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By Usman Khan Lodhi
Sonos CEO announces that legacy speakers will work 'as long as possible'
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Sonos CEO Patrick Spence published a statement to the company's blog, apologizing for a decision made earlier this week in which the company stated that some of its older products will stop receiving software updates or new features in May. The decision was received with much dismay by longtime customers as they believed that the company was forcing them to buy new products.
The announcement, which starts off with "We heard you," says that the company would continue delivering updates to all products "for as long as possible." The company did not retract the announcement made earlier this week and has stated that the older devices have been taken to their technological limits. Sonos says that the plan needed to be put into place because older hardware would not be able to support the latest software, iterating that it will keep offering security patches and bug fixes for older products.
However, if a single speaker in a system is unable to receive software updates, users would need to set up two speaker groups to permit the speakers to be correctly updated. Devices that do not receive updates will eventually stop working. The legacy products affected by the change include four models, including the original Sonos Play:5, Zone Players, and Connect / Connect:Amp devices. These devices were sold between 2006 and 2015. The company is offering a 30% discount to affected customers if they wish to recycle their old speakers by buying newer products.
By Namerah S
IKEA and Sonos collaborate to bring a new range of speakers
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Swedish furniture making company IKEA has joined up forces with Sonos to create a new series of speakers called the SYMFONISK range. The line consists of two models and both of them are Wi-Fi-enabled. One is a table lamp speaker and the other is a bookshelf speaker. Both the SYMFONISK speakers can be controlled through the Sonos app and can be integrated with other Sonos products, which means users will have the option to pair them with other Sonos speakers and use them as a sound system collectively.
As the name suggests, the SYMFONISK table lamp with Wi-Fi speaker is literally just that: a table lamp that has Wi-Fi connectivity and can also be used as a sound system. Similarly, the SYMFONISK book-shelf speaker is also self-explanatory; it's a bookshelf and a speaker combined into one product. Interestingly, the bookshelf-speaker is a very versatile piece of furniture ###### speaker as it can be used both vertically and horizontally.
Tad Toulis, vice president of design at Sonos, commented on the collaboration:
These products would probably serve well in a minimalist home or perhaps one that has a severe lack of space, due to the fact that each of them serves dual purposes combining two items into one. The SYMFONISK table lamp with Wi-Fi speaker is priced at €179 - about $200 - whereas the SYMFONISK book-shelf speaker will cost €99.95, approximately $112.
Samsung and Deezer bring High Fidelity Lossless Audio to select speakers
by Paul Hill
Samsung and Deezer have announced a new partnership which sees Deezer’s High Fidelity Lossless Audio arrive on several Samsung soundbars and wireless speakers. With the new audio quality, the companies said that people will be able to listen to their music with the quality that it was intended to be heard with.
Those who have compatible devices can now subscribe to Deezer HiFi and access 36 million HiFi tracks. If you take out a subscription you also get a feature called Flow, that lets you listen to personalized playlists without ads interrupting the playback. Subscribers get music streamed at 16-bit/ 44.1kHz in lossless audio.
Discussing the deal, Taeho Park, VP of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, said:
Meanwhile, Riad Hawa, VP of Hardware Partnerships at Deezer, commented:
A Deezer HiFi subscription will set you back $19.99 back each month but it’s possible to try it out on a 30-day trial basis.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve tried Deezer HiFi on a compatible Samsung speaker, how does it sound?
By Timi Cantisano
Samsung reveals how they improved the sound quality on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+
by Timi Cantisano
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ is a great phone. It doesn't offer a huge leap when compared to the Galaxy S8 but the sum of its parts make it an excellent option for an Android handset. The camera on the Galaxy S9 handsets get a ton of shine but the speakers have also been improved when compared to previous entries.
On the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, the sound you hear from the handsets have been tuned by AKG and there is also the option of enabling Dolby Atmos to take things to another level. But in order to really take advantage of all of these features, the firm had to make changes to the speaker setup, going from a single speaker and expanding it to two. Samsung states that they wanted to create an experience that would be immersive.
The firm set to work by embedding a dynamic speaker in the top portion of the handset. While this might seem like an easy thing to do, Samsung states that it had to rearrange the internal components near that region, like the front camera and iris sensor, in order to make it possible. On top of this, it had to make sure that the speaker would still sound powerful despite its slim size.
In order to make this possible, the firm utilized engineers from different departments. The team spent a year "modifying the kinetic structure of the speaker to make sure there was enough room", which allowed them to expand the size of the existing speaker by 1.5 times. All of this work allowed the Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy S9 to produce sounds that are much louder than the previous handsets.
Google could be heading for speaker-less future
by Paul Hill
Google has already removed the headphone jack from the its latest Pixel phone, now it looks as though the company is heading in a direction where it will be able to send the speaker packing too. Earlier today, Bloomberg reported that Google has quietly acquired a UK startup which aims to turn surfaces, such as phone displays, into speakers.
According to Crunchbase.com, Redux Labs was founded in 2013 and had 11 - 50 employees. It had raised $5 million in Series B funding from Arie Capital on March 22nd, 2017. In August, Google acquired the company for an undisclosed amount.
With the acquisition, Google now has an extra 178 patents under its belt, which it can use to enhance its future smartphone and other devices - perhaps even future Google Home hardware. The tech giant has refused to confirm how much it snapped up the audio company for, which is the typical approach when a company hasn’t already disclosed the price.
According to Crunchbase, Redux Labs created “high-resolution haptic feedback and speakerless surround sound audio. Its technology is based on patented bending wave techniques that accurately control sub-sonic and sonic waves across a flat or curved surface in order to create a high quality loudspeaker or deliver a customisable haptic effect to a specific coordinate on the device, be it a screen, panel, steering wheel or even joystick.”
Hopefully, it won’t be too long until Google integrates this technology into their system, because we’ll be able to have even thinner devices with bigger batteries.