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Holiday 2012: Multi-Room Wireless Music Streaming from Sonos

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a stereo system in every room of your house? You could continuously listen to music or the news as you accomplished tasks in each space. The Sonos Wireless Hi-Fi System takes this idea to a whole new level, expanding it to functionality never before possible. In addition to hearing your favorite album all over the house, you could play jazz in the dining room, while playing classical in the bedroom and world news in the kitchen. What’s more, each room will have your entire digital music library and the Internet at its disposal. And you can operate the whole thing from the free Sonos Control app for your tablet or smart phone.

The Sonos Wireless Hi-Fi System is made up of modular components, including speakers and various integration tools. You can customize the system to your living space with the option to expand at any time. To use a Sonos system, you’ll need one component connected to your wireless router. This allows the system to stream music from your computer, network-attached storage device, or the Internet. Once this connection is made, all other Sonos products will operate wirelessly.

The simplest configuration is one player in a single room. Just connect either the Sonos PLAY:3 or PLAY:5 All-in-One Wireless Music Player/Speaker to a router with the included Ethernet cable. If you can’t conveniently place a PLAY speaker near your router, the Sonos Bridge can provide the required connection and enable streaming to all other Sonos products.

PLAY:3 is the entry level Sonos music player/speaker. It contains three dedicated digital amps, two mid-range drivers and a single tweeter and bass radiator. The more robust PLAY:5 is a 5-driver speaker system with five dedicated digital amps, two mid-range drivers, two tweeters and one bass driver. The PLAY:5 also adds an 1/8” stereo line in, an 1/8” headphone jack and an extra Ethernet port. According to Sonos, the PLAY:5 is a great fit for rooms where you do the majority of your listening and entertaining. A feature called Stereo Pair Mode allows two PLAY:3 or PLAY:5 models to be used as left and right channels, enhancing the listening experience. The PLAY:5 and PLAY:3 are each available in white or black.

A recent addition to the Sonos Wireless Hi-Fi System is the SUB. This wireless subwoofer is compatible with both PLAY:3 and PLAY:5 speakers. SUB features two Class-D digital amplifiers and two force-canceling speakers positioned face-to-face to eliminate any cabinet buzz or rattle. To install, you press one button and follow the prompts on your Sonos app or software. The Sonos system automatically balances the SUB with your existing Sonos components. SUB can be placed anywhere in a room, allowing it to easily do double duty as the Sonos component wired to your router.

If you already have a stereo system or AV receiver in a particular room, you can add the Sonos Connect to turn it into a streaming music system. The Connect features a line input and both digital (optical/coaxial) and analog (RCA) outputs for connection to your receiver.

The Sonos Connect:AMP allows you to use the Sonos system with passive speakers of your choice. In addition to being a wireless Sonos component, Connect:AMP is a stereo amplifier that features 55W per side (at 8 Ohms) of Class-D rated output power. It features a line input, an unpowered subwoofer output and binding post/banana plug connectors. The amplifier automatically detects a connected subwoofer and engages an 80 Hz crossover.

If you own an Apple AirPort Express, it can be connected to the line input on the Sonos PLAY:5, Connect or Connect:AMP, allowing you to stream music additionally from your iOS device. Although not compatible with iPad, the Sonos Dock will also integrate your iPod or iPhone as a wireless audio source, with the added benefit of charging it simultaneously.

The Sonos Wireless Hi-Fi System is a music and control system that affords room-to-room listening flexibility. Enjoy your playlists from iTunes, Internet stream from Pandora or Spotify, and enjoy compatibility with almost every type of audio file.