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One could say I am a Sonos addict, given that I have bought enough to pay for a few employees' kids' braces. The reason for their high price tag is they are by far the best wireless speakers on the market. At first I was a bit hesitant because of the price and my desire to play my records through them; however, after hearing one in action I realized the hype surrounding Sonos was valid and became a believer over night. Sonos hooked me many years ago with their unique WIFI setup, grouping capabilities, focus on integrating with more music services, not needing to run wires, and most of all their commitment to providing the best quality speaker and music experience. Sonos brings power, clarity and ease of use all rolled in one. As a subscriber to Spotify and Sirius XM, Sonos is perfect for streaming music services; allowing me to play my music in any room of the house with the push of a button. My Sonos system is in use, one way or another, 12+ hours a day so I have definitely gotten my money's worth and would recommend them to anyone who asked about them or my setup.
The Sonos software provides the ability to connect your entire house under one system so control is at the tip of the user's fingers. Their software is easy to use and allows for a simple means of grouping rooms to play the same song from a service, library or turntable simultaneously without any delay. This is great for a party or if you want to move between rooms without the song ending. The Sonos development team is always providing updates to their software so as to improve the software through which the user interfaces; also by updating the actual speaker to improve its performance. Sonos offers its users the option to join their Beta Testing Program which provides the opportunity to experience the new update with the intention of receiving feedback and bug reports before making the update live for all users. The Sonos mobile app is very well designed and allows for the user to commands such as pause, play, and skip from the lock screen on a mobile device. If the app is selected on the lock screen, the device's volume buttons will raise or lower the selected room's volume; great for when you cannot find the TV remote or do not want to fully open the app to adjust the volume.
The PLAYBAR is the top of the line soundbar. Out of the box, the PLAYBAR offers an amazing musical and enhanced TV experience. The PLAYBAR’s nine-speaker driver soundbar design provides a 3.0 home theater experience without the need for additional speakers. Paring the PLAYBAR with the SUB will provide a 3.1 experience then pairing two PLAY:1, 3, 5s(new gen only) will provide the full 5.1 surround sound immersion. Every time an addition was made to the setup, it was a night and day difference. When listening to music through my 5.1 surround sound system, it feels as though the band is playing in the room. Since hooking my TV up to the PLAYBAR, watching movies and shows has never been the same. My only complaint is voices are quiet, however, there is a setting which can be toggled to increase the voices being projected from the TV( this only affects the optical line-in for the PLAYBAR), music vocals come through clear and at proper levels. Once you add rear speakers, you will have the ability to choose whether to provide a full or ambient sound to the rear speakers. Personally, full sound allows for an immersion unlike any other. The PLAYBAR has an orientation sensor to determine how to configure itself based on how its sitting. This feature allows for the PLAYBAR to be either wall-mounted or rest on a flat surface.
Setup is as easy as plugging in the power and hooking up the optical cable to the TV. Once hooked up hold down the + and power button to initiate linking the speaker to your Sonos setup. After the status light begins blinking, navigate to Manage, then select the type of device you are adding. Within moments after configuring the speaker, you will be able to group it or stream music to it.
To play my records, I have my pre-amp connected to the line-in on my Play:5; thus it acts as more than just a speaker in my home. Currently, the Play:5, Connect, and Connect:Amp are the only Sonos devices which allow for the user to connect an outside device to the Sonos system. 90% of the time, my turntable is connected to the Play:5 via an AUX cable. The other 10% of the time, the TV in the bedroom is connected to the Play:5, allowing for the sound to be played through the grouped bedroom speakers. My records sound AMAZING when playing through my Sonos speaker setup.
To anyone on the fence about buying a Sonos, I cannot recommend it enough. To start, best bang for your buck to listen to any music streaming services or a digital library would be to get two PLAY:1s, this will allow for you to create a stereo pair, providing an amazing sound! I do have a word of warning for when you make that inevitable plunge. BEWARE: You may become ADDICTED to filling your house with music.