If you remember towards the end of last month we mentioned that we was reviewing the Sonos S5 zone player. We had the unboxing post here . We are not back with a full review and to let you guys know what we thought. Just to recap, the Sonos S5 zone players is selling for $399.00 which you can get from their site directly at www.sonos.com or a variety of different outlets.
The Sonos S5 Zone player was quite easy to set up. I literally plugged in the S5 into the power outlet and the back of my router. On the controller side, if you are a iPhone or iPod Touch user, you just need to download the application from the Apple App Store. Once you have that app on your device, it is a simple as loading it up the app and walking through the set up process. During the set up process you can add the a Zone player or ZoneBridge. Once you have set up all the zones equipment, your off to enjoy the music, no matter where you choose to listen to it from.
Speaking briefly about the ZoneBridge. Normally you could connect your S5 to your router and just let the music flow. But if you want that S5 in another room where no router is available, this is where the ZoneBridge comes in handy. You simple connect the ZoneBridge to your router and then it “bridges” your router to the S5 through it’s own wireless system network. They will basically talk to each other and bump your music along to that room.
The Sonos S5 was a smooth experience. I had no issues using it and the audio quality was great. This thing really pumps out the music! At the highest volume, the sound really traveled. I had it in my living room initially and I could clearly here the music with ease all the way in the bedroom. Now my apartment is huge, but the 2 rooms is a walk away, so it was very impressive.
Controlling the S5 via an iPhone was easy. You load up the app, choose your zone and select the music source. You can play the music that is located on your PC or MAC, from radio station all the US (I was listening to one in Atlanta during my use), or from services like Pandora, Last.FM, Napster, Rhapsody, or SIRIUS. I found myself using Pandora a lot and the experience was quite enjoyable.
[singlepic id=575 w=320 h=240 float=right]Comparison
For a comparison, I decided to put it against the EOS Wireless Converge system. Not a direct competitor I don’t think, but both stream your music around the house, so curious how they differ. With the EOS Wireless Converge system. You need to purchase a couple of components like the Transmitter ($99.95), a wireless speakers ($129.95) to move music around the house. Since we only have one S5 and ZoneBridge right now, cost wise we are looking at $498 for the Sonos set up and $329.85 for the EOS System. But here is the difference, if I wanted to put music in another room with EOS that is another 129.95, or $99.95 if I get their Receiver and hook it to my existing living room surround sound system. With Sonos that is another $399.00. After awhile building out your home will get really expensive with Sonos.
What about experience? Hands down Sonos wins this with their app that you can use on the iPhone or iPod Touch. With the EOS you can control the music with your computer, iPhone, or iPod Touch as well, but not as smooth and sexy as that Sonos app! Then there is the music streaming. I literally played with each for a full day and notice some hiccups with the EOS system, while the Sonos S5 never cut out on me. The Sonos S5 overall is a great product, with the only downside to me being the price. Though the cost of entry is a little high to me, they are positioning themselves on par with the likes of Bose and other premium makers. So if your interested, you have to pay to play sometimes, but if you do, you won’t regret it
For a demo, check out our interview with Sonos back at CES 2010.