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1,281 of 1,336 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonos 101 and the Play:3
Here's the problem with Sonos. Most of these reviews are worthless for a new customer as they have no concept what the various components do, how they fit together and what they should get! In fact, I will say that Sonos could significantly improve the messaging of their products. Think about it -- is a new customer going to have any idea what ZonePlayer or Bridge means...
Published on July 30, 2011 by Captain Latte

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252 of 292 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not even close to Sonos 5 (play:5)
I had 3 Sonos 5's (now called the play:5) and I wanted to add 4th. The play:3 came out so I decided to save the $100 or so and go for the play:3 after reading all the reviews of it. I had the unit exactly 30 minutes before deciding to return it. It's not even close to the 5's. Volume is control is jumpy, not linear like the 5's, power is about half of 5's and once...
Published on September 10, 2011 by Stephen Gibson


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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sonos System, December 5, 2012
By 
M. Peters "mp" (Orange County, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am cross posting this from my Play:5 Review with some edits to reflect the Play:3

--THE SYSTEM--
If you are new to Sonos, read up on how it works before you jump in. To be brief it is a separate wireless network from your existing wifi. Unlike your wifi router each "node" or Sonos Component is a broadcaster, so whenever you place a new component in your home you expand out the network's range.

Because it is a separate network it needs to be wired to your existing router to connect to the internet as well as the rest of your home network. You can do this at any node, but if none are convenient you can buy the Sonos Bridge (or get it free via promotion) to act as a new node that connects to your existing network.

The sound system is controlled by applications that you download on your phone, tablet or computer. The Android application can connect via the Sonos network, but the rest will need to be connected to your network via Ethernet cable or existing wifi.

--MY EXPERIENCE--
I set up a two zone system with a Play:3 in my bedroom and a Play:5 in my kitchen/living room. Setup was relatively quick and easy. I got the bridge and Play:5 set up in my bedroom with no problems, but when I went to move the Play:5 to the kitchen it could not re-connect. I quickly realized it was from interference at the bridge, which was right next to my computer tower and wifi-router. I cut the head off a nail and mounted the Bridge to the wall behind my monitors and the wireless connection has been great. Setting up the Play:3 was quite easy, and took only a few minutes while I was doing something else. I did have a few problems with my controllers needing to be reset and reconnect to the network, but I solved this by disabling a few odd DNS settings the were enabled on my Router.

I never needed Sonos tech support, but by most accounts they are helpful.

The music is great, the quality is quite good for this non-audiophile. The Play:3 is able to fill my bedroom just fine, but if you want a deeper bass or like to play it loud you may want to go for a Play:5 or even a Connect:Amp with some good speakers and a Sub. I have not had any of the drop-outs that most wireless sound systems have. That is because Sonos runs it own wireless network which won't be bogged down when other wireless devices start consuming data over your wifi network.

Sonos is able to access the music on my computer quite well, I have about 10,000 songs and it is just fine, although some people have said they have trouble at 65,000 songs. The tune-in app works great for streaming radio stations, and Spotify premium (monthly fee) also gives a great selection of music and works flawlessly with the system.

Selecting music, switching rooms to listen in, and the ease of the system has really let me enjoy music much more.

--THE BAD--
Like I said earlier the Sonos network is basically a system of nodes that each broadcast their own wifi networks. That is great when you are playing music, but when it is idle each point consumes about 6.5W. This allows the system to start playing quickly when you want it to, but it comes at a high energy cost, especially for those with many components on their networks.

These are marketed to be smart components, but they lack options for reducing energy consumption; Options that really don't require any extra hardware. Sonos could let you make the units sleep during times you know they wont be needed. If you did happen to need them while they sleep, a press of the button on the speaker could wake it up.

Perhaps the most frustrating is that Sonos wants you to think you can not turn the wireless function off. You can; search google for "disable sonos wifi" the first non-Sonos result currently has the info. Sonos deletes any posts on their website that mention this. Some people have all or part of their Sonos components wired and don't need to be wasting energy, at least give them the option to do so, when it clearly is available.

I really want to drop the rating more because of the energy and specifically the wifi toggle, but the rest of the system is so good that I left it at four stars. If Sonos gets their act together and stops ignoring their customers on this I would be glad to change it to 5.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great system, June 8, 2012
By 
L. Mateo (new york, new york USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought a Play:5 and reviewed it a few weeks ago on Amazon . I loved the Play:5 enough that I bought the Play:3 a few weeks later (I bought the Play:5 at BBuy; cause they threw in the bridge for free). People have complained in the reviews that the 3 does not sound as good as the 5 and that may be true but to my ears the 3 sounds really good. I think the difference is that the 5 sounds great placed anywhere (because of the ported bass), whereas the 3 sounds great depending on where it's placed ( because of the passive radiator..... I also tweaked the treble and bass and that improved the detail enormously). I find that somewhere near a wall or an enclosed shelf brings out the base and gives the 3 a really well rounded sound.

