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Crutchfield: The Podcast Ep. 13

Emily auditions Arc from Sonos

In this episode:

Emily writes articles and product copy on a wide range of home electronics including TVs and smart home gear. She's also clocked a lot of critical listening time, putting sound bars to the test. Her Best Sound Bars for 2020 article is among our most popular and is a great companion to this bonus episode, in which she and J.R. share their experiences with Sonos' latest sound bar, Arc. Check out Emily's full review.

Some of the gear discussed in this episode includes:

After the interview, J.R. catches up with Chris from Sonos (check out Ep. 6!) to answer a customer question about Arc. Plus, Chris offers some pro tips on working from home.

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Read episode transcript

Hello and welcome everybody to Crutchfield the podcast. This is the first of what will probably be three or four bonus episodes of Crutchfield, the podcast that we will release here between season one and the beginning of season two. We started Crutchfield the podcast earlier this year in 2020. And we put out 12 episodes. You can find all of them at Crutchfield dot com slash podcast. And all the episodes are there with show notes and links and pictures and a bunch of cool stuff. And uh we are indeed going to be doing a season two. Well beginning work on that here now. Uh in the meantime to hold you over, this is again the first of several bonus episodes coming your way. They will be coming out about once a month from now here in September all the way through the end of the year and you'll most likely see season two of crutchfield the podcast starting in early 2021. But for now let's get to the topic at hand. Today we are talking about so nose and the Sonos arc. And the reason we're doing that is because right there towards the middle of the summer, we got some advanced notice that the Sonos arc was coming out. We've got we've got some we had to sign N. D. A. S. We weren't allowed to talk about it publicly but we were able to talk about it behi the scenes and we got a couple of Sonos arcs sent to us so that we could put them to the test and take them home. I got to bring one home and listen to it at my house, our, our writer Emily who writes articles and information about products on our website. She got to take it home and put it into her whole home, so knows ecosystem and really put the new so no sound bar, the sonos arc through its paces. You should check out her article. She writes great stuff. She wrote an article about the best sound bars of 2020. She gets to test gear all the time. She's, she's right stuff about our TVs, our sound bars and a bunch of other stuff. So check out Emily's articles on our website and you should start with best sound bars of 2020. We'll have a link to that article in the show notes for this bonus episode right on crutchfield dot com slash podcast. So that's kind of the first half of what you're about to hear. The second half. Normally we would do a thing where we answer a real question from a real customer instead of just me or eric, my sometimes co host answering the question, we thought we would go straight to the source. And if you listened to episode six of season one of Crutchfield, the podcast you heard us talking to chris from so knows he's the guy that comes to Crutchfield from Sonos and trains us on all the new Prada and when we talked to him in episode six, he couldn't tell us about the Sonos arc but he could tell us about a lot of other stuff and so really you if you're curious about so nose and how and what's going on with it and the world of so knows it's a great listen I highly recommend it and it might help some of what we talked about here make more sense but we figured we'd get chris on the line again and ask him the question that a customer posed to us. So that's the second half of the show after we talk to Emily will talk to chris, let's let's talk about one thing you're gonna want to know before we get into the interview with Emily she's gonna talk about one key feature here on the Sonos arc that if you don't understand that part that part of it you might just need some clarification and it's something called enhanced audio return channel or E arc. Uh This is a connect made from a tv to a sound making device enhanced or let's just talk about regular arc first audio return channel. It's been around for years and it is a way for the sound from your tv to be sent into home theater receiver a sound bar anything you might connect to your tv to make sound better than the tv speakers and this way you can get sound from your built in streaming apps, your built in over the air tuner and anything connected to your tv you can send the audio out on an H. D. M. I. Cable to your sound gear and it's pretty convenient because it reduces how many cables you have to hook up. It's just a really nice way to do it. And up until recently regular audio return channel was as good as it got. It could send two channel audio or even 5.1 dolby digital audio from your tv to your home theater system or your sound bar enhanced. A. R. C. Or E. Arc takes that up a notch and now it is capable of passing on dolby at most. So that that added few channels of surround sound that gives you sort of a height to your sound with speakers either in your ceiling or pointed up at