New Tech for a New Year (Premium)

My wife and I decided to take a step back this Christmas and give each other, and the kids, one big gift each instead of many smaller ones. There were a few reasons for this change. We didn’t really travel per se in 2020, and we generally go on a major trip in the form of a three-week international home swap, and that obviously didn’t happen. But we’ve long felt that experiences are more important than things, and that made this year of the same never-ending experience a bit difficult.

Tied to that, we’ve been pushing our respective families for years, with some success, to emphasize time together over gifts during the holidays. But that obviously couldn’t happen this year either. What can you do?

Anyway, it worked out that our big gifts this year were mostly tech-related, which is a bit unusual. But given the nature of the site, I figured some would be interested in the new personal tech that came into the Thurrott household over the holidays.
Sonos Sub
2020 was the year we finally embraced Sonos after a few years of struggling with Chromecast Audio, a technology that is no longer even available for sale. Sonos is, of course, expensive, and that means that rather than outfitting our entire home with Sonos gear upfront, we’ve been doing it piece-by-piece over time. And we were helped mightily by Brad, who sold us a pair of massive Play:5 speakers at a nice discount early in 2020.

My wife loves these speakers. I mean, I do too, of course. But she’s actually been bugging me all year about getting more speakers for the sunroom in which they sit, which I’ve argued doesn’t make any sense at all: The Play:5s are thunderously loud as it is, and I’m not clear on how adding more (smaller and less expensive) speakers in there would change things.

I’d entertain testing a Sub, which is the Sonos subwoofer, I guess, but I also feel like this solution would be better served by mating it to the Sonos Beam soundbar in the living room. The thing is, Sonos Sub costs $700. That’s a crazy amount of money for a subwoofer. Crazy.

But there we were, the week of Christmas, and we had racked up exactly $700 worth of Amazon gift cards. I think it was the exactness of the figure that put the idea in my head, so I said to Stephanie, my wife, given how shitty this year was, why don’t we buy something unnecessary with this money? Like a Sonos Sub. She immediately agreed, I ordered it, and it arrived this past Sunday.

Now, my wife’s idea for this speaker is that it will go in the sunroom, so I’ve tried it there first. And yeah, it definitely makes a difference. But the Play:5s already have great bass, really, and no one could claim that we improved the sound in there by $700. So I’ll be experimenting with the Sub in the living room this coming weekend. I expect to get some pushback. Stephanie really likes the set-up in the sunroom.
Sonos Move
My wife loves the sunroom, as noted, but she loves our back patio even ...

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