How Sonos Changed My Life February 26, 2009

Those of you who know me also know that I’m fond of music.
Really fond. Can’t-live-without-it fond.
This pretty much means that I need music everywhere all the time.
Walkman, then DiscMan, then MiniDisc, then iPod solved the problem when far from home.
But Home has always been a problem.
I need to easily have access to any one of my 25 000+ song, in any room, at all time. It Seems easy. It’s not.
The first attempt to distributed music was Apple AirPort Express.
An as short as inconclusive attempt.
Second attempt, until recently was with Roku’s Soundbridge.
Wifi connected devices, with or without speaker, reading your shared iTunes Library.
Design of the product is average, interface is passable, and reliability uneven.
But it did the job, until one of the devices died.
Then came THE QUESTION: Do I stick with this solution, or do I migrate to a whole other one ?
The other solution, you’ll have guessed, is Sonos.

For several months I wondered.
Then I took the plunge. Sonos it would be.
Sonos has nearly the perfect solution for ubiquitous music around the house.
To begin with, those nice white & alu little boxes fit perfectly in any interior.
Not the main issue, but important for us, aesthete.
Configuration : a breeze.
They choose not to rely on your crappy wifi network to provide the service; they create their own, without you even knowing. It’s fast, and streams my 320k m4a across the apartment when my Mac has sometimes a hard time finding my Airpot Extreme. And the more you add zones, the better is your coverage.
Once you point it to your iTunes Music Library, you can have your playlists and everything, without further configuration. You don’t even rely on iTunes anymore. The Sonos create it’s own stream, thus not being limited to 5 clients.
You interact with the system via an app on your mac, via the Sonos Controller, rugged and water-resistant, or, icing on the cake (three coats please) via a full featured free app on your iPhone.
What’s more to say… it works. Period.
All that is left is to choose a nice pair of speakers. I chose Jamo’s A102.
Not necessarily audiophile’s first choice (hey! let’s be honest, my bathroom isn’t the Vienna Opera Hall…), but nice performance considering size and look.
And for those of you needing more things on the cake, let’s say, a cherry, comes in the Sonos Customer Service. Nice people, actively contributing to Twitter, and ready to go the extra mile to make a customer happy.
It’s been a long time since I didn’t feel that way for a consumer product, and that feels good.
Of course, you could argue that it isn’t cheap.
I agree, but honestly, have you ever been really satisfied with cheap solutions ?
I figured not.

Life Is Good.