Sonos Makes it Easy

Sonos 5.1 home music system
Sonos Home Music System


Many music lovers have fallen in love with Sonos, the home wireless music delivery system. Over the past decade Sonos has become one of the primary solutions for listening to music throughout your home, and that solution has been centered around the Sonos Bridge, a device that hooks into your home network and distributes music to all the other Sonos devices in your home.

Today Sonos has made things simpler by updating the firmware in their devices that eliminates the need for the Bridge. To many this is a much needed update to stay competitive. Setting up the Bridge was thought more cumbersome than many of the simpler Bluetooth devices that simply require you to sync your phone, or other devices.  

Sonos speakers range from $199 for their entry level Player:1 speaker, to $399 for the top of the line Player:5. Sonos also has a sound bar meant to set under a flat screen TV for $699, and a subwoofer that pairs with any of their other devices, at $699. The Bridge itself currently retails at $50.

How this upgrade, Sonos 5.1, is a win for some, for many it doesn’t change anything. The Bridge-less systems cannot combine devices to use as multichannel systems, meaning that those who currently use the sound bar with rear Play:1’s, a popular configuration, will still need the Bridge.

There is also the issue of WiFi device overload. How many WiFi routers can handle up to 50 devices, the more devices you have running, the more spread apart the bandwidth. By keeping the Bridge hardwired into the router, and letting it handle the wireless traffic, you alleviate much of the WiFi usage from your router.  

This is something Sonos knows as well. That’s why they are not just killing off the Bridge, but replacing it with a device called Boost. How details on the Sonos Boost are not yet available, it’s fair to assume it will power more devices, and at further distances. One also wonders if we may be seeing higher quality audio coming soon.  

I own several Sonos devices myself, including a Play:5, a box plugged into my headphone rig, and one plugged into my home theatre. The combination of Sonos with Spotify is something truly magical. Just about every song available in every room. I’m looking forward to see what Sonos does next.



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