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606 of 644 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2009
<> WHAT IS SONOS?

Sonos is a wireless speaker system that streams music from your COMPUTER HARD DISK (such as your iTunes library or other downloaded music) and streams music from the INTERNET directly to Sonos Speakers. (Internet Music includes 100 thousand internet radio stations, Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody or most anything else, with Apple Music support coming soon) You CHOOSE that music on the fly using the Sonos iPhone or Android apps (or others). With Sonos, such music does not need to stream THROUGH your phone. You use the phone just for the purpose of making your choices. (The phone is the controller not the streamer, unless you want it to be)

Sonos is special because of the extraordinary range of music available, the intuitive phone app interface which so simply controls every aspect of the experience, the sound quality, the whole home flexibility, the ease of setup and installation, and the benefits of doing all this without needing to stream from the phone.

All you need to get started is one Sonos speaker (like the Play1, Play3, Play5 or Playbar). Note that each of these speakers is fully self contained, including its own amp, pre-amp, sonos-wireless network, wireless access to the full range of music from your computer or the internet, and the ability to respond to sonos controller apps on your phones and tablets.

If you want, you can later add Sonos speakers for every room in your home, all perfectly integrated with your same phone/tablet controllers, music and grouping options. You can also include your 3rd party stereo system with a Sonos-Connect (which would be a sonos input source for that stereo system); or add 3rd party speakers with a Sonos-Connect-Amp, (a small box which itself would be both the SOURCE and AMP for any pair of 3rd party speakers. Perfect for outdoor speakers for example). These Sonos Connect devices also respond to the sonos apps on your phones and tablets, and provide the same options for music and for syncing/grouping with other rooms and speakers.

<> HOW GOOD IS THE SONOS SYSTEM?

I've been using Sonos since 2009, and it's been FLAWLESS, and an ABSOLUTE JOY.

I've got instant, automatically-updated access to all of my iTunes TRACKS, ARTISTS, PLAYLISTS AND ALBUMS. Sonos also has an excellent implementation of PANDORA, RHAPSODY, other music services, and internet radio. It's such a pleasure to hear them throughout the house and patio, controlled by my iPhone in every way, and with full broadband quality sound.

The FLEXIBILITY and EASE OF USE are equally impressive. Each room can play any independent track or other music choice, or be instantly grouped (synchronized) with any number of other rooms. When multiple rooms are grouped, it's so easy and natural to

- choose and navigate music for the group just as you would for a single room.
- control the volume of any individual room within the group.
- control the volume of the entire group while maintaining their relative levels.

I've had multi-zone home systems, costing ten times as much, that couldn't do these things. Nor can you do any of these things with standard airplay speakers or bluetooth speakers.

The ability to SIMULTANEOUSLY PLAY DIFFERENT TRACKS IN DIFFERENT ROOMS from a single iTunes library, located on a single computer, is a technological feat that also can not be achieved with standard AirPlay speakers alone. (You can also play music from multiple libraries from one or more computers or from networked attached storage, NAS). ALL OF YOUR CHOICES for any or all of your rooms can be beautifully controlled by a SINGLE IPHONE, iPod touch, iPad, Android, PC, Mac or by any number of such controllers.

I also have an Apple AIRPORT EXPRESS linked to a sonos line-in, so that my friends can stream any ITUNES OR APP music to my sonos system using Apple AIRPLAY from their iPhone. That works well, but sometimes a streaming iPhone will loose its WiFi connection as you move about the house. (Of course, iPhone/Airplay WiFi streaming glitches are not sonos related problems. This is more of an illustration of how a Phone/WiFi streaming system is likely to work.) Nonetheless, it's great to have Airplay available for friends. Some of this can now be accomplished without an Airport Express, since newer versions of the iPhone/iPad/iPod SONOS APPs can stream the iDevice's ITUNES tracks (but not other app music) to your Sonos system directly from the phone or tablet over wifi. (In this case the audio would be going from phone to router, via wifi, and from router to speaker, via SonosNet)

My Sonos system has been absolutely flawless, with a CONSISTENT, INTUITIVE INTERFACE, and my iPhone, with its Sonos controller app, is always right there in my pocket, ready to go.

Setup for all of the Sonos zones has been a snap, and the system has been a total joy from day one.

<> DO YOU NEED A BRIDGE ?

As of Sept 2014, it is NO LONGER required that one of your Sonos devices be hardwired to your router. So a bridge is usually not necessary. However, if none of your sonos devices is in wireless range of your router, a bridge can be used to extend the routers wireless range and establish a wireless connection with your sonos system.

<> THE SONOS WIRELESS NETWORK

Every Sonos device can use your home WiFi network or, alternatively, the Sonos Wireless Network, which itself offers some key advantages over most competing speakers.

