Sonos Play:3 review

New wireless music system is cheaper but is it still as cheerful?

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Our Verdict

The Play:3 is an excellent multi-room option and brings the Sonos system slightly closer to the realms of the common man's bank account; worth saving up for? We think so.


  • Easy to use
  • Excellent free apps
  • Cheaper than its predecessor
  • Compact
  • Lots of music options


  • Lower sound quality than Play:5
  • Still quite pricey
  • Software could be better

Sonos has been leading the wireless multi-room music revolution since before anyone really knew what wirelessly streaming music was.

The idea being that you can stick a speaker in every room and wirelessly play your digital music tracks on any or all of them at once.

The company's last wireless speaker unit, the Play:5, was an excellent piece of kit – we gave it 4.5 stars – but the one thing that the it lacked was an affordable price tag.

But, after a spot of rebranding, Sonos is back with the Play:3, a speaker set offering the same great functionality in a smaller, cheaper package.

Price drop

The lower price is big news - a single Sonos Play:3 will set you back £259 which may sound like a fair lump of cash, but it's a snip compared to the Play:5 units, which sell for around £100 more.

The beauty of the Sonos system is that you can start with one speaker attached wirelessly to the Sonos Bridge (which, in turn, is attached to your router by Ethernet cable), and later add more to the system in different rooms – as many speakers as you like up to 32 (in case you happen to live in a palace).

Once you have speakers all over you house, you can control them all from your PC desktop. The other option is to use the free controller app on an iOS or Android device; perfect if you don't fancy shelling out over £200 for Sonos' own touchscreen controller.

Sonos play3

Unfortunately you do have to go through Sonos' proprietary software, which takes an image of all the music and playlists stored on your PC and allows you to create a queue of songs to be played.

But it also gives you the option of listening to the hundreds of digital and internet radio stations out there, or, wonderfully, hooking up to a premium Spotify account and a handful of other online music services.

The Play:3 comes with three speakers inside its plastic and mesh housing, where the Play:5 has five; this means you're looking at slightly less rich music playback – but we'll come back to that later.

It does all come in a smaller housing, though – about half the size of the S5, meaning its small enough to slot onto a bookshelf or into a kitchen nook, with feet on both sides so you can stand it either on its side or on its end.

Sonos play3

There's also the wall mounting option, as the Play:3 comes with the necessary holes for a standard wall bracket (sold separately).