Home Entertainment Sonos reworks wireless speaker range with new Play:5

Wireless speaker specialist Sonos is preparing to launch a new high-end model along with software to custom-tune Sonos Play installations.

The new $749 Sonos Play:5 contains three mid-woofers and three tweeters, and even when used alone "produces a soundstage that is much wider than expected in a single speaker, creating room-filling sound with precise separation of vocals and instruments," according to the company.

Like other Sonos speakers, Play:5 can be used in pairs for stereo operation. But what's new is that two Play:5s can be paired vertically for stereo "with a focused and intense sweet spot." Horizontal pairing provides a larger stereo image.

A neat touch is that whichever way up a Play:5 is placed, volume-up always faces up.

Play:5, scheduled for release before the end of 2015, can be used in conjunction with other Sonos speakers.

Along with the Play:5, Sonos is introducing a speaker tuning system it calls Trueplay.

Trueplay will first appear in the iOS version of the Sonos app. It works by causing the speaker to emit a special tone, which is picked up by the iPhone or iPad microphone and then analysed, allowing the speaker to be automatically tuned to its environment.

"Trueplay is a revolutionary system that gives music lovers confidence that they're hearing what their favorite artists labored to produce, independent of the room's acoustics and speaker location," said Sonos CEO John MacFarlane.

"Finally there's a simple, reliable process that delivers studio-quality listening experiences in each room of the home."

Trueplay will initially work with the Play:1, Play:3 and Play:5, with support for other models to come. The company indicated Trueplay will be added to its other mobile apps over time.


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