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First Look: Sonos ZonePlayer S5

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First Look: Sonos ZonePlayer S5

3:00 /

The ZonePlayer S5 shrinks the Sonos streaming music experience down to a compact single-speaker system with great sound, which you can control from any iPhone or iPod Touch.

[ Music ] >> David Carnoy: Hi. I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com, and I'm here to give you a quick video tour of the Sonos ZonePlayer S5. If you haven't heard of Sonos before, this is part of a multi-room wireless music system. This is really just one component. You can stream music from your computer to this through a wired network, but you really want to get something like a Sonos wireless bridge or another ZonePlayer to really connect this, and make this a true multi-room system. It's the first Sonos ZonePlayer to combine the wireless component plus the speaker, which makes it a whole lot more convenient to set up. So really what you're getting here is sort of a Bose sound dock-like speaker that connects right into your Sonos system. This runs around $400. It's a little bit pricey, but it's, it is around the same price as some of the higher-end iPod music systems out there. However, there is no iPod dock on this. The idea is that you stream music wirelessly to it. You can do that in a few different ways. Control the music remotely from the palm of your hand. You have to use either a Sonos remote, the CR200 is right now their newest remote, or you can use an iPod Touch or an iPhone. There's a free Sonos iPhone app that you can download. We're not going to go into too much detail on the setup of the S5, but I will say that Sonos generally does a very good job of making the setup very straight forward and user friendly. This is a fairly compact, though not tiny speaker. It actually does play very loud and is able to fill medium- to large-sized room with a good amount of sound. There are five drivers inside here. There's a subwoofer, two mid-range drivers as well as a couple of tweeters. You don't get a whole lot in the way of stereo separation. We're hoping some day that Sonos allow you to make one of these a, a left speaker and one a right speaker so that you can get the full stereo sound, but for this stout speaker, we did think that it was one of the better-sounding speakers with well-balanced sound. There's good amount of base. It's not too thumpy. Around back, there are a couple of Ethernet ports that allows you to use this as a network bridge. There's also an audio input so you can attach other audio devices to this, and there's also a headphone jack. In terms of buttons, Sonos really keeps things minimalistic. There's really only a volume up and down button on the top as well as a mute button. You also use those buttons to connect that to the rest of your Sonos network. The S5 is a key product for the company because it does allow you to integrate a speaker with that wireless component, and that makes placement a lot easier. You don't have to hook up speakers to a, a ZonePlayer. So this would be good for a living room, bedroom, den, but for now, this is certainly a good option, and one of the best options from Sonos. I'm David Carnoy, and that's the Sonos ZonePlayer S5. [ Music ]

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