- Audio & Video
Sonos: Best Wireless Speakers System on the Market?
The way people listen to music has been changing for three decades now, and as wireless technology becomes cheaper and more effective, more and more people are making the switch to wireless speakers. The latest Bluetooth, AirPlay and dongle devices are making the technical aspects of wireless speakers simpler, and that is attracting a whole new generation of music-lovers to multi-room streaming. It seems that the music docking station has already had its day, and judging by products such as the Sonos Wireless Speakers System, it is not too difficult to see why.
The Sonos System - A True Champion?
Of course, wireless speakers have already been around for quite a while. However, their price and functionality has limited their use to the relatively wealthy or the technically adept. The big hitters of the speaker industry - Bose, Harmon Kardon, Goldmund and others - have long had a stranglehold on the market. Their reputation as manufacturers of superb audio equipment has allowed them to keep their prices high, and until very recently, many people were happy with the status quo.
However, Sonos has created a range of wireless speakers that are as breathtakingly simple and elegant as Apple's entire range of innovative gadgets. Understated, compact and powerful, Sonos Wireless Speaker Systems could be about to become major players in the world of music streaming; their price and unique approach to wireless audio will see to that. Your search for the world's best wireless speakers could soon be over.
How it Works
The Sonos System is designed to create a complete wireless music solution in the home. Controlled via a computer or mobile device, the system can be used on a standalone basis or it can be integrated with other devices such as TVs, consoles, HiFi systems and other Sonos products in the range.
One of the reasons these could be the best wireless speakers on the market at the moment is the way the whole system can be built up over time. A first speaker can be connected directly to a router. However, adding further products over time is made easy with the Sonos bridge and a user-friendly app. Consumers can gradually connect their various audio-visual devices to the network, creating a stunning network of music that can be synced to all speakers or managed by individual speaker from a user-friendly app.
The Sonos Wireless Speakers Line-Up
Perhaps the most versatile and powerful of the Sonos wireless speakers, as it performs equally as well with an HDTV as it does with music.
Can be added to a Playbar in order to provide crystal-clear TV surround sound, or it offers a compact speaker solution for smaller rooms of the home
Where more power is required this speaker delivers music that truly fills a room
When it's time to add some real bass, the Sonos Sub delivers power and clarity exactly when it is needed
Sonos's claim to the title of best wireless speakers in the world is backed up by the flexibility of the entire system. Users can start with a standalone Soundbar, Play:3 or Play:5 system, and other elements can be added to build a comprehensive network of integrated devices over time:
Sonos Optional Components
Allows to turn any stereo or home theater into a music streaming service
Sonos Connect Amp
As above whilst delivering an built-in amplifier for powering speakers
Integrate several Sonos speakers into one, centrally-controlled audio network
Integration and Compatibility
The flexibility of the Sonos System is one of the reasons why it can quite rightly be considered as one of the world's best wireless speakers systems. It is fully compatible with Apple's AirPlay system, and an entire network can be operated from an iPhone or iPad app. There are also Android, PC, Mac and Kindle apps available, making it an audio streaming solution for almost any operating system.
The Sonos system also offers one of the best wireless speakers systems for use with popular music streaming services. Whether it's asked to work with Spotify, Last.fm, Amazon's cloud player or any of the dozens of music streaming services currently on the Internet, set up and integration is a simple and quick process.
But of course you could also plug in your hard disk or whatever audio player providing an Optical or Line-In connection.
What the experts are saying
There are dozens of wireless speaker systems all vying for the title of world's best wireless speakers, but even the most sceptical of critics will have trouble looking any further than the Sonos system for a real contender. For those who are a little nervous about spending several hundred dollars on wireless speakers for the first time, the Play:3 is the best place to start. Compact, affordable and upgradeable, it is perfect for people new to wireless audio or for the technophobes out there.
The Playbar, the Play:3 and the Play:5 all produce audio of the highest quality on their own, but put them all together, and you have one of the most spectacular wireless speakers systems on the market today. The Sonos system is not merely a medium for your favourite tunes, it is an adventure. It allows you to completely transform your home into a musical playground for the senses, and it won't be long before you wondered how you ever got through life without it.
If you're reading this, wondering if the Sonos Wireless Speakers System sounds too good to be true, simply take a look at the independent reviews on some of the world's leading tech websites and magazines. The likes of Rolling Stone, Time and Variety have given the Sonos system some stunning reviews - evidence that it really could be the world's best wireless speakers system.
"We could go so far as to say that the Sonos S5 is the best sounding standalone speaker we have seen."
"But holy cow, the bass, the distinct instruments, the clarity — it’s all there. And with serious power."
"Sonos is still the leader when it comes to wireless, multi-room audio system."
These beautifully crafted wireless speakers look stylish and homely, and that means they can become as much a part of your home as a vase or your favourite painting. Both functionally and aesthetically, the Sonos System - and others like it - could become as ubiquitous as the classic HiFi system. While there are quite a few systems to choose from, everything points to these being the world's best wireless speakers on the market today.
Did you know?
Sonos is the only speaker system that supports true multi-room AirPlay. It lets you control the volume of each rome separately and lets you send different music to each room. Multi-Room AirPlay at it's best.
Despite its many strengths, it is probably the user-friendly, versatile nature of the system that makes it one of the best wireless speakers systems on the market. The Play:5 system in particular integrates with Apple's AirPlay with the minimum of technical input, and music databases stored on Android devices flow through the system with ease. The Sonos Playbar looks fantastic, but it also delivers a new dimension to home theaters. And as for the Play:3, it brings everything together in order to create the ultimate audio experience.
Just like any piece of audio tech, there are some slight niggles with the Sonos System that must be overcome or simply ignored. The Playbar only includes one digital input, which can make make connection through other devices and some TVs tricky. The Playbar also has no dedicated remote control, instead relying on the TV remote, but this can be tricky to get used to. However, these are no more than slight niggles to what is otherwise a stunning audio system. At a cost of around $2,100 for the entire collection, Sonos is certainly not cheap. But the ability to build the system over time, along with its incredible ease of use, make it a champion amongst wireless speakers systems.
The Sonos Wireless Speakers System manages to create a user-friendly audio solution in a neat, compact package. So good is its design, it is reminiscent of Apple's unique approach to understated elegance. And despite its hefty price tag, its simple functionality could soon make it the world's most popular wireless speakers system.