SONOS – Evolving Listening to Music

I’ve always enjoyed listening to music, it’s something I have on constantly while working, studying, playing, whatever. Music is a way to give you drive needed to get through a work day, mellow you out during a stressful event, energize your mind to let yourself go, and express any emotion out there. When I look back at how I’ve enjoyed music I can’t think of another piece of technology that has changed my way of listening to music in a way that Sonos has. Vinyl, mix tapes, burning CDs, MiniDisc, even MP3s didn’t overly change how I listened to music. It took hardware with the ability to pinpoint a room or blanket the house with synchronized music to really change how I listened to music.

The Beginnings
In 2004 Sonos launched the ZP100 and CR100 devices. I started looking into the product and was impressed by what the website said it could do. However this came with a high price tag and I only had small apartments so it just didn’t seem like a good fit. Fast forward to 2007, we bought our first house and I started working at Best Buy part time so we could get some deals on electronics and appliances. My first purchase with my discount was the ZP80, ZP100, and CR100 bundle along with an additional ZP100 and CR100. Setup was painless, very Apple-esque in that it just works. Plug 1 device into your wired network, from the CR100 select “Add Sonos Components” and follow the screen prompts. We quickly had access to our MP3s wireless throughout the house and could easily control it with the CR100’s. Sonos had a humble beginning, streaming services were not all there yet and you were really limited to your library.

The Evolution…
It wasn’t until streaming services started popping up on Sonos that my listening habits started to change. I wasn’t a huge believer of services like Pandora at first because if you didn’t have connectivity you couldn’t listen, I didn’t have a smartphone yet and was still rocking just the ipod’s for on the go. Once I was able to have Pandora and Sirius streaming to the Sonos equipment all of my listening habits changed. No longer was I needing to get MP3s for music, simply create a station and you are ready to go. By this time we had grown our Sonos network to include just about every room in the house that we were occupying regularly. Constantly the house was in party mode providing audio everywhere in complete synchronization.

I can’t even imagine listening to music in the house without Sonos. We are up to 3 CR100’s, 1 CR200, 1 ZP80, 1 ZP90, 2 ZP100’s, 2 ZP120’s, 3 PLAY:5’s, 1 PLAY:1, 1 PLAYBAR, and 2 SUB’s. The Sonos product line has grown to displace the home theater receivers with the addition of the PLAYBAR, SUB, and PLAY:1’s acting as rear channels. The PLAY:1 alone is a great small bedroom speaker where you just need audio but not wall shaking bass thumping music. Sonos has introduced iOS and Android apps for control outpacing the CR200 development and introducing easier control methods. The wireless mesh architecture continues to impress with its reliability and stability with ease of setup. Now the only issue with the iOS and Android apps taking over for control is that you need to have reliable and stable wireless throughout your house instead of relying on the Sonos mesh network. Today I would say streaming music such as Pandora and SiriusXM amount to 90% of the music listening done on my Sonos equipment, I always have something going through the speakers and everywhere I walk from the house, the backyard, and the garage/shop will play the same music following me.

What would I like to see in the future from Sonos? I really want to see them shake up the home video distribution model. I love my AppleTV’s but I really wish I could watch the same stream on multiple devices at the same time all in sync. I’d like to see continuing improvements also with the iOS and Android apps to support the multiple household concepts with profiles so you can connect to other Sonos networks than just your own.

All things considered I’m extremely happy with Sonos and their products, their support is great, and the hardware lasts forever. Each piece of equipment that I bought in 2007 is still supported in the most recent software releases and works just as well today as it did when new.

If you are interested in getting started with the Sonos equipment let me know and I can help you get started with a free bridge! Use the contact form on the site to get a hold of me.

Leave a Reply