Tag Archives: Sonos

Sonos teams-up with IKEA again, and this one is unlike anything you've seen before

Flatpack furniture maestros IKEA and smart audio brand Sonos might seem like an unlikely friendship, but the two companies have teamed up to create a number of successful products under the SYMFONISK moniker. After the launch of a bookshelf speaker and table lamp with a Sonos speaker built into the base back in 2019, the next addition is here – the SYMFONISK picture frame.

The frame is designed to bring Sonos’ smart speaker technology to parts of your home where you might not want a speaker taking up room. For example, you can have two SYMFONISK picture frames on the wall behind a sofa that pair with a Sonos Arc or Sonos Beam soundbar to bring surround sound to your home cinema set-up. There are a number of different artworks to choose from, with IKEA promising to refresh the picture frame with new pieces of art in the coming months and years.

During the launch event, IKEA said that it “expects customers to personalise the picture frame” but wouldn’t confirm whether there would be a way for customers to add a single photograph from their own collection to the speaker-cum-frame.

IKEA’s new picture frame is designed to be secured to the wall, freestanding on a shelf, or lean against a wall. It ships with small rubber feet to help it stand on its end, with a small cavity around the back to store these feet if you decide to attach it to the wall – helping you to keep your options open. Of course, you’ll need to plug in the SYMFONISK picture frame to power it up.

Ingeniously, if you decide to have two frames beside one another, you can power the second from the first – saving on the number of cables trailing down from the wall.

Like all previous SYMFONISK products, the picture frame can be added and managed within the Sonos app. If you already have Sonos speakers or a soundbar at home, the IKEA products will sit right alongside them. You can add group together Sonos-branded speakers, like the Sonos One, with SYMFONISK-branded ones, like the bookshelf speaker and picture frame.

The Sonos app has a dizzying number of music services available – more than 100 if you’re including radio stations. So, whether you’ve got a subscription with Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube Music, or anything else, you’ll be able to bring in your favourite albums, playlists and podcasts to beam wirelessly to all of the speakers around your home.

The SYMFONISK picture frame also includes support for Apple AirPlay 2, which lets you stream with a single tap from a number of apps, including Apple Music and Podcasts. Friends and family on the same Wi-Fi network can add and re-arrange the tracks to collaborate on a playlist in real-time. Since Sonos uses Wi-Fi to stream your music, it has more range than Bluetooth speakers and you won’t have to put up with any interruptions from incoming calls or notifications on the smartphone.

Product Developer at IKEA Stjepan Begic said: “The space-saving picture frame speaker can hang on its own as an eye-catching piece of art, be coordinated with other wall art, placed on a shelf, or even on the floor leaning against a wall. The interchangeable fronts make it easy to choose a style that suits your individual home. As part of the growing IKEA Home smart range, this new speaker contributes to our ambition to enable the many to enjoy a smarter everyday life.”

The Sonos + IKEA SYMFONISK picture frame will be available next month, starting from £179 in the UK. You’ll be able to order online from July 15, 2021. The picture frame speaker ships in both black and white, with extra interchangeable sets setting you back £17 apiece.

It’s clear that the SYMFONISK picture frame looks the part. If you’re unsure about having speakers littered on shelves throughout your home, but still want room-filling sound in every part of your house – the IKEA collaborations provide an interesting solution.

While the SYMFONISK lamp and bookshelf speakers were praising for their surprisingly complete sound when they launched back in 2019, we’ll have to wait to get our hands on the picture frame to let you know whether it sounds as good as the Sonos One SL, which costs around the same. So stay tuned.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Sonos releases important upgrade and new features to some of its speakers

If you own either of these speakers then you’ll find the updates in the Sonos app. It’s also worth noting that if you switch on auto-updates the changes will happen overnight so you don’t have to touch a thing.

To turn this function on, simply head to the app and tap System. Then scroll down to System Updates and tap the Update Automatically button.

Along with this upgrade to some of its speakers, Sonos has also announced some new music coming to its Radio subscription service.

