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definition - SONOS

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Type Private
Industry Audio equipment
Founded 2002 (2002)
Founder(s) John MacFarlane
Headquarters Santa Barbara, California, United States
Number of locations 3 offices (2008)
Key people John MacFarlane, CEO
Products Sonos Multi-Room Music System
Employees 150 (2008 approx.)
Website www.sonos.com

Sonos is a Santa Barbara, California consumer electronics company founded in 2002 by John MacFarlane and Trung Mai. The company’s main product is the Sonos Multi-Room Music System.



  • In 2000 Sonos was Founded
  • January 2005. Sonos Launches ZonePlayer 100 and CR100
  • April 2006. Sonos introduces the ZP80
  • Sept. 2006. Sonos adds Rhapsody (online music service)
  • May 2007. Sonos adds Pandora Radio
  • Aug. 2007. Sonos adds SIRIUS Satellite Radio
  • Oct. 2007. Sonos introduces Sonos ZoneBridge
  • Aug. 2008. Sonos introduces ZP120 and ZP90
  • Oct. 2008. Sonos releases Sonos Controller for iPhone adds Last.FM and RadioTime
  • July 2009. Sonos Introduces CR200
  • November 2009. Sonos introduces the S5
  • May 2010. Sonos adds iheartradio and ability to pair S5s
  • September 2010. Sonos adds Spotify
  • September 2010. Sonos releases Sonos Controller for iPad
  • April 2011. Sonos releases Sonos Controller for Android
  • May 2011. Sonos adds MOG (online music)
  • July 2011. Sonos introduces the Play:3
  • July 2011. Sonos adds Rdio
  • May 2012. Sonos introduces the Sub


  Multi-Room Music System

The Sonos Multi-Room Music System is a modular set of digital appliances that works with end-user supplied or built-in speakers to form a zoned audio system in which different zones may play the same or different audio.

The Sonos Multi-Room Music System creates multi-room audio hi-fi in which different zones may play the same or different songs simultaneously throughout the house. The company tagline is "All the music you want. All over your house. All from the palm of your hand."[citation needed]

There are two main appliances in the Sonos Multi-Room Music System: ZonePlayers and Controllers. ZonePlayers may connect directly to speakers, or to an amplifier, and take the place of a traditional hifi setup. There is also an all-in-one ZonePlayer with integrated speakers. The system is controlled by the Sonos Controller, a wireless handheld remote equipped with a color LCD screen that controls music streaming and zone selection. Software is also available for Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, Mac, Windows computers to control the system.



  Some of the Sonos product family

The ZP100 included a 2x50 watt RMS amplifier, speaker posts for direct hookups to speakers, RCA Line-Out, sub-woofer out (which included an 80 Hz LFE crossover), as well as a built-in four-port 10/100 Ethernet switch. The ZP120, successor to ZP100, had a reduced footprint, a 2x55 watt RMS amplifier (now Class D rather than analog), deleted analog and digital audio out ports, 2 instead of 4 Ethernet switch ports, as well as the upgrade to SonosNet 2.0. Like the ZP100, the ZP120 has speaker posts for direct hookups to speakers and a sub-woofer out.

The Sonos Play:3 is a Zoneplayer with three integrated speakers and three dedicated digital amplifiers. It features a built-in Ethernet port.

The Sonos Play:5, formerly known as the S5, is a Zoneplayer with integrated five driver speaker system. It features a built-in two-port Ethernet switch. Also includes 3.5 mm headphone connection and a 3.5 mm line in.

The ZP80 is an amp-less ZonePlayer that includes optical out, coaxial digital out, as well as analog RCA inputs and outputs. It has a built-in two-port Ethernet switch. The ZP90 is the successor to the ZonePlayer 80, upgraded to SonosNet 2.0.

Audio inputs with digital encoding on ZonePlayers (except Play:3) allow for connection to external audio sources including MP3 players, mobile phones, CD players, TVs, DVD players, VCRs, and radios. The ZonePlayers with multiple Ethernet ports can be used as virtual Ethernet connections for normal network traffic: network traffic is bridged silently between all the ZonePlayers in a single system. This means you can stream external sources all over the house.


The WD100 is a wireless iPod dock using SonosNet 2.0. The dock is compatible with the iPod touch (1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th generation), iPod Classic (iPod 6th generation), iPod nano (3rd, 4th, and 5th generation), iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPhone. Allows audio that streaming from an app or browse to music files on devices itself.

