Why I like the Sonos PLAY:1 (part 1)

Sonos products are heavily reviewed so I won’t comment on the usual things like sound and set-up, even though these are well-done and fully in line with the Sonos experience.

Slam dancing to Sonos Play:1

Slam dancing to Sonos PLAY:1

What really strikes me about the PLAY:1 is the attention to fit and finish, especially the subtle design details that – I suspect – many people would take for granted. For instance, 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