Thank you Sonos. That is from the bottom of my music-loving, wire-hating heart. Thank you for bringing music back into my life. With a Sonos system, you can listen to all the digital music that lives on your computer, or Internet radio and music subscription services without a computer. And you can listen to it from speakers you already have anywhere in your home (or add them, if you don’t have speakers there already). And did I mention that you can do all this wirelessly? That means no ugly speaker wires running under your carpet or on your walls. You don’t even need an existing wireless network. The system creates its own network.
So why do I adore my Sonos system so much? Because even though I’m a technology-savvy woman, I still hate spending hours setting stuff up. And stereo systems suck. There’s so much to deal with and you still have to play CDs! Blah. So when I got the packages from Sonos and looked at the several pieces it included, I was a little nervous that it would take longer than I hoped. But after I unpacked all the elements and looked at the directions, I knew I could set it up easily and alone.
The Speaker Bundle 150 I’m using includes everything you need to play wireless music in two rooms of your house (including one set of speakers). If you want more, you can add on as you go. You get the Sonos Controller, which lets you control the music you’re playing in any “Zone” (i.e.: room or area) you’ve set up. And on that note, you can also download a free app for your iPhone or Touch that will do the same thing. It also includes two Zoneplayers, which are the bridges that connect your speakers to wherever your music is stored. One Zoneplayer is amplified (which means you can attach unpowered speakers—the ones with no power cable, just speaker wires) and one is not. The included set of fairly attractive, small-ish bookshelf speakers is unpowered.
Now, I live in an apartment, so for me having small speakers I could set up with the amplified Zoneplayer and put behind a vase and some pictures is fabulously nice. And because my living room, dining room and kitchen are all one room, it covers quite a lot of real estate. I will note that before Sonos, I listened to all my music on my laptop speakers, which truly sucked. We moved recently with two kids and I just never got around to setting up my whole stereo system. And let it be said that my husband is not a tech kind of dude. He has trouble using a drill. So yes, I was not exactly wired for tunes in my new place. It took me approximately 15 minutes to set the whole thing up. The other Zoneplayer went in the bedroom where I have a small surround sound system set up with the plasma TV.
The one problem I did encounter was getting my firewall to accept the Sonos system. But the software, which I downloaded from an included CD, helped me figure it out with step-by-step directions in a fairly timely manner.
As for the music, Sonos plays your already downloaded digital audio library, music services, including iTunes Plus, Rhapsody, Pandora and Amazon MP3, and Internet radio (There’s over 25,000 stations to choose from. My husband is British so we like to tune into BBC music and news stations.). We use Rhapsody in our home and pay a monthly fee ($12.99) to download anything we want. It’s more if you want to download music onto a portable device ($14.99), but it’s a bargain with Sonos. New Eminem album? Download it (the edited version, of course) to check it out. The Jungle Book soundtrack for my three-year old? Sure. And on that note, the service also includes read-aloud stories to keep the kiddies busy and away from the dreaded TV.
Now I know $1,149 may seem fairly expensive (There are other, less pricey bundles available. See "Music Unleashed."), but it's a truly hassle-free way to change the way you listen to music.
Sonos Speaker Bundle 150 ($1,149) This system includes the remote control, one powered Zoneplayer and one regular Zoneplayer. Buy Now