July 20th 2011 3:18 am

88
9.0
final rating

reviewed on
this review has been viewed 1337 times

Criteria Comments Rating
  • Media support The Sonos app easily accesses a wide variety of local and streaming audio sources, from iTunes to Spotify. great!
  • Video quality No comments
  • Audio quality Small footprint, loud bass to mid-bass. Highs and vocals tend to be muddy, especially at higher levels. Sound quality similar to a Bose dock. good
  • Ease of use Setup should be simple. For anyone not familiar with their wireless network settings you may run into snags. good
  • Design and form factor Color, material and finish of this product are all excellent. It's obvious that Sonos wants their products to feel valuable. great!
Detailed review
The Play:3 is my first Sonos product and I'm considering moving it from the living room to a bed room and picking up a Play:5 as well. That alone should be testimony to my positive experience. To be specific, the Play:3 has a small footprint, impressive build quality, and acceptable sound quality. If I could improve one thing about the product it would be the quality of mid- to high-frequency reproduction. This small speaker handles high levels with ease and offers acceptable bass response at relatively high levels, but increasing these levels impacts the mid- to high-frequency response.

The Sonos system is easy to setup. I attached the bridge to my wireless router, plugged the Play:3 into an outlet upstairs and it worked. During the setup process I tried a few different positions throughout the room and, in the process, changed power outlets. At some point I managed to put the speaker into a 'display mode' that made it unable to sync. After fighting with the bridge and speaker for two evenings (assuming the issue was my network) I called Sonos support and they had the speaker reset and functional within minutes. Obviously this was, on some level, my fault and quickly addressed. I was not able to find anything related to the issue on the Sonos website, however.

Anyone considering the Sonos products should look into the apps before purchasing. In my household we have two iPhones and an iPad and use Spotify for music streaming. The Sonos app works very well with the iPhones and the iPad app is extremely well designed. It takes some time to get used to the fact that the Sonos app must queue songs before playing, it feels like creating a playlist from your playlists. The concept is slightly awkward and adding playlists from another service to the Sonos queue or playlists feels redundant. This does allow flexibility to create a Sonos playlist that includes music from multiple sources, a real plus for anyone that doesn't use a service as flexible as Spotify.

I would and have recommended the Sonos products to friends and family. The company has designed high quality hardware and an app that plays nicely with a wide array of local and streaming media sources. There's still room to grow for Sonos and I would strongly urge this company to suck up the expense and sever their proprietary application requirement to integrate Apple's airplay into their next firmware build.