Sonoro is a German based company, and their figurehead product is the Cubo. What is is, I hear you say? Umm it’s an Alarm Clock/Radio I answer. But it is not like anything you currently have in your bedroom. This thing is amazing. The sound quality is so good that right now we are using it as our main speaker system.
It is stylish, functional, and just out and out awesome. I had the opportunity to chat with Deanna Dal Pos who is the International Marketing Director for Sonoro.
Can you tell us a little about Sonoro, as I understand it you are headquartered in Germany.
Yes we are based in Cologne, Sonoro started in 2005. Our CEO Marcel Saller, who incidentally wanted to take part in this interview but unfortunately is tied up right now, came up with idea. We took the prototype of the Cubo to the German equivalent of the CES (Consumer Electronics Show held anually in Vegas). The response was amazing, by the end of the year we had 300 dealers signed up, and had shipped over 10,000 units.
We are a small company, in total we have about 45 employees, that is excluding our dealers and manufacturers. Being small is good, we can afford the luxury of being critical and paying attention to detail.
While I want to talk about the Cubo, I am curious to know what other products Sonoro makes?
We have a number of products on the drawing board, but our next big item is the Sonoro Elements which will be shipping on July 14th. The first version is am FM/AM radio but later this year we will be adding an Internet version.
The Cubo is quite the piece of equipment, elegant, functional, and has outstanding sound quality. Can you tell us a little about the history of it, and where the idea came from?
Marcel was in Asia and saw some products that got him thinking. There are lots of really high tech gadgets out there, but he wanted to create something for the niche market. Something that was more design and art than just technically competent.
The market seems to like it, we have been featured in Cosmopolitan, GQ, and even CNN.
Whats inside it, is there a computer?
Yes there is a computer inside, so it is software driven, and we can upgrade the software through the CD unit. In fact one of our biggest markets is the Boutique Hotels, and we have a version of the software that is specifically designed for them. The average guest does not need all of the features we offer, so this version makes it easy to use, and easy to reset back to the default settings.
You have recently entered into a deal with Saks Fifth Eve, I have to say that I think this is a good fit. What sort of feedback are you getting from North American market?
We don’t get any direct feedback from the end user, but Saks seem to be very happy. When GQ ran an article about us we received at least one serious inquiry a day for more than two months, in fact we are still getting them. And these were calls to Germany!
Whats next for Sonoro? I would love to see one with a touch screen (like the iphone) and maybe a wi-fi capability. Hey, just think, you could wake up to the front page of Blogger news!
Our thrust and direction is high quality audio. We will add features, but not at the expense of the quality of the experience for the person using it.
Both my wife and I ware absolutely blown away when we popped a CD in and heard the quality of the sound. We are curious though, why the single speaker system rather than two?
I have been asked this question before. My stock reply is why do you need it? I took a Cubo to my In-laws last Thanksgiving, and they have a Bose Wave Radio, so we were able to do a head to head comparison. The Cubo uses an upward sound projection system combined with a sub-woofer tube. This combination gives us a very rich sound. And when we compared the sound in this less then scientific environment they were comparable. The Bose system has two speakers, but puts the sound out horizontally, with our upward projection we imerse the room with sound.
I know that the Cubo is sold as an alarm clock/radio, but it really is too nice to have hidden away in the bedroom. Do you have any feedback as to how people actually use it, kitchen, den, office?
People use them everywhere. We have a real market penetration with women. Thats not to say men don’t like it, but the sleek lines of the Cubo make it a great addition to any room. It also comes in a variety of colors so you can match it to your design. If I remember correctly you have the polished Maple one. That is solid wood, and hand polished.
Deanna, thanks so much for talking with us, and we hope that Sonoro has great success, you certainly have an outstanding product.
Authors Note â€“ This is the must have toy! I love the unit I have. There was one question that I wanted to ask, but I forgot to. The Cubo I received came in a very sleek box, and a high quality cloth bag to keep it in when you are not using it. It also came with a pair of white gloves, I am still trying to figure out what the gloves are for!