If you’re an owner of Sonos speakers, you’re going to like an update that is on its way, because it will offer better sound tailor made for the place where your speakers are sitting, and you won’t even have to pay a thing.
Imagine if the speakers you already owned could sound better just from a simple downloadable update, much like how your phone suddenly gets a little faster or receives an extra feature or two from a firmware update.
That appears to be happening for the millions of Sonos owners out there, as the company prepares an update to its Play speaker range that has the potential to analyse the room a speaker is in and change its acoustic profile to better match the materials making up that room — walls, basins, floors, etc — as well as any objects sitting inside the room.
It’s a release that Sonos is calling “Trueplay”, and it will be made available later this year to owners of the Play:1, Play:3, and Play:5 speakers from Sonos, with the feature able to be switched on and off depending on your preferences, and also so you can see what the technology is doing when it’s in use compared to when it isn’t.
“We are convinced that software can drive many more years of innovation in sound, making speakers sound better in any environment – smarter, more aware, and reactive to their environment,” said Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer at Sonos, adding “which is why we’re so excited to be launching the first chapter of this innovation with Trueplay.”
“It’s a major step in making sound itself smart,” said Whitten.
The technology isn’t just something Sonos has been working on by itself, either, collaborating with Giles Martin on the area, son of legendary Beatles producer George Martin.
This collaboration has resulted in Sonos being able to tweak its sound and the Trueplay sound calibration system to match what audio engineers are trying to achieve when they produce and master tracks.
“Our remit at Sonos has evolved from constantly working to improve the general sound of all of our speakers to customising them,” said Martin, adding “first by room, and in the future, by person, activity and content.
“We are obsessed with improving the home music experience, which must take into account acoustically unfriendly rooms,” he said. “Tuning a room is the first of many software enhancements that make the experience richer and more personal for listeners whilst giving artists a whole new creative arena.”
Sonos let GadgetGuy test out exactly what the system sounded like ahead of time and wow, you do come away from the demo being reasonably impressed.
First there’s the setup, because that’s part and parcel of what Sonos has to do to get your Play speakers working their best.
To do this, you’ll need an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod Touch, and you’ll be using this to measure the sound where your speaker is placed. Using the Sonos app, your speaker will play a sound test, and as it plays, you’ll wave your device and its microphone about the room picking up on the sound in various places and measuring how the sound bounces and falls on various materials.
At the moment, this procedure is an iOS only affair, and speaking to Sonos on the matter, it was because there was a consistent microphone quality on Apple products, which itself helped the team come up with consistent and stable results when audio levels were measured. An Android version would be coming for various devices later on, but right now, if you want Sonos TruePlay to be tested for your home, you need an iOS-based product, meaning an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad of some sort.