your ceiling enhanced A. R. C. Allows more than just 5.1 channels of audio to be passed from the T. V. All the way to the sound bar. It's a part of how the Sonos arc which is the name of the product. Not to be confused with audio return channel, but there might be some sort of tie in there but that's part of how the arc does what it doesn't sound so good. Uh Now it doesn't require enhanced A. R. C. For it to function but to give you the most, it can do the full on dolby at most experience. You would want a tv. That's newer with enhanced A. R. C. So just so you have a little bit of back story on how that works and now I'm going to shut up and we're going to get into my interview with Emily, our writer here at Crutchfield and our experiences with the brand new for 2020. So nose arc pretty exciting when they shipped me the, and they shipped me arc, um, and and the sub and everything and I got to try it before anybody even knew what was coming out for sure. That was really fun. Of course, I couldn't tell anybody about it, which was hard. But yeah, so you were in the know earlier than most, which is, uh, which is another perk of your specific job at Crutchfield where you're writing about stuff so that we need, we need stuff to be on the website, we need articles sometimes in the catalog, sometimes videos, things like that. We need that stuff to be ready when stuff releases. And the only way to do that is to have it before it's out and which means you get advanced notice on a ton of stuff. It's really fun for sure. I I definitely feel lucky every day to have this job. So, so what else is new that you know of that I don't know of yet? Well, I can't say that, you know that J. R. So you you already have a, so knows ecosystem set up at home. Yeah, tell me about that. So I actually started um about 10 years ago because I was looking for um Multi room system. I wanted to have music in the house and you know my boombox from 92 was getting a little old. So I asked a friend of mine who worked at Crutchfield. I didn't get work here and um he was like well have you thought about so knows and I didn't have any idea what it was but it seemed pretty cool. So I started with a with an original connect um and connected my old um had a Yamaha um sound bar was actually one of those big ones that had all the like angled drivers that I also got at crutchfield. Yeah the Yamaha Yamaha sound projector, digital sound projector. Yeah that's what it was. Um So I connected it to that and then I also got a shortly thereafter a gen one play five. So um those are my two oldest pieces and you still have them. I do they still work great. Which is um why I'm kind of on the fence right now as far as the s to update because there's some of the two that will not um use s to. So right now I have my whole system which is expanded greatly to include a stereo pair of play ones, another play one in the bathroom. I've got a beam in my workout room. I've got a most recently a move which goes everywhere. So yeah, it's tough. I'm not sure at this point what I'm gonna do, I might, I will probably do a split system because I did end up getting to keep the five that they let us borrow. Oh man enough to let me keep that. So I really, I'm going to have to have s to running if I want to use that. So how does the generation one play five compare to the brand new? So knows five. I mean my play five, my original genuine still sounds great and I've never considered updating it until now. Um, I got to listen to the five and I mean I played it in my small office, which I'm sitting in right now and it like filled it with sound. I didn't even crank, I didn't have to crank the volume at all because I mean, yeah, it just sounded great. So, I mean I still, I still don't want to give up my original genuine play five and I haven't listened to them side by side, which is maybe something I want to try. But yeah, I mean it, it probably sounds a little heftier than the original and it looks great. It's got the, you know, the solid white as opposed to the original genuine had a gray silvery gray um, piece on the front, I mean, which looked great at the time, but this one is a little more streamlined, the new version. So, so you have some older, so no stuff which can't work with the new Sonos? S two app and so, so right now your system is all still using the Sonos one or S one version of the app, which, which means you're not able to fully take advantage of some of the features of the newer Sonos products. That's right, yeah, I think like hi rez and and some updates moving forward is something I'd miss out on if I just stayed on S one, which is um in addition to, you know, actually hooking up the five, so I am probably in the next week or so going to split my system. Um and I'll do like Sonus recommends, I think using if you have an area of your house that isn't someplace you'd necessarily want a group because obviously I won't be able to group S one and S two stuff so I can create an S one system that just has my connect and my genuine play five on it and like say like my workshop or like my husband's office or somewhere that wouldn't necessarily need to be part of the updated S two system. So I did get to try as to actually on beta, I don't know if you were, were you trying them when the app was already out or were you on the beta as well? I was not on the beta for S two I got when I got to bring the Sonos