So after 30 days of real-world use, here is what I like and what I don’t.
What I Like
- Ease-of-use is what makes Sonos such a great system. Just open the app, choose a source and within five seconds you’ve filled your space with music.
- I have yet to experience any audio dropouts. Sonos’ reliability is incredible, it always plays when you want; no trying-to-connect errors, no going offline, it just works!
- I love the way Sonos handles multiple users. For example, in my house let’s say I have all three PLAY:1s playing my music, but my wife wants her music in the living room and to turn off the kitchen audio. She can do exactly that without interrupting the music in my office. Multiple sources and zones can be changed by any user at any time, with ease.
- Audio quality! Yes, it’s very good, even from Sonos’ entry level speakers. I have yet to think to myself, “I should consider an upgrade to the PLAY:3 or 5.” I’m very impressed by the sound that comes from these little speakers!
- Moving them to a new location is a breeze. As long as you have an available wireless signal, you can move it to that location. I have used a PLAY:1 on the back porch and in my garage just by moving them and plugging them into power again. Don’t forget to rename them if they are going to stay in that spot for a while.
- Trueplay, Sonos answer to room correction. It’s free and works very, very well. You’ll definitely want to use it!
- The three control buttons on top of the PLAY:1 are actually very useful. I didn’t think I would need them, but they’re handy for simply adjusting the volume or pausing the music when my phone is not nearby.
What I Don’t Like
- No voice control (yet). Amazon Echo announced that they will be able to control Sonos, but not until the update arrives in 2017. Currently my Amazon Echo Dots control nearly everything in the house, but the last remaining major system in my home it doesn’t control is Sonos.
- No audio inputs. It would be nice to have stereo RCA inputs and a subwoofer output. That way I could make use of an Amazon Echo Dot for streaming, and an external sub. Remember that Sonos does make a subwoofer, if you are interested. Depending on how often you need it though, it can seem overpriced. The PLAY:5 includes a line input, but at two-and-a-half times the cost of a PLAY:1. For that money, it’s not something I really need.
- I know of Sonos’ reputation for ease-of-use, however I still feel it could benefit from a more graphical user interface to manage each PLAY speaker with each source; maybe some sort of mapping tool to see what’s playing and where in your home. It’s still very good, but not perfect.
So there you have it, after 30 days of real-world use, here’s my summary.
Recommended? – Yes! Make sure you get the right PLAY speaker for your room size. Don’t expect a single PLAY:1 to fill a 30×30-foot room with full, rich sound.
Worth the cost? – I would say so. For only $600, I got reliable, great-sounding audio in the three main rooms of my home.
Is it perfect? – Is anything? I feel the app could still be better and I’d like to see Amazon Alexa support as well as stereo inputs on the PLAY:1 and PLAY:3. And a sub out would be nice too.
Sonos Play1 system rated on a 10-point scale? – Easily earns a 9.