Sonos aims to put its name in the dictionary, as a synonym to ‘innovation’. I mean, come on! Those people are working really hard into surpassing their own selves. Every and each time they share with the world something new, it’s not a false alarm. It’s something really new. Instead of copying their competitors, they’re focusing on bringing our music listening experience into the next level. Whether you’re a sound geek or not, you’ll be able to tell that their high-end products equal top quality. You’ll be able to hear that. After this praising introduction (that they really worth it, by the way), let’s see what they came up with this time.
Trueplay: The tuning software
Here comes the revolution. Trueplay is a software for our iPhones/iPads.
What can it do? It can detect the position of our speaker, how high/low the ceiling is, how packed the room is with furniture etc.
Why? Oh, well. To adapt the speaker to the acoustics of the room. Every house is different. What Trueplay guarantees is that, no matter where we are, we’ll be able to listen to the music the way that their creators wanted it to be. To be 100% clear here, that doesn’t mean that the mp3 you downloaded illegally from a questionable site is going to sound amazing. Of course, it has to do with the source you play the music from and the quality of the actual file.
How? You basically have to press the button and move around. There is no chance that you’ll do something wrong since there is a video that shows you exactly what to do. The app itself can tell if you have a case on your phone and will ask you to remove it, to free the microphone! While you’ll be walking around the room and feeling like a Star Wars actor or a serious crime detective, the app manages to collect all information needed to calibrate your speaker. If you have two of them, you don’t have to do that twice. Once you do it, you’re good to go. You put on your favorite songs and you have an excellent music experience. Of course, if you move your speaker somewhere else (another room/apartment), you can re-adjust it to the new room’s acoustics.
Does it ‘EQ’ the sound, or what? In my question if there is the possibility to give different EQs, because there are different kinds of music (duh), they gave me an answer that I didn’t expect. Craig Wisneski, the product manager of Sonos, told me that as a company they want to deliver something neutral, touching it up the least possible, if not at all. The closest it can be to the studio masters, the better. He invites us to think about it as a clean, really good camera lens. There is always the possibility to manually add some bass, if you feel like it. But that’s all.
Where to find Trueplay? ‘It will be available on all Sonos Play:1, Sonos Play:3, Sonos Play:5 products and iOS controllers and will continue to be added to the Sonos lineup over time’. That’s what they told us. They will probably make it even smarter through the time.
Sonos Play:5. The evolution to the evolution.
I could start directly with the characteristics, but I won’t. I would like to talk about my personal experience. While the Trueplay software was demonstrated in a kitchen, the Sonos Play:5 couldn’t but be demonstrated in a cozy living room. Like a geek, I rushed to sit right in the middle of the couch that was placed right in the middle of the room. Smarty pants I tried to be. Do you think that it really mattered where exactly I would sit? Good guess. Nope, it didn’t. And yes, I will write all about it below, but, seriously, my mind was blown away when they played us a song of Bob Dylan. I think it was The Times Are A Changin’ and though I wouldn’t burn my hand in the fire about the truth of this telling, man, I felt that I was in the studio with Dylan, while he was recording the vocals. That was the moment when I realized that no matter how our lives get faster and faster, we should never (ever) lose our emotional relationship with the music. Sonos is working so hard on kicking our butts to listen to the music properly.
Make yourselves a favor and remember to put some quality into your listening experience. No matter if you go for this brand or for the other, aim for some quality. Music is what we’re left with. After this long bow, that’s probably getting kicked out from the article by our Editor-In-Chief, let’s check Sonos Play:5’s characteristics.
What’s new? We’re are talking about their trademark speakers. The previous were great, so what did they change. Well, for the first time the speakers have three orientations. No matter how you want to place it, where you want to place it, the result is pure, crystal clear sound, from the studio to your house.
What are the options? You get one, you put it horizontally and it’s just fine. Your room will be filled with your jam, making it sound an almost too intimate experience. If you’re up for a stereo sound, you can pair them up. I mean, if you have a roomy apartment and you’re willing to invest on a stereo system then we highly recommend this one. You can put them horizontally or vertically. The result is excellent both ways.
But isn’t it just another sound system? No. During the demonstration of the stereo set up, I started walking around in the room, only to be surprised by the fact that the sound was following me. Here’s why I didn’t really need to sit right in the middle. The speakers are so smartly designed to actually live with you and add this little extra something to your daily life. You can also use them in home theater setups, together with the Sonos Playbar and Sonos Sub. If anything we learned, all Sonos products and softwares are compatible with each other.
What about the design? What about its features? Stefan Reichert, the designer himself, was also there to show us every single detail. First things first, Sonos Play:5 comes in two colors. Matte black and matte white. There are no buttons, but touch controls wth smart sensors to respond to all orientations. The volume up is always facing up and the logo is always Sonos ‘because Sonos’, Stefan joked. He continued by saying that the grill has nearly 60.000 individually drilled holes. Even the logo has teeny, tiny little holes, since it’s lying in front of the middle tweeter. The other two are placed left and right and send the sound to the left and to the right, respectively. This is why the sound feels like following you. The three woofers have a range from mid to bass, delivering an excellent quality. I don’t know how many times I used the words ‘excellent quality’ on this article, but I was left speechless. And that’s not easy for me.
Smart-Smarter-The Smartest. What’s next?
You top it up, you manage to refine what could be refined. You take all the time in the world. You don’ put pressure on yourselves to keep up with the trends. You make the trends. You deliver a high-end product. What’s next? I couldn’t but ask myself how is it possible to beat Sonos Play:5. But then I am more than sure that they can. Because it’s really impressive what the perfectionism and the dedication can make human beings achieve. I felt like posing a cheeky question. I asked them when they plan to enter the live industry. I mean that if all crooked monitor speakers would be exchanged with those wireless speakers from where the people onstage can hear themselves perfectly, the artists’ performances will be taken into a whole new level. If all the room speakers would be exchanged with wireless speakers then the energy costs would tremendously lower which is both good for the environment and the venue owner who will finally invest into the quality. That was the moment when Jörn Taubert bumped in. He’s the managing director of Sonos in Central Europe, but he’s got a great experience in the field, since he has worked for companies such as Sony and Amazon. He said that what’s the greatest thing about Sonos is their focus. Of course, they’re always close with their customers and they hear their requests, but what’s the most important thing to them is to focus on making their existing products even better. He continued by saying that the history of other brands has shown that they lost the ball in the imaginary business terrain when they tried to do everything at the same time. Sonos seems to learn from the mistakes of their peers. Behind every smart product is a smart person.
What to say, ambitions are a different thing than megalomania. Sonos is setting the bar too high first for themselves but also for the technology world. For a relatively young company, they’re doing more than great. Why? Because they are ethical and they have high standards. And they care about the music. And they are awesome. There, I said it.
Trueplay and Sonos Play:5 will be available from later this year.
All photos and videos courtesy of Sonos. Read more about the new products on their website.