On a cold and blustery day that the people of Hilversum call "summer," I caught up with Sonos’ affable CEO, John MacFarlane. He was visiting the company's European HQ, located about 20 minutes outside of Amsterdam, to make final preparations for launch of the Play:3, a new, stylish addition to the company's successful line of music-playing devices and accessories.

John was refreshingly candid for a chief executive, whether discussing Apple’s competitive AirPlay technology or the opportunities he sees in home theater audio. According to John, the latter "is awfully attractive" to Sonos because it’s so "horribly done" by the home theater industry.

The entire conversation lasted about an hour and was free of the usual bureaucratic double-talk and non-answers I'm accustomed to hearing from C-level executives. Just frank honest discussion from a man who clearly understands his customer base and remains boyishly enthusiastic about the company he founded in 2003.