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Review: SONOS PLAY:5 wireless speaker


Today we talk about another speaker that has grown on us since we ripped it out of the box. SONOS’ PLAY:5 wireless speaker is another speaker that aims to deliver a fine dynamic range of awesome sound as you throw just about anything you want at it–and it just picked up our Editors’ Choice Award for 2015!

The speaker itself comes in two colors, black and white with the white model maintaining the black toned front grill. The overall design of the speaker itself is pretty slick. I lean towards a comment we have used a couple times as of late, that it has a real Apple-like feel to it. This allows it to really blend into almost any room. It really has a similar feel to it as the Logitech Squeezebox or UE radio—minus the LCD display.

You have your play/pause and volume buttons placed in the center/front section of the top of the speaker. The backside features your power input dead center. Under the power input you have your ethernet input for wired network connections, following with a 3.5mm input for wired devices that do not support WiFi. Next to the 3.5mm is a simple power button to bring the speaker to life with.

Now design is one thing, but what really makes a speaker shine of course is its quality in sound–and it today’s times, well-featured connectivity. Loaded with 6 drivers inside, the PLAY:5 delivers quite well in both of these categories. This speakers offers a really fine range of sound that tickles your ears no matter the style of music that fills your niche. The lows are very pretty warm and colorful for its size. The mids are above average and the highs are super crisp, leading to wonderful vocal and brass presence in music.

When we first powered it up and got it all connected, the first thing we threw at it was a collection of acoustic tracks by Chris Cornell. The result was quite superb leaving us obsessed with once again building a playlist of tracks we’d like to throw at it from there (this is a process that can consume half of your day when you don’t pay attention to the clock).

We went through so many tracks including hits from bands like Dire Straits, Rush, Santana, George Clinton, Pink Floyd and Velvet Revolver. We also included Bach, popular modern symphonies, Dave Brubeck and even Eminem and Metallica. All of which sounded great in their own fashion. A little Skrillex later and we had the lows glowing from this speaker.

It isn’t the smallest of wireless speakers for your house, but it also doesn’t have a large footprint either. Even so, the sound it delivers is larger than it appears . An ample amount of bass mixed with everything else means that this speaker can be used to fill most rooms in just about any house type situation. A great speaker to have hiding in the corner for your small to mid-size store, you won’t be disappointed at all.

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Now comes connectivity. One word pretty much sums it up: “easy”. When you are first setting it up, you will want to get it connected to your network. You have the two common options here of either plugging in an ethernet cable into the back input, or joining it to your WiFi. The first of those two options is as simple as plugging it in and you’re done. The latter of the two options is nearly as easy as all you will need is the SONOS app. The app works for both Android and iOS devices with some 3rd party apps for Windows devices (we didn’t test any of those). We pulled the app up on the iPhone and it was a matter of just a few clicks to join it to the network.

Once you have it connected, you have the ability to stream music from your devices or from the various online sources it has to offer. Your online options include Amazon, Pandora, Google Play, SiriusXM (that’s always a big one for us), Spotify and more.

To make connectivity even better, like SONOS’ other wireless speakers, it has the ability to connect to other SONOS speakers in your environment. You can sync them together so that they are all playing the same source throughout multiple rooms. Another option is to buy two of these and pair them together in stereo mode to use as regular bookshelf speakers for a nice wide stereo coverage of your environment. You can also build a surround system by throwing other SONOS products into the mix (ie, sound bar, sub, etc).

They aren’t the cheapest of speakers for sure, but they do make for a convenient multi-room solution or simply that one wireless speaker you throw in a room somewhere and then brag to all your friends about how wonderful it sounds.

Our Conclusion

A speaker that looks fantastic, sounds even more fantastic and offers plenty of connectivity. An awesome combination of just about everything you want in a speaker that was design to sit somewhere inside a building and make you happy. They are expensive at around $500 a speaker, so unless you have deep pockets, you won’t be filling all your rooms with them so quickly (or at all), but they do live up to the quality that SONOS is known for. Maybe the price can come down to get a close or perfect score, but then again, we complain about price half of the time by default with today’s pricy tech. This speaker falls into one of our favorites for its size and niche.


