known friends Outkast, and Suge Knight showed up– just days after he was rumored to have shot Tupac. Ken Vandermark and Hamid Drake came down from Chicago and suddenly Jazz Studies wasn’t history, it was now! I paid them all well. I made a little money myself. Meanwhile I used the office photocopier to make my band fliers, and the office fax and email to land a record deal with the label of our dreams.

I had hoped that deal would be the end of day jobs for me too. But it wasn’t. The years that came after- writing, recording, rehearsing and touring- were always accompanied by day jobs. After six years, four albums, and at least as many jobs, I actually longed for a simple life where all I HAD was a day job. An easy job that might leave the world a little better than I found it. That’s what I set out for.

Here’s what I learned along the way:

First, if you’re looking for something easy, you might as well give up.
I remember cleaning up while hearing Chan sing, what took many more years to register:

“Never give up no, never give up
If you’re looking for something easy
You might as well give it up”

Second, there is no end to day jobs. EVERYONE has one. Trent Reznor made more on his deal with Apple music than he ever made on his music. If you’re very lucky it will be completely related to what you do best.

Finally, the most you can hope for is that you bring as much of yourself to the work you do every day as humanly possible, that the thing you most enjoy making is the thing that makes you money, and that you’re in an environment where you can make that thing as good as it can possibly be. That last one may sound cliché, but it takes chops, courage, tenacity and support to deliver a creative vision without compromises.

That’s why the new Sonos Store at 101 Greene Street in New York is so special for me. We didn’t ask each other to settle or sell-out. We took the creativity and vision of a few, combined it with the determination and hard work of many, and we’ve ended up with the very best home for music we could make.

Ultimately there’s only one thing that’s worth selling out for: it’s the balance between earning a living and living a fulfilled live.

What makes that balance changes over time for each of us in ways impossible to predict. When I first heard Paid In Full, I never imagined someday going to work, finding that balance, and seeing Rakim there. I’m going to do that tomorrow, and I’m still going to be thinking of a master plan every step of the way…

Eric B and Rakim - Paid In Full Album Cover

«But now I learned to earn cause I’m righteous
I feel great so maybe I might
Just search for a 9 to 5
If I strive then maybe I’ll stay alive
So I walk up the street, whistling this
Feeling out of place cause, man, do I miss
A pen and a paper, a stereo, a tape of
Me and Eric B and a nice big plate of
This, which is my favorite dish
But without no money it’s still a wish
Cause I don’t like to dream
About getting paid
So I dig into the books of the
Rhymes that I made
So now’s a test to see if I got pull
Hit the studio, cause I’m paid in full»

Les mer

Listening comes home at 101 Greene Street

After becoming a part of so many of your homes around the world, it’s time we finally settled down in a place of our own. Sonos has officially landed in New York City. Our new permanent residence is 101 Greene Street, Soho. We couldn’t be more excited to invite you inside on July 19th and show you what we’ve been working on in our first ever retail space.

101 Greene Street SONOS Store Front

101G is pretty much our ideal residence. We built it from the ground up to physically display and embody our sincere belief that better sound makes a better home. We know that the sound of music in your home is as important as the lighting or the furniture. Now we have a space where you can hear it for yourself.

listening-comes-home-store-interior

And we want you to really believe it. That means giving you a place to experience sound that actually feels like your home. We want you to listen to the music the way you actually do. You don’t listen to music in stores – you listen with friends, in the places where you live your life. So we built 101G like a friend’s house, not like a retail store. Sure, it’s a friend who is way into great sound, home design, and has speakers in every room. But then again, that’s a fairly accurate description of us.

listening-comes-home-playbar-sub-room

The core of 101G is the listening experience. Having our Sound Experience Leader, Giles Martin sonically tune every inch of the space for max sound quality was essential. But we definitely went above and beyond in our seven central listening rooms. They’re covered in thousands of pounds of sheetrock and custom-beveled glass to make them not only soundproof and acoustically perfect, but also just like the way you really listen to music at home. We designed the spaces with studies, kitchens, and living rooms, letting you hear great sound on everything from home theatre systems to turntables in the proper context.

Environment matters to sound just as much as sound to environment. So each listening room also features custom furniture, visual art and lighting design that reflects some of our favorite styles and periods from the past century. None of them are the same. We’re into too many different design aesthetics to waste a chance to show one of our favorites. Sound is nice like that – it enhances all styles. It doesn’t limit itself to one single expression and neither does 101G.

listening-comes-home-playbar-sub-room-v2

Inspiring people with home audio was definitely our mission in building the space. But along the way we discovered a lot about the intimate connection between home design and sound. We were designing 101G to be a great place to hear music in the home, not the recording studio. Meaning this had to look on point – after all, we live here. We couldn’t cover the walls in fiberglass panels or awkward pieces just to improve the sound. Instead we had to use the tools of home design to get the best possible audio. So we filled the space with bookshelves and woven rugs, our favorite pieces for improving acoustics in any home. Now when you visit, you can see for yourself how physical space can enhances your sound, boosted by the materials and furniture you actually live with.

listening-comes-home-tape-collection

Of course a home is better with friends, so we brought in some of our most talented ones to shape the space. Legendary illustrators and painters like Mark Stamaty, Thibaud Herem, and Mark Chamberlain designed and hand-painted our wallpaper. Thurston Moore kindly lent us a selection of his cassette tapes from the golden age of NYC cassette trading. Archivist Arthur Fournier put up rare selections from his classic zine collection. And in the front it’ll be hard to miss the eight foot portrait of Rick Rubin we set up to greet you. He’s an old friend of Sonos and we’re happy to show our homage to NYC, only blocks from where Rick produced Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys.

We can’t pretend to be too cool about this – it feels special to be here in New York. This is the place where hip-hop, punk rock, new-wave, no-wave and disco were born. It’s a city of a million different sounds and a million different homes of every kind. There’s no better place for us to start showing you what we’re all about. But that’s probably enough from us – watch what one of one of NY’s finest, EL-P, had to say about NYC, music and its connection to his home.

 

There’s a lot going on at 101 Greene Street. Our doors are open to all starting July 19th.  Come listen.

Les mer

A Father’s Love, Shared Out Loud

Father’s Day

This coming Father’s Day is the first since my dad passed. No card to buy, no kisses and hugs, no chance to cook Sunday lunch for the old man and share a glass or two of wine.

Long after the music stops, the memories play on. In honor of Father’s Day, Sonos Sound Experience Leader Giles Martin writes on the musical bond he shared with his father, legendary record producer sir George Martin.
Long after the music stops, the memories play on. In honor of Father’s Day, Sonos Sound Experience Leader Giles Martin writes on the musical bond he shared with his father, legendary record producer sir George Martin.

So is this a reason to be sad? Yes, perhaps it is… Then I remember earlier this year, sitting on my father’s bed. As he lay there, very ill, I held his hand and a tear rolled down my cheek.

“Why are you crying?” asked Dad.

“Because I’m going to miss you.”

“I’m not dead yet,” said Dad. “Bloody hell, I hope you’re not like this at the funeral!”

So no point in being sad then, none at all.

fathers-love-shared-out-loud-giles-and-dad

But I miss him. We shared the same laughter. Fragments of memories flicker and fade, but the warmth he had remains. As he aged and became frail I had the honor of powering and supporting him in the same way that he had done when I was young.  Every bond between father and son is unique. And our bond grew through music.

«We shared a love of music; he would listen through me and I would learn through him.»

fathers-love-shared-out-loud-george-and-giles-at-record-plant-nycMy Dad, having become the most successful record producer of all time, sadly lost his hearing when I was a teenager. I had a talent for music and I became his ears. We shared a love of music; he would listen through me and I would learn through him.

When I was four I was asked by my nursery school what my dad did for a living.

“He sits at home and plays the piano,” was my reply.

Music was always in our home. At that stage he was writing the film score to Live and Let Die. Music was more than a background noise: it was a living and a way of life. Dad would never have background radio on in his car, as he always wanted to listen, not just hear.

As a teenager I rebelled, learned guitar, and dedicated my life to becoming Stevie Ray Vaughan, knowing my parents would ‘never understand’. As my dad couldn’t play the guitar, I of course immediately thought I had one-upped him. I suppose I was ignoring the fact that he had made two albums with Jeff Beck…

So here I am, sitting at Abbey Road Studios where it all began for him, so grateful for all that my Dad gave me, all the knowledge he passed on, all of the notes we played and recorded together.

fathers-love-shared-out-loud-father-and-son

Music is everything. I watch my daughters dance around the kitchen; I don’t care much about what they like to listen to. I just love that they love music as much as me  and my father did.

This Father’s Day, listen out loud to the music that is the backdrop to your life. It is the heartbeat that joins people together. It is the voice that cuts through the loneliness of silence. Music is love.

Les mer

Why Are You OK

Back in the day in Irmo SC, my dad would throw “stereo nights” for us little runts. I think the idea was to lull us off to sleep with music but it didn’t work: We’d keep the doors open and stay up as long as we could to soak it all in. If that was any part of the idea, then that part worked.

Those songs are in my DNA: I’ll be in an airport or a grocery store or whatever then the Commodores’ ‘Just to Be Close to You’ comes on and bam I’m 7 years old again and feeling all ‘That’s right, the Commodores are the baddest mama jamma’s ever.’” Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, sooner or later I hear some music that puts me right back into those memories and all of a sudden it’s “stereo night” in the middle of a drive or a TV show or TSA line. Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Booker T. and the MG’s…

Ben with his family and father David.
Ben with his family and father David, left.

When I think back about my biggest musical moment of revelation as a kid that I owe to my dad, it kind of all started with the Rolling Stones, but not exactly—it was actually after seeing the Stones in concert, driving home with my folks and Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” came on the radio. Hearing ‘Harvest Moon’ that night on the way home, late as balls, being like ‘I get Neil Young’… honestly there might have even been a moon out or something. That was one of those moments, you’re like, ‘Eureka. I get it. I get Neil Young’s voice, I get why my dad loves it.’”

«Now it’s my job to be the influencer for my kids.»

Now it’s my job to be the influencer for my kids. I cut my teeth for years making mix CDs for my dad—remember those?—but now that those have gone the way of the Dodo and I’ve got kids of my own, it’s a calling. I have to honor that crazy shared father-son musical obsession by passing it on to the next generation and, for better or worse, sending them out to twist other young minds the same way—but seriously to create memories that mean more than anything.
-Ben

 

Band of Horses - Entire band with Ben's kids.

Leader of Band of Horses since 2004, Ben Bridwell is the married father of four young girls and learned to balance his responsibilities as a father and husband with writing songs in odd hours at his Charleston, South Carolina-area home resulting in the fifth full-length Band of Horses album, Why Are You OK now available everywhere.

Les mer

BLOOD & MUSIC

Maybe it’s because of Father’s Day. Or maybe it’s this new Band of Horses track I’ve been listening to on constant repeat. Whatever the reason, my mind’s been drifting back to the family I grew up in, how the music we shared flowed through us and ingrained itself in our DNA.

Ben Bridwell and his daughters.
Ben Bridwell and his daughters.

Our Sonos team first crossed paths with Band of Horses founder, Ben Bridwell at SXSW. He was telling us how his love for music had been directly influenced by his dad’s record collection. How the music they shared together had defined their relationship over the years. And how a lot of those same feelings about music and family had been coming back around lately, now that he’s a father himself, raising four daughters and constantly trying to find the balance between his creative work and what matters most.

Ben shared how, in the past, he’d always felt this need to run away from his “real” life to focus his mind creatively. But now, after years spent searching outside himself, he’s finally discovered a new path to inspiration. One that starts with putting down roots, looking deep inside, and channeling all the uncertainty, fear, love and courage of being a husband and father into his songs.

Band of Horses bassist Tyler Ramsey and singer Ben Bridwell.
Band of Horses bassist Tyler Ramsey and singer Ben Bridwell.

For the first time ever, Ben holed up at home–working in his converted garage-studio after he’d see his girls off to school or tuck them into bed at night. That’s where he wrote this song I’ve been listening to, “Whatever, Wherever”. His way of letting them know that, even when he’s on the road and can’t be around, he’s still there for them. Whatever they need. Wherever they are.

Watching the new video (we at Sonos are honored to have had a hand in helping produce it), I’m struck by just how honest and unrehearsed the whole thing feels. The sweet, laidback vibe of an afternoon at home, so graciously shared by Ben, his dad, band mates, and family. A meal. A song. A moment together. The soft, dreamlike images remind me of my own dad’s Super 8 movies of our family gatherings. It feels intimate. Vulnerable. A little raw. It brings back my own memories of growing up in close-knit clan, and of the music my dad shared with me.

Ben Bridwell and his father David.
Ben Bridwell and his father David.

Like any teen, I had my own favorites; songs and artists my folks could never quite wrap their heads around. But looking back, I realize–my greatest musical influence was always my Dad. He helped me understand that, if I ever hoped to make it through this world in one piece, music was going to be crucial. And he showed me how to find the songs I’d need to see me through.

"My greatest musical influence was always my Dad."

I remember watching as he’d slip each LP from its sleeve, meticulously balancing it by the label. Then he’d oh-so-carefully ease the needle into its groove…  and the magic would begin. To this day, I’ve kept most of the records he gave me me, songs he believed I should never be without: Take Five. Wichita Lineman. Mystery Train. Eleanor Rigby. Mama Tried. Ode to Billie Joe… They remain tangible, analog mementos of those perfect moments we spent listening together. Of a time when, by sharing what he loved, he was helping me define my own relationship with music. And with him.

Writer Neil Webster with his father and son.
Writer Neil Webster with his father and son.

Later, I’d share a lot of those same tunes with my own son. On lovingly curated mixtapes. Then on CDs I’d burn for his road trips. The format kept shifting, but music’s power to get into our blood and connect us was always there. Still is.

These days, we all live miles apart. And sometimes seeing eye to eye gets complicated. But we know, through all life’s bullshit, across any distance, music is a lifeline we can always use to pull ourselves back to common ground.

"He was helping me define my own relationship with music. And with him."

And that’s what Ben’s new song has me thinking about. How a song we share, out loud, can become a precious family heirloom, part of a musical family tree that grows and extends across the years, with branches that sprout from the roots of home.

I hooked Dad up with his first Sonos a few months back. For Father’s Day, I’ve been pulling together a playlist with a lot of those songs he shared way back when. There’ll be some new tunes as well, music I never would have found were it not for the sounds he put in my blood. You can bet “Whatever, Wherever” will be the lead-off track.

Thanks for the new album, Ben.

Thanks for the music, Dad.

Like Ben’s song says… I owe you a lot.

Why Are You Okay - Album Cover

Pre-Order the New Album Why Are You OK
Band of Horses Radio on TuneIn
Stream "Whatever, Wherever" on Apple Music
Stream "Whatever, Wherever" on Spotify

 

Ben Bridwell and family.
Ben Bridwell and family.

Les mer

Create Your #HomeStadium for the Summer of Sport

 

What a summer we have to look forward to. From the European Cup in France to the Olympics in Rio, the Tour De France to Wimbledon, we’re spoilt for choice. Besides music, there are few things that can get you as fired up as cheering for your team. And whilst we’re not all lucky enough to be a part of the crowd at St. Jakob-Park or Maracanã, you can still soak up every moment with the people you really care about in your own #homestadium.

Of course you can watch sport alone, but with a crowd of friends cheering for the same team, the experience becomes something else entirely. It turns two hours on the sofa into a party. Who do you turn to as the keeper edges a penalty in the dying moments of the match? Whose shoulder do you cry on when it doesn’t go your way, and more importantly, who will help you celebrate (all night) when you bring it home? That is what your home stadium is for.

Sound is a big part of watching any game. Channeling the stadium into your living room can turn a quiet, stressful moment into the intense, visceral feeling of cheering alongside tens of thousands of fans. You don’t want to be that person who invites your friends over, only to disappoint with muffled sound as Usain Bolt is hurtling towards another 100m world record, or at halftime when you need some tunes to keep the mood alive. Sonos PLAYBAR and our speakers transform your regular TV into a home theater and music system at the top of its game.

Here’s how you to make the most of the Summer of Sport with your PLAYBAR:

Pick Your Warm-Up Soundtrack: Get limbered up and set the mood with music. Whip up a playlist of songs that mean something to you to get your blood pumping.  Tell friends to come early so they can join in, add songs to the queue and get in the mood before the game begins.

Surround Yourself: Sitting in the stands, the noise comes at you from all angles. The game in front, the announcers above, the crowd everywhere. Your #homestadium can easily do the same. With your PLAYBAR on your TV, your front is covered, and dropping one or two PLAY:1s behind you on both sides will recreate the stadium feel without the drunk guy behind you screaming in your ear... or spilling his beer on you.

Wherever You Roam:  You don’t need to stay rooted to the screen, it’s one of the perks of the homes stadium to get up and about, grab a beer from the fridge. Just group your PLAYBAR with your other SONOS speakers throughout your home, and the sound from your TV can follow you wherever there’s a speaker. Do your thing wherever – no penalties.

Use the PLAY 1 outdoors.

Go Local: To up the international ante, ditch the dodgy broadcast TV commentary and load up your favorite local radio and sports broadcasters to make your #homestadium experience all the better. Not sure how to do that? Allow us: Here’s a list of radio stations that will be carrying the Euro Cup as well as the Olympics.

Prepare (Musically) for Any Outcome: At the end of the match, you might be jumping on the couch in pure post-victory bliss, or the agony of defeat will have you pulling your hair out and wondering what just happened to cause that sudden collapse. Hopefully it’s not the latter, but it’s always best to be prepared: You’re not going to want to fire up “We are the Champions” if you’re mourning, so have Neal Casal’s “The Losing End Again” on standby just in case. Of course you won’t need it because your team is going to win it all, so this advice is for someone else…

Wishing you all good luck, good sport, and good tunes. And if your home theater game is still in the amateur ranks, we've got you covered.

https://youtu.be/Gew6B1quHZE

Les mer

Sleep Tight with Sonos

Dim the lights low. Draw the blinds. Turn on the slow jams. Let’s talk about the bedroom.

Hey, not like that! We’re talking about your other favorite bedroom activity: sleep.

We all know the importance of a good night sleep. But you work, you commute, you cook, you play, you Netflix, you work more in between … getting eight hours of solid sleep isn’t as easy as it used to be.

But with more sleep research and Arianna Huffington’s new book, The Sleep Revolution, bringing much-overdue attention to how (and how often) we catch our zzz’s, things may be looking up. Even if you can’t grab a full eight hours, you can still get more restful sleep by turning your bedroom into a distraction-free sanctuary for sleep. No surprise: Music is an essential part of the equation.

If you have a Sonos in your bedroom, consider trying these tips and tricks to get the most out of your bedroom time.

Kill the light(s)

When it’s time to wind down, first things first: lower the lights. Low lighting can help quiet the mind and tune out all distractions. This means it is time to put your phone on the charger and set it to Do Not Disturb. Close your laptop and leave it in the kitchen or living room. Power down the tablet and leave your book for the night.

Then, turn on the bedtime tunes.

If you keep a Sonos on your nightstand or dresser, make sure the status light is off by going to Room Settings, then selecting your Bedroom and turning off the White Indicator Light.

Set reminder: Go to bed.

Sure, you can set your alarm with Sonos to make waking up suck less. But you can also set an “alarm” for any time of day. Come 10 p.m., try setting a “Go-to-bed” alarm to your favorite winding-down playlist. It’ll set the right mood and serve as a reminder to stop binge-watching House of Cards until tomorrow.

From the menu in your Sonos app, tap Alarms, then set your Bedroom alarm playlist to play for a duration that will allow ample time for pillow talk and a slow drift into sleep.

White (noise) Riot

Now that you’ve actually gotten yourself into bed, there are lots of different ways you can fade into dreamville.

For some, quiet ambient music is the key. Or maybe white noise or nature sounds are your thing. Luckily, most streaming services on Sonos will have a playlist or album that you can fire up, or you can easily loop an mp3 of your own. Set the timer for it to shut off whenever you’d like, close your eyes and drown everything else out.

Trueplay your bedroom

A cluttered nightstand should never stop you from having music in the bedroom. Using Trueplay tuning, you can pop a PLAY:1 on the floor under your bedside table, a PLAY:3 across the room or a PLAY:5 tucked in a corner and still hear great sound from bed.

Sonos app users on iOS can go to Settings then Room Settings, then tap the Bedroom and Trueplay Tuning to get started.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QgJHUy93T0

Bedtime with Matt Berninger

Singer and songwriter Matt Berninger from The National knows first-hand the magical power of music to calm both he and his daughter, Isla, down before bed. He’s even shared his bedtime secrets with us in the playlist below.

Make music part of your bedtime routine tonight. Your tomorrow-you will thank you.

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Designer Genevieve Gorder on Music and Family

Genevieve Gorder has been the face of home design on television for more than a decade, but get her talking about music and her daughter and Look. Out.

Beyond fabric swatches and furniture flows, Gorder is equally adept at music, and can namedrop favorites from Motown to classical Baroque to hip-hop in the same breath. It’s no coincidence that her musical train of thought often leads down a path to her daughter, who completes her holy trinity: Design, Music, Family -- all coming together to turn her (or your) house into memory-making home.

“When I’m designing a space, it’s about music."

“When I’m designing a space, it’s about music,” she says. “Design is the same as music: Where are the pauses, where are the allegro moments, where do we drop the mic? It has to have that space in between -- space moves, and you might not know it does. But, you just know it feels good. It’s like a song. Where do you rest, where do you stand up, where do you dance? A home has to have all of that.”

As a proud mom and designer often curating spaces for those who have kids, Gorder is putting-her-foot-down insistent about the importance not just of playing music to your kids, but making listening together a central and constant part of your home life.

Being "French"

A photo posted by Genevieve Gorder (@genevievegorder) on

“Music is like food -- it’s oxygen. It’s a basic need in life,” she preaches. “As a designer or even a parent, you better acknowledge that you’re creating palates that will exist in that little human their entire life. How they’re fed, what they see, what they hear -- creates the sensual memory bank. You remember it all when you’re little, and look back on it forever.”

Or, perhaps more directly: “If you don’t teach your kids to listen to music and dance you’re doing them a disservice. It is expected of us, let's not disappoint.”

While everyone’s got their own musical tastes, Gorder stands by one key, kid-based musical commandment: “Don’t dumb it down.”

"If you don’t teach your kids to listen to music and dance, you’re doing them a disservice."

“How we incorporate music into our lives with our children is the more important lesson. You shouldn’t dumb food down so that they only eat chicken nuggets, you shouldn’t dumb furniture down so that it’s all kiddie plastic stuff, and you shouldn’t dumb music down. You want them tasting new flavors, feeling rich wood chairs -- those are muscle memories forever. Give it all to them while their brains are wide open.”

Music creates those teachable moments for Gorder and her young daughter all the time.

Wanting to press Pause. Rest in power. ??

A photo posted by Genevieve Gorder (@genevievegorder) on

“In a visual landscape we’re in now, it’s a shame to not introduce them to stuff you grew up with as well as recent music,” Gorder says. “I’ll take an M.I.A. video and say ‘Look at this strong woman killing it.’ And my daughter is like, 'that girl is it!' It’s not about being provocative, but I’ll go into the strong female characters and get her into the visual side of music as well.”

As a native Minnesotan with a deep affinity for Prince, Gorder had one of her proudest mommy-music moments when her daughter was around four years old. While playing “Adore” (which Gorder describes as “a slow R&B slam dunk”) by the late, great Artist, Gorder’s daughter asked her “Mom, is this Prince? I like this but my favorite song is ‘Uptown.’”

"That’s the main job of a parent, regardless of what their kid's taste is: that they feel connected to music."

The result was one happy, happy mom. “I was like, ‘I’m doing something right.”

Or consider the recent passing of another iconic musician, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. “She heard he died and she ended up presenting me with a really great drawing on a card. She was like ‘Let’s just play him allllll day, and we did. All day; all the next day -- we had a grieving of sorts. She feels connected.”

“That’s the main job of a parent, regardless of what their kid's taste is: that they feel connected to music. It’s for everyone. It’s your gasoline.”

Genevieve Gorder with her daughter.
Photo by Lauren Crew

There you have it, moms. Whether your thing is R&B or alt rock, Pearl Jam or Seely, it’s not so much about who you’re playing as it is that you’re playing it at all -- designing flashbacks that, 20 years later, still sound as good as the day they happened.

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Let’s Build a Home

Whether you're moving into a new downtown apartment or settling into your first home, moving is when you take stock of what's important. Your coasters from that trip to Amsterdam? Keep. Your less-than-new bath mats? Toss. That Halloween costume from 2009? Definitely keep. But when it's time to make a move, there's something else -- something that is just as important as paint color, furniture style and those sconces from Etsy -- to consider.

All of those things come together to create a design for your new space, but it's the music that makes it home.

That sentiment became clear in our aptly named Music Makes it Home study. No matter what country you live in or what taste in music you have, once music makes its way into silent homes, things change. Moods get better, families spend more time together, couples get closer in proximity, food tastes better, cleaning sucks less.

Name a side table or area rug that can do that?

 

"Turning on music in your house is almost like turning on the lights," Annie Clark from St. Vincent said recently, and it's that element of reflex and necessity that music lovers across the world experience when they add a speaker to their home.

So, as summer kicks into high gear and people move into newer, (hopefully) nicer digs, consider the impact that music can have on a home. To get you started, Annie Clark even put together a perfectly curated playlist for moving into a new space ... or even just revamping your existing home. Because as our CEO John MacFarlane said, it's all about "that moment when they brought music back into the house and it became a home."

Let's move in together. Find the right Sonos for you.

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Music Makes it Home, Revisited

When the Segal family agreed to participate in the Music Makes it Home study, music was in their home, but it wasn’t necessarily a part of it. “We listened to music -- the occasional spontaneous moment -- but it was certainly very individual and sporadic,” explains Noah Segal, husband and father of two.

Music Makes it Home, Revisited
The Segal Family

As participants in the study conducted in February, Amanda and Noah Segal, with their two sons Oliver and Beckham, were one of 30 families around the globe who spent a week without music out loud and a week with all the music they wanted. The results were pretty clear: people feel closer, more loving and generally happier when they share time with their loved ones listening to music. For the Segals, this meant  more quality time in the kitchen, an exploration (and acceptance) of dad’s musical taste, a newfound love for The Jackson 5, and a lot of spontaneous dance parties.

"People feel closer, more loving and generally happier when they share time with their loved ones listening to music."

Now, two months after the experiment has ended, the music remains -- and it’s as integral to the house as the door lock or refrigerator.

 Music is the new light bulb

“When you turn on the light, you turn on the Sonos in the kitchen,” Noah says, noting the new reflex.

