Sonos has taken a page from the Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft playbook and opened up its own standalone store, but focused on making it look more like a home than a retail environment.
Parked right in the middle of the busy SOHO area of New York City, the store, at 101 Greene St., officially opened its doors on July 19.
The store was designed to look more like a home than a store, focused on how Sonos products can be placed and used to provide whole-house music. Sonos' Sound Experience Leader Giles Martin sonically tuned every inch of space within the store to afford maximum sound quality.
Within the store is seven central listening areas, each covered in thousands of pounds of sheetrock and custom-beveled glass to make them soundproof, and mimic how you might listen to music at home. There are room mockups like a study, kitchen, and living room, and sources from home theatre systems to turntables so shoppers can get a feel for how the speakers might sound and work in the right context.
To take environmental factors into account, each listening room also features custom furniture, visual art and lighting design that reflects some of Sonos' favourite styles and periods from the past century. None of the rooms are the same.
Additionally, the store space has bookshelves and woven rugs to add to the homey feel. Illustrators and painters like Mark Stamaty, Thibaud Herem, and Mark Chamberlain designed and hand-painted the wallpaper. Thurston Moore lent the store a selection of his cassette tapes from the golden age of NYC cassette trading. Archivist Arthur Fournier put up rare selections from his classic zine collection. At the front of the store is an eight-foot portrait of Rick Rubin, an old friend of Sonos. It was mere blocks from this store location where Rubin produced Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys.
"It feels special to be here in New York," says Sonos in a prepared announcement. "This is the place where hip-hop, punk rock, new-wave, no-wave and disco were born. It's a city of a million different sounds and a million different homes of every kind. There's no better place for us to start showing you what we're all about."