In May, Sonos, the maker of a wireless multi-room digital music system signed a deal to offer music from internet radio station Pandora. Today, the Santa Barbara based company added Sirius Satellite Radio (via the Internet) to their mix.
As part of the new partnership, owners of Sonos Digital Music Systems will have access to streams from eighty music and talk channels from Sirius Internet Radio. The service will cost $3/month but won’t require any special hardware.
The Sonos system is kind of like a cross between an iPod, a remote control and a home stereo. It wirelessly streams a music collection from up to 16 computers or storage devices (including MP3 players) to Sonos receivers. Receivers are placed around an owner’s house and connected to speakers or home stereos. Each Sonos"Zone" receiver can play music independent of the others. Each can also be controlled by a sophisticated remote. All of the receivers, which connect to each other via WiFi, can also receive software updates to keep them current as the company improves its technology.
To access the new satellite radio service, users will need only their Sonos hardware and a broadband internet connection. The connection is direct and doesn’t require the typical hardware associated with Satellite Radio. The self contained Sonos hardware also does not need to be tethered to a PC to stream Sirius content.
For Sonos, the partnership expands on what they’ve been doing with Pandora. Combined, these offerings (along with other deals struck with MTV Networks’ Urge, Rhapsody, and Yahoo Music) clearly target music fans who don’t want to spend the time building their own digital libraries (the Sonos hardware already supports music on users computers or personal players). For Sirius, it will rapidly expand their distribution capabilities for their Internet radio offerings.
While still pricy, the modular Sonus components have been incredibly well received. In past reviews, the New York Times said of it "The Sonos system is designed for the digital music age….pure heaven" and The Wall Street Journal said "The Sonos system is easily the best music-streaming product I have seen and tested. It’s the Lexus of the category."
Since its initial release, Sonos has sold greater than 200,000 units. In customer satisfaction, they report 99.1 percent of said the equipment is “good to excellent." 84.7 percent said it was "excellent."