"Good - but with sound quality limitations"4.0 starson by Kevin-KC
Pros: Very easy setup
Sound quality is pretty good
Connect Amp works very well
Cons: Sound quality average when compared to same price range
Summary: I have purchased the Play 5 speaker for our bedroom, the Connect Amp for the kitchen to replace a micro system (so used the good quality speakers I had on that), a Connect to link to my hifi system in the lounge, and finally a bridge to connect to my broadband. We control the system via our Samsung Tablet or our android phones which works great. Have even had some fun when the wife went downstairs to make a cuppa for us both and return to bed early one morning, and I slapped on a heavy rock track at a loud volume in the kitchen while I remained in bed! She got her own back by putting on Donny Osmond in the bedroom where I was - and so the Sonos wars were born as we retaliated in trying to play an even worse track in the room the other person was in!Edit:
Setup, very easy to do, even updating to the latest release of software was very easy. The Play 5 speaker in the bedroom works well, giving us our weekday music alarm in the morning. Sound quality is pretty good although booms alittle bit due to being close to the wall. Only complaint here is that it is a mono speaker! With that size case and the price tag I would have expected to get stereo. I cannot compare the Play 3 as I have not heard it. I would give this individual unit 4 out of 5, where the point was lost for being mono and sound quality average if compared to a sound system of similar cost of $350
The Connect Amp works very well, and because of the speakers we have full stereo from separated speakers and good sound quality. Not cheap bearing in mind it is basically just a small amp with the wireless mesh system, but it does work well. Being able to slap any music I want while cooking where before I would go to the lounge to hunt down the CD I was after! I would score this unit 4.5 out of 5.
The Connect, which I have connected to my hifi system was quite a disappointment. I do have a high end hifi system with a very good CD player, amp and speakers. I appreciate that MP3s etc are not able to carry the sound quality of a CD because they do not encode the full audio range (which is why I still always buy CDs and never downloads) but when I put on a song that I know well the drop in sound quality was astonishing and disappointing. The sound was flat and lacked the depth and clarity of the CD. The crispness of the top end (for example high hat of the drums) was missing, instead delivering a much softer almost slightly muffled sound. The low end was also lacking, missing out the depth and the atmosphere that is normally present. It seemed to lack the definition and the punch.
I suspect that I will only use this unit for when friends are around, dinner parties etc where the convenience of queuing up a whole evening of music or passing the phone around to allow people to choose some tracks for themselves as opposed to changing CDs every hour. I would not use this to sit down and listen to music, I will continue to use the CD player for this as it is delivering so much more. The Connect would be fine if just connected to a low end hifi system or the type you would by in a departmental store, but not if you are expecting it to make full use of a system purchased from a hifi specialist. For this reason, I can only give this unit 3 out of 5.
In summary - the system works well and is great for being able to select whatever music you want and playing it where you want. As I encode every CD I buy anyway it means that I immediately had a massive collection for the Sonos to work with. Operating is very easy via either your PC, or smartphones / tablets (but do not think there is a blackberry version at present). Even my wife operates it without any problems, and she is not that technology minded bless her!! I love the system and its convenience.
However, sound quality wise the system is limited. The sound quality is good if you compare it to sound systems of $400-$500, but it is not able to provide a high end sound source if you have a good quality hifi system. To be fair the limitation may be because of the encoded audio files - in the same way that if you plug an ipod into a good hifi system it cannot reproduce the sound quality.
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I hope it helps.
Updated on Dec 29, 2013
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