The rooms in your home aren't acoustically designed to make speakers sound their very best. My rooms aren't either. It's for this reason that Sonos has been hard at work developing Trueplay, an innovative technology that will allow us to use our iPhones and iPads to automatically tune our Sonos speakers for the rooms and locations in which we place them.
Wave Your iPhone In The Air Like You Just DO Care
Sonos provided me the opportunity to use Trueplay in my home and the results are outstanding. I've never heard Sonos – or really any music in my home – sound so good. After a one-minute tuning exercise in each room — where the Sonos unit(s) play a "wet laser"-sounding test tone while a video instructs the user to walk through the room, slowly waving one's iPhone up and down — the speakers are automatically re-equalized to match Sonos's sound signature, accounting for any odd nuances that might exist in the room. This also includes dealing with things like doors in between you and your speaker, something quite handy if you have a PLAY:1 in your bathroom that you listen to in the shower. But even in more standard configurations, invariably your speakers are going to be placed in non-optimal locations, and Trueplay accounts for all of it.
Being an audio geek, I had done my best with Sonos's lone Treble and Bass sliders to account for any sonic wonkiness in my rooms, but that was never enough. I'd always wanted a graphic equalizer in the Sonos app and Trueplay has curbed that desire significantly. I was happy with the sound from my Sonos units before, now I'm ecstatic about it. Guitars sound warmer now, low end is full without being muddy; it's just fantastic. And simple.
Trueplay is really able to zero in on the issues and account for them, making each room start at a very consistent place. Personally, I've found that I like to add one notch of Bass slider to my rooms after Trueplay and, to their credit, Sonos allows for that. Giles Martin, Sonos's Sound Experience Leader, told me that I'm not alone and they're considering reducing some of the high end of the Trueplay sound signature to account for that. The end result in either case is quite brilliant.
Hardware and Software Combine to Please Our Ears
Part of this brilliance, of course, lies with the technology Sonos has developed. Part, however, is related to just how consistent the microphones in our iPhones and iPads are. Sonos has profiled the mics in each of the available models of iPhone so that they know how to compensate for each (and yes, I'm told they're already hard at work profiling the new iPhones 6s, as well). Unfortunately, Android phones are less consistent — even the same model phone has different mic characteristics when you move from carrier to carrier — and Sonos is still working on ways to support Android phones with Trueplay.
Some rooms will require very little adjustment to get to their signature sound with Trueplay, while others will require massive adjustments. The nice part is that you can place your speakers where you want them (even inside a cabinet with a closed door!) and Trueplay takes care of adjusting the speaker's EQ for whatever environment you have.
Trueplay, Coming Soon To Your Existing Sonos System
Trueplay works with the PLAY:1, the PLAY:3, the PLAY:5 (both the existing model as well as the brand new one announced today) and the SUB when paired with any of the aforementioned speakers. Stereo pairs are also supported and the Trueplay tuning process accounts for that. The only Sonos speaker not yet supported is the PLAYBAR, but that's also being researched and developed.
Trueplay will be available as a free upgrade to all Sonos users later this year. The video below sonically illustrates the concept and is worth a quick view.