We all know of Sonos’ breakthrough achievements in the whole-house audio genre.

With their products, it’s easy to distribute music to any room thanks to a simple to install wireless network and a complete line of speakers and amplifiers. It’s a total ecosystem of audio for your entire home.

Figure 1, Sonos Play:5

Highlights

Sonos Play:5

  • Six Class-D digital amplifiers tuned to match six dedicated drivers
  • Three tweeters and three mid-woofers
  • Phased speaker array, three drivers on top and three on the bottom
  • 3.5mm line-in with auto-detect
  • Adjustable bass and treble controls

Some time ago, I shared my thoughts on 30 days with Sonos focusing entirely on the Play:1. After a year with the system, I recently had the chance to try a Play:5, the biggest of Sonos’ all-in-one speakers. I have always loved the Play:1 and still highly recommend it, but the Play:5 is in a completely different league.

SONOS SPEAKER REVIEW SPECIFICATIONS

GENERAL

Dimensions (HxWxD):

8.03” x 14.33” x 6.06”

Weight:

14lbs

Product finish:

White or black matte enclosure with graphite grille

Touch-interface

Controls & lights

Capacitive touch controls

For volume up/down, previous/next track, and play/pause

LED:

Indicates Sonos component status and mute status

POWER & NETWORKING

Power supply:

Auto-switching 100-240V, 50-60Hz AC universal input

Wi-Fi:

802.11b/g

Ethernet port:

1 x 10/100Mbps

Sonos Play:5 MSRP:

$499

Company:

Sonos

Figure 2, Sonos Play:5

Does It Sound Good?

To answer that question in one word, yes, it sounds great (okay, that’s four words). I know many audiophiles are not big fans of Sonos speakers for a few reasons, and while I agree to an extent, Sonos is not trying to make the best-sounding speaker on the market, bar none. Sonos is about bringing great, easy to use sound to the masses.

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They want to do away with the crappy $199 sound bar with a wireless sub sold at every big box store and present an option that is still easy use and install but sounds far better with an amazing app. Sonos has accomplished just that and while you won’t ever see Sonos in my two-channel room or home theater, you will find it in my garage and kitchen.

Figure 3, Sonos Play:5

Do I Need A Play:5?

For larger spaces, I suggest going with the bigger Play:5. The same applies if you are looking for overall better sound in a room. You can also use two Play:5s in a stereo setup or as rear surround speakers. There are endless ways to use it to add great sound into any room in your home. There are no hard and fast rules as to what size room is best, but generally, anything bigger than 20×20 with high ceilings is appropriate for a Play:5.

What I Like
  • Fantastic bass for its size, it really does sound good in a large room, and it’s even better with a subwoofer.
  • Very crisp highs and mids
  • A solid upgrade over the Play:1
  • Easy to use app that gets better with each update
  • Expanding ecosystem of speakers, a great system to invest in

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What I Don’t Like
  • Cost is a bit high, but if you look at what you’re getting with the app, it’s a good value.
  • More color options would be nice to help it blend into more rooms

Figure 4, Sonos Play:5

Conclusion

The Sonos Play 5 is one of the best all-in-one speaker options you can buy on the market today. Yes, I realize there might be better sounding options, but the ease of use, sound quality, value, and app all together is what makes this speaker such a great package. $499 gets you one heck of a lot!