I was a little reticent about getting the 3 after a number of negative reviews but after getting them I have no qualms recommending them, especially since you can buy a second one and pair them for a wider stereo soundstage (which you can do with the 5 as well but for most people that's overkill and a sure way to make your neighbors hate you). I like the thought of having 3's around the apt. and if people come over for a little get together, I can grab a 3 take it to the living room and pair it. This system is very versatile, easy to setup and upgradable. Fortunately for me I had a lot of components already to make the experience richer. I have an external drive connected to my router (an airport extreme) so all my music is accessible whether the computer is on or not; I also had an airport express so was able to add AirPlay to the Sonos, so now me or my guests can stream music from iOS devices.

I bought this system to play my music around the whole apartment but Sonos has so many Internet services that I don't access my stuff that much and actually I ended up paying for Spotify (something I said I would never do). I like having all that music streaming around my apartment and being able to put it on my iPhone. I am now a convert to Spotify. Having bought a Sonos system has me listening to music around the house more (something I had not been doing for a long time). The combo of Sonos and Spotify & Pandora has renewed my interest in music again. I love it. While its not cheap, you can't really put a price on the enjoyment of having effortless music throughout your home.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Play 5 is much better, January 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SONOS PLAY:3 Wireless Speaker for Streaming Music (White) (Electronics)
Let me start by saying that for years I've found the Sonos system to be fantastic. You can play the same music on every Sonos device in your house, but you don't have to--each device can play different music simultaneously. If someone in your household is not technical and is easily frustrated by setup and remotes, you'll love Sonos. It's simple to set up and simple to use. The free Sonos app for the iPad in particular is excellent (probably because there was so much more real estate for the developers to work with). The proprietary peer-to-peer mesh network Sonos uses to broadcast music to each device is very reliable--probably more so than your home wireless network used by AirPlay speakers. While Sonos dropped the ball for Mac users on the upgrade to OSX Lion, they did get their act together and worked hard to update their software. I participated in the OSX Lion beta testing and thought the developers were great. I also had a problem when I bought my first Sonos unit, because it didn't work with my aging router (which I ended up replacing). However, I've always found the Sonos support personnel to be very knowledgeable and very helpful, either by telephone or by email.

Now for the Play 3. We're remodeling our kitchen, and we planned to install two wired speakers in the ceiling. I decided to give the Sonos powered speakers a try first, since we already have two Sonos Zone Players (now called "Connect") in our house and love the Sonos system. Unfortunately, I found the Play 3 to be disappointing. With this unit oriented horizontally, it uses some sort of DSP processing to try to create a wider sound field, but the result is not good. I couldn't listen to it in the horizontal position for longer than about 15 minutes without having it really bother me. If you rotate the speaker to the vertical position, the DSP processing turns off and the sound is much crisper, cleaner, and centered. However, it then sounds like 1930's radio, with all the music coming from a single, point source. Two Play 3 units would take up more room than we want on the counter top, might look ugly hanging from the wall, and would be pretty expensive. At this point, I was sure I would have to install a pair of wired ceiling speakers to get any kind of wide, full sound in the kitchen.

Before giving up altogether, I decided to try the more expensive Sonos 5. As it turns out, the difference between these two Sonos wireless speakers is like night and day. The Sonos 5, which only sits in a horizontal position, produces a rich, full, clean sound that fills our kitchen and sounds great. By contrast, the Play 3 treble sounds weaker, the midrange is somewhat muddy, and the bass is smaller and seems distorted. If you have the space, for a third more money you can get at least three times better sound by going with the Play 5 instead of the Play 3.

Pros:
The Play 3 is relatively light and doesn't take up much space, especially in a vertical orientation.
This unit includes a screw hole in the back and could be mounted on a wall or a ceiling using a strong enough bracket.
You can pair two Play 3 units to produce true stereo sound (though I haven't tried this)

Cons:
The Play 3 has no bass driver and only one tweeter. The sound it generates is fairly limited, and it seems especially distorted when the unit is oriented horizontally.
Unlike the larger Play 5, this unit does not include a second Ethernet port, a headphone jack, or an analog line-in jack.

This powered speaker works with all the Sonos features and thus could make a nice addition to your home audio system. However, before you buy a Sonos Play 3, I recommend you compare it to the Sonos Play 5. To my ear, the difference in sound quality is well worth the extra cost.
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58 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nice compact unit but sound leaves something to be desired, November 6, 2013
By 
A. Evans (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It's Sonos and if you are familiar with the system then you already know it is easy to set up and control. That's the main benefit of investing in this system as pricey as their stuff is. It's well built, looks good, and basically does what you'd expect it to do. My 3 star rating is based entirely on the sound quality. I'm not an audiophile by any means. I generally don't need pristine sound reproduction. But this unit has a very muddy sound. An overpowering bass that overwhelms the highs and on top of that the bass just doesn't sound particularly clean. After adjusting the equalizer to take the base down and the treble up it sounds okay. Not great. It might sound better paired with another Play:1 in stereo mode but on its own it is a little lacking in the sound department.

Update:
So I purchased a second unit and paired it in stereo mode. It certainly sounds better. The muddiness hasn't gone away from the bass but the stereophonic quality of the sound along with the adjusted EQ means the muddiness no longer bugs me the way it did with a single unit. I think this product really works better when you have two of them and I probably would pick that setup over the Play:3/Play:5 simply because you can get more stereo separation and in a pinch use them in two separate rooms.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, less expensive solution for a complete-home audio system, December 10, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I just purchased a home and was looking into having it wired for whole-house audio. Looking into multi-room systems on Amazon, it was apparent to me that it wouldn't be cheap: cost of the speakers, controllers, PLUS cost of running wires throughout the house. When I saw the SONOS PLAY:1 promotions, I found its wireless solution to be more cost effective, and with better speakers to boot. Below are the pros and cons that led me to decide for the Sonos system.

