Sonos Play 5 Speaker In-Depth Review

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Sonos is definitely the poster child of music streaming. Its contained service takes the thought of filling the rooms in your own home with music and makes the procedure simple, never letting the finish user see or need to manage the complicated technology which makes this work.

For years it had been dominant in the music streaming field nonetheless it was an area that lots of companies hadn’t entered. In ’09 2009, when the first Play:5 premiered (it was actually referred to as the S5), it had been virtually standalone in its plug-and-play capabilities. Skip to 2015 and Sony, Samsung, Bose, Denon and even Pure are sniffing around audio tracks streaming – each with their own undertake multi-room systems.

To make certain that it stays at the top Sonos has completely redesigned its flagship speaker, the Play:5, and brought with it its most crucial software update in years, in the sort of Trueplay and AirPlay 2 support for iOS devices.


The new-and-improved Sonos Play:5 is a Play:5 in name only – it has been completely re-engineered by Sonos. No part has been left the same. It could have that similar lozenge look that the initial Play:5 had, but its edges are rounder and the flat foot that was on the original has completely disappeared, making method for very small legs.

These leg rests are on both bottom of the Play:5 and the medial side, because these times you should use the speaker in the horizontal or vertical fashion – a sensor inside determines which orientation the speaker is defined in and adjusts sound quality and controls accordingly. This also signifies that you can pair up two Play:5 speakers for stereo sound, which will be a pricey but brilliant way to re-invent any home cinema system.

The physical buttons have gone from the most notable, too. Sonos’ band of designers and engineers have embraced touch controls, making usage of a capacitative top that’s signified by the logo in the center of the device.

‘But won’t a logo on leading wreck havoc on the acoustics?’ we hear you cry – Sonos has considered this and managed to get ‘acoustically transparent’ because of 800 holes lasered in to the material. That is alongside the 60,000 holes that define the grill.

According to Sonos, the designers had a fight on the hands to keep carefully the logo tag where it really is but we are glad they did – it acts as a central point for the touch control. A control that now permits you to track back and forward through songs, a thing that has been missing on Sonos’ other touch controls. Considering there is no plus or minus signs to point you in the proper direction for the touch panel, that is a clever little bit of design. It creates something that’s all-but invisible feel intuitive to use.

Colour-wise, you will find a selection of black or white for the chassis – the grill stays black regardless of your choice.

Looks-wise, the Play:5 is obviously a lesson in reduction. There is nothing on the chassis it doesn’t must be there. It’s sleek, minimal and can fit easily into any home, not matter the decor.


Across the back things have already been simplified, too, with just an Ethernet port, a 3.55mm audio tracks port and a button you should press to sync the Play:5 together with your existing setup. The arrival of the button implies that establishing the Play:5 is probably the easiest things you can do, though there is a tiny caveat to this.

My current Sonos setup is WiFi only – I haven’t any tethered to an ethernet port. The Play:5 may also work properly well on a radio setup but our unit did ought to be linked to ethernet on initial setup. This is not really an issue nonetheless it did mean I had to unplug it from the dining area, cart it to the router in the lounge and arrange it again.

Needing to unplug and re-plug in the Play:5, though did mean I taken notice of the unit’s plug. It’s clear that the designers, in an exceedingly Apple was, have ensured that even the plug looks great.

What sort of lead has been sealed within the machine compliments the minimal look of the Play:5 brilliantly. It’s a tiny detail but if they’re that meticulous about the plug you then know all of those other device will likely be built well.

A sole ethernet port signifies that the Play:5 has lost an ethernet connection in this iteration. In addition, it does not have the optical port that may be on the Sonos Playbar.

Within the grill, things have drastically changed. Rather than two mid-woofers, there’s now three 10cm drivers powering the mid range. They are backed by two 20mm tweeters positioned on the left and right of these devices (in cones) and one 22mm tweeter in the centre.

This is the most powerful speaker Sonos has generated – it built these pieces by taking a glance at that which was in the Play:1 and upgrading the drivers accordingly.

All this is nestled beneath a sealed acoustic enclosure. Again, that is a marked difference from the initial Play:5, that was vented. Although it has meant Sonos has already established to accomplish some clever things to be sure heat of the speaker escapes, it’s promising that boosts the bass and clarity of the sound, while making sure extraneous noise is kept away.

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