When marketing and engineering collide

by Volker Weber

260515-SonosOne 15-d8348e-original-1507127943

This is Sonos One. It looks like the PLAY:1 special editions from 2015 in pure white and black. And it has the new top with touch controls and the microphones for voice control. It has been in production for a while and needs to ship in time for Xmas. And it needs to ship before too many people buy the Apple HomePod. Unfortunately the software isn't ready.

When Sonos was still the only serious player it would not have shipped. PLAYBAR for instance did not ship before February because it wasn't ready.


Times have changed and software can be fixed later. 90% of my music is from Spotify, the rest is from my library. Guess what other sources Alexa cannot play from? Apple Music and Google Play. I run into bugs at every turn. This morning I started to play the a-ha MTV Unplugged Summer Solstice concert via Spotify Connect in the Bathroom and later moved it to TV. Now TV is gone and is only recognized as Bathroom.

Eventually this will all be resolved. February looks like a good target date.


Volker, could you provide some more context, please: Are you evaluating the Sonos ONE and/or are you running the Beta software? Just curious...

Markus Dierker, 2017-10-07 18:36

I am running Sonos 8.0 release. I am no longer part of any Sonos Beta.

Volker Weber, 2017-10-07 18:43

Thanks for clarifying this. The pressure is definitely on. Once they have sorted out the kink it will be a pretty unique device: Alexa, Google Assistent and AirPlay all in one device.

Markus Dierker, 2017-10-07 19:50

Can only echo. Software update has introduced a completely new and improved controller on iOS.
The new part I can deal with, but boy did it take twenty different tries to just get the same music playing in multiple rooms. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Sonos. Ease of use was always your one unique selling proposition.

Maikel Maes, 2017-10-08 01:09

ROFL. Yes, I did not talk about my difficulties navigating the app. I am actually not sure if that is the case because I have to unlearn the old app and the learn the new one. It took me quite a while to discover the swipe down gesture from the now plaing screen. I kept hitting the room name, but that only leads to the group screen, not the rooms screen.

I only found that swipe throught a process of elimination. There does not seem to be a left, right or up swipe.

Volker Weber, 2017-10-08 01:41

Gestures are undiscoverable. You either expect the user to try out all swipes combinations, all directions, number of fingers, start and stop areas, or you need a tutorial.

But in general I agree, if you need a tutorial you haven’t found the natural way to things in a way that presents itself yet.

Mariano Kamp, 2017-10-08 10:33

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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