Sonos is a high-end speaker company known for making customized, portable speaker systems that can be used all over your home. Here’s our Sonos review.
What Is Sonos?
Sonos is a wireless speaker company that offers a range of different devices for the home. Using your Sonos speakers, you can listen to your entire music collection from anywhere in your home without needing to worry about cables, separate sound systems, or even Bluetooth.
You can also string together multiple Sonos speakers to enjoy synchronized audio playback across your entire home.
Sonos is an American company founded in 2002. It’s competing with companies like Bose, Cambridge Audio, LG, Samsung, and Bluesound in the wireless home sound system field.
The company’s products promise to help you transform your home sound for the digital age and “fill every room” of your home with your music. Sonos also aims to design products that are flexible, functional, and customizable for all different rooms in your home.
How Do Sonos Speakers Work?
The Sonos wireless sound system works by connecting one single device to your home network to play music. You can play music from either offline or local storage. So you can connect your phone to your Sonos to play music from whatever sources you have on your phone, for example.
You can add up to a maximum of 32 devices that all connect using a secure wireless mesh network known as Sonosnet.
Today, Sonos offers two core products, including its original all-in-one Zoneplayers (like the company’s original product, the ZonePlayer ZP100) as well as the CONNECT lineup of products that turn existing audio equipment into a Sonos Zone. Sonos also sells subwoofers and soundbars you can pair with your TV.
Streaming is done from network attached storage (NAS) devices. However, you can also stream music over your Sonos from a variety of music playback services – including Spotify, Rdio, SoundCloud, Last.fm, Apple Music, and Jay-Z’s Tidal.
One of the key advertised benefits of Sonos is that all streaming is performed over CD-quality, lossless 320kbps streaming. It promises to be superior quality compared to Bluetooth and other wireless music streaming services.
Sonos separates its products into three categories, including Speakers, Home Theater Systems, and Components.
Sonos’s three speakers include the Play:1 ($249), Play:3 ($379), and Play:5 ($649). All speakers are available in white or black and promise similar benefits: you get high-quality wireless music playback from anywhere in your home.
The Play:1 has the lowest quality of the three speakers, which is why it’s the cheapest. Still, it promises to deliver deep, crystal clear sound from anywhere in your home.
As you move up to the Play:3 and Play:5 speakers, you’ll experience deeper, clearer sound more suited for larger rooms. The Play:3 can be placed horizontally or vertically in any space while the Play:5 promises to provide “the ultimate listening experience” and “the purest, deepest, most vibrant sound ever heard from a wireless speaker.”
Just like with most wireless speakers, the more you pay, the better sound you’ll receive.
Sonos offers several different home theater setups, including 3.0 (Sonos Playbar soundbar), 3.1 (Sonos Playbar and subwoofer), and 5.1 (Sonos Playbar and subwoofer and two rear speakers) setups.
You can actually pair your Play speakers with these home theater setups so your home is fully decked out with Sonos speakers. In any case, these speaker systems promise to anchor your home theatre audio with features like dynamic, highly detailed bass that puts you right in the center of the action.
You can buy the 3.0 or 3.1 systems today then upgrade later. One of the nice parts about Sonos speakers is that all the company’s products get along well together, so it’s easy to swap new speakers in and out whenever you like.
Sonos sells two additional components under the CONNECT brand. These components help you upgrade an existing stereo so that it can stream music at the same Sonos high-quality bitrate you know and love.
-CONNECT: The Sonos CONNECT converts your existing gear into a music streaming system and then lets you control that system wirelessly from anywhere in your home using a phone or tablet.
-CONNECT:AMP: The CONNECT amplifier promises to help you stream with any speaker with no receiver required, letting you teach your old favorite speakers new tricks. It lets a speaker connect to a wireless network and be controlled from your smartphone or tablet.
If you have an existing stereo, you should get the CONNECT. If you have an old pair of speakers that you’d like to use for streaming, then get the CONNECT:Amp.
Sonos Versus Bluetooth: What’s the Difference?
When it comes to wireless music streaming, Bluetooth speakers are particularly popular. However, Sonos markets itself as a superior alternative to Bluetooth. Here are a few reasons why:
-Wi-Fi: Sonos operates on Wi-Fi, which means you can use the speakers across the entire range of your Wi-Fi network. If you’ve ever used Bluetooth speakers, then you know that range can suffer.
-Music Keeps Playing When the Phone Rings: Even with your phone on silent, Bluetooth music playback may be interrupted by a call, text, or email notification. Sonos speakers only play music and are not prone to interruptions.
-Play the Same Song Across your House with Perfect Sync: Sonos speakers can be grouped together so you can stream the same song across different rooms simultaneously without echoes or delays. You can also add or drop rooms from your speaker array or play different songs in different rooms.
-Connect Using Any Mobile Devices: Most mobile devices have Bluetooth, but not all. With Sonos, you can link to your speakers using virtually any mobile device (as long as it has Wi-Fi).
Sonos also claims that their technology leads to better sound quality because it delivers CD-quality 320kbps music playback and crystal clear sound while Bluetooth compresses music playback data.
Should You Use Sonos As your In-Home Speaker System?
Sonos speakers are powerful in-home speakers that let you create speaker arrays all across your home. You can buy one or multiple Sonos speakers to chain them together for a synchronized full-home audio experience. You might already have a Bluetooth speaker, which is fine for streaming music from your phone, but to truly stream music across your home the way it’s meant to be heard, Sonos is the superior option.