With the sonos network, each sonos device wirelessly communicates directly with other sonos devices (using what's called a "wireless mesh network"). Thus when you have multiple sonos devices, each one automatically becomes a wireless relay to the next closest sonos device and on and on, successively back to the router. This means that multiple sonos devices are likely to give you far better wireless streaming connections than you'd have with standard wireless speakers. With standard wifi, each one needs to communicate wirelessly back to your router itself, which can be much farther away than the nearest speaker.

Here's another benefit of the sonos wireless network: The extra ethernet port on a sonos device provides a solid connection to the Internet and to your home network for any device that can use an ethernet port. Thus, you can extend your wifi network to distant locations in your home (for better laptop internet connections, eg), by plugging a standard inexpensive WiFi access point into the ethernet port on any play5. Also, because of the Mesh network relay system, these sonos ethernet ports can often provide a stronger internet connection for VIDEO streaming devices (like ROKU or AppleTV) than the built-in WiFi on those devices. My friend and I eliminated all of his video stutter by use of sonos ethernet ports.

Note that if you want to use the Sonos wireless network (rather than Sonos' basic wifi approach), you'll just need to have one Sonos device, anywhere in your house, connected directly to your router or LAN. That connected Sonos can be a Play1, Play3, Play5, Playbar, Sonos-Connect, Connect-Amp, Bridge, or Sonos Boost. Alternatively, when using Sonos with its basic WiFi approach, no hardwired connection is required.

<> PROTECTED ITUNES TRACKS on sonos

iTunes tracks bought after 2008 are not protected, and WILL work on sonos and other devices. If you have a lot of earlier, protected, iTunes tracks, they can ALL be converted for a one time total fee of $25: Just subscribe to iTunes Match ($25/yr) and apple will upgrade your tracks to unprotected. Apple allows you to keep your upgraded tracks if you later cancel iTunes Match, but the $25 will not be refunded. IMO, that $25 is a nice price for converting a large library to "play anywhere", and independently, you might decide to keep iTunes Match as I have.

<> The SONOS Play:5

Sounds better than my Bose Sound Dock. Looks great. Sets up in seconds, and moves easily between rooms when needed. It can really be cranked up in VOLUME WITHOUT DISTORTION. Perfect.

ADVANTAGES in BUYING A SINGLE Play5 (or Play3) rather than a Bose SoundDock or other docking speaker:

1) CONTROL FROM YOUR SEAT: It's an absolute pleasure to have complete control over what you're listening to, right where you are, keeping your iphone or android in your hand or pocket. You don't have to stand up to choose any specific track, playlist, artist, radio station, internet music service, or to see what's playing. And because your iphone is only the controller (you're streaming from your desktop computer hard disk or from the internet, rather than from your iPhone - unless you choose to, as noted above) you're not using up valuable phone battery life or suffering mediocre sound quality, as you might be otherwise. Further, your phone is still with you for answering phone calls or using other phone apps, with no disruption to the music system.

2) INTERNET RADIO: Sonos probably has the worlds best remote control user interface for internet radio. Listen to Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius, last.fm, Spotify, all of your local radio stations (local radio is quick to find, given it's independent menu item. A very nice touch.), or about 100 thousand other internet radio stations, organized by location (country, state, city), or searchable by genre, sub-genre, station name, station number, or radio show name.

3) UPGRADABILITY: Add another zone (or multiple additional zones) at any time in the future and you're set with a multizone system. Also, the system will continue to be just as valuable if you change your phone from an iPhone to an Android or vice versa, which would not be the case with a phone docking speaker or an airplay system.

I should point out that there are some benefits in going with a single Docking Speaker instead:

1) Cost Savings.
2) Some might prefer a docking speaker away from home, but the Play5 DOES includes a line-in port and cable that can be used with your phone when away. OR You can use an inexpensive bluetooth adapter with the Play5's line-in. The Sonos phone app won't typically work away from home, but you won't need it. Just make sure to turn on autoplay in the play5's line-in settings before leaving home.

Final Verdict: I really do love my Play:5 and my entire Sonos system.
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155 of 173 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2009
I just purchased the s5 with a zone bridge and the CR200. The combination is absolutely amazing. Installation was easy and operation is intuitive. There is plenty out there on how these things work, so I won't go into details on that. But I do have two observations to share:

1) In addition to the s5, I also picked up a NAS drive so that I could stream my 5000+ track mp3 library. After all, streaming my collection with a touch screen remote was one of the main reason I looked at Sonos in the first place. But, after setting Sonos up I decided to give Napster a try. The Napster/Sonos combination gives you access to 8 million tracks on demand. For example, Napster has over 60 Bob Dylan albums, which is pretty much his whole discography. If you want to sample the latest (obscure) music, Napster also has most of the albums Pitchfork reviewed this week--pretty neat.

