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Sonos wireless whole house Music System

With the explosion of popularity in MP3 and other digital music devices, serving up audio throughout your home seems like the logical next step in the evolution.  Having all your stored music and features like internet radio accessible through a user friendly control device, and being able to distribute various audio sources throughout your home is easy to accomplish with Sonos.    

All my CDs have been converted to a music library using FLAC and stored on a central hard disk, the Infrant ReadyNAS, a task that took considerable time to complete. 

With the project behind me, I connected the Sonos to the network, configured the NAS (Network Attached Storage) drive and multiple zones, created a few playlists on the Windows based Sonos Desktop (it's easier this way than on the handheld controller, believe me), and I was in business.   

Out of the Box

First point to note, there are two types of the ZonePlayer, with and without amplifier.  The ZP80 without amp is connected to receiver or pre/pro using Toslink, Coax, or Analog L+R.  The first box in the chain needs to be connected to a wired a network router/switch, the rest will piggyback to that and use their built-in WiFi to communicate with each other.  If you're not keen on running wires throughout your home, or just can't, this is the heart of Sonos system which works as a WiFi repeater to cover wider areas.  The ZP100 amplified ZonePlayers are designed for non-powered speakers.  Reliability?  Nearly bulletproof.  


                ZP120                                         ZP90

The Sonos handheld controller is a wonder, it kicks on when it senses movement, and firmware updates can be done from the handheld device via the internet as they become available.  The Sonos Desktop software which can be run from any computer on the same network, is useful for functions that can get tedious on the controller, but it's not necessary for everyday use of Sonos.  

  

Properly tagged files with the cover art added to the same directory will be displayed with all information on the handheld controller.  The controller is full featured, able to set zones, connect to internet radio and music services, and the ipod like joggle makes it simple to navigate.  Top notch design wins Sonos the highest kudos from satisfied consumers.  

One word about the latest addition to the Sonos, Pandora internet radio, I can't say enough good about the service.  Rhapsody, another service available on the Sonos allows you to sign up and peruse their whole on-line catalog.  Create a playlist from your favorite artists and store on the Sonos for playback.    

The ability to move the ZonePlayers around (within range of the wireless, of course) allows flexible placement anywhere where there is power.  Each zone can play different songs, or you can join the zone to play the same songs.  

Auxiliary inputs allow for listening to other devices from one location throughout all zones.  Make sure to set the auxiliary input to un-compressed audio format if you want to avoid sound delays.  

Performance 

Flexible and solid performer, the Sonos is easy to love.  Whether it's the easy WiFi setup or the killer navigation of the controller, Sonos simply kicks butt.  I've installed outdoor speakers, indoor in-walls and in-ceilings, and have my main unit hooked up to my home entertainment system.  They all share stored music on a NAS drive, and I can route audio sources from one room to another with ease.  All this with bare minimum wire connections, the time involved setting up the Sonos is trivial. The design and usability of the Sonos can't be emphasized enough, it's well thought out and executed.

Sonos controller for iPhone! 
The Sonos Controller for iPhone™ is a free application that turns your iPhone (or iPod® touch) into a full-fledged Sonos Controller. Plus, it uses the familiar touch-screen interface and fits in your pocket so you can carry it with you all over the house. Best of all, you can download it for free on the App Store in seconds. Just grab your iPhone and simply touch the screen to pick a room, point and flick to pick a song, and then hit play. Grouping zones and searching tracks has never been easier. You can mix and match Controllers (CR100, Desktop Controller and Sonos Controller for iPhone) for maximum flexibility. Or get started with Sonos using the iPhone you already own and one or more ZonePlayers spread throughout your house.

 

Conclusion

If you had it in your mind to add a distributed music system into your home, but didn't want the chore of wiring, Sonos is a no-brainer.  I can't sing enough praises of Sonos' feature-rich music system, even if I can't sing.    

-KC    

  

 
Infrant ReadyNAS   
Network Attached Storage (NAS) serves up multimedia files throughout your home
TViX HD Media Player
Network Media Player for CD, DVD and HDTV file playback   
Sonos Wireless Music System
Easy is everything with Sonos wireless whole house music system
 

 

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