Sonos has been the king of the mountain when it comes to wireless audio for quite some time. However, increased competition in recent years has started to erode their market share. Today, Sonos is putting the competition on notice by releasing what may be the best speaker they’ve ever produced, the new Sonos Play:5.

 

The first thing you’ll notice about the new Play:5 is its new design. Current Sonos speakers have a utilitarian look and feel. The new Play:5 eschews this in favor of a more modern aesthetic. The Play:5 features a more rounded shape and comes in two color options; matte black or a striking new black & white combo. Unlike the first Play:5, the new model can also be oriented vertically or horizontally.

 

Sonos Play 5 Preview

 

The original Play:5 hid 5 driver arrays beneath its metal grill. It’s successor conceals 6 custom-built drivers behind its polycarbonate grill. Three midwoofers, one central tweeter and two side firing tweeters help the Play:5 create a wider sound field than it’s predecessor. Purchase two of the Play:5’s and you can use them in a stereo arrangement.

 

Physical buttons are not present on the new Play:5. Instead they’ve been replaced with a capacitive control panel which enhances the speaker’s modern look. The newly designed control panel also features skip forward and back controls so you can skip through your tracks with just a swipe of your finger.

 

Trueplay

Software has played a crucial role in the success that Sonos has achieved. With the Play:5, Sonos is also introducing their new Trueplay software which is designed to calibrate Sonos speakers. Notice that I said speaker(s). Because the new calibration software not only works for the Play:5, but it also plays nice with older products in the Sonos pantheon of speakers such as the Play:1 and the Play:3.

Sonos Trueplay

The software is available only on iOS devices (although an Android version is in development) and works by sending a series of test tones thru the microphone of the Apple Device. Based on the readings and measurements, the speaker is then adjusted to provide the optimal listening experience. The thinking behind Trueplay is that most people place their wireless speakers in less than optimal locations. The software is specifically designed to account for this and adjust the speaker’s output accordingly.

Sonos Play 5 Speaker Preview

Sonos has yet to announce an official release date for the new Play:5. The Play:5 is a hundred bucks more than it’s predecessor. However, from what we’ve seen thus far the new Play:5 appears to be an improvement over the previous model in nearly every conceivable way. While the price tag may be a little steep for the casual listener, those who’ve already invested in the Sonos ecosystem may want to give the new 5 serious consideration.

 


Where to Buy:

See Price on Amazon


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