NOTE: a Sonos BRIDGE is NOT needed to use the PLAY:1. See the INSTALLATION section of this review.

PROS
- Hi-Fi. Speakers sound better than the multi-room, wired systems I looked at for less than $500.

- Resale Value. Wired speakers don't add much resale value to your house. So, why spend $1000s, only to leave the audio system behind when you sell the property or move? With wireless, I could take my expensive speakers with me to my new home.

- Freedom to move around.
With wireless, you are free to take the speakers anywhere you want throughout the whole house. For neighborhood block parties, I could even hook up the speakers to an extension cord out to the street, and stream music from my home. Or take it outside to your backyard. They are moisture-proof, but I wouldn't use them as permanent outdoor speakers unless you enclose them in protective casings.

NOTE on wireless: each SONOS component is its own wireless client and repeater. Sonos wireless is a private, wireless "mesh" system, separate from your home WiFi. What does that mean to you? It routes music through its own wireless, leaving your home WiFi untouched. There's an additional benefit for that, as I'll explain after the installation note below. Most of the Sonos components (PLAY:1 is NOT one of them) have 2 network ports. This means, you can plug in the component into the network jack, and use the 2nd one on the speaker to connect your laptop.

INSTALLATION: First, the tech talk. You need 1 Sonos component to be plugged in to your home network (any of the PLAY speakers, Soundbar, Bridge, etc.) So, as an example, you must plug in either the BRIDGE or the PLAY:1 to your network with a network cable. This turns that component into a wireless access point (or as consumers tend to call it, a "Wifi router".) All other Sonos components will now be able to wirelessly talk to that plugged-in device. No other Sonos component has to be plugged in, as long as it's within wireless range of the plugged-in one. Should a component in your house be too far away (say, your garage) from the plugged-in one, you can connect it to your network via cable, if available, or set up a Sonos BRIDGE (or any other Sonos speaker) wirelessly somewhere between the plugged-in one and the Garage speaker. The BRIDGE or other speaker strengthens the wireless from the plugged-in one, and extends the range to the one in the Garage. Each Sonos component is both a wireless client, and a wireless access point/repeater. Each component talks to each other in a mesh network. Think of a spider net. Any part that is touched vibrates to the rest of the net.

Tech-talk aside, think about this: One person (Person 1) is at a corner of the house. When he shouts, the person in the garage (Person 2) can't hear Person 1. The only way Person 1 can talk to 2, is to pick up the phone (talking over a wired connection, or plugging a distant Sonos component to the wired network) or having Person 3 stand between them (having a Sonos component physically be between both speakers) and relaying the information back and forth (what WiFi mesh would do). So, with each Sonos component/speaker, the Sonos wireless range gets extended.

With the Sonos wireless mesh, you could humorously place a few speakers into each house in the neighborhood, and suddenly play the same music through each home. Try that with Bluetooth speakers. You wouldn't be able to.

WiFi mesh TIP: if you have an Android device, you can Google "Android devices on SonosNet", and you will see instructions on how to use your Sonos wireless network ("SonosNet") to connect your Android phone/tablet. This allows you to use your mobile device further away from your home WiFi. This has disadvantages and advantages out of the scope of this review. I decided not to use SonosNet for my tablets.

NOTE: a Sonos BRIDGE is NOT needed to use the PLAY:1. Just plug in the PLAY:1 to the wired network (ie your router), and it will work just fine. You still control it with the Sonos App from your mobile device. Once the PLAY:1 is plugged in, you can add other Sonos components to the system. A BRIDGE is NOT needed for that either. It's only needed if you want to extend the Sonos wireless range to a farther part of your house or yard for $50 vs buying another PLAY speaker for $100+)

- Small size. The BRIDGE is about the same size as an Apple TV/Roku/WD TV Live. The PLAY:1 is about 2-3 of them stacked on top of each other. The PLAY:1 has a fairly hefty weight, a good sign of the good sound coming from its components.

- Ease of Pairing. To pair other Sonos components (or with the Sonos Controller App), simply hit the Play/Volume Up button on the speaker, and the same combination on the other speakers. If pairing with the BRIDGE, hit the pair button on that component.

- LED. The Bright LED can be configured to turn on/off via the Sonos app.

- Ease of music sync.
You can use the free Sonos app for your Android, iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod), Windows Phone, Mac/Windows laptop/tablet (sadly, no Windows Store app yet) to control how the speakers play: you can easily choose which speakers to pair/unpair into groups. Grouping the speakers allows you to play the same music on those speakers. You can have up to 32 separate groups. You can also individually control each speaker from the app. Each group's volume is controlled by the Sonos app. So, if Speaker 1 is set to 50% volume, and Speaker 2 is set to 25%, lowering the volume by 5% will lower Speaker 1 to 45%, and 2 to 20%.

Once music is playing, you can leave the house, and it will continue to play -- as long as the music source is not coming from that mobile device (meaning: if you're playing MP3s from your phone, and your phone leaves, it will stop playing. But if you started Pandora from your phone, or you told the speaker to play music off one of your network shares, it will continue playing since the source is coming from a device that's still at home.)

