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On their second album as a duo, Madlib and Freddie Gibbs pull themselves deeper into one another’s worlds.
On paper, Freddie Gibbs, a straight-shooting street rapper, and Madlib, an eccentric tinkerer, are as mouth-watering a combo as licorice and pickle juice. But their collaborative 2014 album Piñata succeeded because the two are equally uncompromising: Madlib tailors beats to his eclectic ears alone, while Gibbs insists that he can rap over anything. Kindred spirits, the pair bonded through mutual gumption.

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Sonos Gives Consumers Hands-On/Ears-On Experience at First Company Store in SOHO

The six listening rooms on the main floor allow customers to experience the sound and feel of a Sonos system without adult supervision.

Sonos pretty much invented and has continued to blaze a trail in the whole-home wireless music category. If you want to deploy a multi-room music system throughout your home and don't want to have to hire professionals to run wires through your walls and program expensive custom control systems, Sonos offers a simple but powerful solution. And the best way to understand the value and flexibility of a Sonos system is to get hands-on with it: to play with the Sonos app and hear the Sonos speakers for yourself.

To that end, Sonos is preparing to launch its first company store in the United States, in Manhattan's trendy SOHO district. Although the store at 101 Greene Street in Lower Manhattan is not scheduled to open its doors to the public until July 19th, we got an early peek inside and were impressed with what we saw (and heard). With Sonos, it's all about the music, and the store is designed to reflect that. From a large portrait of legendary NYC music production guru Rick Rubin that dominates the entry area, to artistic arrangements of Sonos products, to a classic music 'zine collection on the wall across from six masterfully designed (and nearly soundproof) listening spaces, the Sonos store is simultanouesly visually stunning, casually comfortable and sonically enticing.

The highlight of the 4,200 square foot space is the six custom-designed listening rooms on the main floor, with an additional retro-themed listening area below. The rooms each sport different themes, designed with input from such artists as illustrator Thibaud Herem, painter Mark Chamberlain and cartoonist Mark Stamaty. These glass-fronted, acoustically isolated rooms allow visitors to search for and play their own favorite music on a number of different Sonos systems: from a single Play:1 speaker in the kitchen to a pair of Play:5s in the study to a full 5.1-channel PlayBar-based surround system in the living room.

A touch-screen based control system walks visitors through the basic controls of the Sonos app, and allows them to choose their own musical selections and route them to one, two or all three of the systems at the same time. This gives visitors a taste of the actual Sonos user experience. A sales associate (or "band member" as they call themselves), gives visitors a brief tutorial, then leaves the room. If the visitors need help, they can summon their Sonos helper back into the room at the touch of a button.

A listening room on the lower level shows how vintage gear like reel-to-reel decks and turntables can be integrated into a Sonos wireless music system.

Although the products are on display in the listening rooms, and in artistic installations in other areas (including an impressive wall of 297 Sonos speakers on the rear wall), you don't see price tags or boxes on shelves. The actual stock is hidden away in closets and stock rooms and only makes an appearance if a visitor chooses to buy one and carry it out. Purchased products can also be delivered to the customer for free. The store will also provide a white glove delivery and installation

Sonos is planning a series of events including listening sessions, artist appearances and live broadcasts to help kick things off during opening week.

A tower of Sonos speakers graces those who enter the new Sonos retail store in Manhattan;s SOHO neighborhood.
Sonos Store Opening Week Event Schedule:
  • Tuesday, July 19: 12 p.m. - special guests will join Sonos' Giles Martin to commemorate the first public listening sessions inside the Sonos store.
  • Wednesday, July 20: Opening week happy hour from 5 - 7 p.m. hosted by local wine curators, brewers, and distillers.
  • Thursday, July 21: Post-work bites catered by a neighborhood eatery from 5 - 7 p.m.
  • Friday, July 22: Brooklyn's own Frankel's Delicatessen will cater a listening session and tasting from 12 - 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 23rd and Sunday, July 24th: Pitchfork Radio will host a live broadcast with various artists and special guests.
Located at 101 Greene Street (between Prince and Spring Streets), the Sonos store opens Tuesday, July 19 at noon. Weekday hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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