Sonos

6-display rig rocks Sonos home-theater sound [Setups]

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5-display Mac Studio and MacBook Pro setup with Sonos home-theater sound.
This expansive Mac Studio and MacBook Pro setup provides an audio-visual feast.
Photo: TSlade14@Reddit.com

Some home computer setups go extra-large on visuals, others pump up quality sound — and some go nuts with both in equal measure.

Today’s featured Mac Studio and MacBook Pro setup features not only six exceptional displays — including Apple’s vaunted, $5,000 Pro Display XDR — it also adds a bonus sound system to its complete Sonos home-theater audio array.

Who will lead Apple when Tim Cook steps down? [The CultCast]

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Who will take over when Tim Cook finally steps down as Apple CEO? Apparently, he has some ideas.
Who will take over when Tim Cook finally steps down as Apple CEO? Apparently, he has some ideas.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Tim Cook recently said Apple has “very detailed” succession plans for when he eventually steps down as CEO. Plus, the company definitely plans to hire from within. That got us thinking … who’s next in Apple’s game of thrones?

Also on The CultCast:

  • OLED screens might come to iPad Air and iPad mini somewhat soonish.
  • Europe’s busybody technocrats have some more grand plans for Apple and other manufacturers. We’ve got mixed emotions.
  • Sonos reportedly wants to take on Apple TV and AirPods Max with rival products.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

Sonos Move 2 speaker brings stereo sound, double the battery life

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In addition to the black or white options to match other Sonos speakers, you can get Move 2 in a new olive color.
In addition to the black or white options to match other Sonos speakers, you can get Move 2 in a new olive color.
Photo: Sonos

The revamped Sonos Move 2 portable speaker sports stereo sound, up to 24 hours of battery life — twice that of its predecessor — and a slew of design changes since the water-resistant speaker’s initial release four years ago, the company said Wednesday.

Sonos Move 2 becomes available September 20 for $449.

Behind-desk lighting takes MacBook Pro rig to ‘next level’ [Setups]

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A light strip -- in this case one from Nanoleaf -- can make a big difference.
A light strip -- in this case one from Nanoleaf -- can make a big difference.
Photo: TjDeAdPoOl@Reddit.com

A humble light strip can have a huge impact on a computer setup and even the room it’s in, providing functional lighting as well as setting a mood with white or colored lights at different temperatures (cool, warm, etc.). Today’s featured MacBook Pro setup uses nothing but a Nanoleaf Essentials light strip behind the desk and a Xiaomi monitor lamp to light its way. And they do so to great effect.

Read more about the lighting below, plus the setup’s use of a Sonos Bluetooth speaker for audio and an iPhone with Continuity Camera for effective videoconferencing.

World’s first lossless Wi-Fi headphones come from unexpected place

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HED Unity lossless Wi-Fi headphones come with a hefty price tag -- $2,199.
HED Unity lossless Wi-Fi headphones come with a hefty price tag -- $2,199.
Photo: HED Technologies

Rumors swirled over the past few years that Sonos would take on Apple’s AirPods Max by releasing its first headphones, possibly with Wi-Fi in addition to Bluetooth. But a little-known Swiss startup has beaten both companies to the punch with a pricey new set of cans.

HED Technologies recently unveiled HED Unity, the world’s first wireless headphones to offer lossless, high-resolution audio streaming over a local Wi-Fi network at up to 24bit/96kHz.

Sorry, HomePod! Sonos speakers add Apple Music’s spatial audio.

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The new Sonos Era 300 features a new look and support for Apple Music's spatial audio.
The new Sonos Era 300 features a new look and support for Apple Music's spatial audio.
Photo: Sonos

Alongside the release of its new Era 300 and Era 100 speakers, Sonos said Tuesday it will “add support for spatial audio on Apple Music in what will be a significant expansion of its next-gen sound experience offerings.”

