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Posted by on Nov 7, 2012 in Featured, Reviews |

Review – Sonos Play: 3 and Play: 5

Review - Sonos Play: 3 and Play: 5

The defunct retailer Tower Records used to say: “No Music, No Life” which is very true but if you listen to the music as it should, you understand a sound system or headphones of good quality, not much use to put yourself to listen to your favorite bands if the experience will not be optimal.

People mistakenly believe that an audio system “good” is one that has a thousand lights in front, which is designed as a seedy nightclub and has 2,500 watts PMPO but the reality is that the audio should be an enjoyable experience in all times, not just when you listen at medium volume.

Sonos is a smart wireless audio solution for people who like to sit and listen to music with the best quality possible, apparently are just speakers, but together with your wireless device and an internet connection become much more.

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Specs

  • Amplifier: Three digital Class-D amplifiers (Play: 3), Five digital Class-D amplifiers (Play: 5)
  • Speakers (Play: 3): System of three drivers, a tweeter, two midrange drivers and a bass radiator.
  • Speakers (Play: 5): System of five drivers, two tweeters, two midrange drivers 3 “woofer and a 3.5″. Each driver is individually powered by a dedicated amplifier.
  • Stereo pair (Play3 only): Allows you to group two Play: 3 a serving as the left channel and the other as the right channel.
  • Operating Systems: Windows XP SP3, Mac OS X v10.6, NAS (Network Attached Storage)
  • Music services (varies by region): Amazon Cloud Player, AUPEO!, Deezer, iHeartRadio, JB Hi-Fi NOW, JUKE, Last.fm, MOG, Pandora Radio, Rhapsody, SiriusXM Internet Radio, Slacker Radio, Songl, Songza, Spotify, Stitcher SmartRadio, TuneIn, Wolfgang’s Vault, WiMP.
  • Internet Radio: Streaming MP3, WMA
  • Audio formats: MP3, Plus, WMA, AAC (MPEG4), AAC +, Ogg Vorbis, Audible (format 4), Apple Lossless, Flac (lossless) music files, WAV and AIFF. Supports 44.1kHz. Additional support for 48kHz, 32kHz, 24kHz, 22kHz, 16kHz, 11kHz, and 8kHz. Note: Apple “Fairplay”, WMA DRM and WMA Lossless is not supported.
  • Album art support: JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF
  • Modes: Crossfade, shuffle, repeat
  • Playlists supported: iTunes, Rhapsody, WinAmp, Windows Media Player and MusicMatch (. M3u,. Pls. Wpl)
  • Ethernet Port: 1
  • Wireless: SonosNet,
  • Power: AC 120/240V, 50-60Hz, auto-switchable
  • Weight: Play: 3 2.6 kg, Play: 5 4.15 kg.
  • Dimensions: 132 x 268 x 160 mm (Play: 3), 217 x 365 x 123 mm (Play: 5)
  • Languages (Software): Danish, German, English, French, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Swedish.

Design

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The design of all components of Sonos is elegant and understated, either from the bridge to Play 5, there is one piece that clashes with the environment. The horns (Play 3 and Play 5) come in two colors, white and black. Personally I prefer the black because combine better and if the room is clear, makes a good contrast. Believe me, are speakers who want to look in your bedroom, living room or other room of your house.

The Play 3 is the smallest of the family of Sonos sound systems but why not the weakest, in fact, is the most versatile. Placed horizontally and pushed against the wall (to get the most out of the low you have in the back) gives a good quality stereo audio, when placed vertically gives monaural audio quality but, if you put Play another 3 in the same position will have a very good stereo.

The Play 5 is a bit bigger and there is only one way to put it, fortunately this speaker design includes a subwoofer output / handle so you can move to other parts. Being larger and have greater reach higher power but quality is identical to Play 3.

Audio

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No matter whether you like rock, classical, jazz, pop, metal (yes, even that which sings Pitbull), everything will still hear perfectly at 100% volume. As the name indicates each play 3 has three class D amplifiers and Play 5 has five class D amplifiers

The audio experts may argue rightly that always loses fidelity class D, but I think in this case it happens so drastically. Unlike other audio systems, here we go all the volume of some songs and never detect distortion, it is likely that there was a little but compared with many home audio systems this was almost imperceptible.

WiFi

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All Sonos components are 95% Wi-Fi and is, among themselves, not required to be connected to any power but at least one of the components must be connected by network cable to your modem / router to establish a connection internet and your device or computer.

The annoying thing is that if you have a single speaker, say the Play 5, you have to place it near your modem so you have access to your Wi-Fi network. How do I fix it? With the Sonos Bridge. This small device allows you to manage your Sonos components wirelessly other fact is highly recommended that you have one of these if you plan to buy two or more teams Sonos. This way you can place them wherever you want, without worrying about what cables or internet access.

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Sonos Other accessories that can connect to your stereo or your home theater and thus send to every corner of the house (where you have a Sonos) on these devices transmit audio.

The Sonos app (Android and iOS) is very simple to use and in fact is highly recommended because from there you can do everything: equipment group, program music for each one individually, control volume, online music search, but is that the only means to listen to music from your iPhone / iPod, you need to buy the crib (Sonos) for this, which obviously limits your mobility within your home if you were controlling everything from there.

Services

Install and configure your Sonos is not no big deal, both the model and the model Play 3 Play 5 include installer disk and network cables to the respective connection to the modem (if not having a Bridge).

Play 3 and Play 5 can not play music on their own, they need access to a library that can be music from your laptop or whatever you have on your / iPhone. In fact, Sonos teams have only three buttons: volume up, volume down and mute.

The software you use to control the equipment is relatively simple to use, you can find music from your computer equipment, online or from a mobile device, the only one but I put this software is you can not double click on a song and you can not drag it to the player window, if not in the music folder you added, you can not hear it.

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One of the advantages of being connected to the Internet is able to listen to music online, thanks to services like this is possible and have no additional cost. In the case of Mexico I can tell you are almost all national radio stations have broadcast their signal over the Internet, so no matter if you want to listen to music from your PC, online music that you have in your library or listen to local radio, you can.

Conclusions

It’s a hefty investment, it really is not a cheap team and the worst is that you do not settle with a single horn. If you already bought a Play: 3 to your bedroom you will want to return for a Play: 5 for the room, and if you bought one for the room you probably want others to share with your brother or sister, and if you share with the family then going to want to add one more to the TV room and so. The “but” real having these speakers are the software they use, the Sonos application is not as friendly as one would like and sometimes that is a little desperate, out of it, no more complaints.

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What Imperdible

  • Audio quality
  • Stylish and discreet
  • No audio is distorted even at maximum volume
  • You can control it from your laptop, PC, smartphone or tablet

The unpresentable

  • The software could be friendlier
  • They are very expensive
  • I wish there was a basis for Android phones
  • At the moment there is no app for Windows Phone
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