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Sonos Play:1

The compact, powerful, new entry-level wireless HiFi speaker

by Josh Rubin in Tech on 14 October 2013

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Continuing to redefine their own notion of entry-level, Sonos has launched the PLAY:1, a $200 full sounding and compact wireless speaker that can stand alone or find its fit in a multi-speaker, multi-room set-up. Longtime fans of Sonos, who power our daily home and in-office tunes, we are again entirely satisfied—making a big sound come out of a small box at an affordable price is no easy feat.

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Unsurprisingly, the sound is really impressive. It took a few years to engineer both the hardware and software that allow this smart speaker to deliver the best bang for its size. Standing just under six inches tall, the device is densely packed with a mid-woofer and tweeter. A revamped processing technology minimizes distortion at all volume levels. It also rocks a wide field of sound, delivering uninterrupted streaming HiFi waves everywhere in the room.

The PLAY:1 is a great, stand-alone wireless speaker that—like any Sonos—can stream tunes from your computer, Spotify, Rdio, Songza, Hypemachine, Pandora and wide variety of other sources. It's good for small spaces, or for use in a kitchen or a bathroom as your only Sonos device or as part of a multi-room system. Two PLAY:1s can be set up as left and right channels to allow for a stereo sound experience. Or coupling with the PLAYBAR and Sonos Sub would set them as rear speakers for a full surround-sound experience. Whether part of a full sound system, or as a one stop listening source, the PLAY:1 really does come with all the benefits of other Sonos devices. And now with today's long overdue software update, you can control multiple sound systems (for example a home and an office set-up) with the same Sonos Controller app for iOS, Android and PCs.

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Sonos also made a slight adjustment to the physical user interface on the PLAY:1 that will take effect on all their other devices. The button formerly used to mute playback is now a play/pause feature. Though the difference might seem trivial, the net result is less need for the controller and a greater energy savings by actually turning off the system. Also handy, double-clicking that same button allows you to skip to the next track.

Whether it be a point of entry to the Sonos system or an easier to swallow way to add music to more rooms in your home, the PLAY:1 packs a lot of sound in to a little package. Head over to the Sonos online store for the new versatile PLAY:1, available today for $200.

Images by Josh Rubin, diagram courtesy of Sonos

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