I’ve got a fat wallet-full of CDs that I never quite got around to ripping. Without a CD drive in my MacBook Pro, it was starting to look like I’d never hear them again unless I was driving in my car, which still comes equipped with a CD slot.
The Sonoro Cubo comes with a bunch of great features (like its phenomenal speaker system, built-in meditational audio and exceptional remote), but the killer feature is the addition of a CD slot. Now I can listen to any of the CDs I bought back in the 90s right in my living room without having to purchase a big stereo system.
Tons of connections
Cubo is a tiny stereo that connects to your iPhone, iPad or Mac via Bluetooth as any other wireless speaker or headphones out there. You can also download the free sonoroMUSIC app, and even though I already have Apple Music for my radio needs, it’s nice to be able to have another 80,000 radio stations from around the world in over 120 music genres to choose from. I mean, why not? You can also plug in any sound source you want via audio cable to the Aux jack in the back.
I listen to FM radio as little as possible, because the choices up here in Anchorage are fairly awful, but my partner listens to NPR religiously. Being able to listen to the actual radio while at home is a pretty fantastic thing, and it’s even easier to hit a button on the Cubo to listen to “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” than it is to pull up the NPR app, paired with a Bluetooth speaker, and listen in.
The CD player is really good, too, and while it just does what it’s supposed to, having a CD player in my house has reminded me of all the great stuff I’ve got on CD that I just don’t seem to remember when listening to Apple Music playlists or individual albums. The soundtrack to Magnolia, Al Di Meola’s Kiss My Axe, and Mr. Bad Example by Warren Zevon just don’t show up that often in the For You section. Slapping one into the Cubo has become a wonderful ritual during my work day.
The sound of the Cubo is pretty amazing considering there are no separate speakers, simply a high-quality mid- and high-range speaker on top and an integrated subwoofer. The volume knob to the right of the main Cubo face is large enough to easily use, even without looking at it.
Sure, some of the features are a bit foofy, like the relaxation audio, the remote lighting smart-plug integration and the alarm function (I’ve got an iPhone!), but they’re welcome additions to the core experience, which is a CD, Bluetooth and FM radio inside an attractive chassis that emits huge sound with a tiny footprint.
Sonoro is currently looking for funding on Kickstarter, where you can get your own Cubo and the smartlight control plug for a $299 pledge. Eventually, the unit, minus the light plug, will run you $349, so this is a screaming deal.