Our Rating

9 / 10 stars           

Average Price*


*Average price is based on the time this article was published

Additional Images:




Six Class-D digital amplifiers perfectly tuned to match the speakers and acoustic architecture.


Three tweeters create a crisp and accurate high-frequency response.


Three dedicated mid-woofers ensure the faithful reproduction of mid-range frequencies crucial for accurate playback of vocals and instruments, while also delivering a deep, rich bass.

Audio line-in

Auto-detecting 3.5mm audio line-in connection

Stereo Pair setting

Turn two PLAY:5s into separate left and right channel speakers for an intense stereo listening experience. Place vertically for a deeper, more focused sweet spot, or sideways for wider, more shareable sound coverage.

5.1 Home Theater

Add two PLAY:5 speakers to a PLAYBAR and SUB for a true surround sound experience.


Audio formats supported

Support for compressed MP3, iTunes Plus, WMA (including purchased Windows Media downloads), AAC (MPEG4), AAC+, Ogg Vorbis, Apple Lossless, Flac (lossless) music files, as well as uncompressed WAV and AIFF files. Native support for 44.1kHz sample rates. Additional support for 48kHz, 32kHz, 24kHz, 22kHz, 16kHz, 11kHz, and 8kHz sample rates.

Note: Apple “Fairplay”, WMA DRM and WMA Lossless formats not currently supported. Previously purchased Apple “Fairplay” DRM-protected songs may be upgraded.

Music services supported

Sonos works seamlessly with most music services, including Pandora, Spotify, Deezer and Soundcloud.

Operating systems (for stored files)

Windows® XP SP3 and higher; Mac running OS X 10.7 or greater; NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices supporting CIFS

Internet radio supported

Streaming MP3, WMA

Album art supported (APP)


Apple AirPlay music sources

Connect an Apple AirPlay music source, such as an Apple AirPort Express, to any Sonos player with line-in. Enjoy songs from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch in any or every room of the home.

Playlists supported

iTunes, Rhapsody, WinAmp, Windows Media Player

Playback modes

Crossfade, shuffle, repeat


Wireless connectivity

Works on your home WiFi network with any 802.11b/g, 2.4GHz broadcast capable router.
Also works on SonosNet, a secure AES encrypted, peer-to-peer wireless mesh network dedicated exclusively for your Sonos system to reduce WiFi interference

SonosNet Extender

Functions to extend and enhance the power of SonosNet 2.0.

Ethernet Port

One 10/100Mbps Ethernet port



14 lbs (6.36 kg)

Dimensions (H x W x D)

8.03 x 14.33 x 6.06 in. (203 x 364 x 154 mm)

Package contents

PLAY:5, power cord, Ethernet cable, QuickStart Guide, and Legal/Warranty information

Power Supply

AC 100-240V, 50-60Hz, universal input

Storage temperature

4°F to 158°F (-20°C to 70°C)

Operating temperature

32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C)


Touch interface with volume up/down, previous/next track and play/pause.

Status Indicator

Light indicates PLAY:5 status.


Two built-in microphones to enable future enhancements of Trueplay tuning. (Microphones are currently non-functional. Users will be alerted when microphones are functional and active.)

Humidity resistant

Designed to withstand high humidity, such as in a bathroom with a running shower. (The PLAY:5 is not waterproof or water resistant.)

Product finish

White matte or Black matte enclosure, graphite grille.

Rubber and felt feet

Built-in rubber feet

Multi-language support

Sonos System Software supports : Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish and Brazilian Portuguese.


Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.

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About Author


Designer, Editor and Reviewer for Poc Network, ProAudio and Mobile Nations.

James enjoys spending most of his time as an audio engineer and technician for the live music industry when he isn’t running around the office here juggling an intense workload. He can also be found frequently in the nearby mountainous ranges, scrambling rocks and rappelling down large sections.

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