As professional home integrators, we are often asked to do the impossible for our clients — stretch a wire over here, squeeze an amplifier in there, float a television out of the landscaping. Those are challenges we thrive on at Audio Video Concepts & Design. Yet, now and then a product line comes along that makes the impossible a little easier to accomplish.
That’s the case with the newly available line of Sonos wireless Hi-Fidelity audio speakers. Whereas we might have spent hours in a crawl space under your house to add music to the sitting room, now we can integrate an entire surround sound system without wires and without loss in sound quality.
I’m fairly picky about my music too. I need it to sound balanced in the space, to provide great frequency response so I don’t miss my favorite cymbal crash in the 1812 Overture, or the nuances of JazzFunk coming from Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. If the baseline drops out because the speakers can’t handle it my forehead tends to scrunch a little. That hasn’t been an issue with even the smallest speakers in the Sonos lineup.
I’m also impressed at how the technology underlying the system works. Rather than clog up your WiFi network to play music, Sonos is the only system that uses its own mesh network to communicate. It will avoid the dropped music problems that other, often more expensive wireless speaker systems are subject to when the network gets busy, and lets your WiFi be WiFi instead of forcing it to be a jukebox. (Which, by the way, we could integrate)
On top of that, the Sonos system handles music streaming for you, so your phone can still be a phone when you are listening to Pandora or other streaming services. You can play music from a network drive without having a computer powered on – great for extensive collections. And the Sonos Bridge allows you to feed audio to your wireless system from any physical source – like my 2500 albums.
I’ve been using the Sonos system at home for several weeks now to ensure it will work for our clients, and I have to say I am impressed at how great it sounds and how easy it is to use. I have set the system up with 5.1 surround sound in the den, added a stereo zone in the living room with another sub to play my Vinyl through, and put single speakers in the kitchen and on my screened porch. I can tie them all together for a party mode or listen to different sources in any room – awesome.
My wife, who rarely listened to music on any of my large audio systems, often plays music throughout the house now that she can easily operate it. I guess I’ll have to get one of these to keep soon (grin). In doing side-by-side comparisons with my JBL Bookshelf speakers and Klipsch surround system is challenging to say the least – Sonos gives it all a run for the money.
If you have a space in your home or workshop that needs better music options give us a call to find out how a Sonos system can work for you