Sonos says that it’s excited to share the launch of The Chemical Brothers’ new Psychetronik Mix – available on Radio Chemical, an exclusive station curated by The Chemical Brothers on Sonos Radio HD from 11th May.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Cheapest ever Sonos speaker launches today and it's not just the price you'll like

Sonos fans have a shiny new speaker to add to their collection with the all-new Roam finally arriving in UK stores. This mini boom box was actually announced last month but has only just become available to buy from today, April 20.
With a price tag of £159, it’s now the cheapest way to bring a Sonos speaker to your home and that lower cost isn’t the only thing to like about this latest release.

As its name suggests, the Roam has been created to be ultra-portable meaning you can use it at home or pop it in your bag and take it to the park, pool or beach. Even the triangular design has been carefully considered to make it easy to grab and move around without fear of it slipping through your fingers.

To help produce a big enough sound in such a small design, Sonos has tucked two class-H amplifiers, one tweeter and one custom racetrack mid-woofer inside its shell. There are also fully adjustable EQ settings so you can add more bass, treble, or loudness to your tunes and Sonos’ clever Trueplay tuning technology will smartly adjust the sound for the speaker’s orientation and location.

READ MORE: Amazon’s all-new Fire TV update brings more content and tighter controls

There’s a 10 hour battery life to keep the tunes going and it can be recharged via a USB-C cable or on any wireless charging stand including one Sonos has designed specifically for the Roam.

it’s fully IP67 rated and can handle sand, dust and is water proof so it should survive a day out in the great British weather.

Another nice feature of the Roam is that automatically connects to your Sonos multi-room setup at home but then switches to Bluetooth when you head out for the day.

It’s also fully compatible with the Alexa and Google voice assistants and simple controls on the top make it easy to pump up the volume and pause or skip tracks.

“We built Roam to give customers a way to bring the Sonos experience with them wherever they go,” said Patrick Spence, Sonos CEO. “It’s not only our smartest and most versatile speaker, it’s also our most affordable. Roam provides the opportunity for millions of new customers to get started with Sonos, and is the right product at the right time as we begin to gather again with friends and family.”

If you want to know more about the Sonos Roam you can check out our full review here.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Sonos Roam review: Yes, this portable speaker really is as good as it sounds

With the all-new Roam arriving in stores April 20, there’s another Sonos speaker to expand your music collection. This is the smallest, cheapest and most portable device the audio firm has ever built, but don’t think for one minute that its price and size means the quality we’ve come to expect from Sonos has been compromised. Express.co.uk has been putting the Roam through its paces for the past few weeks and we’ve been left seriously impressed. Straight out of the box, it feels at one with the trusty Sonos speakers we’ve grown to love over the years with a build quality that’s as good as all previous products.
It’s also incredibly simple to set up and, if you already own some Sonos kit, you’ll be up and running in the time it takes to get a playlist started on your phone.

Power up the Roam and things sound pretty impressive. This portable speaker is comfortably able to fill a good-sized room with some rich and detail-packed sound. It’s not by any means the loudest or most bass-rich Sonos speaker but, for its size, it packs a very decent audio punch.

To help create this mighty soundscape, Sonos has tucked two class-H amplifiers, one tweeter, and one custom racetrack mid-woofer inside its shell. There are also fully adjustable EQ settings so you can add more bass, treble, or loudness to your tunes.

Sonos’ clever Trueplay tuning technology is also included which sets about smartly adjusting the sound for the speaker’s orientation and location.

That’s important as the Roam can be placed upright or flat depending on where you happen to place it. Even when you pick it up and move the Roam to another room or position the Trueplay automatically begins adapting to its new surroundings making sure you always get the best sound.

We’ve been using the Roam on its own in our home office during the day before moving it into the kitchen at night where it seamlessly joins our Sonos One and Play:5 to add an even more immersive sound to the room.

That’s something we really like about the Roam as it’s so easy to pick up and move around your home or garden, while still seamlessly linking to all of your other Sonos kit – exactly like a full-sized Sonos One.

