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Sonos Digital Music System Review

by June 21, 2005
Sonos Digital Music System

Sonos Digital Music System

  • Product Name: Digital Music System
  • Manufacturer: Sonos
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: June 21, 2005 19:00
  • MSRP: $ 1199
  • Buy Now

Screen Type:
3.5" (diagonal) color LCD with LED backlighting
Screen Resolution: 240x320 (QVGA)
Browse Control: Touch sensitive scroll wheel with center-mounted selector button
Function Buttons: 9 backlit buttons; 3 soft-selector buttons below LCD screen
Indicators: Wireless signal strength and battery charge indicator (on-screen), battery status LEDs
Battery Type: Rechargeable Li-ION Polymer, factory replaceable
DC Charger: Input 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz Output 6VDC, 3.8A
Battery Charge Time: 2 hours to full charge
Battery Life: 2-5 days (depending on usage pattern and sleep timer settings)
Wireless Connectivity: Sonosnet, a secure peer-to-peer 802.11g-based wireless mesh network
Dimensions: 6.5" W x 3.8" H x 0.95" D (165 x 97 x 24.5 mm)
Weight: 12.5 oz (360 g)

Frequency Response:
75Hz - 20kHz +/- 3dB
Sensitivity: 85dB @ 2.83 volts (1W)/1meter
Nominal Impedance: 8-ohms
Crossover Frequency: 1850 Hz
Power Handling: 75 Watts (125 Watts peak)
Drive Components: Two way system using one 1" (25mm) magnetically-shielded Teteron dome driver with one 5.5" (140mm) magnetically-shielded polypropylene copolymer core woofer
Dimensions: 11.3" H x 6.4" W x 7.6" D (288 x 163 x 194 mm)

Loudspeakers (cont'd)
Weight: 10.5 lbs (4.7 kg)
Finish: Dark gray/Charcoal gray
Speaker Cable: 10' of 14-gauge cable provided for each speaker

Rated Output:
50W RMS (min) per channel (8-ohms, 20Hz - 20kHz, THD+N < 0.02%)
Speaker Connections: Spring binding posts
Line In: Auto-detecting RCA type
Line Out: RCA type, variable audio output
Subwoofer Output: Auto-detecting RCA type, 80Hz crossover
Supported File Types: MP3, WMA, AAC (MPEG4), Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC (lossless) music files as well as uncompressed WAV and AIFF. Firmware upgradeable to support future file formats. DRM-encrypted and Apple or WMA Lossless formats not currently supported
Music Services Supported: Rhapsody 3.0
File Storage Supported: Windows 2000/XP SP2l Mac OS X v10.2/10.3/10.4; NAS devices supporting CIFS\
Internet Radio: Streaming MP3
Ethernet Connection: 4 port switch, 10/100Mbps, auto MDI/MDIX
Wireless Connectivity: Sonosnet, a secure peer-to-peer 802.11g-based wireless mesh network
Power Supply: AC 120/240, 50-60Hz, user-switchable
Front Panel Buttons: Volume and Mute
Front Panel LED Indicators: ZonePlayer status and Mute status
Dimensions: 10.2" W x 4.4" H x 8.2" D (260 x 113 x 209.5 mm)
Weight: 10 lbs (4.5 kg)
Finish: Die cast matte aluminum enclosure on light gray base


  • ZonePlayer includes 4-port switch
  • Wireless color LCD Controller w/auto backlight
  • Automatic subwoofer detect with 80Hz crossover
  • Super easy setup
  • ZonePlayer includes 2x50 watt amplifier
  • Extensive user manual with excellent instructions & help topics
  • Fanless, silent design


  • Very few controls on actual ZonePlayers
  • Sonos speakers could benefit from the use of a dedicated subwoofer
  • No included dock for Controller and difficult-to-open DC adapter connector cover
  • No digital audio output


Sonos Introduction

I've utilized several music server systems in my tenure at Audioholics and have built and rebuilt several HTPCs to boot. As such, I've developed a feel and opinion for what makes many of these systems stand apart from the others as well as for which features are important. The Sonos Digital Music System, in a nutshell, is one of the more progressive and user-friendly systems I've seen. There are several reasons for this:

  • The system sets up in 3 easy steps, and adding additional units takes a whopping two steps
  • Sonos assumes you can get or acquire digital files to use as source material, and gives you Internet radio if you can't.
  • It is small, attractive and simple so that it can fit anywhere with ease
  • It is wireless, yet can utilize its own network, not requiring you to have an existing 802.11g network.
  • It utilizes a wireless color LCD Controller.
About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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