The ZoneBridge 100, later merely called the Bridge, acts as both a first wire connection and a wireless repeater for SonosNet. It has a built-in two-port Ethernet switch but no audio output. It uses SonosNet 1.0 mesh network.


The CR100 is a wireless handheld remote control equipped with a color 3.5” LCD screen, scroll wheel and buttons to control music streaming and zone selection, volume, play/pause, track up, track down, and back. It has been succeeded by the CR200 which is equipped with a color 3.5" VGA LCD touch screen. It has four buttons including volume up/down, mute, and home screen, the rest of the control is via the touch screen. Unlike the CR100 is it not water resistant, but it includes a removable (and thus replaceable) lithium ion battery.

The system also comes with the Desktop Controller that only supports Mac and Windows. There is no supported or actively developed controller for Linux, and the later versions of the Desktop Controller is not supported under Wine[1] .

The Controller for iOS is a free app that allows an iOS device to become a controller for Sonos via an existing home wireless network. The app supports all generations of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. An Android version is also available.

  Wireless mesh network

Multiple ZonePlayers in a single household will connect to each other on a proprietary peer-to-peer synchronous mesh network using AES encryption. This network, known as SonosNet, allows music to be played simultaneously in separate zones. A single ZonePlayer or ZoneBridge must be wired to a network for access to LAN and Internet music sources. SonosNet 2.0 integrates MIMO on 802.11n hardware, providing a more robust connection. A consequence of this technology is that every Sonos player or bridge has to constantly keep up a wireless connection, even when in standby mode or connected by cable. Sonos devices do not have power buttons. The company claims that they consume between 4 and 8 Watts in standby mode.[2]

  Music sources

The system can stream music from most SMB share (such as a Microsoft Windows or Macintosh file share or a NAS drive that supports CIFS/SMB protocol) to your stereo. NAS support also includes Apple Inc. Time Capsule. A NAS solution provides a computer-free solution to accessing music. It can also stream multi-room audio in many formats including MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, AIFF and WMA. While Sonos was able to stream Plays For Sure protected WMA files up to version 3.6 of the Sonos firmware,[3] it does not support DRM FairPlay protected AAC files from the Apple iTunes Music Store. WMA lossless and RealPlayer Audio are also not supported.

With a broadband connection, the system includes access to a variety of audio content completely independent of a computer. The system ships with thousands of radio stations and shows from the Internet via TuneIn. The system also features 30-day trials for Napster, Rhapsody and Pandora as well as a 14-day trial of MOG (online music). The Pandora, SIRIUS, MOG (online music) and Rhapsody services are restricted primarily to customers based in the United States. Napster and Last.FM are also available in Germany and the United Kingdom. Napster is no longer available to Canadian customers.[4] Stitcher Radio is also available on the system. Last.FM scrobbling is available worldwide. On September 29, 2010 the Spotify music service announced support for Sonos in all countries supported by Spotify.[5]

  Third party development

  • Power consumption testing For ZP80 [6]
  • Web based Controller [7]
  • ZoneMaster application for iPhone [8]
  • Zones application for iPhone[9]

  See also


  1. ^ Sonos Support. "Thread: Sonos Update to 3.7 and Linux". Sonos Forums. http://forums.sonos.com/showpost.php?p=160656&postcount=2. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Sonos Components Consume Power When Idle". Sonos. 2005-03-16. https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/260. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  3. ^ "3.6 Sonos will no longer support the Windows Media DRM format". Sonos. 2011-11-30. http://forums.sonos.com/showthread.php?t=25913. Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  4. ^ "Important Information For Canadian Napster Subscribers". Sonos. November 21, 2011. https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1408/~/important-information-for-canadian-napster-subscribers. Retrieved June 13, 2012. "...Napster has made the decision to cease offering their service in Canada. As of December 16th, the Napster service will no longer be functional. This includes using the Napster service on Sonos." 
  5. ^ Sehr, Andres (2010-09-29). "is now available on your Sonos wireless music system". Spotify. http://www.spotify.com/fi/blog/archives/2010/09/29/sonos-2/. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  6. ^ "Jaffa's Juicy Bits". Jaffacake.net. 2008-05-06. http://www.jaffacake.net/dx/sonoszp80. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  7. ^ "Sonos Web Controller". Purple.org. http://www.purple.org/sonos/index.html. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  8. ^ "ZoneMaster Sonos Controller". Purple.org. http://www.purple.org/zonemaster/. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  9. ^ Kupuk.com Zones


  External links



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