It is now day 31 since Circuit Breaker started on the 7th of April 2020. The family has settled into a rhythm of WFH, HBL, attending church service at home, binge-watching anime and tv shows, and working on our hobbies.
Mommy has her miniatures to work on, Isaac has his Call of Duty and his music, Joy has her art, her cosplay and music, Faith has her Wiggles and music on her iPad, Auntie chats with her family back home over video calls, and me, I have my, er, sleep.
One of the challenges has been to carve out space for everyone to do their thing, be it work or study, hobby or leisure. We managed to do this by clearing out a lot of unneeded rubbish and furniture, just before Circuit Breaker started. I also had to make room for my work, which involved lugging home a ton of audio and video equipment.
Music is one of the things we all agree upon. And because each of us have our own tastes in music, the Sonos system we had was invaluable. I also found a little time to unpack the Sonos Amp and Klipsch RP-500 speakers and added them to my network. The Amp drives passive speakers at 125 Watts per channel, and also lets me connect the TV via its HDMI ARC input, if I wanted to use them for tv sound.
The way I use them is just for music. So in the living room, the Sonos Amp is my music player.
I had a pair of Play:5 version 2 speakers (there is a version 3 out already) in the living room for music previously. So since the Amp took that role, Isaac received a Sonos Play:5 speaker in HIS room (which he was thrilled to get), and Faith got the other Play:5 in HER room (which meant she no longer needed to sit in the living room to listen to her favourite songs).
Joy got a little red HAY Sonos One Limited Edition I was using somewhere else in the house, placed next to her bed, and an older Sonos Play:1 went into the kitchen for Auntie to listen to while she cooks up a storm daily. The Playbar surround system in my master bedroom is still there, providing music and movie surround for the wife and me to enjoy. It is even more important as a personal cinema system now that we can't go out for movies.
As you can see, everyone has their own speaker space. I think it helps us all keep a little sane in this kind-of lockdown.
I was quite excited to hear that Sonos finally updated the Playbar with the new Arc. Finally!
ARC is the successor to the venerable Playbar. It has 3D sound with Dolby Atmos and 11 Class D digital amplifiers that drive 11 custom drivers inside. Supports voice control via Google Voice or Alexa, Apple Airplay 2 (which my Playbar doesn't), and uses a magnetic sensor to detect when the Arc is mounted and smartly adjusts the EQ.
Made to support larger TVs that people now buy, 55-inches and up, the Arc is basically the Playbar on steroids. One downside though, it requires your TV to support Atmos and Atmos-encoded content in order to enjoy the Atmos experience. You can't just have an ATMOS-supported Apple TV 4K console to get it. And it will run on the new Sonos S2 platform coming in June.
The S2 platform supports almost all the Sonos products except the first-generation Sonos Play:5, Zone Players, and Connect/Connect:Amp devices manufactured between 2011 and 2015.
The Arc is S$1499 and will be here on on 10th June and available now for pre-order at trysonos.sg
You can pair it with the existing Sonos Sub or get a Sub (Gen 3) for S$1149, announced at the same time. The Play:Five (Gen 3) is also out (S$799), coming on 10th July. Though I am likely to stick with my current Play:5 (Gen 2) speakers.
Last night, we watched the new Emma movie directed by Autumn de Wilde, starring Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma. It was quite nice to watch some Jane Austen, in the comfort of home. Which is where we will be in the weeks, and maybe months, to come. Thank goodness for the company of loved ones, the roof over our heads, food on the table, and music wafting through our home.
As Emma said in the book, “Without music, life would be a blank to me."