With more music on, Oliver and Beckham have become increasingly open to mom and dad’s choice of music. Take Beckham, named after Beck, who just months ago had never wanted to listen to his namesake. Now, Beck is one of Beckham’s most-played artists.

“Surprisingly, the kids have put up with my taste,” laughs Noah. "They rarely walk out on me.”

Discover daily

The Dancing Segals
The Dancing Segals

In the two months since setting up their Sonos, the Segals have spent the time discovering new artists and unearthing old favorites. “It’s way easier to discover new music with streaming music,” Noah says. “If I was 14 at the height of my music life and had this, I would have found much more, and been cooler. My 12-year-old found The Jackson 5 and has played them like -- 8 billion times since.”

Of course, just because the amount of music being played has gone up doesn’t mean that life has slowed down. Between work and school and after-school activities and every to-do in between, the Segals never expected the gift of more time. But, what they haven’t gotten in quantity, they’ve gotten in quality -- thanks to the tunes.

Life, out loud

“The time spent hasn’t changed. Life is crazy,” Noah explains. “But if you are in the room and the music is on, it tends to extend your stay just a little. We don’t rush out as fast. And the effect is qualitative -- our time spent is better spent, not actually increased.”

Another game-changer? Cooking has become more fun. “Music takes the edge off. Food may not be tastier, but cooking time is better. Food is more lovingly made.”

“Music takes the edge off. Food may not be tastier, but cooking time is better."

This all makes sense, according to Daniel J. Levitin, Ph.D., Neuroscientist and Author of This Is Your Brain on Music. “For the first time, we’re seeing evidence that the music causes people to feel closer to one another: Family members [in this study] who listen to the most music out loud were 17 percent more likely to say 'I love you' than those who didn’t listen at all.” he explains.

During the initial week-long study, he adds, “Families who listened to the most music spent three hours and 13 minutes more time together per week than those who listened the least. And they spent more time in the same room physically closer to one another — 12 percent closer in proximity to one another, to be exact.”

In the months since the initial study, there’s no denying that music has officially moved into the Segal home, and become as essential as a kitchen appliance. “Everyone we talk to we tell to get Sonos – you’ve got to buy the blender, buy the microwave, and one of these speakers in the kitchen,” Noah says.

Highlights from the Segal's participation in the Music Makes It Home study.
Highlights from the Segal's participation in the Music Makes It Home study.

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It’s Prime Time in the UK and Germany

Amazon Prime has a lot more perks than just getting your packages in two days. Their Prime Music service has been available to Sonos customers in the United States, and now, as of today it’s available within the Sonos app in the UK and Germany as well.

If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, good news: You already have access to the million-plus songs, curated playlists and stations that Prime Music has to offer. Feeling equal parts happy and emo? Dark Pop will scratch that itch. Tossing and turning in bed stands no chance against Nature Sounds for Sleep.  Or if you’re planning a summer trip, their In Flight playlist series will give you hours of your favorite genre for any car, flight or hotel time.

Prime Music service is now available to Sonos users in UK and Germany.

Ads are nowhere to be found, you can skip tracks as much as you’d like, and you can also download songs and playlists to listen to offline without sending your data plan charges skyrocketing when you're not in your house. That's some serious summertime incentive.

If you're in the UK or Germany, it's simple: Add Amazon Music from the Music Menu and enter your Prime account info. If you’re not a Prime member, Amazon offers a free 30-day trial. To sign up, visit www.amazon.com/primemusic.

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The Evolution of China’s Streaming Revolution

Han Hua
Han Hua, Managing Director of Sonos within China

It’s not news that China is big. Really big. In fact, the portion of the population that most would define as China’s middle class is just shy of the entire population of the United States.

Yep, that big.

With a population of 1.4 billion people and the same total landmass as the U.S., the opportunities for innovators in China's music space are endless. I received my PhD from the University of Nebraska and spent a good amount of time working in the U.S., and while there are certainly differences between the countries, the love for music and good, efficient technology is all the same here in China. And lately, the music streaming industry here has undergone a massive shift.

Amidst that change, I started my role as Managing Director of Sonos within China. I have always wanted to work in a startup environment -- a place with fast growth and a dynamic pace, but without all of the corporate stuff. Plus, as a music lover, it’s great to walk into the office here in Beijing and hear the different playlists that our departments curate each day. (In case you were wondering, there’s a lot of Adele filling the hallways of our Beijing office.)

The Sonos office in Beijing.
The Sonos office in Beijing.

As much as Sonos offers that startup environment, the landscape that we play in -- streaming music -- is like a startup industry in itself.

Streaming music in China

China has always been a very active streaming market. If you look at the overall streaming on-demand market worldwide, the most mature market is Sweden because traditionally it’s been a streaming market, and 80 to 90 percent of people there are paying for streaming music. China also has a very large population of streaming music -- 300 million active monthly users. That’s by far the largest active market in the world.

"China also has a very large population of streaming music -- 300 million active monthly users. That’s by far the largest active market in the world."

Streaming is very popular here, but generally, paid streaming has not been. The paid segment is just a fraction of the total streaming market, and that’s because of a history of piracy on different platforms. There had been no reason for people to pay for music, when they could get it for free.

That’s changing.

An evolving market

In July of 2015, the government decided to clean up the market and issued rules for music services to take down unlicensed songs and albums. That has been positive for the overall market, and the music services acted very quickly to comply. Now, we believe that the piracy is behind us in the industry, and people are really focused on legitimate tracks. That has paved the way for the music services to introduce paid streaming models here in China, creating a very positive trend overall for the industry in the past nine months.

"We believe that the piracy is behind us in the industry, and people are really focused on legitimate tracks."

In terms of the market potential, you really can look at Apple as an example. The last quarterly earnings release says the Greater China region represents 22 to 23 percent of total Apple earnings. That’s how massive the opportunity here is.

Right now in China, there are a handful of big streaming services: QQ Music is one; another is Ocean Music, which houses Kugou Music and Kuwo Music. Ocean Music’s monthly active users combined are more than QQ’s, though QQ Music is better known. The third major streaming group is AliBaba’s music service which includes Xiaomi Music and TTTOPD Music.

Most recently, Apple Music entered into China as a straight paid service at a very reasonable price -- 10 Renmibi, or roughly $1.50 USD per month. The attractive price has removed a barrier for users to adopt the Apple Music service, and people are looking at them and saying: “Wow, if you’re providing a good price, we’re willing to pay!”

The world is yours

As much as I can talk about China specifically, music is truly global. Whether it’s the Adele or Sam Smith-heavy playlists that our Finance department streams into the office on Mondays, or the love our owners have for rock and roll or classical music, it all translates, no matter the country.

MORE: On Sonos, we've got streaming services for days. Check it out.

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How to Build the Perfect Playlist

A lot of people can claim that music runs their lives. It’s an easy and universal thing to love -- and it’s why Sonos makes speakers in the first place. My life really revolves around music, and it has for quite some time.

Eric
Testing out the piano at our Abbey Road Studios (Photo: Niels Van De Walle, Senior Director , EMEA Marketing)

I started playing the piano at the age of four, and my whole life has been about music. I enrolled in a music college at 10 years old, became a session pianist later on, and eventually got my MBA. Making a living as a musician is tough -- hence the MBA -- and after working at record labels for a while, my music-meets-career quest continues here at Sonos, where I run Sonos Studio and its programming.

Home, work, in between: now there’s a soundtrack.

Music is my thing, and it’s kind of become synonymous with my identity among friends and my Sonos colleagues. So much so that I’ve become the defacto playlist guy. Have a dinner party coming up? Ask Eric for a playlist to match the menu. Preparing to run a marathon? Eric will know how to match your pace with BPMs.

Mini set-up for a mini person #newhouse #startearly #nordelectro #rhodes

A photo posted by Eric Karsenty (@rico_nova) on

My two-year-old daughter is even in on the action, making musical requests in the most toddler way possible: Pointing to my records or my speakers and saying “Music! Music!” when she wants to hear something.

I’m OK with this. In fact, I cherish it. It’s silly, but every time someone says “Wow, I love this track” that I exposed them to, it makes me happy. That’s what I love most in life -- sharing music with someone and getting a reaction is great for me.

Check out this math: This is not just three minutes of happy; consider that they might play that song I recommended 20 times more this week. That’s an hour of happiness I just helped provide. Plus, I love the idea of people coming to me and saying “I went to that gig last night of that guy you helped me discover.”

When he heard word of my passion, my boss at Sonos challenged me with a mission to raise the level of music knowledge within our team. And so began my weekly emails. These started as a way to engage my teammates with artists and music in a wide range. It became popular within the team, and so I extended it to the European team. It became more popular with them, and now it’s sent to a long list of Sonos employees around the world.

Big deal, you might be thinking … another email to read.

"That’s what I love most in life -- sharing music with someone and getting a reaction is great for me."

The point is it’s an excuse to engage with people and make them more engaged in music, whether they listen to all the songs I send, or ignore them. I try to have a theme every week -- either something current like Christmas or Mother’s Day or something like that, or something in the news. I recently made a 300 song, all-woman playlist for International Women’s Day, because I think women are the stronger sex in terms of coming up with the right lyrics and harmonies in music.

So, after making hundreds of playlists for myself and for others, I have established some basic rules and commandments that I generally will always follow:

  1. Have a Purpose: I try to be wide in terms of musical genres, so it doesn’t go too niche into one. The last thing you want to do is alienate people, because that makes them hit stop or change the song. For example, I made this playlist recently to put all of my favorite songs from 2016 so far in one place, but you'll see, it has lots of mixed genres.
  2. Time Is Money: I try to make sure my playlists are no longer than an hour and a half, unless it’s a huge one where I want to make a statement. But usually it’s about 20 tracks for a nice listening experience.
  3. Old School, New School: I mix old and new, trying to be very current with things that were just released and with old stuff. Sometimes I try to show correlations between the two, maybe a new track that uses a sample of a 1976 track. You need to remember what’s been done before, and a true artist is really aware of what was done before. It’s about being inspired and creating your own thing based on what you love.

Those three rules are good guidelines for any playlist. What about things to avoid in playlist-land when they’re meant for public consumption? A lot of people tend to have one or two particular genres they like, and they go really hard on them. If you’re really into metal, that’s great, but for this particular task, a whole grindcore playlist might not be the best choice. In terms of genres and eras, that’s essential.

I’ve been making mixtapes since the days of double-cassette dubbing, and I don’t think anyone could argue that there’s never been a better time to not just make a mix or playlist, but to discover new music, too. Streaming services are the ultimate discovery tool. Spotify’s Discover Weekly is the perfect example of offering music discovery based on your listening data. It’s their best own curated playlist in terms of engagement. Even for people like me who listen to obscure stuff and listen all the time, every Monday I discover new music through these.

That’s what’s great about music nowadays: Every week, day, hell, every hour, there’s something new out there. Just make sure you don’t forget about all the older music out there that inspired that new track.

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London’s Secret 7″ Comes to Sonos Studio

Having established itself over five years as one of the key moments in the London art/music calendar, Secret 7” is now in residence at Sonos Studio for 2016. The concept is simple: Secret 7” presses 100 copies each of 7 tracks by the world’s very best musical talent and invites a global collective of creatives to create unique sleeve artwork for each record.

All 700 singles will be exhibited at Secret 7”s new home, Sonos Studio in Shoreditch, London, from 8 April – 1 May 2016. After the public exhibition comes the excitement of the sale, which will take place on Bank Holiday Monday 2 May this year. Music fans, art connoisseurs and collectors alike are invited to buy the singles for £50 each. The only catch is that the buyer won’t know who the record is by, or who has designed the sleeve until they have parted with their cash. Therein lies the secret …

All of the profits from the sales will go to Amnesty International UK, this year’s charity beneficiary.

We caught up with the founder Kevin King to hear more about the exhibition which includes designs from Anish Kapoor, Paul Smith, Stanley Donwood, Robert Beatty, Leif Podhajsky, George Hardie and Pete Fowleramong the 700 total artworks.

Boy checks out London's secret 7"

How did you end up bringing Secret 7" to Sonos Studio?

I first heard about the exciting plans for Sonos Studio at the 2014 exhibition at Mother London in Shoreditch. We knew it wouldn't be ready quite in time for our 2015 show, so we kept in touch and revisited it last summer when planning our 2016 show. Even back then it was still a bit of a building site. I remember we donned hard hats and high vis jackets when we were shown around, but even though it was still a work in progress, the way the team communicated the vision for the space was really exciting. I was familiar with some of the people they were working with to bring it to life too, like the architects Brinkworth, so I felt confident it'd be a special home for Secret 7" once finished.

You've been in residence yourself here for four or five months now, what's the vibe like for working?

Our team has been working in the space a few days a week since December. It's been really valuable to experience the space in terms of planning the exhibition -- working in close proximity to the Sonos Studio team, showing contributors our new home, seeing how the public interact with the space and discovering the many nuances of the building. It's in the same neighbourhood as our charity this year, Amnesty International UK, which has been a bonus too.

"Quite simply, if I were to build our own permanent home for Secret 7" it would look a lot like Sonos Studio."

Why is Sonos Studio such a great space for the exhibition?

Quite simply, if I were to build our own permanent home for Secret 7" it would look a lot like Sonos Studio. It's a lovely place to spend a lot of time in - something you need to properly experience 700 works of art. The space is also really flexible, the listening rooms lend themselves perfectly to Public Records, and we used the workshop to host sleeve-making events throughout January and February with Pete Fowler, The Counter Press and Collage College - it's something we'd always wanted to do, and I'm delighted that a number of sleeves made in the workshop feature in the exhibition. Plus we're able to host a sleepover (!) for Max Richter's 8-hour album and the discussion around artwork for music will feel like it's taking place in the comfortable setting of your front room.

What's happened to the sleeves that were sold in previous years?

Most of the 2,800 records we've produced to date are unaccounted for. This year's 700x will leave our home in a whirlwind few hours on the final day, 2 May, and find new homes. We photograph everyone with their purchases and try to put as many buyers in touch with designers via their details on the authentication slips. The designers really love to know who locked eyes on their one-of-a-kind creation and bought their artwork. We do have a lot of lovely people who have been coming to purchase our records since the first year in 2012. This year we've been profiling a few of them on the blog of our site, and will feature a few more before the end of the show - some have quite the collection now!

Secret 7'' Agenda

Fri 8th April: Opening Day

Sat 9th - Sun 10th & Sat 16th – Sun 17th April: Public Records
Record a live performance straight to vinyl. Engineers cut your 7" on site as you execute your audio masterpiece in real time. Truly one-of-a-kind, just like the sleeves in the exhibition. RSVP by date: 9th - 10th - 16th - 17th.

Tue 19th April: Sleepover
Experience Max Richter’s 8 hour opus Sleep as a sleepover playback at Sonos Studio. Enter the ballot to win one of the 10 places. RSVP HERE

Thu 21st April: Tom Vek hosts Art of the Song panel discussion.
Tom Vek and a panel of guests explore the role of artwork and art direction in the ways music is experienced today, and what role it can play in the future. Part of the D&AD Festival of Art & Design

Mon 2nd May: Sale Day
First come first served, get in the queue early!

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Inside Innovation Hack Week

It started back in March 2012: Two small groups of Sonos engineers gathered in Santa Barbara, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts, each armed with a couple six packs of beer, some snacks, a healthy mix of Sonos products, and their laptops. The goal? To explore the future of Sonos. The result? Innovation Hack Week was born.

Part of my job as Innovation Manager is to work with people to stimulate creative thinking and help drive new ideas to impact the business – and these ideas can be related to products, processes, or best practices. Whether that’s hosting a brainstorm session with a cross-functional group, or connecting one-on-one over an afternoon coffee or Happy Hour beer, ideas can come from anyone at anytime.

A speaker at Innovation Hack Week

What better way to work through ideas than to spend a week refining (or expanding) the idea during Innovation Hack Week? It’s the perfect way for people to take the time to explore what they think is valuable for Sonos.

What Is Innovation Hack Week?

What began back in 2012 as a small hack-a-thon among mostly Sonos software engineers has -- 14 Hack Weeks and over 350 pitches later -- evolved into a quarterly global event for Sonos employees. And as Hack Week has grown, so has the participation; it’s gone from primarily engineers to people throughout the whole company. From PR to the Legal department, marketing to customer care -- it’s all about exploring and pitching ideas, be it with our products, within our walls, or even our culture.


"From PR to the Legal department, marketing to customer care -- it’s all about exploring and pitching ideas ..." 


Another speaker at Innovation Hack Week

So how exactly does Hack Week work, with Sonos’ employees spread all over the world?

During Hack Week, participants usually spend Monday through Thursday on their projects. Demo day is on Friday, and each participant gets about five minutes to pitch their idea to the whole company. Whether they’re remote or in a local office, everyone can watch the live-streamed event and help select a “people’s choice” for their favorite idea. A separate judging panel (usually consisting of at least one executive) chooses a few more “winning” hacks. We’ve had judges from all departments of the company, and a Board member has even participated as a judge.

Thinking of a master plan

So what happens with all these Hack Week ideas? Over 80 Hack Week pitches have made it into our products, our roadmap, or our internal process, and nearly 50 hack week projects have resulted in patent filings. Universal search [the ability to search across all of the music platforms within the Sonos app] was a Hack Week project before it was a feature. So was playing music from Android, multi-household support [so you can sign into your friends’ Sonos], and multi-user per platform [so your Pandora stations and your husband’s can coexist within the app].


"Over 80 Hack Week pitches have made it into our products, our roadmap, or our internal process ..."


Other cool hacks presented included great energy-saving options, some cool Tinder-like features for swiping on the app to like or dislike a song, and even a lunch reviews app for the employees settling into the new Boston location and looking for new lunch options.

Innovation at Sonos

Whether it’s improving our products or our internal Sonos culture, innovation is about encouraging a curious and creative environment, and connecting people and ideas so that knowledge is shared throughout the company. I’m fortunate to be a part of this at Sonos.

Play on, player.

A photo posted by @sonos on

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Six Ways to Hack Your Sound on Sonos

There is plenty you can do with your Sonos beyond simply playing music room-to-room. The only thing required is a little know-how.

Sound garden

Use your Sonos to escape into nature. By setting up two Sonos players in one room, you can experiment with dueling rain sounds and birds chirping across the room, waves crashing against some Bob Marley, or mixing thunderstorms with nighttime crickets. Might we suggest browsing TuneIn for everything from chirrups to sussurations, paired with your favorite streaming service for the accompanying tunes.

BYOM

Love your best friend, but hate his taste in music? If you both have Sonos, now you can BYO. As soon as you walk in your friend’s home, just connect to the WiFi network to add your own good music to the queue. Once you’re on the WiFi, open the Sonos app and blast your best playlists to up the competitive ante. If your friend is lacking in variety, select “Add Music Services” and help a brother out, or select “On this iPhone/Device” within your music menu to queue up any track already on your phone. The only thing you’ll need to get creative with is getting the WiFi password (and hey, we’re sure you’ll think of something).

A photo posted by @sonos on

Family time from afar

Grandparents or aunts and uncles far away? Using Garage Band or another audio recording program, ask them to record an MP3 of them reading a nighttime story or singing a song to your kids. Once they send the file along, sync it with your iTunes or media library and load it on your Sonos (you can also use the “On this iPhone/Device” feature). Nothing like watching your kids fall asleep to the sound of their grandparents’ voices reading them a story.

Local sports, wherever you are

Huge Sox fan living in California? Try this hack. Turn on the local sports radio station for your favorite team on the PLAYBAR from within the Sonos App (TuneIn Radio). Then, tune into the game on TV while enjoying commentary from your favorite hometown announcer. No matter your location, you’ll be watching the game like a local—yelling at the umps and all.

Pet sounds

Your pets need stimulation and company while you’re out, so orchestrate a day of good tunes or talk radio for them. Simply set a few alarms and sleep timers to entertain them with whatever you choose. Fido will thank you.

Swipe right

Did you know the new PLAY:5s have swipe functionality built in? Tap the top of the speaker and swipe right or left to skip to the next or listen again to previous tracks.

Got more tips you use? There are plenty more out there, so share your favorites via the Sonos Community to spread the wealth.

Les mer

Navigating an Industry In Transition, Investing in the Future of Music

At Sonos, we’ve always taken a long-term view. We design products to look and sound great in your home for a target of ten years, and to get better in that time. We made a bet that streaming would fundamentally change the way we enjoy music, and we organized ourselves to deliver the best experiences for listening out loud. We chose to fill the most space with the fewest speakers rather than to make the most gadgets for the smallest space; to deliver lasting experiences over disposable technology; to provide access to all the streaming services in the world, not just the most popular ones; and we chose to develop our products with WiFi instead of Bluetooth, which was far more challenging for our engineers but superior for our owners. These are all choices we stand by today. While often difficult in the moment, they ultimately serve Sonos, our partners and our customers well in the long run.

Navigating an Industry In Transition, Investing in the Future of Music
John MacFarlane

Today, the entire music ecosystem is in transition – ultimately for the better – and so is Sonos. We have a good idea of how this will evolve over time, and we’ve never been more bullish on what it means for music fans. But we also know that to continue to innovate and bring compelling new experiences to market, we need to invest heavily against the opportunity.

“We’re making a decision to substantially and confidently increase our investment in the future of music.”

Building a company capable of sustained innovation, steady growth and future vitality requires that we run the business profitably. We’re not chasing short-term gains or answering to impatient investors. Rather, we’re making a decision to substantially and confidently increase our investment in the future of music.

The short term – and very difficult – consequence of this decision is we’ve had to make some changes to our team. We do this with a heavy heart, as we are in the process of letting go of some Sonos employees who have played important roles getting us to this point. We wish them well, and we’re doing everything we can to make their transition as smooth as possible.

As we look to the future there are two big areas that we’re leaning into: paid streaming services, and voice control.

Paid streaming

For the first ten years of Sonos, we focused on music lovers who had ripped music libraries on their computers, and helped them listen to these collections around their home.

We observed with great interest as the music ecosystem started to first test and then to organize around paid streaming music services. We pioneered the integration of these services starting with Rhapsody, Napster, Spotify, Google Play Music, and many others. At first, these services were confined to specific countries, but that improved over time as the labels began to see the success of the paid subscription model.

Then this past year, when Apple announced its entry with Apple Music, we saw and helped drive a dramatic acceleration of paid music subscriptions. With Apple’s influence, the entire ecosystem – labels, artists, management – began to embrace and advance streaming all over the world.

Now, this shift is irreversibly started, and everyone in the ecosystem is adjusting to a world of streaming services. The Beatles library, now available on all the streaming services, is a perfect example of how labels are leaning into streaming.

The shift is not complete as a few laggards continue to cling to fading business models, but it's inevitable now. The only question that remains is how fast the growth of paid subscription services will be.

Now the path forward for the music industry is crystal clear, so too is our path at Sonos. We’re doubling down on our long-held conviction that streaming music is the dominant form of consumption now and in the future. We believe that listeners will grow increasingly dissatisfied with the solutions they’ve cobbled together for listening at home.

Now that music fans can finally play anything anywhere, we’re going to focus on building incredibly rich experiences that were all but unimaginable when we started the company.” 

Now that music fans can finally play anything anywhere, we’re going to focus on building incredibly rich experiences that were all but unimaginable when we started the company, and will be at the vanguard of what it means to listen to music at home. This is a significant long-term development effort against which we’re committing significant resources.

Voice: A simple and easy path to music in the home ...

We’re fans of what Amazon has done with Alexa and the Echo product line. Voice recognition isn't new; today it’s nearly ubiquitous with Siri, OK Google, and Cortana. But the Echo found a sweet spot in the home and will impact how we navigate music, weather, and many, many other things as developers bring new ideas and more content to the Alexa platform.

Alexa/Echo is the first product to really showcase the power of voice control in the home. Its popularity with consumers will accelerate innovation across the entire industry. What is novel today will become standard tomorrow. Here again, Sonos is taking the long view in how best to bring voice-enabled music experiences into the home. Voice is a big change for us, so we’ll invest what’s required to bring it to market in a wonderful way.

Our mission is to fill every home with music. I start every day by asking myself how we can do that better, and how we can serve our music lovers better now and over the long haul. We know the future is one where paid streaming and voice control play significant roles, and we’re committed to running a sustainable, profitable business so that we can fund innovation in these and other areas for decades to come.

These last few weeks have been tough for everyone at Sonos. We’re a tight bunch, so saying goodbye is particularly painful. But I know that making these changes is the right thing to do for Sonos as we look to the future.

Les mer

Listening Out Loud with Zane Lowe and Beats 1

Now at the helm of Apple Music’s Beats 1, Zane Lowe was formerly the host of BBC’s Radio 1. We caught up with him at Sonos Studio for the final St. Vincent’s Mixtape Delivery Service show to learn more about Beats 1 and its place in global music listening culture.

What were some of the driving factors for you wanting to go to Beats 1?

Streaming is creating very functional and very direct access to a lot of music but I’ve always believed that the recommendation part of discovery is best served on a personal level. The idea of being part of a community and listening at the same time has enormous value for people. I think that discovery is more exciting when you feel like you are a part of something than when you're on your own. And so I was excited by the idea of developing a place where we could utilize the power and the immediacy of streaming but build a community around that experience.

Zane Lowe

How do you think Apple Music and Beats 1 are changing the consumption and curation of music?

When I first started in radio I was at a regional London-based station and then I went to work at a national U.K station and I was somewhere that reached the whole United Kingdom and so I started talking about wanting to reach the world. Now for the first time I feel like we can actually reach the world. I know that every time that Beats 1 is being broadcast or every time that Apple Music is being used, it’s being used by people who have instant access to it no matter where they are without any restrictions or boundaries, without any geo-blocking whatsoever. It’s as easy for them to hear it in the middle of nowhere as it is for them to hear it a mile from where we are broadcasting and that feels truly global and truly international to me. And we’re starting to notice the impact that is having.

Do you think programming is becoming more valuable as technological advancement allows for more exploration and discovery?

I’ve made the most of technology in music. I’ve sat down and listened to unlimited amounts of songs that have been provided to me because technology made it possible. But I also find myself on a daily basis listening to Beats 1 or in fact my friends or family and hearing their opinion about things, and I find that to be an important part of being passionate about music. The idea of being able to share with your friends and share with the world something you care about. To me, technology is providing us with the chance to do that on a bigger scale than ever before.

How does the communal aspect of listening to music affect your family life?

My kids are at that golden age where they are discovering music on their own terms…they want to know an artist, they want to know all about David Bowie, they wanna know all about Eminem. The conversation about music in my house has become very loud and the moment when you can debate with your son about the merits of a piece of music and have him emphatically argue his point is a magical moment.

Watch Zane interview St. Vincent in the video below.

