In this modern world of technology, it's
all about wireless and the Sonos Play:3 provides the end user
with an affordable option that boasts some decent audio quality
and smashes its nearest competitors away.
At its heart, the Sonos Play:3 is a wireless streaming device
that not only allows you to stream audio from one room to
another but it even supports a plethora of Internet Radio
Stations, including Sony's Anubis. Although a network connection
with internet is required for Internet Radio, you can even
control the Sonos Play: 3 from the comfort of your Apple iPhone.
- Hear every
song you have and discover more with access to over 100,000
free radio stations and shows worldwide
connects to your wireless router with included Ethernet
cable or wirelessly anywhere with addition of Sonos Bridge
- Start with
one, expand everywhere - wireless expandability to play
different songs in different rooms or play together in sync
digital music with HiFi sound with 3 driver speaker system,
3 digital amps, 1 tweeter, 2 mid range drivers and 1 bass
from anywhere with your smart phone or tablet - works with
Android, iPhone, iPad,
and Sonos controller
The design of the Sonos Play:3 is quite minimalistic and would
not look out of place in any home or small office. It's actually
quite a Spartan looking beast with the speaker on the front and
Ethernet and power on the back. Inside the unit itself, there
are three speakers with three dedicated amps, one tweeter, two
mid-range drivers and a bass radiator.
All in all, the Play:3 is
a well designed piece of technology and best of all, it's quite
small, measuring at 132 x 268 x 160 mm with a weight of 2.6kg.
Even though its quite heavy, the unit does have rubber feet to
prevent any marking when placed. In order to use the wireless mode of the Play:3, users need to
purchase a Sonos Bridge which enables this capability. The
beauty of the bridge is that you can attach up to 32 speakers
wirelessly, although we only tested two. If you don't
have the wireless bridge, you'll be connecting a myriad of
Ethernet cables into the Play:3 which defies its purpose.
Another highlight of the product is that it can be controlled by
a variety of devices from your PC to Mac and even Android
Smartphones and other iOS devices. This software is also free.
For the audio junkies, the Play:3 supports a variety of audio
formats that include MP3, iTunes Plus, WMA, AAC (MPEG4), Ogg
Vorbis, Audible, Apple Lossless Flac and even uncompressed WAV
and AIFF files.
In terms of installation, Sonos make this process a relatively
straight forward process and as long as you have some computer
knowledge (e.g. you've used a PC before). Most users should have
no issues whatsoever. You basically connect the Play:3 to your
network and let Sonos work their magic. In terms of software,
using it from your PC is a breeze, however where the Play:3
comes into its own is when you use it on a portable device such
as an iPhone or Android smartphone.
We tested the Sonos software on our
iPhone 4S and navigating the software was true child's play. The
unit even supports wall mounting and it can even be placed on
its side if you need to cram the Play:3 somewhere... like a book
case for example and due to the internal sensor in the unit, the
speaker knows if it is positioned vertically or horizontally
and modifies how sound is produced.
The only tricky aspect of the
installation is setting up the Sonos bridge which is the key to
its wireless abilities. This basically adds an additional step
into the installation process but allows for some true wireless
capabilities once it is connected to your router. When
connected, your audio basically streams from your PC or the
internet wirelessly to anywhere in your house where the Play:3
are located. Another cool aspect of the Bridge is that you can
connect another device into it (e.g. XBox 360), to enable
internet on through that.
Considering the price of the Play:3
(around $400AUD) plus the bridge ($79AUD), audio quality is
quite impressive and the unit can produce some decent volume and
bass from it with good ranges. It may not be your Yamaha or Bose system but in terms
of levels and the streaming capabilities, it definitely exceeds
its expectations when it comes to audio quality.
Streaming from our PC to the
Play:3 worked well, although we did need to set permissions up
on our MP3 files. We really loved the ability of this product to stream a myriad of internet radio and I
loved controlling this via my iPhone or even my PC. However by
registering your device with Sonos, you get even more music
options in relation to streaming.
JB HiFi Now
Anubis.FM is now Songl
At the end of the day, Sonos deliver an affordable wireless
sound solution with some great connectivity and audio options,
including internet streaming. With an easy setup and even smart
device control, this is definitely an option for users wanting an
alternative wireless option at just a fraction of the cost. Best
of all, sound quality is truly something to write about.