Audio/Video

CasaTunes Takes Aim at Sonos with DIY musicBox 6 Whole-House Audio

Taking aim at Sonos, CasaTunes hardwired DIY musicBox 6 whole-house audio system can be sold by custom integrators, who can still earn strong margin.

CasaTunes Takes Aim at Sonos with DIY musicBox 6 Whole-House Audio
musicBox 6 is aimed at customers integrators “would not have gotten” versus being a product that is taking away business, according to CasaTunes CEO David Krinker.

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Working on the premise that a rising tide raises all ships, CasaTunes has launched a direct-to-consumer DIY multiroom audio/whole-house audio system formally called musicBox 6. For integrators, the $1,899 hardwired system audio system opens the door to new clients like Millennials who would not otherwise pay a custom installer, and users who often choose wireless distributed audio giant Sonos' solution.

Powered by CasaTunes’ technology, the musicBox 6 includes a four-stream CasaTunes music server, a six-room power amplifier, six keypads and an IR remote. Each stream is like a stand-alone music player, providing each family member a dedicated player. The musicBox 6 is available for 6, 12, and 18 rooms starting at $1,899.

"We can’t create the same level of market awareness as Sonos, but we can create decent awareness for our brand. If a client has heard of it, the integrator has a better chance of selling it.”
— David Krinker, CEO, CasaTunes

musicBox 6 has its own website for information and as a purchasing portal. The target customer is someone who already has in-wall or in-ceiling speakers in the home, but does not want automation and does not want to hire an installer.

“Everybody is battling Sonos. Dealers are not in love with Sonos, but their customers are asking for it. How can we compete with that?” says David Krinker, CEO of CasaTunes. "We can’t create the same level of market awareness as Sonos, but we can create decent awareness for our brand. If a client has heard of it, the integrator has a better chance of selling it.”

He adds, “We found that Millennials not only tend to understand and adopt new technologies, but they also prefer a hands-on experience, preferring to install their own home audio solutions. While we believe CasaTunes offers a better and more cost-effective solution for homes with four or more wired rooms, CasaTunes is often not pitched to customers as they are not familiar with CasaTunes. Our goal is to become a choice in the consumer’s mind.”

casatunes musicbox

CasaTunes Keeps Margin for CE Pros

Krinker admits “it’s a tricky environment” launching a DIY system while the company has its own dedicated dealer channel product. But he says integrators have to recognize that musicBox 6 is aimed at customers they “would not have gotten” versus being a product that is taking away business.

To help, CasaTunes has a program that allows integrators to not only sell musicBox 6 and make strong margin. The company also has set it up so if a consumer buys a musicBox 6 from CasaTunes as a DIY project and subsequently decides he or she needs professional installation help, the integrator can step in and earn the same margin on the product as if he or she had sold it.

Lastly, the system gives homeowners a potential upgrade path from the DIY musicBox 6 product to a full-fledged CasaTunes system if needed. There are no automation drivers for musicBox 6.

“We expect by increasing our brand and market presence, we ultimately will bring more opportunities to our dealers."
— David Krinker, CEO, CasaTunes

“We expect by increasing our brand and market presence, we ultimately will bring more opportunities to our dealers. Dealers can offer a comparable product with dealer margins utilizing CasaTunes’ 6X6 Matrix bundled with a CT-2 or CT-4+,” he notes.

Installation of musicBox 6 is simple, according to Krinker. The system comes with a Configurator Tool that lets the homeowner design and customize his or her own system. As a cloud-based service, the Configurator Tool allows users to create, save, and review the project at any time.

As the design of a musicBox 6 system is crafted, the Configuration Tool automatically displays the appropriate musicBox 6 server along with any other components. The detailed report includes a quote and a link to order the system.

When the musicBox system arrives, the user follows the included step-by-step instructions on how to wire up the system. After the wiring of the system is complete, the Configurator Tool prompts the user to power up the equipment and press a button to upload the project configuration to the system.

Then, it’s a simple matter of downloading the latest native CasaTunes Apps for Android and iOS to control the musicBox 6.