Listen to St. Vincent Mixtape Delivery Service on Beats 1 / Apple Music and visit Beats1 on Tumblr 

Les mer

Wolvesmouth Pushes Food and Sound to the Limit

What do painting, snowboarding and really loud music have to do with the culinary arts? We'll let Wolvesmouth's chef Craig Thornton explain.

Craig Thornton grew up in the northwestern corner of Arizona and California’s Riverside County. He was a snowboarder who came of age listening to self-made bands like Page 99 and BurzumOrchid and Joy Division up and down the West Coast. “I was going to shows with groups of friends whenever I could. For a long time, I was more into music and snowboarding than anything,” said Craig. “That’s what we did five days a week — we’d figure out how to go to shows.”

But about 15 years ago, Craig got inspired. He craved the blood, sweat and tears that go into starting something from nothing and needing to prove yourself. The kind of thing that he saw from his favorite bands, but using his own non-musical skills. Aside from snowboarding, Craig had always been a painter, specializing with oil on glass — and turns out he is a pretty good cook, too. After putting in his time at culinary school and the restaurant world, he was ready. Craig had watched his favorite bands play the same small spaces for years on their own terms, steadily earning the recognition of more and more people. Now, he’s using that model to forge his own path on the fringes of LA’s booming food scene.

Enter: Wolvesmouth

Wolvesmouth - Serving Food

Nothing about eating at Craig’s restaurant, Wolvesmouth, is a typical dining experience. Thornton wouldn’t even describe it as a restaurant, really. It’s more like a dinner party crossed with an art installation. For seven years, Wolvesmouth was run out of a taxidermy-filled loft space in Los Angeles’s Arts District, and in 2015 it moved to Thornton’s small home on the border of the Los Feliz neighborhood. All 18 to 20 diners at the nightly meal sit around one long wooden table in a room open to the kitchen, with everyone partaking in the same nine or ten course dinner.

"With dishes, I serve the heaviest and extreme dishes right up front. It’s like the equivalent of going in with double bass and screaming guitars. You’re going for it right away..." 

And the food? When Craig constructs each night’s tasting menu, he does it as if he’s sequencing a record. “If I were in a band, I would want my album to start off with double bass drums,” he says. “In your face. Huge.”

Wolvesmouth - Dish #1
Wolvesmouth - Dish #2

That means tossing out the traditional approach of gently ascending from the lightest dish of the night to the heaviest. Instead, he goes hard right from the first plate. “I serve the heaviest and most extreme dishes right up front. It’s like the equivalent of going in with double bass and screaming guitars. You’re going for it right away, and it sets the tone immediately: Oh fuck, we’re in it now,” Craig explains. It pushes you into the Wolvesmouth world faster, and you know immediately that you’ve got no choice but to go along for the ride.

He might begin with a pulsating black and white construction composed of ribeye cap, creamed kimchi, squid ink sabayon, beef tongue, Asian pear, and vermouth. Something intense and unlike anything else that has touched your palate. So what does that sound like? “Someone like Trent Reznor, or Nine Inch Nails. You go to a Nine Inch Nails show and they have you in a whole different world immediately. Visuals, music and food, those are the things I put together to put you into a different world,” says Craig.

Working further with the sounds and space of the environment, Thornton designs the experience of eating at Wolvesmouth to stimulate all five of the senses. “Everything that I do now asks: ‘How do you have taste, touch, sound, sight, scent all enacted just before it’s too much?’”

A Sensory Experience

Wolvesmouth - Choosing Music

For several years Thornton has worked with Sonos, but at the end of 2015, they partnered for their biggest project yet. During two weeks of meals for friends and guests, Thornton took full advantage of his own space and what Sonos equipment can do.

The experience started inside a neighboring storefront that Thornton recently annexed, where the bathroom was transformed to replicate the décor of the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks, while music from the cult TV show played on a loop. Guests lounged before dinner inside a monochromatic room where videos of alligators were projected on fully tactile alligator leather upholstery amidst a collection of alligator skulls, while listening to songs selected from episodes of “The Alligator Hour,” the Beats1 radio show hosted by the Queen of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, one of Thornton’s pals.

From there, guests were invited to explore the courtyard, which had been transformed into a swamp setting, then down into the house’s basement where there were oysters, a fully-plumed peacock along with a flying and perched peacock, and moss on the walls, as lush albums like Beck’s Sea Change played on the stereo. Once the meal began, everyone passed an iPad around, adding his or her own selections to the Sonos queue. At the end of the meal, diners traveled down through a hatch into a small space called the "sound bath" where they absorbed the intense sub frequencies of drone metal masters Sunn O))).

“Food and music are the main two components where, if it's not there or right, then the entire things falls apart.”

Giving the diners control of the music during the meal was a rare choice for Thornton. Most nights he elaborately manages the soundscape, creating a playlist on the fly suited to the particular personalities gathered around his big table. If most of them are strangers, he’ll start mellow to ease them into the experience. If they show up ready to party, he’ll increase the tempo and volume right from the start. “Each group has a certain energy, so you have to figure out what the energy is,” he says.

Wolvesmouth - Still #3

But it’s obvious he couldn’t fully ditch the painter in him. Oils are a medium that require you to have the final image in your head before you even begin; Craig’s complex dishes and elaborate presentations reveal this artistry. “I like starting with an end idea and then having to work backwards,” he says. “It makes you have to visualize what you want even more. You think harder about what you want to do before you do it.”

As Thornton has more opportunities to indulge and experiment with new ideas as a chef and artist, he recognizes that the core of what he does remains what people are putting into their mouths and what they are listening to. Those are the key ingredients. “Food and music are the main two components where, if they’re not there or right, then the entire things falls apart,” he says. “You’re kind of going on this roller coaster, and you’re using the music and the food to get you there.”

Got Plans This Weekend?

If you’re in the L.A. area and want to try and snag a rare seat, you can submit your information to an email database (which now includes between 40 and 50 thousand names). Craig and the Wolvesmouth crew will send out dates for when they’ll be cooking, and you can then submit a request and cross your fingers for an invite. There are usually two seatings a night and each menu is unique, with exact dishes rarely (if ever) repeated. Which feels just about right for Craig’s style.

Les mer

David Bowie and Me: Sonos Staff Memories

With the passing of David Bowie, many Sonos staffers, from the CMO in Boston to product teams around the globe, share fond memories about the music legend's impact on their lives. Here are a few...

Cullen Harwood, Regional Sales Manager
Cullen Harwood, Regional Sales Manager

Great music, like great art, stands the test of time. While trends evolve, pants get tighter, hairstyle and color(s) vary, music and the legendary artists who create it have the potential to be eternal. For me, David Bowie was the ultimate representation of this.

My youngest brother is 10 years my junior, and I have acted as a father figure to him. Riley is now the quintessential music lover, but when one day years ago he asked me if I had heard of The Rolling Stones, I realized my role as stand-in parent needed to include some major music education too.

When he was 10, I gifted him my CD collection. At 13, I handed down an old iPod. When he turned 16, I gave him a record player.

"Regardless of our different journeys to discovering Bowie, the impact was the same: a shared love for an awe-inspiring legend who created a connection between mother, son, and older brother."

I never really listened to David Bowie growing up. Not that I didn’t like him, but “Space Oddity” was about the extent of my knowledge. I knew he was big, and I knew he was Ziggy Stardust, but that was all. The same was not true for Riley, whose love for Bowie was stoked by our mother.

Something about David Bowie lit a fire in him.

In the fall of 2014, a limited number of venues displayed “David Bowie Is…, a compilation of his life, art and music. We became first-time members of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in order to get preview tickets. In the weeks preceding the opening, I noticed my “Top Plays” on Spotify became a Bowie primer. I took note — listening, studying, and discovering an artist that my YOUNGER brother had “discovered.”

Mom, Riley and I piled into the car, waited in line, took the audio tour, viewed live concert footage and saw the costumes. My mother was floored that she remembered her misspent youth watching Bowie perform live on SNL. My brother was floored because of his ability to see many of his idol's artifacts in the flesh. I was floored by how short Bowie was. As I drove us home from the museum, I was struck by the impact one artist had on three generations. Regardless of our different journeys to discovering Bowie, the impact was the same: a shared love for an awe-inspiring legend who created a connection between mother, son, and older brother.

Together Riley and I watched Labryinth and The Man Who Fell to Earth. When I showed Riley a video performance of Beck re-imagining “Sound and Vision,” he insisted that I use it for Playbar demos. If his Jesuit high school didn’t forbid it, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Riley sporting Bowie orange hair right now.

We can be heroes, just for one day.” While he will never know the impact he had on my relationship with my brother, Bowie will be our hero for much longer than one day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tgcc5V9Hu3g


Mike Demers, Sr. Program Manager, Go to Market

I can’t think of a single person who has had a more profound impact on my father than David Bowie. Having seen him live dozens of times dating back to 1972 at the Music Hall in Boston, Bowie provided the soundtrack to his childhood and helped to shape some of his fondest memories. We lost a legend but the memories are forever and the persona is immortal. RIP David Bowie!

And thanks for this playlist, Dad.


Joni Hoadley, Group Product Manager

Joni Hoadley
Joni Hoadley

I was riding my banana seat bike, with an AM radio dangling from big, shiny handlebars, listening to music. A song came on that stopped me in my tracks: David Bowie’s “Fame.” Although I was only 6 years old, it stirred something deep inside me that inspired a love of music, especially glam rock. I grew up listening to all kinds of music, but I always came back to glam and Bowie.

"Although I was only 6 years old, it stirred something deep inside me that inspired a love of music, especially glam rock."

One of the fun things I get to do at my job at Sonos is pick code names for our software releases. Back in 2011 when we decided to create the Sonos Controller for iPad, the code name we chose was named after the man himself, Bowie. Following that release, we immediately started working on the Sonos Controller for Android. Given the cosmic nature of the name Android, we chose the code name Ziggy, after his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust.
Today, we have filled our office with the many sounds and moods of David Bowie, and are listening with he love and admiration we have for him.


Shiloh Jones, Voice and Data Engineer

I read the news while laying in bed and gasped. I hoped it was a hoax — a bad report maybe — but once confirmed I felt a deep loss, akin to losing a lifelong friend.

How can I feel so attached to a man I never met? A complete stranger, someone I never knew. But the connection is there, and so is the sorrow caused by the great void his death has left. Then it struck me: David Bowie was no stranger. He exposed his soul in every song, so we have gotten to know him and watch him evolve over the years and albums. He was also a part of my life -- road trips with his music on the radio, singing along to every word of Ziggy Stardust in the shower, throwing back a few beers at a dive bar and belting out my best rendition of “Under Pressure” with a friend, and listening to Space Oddity in my bedroom feeling cold like Major Tom. Where his music was, Bowie was there.

I read somewhere to stay positive because the universe fills the voids that others leave behind, yet I am having a hard time believing anyone can fill this one. We felt every note you expressed. You floated away Mr. Bowie, and we are all feeling blue.

And there’s nothing I can do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psYQMY69gLo


Eric Karsenty, Partnership Marketing, EMEA

Eric-Karsenty
Eric-Karsenty

The first Bowie track I ever heard was Alladin Sane. The piano is aggressive, dissonant, and just before you can’t take any more of it, it magically blends back into the rest of the track. This idea of juxtaposing tough and gentle, as well as creating beauty in chaos, has always been at the center of my own musical approach.

BMB … Bjork, Miles and Bowie, were my holy trinity when I was a teenager. As a young musician, I always thought of them and told myself that imagination is the only limitation. Always exploring without fear and reinventing yourself by collaborating with others.

"BMB … Bjork, Miles and Bowie, were my holy trinity when I was a teenager."

Bowie also taught me that I could be multiple, while remaining true to myself, which is an essential message when you’re a teenager.

I found in Bowie’s music that groove that I could only hear in a handful of other rock musicians of his generation. (Dropping Let’s Dance in between Earth Wind and Fire and George Duke in a DJ set works like a treat!) I was impressed by his ability to always be present without forcing us to listen to him, to watch him. He was delicate.

His last album has now gotten a lot deeper. “Look up here, I’m in heaven,” he sings on the beautiful Lazarus.

Thank you for the music, R.I.P.

Les mer

Wild and Weird: Remembering Lemmy and Bowie

@matt_sabbath ??⚡️??

A photo posted by Joy Howard (@joyrocker) on

When Skynyrd’s plane went down, my sister stayed home from school and cried all day. I wanted to do the same thing yesterday: stay home from work and weep. David Bowie died two short weeks after Lemmy Kilmister. From my perspective, it should have been a day of national mourning.

But we did work. Even at Sonos, we don’t take a day off when one of the greats like David Bowie passes away. And that’s okay, because we’re working as hard as we can every day to fill your home with music. This mission matters to me because of heroes like Bowie and Lemmy. Without them, our lives might be longer, but they would most certainly be a lot less wild and weird.

 

The Wild

As a bass player, Geezer Butler was my inspiration. However, once I started singing, Lemmy became more interesting. You would think there are a million singing bass players to admire, but outside of Noel Redding on Axis: Bold as Love, Sting, Paul McCartney and Geddy Lee left me cold. So, yeah- Geezer, Lemmy, Kim Gordon …

A photo posted by Joy Howard (@joyrocker) on

Then I grew up. I went to work. And I almost forgot about Lemmy until my daughter was born and we named her Elsa. When she was a week old, my metalhead husband’s friend gave her a Motorhead shirt. It didn’t fit, but we stuck her in it anyway, and we’ve called her Elsaspades ever since. She’s 10 now, but she still proudly rocks it even though it stops about an inch above her belly button.

Why do we condone such naval-baring inappropriateness? Because we believe in Lemmy Kilmister, that’s why. And we don’t ever want to forget him. He more or less constitutionally refused to bow to the conventions of adulthood and now of mortality (egad! he smoked!), and that’s something to celebrate. We never want to acquiesce, and – even though we want her to get good grades and steer clear of illicit substances – we don’t want her to either.

Though I’ve never personally woken up bright and early for Saturday morning mom duty with a wicked hangover much less gone to work with one, IF I had I’d call that an homage to Lemmy. He never stopped raging. Overkill was part of his “technique.” He rocked ‘til the very end, and I’m old enough now to know that doing both requires the stamina of a God.

The Weird

Great first day at Patagonia Kid's Club. #thenewkid @patagonia #patagonia #gocdc

A photo posted by Joy Howard (@joyrocker) on

They say a baby changes everything, and in some ways it does. It has to. But in other, deeper ways, it doesn’t. Why in the hell am I writing about this on the occasion of David Bowie’s death? Because David Bowie made my husband who he is — a lover of all things deviant and strange in art, music and culture — and a baby didn’t change that. In fact, David Bowie made her who she is, too.

Kids, especially little girls, love glam rock. It’s all about glitter, face paint and cool hair. You can even let them wear high heels without ever having to feel like you’re betraying either your rock or feminist ideals. Admittedly it was a bit weird when we realized we all had the same a-symm hairdos, but there are worse things to inherit than good taste.

But then there is the parental reckoning – that dreaded day your kid wakes up and realizes for the first time that you’ve turned her into a “weirdo.” But Uncle Bowie has a fix for that, too. You know why? Because he made being weird infinitely cooler than being straight and narrow, and no one can dispute that. Ever.

This past Friday night, my husband was telling me about the beautiful and strange videos Bowie posted. “It’s awesome that he’s gone so dark and off the deep end. It’s really good and out there.” I hadn’t seen them yet, but today, I’m reminded that’s how it’s going to go for all of us: dark and off the deep end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-JqH1M4Ya8

"As long as “growing up” represents the soul-destroying drudgery that’s inimical to art and love and life, then I’m proud to give it the finger on Lemmy’s behalf and a hard stare and bemused smirk on Bowie’s."

Wild & Weird

Someday we’ll all be killed by death. As a cynical self-referential generation that never wants to grow up, we make fun of ourselves for being middle-aged adolescents. But as long as “growing up” represents the soul-destroying drudgery that’s inimical to art and love and life, then I’m proud to give it the finger on Lemmy’s behalf and a hard stare and bemused smirk on Bowie’s.

Have a great morning y’all. And after you’ve listened to Bowie’s farewell, might I suggest “Killed By Death” followed by Hendrix “If 6 was 9” … “Wave your freak flag high. Wave on wave on.”

MORE: Sonos staffers around the globe reflect on the loss of a legend and the effect David Bowie has had on their lives.

Les mer

#ListenMore in 2016 Challenge: Are You Up For It?

#ListenMore in 2016 Challenge: Are You Up For It?

Phewf! 2015 was a crazy year in music. Justin Bieber, Diplo and Skrillex made a hit. Ryan Adams covered Taylor Swift's 1989 and it was awesome. Fetty Wap introduced trap queens to the mainstream, Silentó made us want to nae nae, and Adele reminded us all of our first heartbreak (and we cried more than a little bit about it).

And the momentum is only growing in 2016. With so much goodness happening in music, this January we’re inviting you to step up your listening game. Expand your sonic boundaries. It’s a new year, we’ve got new ways to listen and millions of songs -- old and new -- waiting for you at the touch of a screen.

Join us this month as we take on a new listening challenge every day for the month of January. As you play along, tweet us @sonos with your selection using #ListenMore and check back here for inspiration and to see what your fellow Sonos listeners are playing. We’ll curate the best of the best (guilty pleasures encouraged).

Make music your 2016 New Year’s resolution -- we’ll keep you on task.

#ListenMore Challenge

Jan 1: Start the new year with an album or playlist on a music service you’ve never used before. Perhaps 2016 is your year to de-stress. Give CalmRadio a look. We've got services for days.

Jan 2: An album released in 1950. John Coltrane's Blue Train and Miles Davis' Kind of Blue (1957 and 1959, respectively) would be mighty good choices. Jazz not your thing? One word: Elvis.

Jan 3: An album in a foreign language. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b4NDEpRJBQ

Jan 4: An album released when you were in high school.

Jan 5: An album released in 1960. The options are limitless -- Dylan, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Stones ... pick any of those out of a hat, and your day just greatly improved.

Jan 6: Your favorite pop album of all time.

Jan 7: An album with no lyrics. Might we suggest Aphex Twin's Select Ambient Works V. 2?

Jan 8: An album released in 1970. How about slowing things down with some Cat Stevens or Simon and Garfunkel?

Jan 9: Your favorite album to use as your alarm. There are two types of people in this world: Those whose alarm music needs to be chill and quiet, and those who need blaringly loud music to rise and shine. For those in need of some soothing morning jams, what could be better than Morrissey's crooning ("Last Night, Maudlin Street" perhaps?) to start the day? Or if you need to be audibly shaken out of bed, Public Enemy's "Louder Than a Bomb" seems apropos. Just don't forget to set it the night before.

Jan 10: Your favorite hip-hop album.

Jan 11: An album released in 1980.

Jan 12: Your favorite guilty pleasure song. "Call Me Maybe"? "Since U Been Gone"? Biebs? No shame here -- wear it proud.

Jan 13: Your favorite love song. There's no shortage of love songs out there. Perhaps start with Marvin Gaye's Let's Get it On or Sexual Healing. Or hey -- for you this may end up being something like Love Stinks by The J. Geils Band. That's cool. Crank it.

Jan 14: An album released in 1990.

Jan 15: An album by an actor turned musician. This might be the toughest challenge of the month, and will earn you extra cred depending on your answer.

Jan 16: Your favorite album to listen to while cooking. Music and cooking is something we applaud. Do you let your recipe determine your soundtrack? Or do you have a go-to band/genre while cooking? How about a little "Chop Suey" by System of a Down?

Jan 17: An album released in 2000. 

Jan 18: Your favorite song to turn a party up. When you want to make things lively, sometimes all it takes is the right song at the right time. What's your jam?

Jan 19: An album by a solo musician who used to be in a band or group. You could go tried and true with Beyonce, JT or Paul McCartney. But we dare you to aim for the deeper cuts, with something like David Lee Roth's Crazy from the Heat, or, if you remember Tony! Toni! Tone! from the 90s, you'll be happy to know that Rafael Saadiq went out on his own and made some sweet, sweet music.

Jan 20: An album released in 2010.

Jan 21: Your favorite songs or album to listen to when it’s snowing. Let's do some snow wordplay. The Clash's "White Riot," Black Sabbath's "Snowblind," Foreigner's "Cold as Ice" ... keep it going.

Jan 22: The first album you ever bought. ... and what medium was it? Cassette? Vinyl? CD?
Jan 23: Your favorite album released in 2016, so far.

Jan 24: Your favorite album to listen to while dancing around the house. Have yourself a Tom Cruise in Risky Business moment -- song choice and pants are your call.

Jan 25: Your favorite jazz album.

Jan 26: A song that your entire household can jam to.

Jan 27: An album that reminds you of someone. Hello -- it's Adele calling. She is declaring this category hers.

Jan 28: Your favorite movie soundtrack. Breakfast Club, Grease, Good Will Hunting, or anything produced by Hans Zimmer will do the trick.

Jan 29: An album you love from a genre of music you don’t like. Paging all indie rockers with a soft spot for One Direction.

Jan 30: A song inspired by your home (country, state, or town). Hopefully Sufjan Stevens has gotten to your state for this one, and all New Jersey residents are required by law to choose Bruce Springsteen.

Jan 31: An album by your favorite new artist. "New" can mean new to the scene, or even new to you.

Les mer

The Beatles Come Home for the Holidays

Giles

This is massive.

At last, the most popular music catalog of all time -- every album from The Beatles -- will be available for streaming globally across all services beginning at midnight on December 24. This seachange could be the final shift in the way people listen to music. Except it’s more than a change in tide -- it’s the biggest wave the music world has seen of late.

The Beatles are the most influential pop band in music history, and it makes complete sense that they should be accessible to all music lovers all of the time.

But why now?

It’s clear that streaming is how most listeners are now enjoying their favorite songs. It made no sense to deprive the world of some of the greatest music ever recorded. Now The Beatles can be discovered by a new generation. And make no mistake, they are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago -- back when John, Paul, George and Ringo began working hand-in-hand with my father in the studio.

From Vinyl to Digital Streaming

The very same microphone that captured John Lennon’s voice in Abbey Road Studios sits there exactly as it was on the day.
The very same microphone that captured John Lennon’s voice in Abbey Road Studios sits there exactly as it was on the day.

Getting to this point has taken years. I agreed with Apple Corps CEO Jeff Jones and Universal’s Lucian Grange that The Beatles needed to be on all streaming services if they were to reach a new generation of music fans. I’ve been making sure that the Beatles’ music sounds as good as it possibly can, because there is no reason why listening to any music in the home shouldn’t be as good as it ever was.

"I have had the privilege of being able to listen to The Beatles original tapes at Abbey Road, and they sound as fresh today as they were when The Beatles sang in the studio."

The magic of this moment isn’t lost on me. Sitting at the Abbey Road studios with a Sonos speaker playing back musical history, it makes me think of how lucky we are today. I have had the privilege of being able to listen to The Beatles original tapes at Abbey Road, and they sound as fresh today as they were when The Beatles sang in the studio. Recording in some ways freezes time. The very same microphone that captured John Lennon’s voice sits there exactly as it was on the day, and now, through Sonos, it can be streamed directly into your home without any other process being involved.

My dream is for people to experience the same hi-fidelity as I experience at Abbey Road. With this clarity comes a much stronger emotional connection to the music.

Creating a Timeless Sound

Sir George Martin With the Beatles
Sir George Martin With the Beatles (Photo: Courtesy of Abbey Road Studios)

Despite what some people might think based on my dad’s relationship with the band, I didn’t really grow up around the Beatles. I was, coincidentally, born on John Lennon’s birthday while they were recording Abbey Road just before they broke up. I was aware that my dad was a music producer and had worked with a band, but when I was a kid he was recording America and Jeff Beck. I grew up knowing Paul McCartney and his kids (we are all friends today) as my father worked with Paul on solo albums and Live and Let Die, but it wasn’t until I created the Love show that I really became connected to the Beatles professionally.

“Time has shown that The Beatles are unique, and no other band has sold anywhere near as many records, nor has had such a huge fan base.”

Time has shown that The Beatles are unique, and no other band has sold anywhere near as many records, nor has had such a huge fan base. Despite the age of the records, they still sound as fresh -- even fresher now that the albums have been remastered. Every recording is a performance. Nothing is adjusted, put in time or in tune. The sound of The Beatles is the sound of four very individual characters creating great music with a great producer at the helm.

I wanted to make sure that The Beatles music sounded as good as it possibly could for streaming. There is no reason anymore why music lovers can’t have great sound in their home, and I wanted to make sure that all of the streaming services were receiving the music in the right way.

Beatles records
Despite the age of the records, they still sound as fresh — even fresher now that the albums have been remastered.

I had the privilege of remixing The Beatles 1 album earlier this year. While I was working on the tracks, I was also helping develop the new PLAY:5 for Sonos. In the control room of Abbey Road’s studio 3, I’d have the mixes set up while I turned the live area of the studio into a living room. I wanted to make sure that the new mixes sounded as great in the home as they do in the studio. The key to making a great speaker is to break down the barrier between the studio and the listener at home.

This Christmas Eve, Come Together

So what should you play first now that the entire catalog is available? Since it’s Christmas, I think “All You Need Is Love” makes sense. It was the first piece of music ever broadcast via satellite, so it’s only right that fans stream that first! “Something” is a great George song, but for listening pleasure I’d recommend the second half of Abbey Road.

If you want to really go deep, “A Day in The Life” is about as interesting a listen as you can have. It’s such a complex but beautiful song. Listen to it and think of it as a four track, which means you have four “goes” to make the record. First up on track one, John plays guitar and sings a guide track, Paul plays piano, Ringo plays maracas (shaker) and George plays bongos. This is the foundation of the track, all played live and unedited (a performance). Then Paul and Ringo go back in the studio and play drums and bass along with this backing track to create track two. You can hear these two tracks on either side in the stereo version. On the third track, John records his remarkable vocal with a tape delay on his voice. Finally, my father scores a symphony orchestra playing massive crescendo on the fourth track. An extraordinarily complicated record made in a very simple and economic way. Oh, and they did use all four tracks for the final piano chord at the end.

I’m not sure there will be a band like The Beatles ever again. I’d love to think there will be. The fact that The Beatles had three very strong songwriters in the band makes them unique, and their output was extraordinary. Often they would record and finish four songs in a day. The landscape has changed. Image is everything, but there’s so much talent and love for music, that you never know who might be out there. In fact, the very last line of the last Beatles song ever recorded is a good metaphor for it all: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

As long as people love music, the possibilities are endless. And now there’s even more love to be spread with this historic release.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8dooVupRSc

Header photo: ©Apple Corps Ltd.

Les mer

Updated Rhapsody Beta Now on Sonos

How do you listen?