PARTIES: one cool feature is that once you download the Sonos Controller app and pair it to one of the Sonos speakers (which authorizes the app/phone to talk to your Sonos system -- this prevents unauthorized people outside your home from controlling your speakers), each device can control the playlist. So, if you have guests coming over, and each guest downloads and authorizes the Sonos app to your system, each guest can now add/remove songs from the queue. Everybody can now be a DJ.

- Stereo pairing for PLAY:1.
You can take two PLAY:1 speakers and set them up as Left & Right channels for stereo output.

- Expandability.
Sonos did a smart thing. They released the less expensive PLAY:1 to wet your/my appetite. As you use the system, you will likely buy more Sonos components to expand your sound system, resulting in more revenue for the company. You can add any Sonos component to your system, and they will all work in harmony. You can set up a complete home theater system that way too. I know, sounds pricey. It is. But it still is cheaper than having your whole house wired with nice speakers.

- Alarm/Sleep timer.
You can set up each speaker (or Group of speakers) to play music at a specific time, day, and volume (Alarm) from a specific source for a specified amount of time. Or you can also set a Sleep timer to play music for a specific number of minutes to ease you into sleep. I love getting waken up by mellow music (ie. Norah Jones) in the morning, and when I leave the home, I don't have to worry about turning off the speakers. It'll automatically turn off after the 45 minutes I set up for the alarm.

- Sound. Sound quality is quite good. I will leave you with the reviews by others to read more about that. With the Sonos app, you can control Bass, Treble, and volume. I have the speakers play between 15% to 25% volume in each room -- they are plenty loud enough. Setting them to 100% can be heard through the whole house -- and the potential for your neighbors to complain. Even at low volume, the sound is very good. It's definitely better than most Bluetooth speakers. If you put the PLAY:1 in the corner of a room, the sound seems a bit more muffled due to the amplification of the Bass by the walls on both ends. You can fix this by adding more Treble, or by moving the speaker away from the corner.

- Design. The PLAY:1 and BRIDGE are beautiful devices. They don't look out-of-place in my home. I bought the White ones.

CONS
I couldn't find many cons with the PLAY:1. But here are some that have annoyed me.

- Cost. The Sonos system is expensive. Just look at the price of the other components. Holy moly. Still, if you were to wire your house with Bose speakers, the Sonos system is comparatively inexpensive. Again, I chose Sonos because wiring the house won't add much resale value. I like the idea of being able to take my Sonos with me to my new home.

- Sonos App Interface. The app is clunky and looks outdated. It took me a while to figure out where to go to do what (and I love gadgets/toys. I'm a technology tinkerer!). It's not very user friendly.

- Music sources. Not all apps can play to the Sonos speakers. You have to use the Sonos App, add the approved source to it, then you can play from that source. I wish you could re-route any audio from any device to the speakers. Pandora, network shares (NAS), iTunes, TuneIt Radio (built-in), iPod/iPad/iPhone, media files on your own Android/Windows device are all possible sources. At one point (if I remember correctly), my not-so-tech-savvy dad was able to beam his iPad's YouTube sound to the speakers without using the Sonos App. I didn't get a chance to verify how he did it, but I did see the PLAY:1 being available as a target on his iPad. Perhaps it was playing via the DLNA protocol. Either way, that was neat.

- Input source. I wish that the PLAY:1 had a Line-in/Aux port so that you can connect any music source to it for playback, such as your TV or existing home entertainment system. Yes, the Sonos CONNECT takes care of that, but look at the price of that component! Even then, the CONNECT doesn't support SPDIF/Optical input.

Weren't it for the Amazon/Target promotions on Black Friday, I would have been EXTREMELY hesitant to buy these expensive speakers. I bought two PLAY:1 during the promotion. With that said, overall, I'm quite pleased with the purchase. It came out cheaper than wiring the house, and I get to control my music from any of the mobile devices. That's neat. Lower the prices of your other components, Sonos! I hope for increased competition in the market to drive the prices down -- as of today, I'm not aware of any good, alternate, wireless HiFi solution.

I have the BRIDGE installed downstairs in a 2-story home. One PLAY:1 is upstairs, and one PLAY:1 is downstairs. I may purchase more PLAY:1s in the future. The BRIDGE is not needed at all for my home since one of the PLAY:1 can act as the wireless access point for the other.

------
EDIT 5/12/14: Almost half a year later, and I'm still enjoying the PLAY:1. By the way, Sonos is working on making it unnecessary for any Sonos component to be connected to the wired network/router. From their blog post, titled, "Our Vision for Rock-Solid Wireless, Evolved" (April 17, 2014), "We've found a way to deliver all the benefits of SonosNet without a product directly connected to your router... Start with a speaker and your smartphone, enter your WiFi password and Sonos takes care of the rest."

