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.
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.
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.
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.
Sonos is pairing up with Tidal, the newest music streaming service from Jay-Z, which aims to rival Spotify. We're still in the wake of Tidal's launch, so there is no telling whether the service will live up to the hype machine that Jay-Z and his merry music men have created. Sonos wireless HiFi system lets you control your music collection and streaming services from practically any smart device. Sonos aims to provide you with all-in-one access to an almost unlimited music library. Now that Tidal is available through Sonos, you can OD on music through its "curated editorial" collections.
If you're a Sonos fan, you might have known the company has been beta-testing Sonos 5.3, but even if you didn't, we've good news: the company revealed today that the update is available now for mobile devices (assuming they're running Android or iOS). Both new functionality and bug fixes come with it, with Sonos promising that users will find room control to be more simple henceforth, and the design for tablet users in particular has been polished, among other things.
Early this month, Sonos introduced its new Blue Note PLAY:1, a limited edition (a first from the maker) speaker designed to pay tribute to Blue Note Records and jazz in general, including the jazz legends that made it all happen. As you might have guessed, the Blue Note PLAY:1 is blue, but not in the static sense -- it has a fade from dark navy to a lighter cobalt shade, something that results from both hand-painting techniques and, says Sonos, the "strategic use of robots".
The system known as Deezer - with their service called Deezer Elite - is suggested (by the company) to be the largest global high-definition streaming service. They're coming to Sonos with this service this year internationally, bringing Deezer Elite to the wireless speaker system for several countries around the world - beyond the USA, that is to say. Between now and March 19th, Deezer users will be able to upgrade to Deezer Elite for free. Once March 19th comes along, Deezer Elite will be available to all users at a nominal fee per month, all for the glory of high-definition audio.
Sonos may be the darling of multi-room audio, but while the streaming might be flexible, so far the color options have been only one degree more than a Ford Model T. The black or white finishes are being joined by a new blue, however, with Sonos revealing its first limited edition speaker, the Sonos PLAY:1 Blue Note. Intended to mark 75 years of Blue Note Records, the custom-painted speaker comes with exclusive access to jazz playlists curated by some of the big names in the genre, like Don Was.
Streaming multiroom audio favorite Sonos has updated its platform, making controlling several rooms of playback more straightforward, and boosting appeal on tablets. Sonos Software version 5.3, currently available to beta testers before it goes live for all users, builds on the updated Sonos controller app that the company tweaked last year - adding multiple streaming account support, among other things - bringing control over each playback zone further to the fore, as well as individual playback options for the current track, including turning the system into more of a DJ experience.