SONOS: Multi Room Audio At It's finest.
Do you remember the days when if you wanted to listen to music loudly throughout your home, then you had to turn up the volume in the room where all the HiFi equipment was kept? Do you remember when, if you wanted to listen to one track from one CD and then jump to another track on another CD, you would have to change the CD over in the player, wherever that was located? Or even not so long ago when you had to plug your smart phone into your HiFi system to play music from it? These maybe memories from your teenage or student years but these sorts of activities are a thing of the past due to the advancement in wireless technology and specifically with the invention of the SONOS wireless audio system.
SONOS is a company which was founded in 2002 in Santa Barbara, California, by four music lovers attempting to create an easier listening experience for consumers of music in their homes. The technology was developed extensively in the formative years and today works by creating a mesh network within your home wifi network that is exclusively used by the SONOS system.
Each SONOS device, or speaker, that you connect to your SONOS network enables you to listen to music in a solely specified room, in multiple rooms with the addition of extra speakers or on every SONOS speaker throughout your home. Your music is controlled via an app on your smart phone or laptop computer and you can connect to services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer and iTunes so that all of your playlists and music collections are available to you, whichever room you are in.
The SONOS range is a combination of stand-alone speakers, Home Cinema speakers and accessories that allow you to use legacy equipment you may have through the wireless SONOS system. Let’s take a look now at the key products in the SONOS range.
Our favourite speaker from SONOS is the PLAY: 1. It’s the smallest of the entire SONOS range but packs a mighty punch for it’s size and it’s price point within the market. It’s slightly bigger than a large paper coffee cup and only has two buttons, play and volume control. We have installed this speaker time and time again and all of our customers tell us that they are really impressed with this speaker and it being so small and simple to use.
Last year saw SONOS release a version of this speaker with Amazon Alexa voice control built in called SONOS One. Now you don’t even have to browse through the smart phone app to find the music you want to listen to. You can just say “Alexa, play me Ed Sheeran in the kitchen” and Alexa will play this by using the SONOS Alexa Skill built into the speaker. The SONOS One speaker also performs all the other Alexa skills you have enabled and in our opinion is the best Smart Speaker for music lovers.
Whilst the PLAY: 1 or SONOS One, is a great speaker that can easily be moved around the home, it isn’t the ideal speaker for watching films, television or streaming services. For this scenario, SONOS offer the superb “Playbar” or “ Playbase” sound bar options. Coupled with a SONOS Sub, you are able to achieve an immersive Home Cinema experience but at a fraction of the price of a bespoke installation.
Since the demand for televisions to become bigger and more importantly thinner, over the last ten years, the speakers the manufacturers have built into the televisions have sadly become compromised. It is far more common now for a sound bar to be purchased alongside a television panel.
The SONOS “Playbar” compliments the vivid colours of your new television with impressive audio that the television manufacturers had to sacrifice. The Playbar connects directly to your television through a digital optical cable and with some clever fishing of cables, can be installed onto your wall underneath your television with no cables on show. This is a service we offer as part of our packages and is very popular with customers who want that minimal contemporary look in their living rooms.
The SONOS “Playbase” is an option for when you may not be able to mount a sound bar on to the wall, whether it is because the television can’t be mounted onto the wall or you are prohibited from fixing anything to the walls if you were living in rented accommodation. The SONOS Playbase sits on top of your TV stand and underneath the television and still allows for that immersive sound quality that the SONOS Playbar offers.
Finally, the SONOS sub takes care of all those low-end frequencies that bring the big screen to life when watching an action film or a music concert. The SONOS Sub just requires power and connects wirelessly to the SONOS Playbar/Playbase. We recommend you position the sub in one of the corners of the room to feel the maximum benefit of the Home Cinema experience.
The last pieces of equipment that we regularly use from SONOS are the SONOS Connect and the SONOS Connect: Amp. The former is a device that takes the signal from your previous analogue music equipment and brings it on to your wireless SONOS system. This is important for when you may have accumulated many very expensive pieces of audio equipment over the years that reside in a single room however, you may still want to be able to hear the music playing in other rooms in the house through other SONOS speakers. SONOS makes this process extremely easy and intuitive to use.
The SONOS Connect: Amp is probably one of the most frequently installed pieces of equipment we deploy since it acts as the amplifier required to power ceiling speakers as well as connect the ceiling speakers to the SONOS system. Ceiling speakers are an excellent way to fill a room with music and forget where it’s actually coming from since there are no audio speakers in line of sight. Property developers frequently tell us that it’s a touch of luxury that most people can now afford hence, why they are being installed as a standard in many new build homes. All the SONOS Connect: Amp requires is power from the mains and a connection to your home network and connection to the ceiling speakers.
We have loved the SONOS brand for some time now mainly due to it’s high quality, ease of use and ease of installation, compatibility with a wide range of music services and at a price point that makes it accessible to millions of homes. We are also officially accredited to install SONOS equipment by SONOS themselves and know their products and compatibility inside out. Luxe Smart Homes are music lovers at heart, as are the people who founded the SONOS brand and it is a joy for us to install these speakers into the homes of our customers.
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