Sonos recently moved into the home theatre space so that you can get surround sound in your living room.
You should also probably get the Bridge ($49) if you want to be able to wirelessly control each component.
Getting started out of the box is pretty simple.
First, you need to plug in the Sonos Bridge adaptor to your router, which allows you to stream music wirelessly from your speakers. Then you need to install the app on your Mac, PC, or Android or iOS device.
Once you install it, simply tell the app you want to add a speaker, press the volume-up and play buttons when prompted, and then you’re good to go. Do that for each Sonos component.
The user interface leaves a bit to be desired from an aesthetic standpoint. But it still gets the job done.
The left pane shows all of your connected speakers, the middle pane shows what’s playing and what’s in your song queue, and the right pane shows your available audio sources.
These audio sources include Pandora, iTunes, Spotify, Hype Machine, Rdio, Rhapsody and several others. The best part about the app is that it lets you create playlists featuring songs from any of those sources.
One caveat with the software is that sometimes we had to reconnect the Sonos components, but that didn’t happen too often.
The Sonos home theatre produces sound like you’ve never heard before. In fact, it may literally almost blow out your ear drums, depending on the size of your home.
The centrepiece of the home theatre system is the Playbar, a beautiful, understated piece of equipment.
The Playbar, which plugs into the back of your TV, is a three-channel active sound bar with nine amplified speakers. At 3.35 x 35.43 x 5.51 inches, it easily fits beneath your TV to serve as a considerable upgrade over your TV’s built-in speakers.
The Playbar has two important features, Night Sound and Speech Enhancement. Night Sound is great for when you want to watch TV late at night without disturbing your neighbours. Speech Enhancement is a solid option if you want to reduce the bass and improve the quality of speech.
To get full surround sound in your living room, just place a pair of the Sonos Play:1 speakers nearby, and then pop open the app to detect additional components.
If you want to get really crazy, just add the Sub component. The Sub has two force-cancelling speakers and two class-D amplifiers. And trust us, Sonos is not kidding when it says the bass will shake your soul.
The full Sonos home theatre is an amazing product, but one that is more geared toward a homeowner with a lot of space, or someone who likes to have people over to watch big events like the Super Bowl or the Olympics.
Depending on your living situation, it might make more sense to spread out the components throughout your home or apartment.
In my three-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, I found that I don’t need all of the components in one room. That’s why I eventually moved the Sonos Play:1 speakers to a room closer to the kitchen, and kept the Playbar and Sub up front.