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Customer Review

161 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Advertised!, November 18, 2009
This review is from: SONOS PLAY:5 Wireless Speaker for Streaming Music (White) (Gen 1) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
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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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 11, 2010 2:42:22 PM PDT
esanta says:
Don't forget to give Pandora a try, too!

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 11:50:54 AM PST
Jean Miller says:
The comment about NPR waa the most helpful

Posted on Sep 5, 2011 8:00:29 AM PDT
How are you able to play NPR archives? Is that via podcasts on iTunes or in the Sonos radio app? I was assuming you did it in the radio app, but can't make it work. This sounds so perfect -- please let me know.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2011 4:10:28 PM PST
Bob says:
Yes, you search for "Shows" then pick the show you want and then click recent shows.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2011 4:10:46 PM PST
Bob says:
Agreed, Pandora is great.

Posted on Mar 10, 2012 7:26:34 AM PST
yippee1999 says:
hi there. I hope you don't mind my contacting you but...I'm looking around for a new audio system and saw this one. I saw you mentioned that you also bought a 'zone bridge'. Was that because you didn't want to connect the S5 to your wireless modem? I thought another reviewer said the only reason you'd need a zone bridge was if you didn't have a wireless modem to connect to? (I prefer to have as few pieces of equipment as possible.) And what was the CR200 that you bought...what was that for?

I wish there was something like a 'home audio consultant' I could hire. ;-) I know I could go into an audio store here, but honestly I find that most of the reps in these stores know nothing and are just 'sales people'. Basically what I am looking for is something thru which I can listed to MP3s either via my phone or computer, online radio via my computer, and that I can also configure with my PC so that when I am playing DVDs (and then have my PC connected to my flatscreen TV) I can get good sound. Obviously I also want powerful, quallity sound, and for music llistening, bass is super important to me. Do you know if there's such a thing with wireless audio devices...where you can adjust the bass if you want? Tx!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2012 8:21:47 AM PST
Bob says:
You will need a zone bridge unless your modem is within plug distance from your S5. Note that the modem is the thing that takes the internet signal from your internet provider that comes to your home via either cable or DSL. Most people then have a wireless router which plugs into their modem and then transmits the internet signal wirelessly throughout their house using 802.11 signals. The S5 is NOT able to use this 802.11 wireless signal. It has its own wireless standard that is different from 802.11. So the Zone Bridge is essentially a second router that you have to add just for Sonos devices. However, like I said, you do not need a Zone Bridge if you can physically plug your S5 into the ethernet port of either you modem or another router.

To summarize, the only way to get stuff to your Sonos is through an ethernet cable or wirelessly using a Zone Bridge. If you have multiple Sonos devices, only one needs to be plugged into an ethernet port.

The CR200 is the dedicated Sonos touch-screen controller: Sonos CR200 Wireless control of your Sonos Multi-Room Music System

The Sonos system only does a subset of the stuff you want. It will not allow you to wirelessly transmit DVD audio unless you buy a dedicated S5 that can take audio from your DVD player in its line-in port. You will then need to buy another S5 in order to play that same line-in audio wirelessly from another location.

Sonos will play mp3s and internet radio and you can control that from your computer or your phone. However, it will be the Sonos that is playing the music, not your phone or TV. Also the mp3 you want to play will have to be on a computer or a network storage drive (NAS) on the same network as your Sonos. So, you will not be able to have an mp3 on your phone and then play it through your Sonos unless you upload it to your network drive.

Honestly, mp3s are not very useful these days; I just have a subscription to Rhapsody (used to be Napster) and am able to play any song I want without having to worry about putting mp3s on a network drive.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2012 8:35:11 AM PST
yippee1999 says:
Tx. all sounds a bit complicated for me...i may have to speak to someone live...i really don't want to have to buy other components if I don't have to... And as for MP3s, I found that Rhapsody often didn't have the music I wanted....lots of latin music, certain 70s funk/soul music....West African....

Posted on Aug 1, 2014 12:48:24 PM PDT
Don't forget all that music on your Amazon cloud drive. A while back, I uploaded all my CDs there so I can play them all on my Sonos, plus any music I pick up along the way from Amazon. That, Pandora, Spotify, Napster and world wide radio selections provide me more listening variety than I ever had before. Love my sonos. Have a play:5, play:3, bridge and am considering the new 1 for my basement. Didn't buy a controller, use the apps on my android phone or Amazon Fire.

Posted on Sep 1, 2015 2:55:53 PM PDT
Joemarie says:
Our system DIED after 16 months. We had horrible customer service. It sounds great WHEN they work. I'd buy something more stable with reputable customer service.
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