Sonos Play 5 Wireless Internet Music Player
At first glance the Sonos Play:5 Wireless Internet Music Player could be mistaken for a slightly odd looking speaker, often found completely on its own in a room seemingly not connected to anything except a power socket and perhaps an Ethernet cable. The Sonos S5 is kind of hard to review as there isn’t much out there to compare it with, its a device that is pretty much in a class of its own both in terms of definition and the quality of the results we achieved with it.
Ok so what is this thing? Basically the Play:5 is a wireless standalone internet & streaming media system with 5 built in quality speakers. It packs into one small form factor all the kit you need to stream music from the internet or any network attached device in your house whether that be a computer or other networked storage.
Now as Ive already said when you first look at the Sonos S5 you might be a bit confused, where are the buttons & switches? Where the hell is the play button & tuning knob? Well the only controls you will see on the Sonos Play 5 are the volume +/- and mute buttons on the units top, everything (and I do mean everything) else is controlled wirelessly via the various supplied apps and software, yes that’s right with the Sonos Play 5 “theres an app for that”. The unit comes with a CD to install controller software on your PC or Mac, there are also apps available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and android based smart phones to control & configure the S5.
Looks wise the device itself is actually very minimalist in design, simple but not unattractive. Its also nicely compact about the same size as a standard boom box style radio (8.50 x 14.40 x 4.80 in.) and weighs in at about 9lbs, it can easily sit on a table, kitchen work surface or window sill. Now just because this thing is compact doesnt mean that it sacrifices on sound quality contained within its small frame you’ll find a 5-driver speaker system (2x tweeters, 2x Mid range cones & 1 woofer) each speaker has its own dedicated digital amplifier which helps keep the sound of the Sonos Play 5 both lively and clean. We found ist overall sound extremely easy to liten to and engaging if perhaps ever so slightly “upfront” for some. The one minor flaw with the Play 5 system is of course the lack of stereo wideness. Sonos being the forward looking company that they are have thought of this and will allow you to configure a pair of Play 5s to work as a stereo couple, ingenious.
Now on to configuration &control. Ok so obviously the ideal set-up for using the Sonos Play 5 is in a wirelessly networked environment, the play 5 will pick up your router signal and once you use the config section of the app to set any network security key you might have, we found the unit was pretty much 100% plug and play. During our testing we had no problem accessing pretty much any radio station that has an internet presence, using pandora, last.fm & Spotify or streaming media from various computers. All in all I found the ease of configuration and quality of results for streaming media with the Sonos Play 5 to be exemplary. The menus are well thought out and take very little getting used to, the guys at Sonos obviously spent a long time getting this stuff right and I for one thank them for it.
We didn’t test the Play 5 in conjunction with other Sonos products but apparently it is fully compatible with al their existing gear and can be configured to to work with pieces like the ZonePlayer120 and Zonebridge or Sonos Controller 200 with ease. In terms of further extensibility the Sonos S5 also has a rear panel that supports 2x Ethernet LAN ports for connecting computers or additional network device such as a network-attached storage (NAS) devices. Ther is also a rear mounted headphone socket (plugging into this mutes the Play 5s speakers) and a 3,5mm (1/8″) stereo audio in for connecting other audio devices that you cannot stream music wirelessly from.
Conclusions? Well after using the Sonos Play 5 for the last month or so I can say that not only did this little piece of kit exceed my expectations both sonically and in terms of functionality, its also extremely easy to use & super convenient. I would be loathe to loose the S5, in fact so much so that Im thinking of buying another one for use in the bedroom. Sonos are on to a real winner here. Highly recommended & very cool.
Wirelessly play any song, in any room. With the Sonos Play 5 wireless music system you can enjoy unlimited music from iTunes and the Internet all over your house. And you can control it all right from your iPhone® or iPad™. No computer or docking required.
Superior sound, fill a room or the whole house. The Play 5 delivers crystal-clear, room-filling sound that rivals much larger, more complicated audio equipment.
5-driver speaker system individually powered by 5 dedicated digital amplifiers for room-filling sound. 2 tweeters, 2 mid-range drivers and 1 bass driver for accurate tonal balance, deep bass and crystal clear sound. All digital architecture for precise sound reproduction
Adjustable bass and treble controls for optimal sound performance
- 5 integrated speakers powered by 5 digital amps for room-filling sound
- Unlimited music, wirelessly play iTunes, free Internet radio, Pandora, Napster and more
- Wireless control with free apps for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
- Simple setup and wireless expandability to play different songs in different rooms
- Requires high-speed Internet connection and wireless router
- RRP: $399.00 (Check Amazon For Current Pricing )