Reconsidering my music setup in my study

Reconsidering my music setup in my study

Music is the backbone of my WFH setup. I always have music playing in the background, LOFI, Jazz, movie soundtracks, instrumentals, etc. I feel uncomfortable in a completely quiet room, so I feel the need to fill it with music.

Based on my past behaviour, I am never satisfied with my speaker setup. I often evaluate if my setup is still right for me. This applies not just to my speaker setup, but to various aspects of my life.

I previously had the following speaker setups:

  • SONOS ONE (stereo pair)
  • HomePod Gen1 (stereo pair)
  • Audio engine A2+
  • HomePod Mini (stereo pair)
  • SONOS ERA 100 (stereo pair)
Journey of getting me computer speakers
Allow me to take you back to March 2020... Most of the world was working from home, and I was no different. After a week of working in isolation, I started taking a keen look at upgrading my home study. Until then, I barely used my home study since obtaining

Since November 2022, I have had the impressive KEF LSX II. I must say, until May 2024, I have been super pleased with the KEF.

Source: KEF

Why I am considering a move away from the KEF?

The KEF has always had a direct connection to my MacBook Pro via USB C. Having this connectivity was one reason I did not pick an SONOS system.

However, I have changed how I use my KEF speakers. Last year, I bought a used Spotify CarThing from eBay to use in my study.

It was glorious. I made music playing effortless by acquiring a second-hand Google Home mini and configuring it to directly play music on the KEF. This is possible because the KEF chrome cast audio support (btw, SONOS does not). Therefore, in the morning when I enter my study, I say "ok google, play LOFI beats" and within seconds, the room fills with music, signaling to my brain that it's time to work.

When the KEF is playing music via Chromecast, my MacBook Pro cannot play anything else because the KEF is otherwise occupied. Therefore, I disconnected the KEF from the MacBook Pro. This wasn’t an issue because the Apple Studio Display speakers were now the default and they are pretty good for all computer related audio (video conferencing, podcasts, YouTube etc).

I have found that this setup works really well for me. I now have dedicated speakers solely for music, which is great. It means I no longer need my speakers to support a direct USB C connection to my MacBook. This is the reason I am reconsidering my setup.

All this started because of Spotify's rotten move:

👎 Spotify’s Rotten Move
In December 2023, I pounced on the opportunity to acquire my on Spotify CarThing. - Although, it’s designed for the car, I have been using it in my study ever since. It’s pretty nice to…

Decision Matrix

A decision matrix is a tool to evaluate and select the best option between different choices.

Here is mine:

Apologies for my terrible handwriting. iPadOS 18 with the help of Smart Script should fix my terrible handwriting.iPadOS 18 with the help of Smart Script.
The left side lists all the Pros and Cons of the KEF speakers and the Right side lists all the Pros and Cons of the SONOS ERA 300

It’s abundantly clear from the above that I should give the SONOS 300 another shot. For my purposes, the SONOS ERA 100 may have been sufficient. However, lately, I have been enjoying spatial audio on my AirPods Max and I was keen to experience spatial audio in my study. That's why it was appropriate to compare the SONOS ERA 300 and KEF LSX II.

I ordered two white SONOS ERA 300 speakers from SONOS Australia. I got a 20% discount on the purchase.

I plan to test the SONOS ERA 300 for 30 days. If it is not suitable, I will send it back to SONOS. I believe that selling the KEF on eBay will be enough to cover the cost of two SONOS ERA 300.

Hold on... there’s more