So, despite my deep investment in my personal mp3 collection, it only took me a couple of minutes to realize that it was completely obsolete. Deciding between $5/month for a 8 million track library vs. a $200 NAS for my 5000 track library was a no-brainier. The NAS got packed up and sent back; my mp3s are now strictly for iPod use.

2) As an NPR fan, the other great feature I didn't realize Sonos included is the ability to search and play archived NPR shows. From the Splendid Table to Fresh Air, it is all there on demand--awesome.

_____________
Two-year update: This thing is still going strong. We use it everyday to catch up on NPR or listen to the latest releases via Napster. For instance, just yesterday, I read a review of the new Sigur Ros album and 10 seconds after finishing the review, I had the album streaming through my S5 with a few touches of the controller. I also find it extremely useful to be able to listen to non-local radio stations. If we sleep in and want to catch Morning Edition, or get home late and want to catch Marketplace, we just tune into Wyoming Public Radio (we are in Atlanta) and presto. (While the NPR shows are archived, they are usually not accessible until one day after broadcast).

Another note is that I have downloaded the Android App, which works very well. The only slight frustration is that it takes my phone a few minutes to ramp up the WiFi connection. Because of this, I still almost exclusively use the CR200 or my laptop to control the music. I'd say the CR200 is worth the expense in order to have a dedicated controller that always works without delay.
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155 of 179 people found the following review helpful
Just got the S5 about an hour ago. Setup couldn't be easier. Step 1 - connect the power cord to an power outlet. Step 2 - hit the Mute and + button to get the S5 added as a new zone, Step 3 - hmmm....I don't think there is one. Just hit play and enjoy pure bliss.

This is my 4th Zone player (see my other gushing review of the Sonos system on the Sonos bundle page), and anytime my wife asks, "how many of these white boxes you really need?", the answer is always "one more".

Portability is the key feature of S5. Moving it from Kitchen to backdeck is just a matter of unplugging the power cord and replugging at the new location. It's all in one box. And the sound quality is not bad either. With all 4 zone players on party mode - some connected to very expensive Klipsch towers - I have ran around to compare the sound quality at various locations. The verdict - this little guy stacks up nicely against the big boys.

And the iPhone controller is not too shabby either. Don't see the need to buy the new touch controller (CR200).

Awesome product. Pure genius. Just get it.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2013
After hemming and hawing for months about whether to buy these speakers AND reading reviews AND listening to them in the store AND talking to sales associates AND finding other consumers who actaully have them in their home...I still wasn't sure whether to buy these (because of some of the reviews). I finally bought them for my wife for Christmas.

I got a total of 3 speakers- 2 Play 3's for the living room and a Play 5 for our kitchen (it is open and rather large).

THEY ARE AWESOME!!!! That's all you really need to know....I can't believe how many reviews are complaining about them not being "up to par!" I was up and listening to music in my entire downstairs in less than 20mins from opening the box to listening to music. Can you imagine trying to have an installer come to your house, run wires thru your walls and hook up the system in less time???

And in comparison to high end speakers,(and I spent most of my young adult life believing I was an "audiophile") you wlll never know the difference. Yes, they are not "top of the line" sound, but unless you sit in a specially designed room with noise dampening walls and have complete quiet (unlike my "family" house with 2 kids, a wife, assorted friends and a dog barking) YOU WILL NEVER KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!!! And for the record, they are not even priced as "TOP OF THE LINE" speakers, which are usually $1000.00 and up.

Why did I choose them?
-A living room with 16foot ceilings that would have been a %$&#*# to run wire thru, never mind trying to link it to our kitchen.
-All speakers are controlled from my phone....I repeat ALL controlled from my phone....Are you kidding me??? These speakers are not only about the sound, but the conveniance.
-The ability for them to "grow" with our family. As our small children grow up the "toy room" will morph into the den and we will probably want music in there...Pretty simple with the Sonos- not so much with wired speakers..
-We listen to ALL kinds of music- from Classical to Jazz to Rock to Dance....This system lets us control our ENTIRE library from our phone!! It boggles my mind how some of the reviewers complain about the system and "how it doesn't work" for them.

Conclusion-
IGNORE THE COMPLAINTS!!! Its easy to set up, easy to use and sounds great! They will change the way you listen to music! It is now SOOOOO easy to turn them on/off, change the music, adjust the volume...it goes on and on...
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2010
After literally months of reviewing many other options for integrating a wireless home audio system into our house, I finally decided to buy the Sonos S5 Music Player and a ZoneBridge. As many other reviewers have already pointed out, this system is incredible! I have an electrical engineering degree and provide IT services for a few small businesses and have been researching numerous other options for home audio systems. While there are great other alternatives out there, each one had a few negative drawbacks - the majority of which revolved around ease of use and also ability to play audio from different audio sources (iTunes, music on a NAS, Rhapsody, Pandora, Napster, etc).