That’s what Darryl Wood, VP of Engineering at Rhapsody, and his team of engineers wants to know. Not how does a software developer think you listen, or how does a record label think you listen, but how do you – yes, you, the one reading this article -- listen.

And after a whole lot of data sifting, analyzing the zeros and ones and talking to users about what they want from their streaming music service, the new Rhapsody beta is ready for you to test on Sonos -- and it’s pretty awesome.

“Having access to products like Sonos means people are more likely to listen at home. The opportunities are endless right now to access your music.”

“We’ve been doing this for a long time,” Darryl explains. “We have 13 years’ worth of data…especially [from] the last 5 years.” And that data, coupled with all the real feedback from Rhapsody loyalists and newbies alike, has helped lead to updates including:

Higher Audio Quality
AKA the highest quality audio on Rhapsody ever, at AAC @ 320 Kbps of kick ass sound. No doubt you’ll hear the difference once you pop out your earbuds at the end of a long commute and turn on your Sonos.

Sonos Spotlights
Rhapsody has curated content that’s ideal for home listening, just for Sonos users.

Perfect Playlists
The new Beta will allow Rhapsody users to browse for playlists by Genre, Mood, and Theme.

Custom Radio
Create custom ad-free radio stations based on a song or artist. Also, for some armchair traveling, tune-in to your favorite live radio stations from around the world.

Rhapsody icon

Gabriela Uribe Junkin, who runs partnerships at Rhapsody and has been with the company since 1997, has seen the Rhapsody and Sonos digital music partnership evolve from the start of it all. One thing she’s noticed along the way? Today, people can enjoy music whenever and wherever they are with a limitless catalog of music. “Having access to products like Sonos means people are more likely to listen at home. The opportunities are endless right now to access your music.”

With today’s update, Gabriela explains, Rhapsody took a look at the home listening experience and the idea of listening out loud (a concept we’re pretty fond of). This led to updates that make it easier than ever for you to access themes and moods that set the right tone in any and every room of your home, as well as enhanced audio features that ensure the truest, highest quality sound possible.

“Rhapsody continuously evaluates the best way to deliver high audio quality as efficiently as possible,” Darryl explains. “Our highest is 320 AAC audio. When a Sonos speaker is tuned with Trueplay, the sound quality is great, and we can give the full spectrum of sound that the artist was hoping to achieve.”

Sonos Spotlights on Rhapsody

Sonos-Rhapsody Beta Image

Beyond the sonic nuts and bolts of the new update, Rhapsody’s Sonos Spotlights is an exclusive new feature that curates music just for Sonos users. So what can you expect to hear?

“The editorial content is something we pride ourselves in, involving human touch and not just algorithms,” Gabriela tells us. “We have people studying what our users are listening to, and all the data that comes along with it, and applying it to the home listening experience -- that’s how we come up with the themes and playlists.” Whether it’s music for dinner parties, cleaning your house, or waking up, Rhapsody has a team tracking the best music and trends.

And Sonos made the listening part of this equation even better. As Darryl explains, “from an editorial perspective, with the Sonos Spotlights you’re also trying to promote songs that show how our new sound enhancements benefits the user, and show off the capabilities and excitement that comes from something like Trueplay.”

And with New Year’s creeping closer, we put Darryl and Gabriela on the spot to pick their favorite party jams that you should definitely test it to:

Gabriela’s Top Picks:
One More Time, by Daft Punk“Always on my list as it is all about non-stop dancing and living in the sound.”

Song 2, by The Blur“A classic for me from college days! When you hear the first lyric play, everyone joins in.”
I Love It (Feat. Charli XCX), by Icona Pop“One of my at home singing and dancing favorite and ‘I love it.’”

Darryl’s Top Picks:
Hot, Hot, Hot, by Buster Poindexter“Because tango lines!  (Who doesn't like a tango line?!?)”
New Year's Day, by U2“We use to always listen to this in High School.  U2 all the way.”
1999, by Prince“Just because you HAVE to always play this...  (Even if you were born after 1999.)”
Hear the difference: Try the Beta today

The updated Rhapsody Beta is available now. Just head to the “Add Music Services” menu in the updated Sonos app and add Rhapsody (BETA). New to Rhapsody? If you’re ready to give it a try, they are now offering a free 60-day trial for Sonos users.

Try it out, and as always, let us know what you think in the Sonos community.

Les mer

Holiday Cooking, With Music As Your Timer

How do you unwind?

A photo posted by @sonos on

’Tis the season for all things holiday, the time of the year when family, friends and colleagues celebrate in their own special ways. More often than not, these gatherings have two common denominators: food and music. Whether you’re hosting a big party, baking holiday treats as gifts or just bringing a side dish somewhere, any chef will tell you that preparation and timing are key ingredients. That, and fueling the kitchen with music.

So we figured, why not bring music and kitchen prep together for you?

Rather than blare cooking instructions through your Sonos (which, by the way, also makes a fantastic gift for someone), there’s another route that seems better. In addition to hunting down some A+ holiday recipes, turn songs into your cooking timer. What do we mean? Say you’re baking a loaf of artisan bread that needs 45 minutes of oven time. Hit play on The Songstress by Anita Baker (see what we did there?) immediately after putting your loaf in to bake, and when it plays all the way through, check your bread to see if it needs the other three minutes the recipe calls for. Make sense?

Here are some other holiday dishes (and musical timers) that will make your kitchen smell -- and sound -- delicious this season:

Lasagna Bolognese

It doesn’t get more tried-and-true (and rich) than this Italian classic, and anyone planning to undertake this baby from scratch is in for a 4 hour haul with prep and cook time. The bolognese sauce and béchamel in the recipe will take up about 3 hours of that time, so some music to keep you in the groove is key.

Start with Andrea Bocelli’s Cinema, with operatic takes on hit movie songs that will be familiar even if you’re not an opera—or Godfather—buff. Get through that, and you’re one hour (and one minute) in.

You may not think of Weezer’s frontman Rivers Cuomo as Italian, but his father's heritage is what gave him his last name, so next queue up Pinkerton Deluxe Edition for 2 hours and 7 minutes of the under-appreciated 1996 album. It’s excellent lasagna assembly music.

Start with Andrea Bocelli’s Cinema, with operatic takes on hit movie songs that will be familiar even if you’re not an opera—or Godfather—buff.

The last 45-50 minutes of the recipe involve throwing your now-layered lasagna into the oven and doing little else, so lay down on the couch, put on Sigur Ros’ Kveikur — yes, it’s decidedly un-Italian but it’s relaxing and that’s what’s key here — and 48 minutes later, you’ve got lasagna perfection.

Cookies

Holiday cookies can be so much more than tree-shaped handouts, and music can help serve as inspiration for your recipe. For instance, these Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies take 12 minutes of baking time — so play D’Angelo’s “Brown Sugar” (4:22) followed by Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” (5:35) (maple syrup and Arcade Fire, two of Canada’s finest exports), and you’ve got a two minute warning before your cookies have hit their 12-minutes-in-the-oven mark.

Potato Latkes

These bad boys are impossibly delicious. If you’re Jewish or not, whether it’s during the eight days of Hanukkah or not, latkes need to be eaten more often by more people. There’s your reason to dive head-first into Latke Land, with the help of four fine mensches: Andrew Zimmern and the Beastie Boys. Zimmern, who when he’s not eating foul and rotten things on television, is actually an accomplished chef and, as Adam Sandler so astutely observed, “all three Beastie Boys” have Jewish roots as well.

"...dive head-first into Latke Land, with the help of four fine mensches: Andrew Zimmern and the Beastie Boys. Zimmern..."

With Zimmern’s recipe clocking in at an hour, your potato pancake soundtrack should very definitely be Paul’s Boutique (crucial recipe-relevant tracks: “Egg Man” and “Shadrach”), which at 53 minutes will almost fulfill your frying journey. And, much like the album, sampling your latkes heavily while cooking … consider it quality control and homage to the B-Boys. To cover the remaining seven minutes, “Finger Lickin’ Good” off of Check Your Head and "Root Down" are equally apropos and the perfect length to close out the hour.

Les mer

‘Serial’ Is Back, and Is Now on Sonos

Serial Logo

There’s a new season of Serial upon us … and Sarah Koenig’s calming voice can now fill your home through your Sonos speakers.

The groundbreaking and hyper-popular podcast has returned for its second season, with the first episode dropping in somewhat stealth fashion on December 10. This season’s format remains the same, but the stakes are much higher as it will document the case of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. Army soldier who may or may not have deserted before being captured by the Taliban and held captive for five years before being part of a prisoner swap in 2014. At first, it was reason for celebration … but it was a brief one, as the reasons for his capture raised a whole lot of questions. The case is perfect for Serial because of all of the shades of grey, mysterious characters sure to emerge and unanswered questions that remain, this season has been anticipated basically since the final seconds of the final season one podcast.

So how can you listen on your Sonos? You can download the podcast and listen to it via your phone through Sonos, play it via Stitcher — or, a new medium for season two, Serial is being broadcast through Pandora. All you have to do is add Serial to your stations from within the Pandora app, and it will then appear on your Pandora account via the Sonos app. They’ve chopped up the format of the show to play in shorter clips as opposed to one long podcast, so if that’s a better format for you, you’re in luck.

If you didn’t listen to the first season of Serial, or maybe you’ve never heard of it, fear not. The internet went bananas over it, and thanks to resources like Reddit’s /r/serialpodcast thread, diving right in is easy. If you want to skip the first season and dive straight into the second, this article from NPR will set you up nicely.

The Bergdahl case has political consequences far and wide, and in many ways is a massive step up in terms of subject matter and visibility for the show. The podcast’s first season riveted its listeners by detailing the case of Syed, who has been in prison for more than a decade after being found guilty the 1999 murder of his then-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Throughout the podcast, though, the details, minutae and personalities involved in the case brought up many questions as to whether or not Adnan was — or even logistically could be — guilty of the crime. Thanks in large part to the podcast, his case is now being revisited by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

Les mer

Sonos Welcomes Apple Music to the Family

We are excited to tell you that Apple Music will be available on Sonos December 15th in beta. A beta is an early preview of the service, and an opportunity for people like you to help us shape the experience of listening to Apple Music on Sonos in your homeSonos welcomes Apple Music.

The teams at Apple and Sonos have been working very hard to bring Apple Music to Sonos, and look forward to hearing your feedback. Because it’s a preview, we know there are areas we’ll need to improve, and we’ll continue to do so throughout the beta.

Apple Music is a fantastic service, and you will have the ability to stream all your favorite features, including For You, New, Radio, and My Music through our smart speakers tuned for great sound in any or every room of your home. If you have family accounts, up to six of them can be added to your Sonos experience, so everyone in the house can listen to music their way. You can even share songs and playlists with each other in a unique way that only Sonos can deliver. Not a member of Apple Music? Sign up now to get started with a free three month trial.

Together, Apple Music and Sonos hope to transform your life at home with the power of streaming music. If you’d like to participate in the beta of Apple Music on Sonos, learn more about how to sign up here. 

As always, we welcome your feedback.

John

Les mer

The New PLAY:5: Designing the Future Through Collaboration

Starting November 20th, the new PLAY:5 is shipping and on shelves all over the U.S., reaching the rest of the world starting Wednesday, November 25th. Here, Sonos Studio illustrates the collaborative approach between design and engineering teams that led to our new flagship smart speaker. This article originally appeared in the print edition of Sonos Studio Zine, Vol.3.

“You gotta get beyond thinking about a speaker. You gotta think beyond to what does it mean to hear music.” - Chris Kallai, Director of Engineering at Sonos.

Chris Kallai, along with Tad Toulis, VP Design and Industrial Design, and Mieko Kusano, Senior Director of Design at Sonos, have been pushing themselves to think and design beyond the boundaries. Together, their teams have been designing and developing the future of sound.

The future feels closer than ever thanks to unprecedented advances in software and hardware, including two new products that represent the apex of collaboration at Sonos. Trueplay is updateable software that will allow listeners to adjust and tune speakers based on the acoustics of a room, and the all-new PLAY:5 is Sonos’ most technologically advanced hardware yet.

“We’re really trying to make products that fit great in the house, sound amazing, and look beautiful in the home,” says Kallai. “And having the design team push the product development team into these spaces forces us to think about innovative ways to solve problems.”

“Our best solutions are formed under good, constructive pressure,” agrees Toulis.

For the design and engineering teams at Sonos, that “good pressure” is the spirit of collaboration, and the sonic output of this is a “diamond” borne from pressure and passion colliding.

How the future will feel

New forms are often a response to new technology, but in the audio world, that interplay is also informed by emotion and experience.

The teams at Sonos have spent a lot of time thinking not just about how an audio element will look and sound in the future, but how it will behave. “A lot of people think about speakers as cool hi-fi equipment in terms of performance,” says Kusano. “But when you think about a modern day home and how people actually enjoy music, it’s more through streaming.”

That’s why the design and engineering teams at Sonos have focused on making products that reflect the quality of high fidelity sound combined with the latest technology, especially streaming.

“When I got my first Sonos product, I was amazed that I had been listening to such dirty music,” says Kallai. “My whole music experience had sort of disintegrated down into what was on my laptop, and that was okay only because it was expedient, not because it was great sound. I think we’re getting into a space—not just our company but the whole technology field, where hi-fi and tech blend and streaming music becomes more and more a part of the way people are living their lives.”

"...It’s all on us to really design amazing hardware and software. It’s going to have a more organic feel. It’s not tech for tech’s sake." - Tad Toulis

The future of audio, agrees Toulis, is about the experience. “Music is something that’s innate to human-kind,” says Toulis. “So it’s all on us to really design amazing hardware and software. It’s going to have a more organic feel. It’s not tech for tech’s sake.”

According to Kallai, the future is as close—and as far away—as another room in your own home. “What’s going to be exciting is… maybe the product is in the other room and I’m hearing it in the living room,” says Kallai. “You get to violate these expectations.”

 How the future will look

Play:5 - How the future will feel

“I think we’re gonna find that technology will allow us to do different things…so rather than having six products, you have one thing that does six things,”says Kallai. “We do less things, but we expect more out of each one.”

The idea of simplicity, and “less things that do more” is in the Sonos DNA.

"At Sonos, we like to design things from the inside out, which means you have all of these different disciplines working together—radio frequency engineers, acoustic engineers, mechanical engineers, and designers." - Mieko Kusano

This minimalistic philosophy allows Sonos to emphasize the little details in one simple form. That attention to detail shows up in elements that the team at Sonos sees as part of designing for the future, such as a redesigned and universal power cord, the removal of PVC and halogen in favor of environmentally-friendly materials, and the introduction of a signature detail that responds to surface touch and gesture control on every product.

“At Sonos, we like to design things from the inside out, which means you have all of these different disciplines working together—radio frequency engineers, acoustic engineers, mechanical engineers, and designers,” says Kusano. This process helps the team come up with the best solution with no extraneous elements.

“One of the things I thought about before I joined Sonos was what would be the apex of design in this space,” says Kallai. “One thought was a brick with no open area that is transmissive of air and soundwaves. But how do you build that thing in a way that actually works and doesn’t overheat?”

While that brick has yet to be made, the design and engineering teams at Sonos have been working on new products that are just as intriguing.

Making a diamond

“The design of the PLAY:5 has been three years in the making,” says Kusano. “It was a massive challenge to overcome, to make something that sounded great in orientations and then at the same time was stable forward, backward, and sideways.”

The PLAY:5 has spawned new solutions, like a perforated grill with 60,000 holes individually located on the curved surface and intuitive touch controls, while remaining aesthetically minimal, sleek, and future-oriented.

“No one realizes on the inside there’s six transducers, huge amplifiers, multiple antennas, the best cutting-edge wireless on the planet, sensors to know what orientation you’re in…all that stuff is jammed in this tiny little box. Yet it looks simple and sexy.” 

“The coolest thing about that product is that we’ve worked so hard to deliver a speaker that looks like a speaker, because the category has a lot of stuff that feels heavily influenced by consumer electronics,” says Toulis. “The minute you see [the PLAY:5], you know you’ve seen it before, you just haven’t seen it ‘that’ way. I think from a design perspective, when you can do that – is when you know you’re talking with someone’s subconscious.”

“No one realizes on the inside there’s six transducers, huge amplifiers, multiple antennas, the best cutting-edge wireless on the planet, sensors to know what orientation you’re in…all that stuff is jammed in this tiny little box,” says Kallai. “Yet it looks simple and sexy.”

Kallai, Toulis, and Kusano emphasize that creating software products like Trueplay and hardware like the new PLAY:5 wouldn’t be possible without the constructive tension created through collaboration.

“Having pressure over the various teams ideally generates a diamond out of a chunk of coal,” says Kallai. “It loops into this concept of right product where we’re making sure that it looks amazing, it sounds amazing, it has great wireless performance, we can manufacture the thing in millions…having that healthy tension of debating between great sound and great looks, advancing hardware through software innovation, at the end of the day makes an awesome product.”

But don't take our word for it. Go check one out for yourself. 

Les mer

Trueplay Speaker Tuning Is Here

Put your speakers wherever you want and still get great sound.

Trueplay speaker tuning is here.

I get a weird feeling every year when I visit the eye doctor. He asks me which set of lenses make the tiny letters look better. Click – how about this? OK, now this? What if I mess up and commit to the wrong one, and get prescribed glasses that are just a little bit fuzzy? My whole world will be just a tad blurry for the whole next year!

It’s that unsure feeling that, for whatever reason, you just aren’t getting the most out of something. It's that doubt that creeps in when you order a nice bottle of wine at a restaurant and don’t know if you’ll be able to pick up the supposed notes of overripe huckleberry and wilted fennel on the nose. Can you ever truly enjoy fancy single-origin pour-over fair-trade something-else-snooty coffee like the roaster with the handlebar mustache intended?

Now, what if someone invented the technology that always made sure you got a great cup of coffee out of your machine every time? No need to futz with settings -- just get down to relaxing with the Sunday paper on your couch.

Sonos decided to do exactly that with our new Trueplay functionality -- a huge advancement for all Sonos speakers, and it’s available for you and the millions of Sonos speakers already in the world today. (Until we enter the home beverage market, you’ll need to wait for Trueplay Coffee.)

 

Rick Rubin, a long-time friend of ours who knows a thing or two about what it means for something to sound good, has been thinking about this possibility for quite some time. “Anytime we get new speakers in the studio, we hire a professional to come in and tune the speakers to the room,” he explained in a recent interview with Neil Strauss via Sonos Studio. “Every room sounds different, so you need someone to come in and EQ those speakers for the space. So I suggested to John, the founder of Sonos, that it would be interesting if there were a way to make that same technology available for everybody.”

It turns out Rick’s challenge wasn’t easy. Four years later, after late-night lab sessions and testing around the world in thousands of real listeners' rooms, we’re super excited to bring you Trueplay.

"By hiding lots of super smart tech under the hood, we’ve ensured that no matter how you tune, you’ll always get the best result."

Trueplay uses the microphone in your iPhone or iPad and a quick setup process to ensure your Sonos speakers always sound their best, whether you’ve placed one on the most perfect pedestal or hid one inside your kitchen cabinet above the coffee grinder. Now you can violate one of those audiophile rules and put your speakers where you actually want them: behind, above, under or inside and still get awesome sound.

Best of all, Trueplay tuning requires no special expertise. By hiding lots of super smart tech under the hood, we’ve ensured that no matter how you tune, you’ll always get the best result.

Actually making the Trueplay tuning process easy for everyone was the hardest part of Rick’s challenge. We’re not the first company to think about using a microphone to tune a speaker — but we are the first to do it in a way that doesn’t make you feel like a self-made sommelier trying to judge the quality of a wine, or a home barista trying to guess how many grams of coffee per centiliter of water are needed.

Maybe you don’t know where in your room to walk when tuning? Don’t worry, we automatically check to make sure you’re covering the room properly.

What if you move your iPhone too fast and wind noises obscure the measurement? We automatically detect it and let you know to slow down a bit.

Mine. (image via @alanacurranoberski)

A photo posted by @sonos on

 

Perhaps your cute doggie got spooked by our test tones (they kind of sound like aliens…) and barked during the tuning? It’s OK, we built an algorithm to remove dog barks just in case, so now your furry friend can be ready to protect when the flying saucers actually arrive.

Our speakers operate one step ahead thanks to our software and app upgrades. Where other technology simply gets obsolete and outdated once new versions are released, ours grows with time and with you. Whether you’ve had your Sonos speaker for three months or three years, Trueplay is now yours.

We can’t wait for you to try out Trueplay in your own home. Brew yourself a meticulously-measured pour-over coffee, or reach for whatever java you’ve got in your cabinet, and wing it. Get tuning any way you want…with Trueplay we’ll make sure the sound is great no matter what you’re working with.

Find out more about Trueplay, and check out Rick Rubin using Trueplay in his Malibu home in our newest TV spot:

 

 

Les mer

Our New PLAY:5 Makes Oprah’s List

PLAY:5 makes Oprah's Favorite Things 2015

She’s making a list, checking it twice.

Dear Oprah,

Thank you! What a pleasure to be one of your “Favorite Things" this year, and to be in the good company of so many hand-crafted products and talented makers. We love to see the cherry pie from our neighbor SweetLadyJane on your list, and know we’ll be ordering some of that hot sauce for our weekly taco lunches on the patio at our office. Thanks for all the great suggestions for entertaining at home too, including the letterpressed coasters and the artisanal cheese knives. No doubt they’ll get a lot of use this season — we don’t want anyone putting their drinks down on the PLAY:5!

In honor of your spirit of giving, the Sonos team made a gift for you — here’s a little playlist of our employees’ favorite holiday tunes to help you fill your home with music.

Thanks, O, and happy holidays to you!

Team Sonos

PS — stop by anytime you’re in the neighborhood!

 

Les mer

Come Together

Joy HowardMy day starts with an awesomely chaotic mash-up of radio, podcasts and playlists battling it out across bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen. It ends in the evening, when we all converge (more or less) on something we all love hearing. I’m fortunate that all day in between, I’m surrounded by music that inspires me, makes me laugh, or amps me up to slay a project like a heavy metal goddess of thunder.

But I know that isn’t everyone’s reality.

Somewhere over the past decade or so, we got so enamored with music’s portability that we somehow lost our connection to listening to it out loud back home. Out went radios, CDs, treasured mixtapes and vinyl, and in came mp3s, playlists, streaming services and podcasts. At this moment, when our access to music has never been bigger, the experience of listening to it has never been smaller. Music has been privatized for listening alone in a world that has you always on the go.

"For us, music is the nae-nae inducing, flavor enhancing, face melting difference between a house and a home."

Come back home. Come back to the one place where you can listen to music out loud… together. Home for me is the place where I connect with the people I want to be with most and reconnect with what makes me me. Music is a big part of that. It lifts me up, calms me down, brings us together, gets wacky and makes the sparks fly. For us, music is the nae-nae inducing, flavor enhancing, face melting difference between a house and a home. And even on those days when the dishes and honey-do’s pile up, music turns my home into a place of vital experience, a place to explore culture, a place filled with beauty—and I still get the laundry done. Sometimes.

Saturday. #nevernotworking #theabstractrapper #lifeatsonos

A photo posted by Joy Howard (@joyrocker) on

At Sonos, our mission is to fill every home with music. That means we also want to keep music alive as a way to celebrate and build our shared culture. Music keeps us connected to our own humanity, and so our home audio technology must be human too. It has to be simple for you to get music from the sky instantly and play it anywhere beautifully.

Sonos speakers are elegantly complex pieces of technology that we hope you’ll forget all about – because the music is the thing. We don’t want you listening to a speaker. We want you getting lost in the music. Filling your home with it. Experiencing it. Loving it! That’s making technology disappear and life reappear.

Turns out it takes some pretty talented technologists to make technology disappear, and we’ve long had the most talented crew in the business. Our engineers have enabled us to create a deceptively simple family of products meant to bring streaming music to your home—long before most of us even knew what streaming meant.

"Audio is engineering. Music is art. Realizing that we aren’t just a tech company-- but a music company too-- has allowed us to put artists at the very center of how we create products."

Around 2008, we realized that although we had the best 1s and 0s, the gulf between speaker and music was the artist. Audio is engineering. Music is art. Realizing that we aren’t just a tech company-- but a music company too-- has allowed us to put artists at the very center of how we create products.

Rick Rubin

We do that when our colleague Giles Martin in Abbey Road Studios obsesses over the new PLAY:5, ensuring it sounds as natural and close to the original recordings as possible without any unnecessary hype in any direction. We do it when we collaborate with Rick Rubin on free software that tunes both your new and existing Sonos speakers to your rooms. When Q-Tip suggests we show people how easy it is to to use the app, I invite him to do just that. When Gary Clark Jr. leaves the studio every night and goes home to play back the day’s work on Sonos, he’s using our product as the gold standard of listening out loud.

 

We’ve largely kept these collaborations under wraps—not because we don’t want to trumpet the amazing talent being brought to bear on all of our products, but because it’s so easy to be mistaken for a brand that’s borrowing cool. Too often that means paying artists to endorse a poor quality product. While we always compensate artists fairly for their time—whether they’re employees, advisers or performers—we’re not about endorsements. We’re about working with artists to make the listening experience better. The world is full of brands that use famous people in commercials to sell shiny objects. Maybe that basketball player really did help design that razor and perhaps that musician flavored that water. Who knows? I do know that at Sonos, the artist is deeply in the mix right alongside our engineers, designers and marketers. Sometimes it makes us crazy, but mostly it makes us better.

Working on the campaign we’re launching now has been as challenging and awkward as it has been awesome. How do you put artists at the center of everything you do—including your ads—without looking like every other bullshit brand? We had hours of healthy debate and no shortage of heartfelt conversations with each other, and with the artists too. It was lovely to discover how much hard earned respect we’ve garnered with artists over the last 12 years—and that they are as delighted to work with us as we are with them.

As always, let us know what you think and how it goes. And don’t forget to show us how you tune your room

-Joy

Les mer

Behind the New PLAY:5 With Giles Martin

Science and art come together to bring the true sound of the recording studio into your home.

The entire history of recorded music is at our fingertips and playing all around us. We hear it in the gym, in the pub, on the TV, in our earbuds. But if you’re doing something else and not really listening, music is just so much noise in the background.

Which is fine as far as it goes. But when you are listening—really listening—to music, you should be able to hear everything inside it. Every nuance and emotion, every drumbeat and slide scratch. Great sound opens your ears and hits you right in the heart. Great sound makes you feel something. And only then are you truly connected to the music you love.

The mission at Sonos is to fill every home with music. But of course it’s not enough simply to put speakers everywhere if the music doesn’t sound good. From my own experience I can tell you that everyone in the recording studio has worked incredibly hard to create sound that is just right, with the hope that you’ll hear that and only that when you listen at home. Pure, unadulterated, fresh—no matter how old the song is itself. Speakers aren’t meant to be part of the performance, but they sometimes take center stage because of a long-standing gap between speaker makers and artists.