arc and the sub and the five, which apparently now lives at your house home, just justified, justified, but when I had them at my house, it, it was right after the S two app had launched and was fully in production, so I didn't have to go through using it on beta, I would have, but I just didn't have the stuff during the beta test, once they got me on the beta, like it was fine and I got to, it was cool because I got to try out as to obviously I had to in order to use arc and and five, so Um speaking of you want to talk about the ark? Yeah, I was looking at your article, you've got a couple articles about sound bars and one of them was the best sound bars of 2020 and if I'm not mistaken that articles about to get a rewrite an upgrade an additional piece because what was in there was the sun does play bar uh at that time obviously wasn't out yet, but it's the best has ever released. Yeah, no kidding, I, so I brought it home, I only got to have it at my house for a couple of days, but I watched like five or six different movies, I listened to music on it, I had it paired with the, so no sub and so I couldn't, I wouldn't say that I completely put it through its paces, but I had it long enough to be sufficiently impressed uh because I completely unhooked my 5.1 system that I love and just went soto sound bar for the weekend, the ark and the sub and loved it, but you had it for even longer than that and you probably did get to put it through its paces. Yeah, what did you think I did? So I actually um got to try it out, I tried to try it out by itself and then with the sub and then also I had a pair of sonos, one sl speakers as surround speakers. Um so I did like you did, I watched all kinds of movies and um you listen to music and I tried to, it's really easy in the sense app to turn off the sub, turn off the surround so I could kind of hair and honestly it sounds really great by itself if somebody's on the fence and they're not sure it's worth, you know, splurging or if they feel like they're gonna have to have all the extra pieces, I would say just just try the ark out by itself. Um you might be sufficiently impressed, maybe later down the line, you can easily add a sub or surrounds, but it sounded, I mean I had a little bit of frustration because my TV is from 2016, it's a little older. It doesn't have Iarc um that you necessarily, I think you might have been in the same boat. You can pass an utmost signal over arc. Some TVs can um just like the streaming version I think it's still be digital Plus is what the format they use for like netflix streaming that has um at most mind couldn't pass that either. And so I was like I'm not gonna be able to really get the full effect of this but even without an at most signal it sounded, and I hate to use this word because it's overused immersive, it sounded immersive. Um it was it was pretty fun. I mean I have just have a 3.1 system um that I love I don't have surrounds typically unless I'm getting to try them out. Um but I was I'm not often tempted to go back to a sound bar but it was pretty great. I enjoyed actually being able to just play music on it to rather than having to turn on my receiver and and all that so that you know obviously one of the things that Thanos is the ease of use on that front, it delivers just like all the other stuff. I found it also easy to hook up easy to use it integrated nicely with my T. V. And the remote control for the tv and my apple tv remote, both of that control the volume on it. Like No but I didn't really have to do anything to make all of that just work. Uh it seems like so knows really figured it out, they simplified it, there's there's really only one way to hook it up for like 90% of TVs and uh and yeah I also don't have a new enough TV to take advantage of the at most side of it. So uh so I was very surprised when it sounded like my 5.1 surround system, like when it sounded like Okay there's stuff coming out of my speakers over there. Uh and there's no speakers over there, I did not have any rear surrounds, so it was just the ark and the sub in my system and you know, I think if someone's coming from listening to tv speakers to listening to just the arc even without the sub uh at night and day difference, I mean like oh my gosh, how how how did you live without? It would be probably a typical reaction to that. Did you? I don't think you said anything about having a so no sub previous to this one. Do you have a so no sub at all now I don't um because I have just a big old hefty clips sub with my 3.1 system. Um but this the center sub is special, it's like so shiny and kind of futuristic looking. It was really fun to have and you can I think place it on its side to or just like tuck it anywhere because it's it's one of the wireless ones. Um and it it really does deliver like I was turning it on and off when I was watching stuff and um obviously it brings like a rumble that you can't quite get from a sound bar for sure. It's it's pretty solid sub if you're going for like dialogue enhancement and just making the whatever you're watching look and sound louder and clearer, you don't need the sub at all. But if you want it to be like a movie experience, you're you're definitely gonna want the sub. It sounds like music, like you said, movies rumbling. I watched our planet on netflix um And there were like the rumbling of storms and stuff and I mentioned