Sonos Digital Music System
Expensive for a streaming audio system, but has unique features and an elegant design lacking in other systems.
Price$ 2,399.00 (AUD)
By no means the only product to stream digital music around your home, the Sonos Digital Music System sets itself apart from the competition with a 50W-per-channel amplifier and the ability to play music from removable storage devices. All you need to add is a pair of high-quality speakers.
Including the amp makes sense if you buy into how Sonos envisions your use of the system. Via the product's analog outputs, you could just hook a single player up to a stereo (and a subwoofer) in your living room or den. But Sonos would like you to place multiple players - up to 32 of them - all over your house. They connect to each other over ethernet or over a proprietary 802.11-based "mesh" network: each player acts as both a sender and a receiver, with no need for a central hub or router.
The system can play digital music from up to 16 sources - computers or network drives - and every player can have its own line-in source that is broadcast over the network. You can queue different music selections on each player, or put all of them into a "party zone" that plays the music in perfect synchronisation. Or you can create multiple such zones in your house.
Two ZonePlayers connected flawlessly, despite being separated by about 15 metres and three walls. The system falls short of wireless perfection, however, because at least one player must be linked to your network via an ethernet cable.
The Sonos system plays WAV, MP3, WMA, FLAC, OGG Vorbis and AAC music files (but not copy-protected files from the iTunes store). Sonos says Microsoft's "Plays for Sure" protection format doesn't support multiple-room listening. Sonos also supports Rhapsody, allowing multiple songs to be heard throughout the house.
The Sonos system plays Internet radio, as well: there are approximately 200 stations (including Australian stations) pre-programmed on the system, and adding more was a cinch, especially via the PC-based control software. Each ZonePlayer also has stereo line-in jacks for receiving analog input - say, from a CD player, a radio, an iPod or a TV - and broadcasting it around the house.
Controlling all these options could be a nightmarish task, but Sonos makes it simple. The Sonos Controller wireless remote includes a 3.5in colour LCD; it also has a touch-sensitive jog wheel and hierarchical menus, both of which are quite similar to those on the Apple iPod. A few shortcuts make it even easier: you press the Zones button to select a single player or to link up several. Then you press the Music button to choose from digital files, Internet radio presets, or line-in sources.
Depending on how you use it, battery life for the controller is good for three to four days and the battery charges up in a reasonable two hours via the included AC adapter, or charging cradle.
The Sonos system is amazingly polished for a debutante, but it still has flaws. The controller scans the network and associates with the nearest player, but it can be a little sluggish when switching from one player to the next. The amp is powerful, and music sounded rich going through a set of Klipsch RB-15 speakers, though a bit heavy on the bass and weak in treble, giving vocals a slightly distant sound.
We'd also like a USB 2.0 port on the player; network drives are great for some situations, but USB-connected disks are cheaper and far more common. However, this was not enough to change our very favourable impression of the product and we would happily put ZonePlayers and speakers in every room of PC World headquarters, if we could afford it.
Join the newsletter!
cloudandco Smart Cane
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Toys for Boys
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Bose SoundLink Micro
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Xbox One X
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 2 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 3 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 4 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- JBL join smart speaker arena with the portable, waterproof and (Google-powered) JBL Link range
- BenQ Debuts True 4K UHD HDR Home Cinema Projector Designed for Modern Families
- Foxtel Now's new streaming device launched weeks after TelstraTV
- Logitech announce new MX Sound speakers
- Telstra looks to solve 'Entertainment Exasperation' with new 4K Telstra TV
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- JBL Link 10 review: Full, in-depth review
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- CES 2018
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical Quality Analyst (Payments, data, application integration)VIC
- FTJunior Automation TesterOther
- CCSenior Business AnalystQLD
- TPSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTWindows Messaging and MS Exchange LeadOther
- FTDesktop Support Level 2ACT
- CCService Desk AnalystWA
- FTNatural/ADABAS ProgrammerOther
- FTAndroid DeveloperQLD
- CCSharePoint DeveloperACT
- CCNetwork Engineer - Aruba/PaloAltoWA
- FTSenior System AdministratorOther
- FTPower BI DeveloperOther
- CCSecurity Business AnalystVIC
- CCProcess Improvement LeadNSW
- FTSecurity Cleared Network EngineerACT
- FTFront End DeveloperOther
- FTFull Stack Web DeveloperOther
- FTAutomation Test Analyst- QTP/UFT scripting - X5Other
- CCBack-End Developers - PHP - Federal GovernmentVIC
- TPChange AnalystVIC
- FTIT Support / Desktop - Level 1 & 2Other
- FTPython DeveloperOther
- FTProgram ManagerACT