Why I like the Sonos PLAY:1… (part 2 – adding stereo and bass)

In my earlier blog article I commented on the first rate fit and finish of the new Sonos PLAY:1.  This time I want to share some of my experiences combining different Sonos pieces – I wanted to configure different systems for more functionality and performance compared with typical usage of the Sonos products.  What I found was that the products were surprisingly configurable.  This aspect of Sonos system capability is admirable and probably not accidental – I think it a result of their considering all the possibilities and testing them exhaustively.

SonosLogos_Large

In this article I will share my experiences setting up a Sonos 2.1 system (pair of speakers plus a subwoofer) including some less-than-obvious configurations combining Sonos and non-Sonos equipment.  Continue reading

Passive loudspeakers – why do they still exist?

A walk around last week’s135th Audio Engineering Society Convention at the Javits Center New York reminded me again of how passive (non-self-amplified) speakers seem like antiques, despite their continued dominance in high end home audio. Studio monitor speakers are pretty much all self-amplified “active” designs.

At a basic level, amplified sound consists of electrical amplification, to make the electrical signal “bigger,” and speaker transducers, to turn that signal into sound waves. The first step is purely electrical; the second is electrical and mechanical. There is no law that says these must be together or separate, so why does it matter? Continue reading

Juggling Remotes (or How to Really Piss Off Your Family)

From the Boston Acoustics Blog Archives (circa 2011)

OK, I have to admit, as a product designer I try many products out, including my competitor’s products. Because I try these products – like home theater gear – in my real life (a.k.a. my real living room), I am not the only test subject. So imagine what happens when I leave my wife and two kids with a new system, with a new remote, and no me to keep it running. TROUBLE! I get calls, usually when I am boarding an airplane or walking into a meeting: Continue reading