The company said customers can access spatial audio on Apple Music via the Era 300 and two older Sonos speaker systems starting in three weeks — Tuesday, March 28 (the new speakers’ shipping date).

New Sonos Era smart speakers take direct aim at HomePod

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The Sonos Era 300 is the larger and better-equipped of the two new smart speakers.
The Sonos Era 300 is the larger and better-equipped of the two new smart speakers.
Photo: Sonos

A new leak indicates Sonos will release its new Sonos Era 100 and 300 smart speakers in March with a slew of features that challenge Apple’s recently relaunched HomePod.

Of the two new Sonos speakers, the pricier Era 300 features a version of spatial audio. Both support Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB-C line-in for versatile connectivity. The Era 100 is likely to replace the much-liked Sonos One, launched in 2017.

New Victrola turntable streams vinyl to Sonos speakers

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Victrola Stream Carbon turntable streams vinyl to Sonos speakers.
Victrola Stream Carbon is a marriage of old school and modern technology.
Photo: Victrola

Vinyl is alive and well, and the Victrola Stream Carbon is a high-end turntable designed for homes with Sonos speakers. The record player wirelessly connects, and is controllable through the Sonos app.

Carbon is the first in multiple new products coming in the Stream turntable line.

New Sonos mini subwoofer pairs via AirPlay with sound bars and speakers

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The new Sonos Sub Mini is designed to punch up bass while blending in.
The new Sonos Sub Mini is designed to punch up bass while blending in.
Photo: Sonos

Audio powerhouse Sonos launched the long-awaited Sub Mini on Tuesday. The small, cylindrical wireless subwoofer is designed to add low end to home theaters in smaller rooms.

It’s compatible with the company’s range of products, including its AirPlay-enabled sound bars and speakers. The affordable subwoofer goes up for sale on October 6 for $429. You can preorder it now.

PC gamer converts to all-Mac rig plus PS5 and gaming handhelds [Setups]

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Plenty of oohs and ahhh were uttered over this setup on social media.
Plenty of oohs and ahhh were uttered over this setup on social media.
Photo: SoyRamza@Reddit.com

We’ve seen a fair number of PC gamers converting to one or more of the new Macs lately, including some who let go of their main gaming machines entirely.

Today’s featured setup fits that bill. It belongs to a UI designer who ditched a gaming PC and got himself a Mac Studio and Studio Display to go with his work-provided MacBook Pro.

But he kept a few gaming devices around, along with a suite of Elgato AV streaming gear and a new Sonos Ray Soundbar used, strangely enough, as a wireless desktop speaker.

Discreet new Sonos voice assistant will work with Apple Music

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Sonos Voice will give you a new way to talk to your Sonos speakers.
Sonos Voice will give you a new way to talk to your Sonos speakers.
Photo: Sonos

Smart speaker maker Sonos will soon deploy its own voice assistant, similar to Apple’s Siri. It will let you play and control music on the company’s products, according to a new report.

The new voice assistant, “Sonos Voice,” will work with Apple Music and a handful of other services.

Leak shows Sonos is about to roll out a new budget soundbar

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The Sonos
The Sonos "Fury" budget soundbar will probably look similar to the Sonos Beam (pictured), but a bit shorter. It should launch with black and white finishes.
Photo: Sonos

If you’d love to add a Sonos soundbar to your home theater but you find the company’s well-regarded products a tad pricey, just wait. According to a new leak, Sonos will release its least-expensive soundbar ever — just $249 — in early June.

New Sonos Roam SL saves you some money, but at what cost?

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The Sonos Roam SL is almost the same as its predecessor, the Roam, but it drops the mics.
The Sonos Roam SL is almost the same as its predecessor, the Roam, but it drops the mics.
Photo: Sonos

If you want a great-sounding portable speaker but don’t care about voice-activated control, Sonos just came out with the Sonos Roam SL. It’s like the highly regarded Sonos Roam smart speaker released last year, but it leaves out the far-field microphone and costs $20 less.

