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Sonos Five

Inle

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The $550/€600 Sonos Five is the most expensive, but also most powerful "traditional" wireless speaker Sonos offers. It's an entertaining speaker with impressive bass extension and enough volume to fill any room with a rich, lively sound.

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Thank you for the review.

Would I be able to borrow a friends Iphone and set up Trueplay once and keep it like that (without having to reconnect that phone again)?
 
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Recomend vinyl palayer, this simple, expensive player looks nothing special.
 
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Sonos is fine for people that just want decent sound, but don't really care about music, have no concept of value, and have no inclination to learn anything about actual good music playback. Sonos marketing can say whatever they want but this is not "Wi-Fi meets Hi-Fi", its an an overpriced convenient upgraded for people used to listening to music through their phones built in speaker.

For the same ~$500 can easily definitely get you there in the form of active/powered monitors with your streamer of choice, or better yet any passive bookshelf and a streaming capable amp, or separate streamer and class D amp. Either of those approaches are going to get you orders of magnitude better sound for the money and will offer far more flexibility in terms of connectivity options. Moreover good speakers can and should last for decades which is certainly something you can't say about these "high-end" lifestyle speakers which will almost certainly be destined to be e-waste far before their time as useful speaker.
 
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Sonos is fine for people that just want decent sound, but don't really care about music, have no concept of value, and have no inclination to learn anything about actual good music playback. Sonos marketing can say whatever they want but this is not "Wi-Fi meets Hi-Fi", its an an overpriced convenient upgraded for people used to listening to music through their phones built in speaker.

For the same ~$500 can easily definitely get you there in the form of active/powered monitors with your streamer of choice, or better yet any passive bookshelf and a streaming capable amp, or separate streamer and class D amp. Either of those approaches are going to get you orders of magnitude better sound for the money and will offer far more flexibility in terms of connectivity options. Moreover good speakers can and should last for decades which is certainly something you can't say about these "high-end" lifestyle speakers which will almost certainly be destined to be e-waste far before their time as useful speaker.
While I certainly know where you are coming from, I'm afraid that people like you are not the target audience.
 
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While I certainly know where you are coming from, I'm afraid that people like you are not the target audience.
But this is Techpowerup (not The Verge). I would think the target audience would want better and be capable.
 
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Moreover good speakers can and should last for decades which is certainly something you can't say about these "high-end" lifestyle speakers which will almost certainly be destined to be e-waste far before their time as useful speaker.
I'd say that this could happen with anything that relies om BT or WLAN, as in having more electronics than needed in a speaker. Or, how do we know that Fluance active speakers lasts longer than Sonos?
But this is Techpowerup (not The Verge). I would think the target audience would want better and be capable.
I highly doubt that TPU's readers have that similar taste in audio products.
 
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I'd say that this could happen with anything that relies om BT or WLAN, as in having more electronics than needed in a speaker. Or, how do we know that Fluance active speakers lasts longer than Sonos?
Yeah, a speaker with BT or any other form digital connectivity is just one more thing to fail but its an open standard. Sonos and similar products are 100% proprietary and prone to be dropped whenever they stop feeling like supporting it.
I highly doubt that TPU's readers have that similar taste in audio products.
Really? The reader base that builds their own gaming PCs would be more into pre-packaged life style speaker than a real speaker / amp combo? Sonos is something I'd expect to see in my aunts house (who has no real interest in tech or audio), not in the home of a technology enthusiast and most certainly not a audio enthusiast.
 
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Even that "lifestyle" speaker has a place in tech enthusiast's collection for parties and casual listening. I would buy something like that to complement (not replace) my living room sound system or Hi-Fi bookshelf speakers connected to my PC.
BUT ... no bluetooth on a wireless speaker??? Hard pass.
 
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But this is Techpowerup (not The Verge). I would think the target audience would want better and be capable.
I would usually agree but TPU are not famous for their audio reviews. Yet.

