Cool Tech for Your Commission Check: Sonos Review (Home Audio System)

By
Cullen MacDonald
January 28, 2015

Our latest Cool Tech post is here to provide you with sales commission ideas (i.e. tech recommendations worth your hard-earned money). Today we’re talking about Sonos, a flexible music streaming system that can play whatever music you want, wherever you want. In my experience, nothing makes my outlook on cooking and cleaning more positive than some really awesome background music. If you can start playing music on your home audio system quickly and easily, without having to think twice about it or worry about all the different cords and cables you need to plug in, all the better. If you’re looking to invest in a home audio system, Sonos is one of the best options to look at.

Sonos Review

What It Is

Sonos is a streaming home audio system can easily be located in every room of your house and play whatever music you have, from practically any source--iTunes, Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, Google Play, and more. What this means is that every member of your family can potentially stream their own music from their preferred sources in separate rooms of the house. You can also play the same audio out of every speaker (this is especially great for parties, or when you’re cleaning/moving through many different rooms). If you have people over, anyone can be the DJ and cue up songs to play on their mobile devices. You can also experiment with different speakers and configurations that work for you and your lifestyle. You have the option to get just one small speaker (which is enough for an apartment), a few speakers to put in each room of a large house, or the Sonos Playbar, which doubles as both a TV soundbar and a Sonos speaker. Each time you add a speaker, it connects to your existing system, which you can then control from the Sonos app on your computer and iOS/Android devices. You can start with one speaker and gradually build a larger sound system off of it, easily change the placement of each speaker (if you move and your new house has a different layout, for instance), and integrate your sound system with your TV. To top all that off, Sonos also has amazing sound quality.

How It Works

One of the most important features of Sonos is how connects to your home wi-fi network. You have two basic options. The first option is simply to connect your speaker to your wi-fi network. This is a better option for people with smaller homes or apartments, with a more reliable internet connection and fewer devices on the network at any one time. The second option is to use Bridge, which is a device sold by Sonos that connects to a router and then creates a dedicated wireless network solely for your Sonos system. Each Sonos speaker becomes an extension of that wireless network. If you have a larger home, and the signal coming from the router in your office isn’t quite reaching your bedroom upstairs, this is a good option. It’s also great because your audio system isn’t competing for bandwidth with your other devices and internet usage. There’s actually a third option, called “Boost,” which is pretty much the same as Bridge, but twice as powerful (and twice as expensive). Most people probably don’t need this “enterprise-grade” device. Once your Sonos system is connected to the internet, you just download and install the Sonos app, add the speakers, and start playing music.

What It Costs

Sonos isn’t a cheap option, but it’s usually the case with sound systems that you get what you pay for. The Sonos Play:1, the speaker that serves as the basic building block of a Sonos system, is $199. The Sonos Play:3 and Play:5 are larger speakers, and they cost $299 and $399, respectively. The Playbar, which connects to your TV, is one of Sonos’s priciest products at $699, but it’s a good replacement if you were thinking of upgrading your TV’s sound system anyway. You can also purchase the Sonos Sub, a wireless subwoofer, for $699. If you want a more reliable wireless connection for your Sonos system, you can also purchase Bridge for $49 or Boost for $99.   If you're looking for an extra-portable bluetooth sound system that you can take anywhere, or something that can connect via Apple Airplay, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But overall, Sonos is a great option if you’re looking for a scalable, adaptable home sound system that’s easy to set up and use. Questions about this Sonos review? Let us know in the comments below.