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Sonos Releases PLAY:3 a Compact All-In-One Player

Sonos Releases PLAY:3 a Compact All-In-One PlayerSonos, the manufacturer of the wireless Hi-Fi system, continues to lower its entry price with the release today of the Play:3, which packs a high-quality set of speakers with the electronics necessary to stream music from your PC or the internet.

At £259 each, the Play:3 is the cheapest ZonePlayer to date. While you can run just one Play:3 (as long as you connect it directly to your router), to get the full benefits of the Sonos system you'll appreciate more having at least two.

That will allow you to use Sonos's killer feature, the ability to play the same music in sync in different rooms of your house. A couple of other qualities that set Sonos apart: You don't need to keep your computer on for the system to access streaming music services. And Sonos components automatically create a mesh network to communicate among themselves. That network is frequently more reliable than your home's own Wi-Fi network.

In addition to playing music stored on a PC or Mac, Sonos hooks into a large number of Web streaming services, including LastFM, Napster and Spotify.

The Play:3 is a trapezoidal device that would fit into a shoebox with plenty of room to spare. It contains three amplifiers and drivers, two fewer than Sonos's first self-contained device, the £399 Play:5 (formerly known as the ZPS5)

We've had the opportunity to listen to both players today and there's a definite difference. The Play:3's sound felt a little less detailed than that of the Play:5 and considerably less bass weight as you might expect. But the sound was still full, crisp and loud if you pushed it. Make no mistake: Sonos knows how to engineer speakers.

The Play:3 weighs quite a bit less than the Play:5, but its the new device's smaller size that opens up some new possibilities. Because its a little over half the height of the Play:5, it will be much less dominating on a living room side table.

The Play:3 has a threaded hole on the back which lets you wall mount it. One nifty feature of the Play:3: You can set it horizontally or vertically without affecting the sound. A component within the device detects its orientation and changes the equalization of the speakers to accommodate the position.
Wed, 20 Jul 2011 17:47:05 GMT

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