Sonos has upgraded its flagship speaker, the PLAY:5, a $500 streaming music player. Completely redesigned from the original PLAY:5 launched six years ago, the new model comprises six drivers in a bigger box for improved bass performance.
As before, primary control is through Sonos' app for smartphones and tablets, but there are also new capacitive buttons on top of the PLAY:5 itself. Those can not only be tapped to adjust volume, but swiped left and right to navigate through tracks.
It's been six years since Sonos launched the original PLAY:5, the first all-in-one speaker for its streaming music platform, and now it's time for the second-generation. In the intervening period products like the PLAYBAR - which attempts to create surround sound from a single speaker - and the PLAY:1 - with its tiny footprint - have given the company plenty of opportunity to refine its processes.
Google is readying not one but two second-generation Chromecast media streamers for imminent launch, new rumors suggest, with one focused on music. While leaks earlier today indicated the new Chromecast would be a faster, more circular dongle than its stick-like predecessor, subsequent tipsters speaking to 9to5Google suggest it's actually one of two products in the pipeline.
Bang & Olufsen's Play series of more affordable, playful speakers has gained a new behemoth, in the shape of the fortune cookie-like BeoPlay A6. The unusually shaped speaker joins its smaller brethren in packing wireless for streaming from a computer or smartphone, including support for B&O's multi-location system.
Philips has just announced a pair of multi-room speaker offerings, the Izzy BM5 and Izzy BM50. Aimed at keeping all aspects of music playback simple, from connecting multiple units to controlling each individually, the Izzy units let users hear music from a number of sources, including mobile apps and CDs, without the need for a WiFi connection. Only a single speaker need to connect to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, and then Izzylink handles getting audio to all the units in the house.
Audio company Sonos has just taken the wraps off their second limited edition speaker from the PLAY:1 line, the Tone. Much like the first limited edition, the Blue Note, released earlier this year, the Tone continues with the PLAY:1's seamless, minimal design, but now in "absolute black" or "pristine white," and with a soft matte finish. It's still the same size as the standard PLAY:1, so the speaker is compact and can be placed in almost any room without having an over-bearing presence.
Sonos has pushed out an upgrade to its streaming music system, boosting the performance of its entry-level PLAY:1 speakers plus making setup easier. The changes, released today, tweak the clarity of the PLAY:1, which is the most affordable Sonos speaker at $199 apiece, not to mention optimizing bass performance if you pair the one with a Sonos SUB. Meanwhile, there's now also support for music services to deliver customized streams, like curated Google Play Music radio stations that depend on the time of day.
In less than 48 hours, the world, or at least the Apple world, will finally be treated to the company's biggest music push since the iPod and iTunes. Taking to his personal blog, Apple Music senior director and Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers announced that, yes, on Tuesday morning, 30th of June, Apple Music will formally launch as part of an iOS update. This will also mark the maiden broadcast of Beats 1, Apple's ambitious 24/7 worldwide radio station. And yes, Taylor Swift will also be on board. For now.
Sonos and Spotify have long been a popular pairing, and now a new beta unlocks features like Spotify Radio, genres, and moods through the Sonos Controller. The beta, launching for Android users today but expected to roll out more broadly over the next few weeks, builds on Sonos' existing, rather rudimentary integration of the Spotify catalog, which currently allows users to navigate their playlists as well as search through all albums and artists.
Apple axed Beats' ambitions of a wireless home audio system to rival Sonos, insiders say, with the rumored project iced in the aftermath of the acquisition. Beats Electronics had been working on a speaker system which would upgrade its existing range from Bluetooth-alone to supporting multiroom synchronized playback over WiFi, among other things, Variety's sources suggest, but a supposed combination of technical hurdles and dwindling confidence left the concept in limbo.
It's been nearly two years since Sonos unveiled its PLAY:1 streaming speakers, though there have definitely been some special editions of it since then. Today, Sonos is showing that it hasn't forgotten about it nor has it abandoned the faithful fans who purchased one. The latest 5.4 update makes the speakers still relevant by improving its output quality. Of course, that's not the only thing that Sonos is pulling in. It is also emphasizing its commitment to rid your home theater system of restricting and tangling cables.