During the festive season many people become perplexed by the huge amount of gift ideas swimming around in their heads, trying to pick out the perfect match for their loved ones. One such area that has always been extremely popular is music, more specifically the equipment that plays music. It used to be that a pair of speakers, an amplifier or even a little mini system would be unravelled and the first thought by many was, “goodness me, where am I going to find a place to put this” or “there are going to be wires everywhere”.
Thankfully we’ve moved on a little since then and with the explosion of Wi-Fi connections and mobile networks available to us the popular norm for music nowadays appears to be either streamed or downloaded. This is the area of expertise for one very well respected and entrepreneurial company by the name of Sonos.
In 2002 they revolutionised the modern music market by creating a series of speakers that would not need any more cumbersome speaker cables or huge amplifier modules. All they would require was a Wi-Fi connection and a power cable. Today that ethos still survives and has gone from strength to strength with the unveiling of a new speaker last year and a brand new operating system that has simplified even the simplest of applications.
I refer you now to these wireless wonders starting with the newest speaker to the family, the “Mini but Mighty” Play 1. It’s the smallest of the speakers and is the best unit for beginning your Sonos journey. It has a powerful bass driver that surprises most people when they listen to it in our store with a good mid range and treble offering to boot. One of the nice features on this speaker is that it has a moisture resistant grille that means you can place this speaker in a kitchen or bathroom area where there may be steam or small amounts of moisture around. Of course be careful to avoid direct contact with water!
This speaker is also capable of being paired with another Play 1 to create a stereo pair that gives a much greater separation between the left and right channels. They can also be introduced as a pair to compliment the Playbar to give a comprehensive and great sound surround sound system for your TV! These are available in White or Black and start from around £169.
The next speaker in the series is the Play 3. A little larger than the Play 1 it boasts 2 mid range drivers and a bass unit to give a very crisp treble and a lot more depth to the mid range. This is a perfect speaker for a kitchen area or a bedroom as it’s unobtrusive and still provides a great level of volume and audible pleasure. Again these can be run as a stereo pair or work as part of a surround sound package. Both black and white colours start at around £250.
The last in the stand-alone speaker category is the bigger and broader Play 5. This speaker carries the most driver units (1 bass woofer, 2 mid range woofers and a pair of tweeters) to give the greatest levels of depth and brightness to your music. Considered to be either a living room or dining room speaker this unit again works with the stereo pairing system to great effect but is not compatible with the surround package. Again, as with the previously mentioned speaker’s, white and black colours are available and prices start from around £350.
The other two stand-alone speakers that Sonos can offer are slightly different from the 3 we’ve just covered. The first is probably one of my favourite products here at Richer Sounds and that is the Sonos Playbar. It looks like, and works like, any other traditional soundbar with the added benefit of being able to do all your wireless music streaming. The quality of sound from this unit is truly incredible. Thanks to a multitude of drivers built into the bar there is a real sense of separation between a front, left and right channel when watching a movie, a great divide for stereo music and, as previously mentioned, when paired with two Play 1’s or 3’s the surround quality is fantastic too. Currently this unit is only available in a Black finish and is priced around £600.
The last of the wireless speaker units is a component that many will consider but return to buy after hearing, and this unit is the Sonos Sub. Unlike the previous units the sub will not work on its own, it always requires another speaker to pair with. The craftsmanship on this sub is second to none. You can even place a 50p on top of the unit at full blast and it will not shake it at all. But don’t let the clever construction fool you into thinking it hasn’t got the “umph,” if you’ll pardon the bassy phrase; This Sub is more than capable of giving that low end growl and tight punch with equal measure. Again this unit is currently available only in black and will set you back around £600 as well.
Author: Andrew, Weybridge store