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Smart Speakers

Sonos Play 5 Review: The Diamond that You Shouldn’t Miss

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Music fuels this world. Music has the power to channel people’s emotions, old and young alike. More than anything, music is running a market that grew by 8.1% in 2017 (by the way, that’s an IFPI report saying).

An integral part of this thriving industry is speakers. But like any other product-line in the market, there are ton-loads of speakers scattered all over the place. In the rain-shower and mushroom-mania of speakers, people more than often get their hands on the not-so-good speakers and cringe in the worst of manners.

In this article, we are not putting up a list of the “best speakers in the history of ever”, or “top speakers blah-blah-blah”. However, we are simply, and honestly, putting forward a sleek and robust speaker – Sonos Play 5 – that you might have missed in your quest for the sleekest and most robust speakers ever.

Sonos Play 5

A Chinese proverb says “Equipped with knives all over, yet none is sharp”. However, Sonos has been consistently proving this old adage a wrong one.

The California-based consumer electronics company, which was once a tech start-up where nerdy engineers and crafty designers worked for their common love for music, has been a very smart market player from the beginning.

Its product portfolio is so diverse, yet the products have been built in such a manner that they complement each other. Sonos launched the Sonos Play 5 in October of 2015, which then went into the sale by November. With the Sonos Play 5, Sonos has really done worth to its tag of being the leader in smart sound for the home.

The Sonos team should give itself some credit for elegantly designing the new Sonos Play 5. This smart speaker is simple, easy to use, and brings the most vibrant sound yet to be heard from a Sonos home speaker. The 14 lbs-heavy SONOS PLAY 5 comes with all the cool features and new advancements.

SONOS Play 5 deploys six synchronized drivers, three mid-woofers and three tweeters to deliver an enriching listening experience. A touch panel on the side allows you to play or pause the audio, change the track and increase or decrease the volume of the audio.

A major feature here is the presence of smart sensors inside the panel, which makes these touch controls responsive to all orientations. The design of PLAY 5 enables it to bring out top notch and effective wireless performance to ensure that music always stays in sync without any lag or drops in between.

One of the best qualities of the Sonos Play 5 is its aesthetic look. The Sonos team has somewhere banked on the trend of simplicity that’s been going on for a while now.

Let’s get into some technical stuff here!

Product Specifics of Sonos Play 5

Audio

  • Six Class-D digital amplifiers allow matching six dedicated speaker drivers and the acoustic framework
  • Crisp and clear high-frequency response coming from three tweeters/treble speakers
  • Three mid-woofers enhances the distortion-less playback of mid-range vocal frequencies plus rich bass
  • Auto-detecting 3.5 mm connection

Power & Networking

  • Universal AC input of 100-240 V, 50-60 Hz with auto-switching
  • Uninterrupted wireless streaming through your home WiFi network with 802.11b/g, 2.4 GHz router
  • Ethernet port (10/100 Mbps) for directly wiring the Sonos Play 5 to your router

Looks and Dimensions

  • Height 8.03 in – Width 14.33 in – Depth 6.06 in.
  • 14 lbs (6.36 kg)in weight
  • Available colors – Matte black or White exteriors with graphite grille
  • Touch-sensitive controls & lights
  • Capacitive touch-control framework for adjusting volume, changing tracks, and play/pause.
  • Sonos component status and volume status through an LED

How to set up Sonos Play 5

Though setting up Sonos speakers was a real pain back in the days, but the past is past. Sonos was quick to realize the shortcomings and countered them with effective solutions.

Today, setting up a Sonos Play 5 is as easy as it gets. Let’s quickly look at these simple 7 step procedure to set up your Sonos Play 5:

1. Fire it up

Simpler words, turn it on. I don’t think you would like to, but if you are looking to connect the Sonos Play 5 to your router through the ethernet, place it in close vicinity with the router.

2. Sonos App

Head over to the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store. Download and install the Sonos App.
Oh, are you willing to do this much? How about I just post the links here:

Awesome, I know!
Right, so once you’ve installed the Sonos app in your phones or computers, the next step is..the one that I’ve explained below.

