The Good: The Sonos Play:5 has a nice full sound considering it’s size. The control app is easy to setup, use and very intuitive. The ability to keep adding speakers to the system is a plus.

 

The Bad: Setup of the Sonos network can be a little confusing initially. Also at $399 the Play:5 isn’t cheap. If you’re using it wirelessly, it may require the purchase of additional equipment.

 

Summary: The Sonos Play:5 is one of the best wireless speakers on the market. Although it is pricey, it performs well and is easy to use once you get the hang of it.

Sonos Play:5 Review

If you’re new to the wireless speaker world, setting up the Sonos Play:5 may be confusing and a little strange. Depending on how you plan on using the speaker it may require you to purchase additional equipment however, once you understand how the SONOS system works you’ll most likely love it.

 

The Sonos Play-5 looks more or less like an iPod speaker dock, minus the dock. The unit measures 7.6 inches deep x 18.8 inches wide x 11.3 inches tall and weighs about 13lbs. It’s not light, but you can easily move it around from location to location. Housed inside, it has one 3.5 inch woofer, two 3 inch mid-range drivers and 2 tweeters. Each driver is pushed by it’s own dedicated amplifier.

 

Sonos Play:5

Sonos Play:5

In order to use the Play:5, there are a couple things you need to know. First, you must either be able to plug the Play:5 directly in to your network via an ethernet cable or, if you want to use the Play-5 wirelessly, have a SONOS bridge or another SONOS speaker plugged into your network. Basically, the SONOS system sets up a sub-network in order for their devices to work. To do this at least one SONOS component needs to be connected to the network via an ethernet cable. This sounds complicated, but it really isn’t.

 

For instance, if you’re going to use the Play:5 in a wired setting simply plug it into your router via an ethernet cable and you’re all set. Or, if you’re house is network wired, you can plug into the nearest ethernet outlet.

 

If you’re planning on using the Sonos Play:5 wirelessly you need an additional piece of equipment. As mentioned earlier, at least one Sonos device needs to be hardwired into your network. For instance, if you already have a Sonos speaker plugged into your network, your fine. You can take the Play:5 and move it anywhere in your house (as long as it’s in range) and stream music to it wirelessly.

 

Sonos Bridge

Sonos Bridge

The other option for wireless connectivity is to purchase a Sonos Bridge ($49). The little device which is about the size of an apple TV, plugs directly into your router or available wall ethernet port. Once you plug it in and get everything setup, it works like a charm.

 

Sonos Play:5 Setup and Software

Alright, now that you have the hard part out of the way, the next is pretty easy and painless. Sonos supplies an app that’s available for both iOS and Android devices. The software is also available for both PC and Mac. Once you have the app/software installed it automatically detects the bridge and/or speaker that’s hardwired to your network. An on screen message will then prompt you to either press the “connect” button on the top of the bridge or if you’re using a hard wired speaker it will ask you to press the “mute” and “up volume” button simultaneously. After this is done the Sonos network is setup and ready to go.

 

Adding the Play:5 to the network is super easy. Simply go to your computer select “add zone”. Then go over to the Play:5 and press the “mute” and “up volume” buttons simultaneously and your done. In about 30 seconds the software will recognize the new speaker and you’re golden.

 

Streaming music to the Play:5 is straightforward and painless. It’s as simple as pointing the Sonos software to the music directory on your PC or Mac. You can also stream music from NAS drive drives that support SMB sharing. For iTunes, the Play:5 can recognize and play nearly all non-DRM audio formats however, older DRM protected iTunes music may need to be updated for them to work. The Sonos Play:5 isn’t just limited to your music library either. Sonos has a host of internet radio streaming services to choose from including; Rhapsody, SiriusXM, Slacker, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Last.fm, Pandora, Beats Music, Google Play and Amazon Cloud Player.

 

The Sonos software is pretty intuitive. Once inside you can search by artist, song, album etc. You can also create your own playlists. If you have multiple Play speakers you can easily send different music to each speaker or you can have the same music playing through all the speakers.

Sonos Controller App

Sonos Controller App

 

Sonos Play:5 Sound Quality

In discussing the sound quality, I’m going to talk about a personal experience I had at a local electronics retailer. A close friend and I were casually walking thru this retailer checking out some of the latest av equipment including drooling over some of the 4K TV sets they had setup, when we heard an unusually pleasant sound emanating from one of the aisles. We assumed it was coming from a set of bookshelf speakers, but we had to investigate. As our ears guided us through the maze of aisles and shelves, we were stopped in our tracks when we realized the sound wasn’t coming from a set of bookshelf speakers, but instead it was coming from the aisle that housed the bluetooth/WiFi speakers. Perplexed, we decided to venture into the aisle to see which speaker was the source. Well, it turned out to be the Sonos Play:5.

 

The truth is, the Sonos Play:5 is a nice sounding speaker. It has good clean well balanced sound. For a speaker this size it has unusually good bass response. Of course, because of it’s size limitations it’s not going to bring down the house with booming bass. However, it kicks out just enough that Rock and Hip Hop tracks have a nice thump to them. It also has a smooth mid-range delivery that gives the sound a nice balance. I’ve listened to other wireless speakers on the market and they have a tendency to sound small. The Play:5 doesn’t. The one negative that did stand out was that it doesn’t produce a wide sound field. The sound can sometimes feel a bit localized.

 

Conclusion

The Sonos Play:5 is a great little speaker. Once you get it setup you’ll like what you hear. The initial setup is going to be a little strange at first, but in actuality it’s quite simple. The software to control the speaker is easy to use and intuitive for the most part. The one caveat with the Play:5, is that it’s a little expensive at $399. Considering that you may also have to invest in a Sonos Bridge ($49) or an additional speaker and it could cost you even more.

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