Sonos, founded in 2002 in California by John MacFarlane, Craig Shelburne, Tom Cullen, and Trung Mai, is a multi-room HiFi audio system that lets users stream various sources of music including local networks and internet services like Rdio, Songza, Spotify, Amazon and more. Systems can use a few as one device or as many as 32. Devices include the Sonos Bridge, PLAYBAR, Play:1, Play:3, Play:5, SUB, CONNECT and CONNECT:AMP. The Play series devices are standalone speaker units, capable of performing with no additional items. The CONNECT series can be used with existing speakers or sound systems to achieve the Sonos experience.
Official Sonos controllers are available for Mac and Windows computers as well as iPhone and Android devices, and there are various third-party Windows Phone options as well. The Sonos system is controlled through one of the apps where users can choose what to play on each speaker or "zone", browse music, change volume, choose settings and more. The Sonos system operates on a proprietary network separate from Wi-Fi or even more obscure home networks, like ZigBee. Sonos systems use between 4 and 8 watts of power in standby by continuously being connected through over 802.11n with a MIMO antenna configuration. Sonos speakers can connect to the internet through a Bridge connected to a home Wi-Fi router, but a future software update will eliminate the need for the Bridge. Stereo Bluetooth is not supported, and most of their products do not allow direct wired input. AirPlay is supported if connected to a dedicated Apple AirPort Express.
Phil Abram is the Sonos COO, Thomas Cullen is VP of Sales and Marketing, Craig Shelburne is CFO, and Ingvar Meijers is Managing Director of Sales and Operations for EMEA. The board of directors consists of Michelangelo Volpi, Mixed Media Labs, Inc.; David Kerko, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.; Fred Anderson, Elevation Partners. Sonos is a privately-held company with an estimated $200 million total in venture funding as of 2012. Product development is distributed across three continents.