Sonos Play:5 review

Wireless multi-room music system that just works

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  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to use
  • iPhone app is great
  • Sound quality is good
  • Robust networking
  • Depth of content is fantastic


  • It's very expensive
  • No desktop playback

The Sonos Play:5 is the wireless multi-room music system formerly known as the Zoneplayer S5.

The first Sonos music system, the ZonePlayer 100, launched in 2005 – the same year that Apple launched its first colour-screen iPod. So Sonos has been right there at the forefront of the MP3 revolution from the start.

The basic idea of the Sonos Play:5 is that you can put one in each room of your home and wirelessly stream music to all of them.

You can choose to sync up all your Play:5s in party mode so they all play in unison, or you can choose to play different selections on each player.

The Play:5 units themselves have no controls on them, other than volume and mute buttons, which you can also use to get each device in your house talking to each other.

Controlling Sonos

You actually control the players in three different ways; through the desktop PC client (your PC will need to be switched on if you want to play your MP3 library over the system); by using the free iPhone and iPod touch app which works as a wireless remote; or by using a dedicated Sonos CR200 touchscreen remote which does the same thing but costs £279 (gulp) extra.

sonos zoneplayer s5

Which brings us on to a fairly significant point – if you want Sonos in your house, you're going to have to dig deep because it doesn't come cheap.

A setup with two Play:5 speakers, a ZoneBridge to wirelessly link them together and a CR200 remote will cost a bed-wetting £1,045.

So is it worth it? Or is the Sonos a waste of time and money? Read on to find out.


Tech Specs

Product TypeNetwork Audio Player
Internet StreamingYes
Brand NameSONOS
Audio FormatsWMA, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, Apple Lossless, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, MP3
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Height217 mm
Width365 mm
Depth123 mm
Image FormatsBMP, PNG, GIF, JPEG
ManufacturerSonos, Inc
Product ModelS5
Product NameZonePlayer S5 Network Media Player
Product LineZonePlayer
Manufacturer Part NumberZONE PLAYER S5
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The S5 is a high-performance, all-in-one wireless music system that delivers crystal-clear, room-filling sound. Simply plug it in wherever you want music and enjoy. The 5-driver speaker system is individually powered by 5 dedicated digital amplifiers and includes 2 tweeters, 2 mid-range drivers and 1 subwoofer for high-quality sound that rivals much larger, more complicated audio equipment. To start playing music, one ZonePlayer or ZoneBridge must be connected to the router, then all the rest work wirelessly.

Weight (Approximate)4.15 kg