If there is one brand that has been exploding into the home technology market in the past decade, it’s Sonos. With their wide range of wireless speakers they’ve become one of the premium speaker builders that most of my friends and family have bought into. Even my mom bought a PLAY:1, which expanded into three PLAY:1’s and a PLAY:5.
When your mom is into a technology, it’s a sign that it has to be good and popular. So with the introduction of Apple Music to Sonos it was time to test these products. Are they really that good?
When they delivered the brand new Sonos PLAY:5 to my doorstep, I was amazed at the weight and quality. As soon as I pumped some music through it after a painless setup, (Remember, even my mom got one set up with ease), I was almost annoyed at the fact that if I where to play music at 100% volume that the entire block would come to either complain or ask where the party’s at.
Crystal clear sound, with a fun touch interface, but since my media computer was in my living room, I wasn’t completely convinced the product was right for me. Though I carried on testing the PLAY:5, which I really enjoyed. Deep bass, clear sound and a gorgeous design.
What I like most about the PLAY:5 is the new touch interface. Next song? Just swipe past the side to skip a song, or play it again to relive the moment. (Though it’s weird to swipe up when it’s on its side, it’s a logical extension of the swipe).
But then came the moment that changed everything. When I moved to Antwerp, I also moved the test speaker in the living room. But my computer? That one found a place in my Office. Annoyed with having to go back to my Cinema Display’s speakers, and having to pick my music in two separate apps, we had a quick discussion, followed by a trip to the Mediamarkt to pick up two PLAY:1’s for ourselves. Opening the box was as painless as joining them in the network, with music now playing all over the house, with easy operations from our devices. I can’t wait for the day that we add a Sonos PLAYBAR to our TV setup.
The PLAY:1’s are great to fill a room with sound, with a fun design. though additional controls would be handy. Or who knows .. one day .. Siri?
With Apple Music integration it’s great to just add whatever music you feel like to your queue, and enjoy it all over the house. Search makes it easy to find music that is both in your library as resting in Apple’s cloud. One of my favourite places to hang out around is the For You and Radio section. Based on my musical preferences, I get great playlists that I can just listen to.
Though I would love there to be a way to add songs and playlists to My Music, without having to open iTunes and search for it. Another thing that I think could be improved is Radio. I’m missing a way to like or dislike songs while listening to these Radio stations.
And if I can nitpick, as one can do as a music listener, there is one thing that keeps annoying me: iTunes is much more forgiving what counts as an “album”. For example, my CD rip of the excellent Grease soundtrack came up as twenty-two separate songs proudly sorted by artist, instead of one album. So after a bit of tag-fixing in iTunes, everything seems to show up great, but it’s quite intensive to do this with every album that shows up wrong.
(+) Great Sound in a small package
(+) Good Price/Quality
(-) Lacking some manual controls
(+) Gorgeous Design
(+) Amazing sound
(+) Multiple Orientation
(+-) Expensive, though worth it in quality
(+) A great addition to both Sonos and Apple Music
(+-) We are hoping at some feature updates in the future.