"First Class Kit"5.0 starson by Amos-E
Pros: Excellent control interfaces
High quality sound
Great streaming radio stations
Online manual is very clear
Cons: Doesn't integrate fully with iTunes
Summary: The Sonos units and their supporting software, manual and internet facilities are a first-class example of modern consumer technology. Simple to install, with excellent control interfaces and producing high quality sound.
We have two Sonos ZonePlayer 90's driving amplifier and speaker systems, one ZonePlayer S5 and one ZoneBridge. The S5 and one ZP90 are linked via the ZoneBridge to the incoming internet router, the other ZP90 is linked directly to a separate network repeater hub in an annex. These were all installed in February/March 2012. Our music is stored on an 1TB Iomega Home Media Drive directly attached to the network. Control is effected via PCs and an Android mobile 'phone. This system replaces an earlier network/wifi system which was much about half the price: the differential in cost is much improved by using the control software on PCs and 'phone thereby eliminating the Sonos controller.
It is difficult to see how the installation could be made simpler or faster: just follow the step-by-step diagrams. It takes longer to get the kit out of the box and plug it in than it does to get it working!
Indexing of our music library (about 8500 tracks) is fast and accurate. Note that if you have a storage device attached to the network it is not necessary to have a computer running for the system to work, unless this is your only way of running the control software.
The online manual (via Help on the PC control interface) is very clear, very well organized and appears to cover all normal queries. We have had only minimal need to refer to this, when switching a ZP90 from a wired to a wireless connection via the ZoneBridge.
At present we use Sonos control software on two PCs and an Android mobile 'phone. As a part-time software developer I have to say that this system has a top-class, dare I say beautiful interface. It is very intuitive, we found nearly all functions quickly without reference to the manual; the exception being the little trick to open the "Group Volume" slider window (double click on the volume slider on the PC, tap the volume slider on the Android).
We use a variety of audio sources: principally the music library (music stored mainly in Apple lossless format), also the television as a line input on one ZP90, Napster and the radio stations. The grouping facility is used a lot; again this is very easy to manage.
Music sounds great via the hifi systems (a notable improvement on an earlier non-Sonos system!). The output from the S5 is also great for a device of this type, easily as good as any standalone radio or MP3 dock device I have heard.
The Napster library has proved a great way of exploring the music of artists we'd never normally hear much of (amazing how much our listening habits are influenced by the output of the main radio stations), but having said that it is not totally comprehensive and the indexing is imperfect. Sometimes a track can be found only by sifting through the artist's output and not directly by track name, for example. We looked at Spotify but this now requires you to have a presence on Facebook link which we prefer not to have!
There are a vast number of radio stations available through Sonos: this works brilliantly and switching from other sources is seamless (the previous system we had was a nightmare in this respect).
Using the TV as a line input pipes the sound via the hi-fi so is a big improvement on the TV's own speakers. We have a PVR and DVD connected to the TV so the sound from these is likewise improved. By grouping the Sonos units can be shared to another room (e.g. the kitchen) so at least if you have to nip out to put the kettle on you can keep up with the dialogue!
We have had only one Sonos software update since installation nearly two months ago. This was quick and applied to all units simultaneously. Again, a contrast and relief after our earlier system which had frequent updates, slowly applied to each unit in turn.
The control software on the PCs has crashed a couple of times but this is almost certainly due to the PCs being 5+ years old and gummed up with all sorts of background processes courtesy of Mxxxxxxxt and others.
The units do not have to be left on continuously: playlists and favourite radio stations are preserved when they are turned off. It's necessary only to re-select the "music" source when they are turned on again.
Note: for best deal I suggest you have to check at: Allinonemusicplayers.blogspot.com/p/sonos-play-5.html
Wholeheartedly recommended, wonderful stuff, a joy to use, not a single complaint. Expensive relative to some alternatives but well worth the money.
Thanks for your submission!
Write a Review
|Initial Sort Order|
|Get free shipping on orders over $25.00||Yes|| |
|Free Shipping||Yes|| |
|Buy this item and earn up to 399 Rewards points.||Yes|| |
|See all prices|