For high-grade audio equipment one looks at different locations.

Even that "lifestyle" speaker has a place in tech enthusiast's collection for parties and casual listening. I would buy something like that to complement (not replace) my living room sound system or Hi-Fi bookshelf speakers connected to my PC.
BUT ... no bluetooth on a wireless speaker??? Hard pass.
Problem here is that when they put BT in it, people will start hating about the lack of aptX, LDAC, etc. And those cost money for licensing. Do you catch my drift?
 
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Even that "lifestyle" speaker has a place in tech enthusiast's collection for parties and casual listening. I would buy something like that to complement (not replace) my living room sound system or Hi-Fi bookshelf speakers connected to my PC.
BUT ... no bluetooth on a wireless speaker??? Hard pass.
Oh, I totally agree these types of products have their place even for someone that takes it pretty seriously such as myself, problem is Sonos marketing is trying to pass this off as something it isn't.

"Wi-Fi meets Hi-Fi" is the first thing you see on the product page with two of these things with a turntable, it seems pretty clear they are trying to make this out to be a high-end speaker of some sort with a setup like that. "Studio-quality sound", "Three high-excursion woofers deliver intense lows while the sealed acoustic architecture eliminates reverb and echo......"; no specs to speak of on their page but a 4" mid-woofer isn't really going to get you intense lows, without DSP tricks and that has associated costs (costs to performance elsewhere not monetary costs). "Sealed acoustic architecture" is a phrase I've never heard before but I guess they just mean sealed (or acoustic suspension if you want to use the right term) but that has nothing to do with reverb or echo.

Its all just vague terms and marketing nonsense.
I would usually agree but TPU are not famous for their audio reviews. Yet.

For high-grade audio equipment one looks at different locations.
Well they review crazy boutique headphones. Everything I linked to above is decidedly entry level stuff. Amazon even makes their own streaming amp so its all pretty mainstream stuff for anyone that can take 15-20 mins to figure it out assuming you've never setup a pair speakers before.
Problem here is that when they put BT in it, people will start hating about the lack of aptX, LDAC, etc. And those cost money for licensing. Do you catch my drift?
Lol, cost? This is a $550 plastic Wi-Fi speaker. The only reason they don't give you aptX or anything else like that because they want to lock you into using their propitiatory app. Not that it would really matter as I'm sure its not capable of resolving any quality difference between aptX and lesser forms of BT audio.
 
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no bluetooth in 2022... the 90s called and said the tech is old how is this super expensive item not have this yet get praise in a review... that i will now assume is a paid one because WTF... you can get a 400 dollar entire pc(a ps5) for less then a simple speaker that is over 20 years behind in basic tech... tpw not pulling back this review will be a shame a 1st world usa over 40% of the pop lives check to check and a super expenseive item that is well just meh should be revoked every commet so far agrees and im a cheapo and i would not spend 250 on this ....the reviewer is out of touch.... heck before the chip shortage you could build intire pcs for the same cost as... 0 bluetooth 20 years after it came out for cheaper
 
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Really? The reader base that builds their own gaming PCs would be more into pre-packaged life style speaker than a real speaker / amp combo? Sonos is something I'd expect to see in my aunts house (who has no real interest in tech or audio), not in the home of a technology enthusiast and most certainly not a audio enthusiast.
You don't know the reader base at TPU, and neither do I. The tiny amount of forum members that does anything more than ask for help once every third year is hardly representative for the reader base as a whole. This is not an audio enthusiast site.

Also, just because a reader has a desktop gaming computer doesn't mean that they built it themselves.
Even if they did, quite often they're putting together parts they bought cheap or got from friends and try to get it to work. Many times it's not about quality, or the choice of parts, lots of people make do with what they got.

TPU needs network traffic, and as a consequence it's possible that their content isn't always something that interest you or me.
You're also suggesting that it's just older people that are uninterested in tech. Audiophiles aren't that common out there.