this in an article I'm writing um David Attenborough's voice with the sub like sounds really rich and full. I mean it really delivers. So it's nice to have that option for people who really want to round out their system but want to keep it streamlined. Did you use the true play in the app to custom tailor the sound to your room with the arc in the sub and your surround speakers? Yeah I have um a really open living room, it opens up not just in my kitchen and my dining room but like right above my tv set up. I have like an open space that is my stairwell up to my second floor. So it's kind of a difficult room I think for a lot of sound bars to like cut through that open space. Um So I definitely did do the true play tuning which is easy and I have an IOS device so I can do that. Um And it it really it sounded great. Made a difference right? Like huge difference. Yeah what I found and I think the true play was a part of the reason this worked for me. My clip sub is way more sub than my room can handle. I've got all the base I can possibly deal with. I had to put a an acoustic decouple er underneath the subwoofer so that it wouldn't vibrate all of my window frames in my room and they still do vibrate some but it's not not as bad as it used to be. The so no sub with the true play had almost as much base as my clips sub maybe maybe my clip sub could go higher if I really turned it all the way up. But so the so no sub maxed out at a volume. That was every bit of what I normally listen to with my clips. Uh no window rattles and all the base I needed for most everything I listened to was the way I, the way I would describe it but you're right, it does tune it to your room beautifully. Yeah my one complaint about it is if you have pets. Um it does collect for because it's that false black, it's beautiful so you just have to be ready to you know either tuck it somewhere where you can't see that which is a shame beautiful or like wipe it down and they include one of those um nice microfiber cloth so you can keep it looking sharp, it might just have so many pets in my house. It's hard. Also you could get the, depending on the color of the pet for in your house, you can get the black one or the white one and maybe the, maybe the hair would blend in. I mix so that makes it hard. Yeah I have a black dog and a white dog at my house so there's no good answer for that. Just keep keep that micro fiber cloth or a feather duster or something nearby. Um Are you the driving force behind the audio video setup in your home or are there others in your home that use it every bit as much as you. What's what's that like? I'm definitely as a crutchfield employee and fan of this gear. The driving force. My husband, he he likes movies, he likes music, he uses you know are so no system but um I'm definitely, I think once he told me I have free rein over all the electronics purchases in our house which may have been a mistake on his part. But yeah it's definitely that's definitely my area for sure. Um and it was funny because he was there obviously because we're both stuck at home? We're working at home. Um He was there for when I was so frustrated that our tv couldn't pass an ATmos signal and I was spent all morning like how can I get this done? Um And I and I just gave up and we ended up just watching, we started watching Ghostbusters um and it I hooked it up and he's like wait so this this isn't at most because it sounded it just sounded so good. Um There was like rumble, I think it starts with a storm and you could just like here the rain and everything and it sounded so good that I think he was um I was like I'm gonna quote you on that because that was perfect. Nice. What about music? Um Yeah I tried, gosh, I don't remember specifically the tunes I tried, I have like a speaker testing playlist that I will often play. Um and I did a title trial as well and tried some of that, they have actually at most mixes, but again you have to have either a tv that's capable of passing that um signal or like I think apple streaming four K. Streaming device does that um Yeah apple tv. Um I didn't have that but I was just using it like any so no speaker through the so no SAp and um it sounded great like I was blasting, I think some lady gaga and my sister was upstairs and she was like, oh is there a party starting down there and she came like dancing down the stairs was like, well sure I guess why not now? There is now. Yeah, it's got, you know, it's got the voice assistance built into so you can like ask for whatever you want, which is always fun. That's the main thing I use Alexa for is to request various rocking tunes and various stones in my house uh and uh and that works pretty well right? Like I don't really do that much with Alexa but you can just tell her to play any song from any service on any speaker in your house, right, is that, is it really that um so I use it a lot like I said it and we have a workout room which is realized like a super lucky thing to have right now, no longer go to gyms um but I use it in there a lot to just be like Alexa shuffle, my stretching playlist or something like that um so that I can just like not even have to have my phone or anything. She just, she's on it, she's listening. Yeah, I have the hose connected here with some powered audio engine speakers in my turntables, I was about to ask that because I can see the turntable behind you