For its first brick-and-mortar store, located in New York City's SoHo neighborhood, Sonos is showing customers how its products could both sound—and feel—in their homes.
The acoustics of a physical space have a huge effect on music being played in it, a fact that, while unsurprising, is often overlooked. With this in mind, the speaker marketer filled its brand new space with special pods meant to mimic residential listening environments, including studies, living rooms and kitchens.
The booths, shaped like little pitched-roof houses, are soundproofed and acoustically tuned to avoid adversely coloring the frequencies coming out of the speakers. They're also gorgeously decorated, with help from artists like Mark Alan Stamaty, Thibaud Herem, and Mark Chamberlain—giving visitors the sense they're wrapped in glowing cocoons of warm vibes.
Also gracing the space is an eight-foot portrait of hip-hop icon and Def Jam cofounder Rick Rubin, who produced for the likes of LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys while attending New York University nearby. Arthur Fournier, an archivist of rare 20th century culture, pitched in zines, and one wall features a cassette collection, on loan from Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore—a nod to the heyday of tape-trading culture:
In other words, Sonos went to great lengths to make the store an inspiring place for hardcore music fans to be (and hear). Pilgrims must to decide for themselves whether it fulfills those goals—though if the company really wanted to see its mission through, it could offer its acoustic treatment and interior design services to everyone who buys its speakers, too.
More photos of the space appear below.