Summary: The ZonePlayer S5 is a standalone wireless audio system that is very simple and intuitive to set-up and operate. Its audio capability is impressive and it performs its purpose extremely well - quickly and easily accessing and controlling your computer's music collection, Internet radio and music services. Using the ZonePlayer is a very different experience than using an iPod dock, and once you have used it, you will never want to go back.
Pros: Extremely simple set-up and operation;, Impressive audio performance;, Allows whole house audio distribution with additional ZonePlayers;, ZonePlayers can be synchronized or play different music in different zones.
Cons: More expensive than many iPod docks;, Desktop Controller Software isn't as polished as it could be and has some issues with iTunes libraries;, Cannot play protected music songs, unless upgraded through iTunes.
is a standalone wireless audio system that is very simple and intuitive to set-up and operate. Its audio capability is impressive and it performs its purpose extremely well - quickly and easily accessing and controlling your computer's music collection, Internet radio and music services. Using the ZonePlayer is a very different experience than using an iPod dock, and once you have used it, you will never want to go back.
Excerpt: Sonos, a leader in low-cost, wholehouse audio, has made it possible to inexpensively stream audio from a computer to multiple A/V systems using one or more of its ZonePlayers. The $399 Sonos S5, the newest ZonePlayer, is completely self-contained. It incorporates its own power supply, amplification, and internal speakers, which allows audio streaming from a wide variety of sources without a dedicated sound system.
Conclusion: I really, really feel in love with that Sonos system. As stated, I did NOT want to send it back. It really enriched my existing system since I was already streaming music from my office computer. It fit in nicely and made everything easier to use. However, I think once you add up everything that I reviewed, the price is a bit steep at just over $1100.
Excerpt: You’re a busy guy. You like things simple, and you like things to work, and you like it to work well. You like listening to your tunes and Quick Mixes where and how you want them. The new Sonos S5 (which Gear Patrol is working to get one in for an official review) is about as simple as they come. Use your iPhone, Sonos Controller 200, or your Mac/PC to control the Sonos S5 and play your music remotely as it streams to the S5 via your wireless router.
Excerpt: At the last Gear Patrol management meeting, my dirty little secret was exposed. I don’t own an audio system. No stereo, no home theater system, just a clock radio. After Ben and Eric picked their respective jaws up from the floor, they handed me the Sonos ZonePlayer S5 and sent me home to expand my inner audiophile.
Conclusion: The ZonePlayer S5 overcomes some of its deficiencies—like the lack of an iPod dock—and shines as a relatively affordable entry into the excellent, but expensive, Sonos wireless music streaming system.
Pros: Full access to Sonos wireless music streaming—for far less than any Sonos starter bundle. Fills a large room easily with no distortion. Clarity throughout entire frequency range. Controlled by free app for iPhone and iPod touch, as well as any Sonos remote.
Cons: Needs to be connected via Ethernet (unless you have another Sonos ZonePlayer). No charging dock for iPod. No power switch.