Even the triangular design means grabbing it is easy and you never feel like it’s going to slip through your fingers.

Of course, being a Sonos speaker it needs to be linked to your Wi-Fi to get the full multi-room experience, but the firm is clearly aware that owners might also fancy taking it to the park or beach. Once you start heading further afield you can then switch over to a standard Bluetooth connection allowing you to play tunes straight from any phone or tablet.

The minute you walk back through the front door the speaker instantly switches back to Wi-Fi. It’s all clever stuff but its audio quality and portability aren’t the only thing to love as it’s so beautifully simple to use.

Being battery powered, the Roam automatically goes to sleep to save its energy but start up the Sonos app and it instantly springs back into life without you having to touch a single button. It’s all so seamless and effortless that using it is an absolute joy and you’ll never find yourself having to start pressing buttons or linking the device to your phone to get the party started.

The simple controls on the top also make it easy to pump up the volume or switch on /off the Alexa and Google voice controls – yes it’s fully compatible with these chatty assistants meaning you can start playlists or set timers without lifting a finger.

Other vital features include a water-resistant design which is IPX 67 rated. That means it’s not only able to take a dip in the pool but is also protected against sand – that should put your mind at rest when heading on your next summer holiday.

It should also survive plenty of punishment as Sonos says it’s designed to be drop-proof. We’ll have to take their word for that as, luckily, we didn’t drop our review unit whilst testing.

We have very few moans about the Roam, but one thing that is worth noting is the battery life. Unfortunately, you’ll only get around 10 hours on a single charge. That’s probably enough for most days out… but it does lag behind some of its similarly priced rivals, including the UE Boom, which can keep on going for another five hours after the Roam conks out.

Sonos also only supplies a USB-C cable in the box – but no plug, which is slightly annoying and could mean needing to splash out on an extra charging accessory. The Roam can charge wirelessly with Sonos selling its dock for £44. We did place ours on a standard Qi charger and it seemed to work fine. If you have one of these lying around your home to refill your smartphone you might want to try it and save yourself a few quid.

Sonos Roam review: Final Verdict

FOR: Great design makes it ultra-portable • Good sound • Simple set-up
AGAINST: Rivals beat its 10-hour battery life • No plug in the box

There’s plenty to love about the Roam – and almost nothing to hate. This truly portable speaker is a great addition to any Sonos setup and will link seamlessly with all of your existing Sonos products whenever it’s in the house.

The design makes it easy to hold and the audio is good enough for some chilled-out tunes in the bath, shed or your home office.

The fact it’s fully Bluetooth compatible also means you can pop it in your bag and use it pretty much anywhere. You don’t even need to worry about the British weather as it’s fully water-resistant. And as soon as you walk back through the door, you’ll be able to use it to add some oomph to your existing speakers – that puts it at a real advantage over other Bluetooth speakers if you’re already invested in Sonos kit.

Our only real gripe is the 10-hour battery, which feels a little lacklustre, especially when compared to some of its rivals such as those on offer from Ultimate Ears. And if you haven’t got a drawer packed with USB-C charging plugs, you’ll need to add one to your shopping basket when buying your Sonos Roam online too, which is a bit annoying.

However, if you think that 10-hours is easily enough power for your needs and you already love the Sonos brand then it’s really hard not to recommend the Roam. This is the portable speaker many have been waiting for and it really is as good as it sounds.

Sonos is working with IKEA on new never-before-seen speakers

Sonos is teasing its next collaboration with Swedish furniture supremo IKEA. The first team-up between IKEA and Sonos launched back in 2019, when the companies unveiled the Symfonisk, which was available as a bookshelf speaker and built into the base of a tablet lamp. Unlike what we’ve come to expect from Sonos, both of these products were remarkably affordable.
Starting from £89, around half the price of the Sonos One – despite sharing almost all of the same speaker components inside to power its sound, the Wi-Fi connected bookshelf speaker is designed to be positioned horizontally or vertically on (surprise, surprise) a bookshelf. A mount, sold separately, lets you secure the speaker to the wall horizontally to use it as a shelf or a bedside table. Coloured front panels to customise the look of the speaker are also available.

