- Extremely easy to set up
- Remotely control from any PC, tablet, or smartphone
- Full, rich sound from a small box
- Plays all digital music files, satellite radio, and Internet radio
- Not designed for especially large rooms
- Creation of playlists not intuitive
The Geek’s Take
For home audio users like us who are sick of running wires all over the house. the Sonos system is a godsend and the Play:3 is the cheapest and easiest way to get started. By far the best solution for wireless audio streaming that we’ve found, the Play:3 is remarkably easy to set up and offers surprisingly rich sound for such a small box. And unlike other streaming solutions like Apple’s Airport Express, the Sonos system plays Internet and Satellite radio in additional to the digital files on your local computer. The Sonos Play:3 is a must have device for audiophiles, especially those living in large or multi-story houses.
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In the home audio category, quality is king. None of these other categories would mean anything if the Sonos Play:3 sounded like a batch of bricks rolling around in an old dryer. Luckily, the Sonos Play:3 isn’t just adequate, it’s downright remarkable. The 3-drive speaker system featuring two mid-range drivers, one tweeter, and a bass radiator create a full, rich sound that easily fills small to medium sized rooms. Highs and lows resonate clearly, even at higher volumes, although for serious bass, we suggest adding the Sonos Sub to your set up. Most impressively, the Sonos Play:3 produces this high quality sound through your existing wireless network. You’ll have trouble hearing the differences between this little dynamo and larger, more expensive wired systems. If the audio quality of the Sonos Play:3 has any drawbacks, it’s that it’s not quite good enough to fill especially large rooms to the satisfaction of some users. For those rooms, we suggest going with the Sonos Play:5 instead.
The beauty of the Sonos Play:3 (or one of the beauties – there are quite a few as you’ll see) is the compact size of the unit. At around just 5” x 10: x 6”, the Sonos Play:3 is smaller than most bookshelf speakers, meaning it fits virtually anywhere. It’s this compact design that makes the audio quality of this unit even more incredible. The look is pretty minimalist, either plain white or black with three small buttons on the top, without any gratuitous lights or designs to distract the eye while you’re rocking out.
All too often, wireless audio systems are difficult to set up or keep connected to your wireless network. Sonos solves this problem with the Sonos Bridge, a device that connects to your existing router to create a peer to peer network just for Sonos devices like the Play:3, eliminating the firewall and security roadblocks that can trip up other wireless streaming devices. Once the Bridge is connected to your router and the included software installed on your PC or Mac, just plug the Sonos Play:3 and press a button to add to to the network. That’s it. Other devices or remotes add just as easily – with just a tap. You can set up the Sonos Play:3 now and add a Sonos Play:5 or other Sonos device a year later, and set up is just as simple as it was the first time.
The best part is once the Sonos Play:3 is connected, it stays connected without even the momentary drop outs that we so often see from wireless devices.
- Stereo Pair Option – use two Play:3’s in tandem, one as the right channel, one as the left for serious stereo sound
- Android and iOS controllers – select and change music, control what’s playing where, change the volume and everything in between from the comfort of your Android or iOS device with the free Sonos App
- TONS of music options – something that sets Sonos apart from the rest is the availability of so many of music options. Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Slacker, Rdio and many more are all playable along with the local digital music files in your personal collection.
- Different music zones – play different songs on each of teh Sonos devices in your network or let the same song fill the whole house
Admittedly, the $299 price tag was intimidating to us at first. There are cheaper options out there, but none as complete, hassle-free, and seamless as Sonos. The sound quality, ease of use, streaming options make this a pretty amazing package. It’s the best of the best and well worth the price.
Once you go Sonos, you’ll wonder how you lived without. If you’re looking for the simplest way to bring whole home audio to your humble abode, Sonos is the way to go and the Play:3 is the best way to get started. The sound quality is stellar, the set up a snap, and the features abundant making the Sonos Play:3 a resounding Editors’ Choice selection.
*Where does this rating come from? Check out How We Review
Sonos Play:3 Wireless HiFi Review
For home audio users like us who are sick of running wires all over the house. the Sonos system is a godsend and the Play:3 is the cheapest and easiest way to get started. By far the best solution for wireless audio streaming that we’ve found, the Play:3 is remarkably easy to set up and offers surprisingly rich sound for such a small box. And unlike other streaming solutions like Apple’s Airport Express, the Sonos system plays Internet and Satellite radio in additional to the digital files on your local computer. The Sonos Play:3 is a must have device for audiophiles, especially those living in large or multi-story houses