I had been aware of Sonos for a long time but hesitated about buying it - partly due to cost.
Before buying it, I had read a lot about the system and what it can (and cannot) do. It is not that complicated but I would advice anyone considering buying it to study how it works a bit and to read the reviews here and elsewhere.
What persuaded me to to buy the Sonos Bridge and one Play 1 speaker were the very positive reviews of the sound quality of the speaker and the apparent simplicity, stability, flexibility and expandability of the Sonos system.
Since the initial purchase, I have been very impressed and have since bought another Play 1 speaker (linked to the other in a Stereo Pair), a Play 3 in my kitchen and a Play 5 for my living room.
Sound quality of all speakers is fantastic.The clarity of the sound is amazing, with little or no distortion at high volumes. Again, I would encourage anybody considering buying any speaker to read about them and to hear them in a local showroom. I think each has their own advantages.
The Play 1 sounds incredible on its own, particularly considering its small size. Two Play 1's linked as a stereo pair sound even more incredible with fantastic stereo effect.
I have the Play 3 in my kitchen. While not big, my kitchen is not small either but the Play 3 easily fills it with sound.
I have the Play 5 in my sitting room and it adequately fills that room, which is decently sized, with sound. I have put the two Play 1's as a stereo pair in that room two and when all three speakers are on, the effect is fantastic.
The sound from the Play 5 is probably better than the Play 3 or Play 1 but I find it very big and bulky - too much so for my kitchen or bedroom.
This is where the flexibility and expandability come in. I can have all the speakers working together, playing the same music or have the speaker in the kitchen playing one thing and the speakers in the living room playing another. I can mute any speaker I like or adjust the volume of any individual speaker or adjust the volume of a whole set of speakers with one touch.
The whole system can be controlled with the app on my smartphone or tablet.
I will be using the system mainly with Spotify and TuneIn radio or the like. It will work too with media stored on my devices too but nowadays, I mostly listen to Spotify or TuneIn anyway.
The system is very simple to set up and to expand. In the beginning, I had terrible problems trying to add speakers but this was due to the rubbish router supplied by my Internet provider, not a problem with Sonos. I have now replaced the router and the system works brilliantly.
My only criticism now is that while the sound is extremely clear and pleasant, to my ears it does lack oomph or bass to some extent. I have played around with the equaliser settings on the speakers but still not 100 per cent satisfied. I guess buying the Sonos Sub might solve the problem but at £600, this is really, really expensive...
All in all though, I am extremely satisfied with Sonos.
Recently Sonos have announced that you can set up your speaker system WITHOUT one of these. I recon it's still worth having one.
Sonos can now use your existing WiFi network to connect the speakers together. However, if like me, you have a lot of devices connected to your WiFi, interference can cause problems. The Bridge sets up a completely new (hidden) network which the speakers all connect to. Each speaker connects to the network and extends it. This means the speakers can be placed outside of your WiFi network range, as long as the speaker can connect to another speaker nearby.
Whereas, using the new set up, each speaker just connects to your existing WiFi network. Each speak DOES NOT extend it, so it is reliant on the range of your router. The other problem is it may appear your speaker is able to pick up the network on the very edge of its range, however this can often be a weak connection. In order to take full advantage of the quality of the speakers the connection needs to be good enough to allow high quality audio flow, without breaks and dropouts.
In the end, if you are spending hundreds of pounds on a speaker system, £30 more is nothing. Make the most of the speakers and make sure you have a strong network connecting them, allowing you to play top quality audio. This device will do just that.
You obviously need to combine this ZoneBridge with the ZonePlayer S5. I have my system supplemented with the Sonos Wireless Music Controller 200 as well. Combined with the Sonos ZonePlayer S5 and the Controller this is an amazing piece of kit. I predict that you will be as blown away by the quality and flexibilty this ZoneBridge offers as I was. The whole system is extremely easy to set up and you will be listening to superb sound within minutes.
First let me explain the different pieces of equipment: 1) The ZonePlayer S5 is where you sound comes from and what a sound! 2) The ZoneBridge connects to the router. Whilst you can directly connect your ZonePlayer S5 to the router and so save yourself a little bit of money I think when you're splashing out this amount of cash you may as well go the whole hog and get the ZoneBridge. This means that your ZonePlayer S5 can be moved to any room in the house rather than being tied to the room your router lives in. It is well worth the money to free your music! 3) The Zone Wireless Music Controller 200 is expensive but gives you ultimate flexibility as you can control your system from anywhere and it again frees you from being tied to the computer - this time to control your system. If you own and iPhone or and iPod Touch then Sonos offer a free app which allows you to control your ZonePlayer from your Apple 'i' gadget and will save you quite a substantial amount of additional expenditure.
The Sonos Zone system allows you to access all the music stored on your PC and also the option to listen to the radio. You can tune in to local stations and more - plus you can also sign up to last.fm or Napster for example to stream music. Last.fm is free and Napster offers a 30 day trial after which you would have to subscribe. You also have the obligatory aux port so you can connect other gadgets, music systems etc as you wish. By using this ZoneBridge you can move your ZonePlayer to any room and so free your music! For the relatively small amount of money this ZoneBridge costs compared to the other components it is worth every penny! Do you really want your lovely, expensive and top class sounding ZonePlayer tied to one room - the room your router lives in?
This is the best sounding and most flexible music system I have ever had the privilege to own. I wish I had the money to add more ZonePlayers - it would be amazing to have them dotted all over the house! The system definitely benefits from the ZoneBridge and wouldn't be as good without it!
I love my Zone system and think you will love yours too!
The way Sonos works isn't immediately obvious so I hope it will help if I set it out as I understand it in an Idiot's Guide (you can perhaps guess who's the idiot!). For the review, please see my review of the ZP90.
Sonos attaches itself to your wifi network and allows you to play music which you have ripped onto your computer eg using iTunes.
Sonos the company provides three sorts of device: zone players - unamplified (eg ZP90); amplified (eg ZP120); and amplified with speakers (eg S5) a zone bridge (the item above - BR100) a controller (eg CR200)
You need to attach a device to your wireless router, so if your router is in your living-room then you simply attach the zone player to your router and you're off. If - as at Casa Stevie - the router is in the hall then you need a zone bridge which you attach to the router so that you can have the zone player in the living-room. The zone bridge doesn't play music, it just provides a link to your router.