Friday, December 4, 2009
Sonos S5 Hits The Mark
As a long time reseller of Sonos music distribution products, I've always praised the products that Sonos has put out over the years. Well thought out, engineered, and most importantly, designed. By taking a page from the Apple Computers page of giving the customer cutting edge products, Sonos has developed demand products over the years that music buffs everywhere can be proud to sing the praises of. A cult following of sort-despite the somewhat steep for most budgets price tags. But that changes somewhat with Sonos' latest product release, the Sonos S5.
Up till now, Sonos always kept the speaker and the amplifier in its product seperate. Enter the S5 zone product. The Sonos ZonePlayer S5 is a high-performance wireless music system with 5 speakers powered by 5 dedicated digital amplifiers. With 2 tweeters, 2 mid-range drivers and 1 subwoofer, the S5 unlike previous Sonos zone units incorporates it all in one. And wow! It looks sleek, sexy, and sounds fantastic at any volume! I would say it sounds as good as just about any Bose mini system out there. Yes, it sounds that good! Much like other Sonos zone products that connect to your home network via hard-wired ethernet or wireless 802.11x, the simple 2-minute setup is a no brainer. Plug in, pair up, and listen to any number of music libraries, online radio stations, or any of the subscription music services like Deezer, Last.fm, Napster®, Pandora®, Rhapsody®, SIRIUS® Internet Radio, and downloads from any service offering DRM-free tracks. You can purchase a seperate LCD remote, download a FREE iPhone or iPod Touch app, or download the FREE PC desktop controller software to navigate and play your music or playlists.
The Sonos S5 is a hit, and currently backordered from most if not all dealers including the Sonos website itself, an indication of how well this product has taken the Sonos community by storm, and also an indication that a product of this kind is a long time coming. I've been using Sonos since it was introduced at CES a few years back. Sonos does a great job of updating and providing technical suppot. Simply put, you pay a bit more, but what you get back is a life-long partner in keeping up with the latest technology (like iPhone and iPod touch apps). With over 25,000 online radio stations, you'll never run out of music to listen to. And the Sonos system never fails to deliver on it's promise, to keep you rockin 24/7. For music buffs who appreciate an elegant way to accesss their music libary without the hassle of firing up a PC, Sonos delivers. The S5 sells for a retail of $399 and you can connect up to 8 to a single network with each playing a unique track at any given time. This is true for all zone players Sonos offers.
While the Sonos system is not for everyone or every budget, it's not just an iPod on steroids by an stretch of the imagination. Sure you can plug in an iPod to a dock and listen. But this has it's limitations of course. Sonos allows you to access your iTunes or music library on a NAS (Network Attached Storage Unit) so your PC doesn't have to be on at all. Sonos uses it's own private wireless network to communicate, so it really doesn't tie up your existing data network for the most part. All in all, Sonos has another winner on it's hands, and the S5 is just another great product in a series that keeps getting better all the time. Now excuse me while I crank up the volume.