Going mic-less means you don’t get to use voice-activated assistants with the speaker. And you lose a couple of other mic-related functions, too.

Drool-worthy gear: Former PC gamer goes all-in on Mac conversion [Setups]

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You don't see two Pro Display XDRs in one setup very often.
You don't see two Pro Display XDRs in one setup very often.
Photo: UncreativeWhale@Reddit.com

When a software engineering manager who works from home decided to leave PC gaming behind, he went all-in on his Mac conversion. In part he did it for work. He slings a lot of native code for macOS in building HR recruitment software. But, working and playing from home full time, in part he did it for himself.

So why wouldn’t he buy a super-tricked out 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro, not one but two Apple Pro Display XDRs and pretty much top-shelf everything else?

My, that’s a loud lamp you have, Sonos

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The lamp is playing NPR again.
The lamp is playing NPR again.
Photo: Sonos

Sonos and Ikea are at it again with the speakers that look like other things. They recently launched the second generation of the Symfonisk table lamp speaker.

The Symfonisk line of speakers, which also includes a bookshelf speaker that can hold books and a picture frame speaker that looks like wall art, is designed to blend in with your home decor.

Pint-size Sonos Roam speaker goes anywhere your iPhone does

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Pint-size Sonos Roam speaker goes anywhere your iPhone does
Sonos Roam connects to your Apple devices over more than Bluetooth.
Photo: Sonos

The Sonos Roam is a new high-end smart speaker with support for Apple AirPlay 2, so it plays nicely with iPhone or other Apple computers.

The tubular accessory weights in just under a pound, but Sonos says, “precision-engineered acoustics deliver the clarity, depth, and fullness you would expect from a much larger speaker.”

D&D gaming comes to life via Mac mini and magical screen [Setups]

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A 43-inch curved monitor is the highlight of Duncan Shultz's gaming setup.
A 43-inch wide curved monitor is the highlight of Duncan Shultz's gaming setup.
Photo: Duncan Shultz

Brisbane, Australia-based defense contractor Duncan Shultz loves Dungeons & Dragons. And that’s the main action his Mac-mini-and-wide-screen setup sees, although he also admits to using it to work for a living. An Aasimar Sorcerer’s got to eat, after all.

“The wide screen is simply awesome for my uses,” Shultz told Cult of Mac. “Specifically in running online D&D games. I can have video conferencing, multiple browsers, streaming software and other tools all open and accessible.”

In addition to the aforementioned sorcerer character — goes by the name of Selinth, BTW — Schultz is a dungeon master for Curse of Strahd campaigns, one online and one in person. Online he uses the Roll20 website and in person he uses EncounterPlus for iOS and macOS.

Apple stops selling third-party headphones and smart speakers

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AirPods Studio will apparently look much like this.
Apple’s is prepping a pair of over-the-ear headphones, possibly as part of phasing out its Beats brand.
Render: Jon Prosser/cconceptcreator

Ahead of the expected launch of its over-the-ear headphones, dubbed AirPods Studio, and a possible new HomePod speaker, Apple has stopped selling headphones and wireless smart speakers made by rival firms such as Sonos, Bose and Logitech.

The rival manufacturers previously had their third-party products available on Apple’s Online Store. However, as Bloomberg reported Monday, they have now vanished. Employees at brick-and-mortar Apple Stores have also been removing the products from shelves.

Epic Games tries to talk Spotify, Sonos into creating anti-App Store coalition

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The Epic Games office in Berlin.— Fortnite App Store
Epic Games has sued Apple for allegedly monopolizing iOS app distribution.
Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/Flickr CC

Epic Games, maker of Fortnite, is recruiting a team of like-minded companies to join its fight against Apple and its App Store policies, according to a report from The Information (paywall).

The publication claims that Epic is getting in touch with other companies that disagree with the App Store’s strict rules. Two of these companies are reportedly Sonos and Spotify. However, neither of them has officially joined the coalition.