Sonos – The Best Way To Get Music Throughout Your Home

Somewhere around the year 2000, I was redoing a number of rooms in my house. I installed in-wall speakers in each of those rooms, so that I could have good audio throughout the entire house. Unfortunately, the system I really wanted was way out of my budget.

It was around 2006 when I first heard of Sonos, and it sounded exactly like what I wanted. Full-home music system, with good interface and a small footprint. Sonos had a few different products at the time. I purchased most of them and put them to use. They far exceeded my expectations.

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This sound system was awesome; I now had music all through my house. I could have different music in the kitchen, if my wife was in there, or I could have different music in the bedroom, if I was in there. Best of all, I could have all of my music at the touch of a button.

But there was a little bit of work I had to do at the time: I needed to digitize all of my music. I did some of this myself, but eventually, I ended up sending the majority of my CDs out to a service that converted them to whatever formats I wanted. At the time, Sonos was a cottage industry, and digitizing music had just sprung up.

Today, Sonos has matured nicely in their product line. They turned profitable in 2012, which is awesome for me because now I know that they’ll be around for a while. Since I’ve had a good deal of experience with them, let me tell you about their products.

Let’s start with what Sonos now calls the CONNECT:AMP. This is the product I have used the most. I put one of these in every room where I had installed speakers. What this unit does, once it’s linked into the system, is that it sets up a new zone for each room. When they connect, it allows you to add a pair of speakers to the system. So now that room becomes a ‘zone,’ which you can give a unique name, to keep everything in order. For instance, the zone that has the speakers in the kitchen, I just named “Kitchen.” KISS, right?

Now, if you already have a nice stereo—maybe in your living room—you would purchase a Sonos CONNECT. With the Sonos Connect, you can connect all those zone electronics without an amplifier. Connect this to your existing system, and you’ve now created another zone.

Sonos also has three all-in-one units that are basically speakers with all the zone electronics—speakers, amplifier, and zone electronics—built-in. This is an inexpensive and easy way to get music all throughout your home.

It is also a great way to get a multiroom system in a rental property, since there’s no drilling or holes necessary. There are three different speakers, depending on your budget/sound quality you desire inside the room: PLAY:1, PLAY:3, PLAY:5

I’ve used all the products discussed in this review so far, and can vouch for how well they all work. Plus, all systems are controlled by your phone or tablet. Sonos has updated and upgraded their user interface numerous times and it is top-notch every time. Using their software on a tablet is just awesome.

Since its inception, Sonos has been working to add media sources, so you don’t even need your own media to listen to everything you’d like. You can stream from Deezer, Spotify, Rhapsody, Pandora and a slew of other streaming media services. You can even plug in your iPod, iPhone, or any other source.

Set up is super easy; the entire system can be completely wireless. If you need to connect the old-fashioned way, just plug the Ethernet cable to any non-wireless device where it’s convenient to do so.

I just read an article about a guy who was using his Amazon Echo to play his music, instead of the Sonos. He said that, even though the sound on the Sonos was much better, he thought that asking Alexa to play something was just way more convenient. And I get it. It’s something I’d like to do one day, but the sound quality is more of a priority to me. (That said, I did put in place a hack for the smart things hub that allows me to have Alexa turn on Sonos by voice.)

Sonos isn’t flawless, but it’s getting there. If you’re looking for a whole house sound system, I say invest in the sound of Sonos. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

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