SONOS PLAY:1 Wireless Music System

Article Index
SONOS PLAY:1 Wireless Music System
SONOS Bridge Info
PC Software and Setup
Mobile Sofware and Testing
Testing and General Usage
Provided By: SONOS
Price: $219 Online at Time of Publishing

 

Introduction:

There are quite a few options for Bluetooth speaker systems on the market today and these range in price from affordable Edifier systems to very expensive Bose systems and everything in between. While Bluetooth does offer a few benefits including affordability, compatibility and overall ease of use. The downside to systems that rely on the short-range Bluetooth technology is exactly that – the short range. While Bluetooth is a decent choice for in-room audio, once you get out of the room, you often drop signal and the music skips.

SONOS PLAY:1

The advantage of a system like the SONOS line of products is that they run on your network. They plug into your Ethernet - or connect by WiFi and that gives you much greater range. As long as you have access to your wireless network, you'll have full music playback ability. Another upside to the SONOS PLAY system is that it can be controlled from a Windows PC, Mac or smartphone including iOS and Android. This compatibility makes it a lot more attractive for playing music. Another pretty cool thing about the SONOS PLAY system is that it can bring multi-room sound to your home, office or party suite. They can quickly and easily be configured to play in stereo, band together for a full home-entertainment system or be streamed to independently.  It's this flexibility that makes the SONOS PLAY:1 and other PLAY products stand out in the crowded market of wireless speakers

 

About SONOS:

SONOS is an interesting company - even the name is a bit unique. With all capital letters the name SONOS looks the same upside down, right-side up or even in a mirror. That took a bit of thinking. If you want to find out a bit more about the company - catch their information below.

In 2002, we set out with a goal - to reinvent home audio for the digital age. Our vision was simple - fill every home with music and make listening a valued experience again. We're making it easy for everybody to listen to the music they love in every room of their home. To hear the songs they love, to discover new music they never knew existed, and to appreciate it all with the highest sound quality.

We're doing it all over the world - In more than 60 countries, in seven languages through thousands of retailers. We're constantly looking for ways to improve the experience - with new products, new software and continually investing in ways to provide our customers the best experience possible. We're doing what we set out to do. Changing the way people listen to music - one home at a time.

Bundle

 

First Look:

Everything I've ever seen from SONOS, in person or online, is always top notch. They take a lot of care to make sure their products are well designed and well built. The SONOS PLAY:1 is no exception. The overall feel and finish of the product is excellent. While you can see seems in the manufacturing (unlike many current Apple products), the quality and build is still very good. While the SONOS PLAY:1 is not all that big, it is heavy. They either pack a lot of metal weights into it to give it an appearance and feel for quality – or it's an actual quality product.

Profile
Profile

Side Profile
Side Profile

   

PLAY:1 Rear
PLAY:1 Rear

PLAY:1 Rear Profile
PLAY:1 Rear Profile

 

The front and sides of the SONOS PLAY:1 are very plain and while the unit comes in a white or black model, the majority of the PLAY:1 is just speaker grill and is grey. Regardless, the nice white finish gives it a cheerful and bright aesthetic and compliments every room at my office and home. The top and bottom of our review sample are white and this is also where most of magic, controls and connections are located. 

The top of the unit houses the pairing button as well as the on-speaker volume control. As we'll see later in this review there are hardware as well as software controls for this unit and they work together very well.

PLAY:1 Top
PLAY:1 Top

PLAY:1 Bottom
PLAY:1 Bottom

 

The bottom of the SONOS PLAY:1 houses the power connector and the rear of the unit is where the network cable plugs into the unit. Also on the back of the PLAY:1 is a 1/4-inch threaded hole for wall-mounting the speaker. This is a standard single-bolt wall mount and this helps make your speaker installation more flexible.

As we noticed above, the bundle includes a flat network cable and this helps make your installation a little more classy as it helps get rid of the round blue network cables that would make your classy SONOS installation look very tacky.  All in all, this is a nice looking unit - but as with any product, looks are only part of the battle. We'll have to find out in a wee bit how it performs.
 
On the next page we'll take a look at the bridge before we jump into the software portion of this review.