Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Review - Sonos Play system

Hardware Review - Sonos music system 

We had been looking at various solutions for listening to music at home for a while now and after much deliberation, discussion and scouring the internet we decided to go for a Sonos system.
We wanted something which would let us stream our music between rooms and listen to internet radio. The most basic option would have been a wireless/Bluetooth speaker to play content from our phones or iPad. Sonos gives a bit more functionality and seemed like the best all round choice.

The speakers themselves come in a range of options from the entry level Sonos Play:1, through the Play:3, Play:5, soundbar and a Subwoofer. The speakers connect to your wireless network and can be added at any point. The speakers are controlled by an app on your phone or tablet and can be named when setting up to allow for easier management of your music zones. This gives you various options and this is what separates Sonos from a simple wireless or Bluetooth speaker.

From the main interface you can play music from various sources. It can be music stored on your device or across the network from a PC or NAS. You can also listen to internet radio stations via TuneIn radio. You can play music from various streaming music services too such as Spotify, Deezer or You have options for playlists, favourites, preset stations or shows and navigation between these is very straightforward.

The app allows you to play different music across each speaker or they can be grouped to play the same thing in different parts of the house. It's fairly easy to switch between rooms and sources or control individual volumes even when grouped.

Speakers can also be paired within a group to split the sound and give a more traditional stereo effect.
Over the last couple of years the Sonos range has expanded, the most recent edition being the Play:1.

The Play:1 is the recently released entry level speaker for the range. Priced to go against other wireless or Bluetooth speakers such as the Bose sound dock. This is a good idea as it would get users into the Sonos ecosystem where they may then add bigger components at a later date.

The most popular component is the Play:3, it uses three digital amplifiers and three speakers to give a full spread of sound. We have two of these and they are great, they easily fill the room with sound and its a good mix of bass, middle and treble to give a good spread to the sound.

The Play:5 is the biggest of the three main speakers. It has six speakers and amplifiers to give the fullest reproduction of the sound. Sonos have recently announced a new Play:5 with some touch sensitive controls and trueplay tuning which adjusts the sound to the shape of your room.

If you are in the market for some wireless audio or music streaming devices then in sure Sonos would be one of the options on your short-list. Check them out and let me know what you think.