Speakers can be configured in the normal stereo mode, or under Advanced Options, they can be configured in Bridged mode, which provides up to four times the power to the speaker.




  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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Comments

Posted by hsydunski on April 19, 2017

JMC, I have felt the same frustrations as you with Sonos. Hard to integrate and frustrating to operate with current API. Marketing directly to our customers at 10% off MSRP, No Tax and Free Freight, the list goes on and on.

I was using Autonomic, but it was expensive then Snap buying them was the last straw.

I’ve recently started using Nuvo Player Portfolio and having great success. They have self discover with C4 SDDP and work perfectly. Also have Crestron, RTI and URC interfaces. Margin is better and they don’t market to my customers, telling them that they can save money and do it themselves on future zones like Sonos does.

Posted by Charlie heritageavs.com on April 18, 2017

I am with JMC.

So its Direct to Consumer but still has some meat on the bones for “us” little people? CEPRO how disconnected are yall from your reader base? Sonos user experience is second to none. I seriously doubt that a millennial will get up at push a button on that keypad. Im just gonna stop here bc this could just become a roast.

Posted by jmcdermott1678 on April 17, 2017

Whew, I’m going to try and be nice about this, but it’s a tough one.  I think one of our biggest issue with Sonos, is that they’ve sold directly to the consumer both before and after their installation (DIY or professional) is completed.  The only difference here, is that CasaTunes is not saying that they will send marketing emails to the user after the original sale (but really, who wouldn’t if you had the info to send to).  Sonos systems sometimes require professional assistance installing as well, and dealers can be found on their website if the customer sees the need to look into it.  This is nothing new and revolutionary. 

If you want to “make integrators happy” and find a market with end-users, then DO work with third-party integration.  Partner with integrators and manufacturers like Control4 and develop a product that fills a void for us.  Completely integratable and cost effective.  If you want to be direct to consumer, market yourself to the public and somehow make yourself as visible as Sonos, AND not work with third-party integration, well good luck to you.  Don’t however, insult our intelligence like Sonos did in trying to make it look like you’re still one of the good guys and you want to play nice.

Posted by jmcdermott1678 on April 17, 2017

Whew, I’m going to try and be nice about this, but it’s a tough one.  I think one of our biggest issue with Sonos, is that they’ve sold directly to the consumer both before and after their installation (DIY or professional) is completed.  The only difference here, is that CasaTunes is not saying that they will send marketing emails to the user after the original sale (but really, who wouldn’t if you had the info to send to).  Sonos systems sometimes require professional assistance installing as well, and dealers can be found on their website if the customer sees the need to look into it.  This is nothing new and revolutionary. 

If you want to “make integrators happy” and find a market with end-users, then DO work with third-party integration.  Partner with integrators and manufacturers like Control4 and develop a product that fills a void for us.  Completely integratable and cost effective.  If you want to be direct to consumer, market yourself to the public and somehow make yourself as visible as Sonos, AND not work with third-party integration, well good luck to you.  Don’t however, insult our intelligence like Sonos did in trying to make it look like you’re still one of the good guys and you want to play nice.

Posted by Charlie heritageavs.com on April 18, 2017

I am with JMC.

So its Direct to Consumer but still has some meat on the bones for “us” little people? CEPRO how disconnected are yall from your reader base? Sonos user experience is second to none. I seriously doubt that a millennial will get up at push a button on that keypad. Im just gonna stop here bc this could just become a roast.

Posted by hsydunski on April 19, 2017

JMC, I have felt the same frustrations as you with Sonos. Hard to integrate and frustrating to operate with current API. Marketing directly to our customers at 10% off MSRP, No Tax and Free Freight, the list goes on and on.

I was using Autonomic, but it was expensive then Snap buying them was the last straw.

I’ve recently started using Nuvo Player Portfolio and having great success. They have self discover with C4 SDDP and work perfectly. Also have Crestron, RTI and URC interfaces. Margin is better and they don’t market to my customers, telling them that they can save money and do it themselves on future zones like Sonos does.