I've also updated my review with the clarification, "Most of the Sonos components (PLAY:1 is [NOT] one of them) have 2 network ports." (Thank you, JOEKC, for pointing out the original review's error)

EDIT 6/16/14: Clarified that SonosNET is a proprietary, wireless network
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87 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonos - Good and Bad from my perspective, January 8, 2012
By 
NJ Guy "PKS" (East Windsor, NJ) - See all my reviews
I am a big Sonos fan. Reading a few -ve feedbacks prompted to submit my own review. And I do understand a few frustrations expressed by other users

To me, no other system comes close to what my needs are. I am a tech guy so understanding the system came easy to me. Here are some basic highlights of Sonos:

*** Is Sonos a system for you? ***
If you are spending 500 bucks on a piece of technology, you better read every aspect of it. It's not a Louis Vuitton handbag where brand name matters. It's a price you are paying for a set of features it has to sell. If you want a system that works off your iTunes or your iPad/iPhone music collection then this is not for you. If you want a stand-alone system sitting in your kitchen/living room, then it's definitely not for you. Just one single piece of Sonos is not a "Complete Music System" and it's not "Complete Wireless System", as it turns out, is the biggest complain of the consumers.

*** What Sonos has to offer ***
If you want a Music System for more than one room in your house - and you want all these players to use a single music server (where you store your music - Windows XP/Windows 7/Mac/NAS) and you also want to control all these players with a single remote - Go for Sonos blindfolded.

What exactly did I mean by that? Let's go back to fundamentals.
All (or most) of us like having a music server. A music server is a computer/NAS on your local area network. This is our machine where we buy/save/arrange our songs. It is probably on this machine that we install our iTunes and sync our iPhone/iPad using this iTunes. So, stop assuming that iPhone/iPad is your one-stop music station. It's actually your main computer that we'll call your music server.

Now - In comes Sonos...
And let me bust the first myth about "Complete Wireless System". It's technically not. Your first Sonos component (any one of the player) HAS TO BE hard-wired to your local area network. This helps Sonos access your music library from the hardware perspective. Could Sonos have avoided this and connect to the network wirelessly? Maybe, but understand that Sonos's own networking is way powerful and using wireless TCPIP may have caused it to perform poorer. One button click on your Sonos remote triggers activity on multiple systems. Hard-wiring this machine Sonos was therefore a compulsion on its part. Yes - I agree - an inconvenience.

Let's complete the music system...
Once you have hard-wired this one player to your network, you needs to install Sonos Desktop Controller (a piece of Software) on your music server. This is a software parallel to iTunes and not an iTunes byproduct. Sonos has no obligation to pull iTunes playlist into Sonos Desktop Controller. It's an additional feature that Sonos does provide. So, if you are addicted to iTunes and want everything to work around iTunes, don't invest in Sonos. Now, let's say we are over iTunes. Sonos Desktop Controller is a Music Manager that manages your music (like iTunes). It's not state-of-the-art software. Its job is to deliver the songs from your hard drive to your player and it does that brilliantly well. Don't get me wrong - it does have a nice interface. It neatly allows you to manage your music. Just don't look for "ITunes Genius" on it. Next step is to sync your Sonos Desktop Controller with the Sonos player (which is relatively simple to do). If you restart your Music Server manually, the Sonos Desktop Controller automatically starts in the background. You don't have to launch it manually. Be advised that this Music Server needs to be up all the time (which is almost always up anyway, how many times do we shut down our machine?). And the Last component is a Sonos remote (which is a waste of money). Sonos provides "Sonos Remote" for iOS and Android. Use this app instead - much neater, convenient and free.

*** What the heck is a bridge then? ***
Most of us will not keep our Sonos player close our computer. Sonos Player would most likely be in our bedroom/living room/kitchen. Our router is not likely available there (it's probably close our Music Server). Now because Sonos mandates us to hard-wire our Player to the network, we need to buy an additional product - this is where I bust the second myth of "Complete Music System". If your router is in your basement or your study (most likely close to your Music Server) and you want keep your Sonos Player in your kitchen your need Sonos Bridge to hard-wire to your router (in basement or your study) and then Sonos Bridge communicates with Sonos Player wirelessly using its own networking protocol.

NOTE: I didn't need to buy a Sonos bridge as I have Ethernet cables running to my bedroom from my router. I connected my first Sonos Player to my bedroom's Ethernet port. I thus saved money on Sonos Bridge. I hard-wired my house with Ethernet cables because I wasn't happy with my PS3 connecting to my Media Server (storing my pictures/songs/videos) wirelessly. There was a lag (which is why I sort of defend Sonos's decision to enforce us to hard-wire atleast one device to the router). This Media Server of mine is incidentally the same machine that also has Sonos Desktop Controller.

That completes my system. Now, if that is all you want - stop reading further and don't invest in Sonos. If you are going to read further, you'll be very interested in investing on this product. Cos the beauty begins now...

My first investment was ZonePlayer 90. I put this in my bedroom, hard-wired to Ethernet and sent the output to by Bose 321 (which also houses my cable TV's audio output). I then installed Sonos Desktop Controller on my Media Server/Music Server and sync'ed it with ZonePlayer 90. Finally, I installed "Sonos Remote" app on my iPhone - and wallah state-of-the-art music system in my bedroom.

With ZP90, you do need a nice amplifier and therefore Bose 321 came in handy.

My next target was kitchen. I got ZonePlayerS5 (now sold as Play5) for my kitchen. Sync'ed it with Sonos Desktop Controller with my Music Server and it makes my kitchen much more fun. How did that happen so easily? My ZonePlayer90 also acts as a Bridge for ZonePlayerS5 (and will continue to do so for every new addition in my house). This is Sonos's strongest point - its ability to extend music across your entire house.

