For many, the perceived high cost of getting into a Sonos wireless home audio system has been a significant barrier. While you crave whole-home, distributed audio that just works without pops, hisses, or clicks, you simply can't justify dropping $350 on a ZonePlayer ZP90 and another $200 or so for a pair of decent amplified speakers. Even then, you're still only talking about a single room -- adding more rooms (or zones) and dedicated Sonos controllers jacks the price up even higher. Today, Sonos fills a significant gap in its product portfolio with the introduction of its $399 / €399 all-in-one ZonePlayer S5 speaker. The 217 x 365 x 123-mm S5 brings a decidedly Bose-like external design while packing a 5-driver speaker system (two tweeters, two 3-inch mids, and a built-in 3.5-inch sub) that's meant to fill a room with Sonos' wireless audio. And because the ZonePlayer is integrated right into the all-in-one chassis, it easily drops into your existing Sonos device network to extend audio into any room that needs it -- no wiring required. There's even a headphone jack for stealth listening in the bedroom. Of course, the beauty of Sonos is in the wide variety of audio sources available: freebies like thousands of internet radio stations, your iTunes library, CIFS NAS storage, or line-in devices like your home stereo or MP3 player; or subscriptions music services like Last.fm, Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius, or Deezer depending upon your geographic location.
If you already have an iPhone or iPod touch and the ability to easily network the S5 back into your router (via fixed Ethernet or close proximity), then $399 / €399 is what it now takes to get started with Sonos. Otherwise, you'll need to add a $99 / €99 ZoneBridge to link the S5 to your router over Sonos' proprietary SonosNet 2.0 (think 802.11n but optimized for distributed mesh audio) and another $349 / €349 for the dedicated CR200 controller if the free PC / Mac software controllers don't serve your need. We'll be getting our hands-on with a unit soon and will update you with our subjective listening experience. Until then, you can ponder the "end of October" and November 10th ship dates for the US and Europe, respectively. Video demonstration after the break.
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Sonos ZonePlayer S5
SONOS INTRODUCES THE SONOS ZONEPLAYER S5: THE ALL-IN-ONE WIRELESS MUSIC SYSTEM CONTROLLED WITH AN IPHONE
- Wirelessly play music in any or every room of the house for $399 per room
- Enjoy room-filling, high-performance sound with all digital architecture
- Access your iTunes® library, plus thousands of radio stations and millions of songs from the Internet
- Control your music experience with free Sonos Controller for iPhone™ app or any other Sonos Controller
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – October 13, 2009 – Sonos®, Inc., the leading developer of wireless multi-room music systems for the home, today introduced the Sonos ZonePlayer S5, an all-in-one wireless music system that can be controlled with an iPhone, iPod® touch or any Sonos Controller. The S5 delivers crystal-clear, room-filling sound that rivals much larger, more complicated audio equipment. Plus, the S5 provides instant access to unlimited music with control from the palm of your hand. Now music lovers can find and play any song from an iTunes library, plus, a world of music and radio on the Internet, in any room of the house. The S5 will be available for $399 in late October. To see the S5 in action, please visit: www.sonos.com/S5demo. "Our customers tell us they listen to twice as much music after bringing Sonos into their homes," said John MacFarlane, CEO of Sonos. "The new S5 is our latest effort to simplify the Sonos experience so more people can enjoy more music than ever before."
The S5 features a 5-driver speaker system that packs a big sound – filling an entire room with music. Sonos uniquely designed the S5 with an all-digital sound architecture for precise sound reproduction. The S5 includes two tweeters, two mid-range drivers and a built-in single subwoofer – each individually powered by a dedicated digital amplifier and optimized to deliver room-filling sound with smooth tonal balance and deep bass. All filter settings, bass and treble controls, active equalization, and time-alignment are done in the digital domain through state-of-the-art DSP circuitry, so there's absolutely no loss of audio quality or energy. With the Internet-connected S5, you can listen to way more music than you can with a dock that only plays the songs that fit on your iPod. The S5 gives you instant access to a world of music, including 25,000 Internet radio stations, shows and podcasts -all free of charge and pre-loaded on Sonos. Sonos works seamlessly with the most popular music services to provide computer-free access to millions of songs and stations from the likes of Last.fm, Napster, Rhapsody, Pandora, SIRIUS Internet Radio, and Deezer. The S5 also gives you instant access to any iTunes library stored on any computer or Network Attached storage, such as an Apple Time Capsule. The S5's analog audio input lets you connect to an external audio source (such as an iPod, CD player, TV, DVD, VCR, or radio) and play music or audio on all ZonePlayers in the system.
When it comes to controlling your S5, you simply reach into your pocket for your iPhone or iPod touch. With the free Sonos Controller for iPhone app (available on the iTunes App Store), you can search for songs and stations, choose the music and control the volume in as many rooms as you like. And because the iPhone is controlling the music, and not the source of it, when a text comes in or you need to make a phone call, the music doesn't stop. That also means you can keep your iPhone in your pocket, not stuck in a dock. The S5 also includes free Sonos Controller software for your Mac or PC. Or you can let everyone in the house share the control with the dedicated Sonos Controller 200 (sold separately). As with all Sonos ZonePlayers, the S5 is simple to set up, easy to expand and 100% compatible with all other Sonos products. Just plug in the S5 wherever you want music. One ZonePlayer or Sonos ZoneBridge™ (sold separately) must be connected to your router and all the rest will work wirelessly. When you're ready to play more music in more rooms, simply add S5s or other ZonePlayers without adding wires. Now you can play the same song in every room with perfect synchronicity or mix it up by playing different songs in different rooms. The S5 will be available for purchase in the United States beginning in late October. To learn more or to locate an authorized Sonos dealer, please visit www.sonos.com or call 877.80.SONOS.