Following the success of the Sonos S5/Play:5 speaker in the enthusiast market, Sonos has released another wireless all-in-one music system aimed squarely at mainstream music lovers.
The Play:3 provides the same funcitionality (and most of the sound) of its big brother, but in a smaller, more affordable package. It retails for $419, compared to the Play:5 which retails for $599.
The Sonos Play:3 is a wireless music solution that delivers the sound of a dedicated HiFi in a single compact speaker. The system uses SonosNet 2.0, a secure wireless 802.11n mesh network that provides a wireless range of up to 30 metres.
Also read: Streaming music around your house: an introduction
The new Play:3 system comprises one tweeter and two 3in mid-range drivers powered by three Class-D digital amps; and it packs a respectable wallop. We were given a brief demo of the Sonos Play:3 by Playback Systems reseller Richard O'Carrol, and the results were very impressive, particularly given the unit's miniscule size.
Distortion was a non-issue even when played at high volumes. "You can play the most insane death metal track going, dial it up to 11, and [the Play:3] will handle it, no problem" boasts O'Carrol. We didn't notice any speaker vibration either, which means you can place it on a loose shelf without any annoying rattling.
One of the key advantages of the Sonos Play range is their simplicity. The speaker connects to your wireless router via the Sonos Bridge (RRP: $79); from here, you can stream your MP3 library or access a range of music services using the free Sonos Controller app (available for Android, iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone).
The app also grants access to over 100,000 Internet radio stations, podcasts and audio shows from around the world. Naturally, an Ethernet port is included on the device for those who don't want to fork out for the $79 Bridge.
If you own multiple Play:3s, you can stream the same song to different speakers around the house or play different songs in each room. You can also pair two speakers together for proper stereo surround sound.
The Sonos Play:3 is available to purchase now in black and white variants. For more information, visit the Sonos website.