My next target was my living room. This is a big room and I knew for certain a Play5 or a Play3 won't be enough. I did not want a new amplifier (so a Connect/ ZonePlayerS5 was ruled out). Connect:Amp (formally known as ZonePlayer120) required me to buy two additional speakers. I somehow couldn't buy that idea. What did I do? And this is my favorite part:

I bought 2 Play3, placed it in two different locations in my living room and make it work like one system. 2 Sonos are now playing a stereophonic sound in my living room.

How does my remote look now? I have "Sonos Remote" app on my iPhone, my wife's iPhone and my iPad. They all work on sync. In other words - if my iPhone initiated a song on Sonos, my wife's iPhone can see that I am playing that song. It additionally lists our all the Players (in my living room/bedroom/kitchen) separately. Therefore, using the same iPhone app/Sonos Remote, I can play 3 music systems with 3 different songs and the app on my wife's iPhone and my iPad is well aware what I am doing with my iPhone. A very smart, nice interface too. In addition to that, the remote/app on the iPhone can scan thru multiple FM music stations across the globe (not just US). I am an Indian I can access tons of Indian FM music channels on my Sonos iPhone Remote.

The closest thing that comes to this is Logitech but using my iPhone as a remote for Sonos sealed the deal for me. This is one thing that is not available on Logitech. Without a doubt, quality of sound is better in Sonos. If anything, Logitech is half the price. All in all, I am close to 1000 bucks on my investments. I am a (borderline) music freak. I'll always justfy the price. My wife argues its way over-priced. I ask "as opposed to what?". She keeps quiet after that :) esepcially when I compare her 800 bucks worth of Louis Vuitton handbag with her 400 bucks coach purse.

Oh, last but not the least, Sonos does have a limit of no. of songs it can handle. Some claim that this limitation is gone too but I dont know for sure. If I have over 64000 songs then no one can help me, let alone Sonos. I have almost 15000 songs and it'll take a lifetime to get to 64000 songs. If I am 400 lbs fat guy then its not the fault of my weighing machine if it breaks while measuring my weight. Ok - poor and sic analogy - but you get my point...
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonos I love you!!!!, November 14, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I say "Amen Brother" to the preceeding reviews. I would like to add my two cents worth. One of the great features that was not mentioned is the "Line In" capability. This feature allows one to connect an external source of analog voice or music to the "Line In" and that audio to can be streamed to any or all combinations of zone players. I am a ham radio operator and have replaced my computer sound system with the Sonos. I can sit in front of my radios and listen to the hams chatting and pipe the audio all over the house while I am doing my chores...or if I decide, I can just lull around anywhere and listen to music...it's wonderful! Another point I might bring up is the wireless adapter does have a limited range and has to be connected directly to the router. One can get around this obstacle by using a Linksys PLE200 (or similar manufacturer) A/C interface and use the house A/C wiring to carry the digitial information directly from the router. Using this device, I could center my sonos wireless adapter in the house for best coverage. Also, if a player is still out of range, one can plug in another A/C adapter and plug the Sonos directly into the A/C adapter via an Ethernet cable as the S5 zone player can function equally well connected to the router system or operating wirelessly.

Also, one more tip: When you set up the wireless zone players, set them up close to your computer so you don't have to run all over the house pushing the two buttons to put them on line; put them on line near your computer. Unplug them, put them in their place and they will come up automatically as they were programmed originally.

Yes, it is pricey, but it's a keeper!!!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't get 5 stars due to cost, but works well, January 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been looking at the Sonos system for several years. I never pulled the trigger as I had gotten burned by earlier wireless music server efforts from Creative and others. I just received a Play:5, Play:3 and a Bridge for Christmas, so I had to try it out.

One important fact to remember about all Sonos devices is they are useless without the Sonos software. If the company ever goes belly up, you're going to be left with expensive and useless electronics. The company also has a bit of a reputation for eliminating features without warning.

This review covers the Bridge and Play:3.

If you want to use any of the Sonos devices wirelessly, you need to purchase the Bridge. If you don't want to shell out for the Bridge, you'll have to connect at least one Sonos device to your network via Ethernet cable. The Bridge is a small device that you attach to your router. The Bridge connects all the Sonos units to your Wi-Fi setup. The Sonos system doesn't use your Wi-Fi when streaming. It uses a proprietary wireless mesh network to stream. This prevents dropouts and other issues as the mesh network is separate from your Wi-Fi network. Once the Bridge is installed, you only have to interact with it when you add new Sonos devices.

After the Bridge was connected to my router, I installed the Sonos software on my desktop computer. After the install, the software can look for music files on your computer automatically or you can choose the location yourself. The software quickly found the Bridge and the music I have on my computer. Presently I have around 28,000 songs in my collection in both MP3 (320 kbs) and WMA Lossless. The Sonos system does not support WMA lossless, so I had it search for the MP3 files. It did this quite quickly and within 10 minutes had indexed all 28K MP3 files. Sonos has a limit of 65,000 songs, so I was far below that limit. I have read a fair share of complaints as to the time it takes to index large collections, but I was impressed with how quickly the software indexed my collection.

