Is The Sonos PLAY:5 Wireless Speaker Worth It?

May 27 2019
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Average: 4 (1 vote)

Sonos Play:5 Wireless Speaker Review

The best-selling Sonos Play:5 is up next for a deep-dive critique. One of the best wireless speakers that we have seen, it makes the #3 spot in our top-rated wireless speakers comparison table.

Sonos Play 5 Wireless Speaker Comparison Table

Image Color WiFi Bluetooth Stereo Pairing Warranty Remote Control Details
Review of Sonos [amazon:B01NBAJ44T:title] [model number] in comparison table
Black Yes No Yes 1 Year Remote control by smartphone app
Review of Sonos [amazon:B01MSP3L9A:title] [model number] in comparison table
White Yes No Yes 1 Year Remote control by smartphone app
Review of Sonos [amazon:B014LFINIA:title] [model number] in comparison table
Black Yes No Yes 1 Year Remote control by smartphone app
Review of Sonos [amazon:B014LFIN58:title] [model number] in comparison table
White Yes No Yes 1 Year Remote control by smartphone app
Compare The Sonos Sonos Play 5
Black Yes, Airplay® No Yes 1 year Sonos app remote control
Compare The Sonos Sonos Play 5
White Yes, Airplay® No Yes 1 year Sonos app remote control

Sonos: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow:

The Play:5 all-in-one speaker is the culmination of everything Sonos knows about a user connected home Hi-Fi system. If you're a low-tech listener that's looking to upgrade, a music lover looking for a path to wireless sound, or an audiophile looking for wireless speakers, our review will dig into one of the best high-tech music systems in the world and all for a retail price of around $500 dollars.

Full Range of Songs Wireless Speaker Systems

Exactly how does this wunderkind all-in-one loudspeaker do so much? First, a Sonos Hi-Fi system upgrades itself thanks to the Internet. Sonos can then add improvements and features like TruePlay software which uses Play:5's built-in microphones to acoustically tune the speakers for your room.

Because it's connected you also can take control of your system with apps you love like Spotify, or even decide to use voice recognition with Amazon's Alexa. The future will bring even more benefits and features for Sonos owners.

Simon Egg our wireless expert tells us that in 2002 the unnamed Sonos company was a small Los Angeles startup that wanted to design and build for a single product category - wireless home audio systems. A small group of founders pitched the concept to Silicon Valley investors, raised the money, and began working on building the original bundle of wireless multi-room audio products.

Inside The Sonos Play 5 Many Speakers For Much Sound

At that time wireless music systems were barely even a niche product category. Even though people's music was on their iPods, PC hard drives, and internet music services like iTunes and Napster were around, creating a wireless multi-room sound system was easier said than done.

Sonos showed up at that moment digital music files were everywhere, and they had some new ideas about how to play music in your house. Sonos systems quickly gained acceptance because people simply wanted what it did: to play music in the home without wires or having to leave the sofa to control your music.

Sonos designed the device to be fed by music from the Internet and the digital music files that filled peoples iPod and portable players. The product would treat traditional analog audio connectors as a thing of the past and feed the system it's music wirelessly with a software app to control everything.

The bundle would pack a controller and multiple bookshelf sized speakers with digital amplifiers that could be placed anywhere in the house. Naming this new product for the Internet age was left to branding guru David Placek, who coined the names PowerBook and Blackberry.

With the Sonos name in place, a Sonos Digital Music System prototype was finally launched at the 2004 CES in Las Vegas. It quickly found favor with audio reviewers who spread the word that Sonos was a trifecta of a product. It was a pleasure to use, easy to set-up, and played your music all over the house.

When Steve Jobs saw the sleek looking minimalist Hi-Fi of the future he promised he'd sue Sonos out of existence. That public comment made the front page of the Wall Street Journal and Sonos was now on the map.

After rave reviews at CES in 2005 Sonos went to high-end audio shops that sold traditional stereo systems and asked them to help market the product. It quickly became a favorite of audiophiles and music lovers who already had libraries of digital music files.

