Sonos Playbar: How to Make it Sound Better

Without a doubt the Sonos Playbar sounds better with added surround speakers (and subwoofer) that it does solo. But the Playbar is still hobbled by a design limitation it shares with most other soundbars. Unless you are the rare person who uses your HDTV to receive off-air digital television with a real antenna receiving signals from through the air, you are most likely feeding dumbed-down 2-channel audio from all your sources to your shiny new Playbar.  Continue reading

Sonos Playbar: Good News and Bad News

The good news is that the Sonos Playbar, on the market for several years now, is a superbly finished and packaged TV soundbar product. Set up is pretty easy, compatibility with your TV’s remote is straightforward, and its simple connectivity will make it an easy hookup with the majority of TVs. It’s easy for a Sonos fan to recommend to a friend who asks about soundbars, as long as that friend is upgrading from the TV’s own speakers. 

The bad news is that the Sonos Playbar is a mediocre Continue reading

You Need This Product In Your Workplace!

One of the products I worked on at Cambridge Sound Management is a truly excellent workplace privacy problem solver called the Qt Conference Room Edition. Read on…

(co-published on the CSM blog)

Your business is serious business. You emphasize imagination and innovation and creativity, and your ideas have enormous value. Continue reading

How to Play Hi-Res Audio Files on Sonos

It is possible to play high resolution 192 kbps 24 bit (or 96 kbps 24 bit) files on your Sonos system, sort of. This depends on downsampling the files, but more importantly hinges on the unpublished capability of Sonos to support 48 kHz / 16 bit / 1536 kbps, higher than the officially stated 1411 kbps. So why does this matter? It matters because 1.088435374 is an ugly number. Continue reading

Product Sound Design: The Art of Perception

Car manufacturers are Jedi Masters of product design based on their mastery of customers’ perception of their cars more than any innate design quality. Part of the magic of any expensive mechanical product is the sound, and car companies have perfected a variety of devices that deliberately add interior sound to boost the sensation Continue reading

KEF M500 Headphone Review

KEF’s M500 headphones are the mellowest product I’ve ever put on my head, short of the floppy hat I wear skiing. If you listen to real music played through real devices, meaning CD and MP3 quality sound played from iPhone or equivalent, these will be a good match. By real music, I mean recordings that might not be the first you would think of as test or demonstration music – music that is not perfectly recorded. Follow me on my musical exploration from streamed MP3s to CD to Blu-Ray Continue reading

Quiet Riot

Sometimes I am blown away with what I don’t know.  That’s not to imply I think I know everything.  Instead, I’ve been in the audio business a while and I’ve seen pretty much everything.  Recently I discovered a new dimension of the audio biz – a solid and growing commercial audio niche known as Sound Masking.  It’s been around for over 50 years, and a few months ago I joined one of the industry-leading companies, Cambridge Sound Management.  Our product plays a special kind of noise in office environments ON PURPOSE – which for an audio guy like me first sounded, frankly, bizarre.

Continue reading