Shout out to a crowd “Hands up if you like music!” Cue plenty of hands going up, with some ‘whoohoo’ screams added on. Rock stars know how to win a crowd over. And not just rock stars… music is one of those universal pleasures passed down generations, with percussion being (probably) the earliest form of music known to humankind. Heck, the Egyptians were at it 6,000 years ago! Other civilizations developed musical instruments too until Guido D’Arezzo reportedly invented solfege a thousand years ago – thus making improvements to music theory that remain in place today (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, si, do… ).

Music and technology

The way we came to appreciate music has changed massively as technology evolved. From outdoor performances in public squares to enclosed theaters, to the invention of the humble gramophone all the way up to Sony’s Walkman, it looks as though the trend for “any music, anywhere… right now” is here to stay. The ability to listen to one’s favorite tunes while out and about is now a given and as common place an occurrence as can be.

At the turn of the millennium, four music visionaries founded Sonos in California. They forever changed music with the introduction at the CES showing off their smart speaker, an intelligent piece of technology operating wirelessly. The company’s Digital Music System bundle won the “Best of Audio” award at the CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards in November 2005.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, Sonos offers many powered speakers that utilize Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other standards to extend usage beyond audio playback; a soundbar “PLAYBAR”; and a subwoofer (for those craving that deeper sound!). The company also offers a device to link its system to conventional audio equipment such as and CD player and amplifiers for example.

For music lovers, this means multiple devices within a single household can be connected to one another wirelessly, or through a wired Ethernet network or a mixture of the two. The Sonos system operates with a proprietary AES-encrypted peer-to-peer network known as SonosNet.

In theory, this allows for each unit to play any chosen input. If desired, synchronized audio with one or more zones can also be achieved. Latest versions developed by the company integrate MIMO (an essential element of wireless communication standards) that function on 802.11n hardware, this provides a more robust connection.

Is the system hackable?

Can I get my mate’s audio device to blast out some weird music as a prank? Well, one hack reported a few years ago was much creepier: called “Ghosty”, this Sonos hack freaked people out with haunted mansion sounds. We’re not joking. Developer Aaron Gotwalt combined an unofficial Sonos API, some spooky audio files, and a Raspberry Pi to achieve scary effects.

Taking control of a Sonos system isn’t exactly easy, but that’s beyond the point. Almost everything is hackable nowadays. In today’s era of plentiful connected, hackable devices… it’s good to know help is available. Take Panda Security for example. We operate toll-free, seven days a week phone lines with a human being picking up the phone. We resolve all your home IT and security issues providing much-needed piece of mind.

No need to call Ghostbusters if your Sonos system goes wild, call us – we’ll sort it out.