Sonos Play 3 Speaker Review: Should You Buy It?
The SONOS PLAY:3 is the greatest speaker that the business currently makes, and easily one of the better wireless speakers on the market. In conditions of combining great sound, good design, and absolutely fantastic usability – all for a knockdown price – it remains unbeaten. Which, incidentally, includes the company’s recent smart speakers that incorporate Amazon Alexa. In this review, we breakdown the PLAY:3’s sound, design, packaging and accessories, specs and more. To observe how it stacks up, see our set of the very best wireless and Bluetooth speakers.
We’ll discuss the look of the SONOS PLAY:3 and how you arrange it further down. Nevertheless, you can’t speak about the sound of the speaker without discussing Trueplay. That is SONOS’s proprietary technology for tuning the speaker to the area you put it in, and therefore you get the perfect sound for your room. The theory is that the speaker analyses a test tone being played back when you move your phone around in a weird type of ritual dance, so that you can modify the sound so it’s simply perfect for the area. We tried the speaker out in multiple rooms, including a bathroom, tiny apartment kitchen, living room and office at home, and despite recalibrating for each and every location, we’d be challenged to say there is an appreciable difference. It’s totally possible that TruePlay becomes more useful with multiple speakers – connecting multiple SONOS units to the other person is dead easy, using the software – nonetheless it struck us as more of a gimmick than other things. It’s also, for the moment, only on iOS, not Android. That’s an oversight which should have already been corrected by now.
Fortunately, the minimal impact of the Trueplay process doesn’t diminish the entire sound of the speaker, which is terrific. The bass is huge for the speaker’s size, clear and rounded, distortion free even at high volumes. In the guts of the machine, there are three Class D amplifiers, a sort known because of its raw power. They do their sort out three speaker drivers and a bass radiator, and the machine supports virtually any sound file you can throw at it, from compressed MP3s to full lossless audio. The sound isn’t delicate or elegant, appropriate to thumping tunes than picked folk, but it’s hard never to love a system that may deliver great sound at any volume, and the PLAY:3 easily beats out bigger, more costly speakers just like the Bryston BryFi (full review here). SONOS doesn’t hand out wattage figures – wattage determines, loosely, how loud a speaker can go when pushed – however the BryFi is 75 watts per channel, which is substantial, and the SONOS a lot more than matches it. It’s also about eight times less costly – $249, during writing, to the BryFi’s $1,495!
High-End (Treble) and Mids
There’s a kicking degree of stereo spread, plus some excellent, nuanced detail in the mids and highs. That’s not necessarily confirmed with wireless speakers, a lot of which don’t even offer stereo sound. Even though the SONOS PLAY:3 isn’t likely to set the world burning, regarding crisp detail, it a lot more than matches up to other speakers in its cost range. Compare it, for instance, to the Bose SoundLink Mini II. That speaker, while around $60 cheaper compared to the PLAY:3, doesn’t look half nearly as good, and inside our opinion, has sound that doesn’t quite match the audio tracks that the SONOS speaker generates. We really appreciated the way the instrumentation was separated within the music we pay attention to on the speaker, and how easy it had been to choose different factors of the mix. You certainly aren’t talking high-end audio tracks here, however the PLAY:3 doesn’t take anything off the table – and as we are going to see, regardless if you did have trouble with sound, you will need to cease to the look. It’s simply phenomenal.
Insufficient Alexa Functionality
During writing, SONOS have their hottest speaker out, the SONOS ONE. It’s cheaper (by about $50) and smaller compared to the PLAY:3, and crucially, includes the Amazon Alexa assistant built-in. This implies you can control music together with your voice, and also getting it to accomplish mildly useful things such as read you a recipe for chicken stock. The PLAY:3 currently that you can buy doesn’t have this functionality, and at this time, we don’t know whenever a new version will be released which includes it. We will review it when one comes along, but if you wish smart speaker functionality, you then should look at obtaining the smaller SONOS. It will fulfil your requirements for the present time.