I then unpacked the Play:3 and proceeded to connect it with the Bridge wirelessly. To do this you simply select 'add new Sonos Device' from the menu on the software. I then went to the Play:3 and depressed two of the three buttons on the device and in a few moments the devices were talking to each other. Again this process was pain free and quick. Just a few moments after unpacking, I was listening to the Play:3. The fit and finish on the Play:3 is very good. It appears the Sonos people have used Apple as their model. The packaging and presentation of the product is first rate. The Play:3 has a sensor that can tell how the unit is orientated. When placed horizontally, the unit is in stereo mode, when vertical, the software blends the 2 stereo channels. The trim on the sides of the unit is covered with a rubbery type material that keeps the speaker from moving around. There is a mounting hole with a threaded opening to connect to many 3rd party wall and ceiling mounts. The three buttons on the speaker are for up/down volume and mute. You'll hardly ever control the speaker using these buttons. You'll use either your smartphone or tablet to do so, but it's nice to have those buttons if your phone/tablet is not handy. The Sonos logo does not rotate, so if placed in the vertical position, the logo is sideways. The grill is not removable. The speaker weighs in about 7 pounds or so. Because the unit has an integrated amp within, it has cooling slots on the back. Sonos does not recommend outdoor installation.

How does the Play:3 sound? Pretty darn good! Since it is a single speaker, you're not going to get much in the way of stereo separation, but it sounds very pleasing and smooth at low to medium levels. After you push the volume up past 60%, the speaker appears to struggle with bass notes and sounds somewhat harsh, especially with compressed MP3 material. This speaker is not about blasting your eardrums, it is more for enjoying music at reasonable levels in any location in your home that has 110V power. The Play:3 sounds much better than the Big Jambox my wife has, with deeper more extended bass and crisper mids and highs. That being said, this is not a hi fi speaker. It sounds quite good considering how smalll it is. If you compare the sound of the Play:3 to most any $300 bookshelf speakers the Sonos will lose every time. You're paying extra for the electronics inside and the software. If you want to move the unit to a different location, you don't have to go through the install again. You simply plug it in to the new ouitlet and in a few moments it connects to the Bridge. When the speaker is oriented with the back facing a wall, the bass is pleasing and surprsing for such a small speaker. When nothing is behind the speaker, the bass output almost disappears. While this is typical for most speakers, it seems more pronounced on the Play:3. You may also pair the Play:3 with another Play:3 to create a stereo pair. I have not done this so I can't comment.

You can control the Sonos system from either your iOS or Android device as well as your laptop or desktop WIN/mac computer. I have my software installed on a Windows 7 desktop and a Samsung Galaxy III phone. I've had no problems with either, save for the occasional glitch. You can't listen to your music while at the computer using the Sonos software. You can control every aspect of the system, but can't hear what is playing unless you're within earshot of a Sonos speaker. The same applies to the phone or tablet you're going to use as well. I've read many negative comments about this, but it makes sense from Sonos' standpoint. They want you to buy Sonos gear to hear the system. If they allowed this, there would be much less reason to purchase other Sonos units. I consider this a small drawback.

To install the software on your phone or tablet, you'll need to download the app from either the Apple App Store or the Android Play Store. What I find quite nice about the phone/tab software is you can control all the aspects of the system just as you can from your PC. This makes it easy to add new devices and manage the system.

While you can listen to your private collection, you can also enjoy many Internet music streaming sites, many local radio stations and also the Amazon Cloud Player (ACP). I use ACP and it works quite well and is integrated within the Sonos system very nicely. Since the ACP files are of lower quality (typically 256 kbs), the audio quality of these files is not as good as even the 320 kbs MP3 files.

Switching from one song to another takes a little longer than a typical CD player, especially if you're listening to anything streamed. The delay is not that bad, but it does take a moment longer than you may expect. Playlists are easy to import and create. Sonos has a different take on how to create playlists, but it works okay once you get the idea. When adding new music you'll need to copy/encode the files and then have the Sonos software re-index your collection. This takes a few minutes typically.

If you choose to have your music stored on your laptop/desktop PC, the computer needs to be powered up at all times so that the Sonos can find the music. You can access ACP and other streaming sites when your PC is powered down, but you lose the ability to hear the music stored on the PC. You may also store your music on a NAS. I have a 500GB hard drive connected to my router via USB 2. The system found the NAS drive quickly and effortlessly. Now that I have my music on this NAS drive, I don't lose my collection when I power down my PC.

Since I have all my files encoded at both MP3 and WMA lossless, I was unable to use my WMA files as they are not supported by Sonos. Lower bit rate WMA files are supported, but not lossless. This was a bit of a bummer since the WMA files sound so much better than the MP3 files. I have begun to re-encode my entire collection using FLAC lossless, a supported format. This is the one fly in the ointment for me as it will take me weeks to do this re-encoding of 3500 or so CD's.

If I was considering purchasing anything Sonos, I would spend some time on the Sonos users forums and see what other people are saying. While I've experienced a few small glitches, many others suffer with compatibility issues with software and/or network issues.

Since receiving the Sonos as a gift, I've purchased another Play:3, Play:5 and 2 Connect units. They have all been easy to setup and work perfectly. I've noticed that as I've expanded the system glitches happen more frequently and the software struggles a bit more, but over all I'm very pleased.

