Sonos Era Range: Interview with CEO and Beatles Remixer
Sonos Era Range: Interview with CEO and Beatles Remixer
10:13

Sonos Era Range: Interview with CEO and Beatles Remixer

Audio
Speaker 1: The ERA 100 will replace the existing Sonos one. While the ERA 300 is a new product, and it includes spatial audio format, Dolby Atmos, I asked Sonos CEO Patrick Spence and record producer and Sonos consultant Gil Martin, about why the 100 doesn't include Atmos as well. Speaker 2: Decision is based around its size, its form factor, it's usage, and also the Trenton number of transducers. Um, I don't believe that if we, you know, there 100 is a stereo product at higher frequencies. It has two tweeters and a woofer, two opposing [00:00:30] tweeters. That's not a spatial audio product for special. You have to have discreet audio that fires in different direction. There's no point putting a badge on something for the sake of it and going, look, look, it's like you never heard it before. It's because, because people know there's an honesty to what we do and people know when they get home and they listen to the product. This is what it does. And the tricky thing about sound is everyone talks about it in the same way, but you have to listen to it obviously. It's like, you know, it's like smell or like that. Speaker 2: And so when, what's been really fun the next last couple of days is showing off the products and people actually really realizing, [00:01:00] okay, this era 100, I understand that one was a mono speaker, this, now there's a stereo. I can hear it doing stereo era 300, this, I can feel a sp this is what space audio is. Wow. I actually, this is really interesting and you can talk about it. People have to listen to it. And so I think that just by badging a product, um, which would be the case with a smaller unit that doesn't have that many drivers, I think would be the wrong thing to do. I think special audio is the biggest advance we've had in sound in a very, very long time. [00:01:30] I compare it to go from monitors, monitor, stereo. It makes sense because we don't listen in, uh, in a flat plane. We listen to three dimensional space. And now with the technology we're developing, you can recreate that three dimensional space in your home, which means the creators can now create music mixes that are truly enveloping or more intimate or more elaborate or just more natural and real. Um, that's for me is a creator and part of, um, the sound team at Sonos. It's super [00:02:00] exciting that we are pushing these boundaries. Speaker 3: For me, I think it's really about going from hearing the music to giving, giving a technology to creators that enable people to help their fans feel the music and really feel all the dimensions of music. And I think that's the unique opportunity with Spacial. And we're just in the early days of it, uh, I think recording engineers and artists are learning how to use the technology to deliver that immersive experience Giles talked about, um, into [00:02:30] the home. And that's why we're so excited about the ERA 300. Well, Speaker 2: We're launching a, we're launching a special air product, which we really believe in. So I, the stereo won't go away. Um, and, and, and, and stereo's great. And listen, mono is great, you know, and we build mono products as well. I mean, you know, move in Rome are mono speakers, but we believe that great sound experience is the key behind what we do. And if you can bring that to people and what's, what's fun about what we do, and I also work off in the crater community as well, is being [00:03:00] able to show artists what you can do now with technology advances then makes them go, we want to make music that will sound great for this format. And it's a, it's a circular thing and you know, we've been going in a circle of stereo for a long time and, and spatial audio has existed, but finally, you know, with with Advanced Codex and now with advanced Products, you can, that that, that dream has become a realization. So yeah, it's, it's, it's part of our portfolio and will continue to be a, yeah. Speaker 3: And I, [00:03:30] and I think it's, you know, when we went from Mono to stereo, you know, when that happened mid-century, last last century, that took a while, right? And so it didn't happen overnight. Um, it took creators really embracing the technology artists like leveraging the most of it and a transition time for people to get comfortable with it. And we don't want to force that, but we want to celebrate it. And that's what ERA 300 does, is really celebrate what's possible with spatial audio for music specifically. And we also want to keep, you know, being able to address those that wanna listen to music and stereo [00:04:00] as well. And so it's an opportunity for people to really choose what the way that they want to enjoy the music and uh, to provide creators a platform that enabled them to make it the way they want. Make it, Speaker 2: It was interesting about when, when we, when we made one and, and, and play one, we didn't think about it as being a, um, a speaker that was adopting an arch, a professional architectural spaces or that, but it has been, and it's a really, really good product for that. Again, with era, ERA 100, we're thinking about the home, but then we realize that it's gonna be used in [00:04:30] those spaces and absolutely it's a great sounding product. And, and you know, you and I were joking only about how it's really important not to make an irritating sounding speaker, you know, walk to restaurant or a caffeine. I know there's a Sonos One playing in there because it's sort of, it's, it's not like will someone turn that music off? We really try and throw ourselves into building products that are musical that you wanna listen to. I mean, it's the, it's the key. I mean, why not, you know, why not make any, you wanna sort of hype things and make things impressive. So I think yes, ERA 100 will suit those spaces because it is a great [00:05:00] selling product and it's not irritating. <laugh> <laugh>, it's not a very