A while back we reviewed the Sonos Multi-Room Music Digital Player. The system was, and still is a great way to spread out your media library through out your home. Unfortunately, the system isn’t for everyone since its set up is pretty complicated between all of the equipment and wires. Now Sonos has announced the ZonePlayer S5, a wireless system that shares a lot of the same features as it’s older brother. The new Sonos ZonePlayer S5 has been designed from the ground-up to be an easy to use system right out of the box.
The system is comprised of 5 speakers powered by 5 dedicated digital amps. Sonos claims that the system can provide the same audio experience like that of the B & W Zeppelin ipod speaker dock, but the Sonos S5 should not be confused with an iPod Dock. However, the device is designed to work seamlessly with the iPhone using the Sonos Controller app that lets you control the S5 wirelessly. I got try out the app and operate the S5 in person. The app’s interface is excellent, it lets you easily navigate through your iTunes collection streaming from your PC, as well as navigate through music playing on Last.fm, Napster, Pandora, Rhapsody and Sirius. Another great feature of the S5 is that you can buy up to 5 of them to place throughout your house, and you’ll be able to control all of them using a single iPod running the free Sonos Controller app. The app also lets you specify which track is playing in which room, or you could have the same track playing in multiple rooms while totally playing in sync with one another. I set “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga to play simultaneously in two rooms using the app, and I was impressed by how the music played back seamless and totally in sync with one another.
However, even if you don’t have an iPod or iPhone, the Sonos S5 will still give you access to all of these streaming music services like Pandora – and it will also still stream music from your PC. Overall, we like the direction that Sonos is heading. The original multi-room Sonos systems are still leading the pack at what they do, but there is a need for more simple to use devices that make it easy to bring these great streaming services in to your living room, or any other room for that matter. Even a tech-head like myself can appreciate the S5’s simplicity. The Zoneplayer S5 will retail for $399 and will be available to purchase on November 3rd.