Review of Sonos – HiFi Wireless Speakers
On February 10, Apple Music became officially available to owners of Sonos speakers. Now, they have access to their favorite music and control it with a single application. That’s what I was waiting for a long time, so I immediately bought Sonos and will gladly review this great high-tech device for you.
I am using Sonos Play:5 for more than few weeks already and I am very impressed with this thing – I don’t know how to properly call it. Manufacturers call it Sonos player. Why player? Because the company’s founders decided to simplify the name for ordinary people. Let’s say you have a house or a large apartment and you want to provide high-quality sound in the living room, bathroom and nursery. And you want to be able to easily connect and control all this technology. And also you want the reasonable price for a family with an average income. And you want to be able to listen to music stored not only on the device, but on a network hard drive (NAS), iPhone, iPad, computer connected to the same network and streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Last.Fm, Deezer, Aupeo, Simfy, Gobuz and Beats Music. How can you do it? How would you solve this task? Order the home cinema for the living room and connect it to the AirPort Express? And what about other rooms? Of course, the solution could be found, no one argues, another question is how much it will cost and how difficult it will be to install. SONOS Players can easily solve this task!
You just buy the Sonos Play:5 for the living room, another one for bedroom and a small Play:1 for kitchen, placing it next to the Sonos Bridge router, connecting all that stuff in the socket and within 10-15 minutes you will get a full acoustic home system – yes, you can control all the speakers with an iPhone or iPad, without getting out of the chair. I encourage you trying it, I was very surprised by myself.
Design and construction
Sonos – pure functionality and no glamourous look, you should be prepared for the fact that the installed system in the living room will not attract visitors’ attention, at least until you turn it on.
There are two colors of Play:5, dark gray (the official name is black-titanium) and white. White looks more colorful, that’s why I chose it for myself. The front panel is closed by the metal panel with perforation, massive rack, and the whole system cannot be called small. Dimensions are 217 x 365 x 123 mm, weight 4,15 kg. You can see how it looks alive on the photos – you will a lot of space for it.
On the back side you will see the hole for acoustic needs, you can also handle device using that hole. All connectors are also behind – the network cable connector (power supply integrated in the body), two Ethernet connectors, AUX input and a 3.5mm audio jack. Over the last one we should praise the company, you can connect your headphones and listen to music while whole house is asleep. The device is built with high-quality, nothing to complain about. Again, it is better to go to the local store and look at the device before purchasing it. Personally I liked Play:5 because it is immediately evident that it is primarily a tool and not some fancy looking gadget.
On top of the Sonos Player there are three buttons, two are responsible for the volume control, one for muting immediately, the light indicator is also here. That’s all, and you actually don’t need anything more. With those button you can play the next or previous track, turn the volume, start and stop the music. The rest of the manipulations can be done using a Sonos Controller, which is a program for different operating systems, personally I used the version for the iPhone.
Regarding Trueplay feature, it is designed for calibration of the sound of speakers. You can use the Sonos app and the iPhone’s microphone, walk around the house, and the speaker at this time, will be “listening” to the ambient noise and adjusts the sound. So, after configuration, if you go to another room, the volume will become automatically higher. In addition, this feature allows you to adjust the low and high frequencies according to your preferences.
Mainly I tested Play:5 with my iPhone 5S. Note that the Sonos Controller program has the ability to adjust the equalizer for the column, you just need to select Room Settings > Music Equalization and then select Balance, Bass, Treble. Also you can easily enhance low frequencies by enabling or disabling Loudness option. Speakers power is 80 watts and it is more than enough for large rooms. Inside there are two 3-inch mid-range speakers, two twitters and one woofer, and each has its own amplifier.
As for me, I liked the sound quality and there is no need to compare the Play:5 to any other devices of similar price and size – each has its own internal arrangement. In the case with Sonos you can clearly see what the developers wanted – to minimize the size of the player, while retaining sound quality. For example, you can use only one Play:5 in a large living room and it will be more than enough as long as guests gather and maintain hushed conversation, it will quietly play some lounge music, but the iPhone in hands, switch to Nirvana and you will realize that Play:5 can be very different – at the maximum level of volume it will be hard to be in room, even though there won’t be any slightest distortions in sound.
Keep in mind, Sonos devices are dangerous in the sense that you will not want to stop. Even that the new products of the company don’t appear very often, but you will want to try everything. In addition to the Play:5 there is a Playbar, the interesting thing for the TV and not only, the Play:1 – small speaker, the Play:3 – a little bit bigger than Play:1 and a wireless subwoofer. How to configure all of that, it’s up to you. You can connect to a TV two Play:5 and a subwoofer, you can spread them around the room and use the sub with only one. The main thing is that it requires just few minutes to set up and the acoustic possibilities are truly universal. Device capabilities are truly impressive and quite a while I have not seen such an advanced hardware and software. Definitely recommended!