iPhone Life magazine

Review: Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Unboxing

Sonos1 The ZonePlayer S5 was one of the award-winning gadgets featured in my recent CES coverage, and though it took a while to get here, the Sonos guys finally sent me one to evaluate. I’ll be reviewing the S5 in a multi-part series starting with this unboxing post (video embedded after the break), and continuing over the next few weeks as I set it up and use it. The player is a streaming audio system that brings music wirelessly (or via wired connection) into any room of your house. It can stream from your iTunes library or a bevy of internet services, and be centrally managed from your iPhone or touch. I have a how-to coming out in our next issue on setting up your own streaming music at home, and this is one easy way to do it…

SonosBox The S5 came in a larger box (not shown), because Sonos also threw in one of the ZoneBridge devices, which is essentially a network bridge so that you can wirelessly stream music to the ZonePlayer. I haven’t fully read up on using both the S5 and the ZB under different configurations, but the quick start indicates that you either connect the ZonePlayer to a wired connection (via RJ-45 cable), or you need a ZB (or another wired S5) connected via etherhose cable to stream wirelessly to the S5. I will post all the config specifics once I begin setting it up this week…ZB shot below

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Sonos5  The S5 is a bit heavy, and somewhat bulky for something that functions as a simple wireless stereo system. The reason for that is the superb electronics and speaker system that is integrated into the unit. The device is actually a small computer itself--attached to a high-end speaker array in the front. 5 total speakers powered by 5 dedicated digital amps with 2 tweeters, 2 mid-range, and 1 sub-woofer to push out crystal-clear impressive sound (I had a pretty convincing demo at CES). The outside of the S5 is minimalist but attractive.

Detailed  

The case is an egg-shell white, heavy high-grade plastic that feels slightly textured. The top of the unit includes a small volume control and mute button, and the back includes 2 Ethernet ports and a pair of 3.5mm audio jacks (line-in, headphone). There are 2 oblong holes in the back near the top called an “acoustic port”, which also doubles as a handle to carry the unit from room-to-room. Other than that, there are no other buttons or openings to deal with. Included with the unit are power, network and 3.5mm audio cables.

 

 

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To see the actual unboxing in action (and to hear my incessant droning), you can check out the video below. By next weekend, I should have an updated post on configuration options and another demo on actually connecting it to the network, so stay-tuned.

 

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Nate Adcock's picture

Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.drupalgardens.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.