Here at Smart Home Sounds, we always enjoy hearing how our customers are getting on with their Sonos setup. We took the time to ask Emilly Phillips a current student at the University of Birmingham, to share her experience. Here is how she got on with her first two weeks of Sonos.

As a student at the University of Birmingham, I had been looking to purchase a quality smart speaker for a while. I needed to be able to play music from my Spotify and SoundCloud accounts as well as finding a way to discover new radio stations as well as listen to my favourite station Kiss FM. I’d heard about Sonos from a friend, and following some research into their products, decided to take the plunge. Being on a student budget but wanting to access the world of Sonos I decided to go for the Sonos Play:1 speaker (the “baby” of the set); here’s how I got on…

The Sonos App and set up

First of all the Sonos app is very easy to use. Even my mum, who is not tech-savvy in the slightest (signing any Facebook comment with ‘mum xxx’ and zooming in on every Instagram picture I show her!), has been spotted using it to play her favourite Take That tracks.

It really does take a matter of minutes to set up, with simple step-by-step instructions to guide you through. Once connected to your speaker you have a massive range of platforms through which you can play a huge variety of music. I had immediate access to all my Spotify playlists and had my “Friyay” playlist blaring out of the speaker within 5 minutes of unpacking the box.

Another fab feature is that your phone isn’t connected to the speaker via a wire or bluetooth, thus enabling you to take it with you anywhere in the house whilst still controlling the music. The wireless / WiFi feature is something that initially had me confused and a little concerned however Sonos DOES NOT slow down your WiFi when in use as I foolishly thought. As a student I was sceptical about taking my speaker to uni as I feared it would slow down our WiFi and I would have to face the wrath of my housemates when their Netflix marathon was cut short. I have however been informed that Sonos speakers work exactly the same as playing music via apps such as Spotify and Apple Music from your phone / laptop.

A final element that I really enjoy is the Alarm option. I will happily admit that I am categorically not a morning person, but even I can’t resist getting up and having a boogie when my favourite playlist is my wakeup call every morning. Furthermore, you can set the speaker to play the radio at a set time, meaning you never have to miss the Radio 1 chart show again. The Tune-in Radio available on the app is also worth mentioning as it enables you to listen to any station from anywhere around the world, whenever you want (I recently got back from Bali and BaliFM is the ultimate throwback to some hilarious taxi journeys!).

The Sonos PLAY:1 Speaker

As I was new to Sonos and their speakers I went for the PLAY:1. This is the ‘smallest’ speaker of the family so I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and volume level it could reach. My PLAY:1 filled a medium sized room easily. I have had no problems with the volume level and it is a brilliant speaker for both background music when working and providing fantastic sound for parties. It is a neat speaker that comes in both black and white and fits nicely into any room. It is also worth noting that many people presume that because the speakers are “wireless” they do not need to be plugged in; this however is incorrect. Although they do not need to be connected to your devices via a wire, they do require an mains socket to obtain the necessary power to function.


I will admit that there is a certain addictive element to Sonos speakers. I have found myself trying to encourage friends and family to get on board and am already looking to add to my Sonos collection. It is definitely something that can be built upon over time, starting with one or two speakers and gradually adding more until you have the ultimate set up in your house (or in my case, as much as a student loan will allow!).

Written by Emilly Phillips, student at the University of Birmingham
Published by Smart Home Sounds Ltd.

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Smart Home Sounds is a UK Sonos specialist. We provide expert advice on the full Sonos range, from a single PLAY:1 to a full Sonos surround system with PLAYBAR, SUB, and PLAY:1's.

All our blogs are written in conjuction with our sister site Play Audio.