good slogan. But yeah, I'm would run with that for a bit. <laugh>, Speaker 3: The biggest reaction, I, I think it's been the emotion of particularly artists and recording engineers that haven't heard their music displayed quite like that, like coming through in that particular way and the, the level of thanks and emotional impact that it's had and that that's when we knew we were onto something special. And so the products being used in recording [00:05:30] studios for people to listen to their mixes. And I think that is where you see the magic actually happen and where we, you know, and, and that gives me the confidence to believe that this is the right product to bring s spatial audio out loud listening to millions of new homes. And so it is, it is that moment for the people who make music and, and are able to deliver sound that people Speaker 2: Feel. And, and there's, there hasn't been a time where I haven't shown an artist a product and they haven't said, you know, can [00:06:00] I have one? You know, which is I think is the, is the best sign. I mean that, and you know, we were in, we were in Republic, um, studios, uh, in October and September working with teams of engineers in the product with mix engineers. And I said to one of the guys, I said, it's funny, isn't it? We do these Atmos mixes and then like someone says to you, your wife or or whoever will say, you know, what have you done today? And you can't go, well, I can't play it to you. It, it sounds really good back in my room. And I, and I, so I said to these guys, I said, but we know you would you play this to your mates? Speaker 2: Like if you did a mix? He goes, yeah, [00:06:30] absolutely. And that was kind of like great. And you know, you know, you work with people and, and they, I like, um, Nigel Godrich who is a good friend, he works with Sons on the soundboard. He has public de derided space audio, okay. Was an Abbey Road with me and I played him, we were actually work on ERA 100 together and I played him 300. He goes, this sounds amazing. I went, well, Nigel, that's an Atmos mix I did on ERA 300. He went, can I have one [00:07:00] <laugh>? And I was like, I thought you didn't like it. And he goes, no, this sounds great. And that's the thing, it's like, it's based on experience. And I think that'll be the success of special audio because I think there has been bad experiences in the past. And that's the tricky thing is navigating through that. Speaker 2: But I think all you, you know, if you build it, they will come. If you, if you build a good experience, then people, people hear it. Well, right now, I mean there, there's been a massive sea change within the industry. Um, I've noticed it from our point of view. One of my roles, uni Universal has been overseeing the Atmos Mix program. So, you [00:07:30] know, we, and what's interesting is that the Ab Road penthouse was used constantly because Abor engineers were mixing other people in music. What's happened now is they're not used as much cuz people are mixing their own music and Atmos and they have Atmo studios there. And so it's like 90% of releases now are in Dolby Atmos, I think. Yeah. So that's, if that answer the question. So it's a continuous thing. And then there's catalog and you know, I've been asked to mix and they're from Deaf Leopard to In Excess to Beatles, rolling Stones Beach Boys <laugh>. The funny thing is, is I have to listen to this stuff and I go, God, [00:08:00] I wouldn't, I'd much rather listen to other people's mixes. Um, I don't know the the the Kick album, the Ns kick album is good. A good, a good fun. And you know, being an Aussie, you'd understand that <laugh>, Speaker 3: But also having, I think with the In Excess Kick album, you know, for me having listened to it, you know, at a very formative time in my life and having listened to it over and over again to then hear it in a different way is pretty darn special. But I will say there's that, and, and so often in the industry we turn to a comparison of listening to, well what did it sound like, [00:08:30] you know, in Stereo Armon versus at most the real thing is that Phineas Track that you heard, that has been built in a way that understands what spatial audio is all about. And so the new music that's coming out and the, the artists that are now using the technology to create new music in all its glory of s spatial audio is something that, uh, is just blowing me away. And I, and I think that's gonna be the really fun part as opposed to how do compare old tracks and old catalog Speaker 2: And what that sounds like. And, and that's why it's super fun. Like to, you know, we see [00:09:00] like a hundred products and studios where you know what you, you know what people are gonna be, you're not even listening to, okay, I'm gonna put this guitar over here. And I mean, to answer your question that of impact, I was with a, an old guy at in Va CS of Vegas. I found myself and he was, he was the person who re has remixed all he does. He was Tom Petty's producer engineer, and he remixed all the Tom Petty stuff. And I said, I've got this. We we made son, we've made this box that is truly amazing. And he was like, look at me suspiciously. Oh no it is. I said, you come, you know, you should come listened to it. And he came to my suite [00:09:30] and he's like, he listened to a mix, he'd done a Tom Petty mix, he's a good engineer. And he was like, oh man, cuz the guitar and he ran over to the other side, they're in, the guitars are over here. It was like a kid. It was, and it was just like, that is great. And that then that then if you give people these products or, or give creator these products, they go, I want to make something that can do that. Speaker 3: You know, the the ultimate is that the artists get to reach the fans in a way that they've not been able to before and put them in the middle of the music. [00:10:00] And that is what our great hope was in creating the ERA 300. And that is what, uh, we can't wait for customers to actually hear.

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