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You won't believe what's inside Sonos' first-ever retail store

Sonos is opening a 4,200-square-foot flagship retail store in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood that's an audio/visual feast.

Sonos, the pioneer multi-room audio company, seems to have spared no expensive in opening a 4,200-square-foot flagship retail store at 101 Greene Street in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood. The store officially opens July 19 and is one of the coolest consumer electronics stores you'll ever see despite the fact that it only sells Sonos products.

"The music experience in your home, and how it sounds, is just as important as the perfect chair or considered lighting," said Sonos VP, Global Brand, Dmitri Siegel. "The whole store experience is based on the idea of being in a really comfortable and inspiring environment, listening to music you love, but hearing it in a way you never have before."

Within the space are seven "state-of-the-art" Sonos Listening Rooms that allow you to listen to and compare Sonos' line of speakers. Sonos Sound Experience Leader Giles Martin said the rooms are acoustically designed to replicate a great home listening environment.

"The intention is to allow the music to do the talking, making it easy for everyone to experience Sonos exactly as they would at home," said Martin, "even though they are in the retail environment."

However, each room is the size of a small bedroom. That makes it hard to tell how a speaker -- or speakers -- would sound in a much larger room. But you certainly get a taste for their sound.

One of the 7 listening rooms, which are all about the same size but have different design themes.

David Carnoy/CNET

Since the store is located in SoHo it does have a bit of a "downtown" hipster vibe to it and the store's artwork and decor have been carefully curated to "celebrate music culture." Similar to Apple Stores, sales will be transacted through iPads.

The original artwork and installations featured include:

  • A collection of rare cassette tapes owned by famed musician Thurston Moore, who was involved in the SoHo music scene, is displayed in the downstairs Listening Room.
  • An extensive collection of New York music zines including out-of-print titles such as Arthur, New York Rocker, and East Village Eye from archivist Arthur Fournier hang prominently within the main space.
  • The 17-by-24-foot "Wall of Sound" in the back of the store features a working art installation comprised of 297 Sonos speakers, serving as an an ode to speaker culture.
  • The 8-by-10-foot hand-painted portrait of famed record producer and long-time Sonos advisor Rick Rubin hangs near the entrance and is a nod to the company's connections to New York City music. This store is just blocks from where Rubin produced seminal records by Run DMC and the Beastie Boys.