and I could see what looks like a, so knows connect right below the turntable and so you do have the ability to put vinyl into your entire house all from that. And you, since everything's on S one right now, I do right. Yeah, so that that that what I'm seeing in the background, there is your original gen one, so knows connect it is, yeah, I have my living room, I have a report which is the newer version of the same device so that I can pull I have a Marantz receiver in there with some martin Logan, 35 XT speakers. Um so that's also a zone And the Porter obviously being new, can be part of S. two. I could upgrade this to a ports and then have my turntable be part of us too. But I mean like it still sounds great, that's where I'm at and stuff. It was it was a wonderful day when Sony has announced that that all of those older sona stuff would still be able to work. They were going to do the two apps, they were going to make it work all while not compromising on the performance of the newer stuff. And so I'm so happy that they figured out a way because there was, it was touch and go there for a minute with whether or not that was going to be a thing and uh and so knows figured it out, so kudos to that. Yeah, that was a definite relief. I know everybody was like, I know I talked to the show knows fans in the office that were like, this is crazy. They can't do this, can they? And then they solved it. Um, I mean, it's tough when your, when your gear still sounds great like a decade later. So that's a good problem to have. So that was my interview with Emily. She is a copywriter here at Crutchfield. She gets to take all this stuff home and use it. And as you can probably tell, she's into it man. She seems like the driving force behind all the electronics in her home. And uh gosh, her home sounds pretty awesome with all those different zones of serranos. And again, check out Crutchfield dot com slash podcast for notes, links to her articles and things like that. Just to get up to speed. All right now, now we're gonna talk to chris from so knows and we're gonna ask him a question that a customer asked us. Now this this question was asked on our website and answered, but not a really full answer. So we figured we'd pitch the question out to chris and see what he has to say. And he's he and I came up with some really good information and then we just kept talking so nose again, if you haven't already episode six of Crutchfield, the podcast chris. And I also had a nice long talk about. So knows. Uh, they had some major developments happened late 2019, early 2020 with their app, they now have two versions of the app, the S one and the S two, we go into a lot of detail about that, how all that came about, why that is the case. What's the deal with older? So no skier and newer, so no skier In the same house you heard Emily and I talk about some of that, lots of detail about how all that works back in episode six. If you're curious and want more you should listen to that because we kind of refer to that stuff here in this, in this interview I have with Chris, one thing you want to know maybe ahead of time that will help clarify one of the things we talk about here. The customer asks about using in wall speakers and we talk about so nose by. So nance now here's the deal with that. So Nance is a company that makes in wall and outdoor and architectural speakers uh and they've been making them for a while now and so knows and so Nance partnered up and so now you can actually purchase speakers made by So Nance with a partnership with so nose and you're gonna hear chris and I talk about them, that's what's going on there. So nan speakers for, so knows they're called, so knows by sin and they partner very well with the sonos amp and can sound good just about anywhere you can put in wall in ceiling or outdoor speakers if you're doing so knows you'd be well served to do. So knows by so nance. I was looking at the, the Sonos arc on our website. You have a unique opportunity here to help me answer a question because we do have a Q and a section of for each product on our website. And so customers can ask a question and it gets answered by maybe other crutchfield customers. We will jump in and answer. Uh, and I thought you and I could probably come up with a much better answer than what has already been posted for the answer for this question. Uh, because the question came in by, we don't know who this is. Just BCMEY is their name on our website. Uh, it came in June 15. So this question has been out for a couple of weeks now and somebody named Scott answered it. Here's the question. Can you use the Sonos architectural in wall speakers for the rear surround channels with arcs supplying front channels. That's the question. Some guy named scott, not a crutchfield employee. Just another person. His answer was sure that was the whole answer. And I have a feeling you and I can come up with a much more accurate answer than that. So the answer is correct. It's very succinct, but it is correct. So yes, you can use any of our sonars bison and speakers, you would just have to wire them into an amp in the back. So our sonos amp which can communicate with the arc in the front. Now, just to be clear on how things work. The ark itself is a 5.0 point to sound bar on its own meaning that when I add rears, it does not add extra channels into the configuration by having those