Sonos 2 x PLAY:1 Bundle Review
So I'm sitting here listening to my new PLAY 1 as I type, for inspiration you could say, but it's not really required - I would already have these speakers and the Sonos system down as some of the best money I've ever spent!
My purchase - a bundle of 2 x PLAY 1 speakers and a free Bridge unit. Great price and service from Smart Home Sounds by the way. This is my first toe dip into the world of Sonos - I've been thinking about a wireless system for a while, and went for Sonos after hearing and seeing it in action at a friends house.
On arrival, you are instantly impressed with the quality of this product, great packaging (that mouthwatering can't wait to get in the box type), and the weight of them, heavy as you would expect from a well made speaker. Out of the box, a really solid, compact unit, chunky, simple and discreet. The PLAY 1 would hide away easily if you wish or look cool and unobtrusive on a shelf or wall mounted. It comes with a mains cable and ethernet cable in a colour to match the unit, and the set-up guide.
There are four simple steps to set up the unit - plug in and connect via the ethernet cable to your router either your PLAY 1 or your Bridge unit, plug in any other units you have around your house, download the Sonos App / Controller and then link them all up to your system, giving them the name of the room that you want to play them in. It really is very, very easy. The only glitch I had was that it took a few goes to get my second speaker linked up. No idea why, maybe it was a Wifi problem, so if this happens just go back and try again. All in all it took about 10 mins to get set up - and that's it - you are ready to go!
When you go into the controller or App, you simply add your music services and device file locations, again extremely easy and quick. Then you just navigate to whatever you want to play, be it your own music, a paid streaming service or digital radio via TuneIn (free and already on the system). You can create playlists, load music onto a queue, shuffle everything, play something specific - whatever you want, just like any good music controller or App. You can play different music on all your speakers and control each on individually, or group them and play the same thing throughout your house. I put one speaker upstairs and one downstairs, and when linked they are in perfect sync.
Anyway, onto the most important bit, the sound quality from the PLAY 1 speakers. Well, for such a small, compact unit, the sound is amazing! They have a real "big speaker" sound to them, plenty of bass and a real depth of audio. No distortion even when blasted out at top volume (only for a minute though - sorry neighbours!). And they do go really loud as well! The volume range is wide so I would say PLAY 1 or a set of them would be suitable for other environments too, not just home listening. My front room is about 16m square and a PLAY 1 is more than ample for everyday listening, although to get that stereo sound I am definitely going to add another at some point - but for now even just with one I have no complaints. You have bass and treble adjustments within the controller app so you can set the speaker as you want it. And because of their weight, no horrible vibration at higher volumes or heavier bass either. Perfect!
They are fully humidity sealed too so you will have no probs in the kitchen or bathroom (obviously you couldn't plug it into a 3 pin socket in the bathroom), or you could tow it outside in summer without worrying, so another big tick for PLAY 1.
My only concern about the system was Wifi problems. In my house I have two rooms where the Wifi really struggles - but I needn't have worried, as even in the worst room the PLAY 1 works perfectly and consistently.
So all in all, I would give the PLAY 1 speaker 5 out of 5 - I love it - great sound, classy build quality and so easy to use - I really can't find any negative points! If you are thinking of investing in a wireless music system, Sonos certainly gets my recommendation, and I would say start off with the PLAY 1 and go from there - you won't be disappointed.