Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Multi-Room Music System Review

Hardware Secrets Silver Award

Introduction

When the Sonos music system came out a few years ago, it was by far the best whole-house digital music system on the marketplace, allowing you to stream your computer’s stored music as well as music from other digital sources. Its biggest drawback was that it was expensive. So now Sonos has set out to make their product more affordable while at the same time adding new capabilities. We were excited to take a look.

The newest Sonos music system is based on a device called the Sonos ZonePlayer S5. As shown in Figure 1, it comes in a nicely labeled box.

Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Multi-Room Music System ReviewFigure 1: The Sonos ZonePlayer S5 box

Inside the box (shown in Figure 2), you will find the ZonePlayer, a small product guide, a quick setup guide, a software disk, power cable, Ethernet network cable, and a 3.5 mm audio cable.

Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Multi-Room Music System ReviewFigure 2: Inside the Sonos ZonePlayer S5 box

At first glance, the ZonePlayer seems fairly large and heavy. It measures 8.50 x 14.40 x 4.80 in. (21.7 x 36.5 x 12.3 cm) and weighs in at 9.15 lbs (4.15 kg). Yet when you consider that it includes wireless and Ethernet connections and contains 5 speakers, each with a dedicated digital amplifier, it is quite compact… also quite affordable. Each ZonePlayer S5 retails for USD 399.

The ZonePlayer comes in white with light metallic gray grill or in a matte black finish with a graphite grill. As you can see in Figures 2 and 3, our review unit came in black. You can also see that the grill covers the entire front of the unit.

Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Multi-Room Music System ReviewFigure 3: The black ZonePlayer S5

Our unboxing was not complete until we also unpacked the ZoneBridge (BR100) that came with our review sample. This device is sold separatedly for USD 99 and allows the ZonePlayer S5 to have wireless conectivity. As shown in Figure 4, the ZoneBridge box was plain cardboard. Figure 5 shows the contents of that box, which include the ZoneBridge, a product guide, setup instructions, a software disk, power cable, and Ethernet cable.

Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Multi-Room Music System ReviewFigure 4: The ZoneBridge box

Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Multi-Room Music System ReviewFigure 5: Inside the ZoneBridge box

The ZoneBridge comes only in white.

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Author: Sandy Berger

Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up's Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.

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