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The Sonos music system is like no other (I'm pretty sure that Apple are kicking themselves that they didn't think of it first...) - you can transmit sound through your house using your phone/tablet as a controller. You can use the Sonos speakers to play TV sound, your music collection, or any other music in the rooms of your choice.
The set up of the Sonos system is incredibly easy, the products all look very sleek and inconspicuous in the home, and the sound quality cannot be faulted. The fact that Sonos in your home is run wirelessly means that it's control is easy, and connecting your system to the internet means that you can literally listen to any music that you can think of (be it via the radio, napster, spotify etc.). The user interface looks good and is very easy to use with favourites sections and the ability to 'name' your speakers in different rooms.
The only issues I have are that the radio can drop out from time to time, and that I seem to need to reset the system daily or my tablet can no longer connect to the wireless system.
OK, well if you wanted to listen to music around the house then you would just go everywhere with an mp3 player.
What I meant really was have you ever been sitting in the living room and wanted to listen to some music/radio and then wandered into the kitchen and wanted it to be in that room as well? You can if you spent £thousands on a full house sound system but what if you; a/ don't have that kind of money or b/ have a house you don't want to rewire and stick speakers in ceilings.
Then you need Sonos.
The ZP120 is a hub come amplifier base station and is an update of the previous 100 model. It's smaller whilst still having all the functions of the first and has a very minimalist look.
To make it work you will need:
a Sonos controller (you can use the FREE app on your Ipod/Iphone)
an internet connection (well you don't really which I will tell you why later)
speakers of your choice. (Tangent F1's are a premium choice my friend)
The system uses their proprietary Mesh network which is their own type of wifi and connecting your kit is just like a bluetooth system with you having to put each device in discoverable mode and linking with the controller. That's it. Connection strength is very good and I can only see a problem if you live in a castle or some place with thick stone walls. If you have signal strength issues between your Sonos hubs then you can get the Zonebridge which helps extend the signal.
The reason for the internet connection is that this device makes a point of streaming music or any audio content a breeze to do. Log on to Spotify, Last FM, Napster and enjoy streaming music to your Sonos system. Some streaming services are free, such as radio stations, whilst others require a monthly contract. It's up to you as to what audio stream you want to listen to.
You can also stream whatever audio content is on your computer, which is why I mention you not really needing an internet connection. Just hookup your computer via ethernet, load up the Sonos player software to you computer and BAM! All you music streamed to your speakers.
Now to listen to your music wherever in the house will depend on how many of these Sonos players you have. You are looking at about £300-£500 per Sonos player with speakers (well it does depend on the price of the speakers and speaker cable you go for) so you could spend less. Sonos have introduced the S5 which is a hub with integrated speakers which I will do a quick review on as soon as Dooyoo add it as that is an AWESOME piece of kit and really helps bring the price down.
Once you have a few Sonos players set up is where the magic all begins. Via the Sonos app/Sonos Controller/Computer you can control what stream of music goes to what Sonos player you want. It's here where you can start listening to audio in the living room and then select it to go to the Sonos player in the Kitchen/Bedroom/Drawing Room/Conservatory/Toilet etc....
But it's not just the one audio stream you can control. Having a party? Well you can stream different audio content to different Sonos players so you can go from room to room and have different audio in each room. This is cool as ****
It's great for freaking people out as well as I had Sonos in my flat and would either start creepy sounds going off in the living room or slam on some heavy metal at full blast. So you can have alot of fun with it.
I forgot to mention there is also AV input function so you can connect your DVD/Bluray/whatever audio output into the Sonos player and start listening to, and streaming, that content around. It was really bizarre listening to films throughout the whole house. The most memorable was the firefight in Heat (this is a great film which you should all watch) and room to room was gunfire going off. I recommend trying it.
Oh, another point is that you don't even need a computer if all you want to do is stream your own audio content. For example you can just use a NAS (network attached storage) drive connected to the Sonos player. A NAS is just an external hard drive with an ethernet port. So you can have a completely isolated Sonos system if you don't want to bother with online access - though you do miss out on the radio and other free streaming services on the internet.
I'm not a Sonos fanboy though it does come across as that. I bought this as I love audio gadgets and this was in my price range and was really delighted with how the whole thing came together in function and form. There are a few cheaper options out there for streaming round the house but I think you really get what you pay for.
This is a premium product at a reasonable price range. Whole house audio system with the advantages of a/ saving you money b/ offering you system expansion when YOU want and c/ a whole house system you can take with you to your next home. (this could also be used in commercial environment as well)
For true audiophiles then you don't even need to get this ZP120 with the integrated amplifier as you can get the ZP90 which just has the audio outputs for you to connect to existing or your own amplifiers to get the most out of it. (and as mentioned Sonos do the S5 which has it's own speakers if you want an all-in-one option)
I currently have a Sonos Zoneplayer ZP120 as well as some other products from Sonos, I think they're all amazing! The ZP120 is easy to set up, all you need to do is simply connect the ZP90 to your home cinema or stereo, and it will fill any room in your house with unlimited songs and stations. It has a built-in state-of-the-art digital amplifier to deliver great audio to any room and it's a system that flawlessly delivers synchronized music to every room of your choice.
To start playing music, one ZonePlayer or ZoneBridge must be connected to the router. Then all the rest work wirelessly, which is great as there is no wires or hassles. You can play music through your own music library (on a hard drive), listen to free internet radio or even listen to a music service (for example Napster or Spotify). I currently use Napster with my ZP210, and I recommend it. It enables you to quickly find and play millions of songs. You can search an artist, album or track which helps discover new music and rediscover old favourites. You can also play new releases and the current Top 100, which enables you to keep up to date with current songs. Another feature I like, is the ability to create a playlist. I find this useful if I want to listen to some familiar favourites.
A great advantage is that I currently control it with an iPod application. The app is free and saves you a lot of money as you don't have to buy a Sonos controller.
Overall I highly recommend all Sonos products, they have become part of my daily routine and I just love the flawless music that is delivered to wherever I choose.