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Sonos BU-150 review

Kat Orphanides
23 Jun 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT



Sonos's ZonePlayer BU-150 is by far the most expensive product here, but it's the best for multi-room setups and comes with enough equipment to stream music to two rooms and control it from anywhere in your home.

The kit includes ZonePlayer 90 and ZonePlayer 120 receivers and the Controller 100. Neither receiver has an integrated speaker but the ZonePlayer 120 has a built-in amplifier for unpowered speakers, while the ZonePlayer 90 has both digital S/PDIF and analogue audio outputs. Both have phono line-in connectors.

When you connect a Sonos receiver to a network, it creates its own secure wireless network that lets you connect to and control up to 34 additional ZonePlayer receivers. Each can play different tracks or act as part of a group playing the same content streamed from the internet or a server. The wireless remote has a scroll wheel and a 3½in colour screen that lists music and internet radio stations.

The system comes with its own Desktop Controller server software for Windows, a proprietary UPnP system that lets you share files stored on your PC or elsewhere on your network. It also has limited support for some UPnP server applications. It played all our test files, including unusual formats such as Ogg and FLAC. Adding internet radio stations is easy, and it comes with a selection of presets, including all the BBC stations. It also comes with a month's subscription to Napster's Music on Demand service and supports other streaming services such as and audio book provider Audible.

Sonos's system is flexible and easy to use but very expensive. It's great for streaming music to multiple receivers but, unless you have a large house and deep pockets, you're better off with a couple of UPnP or SMB receivers. You could buy two Philips Streamium NP2900 receivers for less than £440 and you wouldn't have to buy external speakers. If you need cheaper receivers that play in sync, opt for Logitech's Duet and Boom combination.

Basic Specifications

Media Streamer typestreaming audio receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackYes
Audio WMA-DRM playbackNo
Audio AAC playbackYes
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackYes
Audio WAV playbackYes
Audio Audible playbackYes
Other audio formatsAIFF, Apple Lossless, FLAC
Internet radio stream compatibMP3, WMA

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 VOB playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 AVI playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD supportNo
Video H.264 supportNo
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio supportNo
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio supportNo
Video WMV playbackNo
Video WMV-HD supportNo
Other video formatsnone
Internet video stream compatibnone

Image Compatibility

Image BMP supportYes
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportNo

Network Interfaces

Wired network portsZoneplayer 120 - 2x 10/100, Zoneplayer 90 - 2x 10/100
Wireless networking supportYes
128-bit WEPNo
256-bit WEPNo

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs0
Minijack headphone outputs0
Stereo phono outputs1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs1
Optical S/PDIF outputs1
Total SCART sockets0
HDMI outputs0
Component outputs0
S-video output0
Composite outputs0
Other connectorsnonw


SizeZoneplayer 120 - 89x185x207mm, Zoneplayer 90 - 74x136x140mm
Internal/external antennasinternal
Upgradeable antennaNo
Power consumption standbyN/A
Power consumption onN/A

Server Compatibility

Software includedSonos Desktop Controller

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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