 

About two years ago, I was introduced to Sonos CEO John MacFarlane, who asked me to listen to some new speakers the company was developing. John and his team had a vision: to make sure that the efforts the acoustics team were making reflected the vision of the community that creates the music. They wanted to make a speaker in which the sound would be just as good coming out as the material that goes in, and that the artists themselves would be a part of that creation process. Sonos understood the gap, and wanted to fill it with creators.

“…they weren’t looking for an endorsement from me. They actually wanted input and feedback.”

A couple of weeks later, Sonos’ leading acoustic engineer Hilmar Lehnert came to visit me at Abbey Road Studios and brought a pair of the then-new PLAY:1 speakers to try out in my home. I struggled to find fault with them, I really did, as though my reputation depended on it! The sound they put out for such a small speaker is fantastic. What struck me about Sonos during that meeting, and that was so different from any other company I’d been introduced to, was that they weren’t looking for an endorsement from me. They actually wanted input and feedback. The people at Sonos are never satisfied with what they have made. They want to keep making it better in any way they can. They are so keen to listen, as opposed to just making sound.

I was hooked.

As fresh as the day it was made.

The audio world is filled with phrases like “artist intent,” “pure musical truth,” “clarity,” “space,” “soul.” It’s an unavoidably subjective space open to myriad interpretations. Who really knows what the artist intends, apart from the people in the studio when the record was being made?

“The way I describe our approach as a home speaker company is like being a clear window from the studio to your home.”

It’s perhaps a clumsy simile, but the way I describe our approach as a home speaker company is like being a clear window from the studio to your home. Our job, and the job of the speaker, is to deliver music to your home with the same clarity and meaning as was heard in the studio when the artists and producers completed the master. Not to color it, or fix it or pump it up. The challenge is: what happens to the music after it’s left the studio? Historically, the artists and producers have had zero control over your experience at home. But with software innovations and an incredibly talented team of engineers, we’re able to deliver the sound as it was intended to be heard, without any compromise for you listening at home.

Working with Sonos on the new PLAY:5 and TRUEPLAY has been fascinating because, not only do these projects fulfill the artist’s ambition of getting the sound into the home in the best way possible, completing the last mile between the artist and the listener, but also because it’s given us an insight into how homes really sound. For the first time, we can see how people really listen to music at home, and it’s not at all like our socks-and-sandals world of acoustically optimised listening rooms and perfect listening positions. The implications of that and the resulting opportunities for artists, producers and speaker-makers are incredible.

Don’t let anything get in the way of the music.

My role at Sonos is really that of a middleman or translator, bridging the gap between the artist, the listener and the people who make the speakers. We do our best work when there is a forced tension – in the studio, the hottest arguments between band members or producer and artist can result in the most powerful music. It’s the same in the speaker world. When science meets art, both win.

Acoustic engineers are masters of measurement, acoustic savants; they look for a flat frequency response and distortion-free sound reproduction. Hilmar holds a PHD in psychoacoustics. He loves music and plays a mean bass, but his work is based on physics. It has to be–acoustics is vastly complicated. Record producers and artists, on the other hand, judge sound on instinct and emotion – the pure, visceral feeling of a kick drum or a soaring vocal. The meeting of these two very different mindsets comes in the end goal: we both want the music to sound as good as it possibly can.

“It’s a privilege to call artists such as Rick Rubin, Hans Zimmer and Q-Tip collaborators.”

That is why we at Sonos work with so many great artists and producers. It’s a privilege to call artists such as Rick Rubin, Hans Zimmer and Q-Tip collaborators. Our job is to better the bond between the music and the listener in the home by providing a link between the artists and the scientists.

From the moment we opened the doors to collaboration, it’s been extraordinary how enthusiastic the artist community is about making music sound great in your home. They care deeply about the music they have made, and it is fantastic to be involved with something that is helping us and music lovers to turn their backs on bad quality listening and return to music as it should be.

Come listen with us. I think you’ll like what you hear.

Les mer

Get Ready for Prime Time

We believe technology should promise convenience, which is why we’re excited to work with Amazon to bring Prime Music to Sonos.

Amazon shares our quest for the everyday simple.  Prime members already enjoy seamless shopping, the ability to magically make any product on earth show up at your door in 2 days or less. Sonos speakers and software are designed to blend into our lives, leaving just the simple everyday pleasure of music everywhere. Now in Beta on Sonos, Amazon Prime members can magically stream more than a million songs into their home, in an instant, for free.

If you’re sick of making decisions, let Prime Stations create the soundtrack for your day.  Prime Stations are ad-free—you can even pause, replay, or skip as often as you would like—so sit-back, relax and go “All Acoustic” or have a “Top Pop” dance party; there are hundreds of stations for every musical mood you may have. You can even find that perfect Station catered to your favorite artists like Janet, Taylor, Calvin, Kanye, Katy and some Stones that gather no moss.

Plus, there are more than one thousand expertly curated Prime Playlists to make yourself “Happy & Upbeat” or you could unleash your inner “Boss, not Bossy” while doing your ‘better’ half’s dishes, again.

Try it for yourself today in beta on Sonos (available in the US only).  Sign up for the Sonos Public Software Beta, add Amazon Music from the Music Menu and enter your Prime account info. If you’re not a Prime member, Amazon offers a free 30-day trial. To sign up, visit www.amazon.com/prime.

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Sonos and Spotify: Better, Stronger

Creating the ultimate music experience in the home is what we do. Sonos Product Marketing team member Laura Cook walks through the latest Spotify enhancements and improvements we’ve just added.

Sonos and Spotify have long partnered to let you enjoy the music you want in your home.

We believe that music, and not just the tunes themselves but also the way you listen, should get better with time. Like fine wine. And Steven Tyler, Meryl Streep and George Clooney. (Johnny Depp we’ll get back to you.)

Sonos and Spotify have long partnered to let you enjoy the music you want in your home, so we are making some significant upgrades to ensure that you'll enjoy Spotify even more.

Spotify Radio

Integrating Spotify’s Radio feature has been a top ask from you for a while. We’re excited to announce it is now here.

How do you bump A$AP Rocky, Alabama Shakes, or Ryan Adams Radio in your living room? Simply, go to universal search on the app and type in the artist that you want listen to. In the Spotify search results, click on the artist and select the first square on the next screen for artist radio. Make the choice to either play them now or add them to your Sonos Favorites and then of course… turn it up.

For details on how to start a station based on a track, pop over to our expertly managed support site.

Integrate Spotify’s Radio feature

Great Spotify Programming

Spotify has some new and existing ways to help you unearth music that you may come to love. You will now find many of them on the Spotify home screen in your Sonos app.

Your Daily Soundtrack is Spotify’s ever-changing sampling of playlists to make sure you have the perfect music for any moment, day or night based on your time zone. It is the top selection when you pop open Spotify in the Sonos app.

“Genres and Moods” helps you make whatever the moment calls for better. Kids driving you nuts? Tap on Today’s Hits and start a freeze dance party game in the living room. Need to let your inner lion roar? The right Reggae for the moment is just taps away.

“Your Music” is where all your go-to songs and playlists are right at your fingertips. Including Discover Weekly, a custom 2-hour mixtape programmed just for you and served up every Monday.

Please Don’t Stop the Music

Your unrivaled music experience is core to everything we do. Ever. Period. We've been hard at work rebuilding your Sonos experience around a new, more stable platform. We are happy to have some key initial pieces in place that will help to ensure a more robust playback now and rest assured, even more upgrades are planned.

This is a first step in a long journey to make Spotify better and better on Sonos.  Please let us know what you think.

Les mer

Welcome to the Next Great Era for Listening

Software is driving the next wave of audio innovation and it’s making music sound better than ever imaginable. Sonos Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten shares his perspective on the changing landscape of home audio with the introduction of our newest inventions. 

Trueplay for speakers

When file sharing exploded onto the Internet in the 90s, more than a century of recorded music was turned on its head. Our relationship with music has changed dramatically in the twenty plus years of innovation since.

In the blink of an eye, the mixtape was replaced by the super-curated playlist, and social media superstars ushered in a new golden age of the live performance. The only constant has been change, and only one thing is sure – we are just getting started!

Innovators like Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud and now Apple have embraced the streaming revolution, offering everyone from the 12-year-old down the street to the deepest vinyl connoisseur access to the entire history of recorded music, powered by software. Digital music is, simply music.

These innovators are breaking new ground every day. The new garage is a laptop in your bedroom. Social media allows artists to share their work easily and engage with their audiences directly. Problems do persist for artists – for all those who are enjoying success, many more artists simply aren’t seeing revenue coming from streaming, payment models lack transparency, and free streaming offerings are still under question. But, streaming music has won, and while we are a long way from the dust settling, innovative artists and creators hold the keys to the future.

Something happened along the way in this endless march of progress. Our houses grew quiet – surely an unintended consequence! As music moved off turntables and boomboxes and onto computers, devices and the cloud, the era of listening out loud at home faded away. Convenience won and sound quality lost as we invested in docking stations to simplify life and bought Bluetooth accessories or earbuds for our phones.

While our homes have become quiet, our love of music has only grown. We listen to more music than ever before. More music, more artists, more genres, more remixes, more playlists. The listening revolution has made it easier than ever before to discover and listen to all the music on earth.

Breaking Sound Barriers

Our mission at Sonos is to fill homes with music, to bring back the shared pleasure of listening together. To exceed the golden age of hi-fi with great sound in a truly modern context – without the compromises you were forced to make in the past. Convenience versus quality? We say both!

For a truly exceptional result, hardware and software must work in harmony. Our new PLAY:5 brings together all of our learning from many years of hardware and software design and iteration. Smart to its core, its dipole array delivers an incredibly wide soundstage. An accelerometer recognizes which of its three orientations it’s in and adjusts the tuning to suit your listening style.

The new PLAY:5 brings together all of our learning from many years of hardware and software design and iteration

Sonos’ ultimate goal for sound is to reproduce in your living room what the artists created in the studio, in the purest way possible. That’s why we work with artists like Rick Rubin, Giles Martin, Q-Tip, and many others. Giles is Sonos’ sound experience leader and has been working with us together with a network of artists, producers and engineers who have shared their knowledge and expertise in helping us to reduce the distance between the studio and your living room.

Getting Smart(er)

Your music experience should fit your life, not get in the way of it. It should grow with you and stay fresh and current. We believe in hardware built to last and software that updates the experience, tuning for better music, improving with more innovation.

As we move toward a more open platform, this potential continues to grow. We are passionate about the music experience and we know many creators – from the deepest music services to the newest mash-up innovators – are as well.

We also use software to help you get to your music easily – our simple and intuitive app brings together all of your streaming music services and helps you to navigate seamlessly between them and discover new ones. There are more than 60 music services available on Sonos today. With them, everyone can build a queue of songs from different services, different devices, in one or many rooms – a truly shared and out loud listening experience.

We believe software is the ultimate craftsman’s tool for our speaker’s sound as well. From the early days of recording, speaker makers have been trying to reproduce the exact sound of the original musical performance in your home. The last 100 years of innovation in the loud speaker were driven by design, materials and manufacturing techniques—primarily hardware innovations and improvements.

At Sonos we realized with our first speakers that by controlling the custom-designed drivers, we could ensure that no matter how high you turn up the volume, the music will never distort. We realized that by using software, we could improve how our speakers sounded in just minutes, not months. We learned how to control multiple drivers into an array that delivers a previously unfeasibly wide soundstage for home theatre, and how to create deep bass with just a tiny unit. But that really was just the beginning.

PLAY:5 exploded view

Trueplay

We are convinced that software can drive many more years of innovation in sound, making speakers sound better in any environment – smarter, more aware, and reactive to their environment. Which is why we’re so excited to be launching the first chapter of this innovation with Trueplay. It’s a major step in making sound itself smart.

Nobody’s home has perfect acoustics, and we don’t want to adapt our lives around our speakers. Your speakers should sound great, wherever you choose to put them. So, we decided to make them adapt to the environment around you. We call this Trueplay. Sonos speakers already sound fantastic, but Trueplay brings you even closer to how music should sound. With Trueplay tuning, your speaker can analyze the acoustic profile of any room and fine-tune itself. Most importantly, tuning with Trueplay is incredibly easy to do.

With a free software update, millions of listeners will enjoy the best possible sound from their existing Sonos speakers. And Trueplay is just the beginning: we’re already hard at work finding even more ways to make your Sonos experience better and better.

Music is an incredible ride and we are glad to be on it with passionate artists and creators, and with music lovers around the world.

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Sonos Studio London is Here!

Enjoy music as it should sound at our new home in London.

This week, we open the doors to our new home in London and the second permanent Sonos Studio space. We’re committed to shaping the future of the listening experience and to doing so in close collaboration with the artists whose vision our products will realize. That’s why we launched Sonos Studio – first in Los Angeles in 2012, and now in London where we’ve built a unique, acoustically tunable space where anyone can go to hear music as it should sound; where artists can experiment and share new ideas; a connecting point for a global network of musicians and makers.

The London Sonos Studio

Our audio teams seek to bring what happens in the studio into your living room in the purest possible way. We’re honored to work with many talented artists and producers, who lend us their ears and help fine-tune the sound you hear in your homes today. Sonos Studio is an extension of that work with artists – it explores sound, art and technology, providing a space where artists can experiment and share their work with music lovers in an intimate collaborative environment.

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been working in partnership with artists and the local creative community to create an evolving programme of listening events, exhibitions, screenings, and workshops. For a taste of what’s to come, check out the Royal College of Art’s brilliant SoundObject student project. Or, more recently, the stunning performance from Max Cooper and Tom Hodge at Abbey Road Studios. You may even have visited one of our temporary studios in New York, Paris, Austin or Amsterdam – all of which you can read about in our Zine or at studio.sonos.com.

The space itself has been designed to deliver the best possible listening experience in every environment, tunable to every purpose and preference. Conceived by our sound experience leader, producer and composer Giles Martin, Sonos Studio London can be tuned to suit the needs of artists and producers. Movable elements in the ceilings and walls allow producers to create an ambiance and sound to suit different acoustic needs.

The Studio is a living prototype of the Sonos listening experience.  Built in partnership with our acoustic engineers, this is the best place to experience Sonos and enjoy music as it should sound. Our workshop, inspired by our development labs in Santa Barbara, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts will host hack days and workshops,prototype new experiences, and work together with artists and music technology partners.

Perhaps most importantly, Sonos Studio London is open to all, throughout the day.

Sonos Studio London opens for the final weekend of London Design Festival on September 26th. The London Contemporary Orchestra, recent collaborators with Jonny Greenwood and Frank Ocean, will be recording and performing a site-specific original work. Renowned artist, Yuri Suzuki, and Mogees will host open workshops. And as part of London Design Festival, there will be a panel discussion that explores music, design and architecture and much more throughout the weekend.

On October 2nd, we’re honored to welcome Imogen Heap to our space as she seeks to revolutionize the way music is made and sold. Shortly after, we will be launching Sonos Studio London’s first major exhibition with Domino Records which opens on October 8th.

Sonos London Studio interior

You can sign up for updates and event attendance, and read all about Sonos Studios in London, LA and beyond at studio.sonos.com.  All events are free to attend and spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. See you there!

Sonos Studio London’s listening rooms, gallery, café and workshop are open six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. from September 26th  2015.

Check out Sonos Studio LDN. 21 Club Row. Shoreditch. London.

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Welcome to the New Sonos Community

Since 2005 our online communities have been home to everyone from those looking to dip their toes in the world of Sonos for the first time to our most hardcore fans. We learn from the hundreds of ideas, questions, and experiences that are shared with us every day.

We’ve also learned how we can make an even better online resource for all you and are excited to share the recently launched, new Sonos Community.  

Replacing forums.sonos.com and ask.sonos.com, all the conversations are now in one place, and it has never been easier to browse, join, and contribute. Over time we’re going to be adding more languages, forums for our beta programs, and much more.

From today we’re also going to close the comments on our blog articles.  We will continue sharing our latest news with you here, and would love to see your comments and questions on the new Sonos Community.

We’d like to thank everyone who has contributed over the years, especially our volunteer moderators on forums.sonos.com and ‘Champions’ on ask.sonos.com.

Come and join us!

The Sonos Community in English: https://en.community.sonos.com

The Sonos Community in German: https://de.community.sonos.com

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Lisa’s Summer Playlist

At Sonos offices around the world, work is music and music is work. There’s a soundtrack to every day in the office, and depending on who picks the playlist, you may be treated to classic tunes, brand new artists, or a little bit of everything. This series introduces you to members of the Sonos band and gives you a peek into what we’re listening to at Sonos. Here is Lisa.

Playlists are great no matter when or what the occasion. But summer playlists are some of my favorites. What I love most is that I can pick one point in time, when I love the same songs and just listen to them on my own over and over or share with friends while entertaining. Nothing like putting on a playlist while you are hanging out with your friends and just letting it flow.

Lisa's Summer Playlist

This playlist has a little bit of everything. Some old favorites like The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” and New Order’s “Ceremony” (true classics!) ­mixed it in with new collaborations I’ve just recently discovered, like “Déjà vu” by Giorgio Moroder, featuring Sia, and “Yoga” by Janelle Monae, featuring Jidenna. As a true fan of hip hop and R&B, I’m currently obsessed with Miguel’s “Coffee” and the new Nicki Minaj featuring Beyonce, “Feeling Myself”. Check out their exclusive video on Tidal. Love it! Also included, two of my all-time favorites–I can listen to them no matter what mood I’m in and just start smiling–“Dreamers” by Savior Adore and “Wings” by Haerts.

There is a lot of energy in this playlist. It’s summer, come on! However, I did throw in some slower jams like Mikky Ekko’s “Love You Crazy.” I caught him live recently at Sonos Studio in LA and I have to say it was one of my all-time favorite performances. He sings with so much conviction and passion, it really was a memorable experience,. Oh and of course, how can I forget Hot Chip and Vampire Weekend? Both bands just scream summer, with all the excitement their music generates. I love having a mix of music–from high energy to chill classics that just make it easy to enjoy whatever it is you’re doing this summer: kayaking, hanging at the beach, barbequing in your backyard with friends. Hope you enjoy some of these classic old faves and that you’ll also discover some new songs you might not have heard before.

Check out this awesome playlist here: Ra Ra Shish Koom Ba - It's Summer! To listen on Sonos: Add this playlist to your favorites on Tidal. You should now see this playlist in your Tidal music services’ favorites on the Sonos App. Enjoy!

Contributed by Lisa Cardoso, Music Partnership Marketing at Sonos. Lisa works out of our Boston office and is an avid fan of music. Like any true music lover, Lisa claims there are just too many great songs and too many amazing bands to narrow down it all down to a single list of favorites. Which is where the real beauty of creating different playlists comes in.

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Introducing the PLAY:1 Tone Limited Edition

Coming to Sonos.com on July 21st: An expression of Sonos sound and design in the purest form.

The moment you first see the limited edition SONOS PLAY:1 Tone you realize–it’s what isn’t there that makes it stand out. The understated design speaks volumes, and its compact size blends gracefully with any room in your home.

“We want our products to reframe how people think about technology in the home.  Part of how we do that is by focusing on simple things with innate power. This was our focus on PLAY:1 Tone. It’s a meditation on essentials.”

  – Tad Toulis, Sonos VP of Design.

Introducing the PLAY:1 Tone Limited Edition

The minimalistic tone-on-tone styling – presented in absolute black or pristine white – has a soft matte finish that looks as elegant as it feels. This same soft touch treatment flows all the way to the packaging, making your entire PLAY:1 Tone experience beautifully simple, from the moment you open the box and set it up, to the time you spend with it listening out loud.

And just like every Sonos PLAY:1, its two custom-designed drivers with dedicated amplifiers fill the room with powerful, crystal clear sound. Listen to your favorite music from over 60 streaming services, controlled anywhere in the home from your smartphone, tablet or PC/Mac.

The limited edition PLAY:1 Tone will be sold exclusively on Sonos.com for $250 USD, $280 CAD, €250, and £220, starting Tuesday, July 21st at 10am CET for European customers and 10am PT for US and Canadian customers.

This is a small quantity run. We only made about 5,000 in each color globally and expect to sell out quickly. There’s a limit of two per household. Sign up here in advance for a reminder and visit Sonos.com on July 21st to claim yours.

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Summertime, and the Listenin’ is Easy

New updates to Sonos bring new streaming features and audio tuning for PLAY:1.

It's that time once again, where the sound of clinking glasses, the smell of the hot grill and the chatter of good friends fills the air. One thing can make it even better - the music! Music makes everything great, especially getting together with friends, which is why we're excited to roll out some new features to Sonos, and to some of your favorite music services in time for summer fun.

You may remember our post from May about new software and features that went into beta. These updates are now available, so keep an eye out for a prompt on your controller to get things started. Here are a couple of the cool new things to try out.

Clearly see what’s up next

This first one was prompted by feedback you shared with us. People love to shuffle playlists to keep things fresh, but they still like to keep track of upcoming tracks, or see what song just played. To make things easier to follow, we updated this feature to visually reflect the newly shuffled tracks.

Let Google Play Music help set the mood.

The latest updates to Google Play Music on SonosNow playing: Walking on Sunshine Radio. Next time you fire up the grill with friends, try using Google Play Music’s curated radio stations based on your mood or time of day*, or start a new radio station based off any artist, album or track you are already listening to.

Other new features for Google Play Music include recommended radio stations based on your listening history, the ability to add and remove tracks or albums from your library, and auto playlists based off activities like rating tracks.

TuneIn brings the world’s radio home

Also check out updates from TuneIn, one of the most popular music services on Sonos with over 100,000 traditional radio stations streaming from every continent. Bring international flair to your party with radio from the other side of the world, or keep it local with hometown radio stations. The big updates for TuneIn include improved navigation and visual design, and improved album art.

There are good things in the update for Sonos speakers as well. Enjoy some sound enhancements to the PLAY:1 and get started with Sonos home theater easier than ever before.

Learn more about features in the Sonos app and visit our music page to explore more than 60 services available to help create the ultimate soundtrack to summer.

*Starting with availability in US, UK, CA and IE

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Abbey Road: The Method and the Magic

“The magic of the place was immediate,” - Sir George Martin.

Great music takes passion, knowledge, creativity, dedication and, sometimes, a little bit of magic.

To bring that to your home in the most natural way, we’ve always looked closely to our friends. From artists to engineers, producers to music streaming services, each of them inspires us in some way to make your listening experience better.

Abbey Road Studios is one of those connections. It needs no introduction for its role in shaping the music we listen to today and we are proud to be joining them on a path that explores the intricacies of that music making process to bring artist and listener closer together.

Abbey Road and Sonos share a dedication to helping artists capture and reproduce their work in the best possible way. Sound and fidelity mean everything.

Sonos Studio and Abbey Road come together
Sonos Studio and Abbey Road come together

As part of our ongoing collaboration, Abbey Road’s recording, mixing, and mastering engineers will come together with Sonos to better understand each other’s worlds, reducing the distance between what happens in the studio and how it is heard at home.

Abbey Road: The Method and the Magic
Live from Sonos Studio at Abbey Road

We are also working together on curating content for music fans that celebrates the art and the science of sound. Abbey Road Studios and Sonos Studio London opened the partnership with discussion and performance from two superb artists, producer Max Cooper and pianist Tom Hodge (pictured above). Look out for a film from Sonos Studio London and stay tuned for more from Sonos and Abbey Road.

You can sign up here for updates on Sonos Studio London which opens later this year in Shoreditch.

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Listen up: Sonos Studio is coming to London

We are insatiably curious about music. We care deeply about how it sounds, and hold a profound respect for the artists that push its boundaries and shape its future.

That’s why we launched Sonos Studio – a place where anyone can go to hear music as it should sound, where artists can experiment and share new ideas, and a connecting point for a global network of musicians and makers.

Devoted to the shared pleasure of listening, Sonos Studio London is shaped by the music, art & technology that defines the UK capital. This acoustically tunable space will adapt to a continuously evolving programme of listening events, exhibitions, performance, workshops, artist talks and screenings.

Since opening the doors to Sonos Studio LA in 2012, we’ve welcomed some incredible artists, witnessed stunning collaborations, unforgettable musical moments, and beautiful creations as well as workshops, screenings and intimate connections between artists and the community of music lovers in LA.

We’ve shown up in NYC, Amsterdam, Austin, Berlin, Paris and Milan, but now it’s time for us to put down some roots in one of the great musical cities of the world, London.

Sign up here for updates on the opening and other special events and collaborations in London.

Sonos Studio LDN. 21 Club Row. Shoreditch.

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Spark Your 4th of July Playlist with New Music on Sonos

Whether a song is brand new or just new-to-you, discovering something unheard on your Sonos is always an adventure. With 60+ streaming services on Sonos, you have access to all the music on Earth, but where do you start? It becomes easy to lean on old favorites — nostalgic tracks from your childhood, dance tunes from your heyday, or streaming radio stations of your favorite genre — so, just in time for your 4th of July party, we decided to put together a new feature showcasing some of the songs that we’ve been enjoying this summer to help you discover something new on Sonos.

Covered - Robert Glasper Album Cover

Artist: Robert Glasper 

Album: Covered

Check this out: If you’re a fan of Jazz and Robert’s earlier music, this is a return to his musical roots.

#ListenOnSonos: This is a great album for relaxing in the living room after a long day, or as background music for a romantic dinner at home.

Listen on Sonos + Spotify

Dig deeper: Robert Glasper is a fantastic live performer who has completely transformed the Sonos Studio on more than one occasion. To hear his live music is to truly appreciate this one-of-a-kind artist.

 

Hudson Mokawke Lantern Album Cover

Artist: Hudson Mohawke

Album: Lantern

Check this out: If you’re looking for electronic dance music with some soul. Perfect for relaxing, summer playlists.

#ListenOnSonos: This one has a cool, mellow vibe that’s perfect for listening while you work in the office, or in the bedroom while you’re getting ready for a night out.

Listen on Sonos + Spotify

Dig deeper: If you’re interested in learning more about the artist — Ross Birchard — behind Hudson Mohawke, you can check out his cover story in The Fader.

 

Holychild - The Shape of Brat Pop to Come Album Cover

Artist: Holychild

Album: The Shape of Brat Pop to Come

Check this out: The album title kind of says it all. Give it a spin if you’re looking for something you can turn up and dance and sing along to this summer.

#ListenOnSonos: This is all-rooms all-groups dance-party style music. It’s also the perfect album to set your Sonos alarm and wake up to, if you’re looking to get up on the right side of the bed.