The big plus with the system is we are all listening to more music and watching less TV. The system also is a platform for sharing my music collection with my children. They also get to share their stuff with me.

Just remember that this is all computer type equipment. When you upgrade to a new phone/tablet/desktop or laptop, your may have issues that you didn't before. Sonos, also in a very Apple way, stops supporting older OS's without warning. You could come home from work one day and the system won't be working. It appears best to have automatic updating on the Sonos software turned off, so this won't happen.

Overall a winner, with caveats.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sonos System, December 5, 2012
By 
M. Peters "mp" (Orange County, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
--THE SYSTEM--
If you are new to Sonos, read up on how it works before you jump in. To be brief it is a separate wireless network from your existing wifi. Unlike your wifi router each "node" or Sonos Component is a broadcaster, so whenever you place a new component in your home you expand out the network's range.

Because it is a separate network it needs to be wired to your existing router to connect to the internet as well as the rest of your home network. You can do this at any node, but if none are convenient you can buy the Sonos Bridge (or get it free via promotion) to act as a new node that connects to your existing network.

The sound system is controlled by applications that you download on your phone, tablet or computer. The Android application can connect via the Sonos network, but the rest will need to be connected to your network via Ethernet cable or existing wifi.

--MY EXPERIENCE--
I set up a two zone system with a Play:3 in my bedroom and a Play:5 in my kitchen/living room. Setup was relatively quick and easy. I got the bridge and Play:5 set up in my bedroom with no problems, but when I went to move the Play:5 to the kitchen it could not re-connect. I quickly realized it was from interference at the bridge, which was right next to my computer tower and wifi-router. I cut the head off a nail and mounted the Bridge to the wall behind my monitors and the wireless connection has been great. Setting up the Play:3 was quite easy, and took only a few minutes while I was doing something else. I did have a few problems with my controllers needing to be reset and reconnect to the network, but I solved this by disabling a few odd DNS settings the were enabled on my Router.

I never needed Sonos tech support, but by most accounts they are helpful.

The music is great, the quality is quite good for this non-audiophile. One Play:5 should be able to fill most rooms for most people, the Play:3 is good for bedrooms or other small rooms. I have not had any of the drop-outs that most wireless sound systems have. That is because Sonos runs it own wireless network which won't be bogged down when other wireless devices start consuming data over your wifi network.

Sonos is able to access the music on my computer quite well, I have about 10,000 songs and it is just fine, although some people have said they have trouble at 65,000 songs. The tune-in app works great for streaming radio stations, and Spotify premium (monthly fee) also gives a great selection of music and works flawlessly with the system.

Selecting music, switching rooms to listen in, and the ease of the system has really let me enjoy music much more.

--THE BAD--
Like I said earlier the Sonos network is basically a system of nodes that each broadcast their own wifi networks. That is great when you are playing music, but when it is idle each point consumes about 6.5W. This allows the system to start playing quickly when you want it to, but it comes at a high energy cost, especially for those with many components on their networks.

These are marketed to be smart components, but they lack options for reducing energy consumption; Options that really don't require any extra hardware. Sonos could let you make the units sleep during times you know they wont be needed. If you did happen to need them while they sleep, a press of the button on the speaker could wake it up.

Perhaps the most frustrating is that Sonos wants you to think you can not turn the wireless function off. You can; search google for "disable sonos wifi" the first non-Sonos result currently has the info. Sonos deletes any posts on their website that mention this. Some people have all or part of their Sonos components wired and don't need to be wasting energy, at least give them the option to do so, when it clearly is available.

I really want to drop the rating more because of the energy and specifically the wifi toggle, but the rest of the system is so good that I left it at four stars. If Sonos gets their act together and stops ignoring their customers on this I would be glad to change it to 5.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome internet radio/music streaming, Super-easy setup, except your host computer cannot be on WiFi, December 14, 2009
From all the previous reviews I expected the installation to be super-smooth, and everything did work right away, EXCEPT for streaming music from my iMac to the Zoneplayer: the radio streaming and the music services (Pandora/Rhapsody) were streaming flawlessly to the Zoneplayer (via the Zonebridge) because the Zonebridge talks directly to the internet. However streaming music from my iMac to the Zoneplayer was a different matter: whenever I was trying to setup music library in the Sonos desktop software, I kept getting strange errors like "could not connect to <ComputerName>", or "<ComputerName> not found". Then I talked to a Sonos technical rep, and he pointed out that I was having problems because my iMac is on WiFi (i.e. not directly connected to the internet via an ethernet cable). When I changed my setup so that my iMac was connected directly to the internet via an ethernet cable, I was immediately able to setup my music library for streaming. Somehow, somewhere it should have been clearly stated that the computer that hosts your music library MUST BE ON A WIRED connection to the internet, NOT WIFI. Other than this, I have no complaints whatsoever: it has quickly become one of the most-used gadget in my NYC apartment. Most FM reception here is crap, so it's great to have access to all sorts of internet streaming radio stations, plus you get Pandora and Rhapsody. The sound is definitely great for my living room and bed room. And best of all, of course, I can control this from my iPhone. We listen to a ton more music (and more often) just because we have the Zoneplayer. My wife was initially dismissive that I bought "yet another gadget", but when she realized all the things you could do so easily with it, she was quickly converted.
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