They found like the Apple eco-system, Sonos hardware and software was weaved together in a way that was both bulletproof and easy to use - and their was nothing like it.

Sonos NYC Store Listening Rooms

As we fast forward 14 years, Sonos inspiration to develop and showcase its ultimate home music solution continues to accelerate.

  • Sonos just opened a gorgeous New York City store, around the corner from the Apple, where Sonos speakers can be experienced in meticulously designed soundproof rooms
  • In August 2016 Spotify users can now create their own experiences using Sonos speakers over Wi-Fi and cellular connections
  • Now in 2017 Amazon's voice assistant Alexa will control Sonos speakers with voice commands

Sonos Play:5 Worth It?

Sonos sells only nine products: five home wireless speaker systems and four accesories. Of the five Sonos loudspeakers available we wanted Simon Egg, our wireless music system expert to spend time with the top of the line Sonos Play:5 all-in-one music system.

Features: Inside and Outside the Play:5

  • Simple, Beautiful and Heavy - Moulded - High-End Bookshelf Speaker looks in Matt Black or White with Black Moulded Grills
  • TruePlay Tunes Room: 360 stereo sound in an all-in-one speaker or connect two for stereo or in a multi-room setup
  • Use Sonos App, Spotify app or Alexa for voice-recognition
  • Internet Radio, TIDAL, Google Play, Apple Music and others via Sonos App
  • Six Driver Speaker System - Three 10cm midwoofers, two 20mm tweeters and one23mm center tweeter
  • Six Class-D Dedicated Amplifiers tuned to match the speakers acoustic architecture
  • Six Wi-Fi antennas
  • Ethernet connection for your home network (No Bluetooth)
  • Setup Time: Long
  • 3.5mm Aux Jack
  • Capacitive Touch and Gesture Controls for Play/Pause and Volume
  • Size: 6.1 x 14.3 x 8 inches (L x W x H)An All-In-One Phonograph Player The Old School Sonos

Why Should Sonos Be For You?


Sonos all-in-one speaker design is for people who want great sound and don't want to mess around with amps, receivers, cables and a pair loudspeakers. The Play:5 is like a modern day "radio-phonographs" of the sixties bringing all the elements together in one unit in the same fashion as this minimalist 1960's Braun SK6Radio and Record Player.

To Get Your Play:5 Operational:

  1. High Speed Broadband and Wireless Router
  2. Sonos app with TruePlay on a Microsoft, Android or iOS device
  3. A Smartphone or Tablet
  4. One Hour Setup Time

We all reviewed the Play:5 independently and went through the steps of downloading software and registering the product online to get operational. We went about setting up the music system in various locations, sometimes where it looked best, or just blended into the decor.

We knew we could do this because one of the highlights of Sonos has to be the TruePlay process that in effect tunes the six speakers for the room using built-in microphones and your smartphone's microphone.

Will we seeing more smart-speakers with built-in microphones in the future?

The final results are impressive helping create a 360 stereo sound out an all-in-one speaker. Or you can use TruePlay for two Play:5's as a stereo pair to tweak the sound for your specific room.

With the system up and running the single speaker was satisfying with everything we threw at. This time around our playlists focused on our Spotify playlists and felt it was a very satisfying system for long or loud listening sessions of all the music we listened to. These all-in-one systems can sound muffled even when compared to a simple stereo setup and none of that is present with Play:5 but instead is a this wonderful stereo soundstage.

5 Review - A Complement To Any Home or Office Bookshelf

This is a product where in fact you can hold the future in your hands. The newest feature is just a downloadable upgrade away. It's no surprise to us Sonos handful of wireless music centric audio products outsells some of the biggest tech and consumer electronics companies on the planet. Simon Egg

Need to read about more of the best wireless speakerson the market? Then enjoy browsing the rest of the site!

Sonos Play:5 Behind the Scenes [Video]

The making of the new Sonos PLAY:5 – Behind the Scenes


Simon Kemp's picture

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Your rating: 4
Taking the #3 spot on the Top Wireless Speaker comparison table, the Sonos Play:5 will complement any home or office bookshelf.

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