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Customer Review

65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic sound and build quality, 4 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Sonos PLAY:1 Compact smart wireless speaker for streaming music (Black) (Electronics)
Having recently got rid of hundreds of CDs I was on the look out for a network streaming system and went for the PLAY:1, having had a good listen to various (mostly far more expensive) alternatives at Richer Sounds.

First impressions on opening the box are that you've bought into a top quality brand, the packaging is great and the speaker is wrapped in a cotton bag to ensure it arrives scratch free. I know this is almost irrelevant to the product itself but does build confidence in Sonos's determination to deliver quality. In addition to the speaker the box contains a very neat power cable with a custom plug that sits securely in the base of the unit (more attention to detail), a flat profile ethernet cable, a cd-rom of software and a brochure. The speaker itself is impressively solid and surprisingly heavy, they've obviously packed it tight with goodness.

I just have a single unit, so I plugged this into my network via a home plug adaptor and downloaded the software to my Android tablet. Connecting the tablet to the PLAY:1 was as simple as pressing both buttons on the unit and waiting for about 5 seconds for the connection to be established. We were then good to go for internet radio and streaming services but I had some trouble getting connected to my NAS drive where my music is stored. In the end I solved this by installing the software on my PC and populating the catalogue from there, although I think I might now have figured out how to do it from Android. I have well over 10000 tracks in my library and SONOS took at least 15 minutes to catalogue all these, so be prepared to wait. It is a one-off operation, though, so it's not too frustrating.

I initially found that the sound was slightly muffled and boomy but relocating the speaker to a corner and switching off the 'loudness' option solved that and I now think the sound quality is just fantastic. A single speaker is more than adequate for normal listening in our 5m * 5m family room, although I might upgrade to a stereo pair some time in the future and I think you'd need two to entertain a party. The human voice is rendered particularly well, which makes a huge difference for tracks like Neil Young's Birds, but I'm happy with its handling of everything from Motorhead to Fatboy Slim.

The Sonos software has its good and bad points. It's great for playing stored files, but because it connects from tablet or phone via the house wi-fi it's reliant on the quality of the signal, so sometimes that can let you down. Internet radio (including BBC stations) is fine, but the sound quality varies depending on the source. Deezer is profoundly disappointing, only offering an artist radio service on my account (which is admittedly a freebie from EE) and there's no iplayer, which is a shame. In contrast, Amazon Cloud Player is excellent. Installation and connection is a breeze on iPads, generic Android tablets, Windows 7 PCs and my Sony Xperia Z and the app is pleasingly uniform across all platforms. It's easy to use, too, everybody in our house likes it whether they're Apple or Android inclined.

The system itself is dependent on the load on your network, so if your drives are busy or your internet connection is slow, you're going to have to put up with breaks in playback.

Overall, though, this is hugely impressive at the price. We're lucky enough to have some nice things, but I don't think I've ever been more impressed with a gadget.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Jun 2014 20:33:42 BDT
Peter Barkas says:
Sonos uses Sonosnet to connect Sonos units and at least one Sonos unit must be wired. If you have only one Sonos unit then it must be wired, in any case your home wifi is not used by Sonos.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2014 21:39:17 BDT
Bob Knapton says:
That's true, the Sonos unit itself is wired in, but the controller app can be installed on your tablets and mobiles which do use the house Wi-Fi, so if you have Wi-Fi dead-spots in your house, as we do, you'll have to move out of those to use your wireless device to control the Sonos.

Posted on 22 Jul 2014 21:32:05 BDT
C. Turner says:
Nice review. Just one question... when you populated your SONOS 1 from your PC does that stay on your SONOS 1 so that you no longer need the PC on to play your music ? Also is it easy to 're-populate' new tracks from the PC to your SONOS 1 ?

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2014 22:37:46 BDT
Bob Knapton says:
Thanks. Kind of, the music files are stored on a NAS drive which is always on. The population is of the software music catalogue and it stays on the sonos so it's completely independent of the PC. Yes, it is easy and quick to add new tracks, but I tend just to play them direct from Amazon. If you've got fast broadband and haven't already got a NAS it might be easiest to upload all your music to Amazon or somewhere and play it from there.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Aug 2014 16:26:29 BDT
Andy Taylor says:
The library population activity is just a task that's kicked off by the controller (PC/Android device) and stays on the Sonos. So if you have a NAS connected to the SONOS then you only need the controllers to select tracks to play, etc. The library can be scheduled to update itself (ie to rebuild based on latest additions to the NAS) overnight. If you have several different SONOS players then this is only done once for the whole network.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Sep 2014 08:44:36 BDT
Bob Knapton says:
Thanks, I didn't know you could schedule it to update itself, interestingly enough that's not set to 'on' by default, you have to set it on the controller.
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