Sonos S5 Music System Review

Sonos S5 Music System Review

Features

If you have wireless in your house, then the Sonos S5 has great wireless streaming ability, from online as well as from your computer. Basically you can stream music to either Sonos S5 system from anywhere around the house from either your computer, or in the case of portability, your Android or Apple device. Each controller allows you to see what song is playing, what song is up next, and what songs you currently have in your playlist.

The Sonos Experience easily allows you to control your music without any pressure of difficulties, and makes it quite enjoyable to find music to play. We already mentioned that you can play different music on both Sonos S5 speakers, which is quite useful if you want to host different kinds of music in different rooms. And the ease of being control both speakers from a singular device is surprisingly easy (although considerably faster on an iPad).

One of the best features of the Sonos S5 system is the ability to use their online streaming services, the best of which is Anubis.FM. Basically if you read our review, you’ll understand that you might have to pay a monthly usage fee, but the benefit is that you get access to over 4 million tracks to stream, and they all stream in brilliant quality, and the start times are close to instantly.  However if you don’t feel like paying, Sonos S5 also comes with access to over 100,000 radio stations, shows and podcasts all for free, as well as the ability to connect to up to 16 computers if you have various music on different computers. Analog inputs also allow you to connect to an external source such as such as a CD or MP3 player, TV, DVD, or radio which is useful, but if they had added an HD port so you could perhaps plug in your PS3 for High Def Sound, that would have been amazing.

Other streaming services you can use are Last.FM, Stitcher Start Radio, Wolfgangs Vault as well as Rhapsody.

Performance

Let’s get this out of the way – The Sonos S5 speakers sound great, and we were pleasantly surprised at how good they actually sounded. There’s actually a reason for this, and thats the way Sonos has built the system to have 5 speakers powered by 5 dedicated digital amplifiers. Within the speakers is also a subwoofer which produces powerful bass while two mid-range drivers and two tweeters fill out the sound. The 5-watt (per channel) amplifier might not sound like much, but combined with the other parts, it makes for a certain great set of speakers.

As usual Music systems, the treble and bass are adjustable, and while the Bass isn’t the best we’ve heard on similar speakers, they do the job. As for volume, they output a decent amount of sound to use the speakers for parties. In fact, during our testing sessions at maximum volume, the neighbors came over to complain about how loud it was, so kudos Sonos. The amp is powerful enough to give you a party in a box and we wondered how Sonos managed to combine incredible sound with their price point, as the Sonos S5 does manage to sound better than certain well known brands, while costing less.

The only problem we had was that while sounds quality was good, the sound quality wavered a little at higher volumes. This is to say, there was loss of sound quality at the highest volume levels, which we found slightly annoying, but we don’t see people using these speakers for Parties only, so it shouldn’t be a major problem.

Value

In Australia (which is where we are located), each Sonos S5 speaker system is valued at $599, and each ZoneBridge is valued at $169 (As of July, the ZoneBridge price has been reduced to $79), meaning that the entire setup with two Sonos S5 systems and a ZoneBridge will run you $1,367 ($1,277 after ZoneBridge reduction), which when you think about it is quite decently priced, especially when you think about the performance to price value you are receiving. Yes there are additional costs if you want to pay for streaming music services (which we would recommend), but at the end of the day you’re getting two speakers, a ZoneBridge connector and access to quite a few radio stations.

Of course, you can always just go ahead and purchase the singular Sonos S5 with the ZoneBridge (which makes streaming so much easier), and it won’t cost you as much. We here at Techin5 think the Price to Performance Value is great, although a sweet spot would have been closer to $1,200 (or slighly lower even).

Techin5 Review Score
Designwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The build quality is quite good, the speakers feel solid and well built. The bottom also features a rubber bottom, which helps place the speakers anywhere you want without damaging the surface
Ease of Usewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Setup was fairly easy with only minor hitches, and the process was quite quick. Everyone should be able to use the Sonos S5 system easily as well.
Featureswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Access to over 4 million tracks for streaming with a paid cost, and over 100,000 free radio stations, podcasts, and shows. The Sonos S5 system also has Android and Apple apps, which allow you to control your music how you want on the system.
Performancewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Quite Good, putting it plain and simply. Music is crisp and clear, and songs start up very quickly. Slight loss of sound quality at higher volumes
Valuewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
$599 per Sonos S5 Speaker, and $169 per ZoneBridge might seem a bit, but you do get quite a bit for that price so the price is fairly well justified, even if we do wish it was slightly cheaper
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The Sonos S5 experience has been quite good for us at Techin5, and from people who love listening to music, we would certainly recommend it to all. The sound was quite good, the build quality was excellent, and you are getting quite the package. It's your own personal Party in a Box


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Founder and Chief Editor of Techin5, currently based in Melbourne Australia. Has always had a deep appreciation of Technology and how it helps people, which led to the birth of Techin5. You can follow me on Twitter at @jubbing and on Instagram