Hey guys. The Sonos Play:5 has been on my wish list for years. Being a new reviewer, I’m excited to get my hands on the Play:5 and Zone Bridge (BR100) as my first product review.
The Sonos Play:5 is an all in one wireless music system that streams music and audio programming. The Sonos Play:5 has five speakers; two-mid-range, two-tweeters, and one sub-woofer. Each speaker has its own digital amplifier which makes the music sound crisp and vibrant. The Play:5 plays numerous audio formats: MP3, iTunes, WMA; music subscription services: Pandora, Rhapsody, Napster, and many others including the new Spotify service; and Apple Airplay music sources.
The unit dimensions are 14.40 x 8.50 x 4.80 inches and weighs 9.15 lbs. They come in either black with graphite grill or white light metallic grill. The Play:5 looks clean, pleasing to the eye, and aesthetically reminds of me the Bose Soundock systems.
Installation Was So Easy
The first thing you want to do is install the latest Sonos desktop controller app for either Mac or PC.
If you’re just getting started and the Play:5 is your first unit, it requires a single ethernet connection to your home network. There are numerous ways this can be completed depending on the location of your router and where you plan on locating the Play:5. The best way (but a bit more costly) is to purchase a separate BR100 and connect it to your router. The BR100 creates a wireless mesh network. This will give you the flexibility to move your Play:5 throughout the home and even outdoors. If the router and Play:5 are nearby and you wish to leave the Play:5 in the same location you can connect it directly to your router and wouldn’t need the BR100. The BR100 retails for $49.00 and to me is well worth the price in giving you flexibility to move the Play:5 in different locations of your home. In the future if you plan to add more Sonos sound units there would be no need to purchase another BR100.
I tested the Play:5 with a BR100 using an iMac. After the desktop controller app was installed, I simply plugged in an ethernet cable from the BR100 to my Apple extreme base station router and plugged in the power. This was just to easy. Why can’t they design other gadgets this way?
I set the Play:5 on my desk and plugged in the power. The setup assistant app is pretty straight forward. You need to connect the computer to one of the components. This can be done by one of two options. You can connect at the Play:5 or the BR100. If you choose the Play:5, this can be done by simultaneously pressing and releasing the top Vol. + and Mute buttons on the Play:5 . If you choose the BR100 simply press the button on top of the unit. The setup app gives you two minutes to hit the button, once you hit the button it will take up to a minute before the computer and components sync and connect. Once connected the setup assistant confirms success. You can add music from your iTunes collection, or listen with numerous music subscription services. I tried the Play:5 with Pandora, iTunes, Sirius XM and Rhapsody. I was lucky enough to get a Spotify account however found the Play:5 requires Spotify “Premium” service for it to work.
The desktop controller is intuitive and simple to use. I was able to easily play music within 5 minutes from initial download. I also downloaded the iPhone and iPad mobile controller apps. Both mobile apps worked great. The mobile apps can do the same functions as the desktop controller. It was great being able to move around the house controlling whatever I needed on demand including picking music, adjusting volume, making playlists, etc. You may want to be careful, as I accidentally blasted the volume in another room and scared the daylights out of my son while he was playing video games in my office. Sorry son.
There is also a new Android application that you may want to try. You set it up the same way you do with the desktop application. It’s simple and intuitive to use. You even get a 25 day free trial to SiriusXM.
Sonos also sells a separate controller for $349 however isn’t necessarily required if you a have a compatible mobile device.
Sound and Design
I was surprised how good this little guy sounded. I wouldn’t be able to give you the watts per channel, THD and dB sound level of the units. I’m not a audiophile expert but I can tell you the listening experience was great. I tested numerous genres of music and they all sounded crisp, clear, and vibrant even at higher volume. The unit is designed to look pleasing to the eye, and be very simple to move around. The down side was the bass wasn’t as deep as I would have liked and the frequency bands of the digital equalizer were only standard bass and treble.
- Easy to install. Took less than 5 minutes after downloading the desktop app.
- Great sound. This little bad boy sounds superb for its size and is powerful enough for most needs.
- Compact and portable. If you purchase the Zone Bridge (BR100) you can easily move the Play:5 around the house as long as you have an electrical outlet. No major wiring projects and being able to bring the Play:5 outdoors for entertainment provides ultimate flexibility. You can also expand your sound system throughout your home by purchasing additional units and using the same controllers.
- Multiple Controllers. You can control the Play:5 on your desktop or on mobile devices using free apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android.
- Bass. The range of the bass could be more deeper however with everything else you’re getting with the Play:5, this wouldn’t be a deal killer for me.
- Equalizer. The frequency range is limited to bass and treble
- Lack of remote control. This could be a deal killer for some. If you don’t have a compatible mobile device the $349 price tag for a separate controller can be expensive. Lucky for me I have an iPhone and iPad.
Yes… I would buy this!!!
I highly recommend the Play:5 and BR 100. Amazon sells the Play:5 for $399 and the BR 100 for $49. It may be a bit pricey, however with all the positive features this is money well spent. Purchasing a separate receiver, speakers, and wireless streaming controllers would easily cost twice as much as this system.