Listen on Sonos + Rdio

Dig deeper: If you’re interested in taking the dance party out of your house, you can catch Holychild on tour in cities throughout the US and a show in Japan.

Search any of these artists from your Sonos app to enjoy their new music, as well as their previous tunes all from your favorite music service. Who have you been listening to this month?

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Spotify on Sonos Update

New features and improvements are available in beta for Android users starting today (iOS and desktop coming soon).

Last month we announced a new set of tools to help us bring you more from our streaming music partners. Among the first to take advantage of these is Spotify.

Now in beta, this update brings more of the Spotify features you enjoy in every room of your home through the Sonos Controller App, like genres + moods, time-of-day recommendations, and the ability to start a radio station from any artist or track.

The update also includes performance improvements* for the long-term. After our customers listening to Spotify on Sonos experienced some issues during the holidays, I gave a summary of some short-term changes we made. Since then, our teams have worked together to redesign the system for integrating Sonos with Spotify to be much more stable, even as the number of listeners at peak times increases in the future.

Spotify is one of the most enjoyed services on Sonos worldwide. We hope you like these improvements as we continue to partner on new things in the future.

You can download this update in beta on Android phones and tablets today. It will be available for all Sonos customers who use Spotify in the coming weeks.

Thanks,
Andrew Schulert, VP of Quality

UPDATED: I added the below edit on July 7, 2015 following a recent interruption in Spotify listening on Sonos.

*These improvements aim to address some of the issues that have caused disruptions in the past. However, this will not bring the experience to where we want it to be and we are working closely with Spotify to get there.

 In the short term, both teams are monitoring around the clock to make sure we can catch and resolve issues as quickly as possible, and we will continue to communicate with you as we work together to improve the experience for the long term.

If you experience any issues, our customer support team is always on standby at: Sonos.com/support.

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Streaming Music Is Fundamentally Changing the Way We Listen

Streaming music is fundamentally changing the way we listen, and music lovers will be the real winners.

Over the past 10 years, we at Sonos have had the privilege of a front-row seat as streaming music has evolved; we’ve watched inspiring innovative ideas and technologies emerge and take shape. Some of these flourished, while others faded away.

Through it all, two things remained constant: The passion music fans feel for their favorite artists, and their determination to do whatever it takes to listen to the music they love.

We’ve reached a watershed moment for streaming music. Music fans are taking advantage of a rapidly evolving landscape of technologies and services that are redefining our music experience, and expanding our engagement with music and artists in ways that were previously unimaginable.

While music-streaming growth has long outpaced the purchase of digital downloads and CDs, we now see the tipping point globally. This sea change from ownership to access is comparable only to the invention of recorded music itself. We believe that by 2021, one billion people worldwide will be paying for streaming music.

"Globally, 92 percent of all music listening on Sonos is streaming radio or paid on-demand." Tweet this.

Our customers are bypassing their existing music collections and enjoying the near-infinite choice streaming has to offer. Another interesting fact: The most listened-to music source in the U.S. is Pandora — this service accounts for almost 50 percent of all listening. In Sweden, more than 90 percent of our customers use a Spotify Premium subscription on their system. Now artists and labels are leaning in big time, seeking new ways to be heard and to connect more directly with their fans.

Streaming Music on Sonos

Music Streaming will soon be Music again
The recent debate on streaming has been focused on short-term concerns — issues of access, mobile convenience and remuneration. As we accelerate up the path toward 100 million and then one billion paid streaming listeners, these are crucial conversations, of course. Any fundamental transformation requires new business models, throwing up both the good and the bad. The industry needs to strike a balance that will benefit both artist and listener.

As the evolution of on-demand music has shown us, what matters most is the simplicity of the listening experience, which can often be at odds with the music business’s position. Digital music’s relatively brief history is filled with examples of the extraordinary lengths music fans are willing to go to to access and enjoy the music they love — piracy was arguably a direct consequence of the lack of simple legal alternatives.

Our ultimate goal as an industry must be to create a sustainable ecosystem that both ensures artists can succeed and flourish and provides music lovers with seamless access to that music alongside a revitalized listening experience. Fully free on-demand services will most likely not exist in the future; it’s just not a viable model for artists. But paid on-demand has reached a tipping point that we believed in from the beginning and that has tremendous benefits for music listeners and artists alike.

A plethora of streaming services — from pioneers such as Spotify, YouTube and Pandora to more recent entrants like Tidal and soon Apple — are introducing hundreds of millions of listeners to streaming music, and making sweeping changes to the listening experience via curated playlists, smart algorithms and other completely new, hyperconnected approaches.

Equally important will be a healthy stable of specialized offerings — regional services like Saavn, specialists like SoundCloud or 22Tracks that capture otherwise inaccessible content, experience layers like Pause, and niche offerings like Mixcloud — all vying to provide listeners with the music they crave.

Changing how artists and fans connect
The music industry’s focus on mobile has resulted in an array of acoustically compromised scenarios. Music enthusiasts have been forced to piece together dysfunctional home audio systems — iPhones plugged into ancient stereos, portable Bluetooth boxes originally intended for beach and barbecue, blaringly inadequate laptop speakers. The home listening experience, a former bastion of high fidelity excellence, was relegated to an afterthought.

This is in stark contrast with the way people actually want to listen to music.

Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study shows that more than half of all music listening in the United States is happening at home (53 percent). Tweet this.

...Followed by the car (30 percent) and the workplace (13 percent). Our own global research confirms that same behavior. Only those music services that provide a true home solution will be successful in the long term.

Half of all music listening happens in the home

But change is already under way. Smart speaker systems, connected to the Internet and capable of immaculate audio fidelity, are revolutionizing how music reaches people’s homes, facilitating unprecedented multi-room, multi-source, multi-user listening experiences, and once again making the home the best possible place to discover, enjoy and share music.

Another fundamental shift lies in music creators finding new ways to be heard and to build deeper, more connected relationships with their audience. It’s a new standard that requires a different approach to curation and promotion, but one that offers artists exponentially enhanced control over the way their music is experienced. Today’s music lovers demand a more hands-on engagement in defining their personal relationship to the music and the artists they love.

With smart speakers and smartphones in the middle, artists can enjoy a creative conduit to mining the power of streaming, using context as a creative opportunity and dynamically responding to real-time fan feedback.

The full potential of streaming to inform the creative process remains untapped and infinitely promising. Tweet this.

The future belongs to those who can create the most seamless connection between the listener, the artist and their work. When the dust clears, it will be the artists who will define what the future of streaming is going to look and, more importantly, sound like – making music lovers the real winners.

This story originally appeared on Re/Code.

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Sonos Puts Roots Down in the Pacific Northwest

Turn up ‘The 206: Seattle Hip Hop’ playlist on Songza as the Sonos team heads to Seattle.

Since we first got started in Santa Barbara in 2002, we have spread our wings to join communities all over the world as we work to fill every home with music. From our bi-coastal operations in the United States to our expanding teams in various offices across Europe, we celebrate the communities we live in and the innovation that follows. Seattle, Washington is a world-class city with a rich history in music and a growing hive of aspiring music and technology talent. For these reasons, Seattle is the perfect fit for our music-loving team as we continue our quest to bring listeners the ultimate music experience in any room of their home.

Our new and growing team in Seattle will take up residence at the iconic Bullitt Center, known as the greenest commercial building in the world, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. We look forward to taking in the iconic ‘Seattle Sound,’ incredible music venues, the local Capitol Hill Block Party music festival, as well as the sounds of whatever the team has lined up in the Sonos queue.

The new Seattle space joins our roster of Sonos offices around the world including Santa Barbara, and Boston in the United States, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Denmark, The United Kingdom, and China.

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Tune the Beat Around

Coming soon on Sonos – sound enhancements for the PLAY:1, simpler setup for home theater, and more (now in beta).

We’ve been inventing home audio for the digital age for over a decade. Anyone who’s purchased a single Sonos product knows we work hard to update and improve the performance, even after it’s in your home. Now things are about to get even better.

Our next update for your Wireless HiFi System – Sonos 5.4* – includes a mix of features and enhancements that will be available for all in the coming weeks.

Sonos PLAY:1 exploded view

Our sound experts continue to listen and experiment with Sonos speakers every day. With 18 months of learning since launching the PLAY:1 in 2013, we found a way to take what people already love about its powerful sound and made it even better.

We made some slight changes to improve the clarity of the PLAY:1 so when you crank up the volume, the vocals will sound even more natural.

We optimized the bass performance when you pair the PLAY:1 with a SUB.

Easier to get started with home theater:

Just like our release that made getting started easier last summer, we’ve made a wired connection to the router optional for home theater setups (i.e. surround sound). That means you no longer have to connect an Ethernet cable to a BRIDGE, BOOST, or directly to your PLAYBAR.

  • If you already have Sonos home theater– no need to change a thing.
  • For challenging WiFi environments, a SONOS BOOST is recommended to ensure you get the strongest signal strength.

Music on Sonos – new and improved:

Music streaming has never been more exciting. The easier we make it for our 60+ streaming partners to build and bring new features to the Sonos platform – the quicker you can take advantage all over your home.

  • We’ve created an updated set of tools to help our partners easily bring new features to the Sonos app in the future like time of day music recommendations, and more. Look for more from your favorite music services on Sonos in the coming months.
  • We’re also testing a mix of other features and fixes. Check out TuneIn’s new look and the improved shuffle feature in the Sonos app.

In the past, you had to buy brand new speakers if you wanted the latest and greatest in home audio. We invented Sonos to be smart and adaptable so you wouldn’t have to.

*These updates are available in beta on Android and desktop controllers and will be available for all this summer.

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A Victory for Innovation

By Craig Shelburne, Co-Founder & General Counsel

Since creating Sonos in 2002, we have dedicated more than a decade to inventing home audio for the digital age. As interest has grown in our category, we have taken steps to be as transparent as possible with the industry about our inventions and where we intend to take them.

We have worked tirelessly to bring product innovation to the market, which is reflected in each of our 300+ patent filings. We respect intellectual property rights of others, just as we hope others will respect ours. However, that does not mean we will tolerate baseless claims asserted against us.

In 2012, a newly formed patent assertion entity (PAE) called Black Hills Media filed a suit against us for alleged infringement of 11 patents they had acquired from defunct companies. Despite Black Hills Media being a PAE (which are sometimes labeled as “patent trolls”), we thoroughly investigated the patents before deciding our course of action. Not only were we 100% certain that we did not infringe any of these patents, but we also strongly believed the patents themselves were not valid.

We chose to fight back in court and at the Patent Office. We spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours defending our position, on the principle that you should not pay for something you do not use. As the case progressed, we exposed Black Hills Media’s meritless allegations against Sonos, and one by one, it began dropping these patents until only a few remained. The trial for some of those patents was set for June 2015.

Many defendants routinely settle cases simply because they believe it is the easiest or cheapest way to deal with these issues. Sonos does not follow that model. In fact, we looked forward to our opportunity to prove our case at trial.

Faced with a looming court date and substantially reduced allegations, Black Hills Media recently dropped all of the remaining infringement claims for the patents set for trial in June. This is a major victory for Sonos as we continue to define the difference between real, protectable invention and baseless assertions.

There is a clear and simple line; respect the rights of others with valid IP and do not succumb to meritless claims. While we recognize the existence of abuses in the marketplace that cross this line, we still believe patents can and should be used for the benefit of all – by helping accelerate innovation.

Thanks,

Craig

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Listen on Sonos: Five New Music Services

Deezer Elite, TIDAL, 22tracks, Mixcloud, and Saavn are the latest music services available to stream wirelessly on Sonos.

Since 2005, we’ve added 60 different music streaming services worldwide to Sonos, and we’re taking this opportunity to highlight the five newest ones so you can continue with your music discovery at home. As your options increase, you can enjoy the one service of your choice or the few that will allow you to listen and explore exactly how you want to in every room of your home.

Using our universal search feature, you can explore across all your services at the same time—quickly and easily. Whether you’re into services like Spotify, TuneIn, and SoundCloud or explore live sessions on Daytrotter and tastemaker playlists on Shuffler.FM, it’s all there.

Today, we’re sharing five new services on Sonos: Deezer Elite, TIDAL, 22tracks, Mixcloud, and Saavn. Each one of which offers a range of features like high definition audio formats, handpicked station and playlist creation, and a new region of music discovery on Sonos.

But how do you decide which one to try first? Think of the list of music services as a musical choose-your-own-adventure.

(Click image to enlarge)

In search of a higher quality stream to appreciate the details in your favorite tracks?
Check out Deezer Elite or TIDAL. Both offer CD quality (16- bit, 44.1kHz, FLAC lossless) music streams so you can hear every detail, including that faint metallic ringing from the crash of cymbals and extra resonance from each strum of the guitar with both services.

  • Deezer Elite, exclusively available for listeners on Sonos, offers subscriptions for $9.99 when purchased for a year or more and $14.99 when purchased monthly. The regular service price is $19.99.
  • TIDAL’s high-definition streaming subscription costs $19.99/month.

Not in the mood to build a playlist or just want someone else, like a professional DJ, to select your music for you?
22tracks offers playlists curated by local DJs from Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Paris, while Mixcloud offers a new take on radio with huge collections of radio shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes. These aren’t your top 40 type of music discovery services. They cater to DIY music enthusiasts looking to get their hands dirty searching for that perfect song. Both 22tracks and Mixcloud are free and available globally.

Been searching for your favorite tracks in every corner of the world?
Then we recommend the Indian-language and Bollywood songs brought to you by Saavn. They offer everything from newest songs to the hard-to-find classics with a catalogue that includes millions of tracks waiting to be streamed wirelessly throughout your home. The SaavnPro subscription is available to all globally for $3.99/month.

Across all of your services, are you sick of hearing your kid’s latest pop anthem?
You can now add multiple accounts (up to 32) and easily toggle between them to keep your personal listing uniquely yours. Just because you’ve added your personal Spotify account, for example, doesn’t mean that everyone else in the family needs to alter your finely tuned playlists with their favorites.

To explore these and the additional services available on Sonos, select “Add Music Services” within your music menu on the Sonos App. Stay on the lookout for more as we’re always adding new services in both beta and general release.

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Let the Good Times Roll

TIDALHiFi is now streaming Jay-Z, Arcade Fire, deadmau5 and more all over the house on Sonos.

Introducing a tidal wave of HiFi music.

Today TIDALHiFi launched the first artist-owned high definition streaming music service. Available day one on your Sonos Wireless HiFi System in more than 30 countries - TIDALHiFi promises lossless FLAC streaming from over 25 million songs, expert-curated editorial, and most importantly, the perspective of artists who are bound to shake things up for the better.

Artists are in tune with how people are listening to their music and they will play a vital role in shaping the future of how we experience it.  Until now, the artist lost control of how their music was listened to once it left the mix engineers’ studio.  Music creators are looking for ways to build a more pure connection between their art and how we listen. From today, streaming will become the creative playground for an artist (vs. a distribution channel) to present their music – and in the way they want it experienced.

At Sonos, our job is to present music that is as close as possible to the original sound and heartbeat that goes into every note written.  We work with music creators every day and remain focused on making sure the pathways to the world of sound are clear with an experience on Sonos that is easy and intuitive.  Music, after all, is to be felt, absorbed, celebrated and listened to out loud.  And we will work with the TIDALHiFi team, as well as our other 60+ music service partners, to continue to push the limits for creating the best listening experience in the home.

TIDALHiFi is now available around the world for a $19.99 USD* monthly subscription. To listen on your Sonos Wireless HiFi System, go to 'Add Music Services' in the Sonos Controller App and follow the prompts.

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HD x HiFi

Now streaming Deezer Elite in more than 150 countries, only on Sonos.

Hear more music in your music.

As the growth in streaming brings us new ways to listen and discover music, it is our goal to bring you the best way to experience all of it, all over your home. After launching Deezer Elite in the US in September of last year, today we’re excited to play Deezer Elite’s high definition streaming library for the rest of our listeners around the world.

Exclusively on Sonos speakers and components, Deezer Elite not only offers millions of songs on-demand like its Premium+ plan, it also provides the music in CD quality, high definition audio (16-bit, 44.1kHz, FLAC lossless). Music files with higher bit-rates allow for more depth and clarity – it's like being in the room with the musicians.

Here are a few things to try with Deezer Elite on Sonos:

  • Access more than 35 million tracks, now in FLAC
  • Listen to curated playlists; we’ve chosen a few to get you started:
  • Discover and listen to more music:
    • Create custom radio stations based on your favorite artists
    • Explore new music through editorial recommendations, top playlists and friends

To add Deezer Elite to your system, open the Sonos controller and click 'Add Music Service.’ Deezer Elite joins the growing list of more than 60 services available on Sonos—all providing a personal audio experience for everyone in your home.

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Update to Sonos 5.3 Plus Three Tips To Try Today

Sonos music on your iPadMoving music around your home just got easier and faster through the Sonos app for phones and tablets.

Following beta testing over the last several weeks, Sonos 5.3 is now available for all supported iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. The update introduces some new things for your Sonos and fixes others that we did not get right with the release of the Sonos app last spring. You’ll enjoy simpler room control, an improved design for the tablet app, and a quicker way to move back and forth between screens.

Here are a few tips to get acquainted with what’s new:

 

iOS Now Playing - Sonos 5.3Three taps to party mode. Put the finishing touches on your party prep with a playlist to set the mood throughout the house. Use the new drop-down at the top center of our app to easily group or ungroup rooms in just a few taps.

Retrace your steps. Change your mind on what you want to play? Swipe down to instantly go from Now Playing to browsing. To go back one step further to the menu, swipe right from the far left to view all of your music sources.

Distractions welcome. If you want to go back to listen to a part you missed, the track progression bar is now more prominently displayed in your Now Playing screen, just below the album art. Drag it to whatever point in the song you want to play.

Sonos room menu on iPad

Start using Sonos 5.3 today by selecting ‘update now’ at the top of the home menu in your Sonos app.

For more information on controlling all of your music on Sonos, visit: http://www.sonos.com/app.

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Limited Edition Blue Note PLAY:1 On Sale March 5

Calling all jazz lovers: Next Thursday you will be able to place an order on Sonos.com for our first limited edition speaker.

Born in Blue limited edition Sonos and Blue Note records PLAY:1 speaker

The Blue Note PLAY:1 features a custom design and music experience inspired by more than 75 years of the finest in jazz and an iconic record label that continues to inspire modern music.

If you are among the few thousand to get your hands on the Blue Note PLAY:1, you can enjoy an exclusive Blue Note channel built into your Sonos app with curated music from the greats including favorites from Don Was.

Depending on where you are in the world, check pricing and the official on-sale times. Get yours while supplies last for $250 USD, $280 CAD, €250, and £220 starting Thursday, March 5 at:

  • North America (US + Canada only): 10am PST / 1pm EST
  • Europe: 10am CET / 9am GMT

And just like all orders on Sonos.com, enjoy free shipping.

Only about 2,000 were made for each of the two continents and we expect them to sell quickly. There is a limit of two per household.

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Born in Blue: Introducing the Sonos Blue Note PLAY:1

Our first ever limited edition speaker celebrates more than 75 years of the finest in jazz with a custom design and access to exclusive playlists.

 

Sonos and Blue Note present the Born in Blue limited edition PLAY:1 speaker
Sonos and Blue Note present the Born in Blue limited edition PLAY:1 speaker

Legendary music deserves to be celebrated. Today, we pay tribute to the jazz legends, their art, and a record label founded on creating a timeless experience with music that captures the energy and emotion of a live performance. To commemorate 75 years and counting of Blue Note Records and a memorable year of collaborations together, we unveil the Sonos PLAY:1 Blue Note Limited Edition.

"Music is meant to convey an emotional message to the listener. You don't want anything interfering with that message and Sonos shares Blue Note's dedication to this," said Blue Note President, Don Was. "Fidelity is true. Give me the truth."
Born in Blue limited edition Sonos and Blue Note records PLAY:1 speaker

Available for purchase on Sonos.com in the coming weeks, the Blue Note PLAY:1 puts jazz artists on stage in your home and illustrates our shared dedication to high fidelity.

“We wanted to create an expression of Blue Note’s singular style while embracing all the idiosyncrasies of a live performance,” said Sonos VP of Design Tad Toulis. “This mindset led us to the design solution – one which captures a singular moment in the act of creation.”

Crafted with a custom color developed through hand-painting techniques and strategic use of robots, the speaker’s finish features a vertical fade from dark navy to cerulean blue, reflecting the deep bass to the richly detailed highs and lows that people know and love about the PLAY:1.

 

The paint line for the grills uses no fewer than seven gravity-fed atomizing spray nozzles to correctly apply the various shades of blue to the perforated metal surface.
The paint line for the grills uses no fewer than seven gravity-fed atomizing spray nozzles to correctly apply the various shades of blue to the perforated metal surface.

The Blue Note PLAY:1 comes with the Blue Note on Sonos radio station built into the main menu in the Sonos app, powered by TuneIn. Enjoy a year of Blue Note programming with three curated channels within the station:

  • Artist Selects: Available exclusively on the Blue Note PLAY:1, listen vinyl-style to handpicked selections from the greats like Robert Glasper, Jose James, Terence Blanchard, Ambrose Akinmusire, Lionel Loueke, and Don Was himself, who has curated 125 of his personal favorites.
  • Born in Blue: We bring together legendary Blue Note artists and those who have sampled them for mixes that celebrate the intersection of modern music and legendary jazz.
  • Blue Note 101: Starting with the inception of Blue Note and following its progression to becoming an iconic label, listen and learn about jazz and its evolution over more than 75 years.

You can enjoy the Born in Blue and Blue Note 101 channels on your Sonos at home today and also on your other devices via TuneIn.

The Blue Note PLAY:1 will be sold exclusively on Sonos.com for $250 USD, $280 CAD, €250, and £220, while quantities last. Timing for when you’ll be able to purchase this collector’s speaker will be released in the coming weeks. We only made about 4,100 and expect them to sell quickly.

To be among the first to know, make sure you’re on the list for Sonos emails. For more, visit: http://www.sonos.com/BlueNote.

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A Little Bit Faster Now

Sonos software update 5.3 brings simpler room control and faster access to all your music in the Sonos app for smartphones and tablets.

Sonos software update 5.3 brings simpler room control and faster access to all your music in the Sonos app for smartphones and tablets. Android users can try it in beta today.

When we launched our new Sonos app last spring, we applied everything we learned from our first ten years to bring you a flexible platform built to take you through all the great things to come in streaming.

While we’ve received a lot of positive feedback for new features like the ability to search across all of your music sources in one place, we also heard from many of you that we made some things worse. It became more difficult to move music between rooms, the Sonos app for tablets did not make good use of the screen size, and some of the smaller features you loved in the previous app were not available (e.g. the track progression bar).

Today we’re introducing our next update, which is intended to make things better. Here are some of the main improvements:

  • A faster way to manage all the rooms in your home: Effortlessly move your music around your home with a more accessible rooms menu, now available by tapping the top of any screen in the Sonos app.
  • Improvements to the tablet app: New dedicated screens for what’s playing and music discovery on iOS and Android tablets makes toggling between screens more intuitive.
  • Quickly switch between screens: Using your phone, swipe down from the now playing screen to go back to browse your music. Then swipe from left to right to show all your music sources.
  • Want to hear that verse again? The track progression bar is back in your now playing screen, just below the album art. Drag it to whatever point in the song you want to play.
  • Easier to mix it up: With Crossfade, blending your tracks is simple from within the info menu, now more prominently placed alongside the sleep timer. From the now playing screen, press the info button to access.

We hope you like where these changes are headed. It is our ultimate goal to bring you the best experience with music at home and you can expect that we’ll continue to push toward that with everything we do.

Try what’s new by downloading Sonos 5.3 in beta today on any Android mobile device. The full release, including the updated app for iOS devices, will be available in the coming months.

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Your Music Should Never Stop Playing: An Update from Quality

Everything we do at Sonos is grounded in one thing – to create the ultimate experience with music in your home. Occasionally we fall short and you deserve an explanation.

We have conducted a thorough investigation to ensure we improve in the future. Here is what we’ve found:

  • December 25: This outage was due to an unprecedented number of connections coming into the Sonos servers that manage our Spotify interface. Although we tripled our capacity prior to the holiday period, we failed to adequately simulate the increased load in our testing. We are developing improved load-testing to avoid this in the future.
  • December 26: As we worked on addressing the December 25 outage, we inadvertently removed a critical filter that manages the caching mechanism for the Spotify music service. We are developing improved tools to simplify and automate configuration changes to prevent this in the future
  • December 27: Sonos identified playback and browse failure when using Spotify playlists on Sonos. We removed servers that had a small subset of customers stuck in this state and are continuing to investigate other possible causes.
  • December 31: Spotify experienced an increased load on their Search servers and our system design wasn't able to absorb the peak usage without causing delays to our customers. We’ve updated that code to address the issue going forward.

Spotify is a great partner and one of the most loved services on Sonos. We fully believe your music should never stop playing and you should always be able to count on us both for that.

Thank you,

Andrew Schulert, VP of Quality

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Sonos At Home with Sean Foreman

We hung out with Sean Foreman, songwriter, musician, and one half of the electronic duo 3OH!3 at his house in Echo Park. Having moved to LA three years ago, Sean and his wife Melanie are part of a tight-knit community that surrounds them. Watch the film and read Sean’s thoughts below on how he and Melanie have created a home that encourages and inspires creativity.

“We were lucky to collaborate with some incredible people starting out. Katy Perry, Lil Jon – we worked with Andrew WK on a song – people I looked up to before even venturing into this world. Now it’s even more diversified - we live literally a block away some of the dudes from the band Fun. Sia is right up the street from me and she’s just such a profound songwriter. Sort of like this really cool neighborhood that I can stumble down to the coffee shop and run into a billion people I can collaborate with.”

“I start my day anxious every day until I either write a song or do something creative. I have a need to keep creating, it keeps me sane. As soon as I’ve started making something, I’m completely content.”

“A living space and a homeostasis of a home is so vital to me, or to any creative artist. It’s a place where you feel safe to do whatever you want, creatively, musically. My older brother asked me “why were you listening to N’sync’s greatest hits the other night?” I was like, “How did you know that?” And he said, “You need to not make your Spotify playlist public.” But that’s the funny thing about what I do in my house. I listen to such a vast spectrum of stuff and discover so much new music just in the confines of my house. I have this process – especially with Sonos – where I put on new music and get so many ideas – and I turn that off and go straight into the studio and immediately create. This BPM and this kind of feel, or ska or reggaeton. That’s the alchemy and the process. And that’s primarily the house – between me and my wife Melanie we build and decorate it – it’s an inspirational place. I’ve got guitars and basses and a piano just to grab and play at any moment.”

