∞ Sonos ZonePlayer S5 wireless music system controlled by iPhone

Sonos on Tuesday expanded its multi-room music system catalog with the new ZonePlayer S5, a new wireless music system that works with iTunes and uses the iPhone or iPod touch as a controller. It costs $399 and will be available later this month.

The ZonePlayer S5 sports two tweeters, two 3-inch mid-range drivers and a 3.5-inch woofer. It also incorporates a 3.5mm headphone connection and a 3.5mm audio line-in connection. The ZonePlayer S5 is an enclosed system that communicates wirelessly with other Sonos devices using a “mesh network,” so you can purchase multiple S5s and set them up throughout your house.

The Sonos Controller application is not new – Sonos first released it in April, and it works with other Sonos hardware as well. But this is the first ZonePlayer device Sonos has positioned specifically as operating primarily with the iPhone or iPod touch. Previously, the company has emphasized its own handheld Controller devices, as well as the Controller software for Mac OS X and Windows.

The ZonePlayer S5 supports iTunes (though it doesn’t work with FairPlay-encrypted music), so you can access your entire iTunes library on a computer. The S5 supports Common Internet File System (CIFS), a standard supported by many Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. The ZonePlayer S5 works with subscription-based online music services including Napster, Pandora, Rhapsody and Sirius FM. The system also functions with more than 25,000 free Internet-streaming radio stations.

To connect the S5 to your network, you either need to use one of the two built-in 10/100baseT Ethernet interfaces or a Sonos ZoneBridge, a $99 interface that connects your home network to the dedicated “SonosNet” wireless mesh network.