Trueplay might only be accessible on iOS, but SONOS’s main software works equally well on Android too. This iphone app is nearly ridiculously easy to use. You hook up the speaker to the wall, transform it on (and jump backwards when finished . emits a pleasantly booming musical tone at you) and hook up it your Wi-Fi using the app. You do the wavy-wavy-handy-dancey thing together with your phone, and you start playing music. That’s it. In its entirety. Never has playing music through a audio system been this easy, or this pleasurable. Not only can you play music kept on your own phone, but also hook up to a large number of streaming services, including Spotify and Soundcloud. TuneIn Radio allows usage of a large number of stations from around the world. The software is beautifully designed and impeccably organized. Once it’s plugged in, the machine is always on – there’s no wait time, no trying to find the on switch, just instant music. Compare that to something similar to the Paradigm Shift PW-600 (full review here) which is approximately the most finicky wireless speaker we are able to imagine (and a far more expensive one, too – $399 to the PLAY:3’s $249) Essentially: with this technique, you can have nearly every musical track ever recorded playing in seconds, with minimal effort. There’s something to be said for that. (One word of warning: when you have wireless speakers from another brand, the PLAY:3 won’t play nice with them. That is a closed ecosystem – among the bigger problems we’ve with this speaker.)
Housing and CONSTRUCTION
If there’s one real failing woefully to the PLAY:3, it’s that it doesn’t do enough to tell apart itself, design-wise. It rests on the thought of a radio speaker as a tiny grey box, with only minor flourishes. The most evident of these may be the asymmetrical design, with the speaker grille on leading a different size to the trunk end. This produces an eye-catching design when viewed from the medial side, but it doesn’t do enough to tell apart itself when seen from leading. The thing we do like about the look, however, is the insufficient controls – it sounds counterintuitive, but bear around. The aforementioned application is indeed well-designed that you hardly ever need to count on the physical buttons on the machine, which are limited by a play pause button and two controls for volume. These work nicely.
Also, they are distinct from SONOS’s bigger speaker, the PLAY:5, which uses touch controls. Those are nice to have, given the brilliance of the app, just a little superfluous. If we’d to choose, we’d say pick the PLAY:3 over its bigger brother, which is more costly ($249 to the PLAY:5’s $499). There’s not really a massive difference in sound, just volume, and the thing the larger model has choosing it’s the inclusion of an auxiliary input, that your PLAY:3 doesn’t have. This implies that you should choose the big one if you wish to create any physical connections between it and, say, another player. This definitely isn’t a deal breaker, at all – just something worth considering. The only connection on the trunk of the PLAY:3, apart from the power jack, can be an ethernet connection for whenever your Wi-Fi goes screwy. There’s also a wall-mount bracket, which is nice to have, situated in the guts among the dotted bass ports.
Packaging & Accessories:
SONOS will always be good with their packaging. Not only in the sense that it’s attractive, however in the sense that it’s really been built for humans. Most amplifiers – and even, most wireless speakers – can be found in basic cardboard boxes that you’ll your investment moment you turn from them. The PLAY:3 is a bit different. The black box not merely looks good, but comes with an intelligent group of instructions externally, which imply that you almost don’t have to make reference to the included manual. The business is actually proficient at not merely designing good packaging, but also to keep time for it. The box for the recent SONOS PLAYBASE (full review here) was brilliant, then one we’d prefer to see more of.
You really don’t get yourself a large amount of accessories with the PLAY:3. Beyond a typical power cable, the only other accessory is a straightforward ethernet cable, which most of the people probably won’t use. It’s the sort of thing that will probably land up in the tool attract your house – you understand the one, where you retain spare batteries and screws and weird zip ties and drill bits. Every house has one, and we guarantee that you’ll rediscover this cable in twenty years, and be completely struggling to remember what it originated from. Beyond that, you get yourself a simple, well