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Sonos PLAY:5: original music player is now the latest one!

Sonos PLAY:5 music player


Exactly six years ago, Sonos introduced its first all-in-one music player. Then called the ZonePlayer S5 but subsequently rebadged as the PLAY:5, it broadened the appeal of wireless music systems massively. Sonos equipment has always been easy to set up but, with the PLAY:5, systems could be created or enhanced without the need for additional amplifiers or speakers as the PLAY:5 contained everything.

The PLAY:5's great sound quality and looks, combined with the ease of installation and use have ensured that it has been a big seller and a key component in many Sonos set-ups. Over the years, Sonos has enhanced the player's functionality via firmware updates, two examples being the update to allow two identical players in the same room to become a stereo pair and the recent update that added Trueplay calibration. But firmware updates can only go so far. So the PLAY:5 has been retired to make way for a new version.

The new Sonos PLAY:5 has more speakers, each with their own amplifier. Three tweeters and three mid/bass drivers are arranged in such a way as to project the sound widely no matter what way up the speaker is placed. The new (larger) cabinet, the number and size of the mid/bass drivers and the move to a sealed enclosure all contribute to deeper (and higher-quality) bass.

The design of the new model makes it a more likely candidate than its predecessor to be used in a stereo pair. Colour options are black and white.

The free Sonos app provides a wealth of well-designed controls but the speaker's new-look, physical buttons can be used to make quick adjustments (play/pause, increase/decrease volume and next/previous track).

The new PLAY:5 doesn't include a headphone jack but, given the nature of multi-room systems, shouldn't be missed. A more useful external input is, though, provided to allow non-wireless sources to be played back through the Sonos unit.

The new PLAY:5 is priced at £429 and will be available from next week. Whenever a new Sonos product is released, the demand is such that we need to maintain a waiting list. To be sure of securing a PLAY:5 at the earliest opportunity, call in to Hi-Fi Stereo.

Date of article:21/11/2015

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