How Sonos wants to bring more music into your life. “We’re constantly challenging ourselves to unlock more homes, more rooms with music”
Pat Murray, Head of Global Business Development, Sonos
What do you think today’s audio fans are looking for, and how has that changed from say 30 or 40 years ago?
I think what has changed is the context. As an audio consumer myself, 30 or 40 years ago we wanted high quality, and we wanted the experience to be very meaningful. That’s still consistent, what’s different in the world we live now is the medium, instant gratification, and accessibility.
What we’ve found is that people want their own music experience. Everyone has their own perspective on how they like to hear things and the artist thinks the same way. So, striking that balance is something we spend a lot of time on, and we get names like Hans Zimmer and Giles Martin as sound advisories because we take this very seriously. We try to make it as authentic as possible in the rooms where music and sound exists.
Is there a trend that particularly sticks out to you?
Streaming is still what we see as the trend that sticks out. When I joined the company seven years ago, our mantra was, “Within five years everybody is going to be streaming.” It’s taken slightly longer than five years, but I think we’re now finally seeing that tipping point where money is starting to be made.
What is about speakers over headphones?
Well, we’re about listening out loud, but we’re also about waking up the silent home. We don’t think headphones achieve that. We’re constantly challenging ourselves to unlock more homes, more rooms with music. Headphones are a very personal way to consume it, and we want it to be a more social experience, so it’s more about listening out loud at home.
What’s the best way to audition a speaker?
When I’m demonstrating a product, I always ask people if there’s a piece of music they really want to hear. Because familiarity with music is almost everything. If there’s a piece you know really well, that would be the first step, but then we would go on to think about how you want to use the speaker, the different situations and options you will use it in.
It’s about the ability and flexibility that the system offers. You’re not just auditioning the speaker, you’re thinking about how the system works in the home. There are many cues that bring you into home design now, and to have sound to be as considered as lighting or pieces of furniture just opens up a broader market. Who doesn’t want more music around?