Pros Great sound & build quality
Extremely easy and fast to setup
Software/app is very intuitive and user friendly
Flexible in use and integration
Cons Not cheap
Summary Not a lot can be said that hasn't been said already about what a great system this is for getting music off your media player or PC out to where you want it. I've had the Sonos 3 and a SONOS BRIDGE for about a year and it's one of the best things I've ever purchased.*Edit
We have a modest house - about 2800 square feet with a pretty open first floor - and this thing puts out such a good sound you can hear the music in nearly any room in the house. It doesn't have a big booming, cloudy sound, like from an old boom box, but it's also not weak in the lower ranges. I can play anything from electronic to jazz to classical clearly and loudly (as loud as the wife will let me) and it sounds just great. I'm still amazed at what a great sound profile this thing can put out, and then I think I haven't even tried out a Sonos 5 yet. That's going to be my next purchase.
A lot of people still don't realize what you really need to get this up and running, so let me clarify. I've got all kinds of networking going on in my house, especially when it comes to moving, saving and playing media files. This is dead easy, but I can see where the novice user might get a little confused.
The Sonos 3/ 5 are great SPEAKER systems, really, for your music, especially if you don't need, or don't have the space for, a full stereo or a bunch of larger speakers. The way to get your music to a Sonos 3/ 5 is to hook it up to your network so it can play tunes off your computer or other media device, like your NAS. The Snos 3/ 5 themselves will require an ethernet connection to your network router (or switch) so you can send tunes to it with the Sonos app for PC or Mac (or Android or iPhone). The Sonos 3/ 5 can do wireless, but not the typical wireless you might have in your wireless router/ AP at home. If you want to use the wireless capabilities for the Sonos, you have to invest in the Sonos Bridge, but it's well worth it.
The Sonos Bridge also needs an ethernet connection to your home network, but if you get one hooked up, the bridge itself will allow you to stream all the music you own plus anything off the internet. (You can still stream internet stuff to your Sonos 3/ 5 by themselves, but your home computer has to be on with the Sonos app running to do that.) Plus, if you get more than one Sonos in the house, the bridge makes it much easier to manage all of them together or separately. The bridge also makes it easy to put the speakers anywhere in the house and get music to them, like out in the garage or the backyard. You just need power for the speakers and you're set.
Overall a great investment, especially if you've got all your music in one place like the hard drive of you computer and especially if you've got a smartphone you already use for everything.
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Updated on Sep 1, 2013
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Updated on Dec 29, 2013Edit:
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Pros This is a great speaker to play music from a NAS device, but even better for SiriusXM subscribers and/or Spotify or other similar services because you can almost literally stream every song. Totally worth it, in face I bought 2 just for my bedroom since
Cons I wish it had a line in.
Summary I think the sound quality is fine, but I'm streaming lossless music. It also sounds great if you like SiriusXM in your car and I think it makes a great alarm clock. I stopped using my iHome for that. Spotify makes it even better; I'm a classical musician and it pretty much has everything ever even for classical.
Pros Walking from room to room w/ perfectly synced sound
Really great for busy kitchen counters tight spots
Can be mounted on the wall (the 5's can't)
Software is great - can share premium accounts w/ guests (everybody can add a tune to the playlist)
Cons Sonos 5's sound better and are a better 'entry' point if your room is anything other than tiny (not really a knock on Sonos though)
Expensive as a pair (but I'd bet they'd sound great - I don't have a pair, so I don't know)
Summary A couple of folks in the office got Sonos and seemed pleased. I bought a 5 (and bridge) for my kitchen originally and was blown away by the sound. I'm no audiophile, but I find that I really enjoy listening to music.
In fact I listen to music at my desk at work all the time.
Here I can listen interchangeably from XM/Sirius, Mog, Spotify, Streaming Local and Global Internet all depending on my mood.
I love the feature of being able to Group (very easily by the way) speakers from one room to another. It's fun to build a playlist on the fly while I'm doing one thing in one room and my wife is doing another in another - we had an 80's mix off last night and it was fun (probably dating myself here).
These units are pricey. But they work out of the box, they support NAS perfectly (and you did back up your music to share on your home network didn't you?), and they set up in literally 5 mins.
The point that I thought was missed in the CNET (They touched on it at least) and certainly in these comments was that like any network, once you have one piece of Sonos, the addition of another and another INCREASES each one's value up to the point that you've filled your house.
There are two reasons I love Sonos - once is walking from room to room and hearing the same music synced - you really feel like you've made it. And the point is to enjoy music, isn't it? As CNET says there's really nothing else that competes there.
Second is the number of services, stations, and options that you have to play music. Sure I'd like to vote down songs that come up in my Mog stream, and I can't quickly load (maybe not even possible) the Mog radio for a particular artist or song like I can on Mog.com, but I will accept these limitations if the trade off is to switch from Satellite, Internet radio, my collection, Mog, spotify and whatever's next.
Our nanny can pull up our playlists without knowing a single password, too. So the kids are just a few clicks away from their playlists as well. Pretty cool when one of my toddlers starts bawling for his favorite song.
Just have align your value of what you get (easy operation and mega access) with the price. of course you have to 'like' the sound and not be underwhelmed...for a large percentage of us this is exactly what we want at a reasonable price.
Pros Play music in all rooms. You can use two speakers for real stereo image.
Cons Proprietary software mimics your own music apps. This is a disaster. Only one account per system - in a household with more people, this is a terrible problem.
Summary The Sonos software is crap - I'd be bold and say that anyone wanting to duplicate the functionality of, say, Spotify, is always going to be one step behind. Now imagine trying to keep up building software that mimics countless music services and you have a very wobbly experience.
On top of the impossible interface (the Sonos Spotify app for example has a weird queueing system that you just cannot figure out) you can also only access the Sonos speakers with ONE account. Why is that important? It is important because households rarely only holds one person - my wife cannot access the speakers using her own Spotify account and so has to content with my abysmal music taste. This is a major problem.
Also, with the lack of Airplay functionality, you can't just play, say, a movie on your iPad and have the sound streaming. Even in our car this is possible (blue tooth). I hate to think that the sound setup in my car is more advanced than this - as the Sonos system really quickly adds up $$$-wise as you start adding speakers to your home.
I haven't even begun to figure out how to play music from my iPhone which is in my iTunes library....
Lastly, Sonos does a poor job at explaining how it works up front - for example you DO need the bridge.
Pros small size doesn't take up much space
Cons Tinny sound quality on the 3, computer has to be on to access music library through IPod Touch or IPhone.
Summary I think the Sonos system is very misleading. I was told that I could access my songs through an IPhone or IPod Touch and downloaded the apps for these devices. I quickly found that my computer has to be powered on in order for the IPhone or IPad to be able to play music on the Sonos. Who wants to have to have their MacBook running just to play music? My computer is in a different part of the house than the Sonos, so now I have to find the computer, start it up, and go back into the room with the Sonos in order to play music!
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