You have seen the ads with Janelle Monae, deadmau5 and the cat from the Roots for the wireless speaker Sonos, right? If you haven’t, you probably live in a tertiary market and your votes don’t even count, so don’t worry about it.
Kidding aside, if you don’t know how awesome the Sonos system really is, read on. When I first saw the ads I was like wow, cool pictures for yet another wireless speaker. I certainly thought it was cool that Sonos was putting amazing artists like Questlove in its ads, but beyond that I wasn’t motivated to learn more about the product.
Obviously I’ve had a change of heart; that’s what this story is about. After attending a pop-up event for deadmau5 at the amazing Sonos event space on La Brea in Hollywood, I met some of the Sonos team, some of whom I had known from way back in the BPM Magazine days. Then boxes arrived at my office containing a Play3 and Play5 speaker and something that looked like my apple router called “The Bridge.” I took them home to fire them up but was a bit confused at what I got…at first. Then I acknowledged that this was more complex than merely a simple wireless speaker. It was a wireless system. So after ripping through the instructions (I know you give them a half-ass read and try to do it yourself too), I installed the software into my iMac and downloaded the apps to my iPhone and iPad. What happened after that was game changing, for me anyway. After I plugged The Bridge into my router and got the speakers synced, it was time to see what this was all about.
The bigger and more powerful Play5 speaker was placed in my living room, and the smaller Play3 in my office/DJ Room/library. The Sonos program looks like you think it would, a slick iTunes-like interface that is fairly simple to navigate, although not completely intuitive. It might take a few minutes to be comfortable with. It does have occasional hiccups as well, but these are minor and usually easy to fix with a restart/sync.
The software scours your library and gets all of your music in the iTunes folder loaded so when you search for the files, they pop right up. You can also stream music from a plethora of other sources including Spotify, Pandora, Internet Radio, Rdio, etc., which is just amazing for music nerds that want to go deep. There is not much you can’t find.
The speakers can also play different music in different rooms so if you want to listen to Richie Hawtin in the office while your girlfriend/roommate listens to Culture Club in the living room; the Sonos system has you covered.
The sound quality on both units is impressive considering their size. But if you are looking for more bass, I’m guessing the subwoofer would be the way to go.
Having been in kind of a musical purgatory since the demise of the home stereo, it seems to be Sonos to the rescue. After years of not really listening to music at home (aside from mixing records), this system has brought me back to the simple joy of chilling by cranking up some tunes.
I will be a loyal Sonos fan for years to come. And yes, the bass bin is on the “to buy” list. If you are a hardcore music fan who misses the days of listening to music at home, then dive in and don’t look back!