Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What is so special about Sonos loudspeakers?

I was asking myself the same question. Until I had the chance to try them.

I immediately fell in love.


I have been a fan of Tivoli radios for some time. The impeccable audio quality, solid structure and portability are important features for me. Tivoli meets these requirements well.

When I got the chance to test the Sonos Play:1 loudspeaker I immediately understood what I had been missing.

Sonos Play:1
No more fruitless searching for radio stations: Sonos is able to play almost any music and audio you find on the internet. The splash-proof loudspeaker is resistant to moisture and considering its compact size, the audio quality is incredible.

Let me tell you more.

First of all, the loudspeaker is very stylish. It weighs just as much as a loudspeaker the size of a Play:1 should weigh. Not too much but enough to make you aware of its quality. One of my good friends often says that you know a good loudspeaker from its weight. And he is right.

The loudspeaker is splash-proof, so you can safely use it outdoors in your garden or take it with you into the sauna or bathroom. As it is an active speaker, it requires mains current. A little water vapour won’t do it any harm but you will need to be careful in wet rooms. As indicated in the instructions, it will not hold up if liquids are poured directly onto it.

It is very easy to install. The downside of the installation is that Sonos has not developed an application for Windows phones. You will need a phone or a tablet with Android or an iOS operating system in order to install it.

The usability of the Sonos application could be a bit better. It does work, but it takes some effort to understand the logic how the application works. The targeted searches can also be confusing at times.

But when you access the system’s full potential, it’ll be a moment you never forget.

You can find any music you ever dreamed of from the Spotify and Deezer services. Hundreds of thousands of podcasts and thousands of radio stations will take your breath away. The pleasure does not stop here: you can get additional content from your own media server or music saved on your phone.

Sonos Play:1
Unlike Bluetooth loudspeakers, Sonos does not need a separate player or source: it can play online music independently even if your mobile phone battery is running out or you took it in your pocket more than ten metres away. This is a good feature and I personally find this downside quite annoying in Bluetooth loudspeakers.

There is one nice detail worth mentioning about the radio stations. I live in a place where it is very difficult to capture radio signals. If I don't place the radio on the right place and point it in the right direction, the audio crackles and audio disturbances occur when there is movement near the radio. Sonos resolves this issue. I can find all Finnish online radios on the list and the audio quality is good. If national radios are not enough for you, you can search content from foreign stations as I already might have mentioned.

With Sonos, you can form a stereo pair out of several loudspeakers very easily. You can also group several loudspeakers and place them in different rooms to play the same music throughout the whole building. This is particularly useful for parties: there is no need to blast the volume in one room in order to hear the music in the adjacent rooms.

Sonos and Cozify Hub

Sonos is a great product all by itself, there’s no doubt about it. But we wanted to take loudspeakers to a whole new level.

First of all, Cozify's app works on Windows phones. No restrictions in that regard. Everyone, regardless of their preferred phone manufacturer, are able to control their Sonos speakers.

With Cozify's hub, it is easy create different combinations out of Sonos loudspeakers, lights, intelligent power sockets and motion sensors to improve your everyday routine and to add some luxury to your life.

I’m able to create a dawn simulator to wake me up 15 minutes before the actual wake-up time. At 6:30 am the radio channel or play list I choose kicks me out of my bed. If I want, I could also set a different play list for each morning and all devices and lights in the house are turned off automatically when I go to work.

During the day I get a notification if there is any movement at my home when it should be empty. At that moment bright lights turn on and Sonos activates a loud signal, which could be growling and barking sound if you like. It will certainly not replace a watchdog but it is better than silence!

The lights and the selected radio station or playlist turn on automatically when I come home from work.

My wife loves the romantic night theme which dims the lights to a pleasant warm light and plays Rod Steward's version of the song "I Only Have Eyes For You." I am able to turn on the romantic theme with a simple touch of my finger.

You can do all sort of useful things and have fun with modern wireless devices - your imagination is your only limit. It is extremely easy with Cozify's hub and app.

Find out more about Sonos loudspeakers and Cozify's hub at our online shop at http://shop.cozify.fi

- Tony / Cozify

This is Cozify’s blog, where we ruminate on home automation technologies and practices and share company news. Articles come from our own team as well as other experts in the field.

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