Jul 4, 2016
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SONOS PLAY:5 – Ultimate Smart Speaker Review

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It’s been a while since we’ve had an update to the Sonos series of speakers, and that likely gave all of those other rivals a chance to catch up. Bluesound, one of their competitor made solid offerings last year that not only did multi-room audio, but offered full support for High Resolution Audio (HRA) too.

That’s improved somewhat with the new Play:5. It now supports High Resolution Audio streaming, with the capability to play WMA, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, Apple lossless, FLAC, and uncompressed WAV and AIFF files, but only at sample rates up to 48kHz, slightly higher than the 44.1 kHz sampling of PCM audio.

SONOS PLAY:5 now comes with a completely new design, both internally and externally. The base port is gone, and the speaker now has a complete design which according to Sonos, allows the speaker to deliver even deeper bass than their Playbar. It looks sleeker overall, and works in both horizontal and vertical orientations, these being the recommended option if you’re going to do stereo pairing.

Internally, the drivers are also slightly readjusted to better radiate sound in all directions. Sonos says the new Play:5 offers the best off-axis performance amongst all their players, so that’s probably a nod to the developing trend of 360-degree audio. Regardless, the new Play:5 certainly has no issues filling rooms with sound and it seems easily more powerful than the previous version.

Externally, SONOS PLAY:5 keeps a simple interface, with just two buttons for volume control and a play/pause button on the top. These have gained a slight enhancement though with capacitive pads replacing the old physical buttons so that controls work via touch. Attention to detail is certainly evident on this speaker, as even the logo-that appears dead center on the speaker-has had some 800 holes laser cut into it, so that it meshes well with the 60,000 holes in the grill to allow sound to pass through unhindered.

The app interface remains generally unchanged, but you now have the option to use your smartphone to perform audio calibration for your speaker. Called TruePlay, this measures the audio characteristics of your room so it can best tune your Play:5 for optimal performance, much like what we found with the Archt One.

The new Play:5 was advertised as having the best sound of the entire Sonos lineup, and it certainly seems like it lives up to that claim. It’s a speaker than can easily fill a room with sound, thanks to the multitude of drivers Sonos has thrown in. The improved tuning also means you get nice warm vocals with good clarity, as well as fairly good midrange performance and details.

You can fairly easily pick out the finer details of the piece, like the resonant twang of the bass guitar, and the tinkle of the piano. The speaker also extends very low into the bass notes, but oddly it seems the quality is focused solely on the low end while the lower-mids aren’t quite as full as they should be.

Step up to the all-new SONOS PLAY:5; the powerfully smart speaker that fine-tunes its sound to bring you all the energy and emotion the artist packed into the original recording. Music that’s pure, ferocious, tasty and true!

SONOS PLAY:5 – Ultimate Smart Speaker Review

  • Six smartly synchronized drivers deliver the purest, deepest, most vibrant sound.
  • Trueplay tuning delivers sound that’s true to the music and right for the room.
  • Uses your Wi-Fi to wirelessly stream the music you love, including Amazon Prime Music
  • Control all your music and streaming services from a single app (on your smartphone, tablet or computer).
  • Audio line-in auto-detecting 3.5mm audio line-in connection.
SaleBestseller No. 1
Sonos PLAY:1 Compact Wireless Smart  Speaker for Streaming Music (White)
2374 Reviews
Sonos PLAY:1 Compact Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music (White)
  • Mini but Mighty. Fits in any space, fills any room with surprisingly rich and powerful sound.
  • Play different songs in different rooms at the same time. Or, pump one song in perfect sync, throughout your home.
  • Set-up in five minutes using your home Wi-Fi. Easily expand your home audio system over time by adding wireless speakers to additional rooms whenever you're ready.
  • Wirelessly Stream all your favorite music services like Prime Music Unlimited, Pandora, Apple Music, and Spotify.
  • Perfect for home theater rears or a stereo pair. Wall mountable.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Sonos PLAY:1 Compact Wireless Smart  Speaker for Streaming Music (Black)
2374 Reviews
Sonos PLAY:1 Compact Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music (Black)
  • Mini but Mighty. Fits in any space, fills any room with surprisingly rich and powerful sound.
  • Play different songs in different rooms at the same time. Or, pump one song in perfect sync, throughout your home.
  • Set-up in less than 10 minutes using your home Wi-Fi. Easily expand your home audio system over time by adding wireless speakers to additional rooms whenever you're ready.
  • Wirelessly Stream all your favorite music services like Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, Apple Music, and Spotify.
  • Perfect for home theater rears or a stereo pair. Wall mountable.
Bestseller No. 3
Sonos PLAY:3 Mid-Sized Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music (Black)
947 Reviews
Sonos PLAY:3 Mid-Sized Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music (Black)
  • Delivers richer and deeper sound than PLAY:1, making it perfect for spots where you have more room.
  • Play different songs in different rooms at the same time. Or, pump one song in perfect sync, throughout your home.
  • Set-up in five minutes using your home Wi-Fi. Easily expand your home audio system over time by adding wireless speakers to additional rooms whenever you're ready.
  • Wirelessly Stream all your favorite music services like Prime Music Unlimited, Pandora, Apple Music, and Spotify.
  • Versatile design fits great in almost any space. Place it vertically or horizontally. Can be used as home theater rears and as a stereo pair.
Bestseller No. 4
Sonos PLAY:5 Ultimate Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music (Black)
323 Reviews
Sonos PLAY:5 Ultimate Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music (Black)
  • Our biggest and best-sounding speaker featuring six amplifiers with six dedicated speaker drivers. Fill even the largest rooms with pure, brilliant sound. Stereo pair for an even better sound experience.
  • Play different songs in different rooms at the same time. Or, pump one song in perfect sync, throughout your home.
  • Set-up in five minutes using your home Wi-Fi. Easily expand your home audio system over time by adding wireless speakers to additional rooms whenever you're ready.
  • Wirelessly Stream all your favorite music services like Prime Music Unlimited, Pandora, Apple Music, and Spotify.
  • Touch sensors for volume and track control. Perfect for when your phone is hiding or out of reach.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Sonos PLAYBAR TV Soundbar/ Wireless Streaming TV and Music Speaker
811 Reviews
Sonos PLAYBAR TV Soundbar/ Wireless Streaming TV and Music Speaker
  • Complements HD television screens with crisp and powerful sound from nine amplified speaker drivers. Wirelessly streams all your favorite music services too.
  • Syncs wirelessly with other Sonos speakers so you can listen to TV or music in perfect sync, throughout your home.
  • Pair with two PLAY:1s and a SUB for a 5.1 surround system, the ultimate home theater experience.
  • Simple two-cord setup. One for power and one for the TV. Control from your existing TV remote, or wirelessly connect on the Sonos app from your smart device.
  • Enhances speech for extra clarity. Turn on night sound to enhance quiet sounds at lower volumes and reduce the intensity of loud sounds.

Last update on 2017-04-27

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