Sonos CEO: Apple’s AirPlay “doesn’t work very well”

Jul 20, 2011
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Sonos CEO: Apple’s AirPlay “doesn’t work very well”

Sonos may have only just revealed its PLAY:3 speaker, the company's bargain $299 entry-level streaming music system, but it already harbors big ambitions for other home audio implementations. CEO John MacFarlane has been eyeing the home theater market, he tells This is my next, finding it "awfully attractive [because currently] it's horribly done"; however, he also spares some fighting talk for Apple's AirPlay, suggesting that even when it comes to decent AirPlay speakers, the PLAY:3 will "absolutely blow them out of the water."

Asked whether Sonos was at risk from AirPlay, MacFarlane insisted that - while his company does compete with high-end manufacturers such as B&W - the two products prioritize very different segments. " If what you’re after is getting your music off your phone and into the room, AirPlay is a no-brainer" he concedes. "If what you’re after is enjoying a wonderful experience around the home, it’s a no-brainer for us."

What MacFarlane isn't willing to do is just use a couple of PLAY:3 units as wireless rear channel speakers and leave it at that. Instead, Sonos is looking at how it can find some of the success of, say, Bose's 3-2-1 but with the audio quality and wireless convenience the company is known for.

Don't expect to see Sonos in the car or making personal audio systems, though, despite rumors earlier this year. "The home is really different than an auto or personal, because those are two very personal experiences" the CEO argues, "that's just a really different world than those other two."


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