“That was key for me, getting that place that I could call home, where I could sit and create and have friends come over and collaborate and have artists come through and those things are so important for me and my work. I’ve come from a family where we would always entertain. Like my family get togethers consisted of drinking a shitload of whiskey and playing music and that’s still kind of what I have at my house here. We have people over, have an atmosphere that’s really fun and we’re able to create new stuff.”

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Sonos Your Holidays

Does the line “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” strike joy or dread when you hear it each year? Either way, it means more time spent entertaining your friends and family. Last week, with the release of Sonos 5.2, we shared a few ways that Sonos can transform your holiday season and make time spent with loved ones even more enjoyable with music.

Sometimes it is overwhelming to be the DJ of the party, especially with so many choices to set the mood. To help, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Songza, Deezer and Pandora to develop a quick and easy way to elevate the holidays with the perfect playlist. Whether you’re throwing an ugly sweater party for friends or hanging mistletoe for a holiday cocktail party, we have the ultimate playlist for every holiday occasion.

What's your perfect holiday playlist? - Infographic

 

Christmas Blues: Songza: The Christmastime Blues

Holiday Party Favorites: Spotify: Pop Christmas

Traditional Family Christmas: iHeart Radio: Christmas Classics

Holiday Cocktail/Dinner Party: TuneIn: Holiday Jazz

Romantic Christmas: Songza: Christmas Sirens

Punk Rock Holidays: Pandora: Holidays are for Punks (curated exclusively for Sonos)

Hipster Holidays: Deezer: Hipster Holidays

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Turn Up the Holidays with Sonos 5.2

Every holiday moment in your home has its perfect music match. Whether you’re hosting or a guest at another’s home, our newest features (now available with the Sonos 5.2 software) make it easier than ever to transform your holiday parties and family traditions with music. Try them today along with some of our favorite tips and tricks to make every occasion one to remember.

For the host:

  • Curate the mood by adding tracks to the Sonos queue. If playlist building is not your thing, check out Hipster Holidays and Holiday Party Favorites on TuneIn from within your Sonos Controller App.Every holiday moment in your home has its perfect music match.
  • Expand your world of music with new services including Deezer Elite in the U.S. and SoundCloud globally. Select “Add Music Services” to explore from more than 50 partners worldwide.
  • Have a house full of Spotify or Pandora accounts? Add them all. We now offer multi-account support across services, so everyone in the family can pull from their favorite tracks, albums, and preferences within their individual subscriptions.
  • Before the credits roll on that holiday classic, switch over to the film’s soundtrack. Remember the PLAYBAR leads a double life – amazing sound for your music and for your TV. Plus, the PLAYBAR just got even better today through software with enhanced sound for your music.
  • If your phone isn’t nearby and the playlist took a wrong turn, never fear. Quickly save the party with a double tap of the Play/Pause button (formerly mute) on any Sonos speaker to move on to the next song.

For the guest:

  • As soon as you walk in the host's door, download the Sonos Controller App on your iOS or Android device and connect to the WiFi network to join in.
  • BYOM – Bring Your Own Music. Your personal playlists and music preferences don’t have to stay behind. With today’s release, multi-account support allows you to add up to 32 different streaming accounts to the system. Simply select “Add Music Services” from your host’s home menu to get started.
  • The tracks stored on your mobile device are also fair game. Search across all your music sources in one place.

For the kid’s table:

  • Include some music-infused games in the night’s agenda. Freeze dance is sure to get the kids moving (and adults, too). While the music is playing, press the pause icon on your Sonos controller. The last person to freeze in place loses. Repeat until there is one dancer left. Reward accordingly.
  • For the early-to-sleep: set your Sonos speakers in the bedroom or nursery to “White Noise for Deep Sleep” on Spotify to tune out the celebration on the other side of the door.

With new features and services coming to you through software updates, there’s always more to discover with your Sonos. Update your system to Sonos 5.2 today. For more information, visit: http://www.sonos.com/software/release/5-2

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Hear It The Way They Played It

As streaming makes it easier and faster to play all the music you love, it doesn’t mean it has to lose any of its soul.

Hand in hand with all your favorite music and a wealth of music choices like SoundCloud and Deezer Elite, Sonos speakers bring you immersive sound in every corner of your home.

Demonstrating how Sonos is the natural, pure connection between the music and the listener, Rodrigo y Gabriela take turns jamming with the SONOS PLAY:5, which captures all the little nuances, every strum and pluck from their amazing track, The Soundmaker.

If you were impressed with the stylings of Rodrigo y Gabriela, check out this behind the scenes glimpse at how their two unique musical styles come together.

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Introducing Sonos Software Update 5.2

Enjoy enhanced sound for your PLAYBAR and multi-account music service support. Try it today in beta.

We invest in software and services to continue to give you more from your Sonos years after you first bring it to your home. This includes every part of the experience – from functionality, to an expanding portfolio of music services, and even the way your speaker sounds.

This year we’ve made Sonos even easier, faster and more flexible to setup and control with Sonos software updates. With Sonos 5.2, available to try in beta today*, we’ve built on that and more.

Enjoy a HiFi soundbar experience for your music with PLAYBAR sound enhancements.

The new software update includes a release for PLAYBAR that takes an already great music experience and makes it even better.   With improvements to the soundstage (using stereo imaging), along with updates to the EQ and volume balance, even the slightest nuances in the music are positioned more clearly, so that you can experience a more immersive, natural sound.

Connecting to your entire world of music is even easier and more personalized with multi-account music service support and more.

Music is personal for every listener and as streaming continues to become mainstream, a great experience needs to embrace the changing times.

Sonos 5.2 includes multi-account music service support, so those of you living among other music lovers can easily listen to Sonos on your terms.

The new software update also gives instant control and faster time to your music.

  • Control your Sonos from the lock screen of Android smartphone or tablet to play, pause, and skip tracks in an instant.
  • Easily find the music you love by searching across all your music sources, now inclusive of songs stored directly on your device.

*Sonos 5.2 will be released later this year. Try it today in beta on Android devices and through the Sonos Desktop Controllers for Mac and PC.

For more information, please visit: www.sonos.com/beta.

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Protecting What We Invented

By Craig Shelburne, Co-Founder & General Counsel

In 2002, when Sonos was born, we set out to reinvent HiFi for the home – driven by our vision of legendary sound and an easy, reliable way to play any music, in any room, without wires. A vision that was radically different from the experience that was already known, and one that ultimately led to the Sonos Wireless HiFi System that many of you love and enjoy every day.

What seems obvious today was an idea we crafted nearly alone for over ten years and against all odds, with a team of music lovers from around the world – diligently building, learning and revising a modern home music experience. Today, it seems like there’s a new entrant every month as music streaming and wireless speakers quickly move into the mainstream.

In a blog post from about six months ago, I outlined how Sonos thinks about our innovations and the patents that protect some of these inventions. In essence, we laid out an approach designed to increase visibility to our patent filings, so others could more closely track the innovations at the heart of the Sonos music experience. It is a simple proposition for anyone interested in how our system works, including our competitors: Read. Learn. Create your own experience. But don’t merely copy.

Unfortunately, since that time, we have watched as several companies have entered the wireless home audio space with product features, designs and messaging strikingly similar to Sonos, without truly moving the experience forward in any way.

Today, we notified one of these companies, D&M Holdings (a financial investment company that owns Denon), that they infringe at least four Sonos patents.

For anyone who has looked at Denon’s Heos product line, you will recognize many of the same elements found in Sonos products, with little or no effort to differentiate features or functionality. Beginning with its product name and messaging (which in some instances they have just copied word for word), Denon borrows liberally from virtually all aspects of the Sonos story. As one product reviewer noted, “If you’re familiar with the Sonos product line, you’ll get a serious case of déjà-vu looking at the HEOS offering.”

We evaluated whether D&M Holdings violates other intellectual property rights of Sonos and have learned that D&M Holdings’ manufacture, distribution, and/or sale of the HEOS system infringe a number of Sonos patents related to wireless audio products. Because of these violations, we filed a lawsuit in Delaware, our state of incorporation.

This is not an action we take lightly, as we’re not fans of resorting to the courts to resolve disputes. As a next step, we will offer to sit down with Denon, explain our views and give them time to modify their products. We are not asking for a royalty or other license fee – we just want Denon to build an experience that isn’t copying ours.

We have always anticipated and continue to welcome competition in a space where we’ve worked alone for so long, but with the caveat that these new entrants come up with new ideas and true innovations, not merely copy what we have invented – to create a better experience for all of us music lovers out there.

Thanks,

Craig

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Boost Your Signal

Expand your wireless reach with our most powerful wireless accessory, available now for $99.

Boost your signal with SONOS Boost

No matter the strength of your Internet connection at home, rock-solid wireless is our standard. That’s why – alongside making Sonos even easier to get started last month with our new WiFi setup – we also introduced the SONOS BOOST. 

Now available globally, BOOST is our most powerful wireless accessory, built to keep the music playing in even the most challenging WiFi conditions, no matter where you want to put a speaker in your home.

Similar to the BRIDGE ($49 USD), BOOST connects directly to your router to create a dedicated network, allowing all your Sonos speakers and components to talk to each other, with up to 50% greater wireless range.

In addition to expanding the reach of your system, BOOST’s three internal antennas help neutralize any interference from other consumer electronics that might typically cause dropouts.

While a wired connection to the router is optional for multi-room music listeners, those connecting speakers as part of a home theater setup need BOOST or BRIDGE (or another component wired to the router) to ensure your TV picture and sound stay perfectly in synch.

Starting today, BOOST is available for $99 USD on sonos.com and through select retailers. For more information on getting started with Sonos and determining the best setup for your home, visit: http://www.sonos.com/rock-solid-wireless.

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Sonos Your Home

We collaborate with some of the most interesting artists, directors, producers and curators in the world to help bring our story to life with music.

In this new collection of films, we've imagined music's power to radically transform your home. Across a breadth of genres, the films bring different moods to life through music supervised by Jason Bentley:

From the playful folk-pop of North Carolina duo Sylvan Esso's "Hey Mami"...

...to the sultry soul of the legendary Isaac Hayes with the "Theme from 'Shaft'"...

...the mellow sounds of UK indie rockers, alt-J with "Warm Foothills"...

...the fast pace and deep bass of "Hoochie Coochie" from English rockers Band of Skulls...

...the slow beats of electronic duo Mount Kimbie's "You Took Your Time (feat. King Krule)...

...and the high energy of French indie rockers La Femme with “Nous Étions Deux.”

Listen to the music from Sonos Your Home on the Spotify playlist, which features all seven tracks that will be airing on television and online in the coming weeks.

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Live from Sonos Studio NYC: TuneIn Streaming Schedule

Sonos Studio NYC will play host to live performances, panel discussions, workshops, screening and Q&As with some of music’s most progressive artists and thinkers.

Sonos Studio NYC isn’t just for New Yorkers-- it is for music lovers everywhere.

Open to the public today through October 5 for a weeklong exploration of the intersection of music, art and technology, Sonos Studio NYC will play host to live performances, panel discussions, workshops, screening and Q&As with some of music’s most progressive artists and thinkers.

If you can’t be here with us, tune in to catch some of the programs as they happen. You can listen to more than a dozen events this week, including performances by Aloe Blacc and Flight Facilities, wherever you are in the world.

 

Here’s the full schedule:

NYC Studio Schedule

Join us from home

To access the Live from Sonos Studio NYC station on TuneIn, open your Sonos App and select Sonos > Radio (TuneIn) > Live from Sonos Studio from within your music menu and instantly stream in any room of your home.

You can also access the TuneIn station directly at tunein.com/sonos, or join the conversation with #SonosStudioNYC.

Wherever you are, we are thrilled to have you join us as we bring you Sonos Studio live from New York.

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Sounds Of NYC

A Peek Inside a Sonos Studio NYC Installation

We are a few days from opening the doors to Sonos Studio NYC at NeueHouse.* Six days, 30+ events, a fresh exploration of the intersection of music, art and technology.

One of the installations at Sonos Studio NYC is “Sounds of NYC,” an interactive conceptual map of New York made from more than 300 Sonos PLAY:1 speakers and subs. We collaborated with interactive tech collective Perfect Fools to craft this ‘living’ piece of art that will automatically react to people moving in front of it. We are working with duo Big Noble (Daniel Kessler of Interpol and sound designer & artist Joseph Fraioli) to create an original soundscape for the installation and reimagine their upcoming NYC-inspired soundscape ‘First Light’ with motion, depth and field recordings from New York.

Google Play is helping us power the installation’s music experience, and renowned New York DJs and music producers Wolf+Lamb have curated the playlists incorporated into the installation to celebrate the long and rich history of music in the city. Get a peek at “Sounds of NYC” now before we get it installed at NeueHouse.

If you are in New York, be sure to RSVP for our Open House hours so you can see all the installations and hang out with us.

And one more thing…a new performance has been added to our stellar lineup. We’ve invited Band of Skulls and ASTR to come and rock the Studio on Saturday, October 4th at 9:00 pm. You can RSVP for that performance here.

*NeueHouse is a private workspace collective in Manhattan, located at 110 E. 25th Street. RSVP is required and nontransferable.

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Sonos Studio ADE 2014: October 16-18

Listen. Connect. Play.

Sonos Studio returns to the Amsterdam Dance Event to explore the intersection of music, art and technology at the world’s largest celebration of dance music culture. Following its residency in New York, Sonos Studio will head to Mayer Manor in Amsterdam for the 2014 Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).
Open to all, Sonos Studio ADE delves into the world of electronic music through a three-day series of listening parties, performances, screenings, conversations and connections with artists sharing their music and experiences. Come together with artists from across the spectrum of dance music for unique and intimate listening events in one of Amsterdam’s most striking locations.

Features of the programme include:

Sonos Studio returns to the Amsterdam Dance Event to explore the intersection of music, art and technology at the world’s largest celebration of dance music culture.

Listen to Henrik Schwarz preview a stunning new project and collaboration with pianist Nik Bärtsch, ‘Scripted and Prepared’.

Watch the premiere of the first of a new series of ‘Origins’ films, made in collaboration between Resident Advisor and Sonos. The film features South Africa’s Black Coffee.

Explore music curation with 22tracks who will be joining Sonos and giving an insight into what makes a 22tracks list as we follow its Amsterdam curators’ journey through music as they search for elusive gems in a multitude of genres.

Join Kompakt artists for an intimate preview to the label’s ADE showcase event. Listen and connect with artists about the music that matters to them, with performances each evening of the programme.

Artists appearing at Sonos Studio ADE include:
Midland | Modeselektor | Jackmaster | Lunice | Kölsch | Anthony Parasole | Function | Dauwd as well as partners Resident Advisor, DJBroadcast, Kompakt and 22tracks. Full details of the programme are coming soon. #SonosStudioADE

Join the event on Facebook here.

About Sonos Studio:
Sonos Studio, originally a listening gallery in LA, has become a destination for artists and creators from around the world to come to collaborate with Sonos. It’s a lab for exploring artistic and musical curiosities and a cultural manifestation of our passion for music. It’s all about listening, and it’s the best way to experience Sonos.

About ADE:
The Amsterdam Dance Event is the leading electronic platform and the biggest club festival in the world. Covering every aspect and fascinating sub genre of this constantly evolving world, ADE brings together the leading players in the global electronic music industry, with the biggest artists on the planet rubbing shoulders with fresh, upcoming talent alongside 300,000 visitors from around the globe, making it truly the biggest celebration of dance music culture.

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Introducing Deezer Elite on Sonos

Stream your favorites in high definition audio with Deezer Elite on Sonos. US customers can try it in beta on September 15.

Hear more music in your music.

Today, we take another step forward in bringing you closer to the music you love with the introduction of Deezer Elite, which offers high definition audio streaming, only available on Sonos.

With a shared passion for high quality sound and a mission to make listening to the music you love easy, we’ve found a great partner in Deezer Elite to bring you:

  • Access to millions of tracks in high definition audio (16-bit, 44.1kHz, FLAC lossless) to hear every nuance of your music, anywhere in your home, only on the Sonos Wireless HiFi System.
  • Instantly stream your favorite music, create custom radio stations based on your favorite artists, and discover more music with personalized features.

Deezer Elite marks Deezer’s debut in the US, joining more than 50 music and audio services available on Sonos around the world. Sonos customers in the US can try it in beta on September 15 with a 30-day free trial.

To get started, open any Sonos Controller and go to Add Music Services, followed by Sonos Labs if in the desktop app.

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Born in Blue

Immerse yourself in the music that has moved all of music-kind with Blue Note on Sonos. 

Born in Blue

Together, with storied jazz label Blue Note Records, we bring some of the most legendary sounds ever captured to a modern experience, deeply rooted in our shared passions for music, high-fidelity sound, and the future of listening out loud at home.

Blue Note’s renowned catalog traces the history of jazz, and with the launch of our all-new Blue Note Channel in honor of the label’s 75th anniversary, you’ll now have the privilege of touring these archives on Sonos. You can also enjoy Blue Note classics sampled for modern-day anthems on our Born in Blue channel and dig into Blue Note 101 for a primer on the form with some of the greatest Blue Note tracks spanning 1939 through 2014. Navigate to Radio > Blue Note on Sonos to begin streaming throughout your home.

If you are in or near LA in September, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself fully in the Blue Note world, as our collaboration takes over Sonos Studio Los Angeles for the “Born In Blue” exhibition, running September 10 to October 24. In a re-imagined record shop with modern touches, you can check out historic artifacts from the Blue Note archives, watch dynamic artist performances, and take yourself back in time through an interactive installation that allows you to explore the full history of jazz, including 75 years of Blue Note.

Whether streaming the sounds of Blue Note music at home or exploring the Sonos Studio exhibition in LA, we have created a full series of elements to help you celebrate this milestone for an ageless genre with us all—and there’s more to come.

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Sonos Studio Listening Room: Bombay Bicycle Club

Bombay Bicycle Club perform at Sonos Studio in Los Angeles
Bombay Bicycle Club perform at Sonos Studio in Los Angeles

Bombay Bicycle Club came by the Studio in LA to record an acoustic set for SiriusXM. We caught up with Ed and Suren in the Studio Listening Room afterward about how their sound has changed throughout the years, and what influenced them along their journey.

NG: So you guys are on the road constantly. What’s life like when you’re at home?

Ed: Well we still live with our parents at the moment.

NG: No.

Ed: Yeah we started touring so much we moved back in with our parents. Because that way when you’re on tour you don’t have to worry about rent or think about your house. You just have to think about what your mum’s doing to your shit.

NG: So what are you listening to when you’re at home? What’s that look like?

Ed: At home – before I moved back to my mum’s house – I did listen to Sonos. It was kind of the perfect thing because you could just go on the WiFi and put your Spotify on and just play whatever you want. And if you were having parties you could just put it on.

NG: Just not at mom’s house. Suren what about you?

Suren: I just bought a record player a couple of months ago because it got to a point where I was just listening to music on my laptop with a pair of headphones and I realized that’s a bit of a crappy way to listen to music. So I’m starting to build up my vinyl collection at the moment. My sister and her husband recently moved out of my house so I moved my HiFi system and my record player in.

NG: So when you’re making music, how do you envision people listening to it – on their laptops or?

Ed: Well that’s in the back of our minds when we’re making it. And that’s obviously not how we want people to listen to the music at all but that’s certainly a thought. And you don’t cater to it but – I think Quincy Jones used to do this – a lot of people mix on a shitty radio as opposed to a big sound system so you can hear what people will be listening to.

NG: How do you describe your sound?

Ed: Guitar driven indie rock back. We’ve done a more acoustic album, and we’ve done an album with a bit of electronic. But I don’t think there was ever really a conversation about it. We were like, “well we want to make this kind of different sounding record,’ and I think that very influenced the albums. And when we started the band we were a lot younger. So I guess, as you grow up, you want to change what you do, and you get kind of restless and bored and you kind of mix things up as opposed to getting stuck in your ways.

NG: What’s that process like?

Suren: I often find a song I like and then I’ll just listen to that on repeat for a long time before listening to anything else.

Ed: There’s a legendary night where Suren listened to All of the Lights by Kanye West like 200 times. All evening.
Suren: That was on one of our American tours actually. That’s one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. I was obsessed with that for a long time. That was at the point where he’d been making a dick out of himself for a year, and then he came out with that and kind of redeemed himself.

NG: What’s a song of yours that you think you really nailed, that represents you well?

Ed: If I had to pick a song that represents us right now, I guess I’d tell people to listen to the first song or the last song on the most recent record. I think it kind of encapsulates all the things we tried to do before – they change and the songs progress and it’s kind of a journey so there’s some electronic dance influences in there and then it’s guitar driven in other points. At this point it’s the best amalgamation of everything we’ve tried to do.

Suren: There’s a song “Always Like This” on our first album as well. Whereas now we feel a bit disconnected from our first album – a lot of the songs on the first album were written when we were like 15, 16, so they’re about teenage high, and we don’t really relate to that stuff anymore, but I think “Always Like This” is slightly different. I can’t ever see us not playing that one.

NG: Okay so last question: who’s the designated DJ when you’re on the road?

Ed: Our sound guy, John, he’s in his early fifties now and he’s got kids and a wife and family and he sees himself as quite a dj and he has an extensive knowledge of all different kinds of music. So he sets up his laptop and he’s so happy DJ’ing. And you’re like, “John, how about some 80’s new wave or something” and he’ll be like “RIGHT” and then for the next two hours you’ll be blasted with all kinds of music you’ve never heard before. It’s kind of like an education in music.

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Sonos Studio: An Evening with Ziggy Marley

What do you know about Ziggy Marley? Owner of six Grammy's, maker of a number of critically acclaimed albums, activist for important matters like education and healthcare, producer of a line of organic food - Ziggy is creative and productive, to say the least. With a rich musical heritage and music being a huge part of his life from the early days, Ziggy knows what he's doing and he does it well.

The new album Fly Rasta, to be released on April 15th, is an album from Ziggy that is set to be nothing less than great if we have learnt anything throughout the years - and during his evening at Sonos Studio LA we got to experience it first hand. The thing is: it's about the music, how you experience it and it's about the person who makes it, the one who creates it. And with Ziggy we're fans of all three of those things.

This video - Sonos Studio: An Evening With Ziggy Marley - lets you get to know Ziggy better and presents a performance of the new track "I Don't Wanna Live on Mars". Enjoy.

Check Ziggy out on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hometown HiFi: The Evolution of Sound System Culture

The rise of the sound system in Jamaica in the 1960s involved crowds flocking around speakers, eclipsing performers in popularity, and ultimately spread globally to form a musical revolution. The movement ignited a culture around listening out loud together that would influence a wide variety of music genres for decades to come.

In the new Hometown HiFi exhibition at Sonos Studio, we wanted to explore the origins of the movement that played a significant role in what we bring to the world today. The following film takes you through the history of the sound system from individuals who have played a part - including Seb Carayol, a noted expert in Dub culture and Hometown HiFi curator, as well as legendary Dub artist, Mad Professor and also Scientist, among others.

The exhibition, showing at Sonos Studio in LA through April 24, includes artifacts from the 1960s that are debuting in the US for the first time: including King Tubby’s sound system, one of the most treasured original sound systems from the 1960s (and it’s still working!), three of the original films on the movement - “Babylon”, “Deep Roots Music” and “Musically Mad” - and  photos by Pekka Vuorinen, Tero Kaski and Beth Lesser. We hope you enjoy it.

Sonos Studio is located at 145 N. La Brea in Los Angeles. For more information and to get on the list for upcoming events, visit sonos-studio.com.

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At Home with Andrew Scheps

As part of our Sonos at Home series we hung out with 2-time GRAMMY-winning sound engineer Andrew Scheps at his home in Van Nuys, CA.

Scheps has helped the The Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Adele, Beyoncé and scores of others to, as he puts it: “make emotion come out of the speakers.”

As you might suspect, behind that modest mantra things are a bit more complicated: analyzing, understanding, and balancing the music the artist records with technology’s ability to accurately reproduce it. And the advent of the web brought new challenges, but also new opportunities. “We've always been told we have to sacrifice quality for convenience,” says Scheps, perhaps pondering his word choice, “but now we know that’s bullshit.

Scheps, along with other award-winning producers/engineers, has been lending their ears and expertise to Sonos for a few years. Starting with the PLAY:3 and most recently with the PLAY:1, he helped the Sonos acoustics team achieve the sound experience they were looking for.

"When I was growing up your stereo was a really important part of your life. Lately this concept of a place to listen to music has gone away, and it's something we need to get back to. Sonos allows you to keep all the portability in your music collection, but gives you a great sounding system to listen to when you're at home."

Scheps frequently speaks to industry experts about what goes into recording and listening to great music. If you’re planning to attend SxSW you can catch him on Friday the 14th at 2pm at Ballroom E in the Convention Center. More info on his presentation here.

Watch the film below and let us know what you think in the comments.

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Sonos and Our Commitment to Innovation

By Craig Shelburne, Sonos Co-Founder + General Counsel

Twelve years ago, I was fortunate enough to join the initial team at Sonos that set out to reinvent home audio. We believed this could be achieved by marrying software, audio hardware and online music services, and we’ve focused exclusively on this mission since day one. The result? We created an entirely new category of speakers that are wireless and multi-room. During this time, we’ve developed numerous key inventions, displayed in our products and explained in detail through more than 200 patent filings. For many years, we felt alone in our mission, but always knew a time would come when that would change.

Today, wireless speakers and systems represent the fastest growing segment in home audio. The market has seen numerous new entrants, from start-ups you’ve possibly never heard of to bigger brands you might know. This is great news for consumers because more competition should only improve everyone’s experience with music at home.

Our patents reveal to the public key foundational elements we created that enhance the music experience in the home. We know that others can – and will – benefit from the time, energy and investment we have put into our patented inventions, not to mention our products themselves. And we welcome that learning, but with an honorable caveat: use it to create differentiated products, rather than merely incorporating or copying our invention without our permission. While we recognize the existence of abuses in the marketplace that cross this ethical line, we still believe patents can and should be used for the benefit of all – by helping accelerate innovation.

Looking ahead, in the interests of being transparent and eliminating surprises, we will be ‘forward-publishing’ our patent applications well before they are available to the public (which is usually 18 months after the patent application). We are doing this for anyone or any company that might be interested in the patents we are seeking.

We will do this for all patent filings going forward – with one obvious exception: applications that cover inventions that are not yet in publicly available Sonos products. Our website, http://www.sonos.com/legal/terms/#patents, provides a link for all of our published U.S. patents and patent applications.  Over time, this link will also include our forward published applications as the USPTO updates its database.  In addition, we will endeavor to include similar links for our non-U.S. patents.

To our loyal listeners, many thanks for your continued support. You can always count on us to continue working hard on more exciting innovations that will help fill your home with music like never before.

