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Multi-Zone Digital Music System

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September 13, 2005

Multi-Zone Digital Music System

Multi-Zone Digital Music System

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September 14, 2005 Digital music fans can now listen to rock in the garden, punk in the playroom and fusion in the bedroom, with the launch of the Sonos Digital Music System. The Sonos offering is the first and only multi-zone digital music system with a wireless, full-color LCD screen controller that lets consumers play all their digital music, all over their home, while controlling it all from the palm of their hand. One of the hits of the Consumer Electonics Show earlier this year, the system is now available in all major markets.

The Sonos Digital Music System is comprised of two stylish components: the Sonos ZonePlayer, a networked audio player that distributes, plays and amplifies music in any "zone" in the home, and the Sonos Controller, a wireless handheld device with a full-color screen which allows the user to access, customize and control the music anywhere- from the bedroom to the backyard.

The ZonePlayer delivers great sound in every room through a powerful and compact 50 Watts/channel amplifier with component-quality audio specifications. The ZonePlayer can access and play a wide variety of music formats, including MP3, WMA, AAC (MPEG4) and WAV, stored on a PC, Mac or Network Attached Storage (NAS), and comes bundled with customizable Internet Radio stations. Built-in wired and wireless capabilities provide the consumer flexibility of installation at no extra cost.

The intuitive Controller, designed with a full-color LCD screen and touch-sensitive scroll wheel, provides consumers with simplicity - pick a zone, pick a song and hit play - unrestricted by line of sight. Consumers can play the same song synchronously in every room or play different songs in different rooms, queue-up favorites for the evening or rediscover their collection via random play; the options are virtually unlimited. The high resolution LCD shows what is playing in any zone at any time, including album art when available.

Network set-up is simple as the system automatically configures a secure wireless mesh network that seamlessly links the consumer's existing digital music library to the ZonePlayers and Controllers. The systems modular design allows the user to decide upon the number of ZonePlayers and Controllers needed based upon lay-out of the home and personal needs

"Until today, the challenge digital music lovers faced was how to free the music from the constraints of the PC and enjoy it throughout the home," said John MacFarlane, CEO, Sonos. "The Sonos Digital Music System has been designed from scratch to solve the well known set-up and control problems so that digital music lovers can enjoy all their music all over their home and control if from the palm of their hand as if it is one giant juke box. The System will change the way people enjoy digital music at home."

"An estimated 60 percent of residential broadband users have created their own music content libraries on home computers, and trends in music consumption and enjoyment point to personalization, portability, and in-home distribution," said Kurt Scherf, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company. "As digital music continues to grow in popularity, a new class of fully digital music systems, including those providing multiple zone capabilities, will become more attractive to those fans looking to expand the ways they enjoy their burgeoning digital music collections."

In support of the new product, Sonos will provide Monday through Saturday customer service and a 30-day, no-hassle return policy. Each ZonePlayer retails for US$499, and each controller will retail for US$399.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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