Yes, you can stream any iOS app – and even certain Android apps – to Apple AirPlay speakers wirelessly, in order to fill your domicile with the sweet sound of digital music from a variety of services.
However, a few drawbacks to that scenario might drive you into the arms of Sonos’ competing speaker systems anyway:
- If the person streaming to AirPlay from their Android or iOS device leaves the house, the music stops.
- If you’re streaming to AirPlay from a portable, you’re using up your battery.
- According to Sonos, its system can stream to multiple speakers without introducing sound-muddying phase cancellation, because unlike AirPlay, Sonos sets up its own wireless mesh network, so that the sound gets reproduced at all the speakers at precisely the same time.
Today, Sonos announced another reason to consider using its system instead of Apple AirPlay: a subwoofer called Sonos SUB that connects to the system, filling in the low-end frequencies that were missing from Sonos’ line of official speaker systems.
Although those speakers actually sound pretty decent, only a dedicated subwoofer is capable of busting out the chest-thumping bass that many of us require from our home listening experience — especially given that so much of our listening happens through headphones, which are incapable of thumping one’s chest with low frequencies.
The Sonos SUB goes on sale on June 19 (and it doesn’t work with the ZonePlayer that plugs into your existing stereo). If you’re the type who requires lots of bass, and you like Sonos’ approach to bringing apps to the home (it runs Spotify, MOG, Rhapsody, Pandora, and all the other major services), the only other potential sticking point is its price: $700 for the shiny version. A matte version is slated for an October release for $600, which is still a hefty sum.
For that much cash, this thing had better sound pretty good. Here are the official specs and video:
Features of the Sonos SUB include:
Two force-cancelling speakers positioned face-to-face: All the sound and energy from the music comes through loud and clear, and none of it is lost in cabinet buzz or rattle.
All digital sound: All filter settings, active equalization and time alignment are done digitally through state-of-the-art DSP (Digital Signal Processing) circuitry for zero-loss audio quality and energy.
Dual acoustic ports: Tuned to maximize the acoustic volume of the SUB and enhance bass resonance.
Powering the SUB are two state of the art Class-D digital amplifiers that have been perfectly tuned to match the speakers and acoustic architecture. The cabinet is made from proprietary resin to create acoustically dead walls with maximum internal air volume. The SUB’s specific dimensions are 15.8 x 6.2 x 15in. (402 x 158 x 380mm) with a weight of 36.3 lbs (16kgs).