Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sonos Play:5

Over the holiday season I was looking for a speaker with a decent sound quality, and good support for playing music wirelessly. With a bit of research I settled on the Sonos Play:5 speaker. Most of the online reviews were favorable, and it supported streaming online music from Spotify, Pandora, and a dozen other services. The speakers were also on display at Target stores for a live test, and despite the background noise in the store, they sounded great. Sonos was running a promotion at the time, where you got a free bridge with the purchase of any of their speakers, which is a decent discount.

Setup was extremely easy. I plugged the bridge into my wifi router, plugged the speaker into a power outlet, and installed the Sonos application on my computer. The application guided me through the intuitive setup, which involved pressing a button on the bridge, and another on the speaker to connect the whole system together.  After that it was time to play music.

The Sonos application imports pre-existing music stored on the computer, including these managed by iTunes, in addition to providing streaming service through online providers. The application manages the streaming, so you have to provide your username and password to the application, and it streams music on your behalf.

I tried Pandora--the free account, and despite the low bit-rate the music was great. For Spotify premium--high bit-rate--the sound was amazing.

The application includes nice features such as a timer, and an alarm, as well as the easy control of multiple speaker groups, and defining speaker stereo groups. The app also has versions for the iPhone and the iPad that provide the same functionality as the desktop app.

I am very pleased with the sound quality even with one speaker, and I would highly recommend it. And perhaps by the next holiday season I would have added another one.

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