Sonos is the easiest way to have access to all of your music and play it through-out your home. Most of our music collections these days consist of music on a hard-drive, iTunes or a cloud based streaming service like Spotify, MOG and others.
Sonos brings all of this together on an easy to navigate app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android. There is also a very robust computer interface which is where you start your Sonos configuration.
Another great feature is that you enter your zip code and the Sonos will find your local radio stations (through the internet) and provide a high-fidelity stream - no more worrying about large bulky FM antennas and poor reception.
So what do you need?
1 - First you will need to figure out how many areas you want music. You will either need a set of speakers to be installed or you can use the Sonos Play3 or Play5 which are completely integrated wireless Sonos solutions that can be moved from room to room. If you install speakers, you will need either a Sonos Connect or Connect Amp. The Connect is for areas that already have an amplifier like your surround sound system whereas the Connect Amp is for a set of speakers that needs power amplification.
2- Second, you will need to determine if you want all zones to play the same thing or if you want to be able to control them separetely. For all zones playing the same thing, all you need is a multichannel amplifier, some speakers and a single Sonos Connect. This will feed the single Sonos feed into the amp which will play that single feed to all the speakers. If you want separate zone control, you will need to buy a Sonos Connect Amp for each set of speakers. Then you can turn on/off and control volume and song selection individually for each zone (you still have the ability in this setup to have all zones play the same thing if you are entertaining).
How much does this all cost?
- A starter system consists of a Sonos Connect ($349) plus a couple speakers, some wire and a little labor to put it all together will run you between $900 - $1,400 per zone depending on your speakers selection. We recommend speakers from Definitive Technology.
- The Play3 ($299) and Play5 ($399) are easy ways to get started with Sonos without any installation of speakers into your walls and these boxes can be easily moved around the house where music is needed.
We LOVE this system. Great streaming audio quality, very affordable compared to other distributed audio systems and the best selection of content around.
Bryan Gorog is the owner of BCG Concepts Audio & Video in Los Angeles, CA
Home Theater, Audio Video and Automation Blog - Los Angeles