After reporting on the existence of the Sonos S5, we were immediately excited to get our hands on a unit to see how it stacked up against the rest of the lineup. If you’ve followed us for any length of time, you know that we at Gear Live are huge Sonos fans, so it makes sense that our unit arrived as soon as they were available, and we had it set up within minutes. Literally.
The S5 is the easiest way to get up and running with Sonos. We had it unboxed, plugged in, and playing music in under five minutes, controlling it with an iPhone. The price is right too, something we’ve previously criticized Sonos about. The entry level into Sonos used to be $999, but with the S5 that drops down to $399. Put this one on your Christmas list, folks. We’ve snapped a bunch of images of the S5, which you can find in our Sonos S5 unboxing gallery.
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Gallery: Sonos S5 unboxing gallery
Just a heads up to any of you who want to add the Sonos ZonePlayer S5 to your current Sonos setup, or those of you who want to jump into Sonos for the first time for the lowest cost possible - the S5 is now shipping, and can be had for $399. We have one set to arrive later today, so we will hit you with a review after we play with it a bit.
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Sonos is looking to market to the iPhone and iPod touch crowd with their new ZonePlayer S5 wireless music system. If you’re familiar with Sonos, you know that the price of entry has always been a bit high historically. The ZonePlayer S5 brings that price down to about $400. You plug it in to a router, and you are good to go with the ability to play your entire music library, as well as music from services like Rhapsody, Napster, Last.fm, and others, by using your iPhone as the remote control.
The price rises if you don’t have an Ethernet port handy for the S5, as you would then also need to buy a ZoneBridge, which allows you to connect the ZonePlayer S5 (as well as any other ZonePlayers you have) to your network wirelessly. We definitely think this is a positive step in the right direction for Sonos. By adding an all-on-one ZonePlayer/speaker to their line-up at this much lower price point, they’ve made it enticing to check them out to see what all the fuss is about. We’d pick up a ZonePlayer S5 over a Bose Sounddock any day of the week.
Read More | Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Demo
Tom Cullen of Sonos stopped by to give us a first-hand look at the new Sonos Controller 200 CR200 remote control. A marked improvement over the original Sonos Controller 100, the CR200 is a full touchscreen device that allows you to interact with music from a vast amount of sources and services, both on your network and from the Internet, with relative ease. We give you a look at how it all comes together in this episode.
We’ve been waiting on this for a long, long time, and we are happy to share the news that Sonos has officially announced the Sonos Controller 200 CR200 remote. Why is this news to be excited about? Well, if you’re a Sonos owner (or a potential owner,) this means that you get a touchscreen Sonos remote, rather than the old-school click wheel version of the remote. Like the rest of the Sonos gear, this will work anywhere in the home, is meant to be a shared device that can be left in a common area, is more intuitive, turns on instantly when picked up, and has a nice capacitive VGA touchscreen. It even has a replaceable battery. The only thing that the old remote has that this new one doesn’t is that the new one isn’t water-resistant and splash proof. The Sonos CR200 goes on sale tomorrow, and will sell for $349, $50 less than the older model. Even better, the Sonos Controller 100 will be heavily discounted until they are sold out, so if you do want a splash-proof Sonos Controller that you can take to the hot tub, now’s your chance.
We’ve played with the new remote (video coming shortly!) and we can very easily recommend it - it makes finding music from the vast number of libraries and services that Sonos can connect to a breeze, because when you have that much music, a clickwheel just won’t measure up. Be sure to check out our Sonos Controller 200 gallery for a bunch of images of the new remote.
Read More | Sonos Controllers
After a month suspicion, the first image of the new Sonos CR200 controller has finally popped up. Sonos will be releasing a new portrait controller, which is said to include a touchscreen, which would include a QWERTY keyboard for searching for artists, albums, or song titles. As we’ve seen with the iPhone Sonos Controller app, the Sonos system and touch-screens go very nicely together. Let’s just hope the CR200 doesn’t cost $400 like the current Sonos Controller.
Read More | Automated Home
The latest version of the Sonos Controller for iPhone has been released, and it is the one we’ve been personally waiting for since the app was first made available. Why is that? Well, aside from all the other features, Sonos Controller 2.8.1 now supports DRM-protected Windows Media files, and Windows Media shares show up and are now browsable, as they’ve always been on the regular Sonos Controller. This means I can browse all my Zune music from the iPhone, and that makes me a happy boy. Here’s a look at all the new features:
- Full-featured alarm and timer functionality so you can wake up or fall asleep to your favorite music. Set, edit and delete Sonos alarms right from your iPhone.
- Support for 7 languages. Now you can control Sonos from your iPhone or iPod touch in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish.
- PC-free setup of your network music folders.
- Support for DRM-protected WMA files.
In order to take advantage of these, you’ll also need to update your Sonos system as well, to software version 2.8.
Read More | Sonos Controller for iPhone
So this morning we gave you the scoop on the new Sonos 2.7 features, along with the news of the new (and free) Sonos Controller for iPhone and iPod touch, but we figured you’d be interested in seeing how all this worked. Luckily, Sonos CEO John MacFarlane was able to stop by to give us a first look at all the announcements. In this episode, John walks us through all the new hotness that Sonos announced this morning. That includes a walkthrough of the new iPhone app, which incorporates and supports all those slick new Sonos 2.7 features that we’ve been raving about so early in the morning over here. If you are a music fan, you owe it to yourself to look into Sonos, if you haven’t already.
Oh, and be sure to check our Sonos for iPhone gallery if you wanna see some screenshots of the app in high resolution.
If you thought we were done with today’s Sonos news, think again - they’re on a roll, having just announced the availability of Sonos Controller for iPhone and iPod touch, for free. If you’re a Sonos fan, then you immediately understand what this means. If you own an iPhone or iPod touch, you get a touchscreen Sonos controller, at no extra cost. Seriously, that rocks. The new app gives you access to all the new Sonos 2.7 features we told you about earlier as well, like Rhapsody, Sirius, Last.fm, and tons of radio from across the globe. In fact, with the Sonos Controller for iPhone, you can access music from any computer on your network, a NAS drive, or even a Time Capsule. When you realize that one of the standard Sonos Controller remote costs $400, you begin to see how big a deal this is. Releasing this as a free download makes Sonos instantly easier to use, especially in a multi-zone, multi-iPhone household, like mine.
We are big fans of Sonos here at Gear Live, which is why we are super excited about the new Sonos 2.7 update that is launching today. This one truly fits in with the whole goal of filling your home with music from anywhere on the planet. Let’s jump into this. The new update provides computer-free access to services like Last.fm, Pandora, and more than 15,000 radio stations from around the globe, all at no additional fee. If you subscribe to a subscription service like Napster, Rhapsody, or Sirius, they’ve got you covered there too. They’ll all stream directly to your Sonos system, with no need for a computer or server running in the background. That’s some slick stuff.
Even better, the Last.fm integration is fantastic. Every song you listen to through a subscription service, or your music library, is scrobbled and added to your Last.fm profile. A few other new features in Sonos System Software 2.7:
- Rhapsody now streams at 192 kbps MP3 as opposed to 128 kbps WMA
- RTSP streaming protocol now supported, allowing for greater Internet radio coverage
- Better language support
The update is free to all Sonos owners.