I don't understand the point of excluding the idea that customers might want more than one solution, like for using in the kitchen, or bring to a cabin (yes, with electricity, those exist).

You're jumping to way to many conclusions about this, and Sonos being crap has nothing to do with it.

The way you're reasoning is a bit like if I would hunt down ever Britney Spears video on youtube and post in the comments that it's crap and that Led Zeppelin (or whatever) is the real music. Nobody cares.

For high-grade audio equipment one looks at different locations.
This.

I find it strange that this has to be explained to anyone.

Just follow this link and start scrolling. Does this look like premium audio equipment only? :D
1649942192722.png
 
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You don't know the reader base at TPU, and neither do I. The tiny amount of forum members that does anything more than ask for help once every third year is hardly representative for the reader base as a whole. This is not an audio enthusiast site.

Also, just because a reader has a desktop gaming computer doesn't mean that they built it themselves.
Even if they did, quite often they're putting together parts they bought cheap or got from friends and try to get it to work. Many times it's not about quality, or the choice of parts, lots of people make do with what they got.

TPU needs network traffic, and as a consequence it's possible that their content isn't always something that interest you or me.
You're also suggesting that it's just older people that are uninterested in tech. Audiophiles aren't that common out there.

I don't understand the point of excluding the idea that customers might want more than one solution, like for using in the kitchen, or bring to a cabin (yes, with electricity, those exist).

You're jumping to way to many conclusions about this, and Sonos being crap has nothing to do with it.

The way you're reasoning is a bit like if I would hunt down ever Britney Spears video on youtube and post in the comments that it's crap and that Led Zeppelin (or whatever) is the real music. Nobody cares.
No, I don't know all the details about the reader base but its technology hardware focused site and there are plenty of reviews of high-end boutique headphones so its far from stretch to expect something better than Sonos or least know how to review it on the proper context. None of the alternative suggestions I mentioned are high-end or what most people consider "audiophile" unless any entry level pair of speakers is "audiophile".

I don't have a problem with a smart connected home speaker that just sounds decent but thats not what Sonos is selling with this thing. They selling it as a high-end speaker with connectivity options and it fails hard at that.
 

Inle

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Really? The reader base that builds their own gaming PCs would be more into pre-packaged life style speaker than a real speaker / amp combo? Sonos is something I'd expect to see in my aunts house (who has no real interest in tech or audio), not in the home of a technology enthusiast and most certainly not a audio enthusiast.

I consider myself a tech and audio enthusiast :) In my home I have a dedicated listening room with proper audio treatment, KEF floorstanders, Cambridge Audio/Marantz amplification, Rega turntable, and Bluesound Node as the digital source. Every other room of my house is equipped with Sonos speakers. Why? Because I don't live alone, because the missus finds the Sonos multiroom super intuitive to use (as do I, as will our kid when she's old enough), and because their products are absolutely "good enough" for what they're trying to do. In my review I clearly stated my disagreement with the "hi-fi" premise of the Five:

Most of my remarks can be interpreted as a response to Sonos' claims that the Five is a hi-fi speaker. It definitely isn't refined enough to be called that, but that doesn't mean it doesn't sound good. This is a mainstream-sounding speaker through and through, one which puts a much stronger emphasis on fun and excitement than finesse. If you approach it like that, you're a guaranteed happy customer. Every person I demoed it to, of which none consider themselves audiophiles, was blown away by its lively character and massive bass extension. This was true regardless of the music genre in question, although I'd add that you'll definitely get more enjoyment from deadmau5 than Frédéric Chopin on the Five.

There's absolutely room for Sonos speakers in audio enthusiast homes. Not every room of the house has to have a high-end hi-fi setup in it. Personally I even stopped insisting on a secondary higher quality audio setup in the living room, opting for the convenience of a (Sonos :p) soundbar instead. Never looked back.
 
