Sonos Review: Installation / Setup / Possibilities. Guide to find the right Sonos Play for you!
In Depth Sonos Review
– We answer these Questions –
When you start building a Smart Home, Wireless Audio surely is an important part. A lot of people were not able to plan all wires needed for sound solutions for each room when building their home. For those and for all who rent a home or bought an property – a Wireless Audio Streaming System is a must. For you this Sonos Review should help to make an easy decision!
Are the Sonos Speakers worth Your Money? We give you a complete Overview: Setup / Installation / Possibilities / Sonos App and our all day user – experiences. Of course we will answer the question at the and: “Can we recommend the Sonos System? And you will find a Sonos best Buy – Bundle to get you started.
Which are the perfect Sonos Speakers for your home? Often the question is: Which Sonos Speaker should I choose? We give you a brief comparison between Sonos Play 1, Sonos Play 2 and Sonos Play 3 down below. We will show you which one is the perfect match for you!
Sonos vs Bose? Short Comparison. Of course there are other companies with good solutions on the market. Maybe the main competitor is the Bose system. We give you the Pros and Cons of both Wireless Audio Systems. So you can decide, which Wireless Audio System is the best for you!
Who and What is Sonos?
– Short Background –
The Sonos Team, founded in 2002 had the goal – to reinvent home audio for the digital age. Their vision was to fill every home with music and make listening a valued, easy experience. Listening to their favorite music for everyone – in every room of their home. Today Sonos can be found in more than 60 countries, in seven languages through thousands of retailers.
The idea behind the Sonos Speaker System (Play). Sonos builds smart speaker systems, that streams music to any room, or every room. Control your music with an app, and fill your home with sound.
– Best Wireless Audio System –
As handling and possibilities of the Sonos Play 1, the Sonos Play 3 and the Sonos Play 5 are quite comparable, we will give you an overall review. Afterwards we give you a comparison to answer the Question: Which Sonos Play speaker is the right for you?
– Installation/Possibilities –
Installation (with the Sonos Play 1 as an example).
We were so curious for this system so we ordered a whole set of 7 Sonos devices for our review.
After unboxing the Sonos devices, we connected the Sonos Bridge to our router. You can setup a Sonos Speaker (system) without the Sonos Bridge, but if you plan to grow your Sonos System with more than two devices, we strongly recommend to pay the extra $45 as the bridge becomes kind of the brain of your Sonos Audio System. It makes connection more easy and reliable throughout your home.
Setup is a very simple 3 Step Process. 1st connect the Sonos Bridge to your router – 2nd download the free App (Android and iOS) and start the Setup in the App – 3rd press two buttons on every Sonos Play 1 (same with Play 3 or Play 5). That is basically it. You now can choose within the app in which room the newly added device is placed and you are good to go.
– Let the Music Play –
– Possibilities –
Music Streaming. Now comes the fun part. Having your Sonos Play connected to your WiFi Network, now you can play all your favorite music. No matter if you use one of the many music services, like Apple Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Deezer or so many more or play your favorite music directly from any device, connected to your WiFi Network. As the Play 1 does not have a line in port you already realize what the Sonos-Crews aim is. Pure Music Streaming and that’s what they do nearly perfect. If you have a wired speaker system, you can connect your speakers with the Sonos Connect. You even can turn your existing music amplifier into a Sonos Wireless Streaming System by connecting the Sonos Connect:AMP to you setup.
Real Multiroom Solution. The App gives you the possibility to choose where and what(!) you want to play. You can stream different music, from different sources to different rooms at the same time. As easy as that, you can also synchronize your music to certain, easy to define speakers or defined “areas” of your home.
Bluetooth audio streaming vs. WiFi audio streaming. There are different wireless audio systems on the market for streaming your favorite music. Most devices rely on bluetooth for connecting and paring the devices. After testing quite a lot of them we think, that WiFi audio streaming provides you with overall better sound quality and a much better user experience. For example: Using a music system, that relies on bluetooth and streaming from your smartphone will interrupt your music each time you get a call. With a WiFi system music plays along and you can leave the room to take your phone call, while other people can keep on listening.
Sound Quality of Sonos Play 1, 3, 5
– Building a (Surround) Sound System-
Building a Stereo- or Surround Sound System. The Sonos Play 1 originally comes as a Mono speaker but you can easily pair two of the Sonos Play 1. Now one is acting as a left and one as a right speaker. You can keep doing this and build your own 5.1 Wireless Sound System. This is possible, but in my opinion not the aim and true strength of the speakers. You get dedicated 5.1 Systems for a better price/value than using 5 or 5 plus Sonos Sub speaker from Sonos.
But the pairing of two Sonos Play 1 gives you a quite good true Stereo Sound and a much better listening experience as the sound is more able to fill the room.
Sonos Play 1: Although I can not say that the Play 1 sounds awesome, it sounds really good for a speaker of its form and size! How you can easily improve the sound quality – read down below!
Sonos Play 3: It has a much more detailed and crisp sound but especially in larger rooms (above 40 sqm) and playing music quite loud I was missing a bit clarity and precision. A real good feature is that the speaker recognizes if you place it flat or vertically and attaches the sound characteristics automatically. This helps you especially when pairing two speakers to a stereo or surround sound setup.
