You would think that having owned a wireless SONOS sound system in the house for a few years, I would be jaded. But when TC Acoustic, distributor for SONOS, sent me a Playbar, Sub and two of the new Play:5's to play with, it was like having a second honeymoon with a system I thought I already knew.
I set up the Playbar and Sub in my master bedroom, and used my two existing Play:1's to be the rear speakers. Now my bedroom became a home theatre. I used to watch my movies in the living room, where my home theatre is set up. But with the SONOS setup in my bedroom, the wife and I were now watching our Netflix and Apple TV movies in air-conditioned comfort.
The Playbar, Sub and Play:1s were compact and unobtrusive enough to reside in my bedroom, while giving me 5:1 surround sound. Most of our viewing happened on Netflix anyway, which meant tv shows and movies streamed from our TV were in surround. And because the system is wireless, using the SONOS wifi system, I didn't need to run unsightly wires in the bedroom to enjoy surround. I just needed to find power sockets to power the speakers.
With a complete SONOS system in the bedroom, streaming music from our Spotify account or from the music library on my home network drive was even more enjoyable. Playbar + Sub + Play:1s gives me great sound in the bedroom. Bass is solid, the highs and mids clear.
The first thing I do every morning now is turn on the room-filling music. Then when I am done dressing in the bedroom, and I move into the living room to read the papers, I use the SONOS app to shift the music to the SONOS system in the living room, where I set up the new Play:5's.
Ahhhh, the new Play:5. What a huge improvement from the older model! The new Play:5 really surprised me.
Two of these Play:5's set up as a stereo pair are enough to cover my living room with music. You can lie the Play:5 on its longer side for a wider sound stage or stand it vertically for more focused sound.
The older Play:5 had five speakers: two tweeters, two mids and one woofer. In the new Play:5, there are SIX drivers inside the box: three tweeters (one central, two side-firing) and three mid-woofers, each with their own dedicated amplifiers, which explains the clear and vibrant sound.
When you change the orientation of the Play:5, it knows if it is horizontal or vertical and adjusts itself accordingly.
Using new Trueplay feature in the SONOS app, I could tune the speakers to give me equal sound throughout the room or tell the SONOS speakers to focus on my sofa area, where I listen to music most. You use it by turning on Trueplay on your phone, then you turn it upside down so the mic is facing out, and then you walk around your room waving your phone up and down while Trueplay plays a test tone. You will look silly doing this, but the result is impressive, giving you better tuned sound for your room.
My pair of new Play:5's are so good, I don't even need to use the SONOS Sub for added bass (though if you wanted to, it would definitely sound better). I have my Sub with the home theatre setup in the bedroom, and just use the two SONOS Play:5s in the living room. The speakers, including the Sub, are wireless and easy to set up anyway, so I can always move the Sub to the living room to join the Play:5's anytime I want to.
The SONOS app is as usual, a treat to use. All my music services work with it, like Spotify and Apple Music. I would still love to be able to use my Spotify app directly, but the SONOS app is very usable, plus it knows to search for music on both my home music library and Spotify.
Now I am tempted to try adding more speakers into my study room, which currently has a lonely Play:1 in there. It's an audio addiction, I tell you. A SONOS one.
Go join the Tat Chuan Acoustic contest and stand a chance to win your own Play:5!