rears, you are still having the same 5.0 point to the differences because we used a phased array configuration or software meaning that every driver is doing something whether or not it's playing a sound or not, it's either doing negative sound or proper sound in this case the ones that are playing the rears are still going to do that. But now you're aiding it with those so no sweat and walls meaning that the range of sound that I get in the back is now exponentially grown. So it's a far better sound experience because I'm able to get more sound from a discrete channel. I'm just now telling that channel in the back, Hey, you're going to take care of all of my mid highs and highs. I'll have the ark itself, take care of the mid lows and lows. So you're gonna get a fuller experience out of the whole thing and I love saying this, you're going to elevate the experience. You've already gotten into new heights nice. Mm Oh, that's good. So, so they're not dedicated rear surround left and right speakers when you use it with the arc they are in addition to their accentuating what's already there in the bar. Uh and and just giving it a little bit more body. Yes, but it's it's not just like a fractional increase. Like it is a massive range increase. So I highly recommend anyone who's got the opportunity to do it, do it. I plan on adding rears to mine as well. Just know that if you don't have that opportunity to because you have an open design, you don't have to go that route. So like with play bar, if you wanted rears you had to physically add them. And that's because that was a 3.0 sound bar. This one actually is a 5.0 point two. So it's handling that the at most high and the full surround experience on its own. You're just adding to that to make it even better. You can then you actually use true play right to make sure that it's actually a big part of the room. So you can factor in the room exactly where you put the speakers on the wall so that it can actually give you is the most accurate surround sound. It possibly can. Exactly. So what we're telling you now is don't put the speakers where you think they're going to sound the best, put them where you want them to be for look because that's a huge thing too, is what we do, aesthetics comes into it. Like how would you like your sound to look and if I want them discreet and put it in a certain way, because that's where they fit best. Great to play to take care of that calibration and still make it sound like it's front and center, even if you do have it tucked away somewhere else. Uh, and just for clarification sake, it is a so so this is a partnership between both of us. So it is the, and I like to call it the essential like chassis, the framework that Sony has provided to us, but it is all of our stuff inside. So it's our own driver. So it sonically sounds like the rest of our system. It has our own technology in it and we engineer it in our own labs in conjunction with the amp because we allow you through the almost rating to actually put three pairs of these on a single and if I ever wanted to, so we designed it ourselves that way. So what's the next thing you can't tell us about? Yeah, right. The only thing I can tell you is that Covid has changed our, our thinking a little bit. So what I know and what's going to happen may not align anymore. So I'm actually going to be sending the edge of my seat like you are and waiting to figure it out and you know, see how this all unfolds because we are in an unprecedented moment where things have to sort of pivot quickly to really, you know, stay alive. So yeah, now my thing, if I was, if I was in charge, if I could have shown us make whatever product I wanted, uh it would be a dedicated outdoor speaker that requires zero wires whatsoever. You know, you put it out there by the pool, in the backyard, next to some plants. It's got a solar panel somewhere on it. It's constantly got power. It's within range of your wifi. So it just works and it's your outdoor so knows zone and it's since it's solar powered, of course it would be called Solaro knows uh, and, and, and uh, so that's my contribution to just take that back to the research and development guys and let them know that they can have the name for free. The idea. I don't need any money. Just wanted to exist. I will do just that. But I'm gonna issue a challenge to your listeners. I would like to challenge someone who has a better engineering grasp than I do to literally design a solar power and solar power panel that is able to run through a USB C cable because you could conceivably plug that into the back of a move and just set that outside with a solar panel and it could stay there as long as it's getting a charge, it'll maintain, you have to get like one of those solar companies on this thing. Yes. Uh so we've just covered everything I had on my list. Was there anything else you wanted to talk about while we're here? Uh No, other than I love you guys, I thought of something that that I forgot to put on my list that I've been meaning to ask you about when I when I took the ark home and hooked it up, It was my first experience dealing with the new S. Two app, right? So we've got that right? And the last time you were here and on the show, we talked in depth about S. One and S. Two and older products and newer products and how all those things can work either together or separately or however you