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Sonos Play:5 review

David Ludlow
21 May 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
340
inc VAT

The S5 player looks fantastic and sounds brilliant. It's an excellent introduction to the Sonos service or, for existing users, a flexible new player to add to a running network.

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Although we're massive fans of Sonos' incredible multi-room music system, the one minor problem has always been flexibility: you either had to have an existing stereo or powered speakers and buy the ZonePlayer 90 (ZP90), or buy the ZonePlayer 120 (ZP120) and a pair of ordinary speakers. With the ZonePlayer S5 that's all changed, and you get everything you need inside one neat package.

Externally the S5 looks a little like a high-end iPod dock, which is no bad thing in our opinion. Although it's a little plain looking we really like its simple styling. As with all other Sonos ZonePlayers the S5 only has two buttons on it (a rocker switch for volume and a mute button), so there's nothing cluttering up the sleek lines of player.

Sonos ZonePlayer S5

The reason, in case you're not familiar with Sonos, for only three buttons is that you can't control music directly from any of the ZonePlayers. Instead, you need a Controller. It's this requirement that's made Sonos a daunting prospect for many people as the touchscreen Controller 200 costs around £275. However, you don't need one any more as there's a free iPhoneiPod Touch app that does exactly the same job, while Android users can get the free third-party Andronos app. In addition, you can install the bundled Controller software on any computer (Windows or Mac) and use these to manage your music.

Sonos Controller

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