Both the bookshelf and the lamp variants are controlled using the same Sonos app as the Sonos Five, Sonos Beam, and other gadgets from the company. The collaborations with IKEA will also tie-in to any existing Sonos kit set-up around your home, which makes them massively appealing to those who have already invested in the ecosystem as well as first-timers browsing the shelves of IKEA looking for a bargain.

And now, the two firms are back with more.

As spotted by the sharp-eyed team at Pocket-Lint, Sonos’ Instagram account is now teasing a new iteration of the design-led speakers. “Looks Like Symfonisk,” reads a tagline in their latest Instagram Stories video, before presenting both company logos. And that’s it.

MORE LIKE THIS
New Sonos Roam is the firm’s most affordable and portable speaker ever

When confronted about the teaser trailer, a spokesperson for Sonos confirmed there were definitely “products we’re working on together,” but neglected to reveal what exactly is in the pipeline for the Symfonisk range, or when we’re likely to see it.

However, a source within the company speaking to gadget blog The Verge has revealed that a second-generation table lamp is one of the products being worked on by the two companies. Sonos and IKEA are also planing a picture frame that packs Sonos’ trademark speaker technology inside – so you can mount your favourite wall art or family photo onto the wall and also use it to blast your favourite playlist during the next house party you’re planning.

Codenamed “Titan” by the two companies, it’s unclear whether this will be sold as a standalone wall frame, or whether it will be an attachment that works with IKEA”s existing – and pretty extensive – range of frames.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a new Sonos speaker to add to your smart home, the company recently launched its second portable speaker, the Sonos Roam, which lets you add to your speaker set-up at home, and then take the tunes with you into the garden, by the poolside, or the beach. With a 10-hour battery and water-resistant design, the Roam is squarely aimed at the likes of the UE Boom and JBL Flip ranges.

Your Sonos speakers just benefited from the biggest EVER sound upgrade, but there’s a cost

Sonos makes some of our favourite speakers on the market right now. But for all of their clever tricks, one thing Sonos speakers haven’t been able to do is handle high-resolution audio streaming – until now. Yes, music streaming service Qobuz has beat more-established competitors like Tidal and Amazon Music HD to bring Hi-Res music streaming to Sonos for the first time.
So, you’ll now be able to take full advantage of the pricey components inside your speakers – while still enjoying the convenience of streaming.

Qobuz has confirmed that it will bring 24-bit wireless streaming to Sonos customers, which results in “studio-quality music” that keeps “all the details and colour of the original recordings,” it has claimed. While it has been possible to listen to Hi-Res audio on a Sonos speaker for some time, customers would need to play a 24-bit FLAC or ALAC file from a local hard-drive to do so.

With the arrival of Qobuz, you’ll be able to listen to Hi-Res audio in the same way as tuning into Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, TuneIn, or any other numerous streaming services built into the Sonos app. To listen to Qobuz, you’ll need to be running the Sonos S2 smartphone, PC or tablet app.

Sonos rolled out its S2 app in June 2020. The new software was a clean slate for Sonos to build upon with new features moving forwards. With the arrival of S2, Sonos had to ditch some of its oldest kit, including the first-generation Play:5, Sonos Connect, and Sonos Connect:Amp, to name a few. If you have any of these speakers lying around, you can continue to stream music wirelessly around your home, but you’ll need to stick with the previous generation of the phone app, now called S1.

For those with newer models and running on the S2 app, you’ll need to add Qobuz as a streaming service to your account. Even then, not every Sonos product in your home might be able to stream 24-bit audio. The “studio-quality music” streaming promised by Qobuz will be available on Sonos One, One SL, Five, and Play:5 speakers, Sonos Arc, Beam, Playbar and Playbase soundbars, as well as Sonos’ portable speakers, Sonos Move and Sonos Roam.