Our evening with Sonos

At The Lowdown we like to let our hair down every now and then, and what better way to relax than with some good quality music?
Our evening with Sonos

Our setup consists of two PLAY:1s, one PLAY:3 and one PLAY:5 all of which do different jobs to help create the perfect sound.

We’ve got the two PLAY:1s wired together to provide a balanced stereo sound, the PLAY:3 is in the kitchen on its own, and our PLAY:5 – the monster – is in the livingroom.

First of all we’ve got to get them set up, which we found really straight forward with a littlehelp from a smartphone. All you need is a reliable Wi-Fi network, somewhere to plug them all in, and some music. Easy.

Start me up

Download the Sonos app (available for free from the App Store and Google Play store), and if you’ve got your speakers sat in front of you, you’re ready to go. The app will talk you through a step-by-step guide of what to do with each speaker, and the only additional information you’ll need is your Wi-Fi network’s password, which is normally printed on the router.

The only downside is that it’s a little more time consuming than using your run-of-the-mill Bluetooth speaker, as each one has to be synced individually. But, trust us, it’s well worth the wait.

Play that funky music

Now then, the good bit – the music. Basically, all the different sized speakers produce amazing quality sound, and generally speaking the higher the number, the richer the tone and deeper the bass.

All the speakers can be grouped together to play one song throughout your system, or they can each be programed to play individual tracks. Although this is a great feature, if you don’t space them out you will have a lot of music playing over itself, which we can’t imagine to be very pleasant.

Unfortunately we were a bit disappointed to discover that the PLAY:1s couldn’t be charged up and used without being plugged into the wall. As one of their big selling points is being able to operate safely in humid conditions, they would be ideal for shower sing-alongs.

The Americans and Europeans are a bit more fast and loose with their rules of having plug sockets in the bathroom, but here in the UK, we’ll sadly have to make do with the sound of silence whilst bathing.

There are a hoard of streaming services available that work with Sonos including Spotify, 7digital, Amazon, Cloud Player, Aupeo, Deezer, Napster, Rdio, SoundCloud and if you have your music offline, you can use iTunes, too. If you use a couple of these services, we can happily report that you will be able to use them together, as the Sonos app chucks all queued tracks into a big communal playlist.

Call me

Receiving a phone call whilst entertaining guests and playing music from your phone is always a bit embarrassing, but with Sonos, that’s not the case. The phone call won’t interrupt playback, won’t play through the speakers, and nor will the ringtone. So your conversation needn’t be broadcast to your guests.

However, just to play devil’s advocate, this can be viewed as both a negative and a positive. If, for example, you’re on your own and you need to take an important phone call, Sonos won’t automatically mute your music. You can however manually turn the speakers down by using the volume rockers found on top of each unit.

The verdict

We love the Sonos system, and look forward to the next opportunity to annoy the neighbours. The sound quality is first rate, and the option to simultaneously play different tracks is perfect for families with different tastes.

If you have any questions about Sonos, or would like some tips on setting up the perfect system, drop us a comment below.

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