want them to basically. Uh and that whole thing, but I gotta say the Sonos S. Two app, well it looks and feels exactly like my so knows S one app. So the experience, it was like I had to learn a whole new app. Uh it's it was just so knows in a different color. Uh and uh it's super easy to use great uh the are you having are you getting a lot of feedback from people on that experience, people and I'm curious about the people that have legacy products where they kind of have to use S one with their original, so no stuff, but also is anyway, even noticing that they're using a different so no SAp, like what's going on with that, I mean there are some things that stick out to you, like the way you group stuff is a little bit more intuitive now, so like there are some things you're like, oh man, this makes a lot more sense. And actually what's really cool about S. Two is there's a way to create groups within it. So if I wanted to say I want to play something my whole home, but for me, whole home does not include my outdoor speakers, because if I want to do that at night my neighbors don't need to hear what I'm listening to because there's no one outside at that point, I can say whole home or whole house and I actually name them to different groups and it will choose and I can choose where speakers I want involved in those. So I actually, and it's right where you normally, when you would toggle everywhere, that's like right above where all the rooms get listed when you're like pulling it up the app, that's where actually you can start creating group names, which is very cool stuff. So like there's little things that get called out like that, which I'm hugely impressed by because it's such a small little thing, but it makes such a big difference. Um Outside of that, there isn't a whole lot. I have people tell me actually by switching to S two, they've run into far less and none buffer issues they've run into or drop out drop out some rooms. And the big reason there is because with the new S two platform we're actually running a it's almost 3 to 5 songs ahead of schedule, meaning that we are processing all of that and we're buffering it so there's no lag or anything like that anymore because we're storing it all is like flash memory sort of and then yeah, so you're you're running into less and less issues using it because S two is such a robust platform to do run. And that's the benefit of also the newer products with the bigger more memory faster processor is that if you hit play on a playlist or an album so knows knows the next 12 songs that you're going to play and it can be way ahead to get it all into the system So that even if you lose internet for a minute or two you're probably okay as long as it comes right back and it will just keep playing uninterrupted. Yeah, and it's really cool and I don't recommend you guys testing it but I have I've had to set up a few systems in my day, our amp actually has such a massive capacity to it that if I were to unplug it from the wall it would still stay powered and play music for about 30 seconds to a minute. So imagine doing that taking the Internet down and it's still playing. So like as I'm putting stuff away, I'm still listening to music on it for 30 seconds to almost three minutes at this point. And it's, there's nothing else like no power, no internet. It's just running off residual at that point, which is super impressive. Plus who doesn't love a sand colored app? Just so vibrant and it's easier to find. It does, it sticks out now. I see it easier. No, that's 100% true. It's such a little thing, but it's uh, it's part of the experience every time I start using my so knows, so it's important, you know, something else, something else I do with my son knows every day that uh, it got changed a while back and I think I said something to you about it and it hasn't been fixed yet. So I need to know why uh, if I want to get to alarms, it's still several levels deeper than it used to be in the app. I gotta go to system and then alarms when it used to just be right. They're easier to get to alarms. Uh, and I use those alarms because I am not a morning person. I have, I have five snoozes programmed into my apple. Uh, my iphones alarms. Uh, and then the last thing to happen at the moment that I know I have to get out of the bed is when, so no, starts playing Metallica at full volume. Uh That is my alarm And so to go in and have to deal with uh I gotta click two times instead of one time chris and I need that fixed you and me both. I do the same thing. I have three alarms on my phone when I need to get out of bed. I actually choose Whitney Houston because I defy you not to at least half your foot if any of her songs are playing you can't help but move. Yeah. Whitney Houston Metallica. Same difference. Exactly. I will take that off the chain because I I'm with you. I'm gonna support that. Nice. Yeah. So with the with the pandemic with working from home which I did for about three months. Uh The alarm went to 7 55 because my workday starts at eight so I was able to get as much sleep as possible. And uh we are training a class of new sales advisers and I need better, more consistent internet than I have at home. I'm out kind of out in the country. And so it's good enough for working from home as long as you're not uh trying to talk to 11 people using a webcam uh and sharing your screen and video and all of