3. Your Set-up type

Yeah, so after installing the Sonos app, launch it and select ‘Set up a new Sonos system’. This will prompt the app to ask which setup type would you like.
If you’re establishing the connection over a Wifi network, without the Sonos Boost, just press ‘Standard Setup’. If you are using an iOS device then the app will also ask you to reconfigure your setup using Trueplay.

4. Find the Speakers

After you select the ‘Standard Setup’, the Sonos app will list all the nearby speakers that are available for the connection! You can choose between the speakers by swiping left or right on the screen.

5. Join the network

Do you see an ‘Infinity’ sort of icon on the back of your Sonos Play 5? This is where it will be used. After you’ve selected the speakers in the app, the Sonos app will ask you to press the ‘Infinity’ button on Sonos speaker at the same time.
This will enable the Sonos Play 5 to form a temporary Wi-Fi network for your device to connect to.

6. Final Configuration

Once the connection has been established successfully, the Sonos Play 5 will produce a ‘chime’ sound, and emit flashing orange light.
The app will ask for your confirmation about spotting the orange light on the speaker. Post your confirmation, the Sonos app will initiate configuring the speaker.

Once everything is done, you can name your Sonos Play 5 from the settings. You can try ‘dining room’, ‘Kamar Taj’, ‘North Korea’, or better ‘Wayne Tower’ – Batman rockssszzzzz.

Sonos Play 5 vs Play 3

Which one between Sonos Play 5 and Sonos Play 3 is better? This will remain on the minds of most of the enthusiasts and buyers who are looking at both the speakers.

Well, here are some of the most notable differences between the two smart speakers, which might help you make the right choice:

Sound Quality

One of the most decisive factors while buying, not just Sonos speakers but, any speaker is the quality of sound. While the Sonos Play 5 comes packed with incredible internal acoustics, Sonos Play 3 struggles a little bit here.
Play 5’s three tweeters, three dedicated mid-woofers, and amplifiers completely outshine PLAY 3’s single tweeter and two mid-range drivers. There is absolutely no discussion here.

Controls

There is no easy way to say this. The modern world is totally touch-centric. Although Sonos totally allows you to control Sonos Play 3 and Sonos Play 5 through the app, both the speakers feature control panel on the body.

While PLAY:3 has top-panel buttons and lights, the Sonos Play 5 deploys easy touch controls. A gentle touch will change the volume, and a smooth swipe changes the track.
However, the sensor on the touch panel is right in the center of the icon, so you might face a little challenge at first.

Voice Control Options

Both the speakers offer voice control options such as Alexa voice assistant, enabling you to use the speaker hands-free.
However, Sonos Play 5 has integrated the control of different voice assistants. This will attract a lot of clients who are already tied to other smart home ecosystems.

Judgement

All in all, with Sonos Play 5, the 16-year old company has embedded the essence of simplicity into a smart home speaker. The new Sonos PLAY:5 allows users to seamlessly connect it with all Sonos smart speakers.

More than anything, Sonos Play 5’s ability to act as rear speakers in home theater setups with Sonos Playbar and Sonos SUBtm is impressive. It’s like building a whole new ecosystem of smart speakers with one app, that is both easy-to-use and quick in operation.

The Sonos app has also integrated most of the music apps like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, and others. With Sonos Play 5, Sonos has taken another big step in the direction of becoming a global music brand.
Through its sheer dedication to transforming the experience of listening quality music, Sonos has channeled a market, which, as I said before, is growing at an exponential rate.

A footprint in more than 60 countries is evidence to Sonos’ growing popularity. It is now tieing with numerous music providers, to continue its offerings in all countries. It’ll be interesting to observe the results of Sonos’ investment in software and services.

If this American firm plays it right, it might have a monopoly on the smart speaker market in the years to come. Of course, that is subject to the degree of improvements Sonos brings in its products and its services.


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