Sonos Facing Big New Problem & It Could Be Down To An Aussie
Struggling network sound Company Sonos is facing new problems this morning after it was revealed that one of Apple’s best-known former designers who is also Australian is raising funds to launch a “revolutionary” new home audio system to rival the now old 16bit Sonos system.
Christopher Stringer who was born in Australia but was raised in England, worked for more than 20 years alongside Steve Jobs and Jony Ive in Apple’s design team, now he wants to have a crack at taking down Sonos while also revolutionising the networked home theatre market he already has over 1,400 US patents with his name on including designs related to the iPhone, Apple Watch and HomePod.
His new venture, Syng, is located in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.
Syng, which bills itself as “the future of sound company’s”, is betting that superior design and sound quality, using a novel audio format, will allow it to stand out.
Stringer has not said why he is less than impressed with the Sonos audio offering.
In its pitch to potential investors, it claims that its planned range of speakers, which will be branded as “Cell”, use “immersive rendering” to create a “revolutionary” sound that is “indistinguishable from reality”.
The first Cell speaker is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2020, Syng has told prospective investors, with several follow-up devices planned over the coming years. Syng also hopes to generate revenues by licensing its audio technology to other hardware makers and through a subscription service.
The Company which has already raised $15M is tipped to be the highest-profile hardware start-up to be launched by former Apple staffers since Nest which is now owned by Google.
A US regulatory filing show, and it is currently looking to raise several million dollars more as it gears up for its first product launch.
Syng did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The company’s branding, product plans, funding and other details have not previously been reported.
Other executives involved in Stringer’s business include Damon Way, best known for launching skateboarding brand DC Shoes and tech accessories maker In case, and Afrooz Family, who previously spent six years as an audio engineer at Apple.
Mr Family worked on products including Apple’s HomePod smart speaker, which was released in 2018.
While Mr Stringer is well-known, his co-founder Mr Family is said to be Syng’s secret weapon. Mr Family wrote software for studying the smallpox virus while in high school, before going on to study audio technology at both Berkeley and Stanford.
The UK Financial Times said that Family joined Apple in 2012 and is named on several patents, including HomePod’s “spatial audio” system, which adjusts its sound depending on its placement in a room.
Mr Stringer left Apple at a time when its design chief, Sir Jonathan, had stepped back from day-to-day managerial duties. Since then, several more designers have left Apple, including Sir Jonathan himself, who is launching a new creative venture called LoveFrom.