that that it has to happen eight hours a day every day consistently. So I I go into the office now which means I'm back to getting up earlier again and uh but it's it's kind of nice going into the office. Uh do you ever get to go into the office? Is that like a thing anymore or like when uh like is there anything happening at, so knows headquarters right now? Uh So I'm gonna answer all of those in the order that I think they were delivered to me one, I have never been in an office. Uh the good news is I've worked remote my entire career. So this isn't a change for me. I do understand that people that were working offices and how to switch. It was a big change for them and I applaud how fast and easy we were able to do that as a company. It's pretty cool how we were able to support each other and get that done. I will say one of the things that I love about what we're doing is we are not in an office, currently, no one is, we are actually re evaluating like what that's gonna look like and what I love is that we're currently taking a stance of safety and people first meaning that we're going to look at what other companies are doing when they start to go back and see what they did, right? See if there's some things that could be improved on and then make our decision based on that. So we're gonna take things a little bit slower. I love that too because that's just, I think that's how it should be done. So yeah, that's, that's very much crutchfield approach to. Of course we all miss each other and that's that's the worst part of it is the actual being in an office with your coworkers. For us, it feels like a family at Crutchfield. It's like, it's hard to express to people that work in other companies where you know, there's workplace politics that just doesn't exist at Crutchfield, we hire great people and that makes it a fun place to work because you're working with fun and awesome people, but we're gonna, we're gonna get back when it makes sense and in the safest way possible and I have a feeling a lot more people will just continue working from home in the future. I suspect that as somebody who's fully remote, like that's my future anyway, so I'm I'm prepared to help anyone that has any questions on it. I've been doing this for a while, I can life coach this for you. What are some top top two or three tips you would give to somebody that's working from home. Uh so I can give you the two tips that I would say right off the bat, first one is uh always invest in a second monitor. It just makes life a lot easier. It really is a game changer, even if you're not doing, but like one screen at a time. It is nice just to have that kind of flexibility and I have found that you're starting to adopt that in more offices anyway, so I recommend doing that in your home office as well. Uh and the two and I think this might be the biggest thing I can tell, you do not turn the room where you're going to relax, so the living room on the couch or your bedroom where you lay in the bed, that it cannot be your office period, you need to have a separate room for it to feel like you're actually going to work because otherwise you're gonna be a lot more lethargic, you will not be as productive by doing that. Those are the two big ones, I can tell you right off the bat and also don't be afraid to take a break. Like I know at the office you have a bunch of people that are always working around you, so if you're encouraged to set your desk and get stuff a lot done, don't feel afraid to take 15 minutes walk around, get a snack really fast, like it's okay, this is a whole new environment. You know, you're doing a lot of video calls and for anyone that's done four or five of these a day, like I'm sure you have J. R. They can wear you out like if they're an hour long and they're back to back, like you got to do it because otherwise you're gonna just drive yourself into the ground because it gets exhausting because the way it works when you're doing virtual calls is there's a slight delay. So you're always trying to read social cues, you're trying to understand my language and you're actually having to exhaust yourself doing that without you realizing it because it's almost subconscious but it's it'll wear you down. So they actually call it zoom fatigue. But it's a thing like I I actually made sure that my office is on the second floor of the kitchen, so if I want to get a snack I physically have to leave an entire floor to do it. So this little exercise involved there, dude, this has been fun. What are we missing? Anything else that we need to talk about, Nothing that I can talk about. So you're saying there's a whole bunch of really interesting things we can't talk about. This is the point in the podcast where I need to stop talking before I get myself in trouble. Big shout out to chris, big thank you for him joining us here today on Crutchfield the podcast. He was a lot of fun to talk to. Uh he's got personality for days and we look forward to him getting back here physically to Crutchfield in person where he can show us whatever is next, whatever is coming next from. So knows he'll be the guy to come to Crutchfield and show it to us in person as soon as that's something we can do again. Thank you so much for listening. Uh This is J. R. And we are signing off of this bonus episode of Crutchfield, the podcast.

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