Sonos Connect review: Sonos Connect

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The Good The Sonos Connect brings the Sonos ecosystem to users who don't want a standalone speaker system. Setup is incredibly easy, and the software apps are effortless. Sound quality is good, and the digital output means it can be even better. The analog input means the system can stream analog components around your house.

The Bad There are other components in the Sonos range that beat it for sound quality. If you're not using it as part of a multiroom setup, it's somewhat pricey for what it does.

The Bottom Line The Sonos Connect brings effortless wireless media streaming to existing hi-fi owners, but it's not the first Sonos system we'd recommend.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8

When Sonos first appeared on the market in 2005, the focus was squarely on replaying music from networked computers but with the glut of streaming services its scope has increased dramatically. Sonos' biggest strength is simplifying the networking nightmares of installing most wireless music systems and sounding good in the process. The Sonos Connect brings these capabilities to users who want to add network music to an existing stereo, but is the asking price too high?

While most of the media streamers available today are no larger than a drink coaster in platform shoes, the Sonos Connect is one of the larger options. It measures 2.91 inches high and is roughly square at 5.35 inches wide and 5.51 inches deep.

The Sonos Connect resembles the larger Connect:Amp with the same squat shape, but instead of the two-tone color scheme the Connect opts for a simpler, and arguably more attractive, all-white design. The device sits on blue rubber feet, which offers some isolation from the outside world.

The front panel, like all Sonos players, features a mute button and volume up/down but sadly it lacks an on/off switch.

The Connect (left) and the Connect:Amp both feature volume controls on the front. Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive

If you have an existing stereo or home theater system and you're looking to add streaming, then the Sonos Connect is your beast. It's essentially a Sonos:Connect amp without the 55W-per-channel amplifier and as a result comes at a $150 saving.

The Connect was formerly known as the ZonePlayer ZP90, and was renamed just after the Play:3 came along. The company offers free control apps for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Unlike some of the competitive media streamers on the market, this is a music device only. While it may seem expensive for what it does at more than three times the price of the Apple TV and the Western Digital WDTV, the Sonos distinguishes itself by both a friendly interface and in the number of services it offers. Sonos' tagline is "Stream All The Music On Earth" and music subscription providers are added periodically. The most recent is Amazon Cloud Player and it joins a dozen other services such as Spotify, MOG and Pandora.

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