Sonos is simple to setup, a breeze to use, and instant music nirvana. Within minutes, I had the ZoneBridge set up and my Napster trial blasting tunes on my Sonos S5 Music Player. My wife and I spent hours changing tunes from our iPhones and she absolutely loves how easy Sonos is to use and how powerful the sound from such a small, single music unit. We completely forgot about our iTunes library with the over 8 million tracks available on Napster but really enjoyed how we could make playlists that mixed our Napster and iTunes tracks. Within 24 hours, I bought a second Sonos S5 Music Player and will definitely be adding more around the home. Some may argue that Sonos is expensive, but I would argue that you are actually getting what you pay for - a simple, powerful, wireless music system that no other product on the market can really compare. My advice, save up and dive in to Sonos - if you enjoy music, you will not be disappointed!

jxibalba
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92 of 112 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2012
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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2014
I'm really disappointed in Sonos.

I had this unit for about a year and a half and it just stopped working after a recent update of their software. I worked with a technician about some of the issues and he asked me to send it in.

Without any mention of price it comes to my attention that since I am out of warranty (from 1.5 year of purchase) they will do a 'replacement' for ~$150 dollars. I called up to debate my fee and they said they would run it past their senior sales team and might be able to 'waive' this fee.

To me, if this is an issue within your device - fix it for free. I already forked over $400 dollars to get a quality product and I am not willing to give any more money to get it fixed. A similar issue just occurred with my friend who picked one up (on a recommendation from me) and I fear that I might have mislead him to buy this product.

After submitting this review I also looked at the rest of the 1 star reviews and noticed a trend within people who have had these devices for more than a year and just gained a 'large doorstop for $400'.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 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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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2009
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 8, 2011
I've had a Sonos network up and running with a ZoneBridge and ZonePlayer 120 for a couple of years (see my reviews of those products). So I was already impressed with Sonos. When I learned about the new Play5 and Play3 devices, they appealed to me because there are places in my home where I wanted a smaller system that sounded great and joined the Sonos network easily and quickly. I gave the Play5 a try, and I'm glad I did! I purchased two of these -- one for my kitchen and one for my home office.

Here's my summary of the system:

SETUP
Like all Sonos components, I can't imagine making it any easier to set everything up. You plug in the component, go to the desktop controller software, click the "Add a Sonos Component" menu, then follow the instructions. Within three minutes (literally), the system is detected and ready to play music from your library. Whether you have an existing network or are creating a new one, the idea is the same. It's really quite amazing how nicely Sonos handles the installation part of this. You can trust the system to hold your hand through the setup procedure. No technical jargon or network complications.

If you have just one player, there is just a single "zone." You give it a logical name, like "living room." With more than one player, the setup makes it easy to create different zones in your home. For example, if you have a player in your kitchen, and another in your living room, you can give each one a name so it's easy to identify. It sounds complicated, but again Sonos has taken care to create a system that makes everything easy to set up with plain-language instructions.

The Play5 has the option of connecting wirelessly through a ZoneBridge (which I use), or you can wire your router directly to the Play5 using an ethernet cable (the Play5 actually has two ethernet ports).

Keep in mind that, while the Play5 is relatively small, it's not tiny -- about the size of a large toaster oven. Plan accordingly. Mine fits on a bookshelf in my office.

After the easy setup procedure, you're ready to play music.

SOUND QUALITY
My biggest concern before buying the Play5 was sound quality. After hooking them up, I ran a range test. I played several songs of different types (vocals, instrumentals, high energy, mellow, and more). The more I listened, the more I was sure this is a quality sound system. I could pick out musical details and hear words with true clarity. Everyone's opinion is different when it comes to sound quality. But in my view, the Play5 definitely conveys rich lows and crisp highs, equivalent to a very good speaker. It has volume capacity far beyond what I would ever need.

There is an option to link two Play5 units together so one becomes the "right" and the other the "left" speaker. When I tested this idea, they created a sound quality equal to what I'm getting from two independent Primus speakers.

CONTROLLER
To control the system remotely, you can purchase a Sonos controller, or you can use the free app available for the iPod Touch and iPad. I use the free app. After installing the app, you see your whole music collection right on your device in a graphical environment. If you have set up multiple zones (see my notes in the "SETUP" section above), you can use the controller to select which zone to play. You can even have each zone play different music. Everything is in plain language and easy to visualize. The volume controls are right there, as well as the song listings, and access to your whole music library.

Through the controller, you can grab radio stations, Napster, Pandora, and a lot of other music services right from the controller and play them through your Play5.

CONCLUSION
If you are looking to create a Sonos network in your home, or extend an existing one with a relatively compact unit that sounds great, the Play5 is very impressive.
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