Thanks,

Craig

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At Home with Justin Boreta of The Glitch Mob

You’ve probably heard us say we want to fill your home with music, but what does that look like? And what does it sound like?

We’re launching the Sonos at Home series to answer those very questions. We get that sometimes it’s inspiring to simply see what people are doing with their Sonos systems: how they’ve setup certain rooms, how it’s changed their listening habits, and how it’s making listening to music throughout their home easier, and more enjoyable.

We’re thrilled to kick off this series with Justin Boreta of The Glitch Mob. Watch the film below as Boreta shares how Sonos has changed the way he listens to music. Take a tour of his LA home, and sit with him in his living room as he tests his Sonos SUB using Can’t Kill Us, from their newest record Love Death Immortality.

Let us know what you think of the video or share a link to your own Sonos at Home video in the comments below. And stay tuned as we share more stories from friends whose Sonos experience exemplifies what we’re here to do: fill your home with music.

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The Making of PLAY:1 and PLAYBAR

Music lovers to the core, we aim to elevate the music experience with every product we create. We recently caught up with our Product Design Team to jump head first into the development of the mini but mighty, PLAY:1 and the Sonos PLAYBAR.

Sonos product and design teams share what carried the PLAY:1 and PLAYBAR from initial concepts into the homes of music lovers around the world.

Take a look into the Sonos lab in our video, and ask any questions you have in the comments below.

 

 

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Dwell at the Sonos Studio: How to Make Every Room Sound Great

Play:1 in a theater setup.

Dwell Editor Erika Heet hosted an intimate discussion and audience Q&A at the Sonos Studio with Tad Toulis, VP of Design at Sonos, and Sonos Studio lead architect Rania Alomar from RA-DA Architects. Together the three discussed the changing challenges of designing spaces for sound and how everyone from space designers, to architects to everyday music enthusiasts can help shape the sound in their home.

Alomar began by describing her approach to every project, “avoid construction and improvise with the space.” Toulis extrapolated on how the importance of flexibility and improvisation in sound design has shaped the team’s vision behind the design of every product. “The Sonos founders and I share this fundamental belief, which is, the more music is in your life, the better your life is.”

The audience asked questions around how to make to get the best sound out of every room, as each space has its own unique sound design. And while Alomar firmly believes in improvisation, she follows a few fundamental points.

  1. Don’t bury speakers in cubbyholes, instead leave them with space to project and fill the room.
  2. Try shifting furniture and experimenting with different pieces in a room; each piece impacts how a room sounds.
  3. In addition to furniture, people themselves change the way a room sounds. Be cognizant of whether the room receives a lot of traffic - or instead if it’s a sitting area - and whether sound will be a focal point, or in the background.

The panel concluded with what was perhaps the thesis of the evening, “Has sound design grown in importance over the years?” Alomar answered, saying “Absolutely; it’s one of your senses. What do you see? What do you hear? As an architect you’re crafting not just a visual but an entire experience.”

Be sure to keep an eye out in next month’s issue of Dwell, where there will be photos and further coverage of the night’s discussion in the Dwell Scenes section.

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Introducing the new SONOS PLAY:1

Filling your home with music has never been easier or more affordable.

We’ve spent the last decade building products on the belief that music lovers (like us) should be able to have it all – play all the music on the planet, control it the way you want, and enjoy amazing high fidelity sound, wirelessly in every room of your home. Over the years, we’ve built a portfolio of smart speakers to deliver on that promise. In March of this year, we expanded our product family with the introduction of PLAYBAR, combining great sound for your TV with all your favorite music. Our next mission was to bring the Sonos experience to even more music lovers everywhere.

Today, we’re excited to introduce our newest product, the compact and powerful SONOS PLAY:1, available now for $199* in the US and globally on October 29.

Hearing is believing, but this is what to expect from the PLAY:1.

It has surprisingly big sound in a compact size

PLAY:1’s custom-designed mid-woofer and tweeter deliver a big low end, and crisp mids and highs minimizing distortion, even at full volume. Plus, PLAY:1 projects a wide field of sound, delivering a great listening experience no matter where you are sitting in the room.

Play all your favorite music at the touch of a button

You can stream from dozens of services (e.g. Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and Hype Machine), 100,000+ radio stations and/or your personal digital music library. Use the Sonos Controller app for your computer, Android and iOS devices or the new Play/Pause button for easy one-touch access – whatever is closest. The new button functionality will be available on all Sonos devices through today’s software update, 4.2

Enjoy all the things people love about Sonos with the flexibility to serve different needs in your home

  • Create a stereo pair. When two PLAY:1s are paired, your system knows to treat them as left and right to create a powerful sound image. Add a SUB for your neighbors to enjoy your music too.
  • Expand your living room to wireless HiFi surround sound. Use a PLAYBAR, SUB and two PLAY:1s as rear speakers.
  • Sing in the shower. PLAY:1’s sealed architecture creates resistance to even the steamiest room in the home.

Finally, for a limited time this holiday season, purchases of PLAY:1, PLAY:3 and PLAY:5 come with a free BRIDGE valued at $49.

*For more information on the SONOS PLAY:1 including global pricing, where to buy, technical specifications and more, please visit sonos.com/PLAY1.

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Erykah Badu Performs With Robert Glasper Experiment – Sonos Studio @ SXSW

Erykah Badu joins Robert Glasper and his band onstage for an exclusive, intimate performance at SXSW. Plus, the Grammy-winning musician talks collaboration and musical inspiration.

 

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PLAYBAR in Stores Today

Today is the day. PLAYBAR is now available in stores across the globe starting today. Shop online or find your nearest Sonos retailer using our store locator. (For PLAYBAR availability choose 'Advanced Filter' and check PLAYBAR).

And if you haven't yet experienced PLAYBAR's potential, take a look at the video below:

 

 

The PLAYBAR means: six mid-woofers, three tweeters, 24 million calculations every second, add a SUB or even two PLAY:3s for a 5.1 experience, Night Sound. It's time to unleash your TV sound AND all the music on earth. Learn more about what the PLAYBAR can do here.

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Introducing the new SONOS PLAYBAR

The next stage of home theater, amazing Sonos HiFi sound for your television and all the music on earth come together in a radically simple way.

Unleash your TV Sound. Unleash all the music on earth with the new SONOS PLAYBAR:

 

The newest creation from the Sonos team is the perfect complement to your home theater:

Never before has wireless HiFi audio been this easy. Simply plug PLAYBAR into your TV and any Sonos component into your router. Control the volume with your TV remote or one of the free Sonos controller apps.

PLAYBAR’s built-in sensors will automatically orient the audio channels and adjust the EQs for the perfect sound.

Six mid-woofers provide deep, rich low frequency sounds, accompanied by three tweeters for crystal clear high-frequency sounds.

But we didn’t stop there:

PLAYBAR is smart. Sonos’ advanced speaker array technology makes 24 million calculations every second where each mid-woofer adds and subtracts from one another simultaneously

PLAYBAR is scalable. You can add a SUB or even two PLAY:3s for a 5.1 experience at the touch of a button without the need for messy wiring or complex audio set-up.

PLAYBAR is sensitive. We thought of you late-night movie-watchers. ‘Night Sound’ dynamically compresses the audio to avoid any bangs and crashes waking the family, while making quieter sounds more audible. ‘Speech Enhancement’ boosts the frequency range of the human voice so you never miss those essential moments of dialogue.

Whether you’re watching your favorite movie, catching up the latest TV series, gaming with your friends or having a full-on dance party, Sonos has you covered. PLAYBAR is the soundbar for music lovers.

Pre-order the SONOS PLAYBAR before it's available on March 5th. Then get your system ready for PLAYBAR by updating your Software now (Sonos Controller > Online Updates).

Have questions? RSVP for one of two Sonos Live Chats (Europe - Feb. 20th at 10am GMT & US - Feb. 21st @ 11am PT) and ask questions directly to the Product Development team in charge of the SONOS PLAYBAR.

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SONOS and The FADER Create Wondaland West with Janelle Monáe (Part I, II & III)

Janelle Monáe and the Wondaland Arts Society made their way to LA to create Wondaland West from their home in Atlanta with our friends from Fader. Together we tracked their stories and experiences along the way.

Watch Part 1 which reveals a closer look of the Wondaland Arts Society in Atlanta first seen in the Sonos TV commercial. Featuring Janelle Monáe, Deep Cotton and Roman Gianarthur.

Part II features a live performance and interview from Wondaland band Deep Cotton. Featuring Janelle Monáe & Deep Cotton.

Part III features a live performance and interview from Roman Gianarthur.

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Janelle Monáe on the Music in her Life

Janelle Monáe has been called a style provocateur; an individual cleverly redefining the modern idea of the musical artist.  And she is someone who has done this the only way imaginable - her own. We recently sat down with Janelle to talk about what music inspires her, what makes her tick, and what we can expect from the newest Sonos artist and COVERGIRL.

Sonos: Huge thanks again to you and your friends and creative collaborators The Wondaland Arts Society for appearing in our new ad campaign and opening  the Wondaland headquarters to us for the shoot.

Janelle Monáe: We had a great time working on the video. I think it really shows the Wondaland Arts Society in full effect and reflects our energy, our aesthetic and some of the people and music we love. I’ve had great feedback from people that enjoyed seeing it.

Sonos: You’ve been a busy woman this year- touring the world, performing at the White House, and being chosen as the newest face of Sonos and COVERGIRL. How do these diverse live events and new experiences help you stay inspired while writing new music?

JM: I've been fortunate to meet so many diverse people from different walks of life. I listen to their stories and it inspires me to want to write music to help guide them through life. No matter where you come from you still need inspiration. Life is full of highs and lows. I aim to uplift.

Sonos: We recently saw you cover “I Want You Back” at the AfroPunk festival. How influential are Motown hits to your performance style?

JM: I'm thankful to Berry Gordy for putting out such incredible soulful timeless acts. I would have never discovered 2 of my favorite voices, "little Michael Jackson," and Stevie Wonder, had he not. He was one of the inspirations behind the record label I co-founded, The Wondaland Arts Society. We study how Motown released music in the 60's and 70's a lot. They have a great blueprint.

Janelle Monae with Berry Gordy
Janelle Monae with Berry Gordy

Sonos: Tell us about the Wondaland Arts Society and how that project started. Are there any artists or recommended songs we should keep an eye out for?

JM: The Wondaland Arts Society is an arts collective and independent recording label I co-founded with Nate Wonder & Chuck Lightning. Roman GianArthur & Deep Cotton are my label-mates and are dynamic self-produced artists the world needs to know.  I get my wildest listening experiences listening to their music. Check out Deep Cotton's song "We're Far Enough From Heaven Now We Can Freak Out" on http://www.sonos.com/listeningisback/janellemonae and in our commercial!

Sonos: What is your Sonos-style? How do you use listen to music at home?

JM: I have several SONOS PLAY:3's and PLAY:5's around our studio and in each room of my house. Having SONOS really makes listening to all my favorite music and discovering music from around the world easy.

Sonos: Okay - if you had to choose five songs that influenced you the most? Which would they be?

JM:

- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - Lauryn Hill
- Bombs Over Baghdad - OutKast
- Let's Go Crazy - Prince
- Girl Blue - Stevie Wonder
- Shape of Things to Come - Max Frost & The Troopers

Sonos: What was the first album you ever bought? 

JM: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Sonos: What was the first concert you attended?

JM: Smoking Grooves Tour with Outkast, Erykah Badu, & George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic

Sonos: Who are your favorite artists right now?

JM: Deep Cotton and Roman GianArthur. They're exciting, self-produced, visionary new artists.

The Deep Cotton track Janelle mentions is currently burning up the iTunes and Billboard charts. Get a free download here. And if you haven’t already, check out the Sonos/Janelle Monáe collaboration videos here. Outside of being a talented musician with impeccable style, Janelle Monáe continues to be a creative force with the Wondaland Arts Society. We’re excited for our Sonos Artist and can’t wait to see what’s next.

Don’t forget! For a chance to WIN a Sonos wireless hifi speaker system and get FREE downloads of new songs from Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Arts Society visit: http://www.sonos.com/listeningisback/janellemonae

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SONOS SUB is here

Take your whole Sonos system one seismic step closer to the spine-curling, jaw-dropping, full body experience music was meant to be. Today, the newest, deepest addition to the Sonos Wireless HiFi System is now available. Get all SUB facts here.

 

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Center of Attention at the Sonos Studio

To inaugurate the Sonos Studio with our first cycle of programming we went straight to the core of what this is all about: Listening. The events and exhibition “Center of Attention” by multimedia artist Luke Fischbeck are about sharing the experience of listening out loud. To that end, Luke created a giant musical instrument, playable by any number of participants at once.

Get an up-close take on the interactive, touch-activated installation in the video below. If you're in the L.A. area, we invite you to stop by the Studio to experience "Center of Attention" for yourself. The exhibit runs until June 10.

 

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Listening is Back: Questlove’s shoe lair soundtrack

Sonos is on a mission to bring music listening back to the home. And who better to help us spread the word than some of the most discriminating listeners around?

We started exploring listening moments with deadmau5, who took us through a morning of music in his Toronto home and then shared his own experience with Sonos.

As the next installment in our series, we’re giving you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how drummer and DJ Questlove enjoys listening in his New York City loft. Hint: It involves a hair pick, lots of Nikes, and three kinds of stir-fry.

Want to listen to the music Questlove was listening to during his day? Hear it on Rhapsody. This playlist includes these tracks and more:

  1. Syl Johnson - "Different Strokes"
  2. Donn T - "Look At"
  3. JJ Johnson - "Stir Fry"
  4. Danny! - "Where is Danny"

DJ Questlove enjoys listening in his New York City loft.

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Introducing SUB

On June 19, the newest, deepest addition to the Sonos family arrives: the Sonos SUB. It’s going to take the whole Sonos System one seismic step closer to the spine-curling, jaw-dropping, full body experience music was meant to be.

 

Whether you’re listening to Beethoven’s thunderous 5th or the pounding bassline of the latest four-on-the-floor obsession, the new SUB will fill any room with thick layers of bottomless sound that let you hear and feel the weight of every chord, kick, splash and roll.

Place it anywhere in a room, plug it into a power source, press a button and follow some simple prompts on your controller. The SUB wirelessly connects with your other Sonos components for a flawlessly optimized, whole-room listening experience. Within minutes of taking it out of the box, you won’t just hear the difference our new SUB makes—you’ll feel it with every bone in your body.

Introducing SUB

Whether standing up or lying down, the SUB’s unique design and wireless signal allows you to place it anywhere you want in the room—even lying flat under a couch—without any loss in sound or performance.

The SUB works with all Sonos amplified components: CONNECT:AMP; PLAY:5; PLAY:3. It does not work with the non-amplified Sonos CONNECT.

Launching on mid-June, the SUB is available in a high-gloss black lacquer finish for $699 USD ($749 CAD, £699 EU, £599 UK). A black matte version will be available in September 2012 for $599 USD ($649 CAD, £599 EU, £499 UK).

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The Sonos Listening Library: Where sound and design meet

Joining in on Cool Hunting’s takeover of the Standard Hotel, East Village, we have transformed and tuned the Sonos Listening Library as part of the annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and Noho Design Week. The intersection between the interior of the room and the sound you explore as you move through the space challenges the way we think about design and technology together—creating an acoustically and aesthetically friendly environment to listen to music. Similar to the newly created Sonos Studio, a listening-focused gallery in the heart of Los Angeles, the Listening Library’s debut at New York’s design week includes modifications according to acoustic principles such as reflection, absorption, and diffusion to create an acoustically refined environment for listening.

SONOS Soundalier

In the center of the room hangs the Sonos Soundalier. Created by Kiel Mead and Lindsey Adelman, the piece utilizes Adelman’s iconic iron chandeliers with PLAY:3 wireless speakers in the place of  lights. The sound creates an unparalleled, 360-degree music listening experience.

Come check out the Sonos Listening Library and all that design and music has to offer during out panel discussion Friday at 5:00 PM (EST) on the first floor of the Standard Hotel, East Village. Moderated by Dwell and Architizer, the panel will explore the connection between interior, furniture design, and acoustics. The Sonos team will discuss the concept, design, and build of the newly completed Sonos Studio.

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Listening In: Jimmy Cliff performs at Sonos Studio

It’s 5:47pm on Wednesday and the Sonos Studio is beginning to fill up. The din of an Ornette Coleman record and everyone enjoying themselves creeps under the door and seeps through the walls of the Listening Room. There, lounging with legs crossed on a cowhide couch, Jimmy Cliff is telling a story about his childhood. He explains with a grin that, growing up in Jamaica, he went with his parents to church. “The kind of church it was was about singing and music and that. So I liked that…I enjoyed it because of the release of the emotion.”

Now, at 64 years old, it’s tough to single out the most accomplished aspect of Jimmy’s musical career. He has written what Bob Dylan called one of the greatest protest songs of all times. In ’72 he starred in The Harder They Come, which – along with his work on the soundtrack – would introduce the world to reggae music.

Feel free to imagine what it would be like to do either of those things. Or anything of comparable impact. I’ve tried; it’s hard.

Yet Cliff sits (still smiling) and begins to talk about what may be his most laudable and incidentally lesser-known feat, “I change with the technological age.” As an artist who has lived through the transition from radio to television to the advent of the internet, he remains undaunted; excited even. “I keep changing – that’s why this wireless thing is so cool and easy. It’s pretty amazing. For me it’s a very exciting time to be experiencing.”

“I like to be current with everything that’s going on. I want to listen to everything.”

An icon with an insatiable creative appetite. Pretty much a perfect fit for the innaugural Sonos Studio listening party.

Jimmy Cliff SONOS Listening Party

Although Cliff may be getting on in years, his enthusiasm is unmatched. He’s touring internationally for the next month before he returns to the US for 20+ dates this summer. This is far from his final dalliance.

We talk about what it’s been like recording Cliff’s last two records with Tim Armstrong (Rancid, Operation Ivy, et al.). “It was kind of an awakening, working with Tim. Awakening in the sense of – I’m the type of artist that after I create something I want to move on and create something else. But he kind of said ‘look at what you’ve done over here’…it was something.”

After our chat, Cliff begins the listening party with music journalist Eric Ducker. There’s a dramatic effect –the room full of people goes silent as the audience encircles the stage. Ducker conducts a listening and discussion session that involves more of Cliff as his storytelling self, entertaining the full house with songwriting origins and anecdotes as they play segments of songs from his recent album REBIRTH. It’s an intimate setting, with the audience so attentive Ducker even fields a few questions at the end.

But while the listening and discussion session was rather quiet, during the performance the Sonos Studio shines. Thanks to the custom canted walls and the acoustic foam ceiling, Cliff’s voice sounds so warm and emotive it’s as if it surrounds you. Cliff has headlined international festivals and played to audiences en masse throughout his entire career, so to hear him in such a setting with attention to acoustic detail was a real treat. And in true reggae form the set spanned from socio-political to feel-good, with a moving rendition of his unreleased song Cry No More, and finishing with the classic Joe Higgs sing-along, World Upside Down.

With many more Sonos Studio events on the books this summer, Cliff set the bar high.

Much more to look forward to at 145 N La Brea.

Bryan Crawford has long been indoctrinated with good music. Starting with everything from Dylan to disco in the home, he soon became a jazz nerd. Now he spends his time curating an online music discovery resource featuring monthly installments of emerging artists in major US metros. 

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The Sonos Studio: Listening, Sonos-style

Today, we’re introducing the Sonos Studio, an acoustically-designed gallery that celebrates music listening and serves as the best place in Los Angeles to experience Sonos first-hand. The space explores the intersection of music, art and technology by hosting exhibitions, intimate concerts, listening parties, film screenings, lectures, workshops and more.

 

The 4,000 square foot studio, located in LA’s La Brea Art and Design District, is a sonically-tuned venue with custom-built seven-degree canted gallery walls, strategically placed pyramidal sound-dispersing foam tiles, and a purposefully built listening room – all designed to build the best place to listen to music,  Sonos-style.

To create a fully-realized L.A. community space, we joined forces with a team of local designers, businesses and artists. The studio architecture was designed by Rania Alomar of RA-DA. The interior designers at The Studio Collective turned the Listening Room into a comfortable lounge space with ideal acoustic properties. Coffee Commissary, the neighborhood coffee shop, created the gourmet coffee bar installation. Venice-based Knibb Design designed beautiful custom-built furniture, and skateboarding legend Natas Kaupas put together a skateboard “lending library” with a hand-picked playlist to match each deck.  Other studio partners include 3LCD (digital projection), Gibson Guitars (instruments), Heineken, and Stewart Filmscreen (cinema screens).

The Sonos Studio acts as a true gallery space, which will play host to a series of exhibitions, all free and open to the public during regular hours (Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6PM). The inaugural exhibition, Center of Attention, an interactive sound installation by Los Angeles artist Luke Fischbeck, begins Sunday, May 13th.  Throughout each exhibition, we’ll celebrate listening with a number of events, including a listening party with reggae legend Jimmy Cliff to celebrate his forthcoming album “REBIRTH.”  Plus, an Opening Party featuring the music of Bleached and a DJ set from Questlove.

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Listening Is Back

Listening is Back

From day one, our mission has been to make listening to music at home amazing again. Music doesn’t have to be tucked away in headphones or just background to other activity; it can be savored in your space as the integral moment.

Sonos celebrates this fact, making listening easy and big and fun by letting you stream all the music on earth, in any room, wirelessly.

So what’s this experience like if you have some of the most discerning music ears in the world? We’ve collaborated with several artists to capture the answer.

First up, a sneak peek inside electronic artist deadmau5’s new Toronto home as he grooves through his morning routine with a fitting playlist, some toast and his cat, Professor Meowingtons.

 

Later, get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how hip hop drummer and DJ Questlove enjoys his own soundtrack in his New York City loft. We’ll be sharing that film and more soon, so be sure to stay tuned here. In the meantime, check out more deadmau5 videos.

How do you enjoy music in the home? Share your listening moments below.

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How To Use Line-In On Sonos

Since day one, our mission has been to help music lovers play any song anywhere in their homes. While, we’ve moved into the age of streaming, we still have strong ties to some of the more tangible forms of listening. You can use the line-in on your player to connect your favorite external audio source like a turntable or MP3 player to your PLAY:5, CONNECT, or CONNECT:AMP and stream to any Sonos component throughout your whole home.

Here’s how to use line-in on your player to listen out loud.

 

Connect a player to a PLAY:5

Using the audio cable that came with your speaker, plug one end into the headphone jack of the audio player and the other end to the line-input on the back of the PLAY:5.

How To Use Line-In On Sonos

The new PLAY:5 has an Autoplay function that offers the option to play your music on the go, without Wi-Fi connectivity.  Turn on Autoplay and connect your external audio source to the PLAY:5’s Line-In. Without having to switch music sources, your music will immediately start playing on the PLAY:5 and any other speakers you like.  You will still need to plug the speaker into an outlet for power. 

 

Connect a player to a CONNECT

Using the stereo mini to RCA Y-audio cable that came in the box, plug the single end into the headphone jack of the audio player and attach the split cable to the corresponding colors of the L/R audio inputs on the back of the Sonos unit.

 

Connect a player to a CONNECT:AMP

Purchase a stereo mini to RCA Y-audio cable and follow the instruction for the CONNECT.

Use line-in with the Sonos CONNECT:AMP.Then all you have to do is switch audio source to line-in on your Sonos controller.

 

You can listen to music from the external device in any room, and use the Sonos App to control the volume settings. However, you must control the playback (forward, pause, etc.) from the line-in source.

Related: Discover what happens when engineering meets design in this behind-the-scenes look at the collaboration that went into the new PLAY:5.  

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Now streaming music in one million rooms

Now streaming music in one million rooms

That’s right, Sonos has gone platinum— as of today, we’re officially streaming music in more than one million rooms around the world.   That means there’s music blasting everywhere from kitchens in Paris to roof decks in New York City. We think that totally rocks, so thanks for helping us make this happen.

It’s hard to believe that it all started back in 2002, when our fearless founders decided to reinvent the home stereo for the digital age. We shipped our first product in 2005 and now you can find our Wireless HiFi Systems in over one million rooms. But don’t worry, we have no intention of resting on our laurels – we will charge full-speed ahead in our efforts to bring you a simple, enjoyable home listening experience. It’s all part of our ultimate goal to fill every home with all the music on earth.

We’d love to hear from those who have a room (or two) filled with music from Sonos. Use the comment section below to tell us about your favorite room full of music—or even share a tale about a sad room in desperate need of Sonos. Or if you're feeling really inspired, create a playlist of songs from your favorite platinum-selling artists. Extra credit if you have pics to share.

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Introducing the PLAY:3

Sonos is thrilled to announce the launch of our latest all-in-one player, the PLAY:3. Available starting today, the PLAY:3 is compact enough to fit almost anywhere you want music at home—even smaller rooms and surfaces. And because versatility is key for tight spaces, we built the PLAY:3 to work both vertically and horizontally.

Position the PLAY:3 any way you want it.
Position the PLAY:3 any way you want it.

Of course, just because we've designed the PLAY:3 with a diminutive footprint doesn't mean we left out big Sonos sound. The PLAY:3 features three speakers powered  by three dedicated digital amps, so you'll be able to enjoy the Sonos's signature HiFi quality. And like the PLAY:5 before it, our newest player also offers Stereo Pair Mode, which means that if you have two in one room, you can designate one as the left channel and the other as the right for even bigger stereo sound.

Additionally, the PLAY:3 offers a unique feature that detects if the unit is positioned vertically or horizontally and then modifies the speaker’s output to ensure clean and balanced audio output. In horizontal mode, you may notice a wider stereo response, while in vertical mode, music may sound brighter on the highs and crisper on the mids.

Adding to the PLAY:3s versatility is an integrated, threaded mounting hole, which allows you to easily mount the player on the wall or under a cabinet using a suitable mounting bracket (sold separately).

With the PLAY:3, Sonos continues to expand on its vision of making it easy for people to fill their homes with all the music on earth, whether it comes from their personal music libraries or one of our many music partners. As with the other products in the Sonos Wireless HiFi System, the PLAY:3 is super simple to set up and connects wirelessly to all other Sonos components. And it can be controlled wirelessly from the comfort of your couch, using any Sonos Controller – including free apps for your Android smartphone, iPhone, or iPad.

Finally, Sonos is introducing the PLAY:3 with an affordable price tag to make it even easier for people to expand existing Sonos systems or start a new one. The PLAY:3 goes on sale today for the following prices (based on region of purchase): $299 USD, $329 CAD, $419 AUD, 299 EUR, 259 GBP, or 2980 CNY.  (Starting a new Sonos system? Make sure you check out the BRIDGE, which recently enjoyed a price cut.)

Where will you start streaming music with the PLAY:3? Tell us about it below!

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