"Terrific "Little" Music System!"5.0 starson by EdwardDuran
Pros: Unit is very well made
Sound is wonderful
Easy to use
Cons: No have for cons
Summary: I've had a Sonos network up and running with a ZoneBridge and ZonePlayer 120 for a couple of years (see my reviews of those products). So I was already impressed with Sonos. When I learned about the new Play5 and Play3 devices, they appealed to me because there are places in my home where I wanted a smaller system that sounded great and joined the Sonos network easily and quickly. I gave the Play5 a try, and I'm glad I did! I purchased two of these -- one for my kitchen and one for my home office.
Here's my summary of the system:
Like all Sonos components, I can't imagine making it any easier to set everything up. You plug in the component, go to the desktop controller software, click the "Add a Sonos Component" menu, then follow the instructions. Within three minutes (literally), the system is detected and ready to play music from your library. Whether you have an existing network or are creating a new one, the idea is the same. It's really quite amazing how nicely Sonos handles the installation part of this. You can trust the system to hold your hand through the setup procedure. No technical jargon or network complications.
If you have just one player, there is just a single "zone." You give it a logical name, like "living room." With more than one player, the setup makes it easy to create different zones in your home. For example, if you have a player in your kitchen, and another in your living room, you can give each one a name so it's easy to identify. It sounds complicated, but again Sonos has taken care to create a system that makes everything easy to set up with plain-language instructions.
The Play5 has the option of connecting wirelessly through a ZoneBridge (which I use), or you can wire your router directly to the Play5 using an ethernet cable (the Play5 actually has two ethernet ports).
Keep in mind that, while the Play5 is relatively small, it's not tiny -- about the size of a large toaster oven. Plan accordingly. Mine fits on a bookshelf in my office.
After the easy setup procedure, you're ready to play music.
My biggest concern before buying the Play5 was sound quality. After hooking them up, I ran a range test. I played several songs of different types (vocals, instrumentals, high energy, mellow, and more). The more I listened, the more I was sure this is a quality sound system. I could pick out musical details and hear words with true clarity. Everyone's opinion is different when it comes to sound quality. But in my view, the Play5 definitely conveys rich lows and crisp highs, equivalent to a very good speaker. It has volume capacity far beyond what I would ever need.
There is an option to link two Play5 units together so one becomes the "right" and the other the "left" speaker. When I tested this idea, they created a sound quality equal to what I'm getting from two independent Primus speakers.
To control the system remotely, you can purchase a Sonos controller, or you can use the free app available for the iPod Touch and iPad. I use the free app. After installing the app, you see your whole music collection right on your device in a graphical environment. If you have set up multiple zones (see my notes in the "SETUP" section above), you can use the controller to select which zone to play. You can even have each zone play different music. Everything is in plain language and easy to visualize. The volume controls are right there, as well as the song listings, and access to your whole music library.
Through the controller, you can grab radio stations, Napster, Pandora, and a lot of other music services right from the controller and play them through your Play5.
If you are looking to create a Sonos network in your home (but before you will buy the Play5 I suggest you have to check for best price before you decide at: sites.google.com/site/musicplayerdeals/-sonos-play-5 ), or extend an existing one with a relatively compact unit that sounds great, the Play5 is very impressive.
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