Sonos Play 5: This one is a truly powerful HiFi speaker with a nice sound quality. Even larger rooms are no problem for the Play 5. If you pair two of these you get a sound, comparable with good classical stand alone connected speakers.
This leads us to the most asked question since we announced this review…
– Sonos Review –
Which Sonos Play should I choose?
There is for sure no easy and 100% answer to this question. But we can help you with our experience to find a good hint which Sonos Play, might be the perfect match for your individual needs!
Which Sonos Play for different room sizes? Our Recommendations:
Sonos Play 1
Two custom-designed drivers with dedicated amplifiers. The Small Size and its capability to withstand high-humidity. This is a good starting point to your Sonos System!
Recommended Room-size: 1. Bathroom 2. Kitchen 3. Kids- & Hobby-rooms 4. As a Stereo Setup with 2 Play 1’s – Living rooms up to 35 Sqm. Best Price/value of all Sonos Speakers
Sonos Play 3
Three custom-designed drivers with dedicated amplifiers make the Play 3 Sound much better as it is a native Stereo Speaker. Trueplay tuning delivers sound that’s true to the music and right for the room.
Recommended Room-Size: 1. Living Rooms with up to 45 sqm 2. Kids Rooms 3. Bedrooms as it has good clear sound on low levels 4. Good all-round device Price/Value not as good as the Play 1
Sonos Play 5
Six smartly synchronized drivers deliver good sound, deep baseline and a vibrant sound. If you love to listen to HiFi Music and sound-quality is most important to you, you should take the Play 5. Special: It has an auto-detecting 3.5mm audio line-in connection, which allows you to play every source “outside of the Sonos Universe” (compare limitations below). You get a well build and very flexible to use Wireless Speaker.
Recommended Room Sizes: Any!
Limitations and Downsides:
1st: One Big Limitation we found during testing the different devices is the fact, that you have lots of possibilities to stream music within the “Sonos Universe” BUT you can not just listen to anything you want. (only the Sonos Play 5 has an line-in)
For example if you are watching a Youtube video there is NO actual native way of streaming this audio signal to your Sonos Devices. The same if you are into gaming and want to use the Sonos Play speakers for your Gaming sound you will be disappointed as you can not stream these sources. Everything you stream to the speakers MUST come from the Services included (here you won´t miss a thing as all major services are included) or the Sonos – Player – Software.
Workaround Tip: You can get around this Big Limitation, by streaming any of your audio signals via bluetooth to your stational amplifier or receiver and from there via the Sonos Connect into the “Sonos Universe”. Another option, only working with the Sonos Play 5 is to use the Line-In connector to stream your additional music/sound- sources.
Why they do not open up to stream whatever you want? We do not know and reading in different forums and questioning Sonos you only hear, that YouTube is in the discussion but nothing is officially announced yet!
2nd: During our Sonos Review we were missing Line-In connectors on the Sonos Play 1 and the Sonos Play 3. Yes we know that these are speakers dedicated to streaming music through WiFi, but sometimes it would be convenient just plugin in a non-WiFi source and start playing music.
3rd: The price is quite high, especially for the Sonos Play 3 and the Play 5 but when you aim to build a future proof wireless sound system for your Smart Home, you get good value for your money.
Okay to be honest, we had a lot of fun during our Sonos Review. All 3 devices are easy to setup and give you a marvelous user experience. All of them make listening to your favorite music – anytime and anywhere – enjoyable.
So yes – we truly can recommend the wireless Sonos Play System. It is actual the most advanced, most easy to build Multi Room Wireless Sound Streaming Solution! See our full Conclusion and all Pros and Cons down below!
– Sonos vs. Bose –
The main Competitor
With its release of the SoundTouch Series Bose aims straight against the Sonos Play system. The SoundTouch 10 vs. the Sonos Play 1, the Bose SoundTouch 20 vs. the Play 3 and the Bose ST 30 vs. the Play 5 are direct competitors. Their prices match exactly!
Therefore this is the first wireless sound system from Bose, utilizing Bluetooth and/or WiFi to stream your favorite music at home. This gives you the freedom to stream music or sound from whatever source you want.
Advantages of the Bose System:
+ Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® and AUX in port
+ Plays nearly every source (incl. YouTube)
+ OLED display
+ USB ports
+ 6 dedicated buttons for various presets
Advantages of the Sonos Play System:
+ More Robust Music System (feels more natural to use)
+ much less notice-able than the Bose
+ Design fits better in the home interior
+ better Sound-Quality
+ no display and no big buttons
Both Systems have their Pros and Cons. One could say:
The Bose SoundTouch System has more the look and feel of a modern interpretation of a radio. Its design will be more in the focus. If you simple want to be able to stream everything and do not aim for a stylish integration in your living environment – the Bose SoundTouch might be your choice.
The Sonos Play System has a better handling and a design to fit and integrate better in your home (living) environment and an overall slightly better sound-quality. The focus is more on the sound in every room not on the device itself. If you are looking for a system that nearly vanishes from the eye, providing good sound quality and is more natural to use – you might choose the Sonos Play System.
What experience can you share
about using Wireless Audio Systems?
– Lets talk in the Comments below –
If you have any question about this Sonos Review, just leave us a comment and we will help you as soon as we can! If you are not sure, How to Start your Smart Home? take a look here.