At a recent trade show I stumbled across the Sonos stand which had a suite of attractive speakers playing high quality music sourced from internet radio stations.
Being a passionate music fan and also an avid Spotify and Last.FM user, my interest was piqued.
What initially seemed like a confusing concept, became extremely simple once explained to me by the enthusiastic gentleman manning the stand.
As Internet radio stations such as Spotify, MOG, LastFM and Google Play Music: All Access steadily gain popularity, the emergence of HiFi Systems supporting wireless streaming hastens.
Sonos has been at forefront of this emergence with their range of wireless HiFi systems which wireless plug directly into your internet radio subscription, providing high quality and easy to control internet radio.
Sonos also allows you to stream your iTunes music collection as well as music stored on your hard drive or phone.
How SONOS Works
How the system works is quite simple.
You connect the SONOS speaker directly into your router via an Ethernet cable and then download the SONOS app on your iPhone or Android Device.
Once you have downloaded the app, your phone or tablet and the speaker will be connected.
After registering your internet radio subscriptions on the SONOS app, you can then control the speaker wirelessly from your phone.
For an additional fee, you can purchase a SONOS Bridge, which means you don’t have to plug your speaker directly into the router and can use it anywhere in your home, as the SONOS Bridge will connect your internet to the speaker wirelessly.
If you have more than one SONOS Speaker, you can synchronise them so they play in stereo.
My Experience with the SONOS PLAY:3
As a user of Spotify who regularly plays music via my crummy computer speakers, this seemed like a fantastic product.
The poor quality sound played from my computer had always bothered me, but investing in some high quality computer speakers didn’t really seem worth the investment, as they would be required to be connected to the computer at all times.
A SONOS system seemed like the perfect solution to this. Not only did SONOS speakers produce high quality sound, but they are able to be placed anywhere in your home and be controlled by your phone.
After doing a bit of research, I became the proud owner of the SONOS PLAY:3 system and a SONOS Bridge.
The PLAY:3 is SONOS’ mid-sized wireless system, nestled between the smaller PLAY:1 and its big brother the PLAY:5.
The first thing I discovered was how easy it was to setup the system.
I simply downloaded the SONOS app, plugged the SONOS Bridge into the Ethernet port on the modem, plugged in my PLAY:3 to the power outlet, and I was good to go.
The app handles all the connections brilliantly.
Once the app is installed you can sync it up with all your Internet radio subscriptions, which will include any playlists you have created on your respective accounts.
Another great feature I discovered is the ability to stream almost any radio station in the world, thanks to the built in TuneIn Radio feature, which connects to digital radio stations.
Within minutes I was pumping out sounds from a recently curated Spotify account.
The sound quality is rich and free of distortion even when turned up to the maximum volume.
The beauty of the SONOS system is that it streams music directly from the source (Spotify, MOG , etc) rather than from your phone or a computer.
This means that the quality is very high as it isn’t compressed over transmission.
The low end bass sounds are deep and rich, while at the high end, the sound is clear and crisp.
Even whilst playing bass heavy hip/hop music at very high volumes, the PLAY:3 handles itself very well.
The player itself is beautifully crafted.
The sleek monolithic design only features 3 buttons; Volume Up/Down and Mute, giving it a very streamlined and modern look.
The system would not look out of place in any modern home and would complement its surroundings seamlessly.
The portable nature of the speaker means that even if you hate the way it looks, you can hide it anyway.
The SONOS App, is magnificently designed and very intuitive.
It will seamlessly setup your PLAY:3 and allows you connect to your Internet Radio Subscriptions or iTunes account with ease.
The app also can set alarms, build playlists and do a heap of other cool things.
The setup of the system is super easy and requires nothing technical.
As a music lover and a keen user of Internet Radio, I highly recommend the SONOS PLAY:3 Wireless HiFi System.
The PLAY:3 is a great way to enjoy your existing music collection or stream Internet Radio Wirelessly.
The player produces high quality sound and also looks great.
There are a number of other great SONOS Players on the market designed to suit individual needs including the smaller PLAY:1 and larger PLAY:5.