Sonos Play:3

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. Does that mean it's worth saving up for? We think so.

For

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

Against

  • 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 flagship wireless speaker unit, the Play:5, is an excellent piece of kit but the one thing that it lacks is an affordable price tag.

Enter the Sonos Play:3, a speaker set offering the same great functionality in a smaller, cheaper package.

Speaking of cheap - a single Sonos Play:3 will set you back $249/£259 which may sound like a fair lump of cash, but it's fairly reasonable compared to the Play:5 units, which sell for around $100/£100 more.

The beauty of the Sonos system is that you can start with one speaker, 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 the free controller app on iOS or Android.

Sonos play3

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 than the bigger model while still getting a bit more sonic mileage than the Sonos Play:1 or Sonos One smart speaker – but we'll come back to that later.

It does all come in a smaller housing, though – about half the size of the Play:5, 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).