Sonos intros Play:1 speaker

It just got a lot cheaper to get a Sonos wireless hi-fi system. On Monday Sonos introduced the Play:1, a desktop speaker that you can also put on the wall. It costs $199, $100 less than the bigger Play:3.

The Play:1 stands 4.39 x 6.36 inches and sports integrated volume and track playback controls. What’s more, Sonos is including a $49 Bridge with it – that’s the device you need to connect your Sonos speakers, which create their own independent wireless network, with other services. You can control music playback – and access to other services like Pandora and Spotify – using a free app for your iPhone, iPad or Mac.

If you put two Play:1’s in a room together, they’ll create a stereo sound field. And you can also connect them with other Sonos devices like the Playbar and the Sub, to create a surround sound system for your TV. A standard 1/4-inch threaded mount is in the back if you want to stick the Play:1 on the wall. And it’s humidity-resistant, if you want to stick it in the bathroom so you can listen to tunes while you shower.

  • taguntumi

    Given it is mains powered I have, as a Brit, always wondered about the safety of plugging something like this in. In the UK there are no mains plugs in bathrooms except for shavers (which have non standard plugs)

    • Peter Cohen

      Here in the States it’s no big deal, though most bathrooms have fewer power outlets than other rooms in the house (typically relegated to right by the sink, for shavers, hair dryers and such), but still running off the regular household circuit.

      The compact size and sealed enclosure make this a good match for a bathroom installation in any case, assuming local regulations permit it. 😉

      • taguntumi

        Great thanks. I live in Canada now so availability isn’t a problem, just years to training. I’m teetering on the edge of the Sonos universe so this might just push me into it.

        • Peter Cohen

          I know how you feel. Like many people, I’ve been hung up on the price – but $199 is awfully tempting.

    • Paul Chernoff

      Building codes in the US require a GFCI outlet in bathrooms (I do not know if this is true in all states). They include a very sensitive circuit breaker that will pop out in case of a short. In my current home every bathroom has a GFCI outlet and the kitchn has 2 GFCI outlets. Each GFCI outlet protects the entire circuit, not just the outlet itself.

    • Vera Comment

      I waffled on Sonos for 2 years, then took the plunge. I promise you’ll be looking to expand your system within a couple months (watch the wallet!). They have 45 day return policy.. there’s no reason not to try.

      There are other benefits that aren’t really obvious.

      1) Sonos uses a proprietary /encrypted/ mesh network, so each unit acts as a wifi repeater. The AppleTV in my bedroom is flaky, because my router is about as far away as it can possibly be. The Play5 in my bedroom has great signal (because there are other Sonos units between my router and the bedroom). I use the ethernet port on the back of the Play5 to get the ATV on the network.

      2) Sonos uses uncompressed signals, so the output is as good as your files. Not so big a deal for the Play units, but if you have the ConnectAMP, you can use any speakers you want.

      3) they’re always adding features. you can play content stored on your device to the system, and today they released a much asked for feature (apparently, they have a voting system in their forums) – the mute button on the units is now system wide pause.

      The system broke when Apple updated their version of SMB (that’s how it shares your iTunes library). I got in on the beta to help them test the fix. Those guys know what they’re doing, and how to do it. Their blog kept customers up on the status of the fix.

      I noticed a slight graphical stutter in one build, and mentioned it (it was reproducible) – they were on it immediately, and fixed it in the next build.

      Despite the cost of entry, it’s worth every single penny. I recommend it to anyone. Really nice to be able to come home, reach in my pocket and listen to music in just about every room in the house.

      Seriously considering a Play1 in the bedroom, and repurposing that Play5 to become part of a stereo pair in my kitchen.

      Note: you can’t use Sonos to play the audio from your TV (unless you have the Bar). The picture and sound won’t be in sync.

      If Apple made audio equipment, I think it would be called Sonos.

      • Dayv!

        An important addendum on the Soundbar: many TVs don’t have a compatible optical audio output, or have one that does not output sound from external sources (such as a Bluray player or cable box).

        Mine isn’t compatible, so I’m holding off on Sonos in general until I’m in the market for a new TV. For me, the Soundbar is the main thing I want that can’t be done well enough by Airplay.

        • taguntumi

          I saw some comments about that somewhere. I’m a little sceptical about just a sound bar and not sure I can afford a sound bar + Bass + two back satellites (Play 1).

          • Dayv!

            I hear good things about the Playbar on its own, but I’m skeptical of the value of full home surround systems in general.

            This link from Sonos covers Playbar/TV compatibility.

          • taguntumi

            We had a 5.1 system previously and enjoyed it. Might even try and set it up properly next time!

            Not seeing a link?

          • Dayv!