Whether you buy it from a digital market place, stream it using an online service, have spindles of CDs laying around or simply use the radio, enjoying music when you want is all we really ask for, and mostly is only accomplished with headphones, or moving that little transistor radio around the house.
Home automation using products like Control4 is also an option, and despite how scalable that can be it’s not an option for everyone. However, the thought of streaming your music wirelessly to which ever room you want is a reality and for less than you think.
Enter Sonos, a company founded in 2002 which produces Multi-Room Music Systems, the Sonos Wireless HiFi System allows for streaming of music from Internet or locally stored music files, in multiple rooms within range via a simple yet efficient private wi-fi network.
Despite how complex this sounds, the setup is very easy. First off, the software setup for your PC is as simple as putting in the CD and going Next/Next/Next – that simple. Once that’s done you have the options of signing into any of your streaming services or locating your playlist or albums stored locally.
Adding your new Play3 or Play5 all in one speaker setup is just as easy. Simply plug it into your modem or WiFi router, then follow the on screen instructions which consist of pressing two buttons on the play device, name the “zone” and that’s it. Now you’re probably wondering: Why do I need to plug it in if its wireless; how can I get this in multiple rooms without using extremely long Ethernet cables?
Well, enter the Sonos Bridge.
Despite only needing one Sonos device to be physically attached to the Internet and/or network it may not always be practical to have one of your play devices connected to your modem, so the bridge will help to maximise your zones, and ensure that you can move your play device anywhere you want it.
The bridge also serves another purpose. In cases of large homes or even office buildings, there may be play devices which are outside of the range of the Sonos MIMO WiFi device and like the name suggest the bridge would help to extend the range of the private network giving seamlessly endless possibilities to where you can play your music.
Despite all of this, the biggest surprise for me after setting up my Sonos Play3 and the zones, was the sound which came from the very well built, very compact Play3. When it comes to audio accessories, I’m a Bose guy, and to be honest, they tend to set the bar when it comes to audio clarity and innovation, but can be a bit on the pricey side.
Nevertheless, I have found myself comparing most, if not all, of my audio accessories with the Bose equivalent, regardless of the price. And I must say I was very impressed with not just the loudness but the clarity from Sonos, the bass was not overwhelming but just right. The mid range was on point and the ease of set up made it more worthwhile.
The icing on the cake came with the free mobile app from Sonos, taking ultimate control of your music to another level. The setup and use of the mobile app is just as simple as the PC version and is available for Android and iOS devices. Simple and stable it’s just what you need, to avoid having to run back upstairs to skip or put a song to repeat when you’re all the way in the kitchen.
My overall experience with Sonos was one filled with surprise after surprise – pleasant surprises. From the build quality, to the sound, the convenience and most of all the price. The ability to have music anywhere anytime for the fraction of the price of other solutions is just phenomenal, and what’s more, these Sonos devices are available from your friends at SmartStore over on the West Coast, in Limegrove Lifestyle Centre.