Sonos' multi-room audio hardware is among our favourite tech ever. We adore the way you can stream your music collection to devices scattered across the home. The only problem with it, as far as we could see, was that, until now, the company hadn't included Spotify support. But all that will change from the end of September, when Spotify will finally arrive on Sonos hardware.
When we asked the company what had taken so long, we were told that Sonos wanted to make sure that the Spotify experience was every bit as slick and compelling as the other services it offers. As owners of Sonos hardware will probably have come to expect, the update will be free and automatically delivered to their hardware at the end of September. To get access, you'll need a Spotify premium account, at a cost of £10 per month, which includes offline audio on your PC, as well as music on your mobile.
The update is slick too, as we discovered when the company popped into our offices to show the system off. You can queue different tracks to different rooms in your house. If you're super-rich, and have the maximum 32 zones in your house, then you can have 32 different Spotify streams running. As with other Internet-based audio, you don't need a PC or Mac to listen -- the Sonos devices just connect to the Internet, allowing you to stream music.
As if that weren't enough, the company also showed us the new iPad app, which is even more impressive than the iPhone version. The app enables you to control your Sonos system as you would with the company's own hardware controllers. The advantage of using the iPad to control the system is that its larger screen size affords you a much better user experience, letting you, for example, drag and drop files into a playlist. Users of non-Apple devices will be pleased to know that there's likely to be an Android app in the future too.
Sonos' products might not be the cheapest way to listen to music, but, with Spotify support, they look even more attractive.
The iPhone app has been around for a while, but here you can see the new Spotify integration.
The iPad app will make you think you've just stepped off the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Adding music to a queue is as easy as dragging from available tracks into the queue tray.
Spotify claims it now has over 8 million tracks and 7 million subscribers, of which, about 500,000 pay for the premium service.