Our VerdictUnfazed by time, the entry-level Sonos is just as effective as we remember ForImpressively…
Best Sonos Play 5 Black Friday Deals 2021
The biggest, boldest & most powerful speaker in the Sonos range, but new rivals have stolen a few of the Play:5’s thunder
Big, powerful sound
No high-res support
Is now able to be beaten for outright sound quality and value
It’s simple to forget what a crucial product the initial Sonos Play:5 was, both for Sonos and for music streaming all together.
Having previously centered on devices designed to hook up electronics and speakers created by others, the Play:5 was the company’s first all-in-one unit.
It had been so successful that Sonos remains first and foremost a radio speaker company today, spawning a bunch of rivals and opponents trying to emulate the Sonos model.
But standing is still comparable to going backwards in the tech world, so after six years and myriad software updates, the first Play:5 was retired and replaced by a fresh model.
This Play:5 Gen 2 was an excellent device when it launched, too, but a brand new look in light of the arrival of several new rivals proves it’s no more the most notable dog for sound quality, regardless if it remains the king of usability.
Best wireless speakers 2020
Sonos says the theory behind the look of the Play:5 was to create “the quintessential speaker for the digital age”, with a revamped design and the give attention to flagship sound.
It looks and feels dissimilar to the original, but ties in correctly with the company’s other newer additions, including the Sonos One and Sonos Beam.
Design hasn’t been taken lightly at Sonos, and every inch of the Play:5 will there be for a reason. It really is orientated in 3 ways – horizontally or vertically in any event up. This means the look must work across all orientations and, therefore, it leans more towards the more simplistic styling of the Sonos Play:3.
Thus giving it greater overall flexibility for placement in addition to a more ‘natural’ look when found in a stereo pair. Though technology will get smaller and thinner with every iteration, this Play:5 went the other way. It’s probably around the same width and height as the initial, but is noticeably thicker – and once and for all reason.
The initial Play:5 had a bass port on the trunk, which helped improve the bottom end while keeping it as slim as possible. However, this meant sacrifices too – it couldn’t go as deep as Sonos wanted and was vulnerable to port chuffing at certain frequencies.
For the replacement, Sonos lost the port and went for a sealed architecture, increasing the acoustic volume to permit it to go louder and reduced the bass. Sonos says the Play:5 is with the capacity of deeper, cleaner bass than even the Playbar – quite an achievement for something around one-third of the size.
The front grille is manufactured out of plastic instead of metal – an activity that extended the production by a year. In the initial Play:5, the antennas were in the plastic base, but that wasn’t a choice for its successor, therefore the six antennas (positioned for each and every possible orientation) needed to be positioned within the key body. A metal design proved impossible without affecting the wireless performance, therefore the design team devised an Audiofoil polycarbonate grille.
At that time, Sonos claimed the brand new Play:5 offered the very best wireless performance it had ever produced and, while it’s presumably now been surpassed by famous brands the PlayBase, we’ve found no fault in the Play:5 in the 3 years we’ve been using it.
The second-generation Play:5 was the point where Sonos lost the physical buttons, replacing them with touch controls that you’ll now find on lots of the company’s products. There are controls for play/pause and volume up/down, in addition to the capability to swipe left and to change track.
The quantity and track controls alter according to the speaker orientation, even though you’re more likely to accomplish almost all of the controlling together with your phone or tablet, the interface is responsive, with subtle tones that sound whenever your touch is acknowledged.
The only physical button you’ll find on the existing Play:5 may be the sync button on the trunk, which sits alongside the ethernet port and a 3.5mm aux-in. Even the energy cord was tweaked and designed in-house.
Not merely does the Play:5’s only wire look rather stylish by the standards of might be found, it’s also a far more environmentally-friendly, PVC and halogen-free cable too.
Sonos has tweaked its software over the year or two because the second-gen Play:5 release (and it’ll be obtaining the controversial Sonos S2 update in-may 2020), but set-up is really as simple as ever.
The Sonos iphone app walks you through the original process and adding further Sonos speakers is merely as simple: simply click in the application to include a fresh speaker, press the sync button on the trunk and it’s all done. It’s still the slickest multi-room set-up going.
With the introduction of the existing Play:5 came Trueplay, Sonos’s music optimisation software. Trueplay uses the microphone in your iPhone, iPad or ipod itouch (Android devices aren’t currently supported) to gauge the response of the speaker in your room and tweak its sound to match. It takes only one minute or so to accomplish and is fairly effective.
Inside our dedicated listening room, it can little to the sound, but move the speaker to a less ideal location – a kitchen or a corner for instance – and the difference is audible. It tightens up any boomy bass, adds clarity to the midrang