12 Days of Christmas: Sonos S5

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me Seven Sonos A-swimming. Well hopefully they won’t be swimming, but one thing you can be guaranteed is that you will be swimming in music once you’ve set up a Sonos S5 in your home.

Back in the real world and Christmas is fast approaching (less than 17 days to go) and so here are on day 7 (said in a Big Brother narrator voice) giving you the kind of solid gift ideas that not only get you out of hot water but are the kind of stuff that'll get you a better present next year in return.

Sonos S5

What is it?
Streaming music system

Who is it for?
Anyone who likes music

How much is it?
£335

Delivery speed?
2/3 days

 

You’ll never have to buy any music again

Plug it in, load up the app on your iPhone or iPod touch and start to enjoy music from the internet straight away, it really is that easy. Sonos supports a number of music services including Last.fm, Napster, Spotify, Deezer, and that’s before you start asking it to play music from the thousands of Internet radio stations that it has on offer.

You can bring your own music to the party easily

If you’ve got a hard drive and a router that lets you connect it, you can load it up with music and start sharing the tracks to your new speaker with little to no fuss. The benefit here is that you don’t need to have a computer running in the spare room for it to work.

You can add more zones when you like

The Sonos system actually lets you add up to 42 zones to your Sonos S5, all controlled via your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or dedicated remote (none of which are in the box). That means it’s a system that will grow with you over time allowing you to add more zones as your house gets bigger (you are bound to move at some point aren't you). The beauty of the zones is that you can play different music in different zones at the same time, or have all of them playing the same thing so wherever you are in the house you can hear that favourite tune.

It comes in black or white

Originally only available in white, the Sonos S5 now also comes in black, giving you no excuse not to match it in with your décor.

It’s incredibly easy to set up.

Plug it in, press the button on the front and away you go. Adding more zones is that easy too.

It sounds great

So it’s easy to set up, lets you stream music from around the world, oh and it sounds great too giving a well rounded sound and plenty of it to easily fill a room.

It can be wireless

Out of the box you will need to position it somewhat near your router and connect if via a cable, but adding a Sonos Zone Bridge into the mix (another £60) and you don’t even need to have it anywhere near the router, all you need is a power socket.

You still get to have your iPhone in your Pocket

One of the biggest bug bears of an iPod or iPhone docking station is that you have to have your phone or MP3 player in the speaker when you want to listen to it. That means it’s not in your mitts to read emails, browse the web, or check Twitter. Because your Apple device is a the remote control you still get to do other things. The controller app doesn’t even have to be running once you’ve set the Sonos into action.

You get Spotify and Napster in the UK

UK owners of the device also get access for £10 a month to Spotify. That means access to millions of tracks for you to listen to without actually having to buy any albums or wait for them to download or your next shopping trip to the high street. Search the artist you are after press play and away you go. Lovely.

You get Pandora in the US

That's right everyone's favourite internet music streaming service is here and its without adverts. Perfect. 

Sonos is expanding the system

Aside from the S5 there are two other Sonos boxes you can get, an iPod dock if you really must dock your iDevice and the promise of more speaker options in the future. This is a company that has great ambitions and is just at the start of its lifecycle giving you plenty of options in the future when it comes to expanding it.

It plays most file formats

Ok so we admit that it won't play all file formats under the sun, but it will play most of them. That means support for compressed MP3, iTunes Plus, WMA (including purchased Windows Media downloads), AAC (MPEG4), Ogg Vorbis, Audible (format 4), Apple Lossless, Flac (lossless) music files, as well as uncompressed WAV and AIFF files. Native support for 44.1kHz sample rates. Additional support for 48kHz, 32kHz, 24kHz, 22kHz, 16kHz, 11kHz, and 8kHz sample rates.