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I consider myself a tech and audio enthusiast :) In my home I have a dedicated listening room with proper audio treatment, KEF floorstanders, Cambridge Audio/Marantz amplification, Rega turntable, and Bluesound Node as the digital source. Every other room of my house is equipped with Sonos speakers. Why? Because I don't live alone, because the missus finds the Sonos multiroom super intuitive to use (as do I, as will our kid when she's old enough), and because their products are absolutely "good enough" for what they're trying to do. In my review I clearly stated my disagreement with the "hi-fi" premise of the Five:

Most of my remarks can be interpreted as a response to Sonos' claims that the Five is a hi-fi speaker. It definitely isn't refined enough to be called that, but that doesn't mean it doesn't sound good. This is a mainstream-sounding speaker through and through, one which puts a much stronger emphasis on fun and excitement than finesse. If you approach it like that, you're a guaranteed happy customer. Every person I demoed it to, of which none consider themselves audiophiles, was blown away by its lively character and massive bass extension. This was true regardless of the music genre in question, although I'd add that you'll definitely get more enjoyment from deadmau5 than Frédéric Chopin on the Five.

There's absolutely room for Sonos speakers in audio enthusiast homes. Not every room of the house has to have a high-end hi-fi setup in it. Personally I even stopped insisting on a secondary higher quality audio setup in the living room, opting for the convenience of a (Sonos :p) soundbar instead. Never looked back.
And don't forget - acoustics can make even the greatest singer or speaker sound dull!
 
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I consider myself a tech and audio enthusiast :) In my home I have a dedicated listening room with proper audio treatment, KEF floorstanders, Cambridge Audio/Marantz amplification, Rega turntable, and Bluesound Node as the digital source. Every other room of my house is equipped with Sonos speakers. Why? Because I don't live alone, because the missus finds the Sonos multiroom super intuitive to use (as do I, as will our kid when she's old enough), and because their products are absolutely "good enough" for what they're trying to do. In my review I clearly stated my disagreement with the "hi-fi" premise of the Five:

Most of my remarks can be interpreted as a response to Sonos' claims that the Five is a hi-fi speaker. It definitely isn't refined enough to be called that, but that doesn't mean it doesn't sound good. This is a mainstream-sounding speaker through and through, one which puts a much stronger emphasis on fun and excitement than finesse. If you approach it like that, you're a guaranteed happy customer. Every person I demoed it to, of which none consider themselves audiophiles, was blown away by its lively character and massive bass extension. This was true regardless of the music genre in question, although I'd add that you'll definitely get more enjoyment from deadmau5 than Frédéric Chopin on the Five.

There's absolutely room for Sonos speakers in audio enthusiast homes. Not every room of the house has to have a high-end hi-fi setup in it. Personally I even stopped insisting on a secondary higher quality audio setup in the living room, opting for the convenience of a (Sonos :p) soundbar instead. Never looked back.
I'm not an audio elitist and I have no problem with smart connected speakers of good enough quality like a Sonos but since day one the concept of Sonos has kinda rubbed me the wrong way with their proprietary hardware and software but I got why people liked the platform. Today though there are just better ways to do streaming to smart speakers or end points in the 2020s that don't require you to be locked into a proprietary software eco system and buy into physical hardware that is destined for planned obsolesce. 10 years ago Sonos had a place because they made the concept of smart multiroom audio really easy and the sound was good enough, today other platforms have caught up in terms of ease of use so that selling point is gone.

Then there is this specific Sonos, they are clearly trying to pass off as a high-end speaker yet offer no specifications whatsoever, just meaningless statements like "studio quality sound". They show a pair of them in stereo connected to a turntable, implying you can/should use them in high-end music setup (two of them would be well over $1,000, and thats high-end to me), clearly we're beyond the point of just convenient good enough sound here. $1,000+ is Q Acoustics M20 with a really nice steaming end point of your choice or KEF LSX money and I shouldn't really have to say how the Sonos would fair against either of those options.
 
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