There is no doubt about it, the Sonos Digital Music System is impressive. The trouble is getting your music from your computer to your Sonos music system is a bit of a work around. What if then, there was a device that connected to your PC or Mac and allowed you to access your music easily? Well Sonos has answered those cries with the Sonos ZoneBridge BR100. But does it work? We get listening to find out.
Before we start with the ZoneBridge BR100, here's a quick recap of the Sonos system.
The system is a series of boxes that all connect to one another and through a single wirless remote allow you to control music around your house. The boxes - called a ZonePlayer - are broken down into zones that mean you can access different songs in different zones all from the same music library. With the possibility of up to 32 of these zones it's pretty impressive and the main system has already received a 9/10 from Pocket-lint.
The Sonos ZoneBridge BR100 aims to cut out the need for a separate hard drive by allowing you to access your music files with little or no effort on your part.
Working with Windows PCs and Apple Macs, it's a case of installing the latest software and connecting the ZoneBridge to a Router that's connected to the Internet via the included Ethernet cable.
Hidden around the back, connections on the device are sparse, but you do get two Ethernet sockets allowing you to stretch your network for other devices like a games console at the same time.
A couple of clicks later on your PC or Mac and the software is installed and you're up and running. Of course you do need a Sonos Music System to use this.
To connect the device to the software it's a case of pressing a single connect button and we were amazed that there is no networking kafuffle to worry about. Installation is a dream.
Once connected you simply point the software in the general direction of your music files and that is it. You can then stream your music to any of the ZonePlayer's you have in your system.
What's the catch? You won't be able to play DRM-encoded music that you've bought on iTunes through the player. Rather than simply give you an error message, tracks just aren't included in the listings, a tad annoying if you've bought lots of DRM tracks.
Additionally you can't access your music files if your computer is off. Remember you are merely streaming, not transferring tracks.
If you've already shelled out £699 for the Sonos Bundle 130 then an extra £69 will be nothing to save you a lot of hassle in getting your tracks from your computer to your current setup.
However we were disappointed that you can't access DRM-encoded tracks, especially considering you aren't doing anything other than stream them from your computer on a different device.
That doesn't though stop us from giving this top marks.
A must have for Sonos owners.
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