Thoughts after the WWDC Keynote? (AIrPlay 2.0, HomePod, etc.)



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How is the Amazon partnership working out for you so far?


Amazon unlimited music working beautifully on my Sonos, as is the Dot into my Connect. How's the new Apple speaker working out for you? Oh, wait..
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How is the Amazon partnership working out for you so far?


Amazon unlimited music working beautifully on my Sonos, as is the Dot into my Connect. How's the new Apple speaker working out for you? Oh, wait..


I also have a Dot into my Connect. Pretty useless, IMHO. I have Amazon unlimited, whose selection pales in comparison to the other music services I use. So I don't like it much. But at least it's almost free (sort of--I think with all the discounts I pay $4 a month). I use an Android phone, and control Sonos with both an iPad and a Samsung tablet. Regardless of your opinion, Sonos needs to pick up the ball and run a little faster at this point. This is starting to remind me of the newspaper business (of which I was once part). Most newspapers saw no threat from this thing called the internet, so they fell so far behind they are now either gone or teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. The smart ones saw the writing on the wall, got ahead of the game and are still in the running. However, they were few and far between.

That's true, of course. But as we all know, Apple in many cases mows down those standing in their way. I'm not among those predicting the demise of Sonos, but certainly this is a wakeup call. Not advancing rapidly at this stage certainly won't do Sonos much good. The more crowded the field, the smaller the piece of the pie and the shorter the attention span of customers.


Apple hardly mowed down the competition with Airplay 1. Matter of fact, it was obsolete the day it came out, and its architecture was rejected by every streaming device/scheme released since, (ironically) in favor of the direct-from-source architecture originally deployed by Sonos. They've also had some spectacular failures in the speaker hardware area (iPod Hi-Fi anyone?) Apple is a lot of things, a speaker manufacturing juggernaut who "mows down" the competition is not one of them.
Apple is expensive, but it does have distinct USPs that are slickly marketed to allow the capture of the premium paying market. I don't see enough of them here and I doubt that people that buy this just because it is from Apple will be enough of a market.

That said, I never saw any sense in the iPad, and I still don't but there is large market for them.
I've had so many problems with the Sonos app on my iMac that I'm done with their products. Can't wait for the HomePod's to hit the market. The Songs app will not even start up anymore...rendering all of my speakers as useless paperweights.
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Apple hardly mowed down the competition with Airplay 1. Matter of fact, it was obsolete the day it came out, and its architecture was rejected by every streaming device/scheme released since, (ironically) in favor of the direct-from-source architecture originally deployed by Sonos. They've also had some spectacular failures in the speaker hardware area (iPod Hi-Fi anyone?) Apple is a lot of things, a speaker manufacturing juggernaut who "mows down" the competition is not one of them.

You mean not yet, don't you? Yes, there have been failures. But on balance Apple is a huge business that doesn't fail often or for long. Clearly it is intent on advancing in this area. It's too early to tell for certain, but the new AirPlay is likely to be more impressive, along with the new Apple hardware. For that reason alone, Sonos needs to up its game. I'm happy with both Apple and Android products. And I think Sonos speakers are great, but with a weak feature set. History has proven the "best" does not always win when convenience becomes an issue. An interesting example might be the new KEF LS50 "wireless" speakers, which by most accounts have superb sound quality and should be a hit because of their builtin DACs and other convenience features. But people are beginning to become quite annoyed with subpar software and firmware upgrades that in some cases are worsening sound quality. The jury is still out on that one because the product is young.
I'm not sure I need to include the word "yet", it's pretty implicit when describing a "juggernaught" that's not a juggernaught in this particular area. My whole point was your description does not reflect the history of Airplay or Apple speakers, any future speculation has no bearing on that point.
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I'm not sure I need to include the word "yet", it's pretty implicit when describing a "juggernaught" that's not a juggernaught in this particular area. My whole point was your description does not reflect the history of Airplay, so we will see.
I agree entirely that my description does not reflect the history of Airplay. My comments were meant to focus primarily on what the future might hold. And you're right, we'll see. I'm sure there are plenty of developments in store on all sides.
I'm guessing you've never tried to navigate using Siri. What a joke. Tried returning a rental car at NWK a couple weeks ago, coworker nagivating via Siri. Siri guided us to the departures for AA, and announced, "you've arrived!" Um. Gave her my Samsung phone, Google got us there with far better instructions, including which lane to be in. Siri is the best Apple has to offer? Gimmie a break!
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So I am a smart home nut but the reasons for having a voice assistant aren't beneficial enough for me to get whatever is currently on the market. I use my Apple Watch telling Siri to turn on and off my lights open doors etc. if I want to look something up I just look it up. If I want to set a timer I set it on my watch. Voice assistants have a long ways to go to be truly beneficial and I am sure they will get there. Apples strength is in music and that's a way they could separate themselves from google home and Alexa, in order to justify the price, apple had to drop the Sonos name, and if you look online the speaker is comparable to a play 3 which are within 50 bucks on pricing. We will see if Siri can reach the assistant capability of others but I don't see this product attracting a swap out from sonos to apple in the common home. Sonos protocols are proven and never drop between speakers. AirPlay 1 has a bad rap that will follow airplay 2 until airplay 2 proves otherwise. Sonos has multiple types of speakers for different situations. The best outcome I could see for apple is someone buying the homepod because they are interested in a digital assistant that has HomeKit capability. The most I could ever see myself outfitting in my house is one homepod and not using it to listen to music when I'm cleaning the house because I have a great system already, but using it for home assistance. Which makes it unappealing to me based on wwdc because they only showed is music playing prowess. On that note they will have to upgrade Siri to make that ultimately compelling for me to buy one.
I don't understand the notion of HomePod being a Sonos competitor. If Apple/Beats had a full line-up of connected home speakers would be one thing. Apple is stepping into this space 15 years after Sonos basically created it (OK maybe it's their second step, if you count original AirPlay) - it doesn't make sense for them NOT to integrate fully with the install base, the biggest of which should be Sonos. The partner line-up presented last week by Apple was broad, so I can only assume it's Sonos dragging their feet? That on the other hand does not make sense either - I seem to have read recently that Sonos wanted to open up their system more. What's up with this lack of direction on how HomePod and Sonos will integrate?

Snide remarks on this forum on HomePod not being available now, Siri's incompetence...lighten up and look a bit ahead. This community ought to be fully embracing and pushing for a seamless integration. Amazon Alexa showed the importance of intelligent speakers and with home automation it's a no brainer. In our family it was really the kids and my wife who embraced Alexa - let's face it, even Sonos (app) is too complex. No doubt Apple can improve the experience. We are not native English speakers, so Siri has a leg up there on both Amazon and Google and is sure to get a massive intelligence boost in the coming months, and I don't really see anyone else on that horizon.

I once had high expectations for Apple dominating the wireless multi-room space, possible through an early Sonos acquisition, but that didn't pan out and AirPlay "1" was a huge letdown. I have since decked out my house with Sonos and was pleased to see the Apple Music integrate with Sonos, although I would much rather have operated it through the Apple Music interface (which says a lot - they didn't exactly get it right in the first go-around). I am fully expecting the HomePod to become another valuable addition to such a setup - but the signs are not good.

Let's get some clear statements from Sonos? If you are open to integration and a Apple are obstructing then let's all get on the Apple forums and make our voices heard, I bet the overlap in customer base is massive.