Looking for a very simple all-in-one streaming music player? Sonos just launched the PLAY:3, a wireless music player that can access your iTunes library, NAS drive, 100,000 Internet radio stations plus all the popular music streaming services including Pandora, Last.fm and now even Spotify. It seems to be missing Amazon’s Cloud Drive, so I hope that gets added soon.
The PLAY:3 includes built-in digital amplifiers for a pair of mid-range drivers, one tweeter and one bass radiator.
You can start with one PLAY:3 and then easily expand the system to include PLAY:3s all over the house.
To use the PLAY:3 you first need a Sonos Bridge ($50) connected to your network, but after that you’re free to place the player, or multiple players, anywhere in the house. If you only want one PLAY:3 in a room, the unit will deliver stereo sound, but if you pair it with another one and stand them vertically, they become separate right and left speakers which should deliver an even fuller soundstage for a larger room. I could picture putting a pair in a family room, one in the home office or kitchen and then maybe another on the backyard patio.
Controlling the system is done with a free app for Apple iDevices or Andriod smart phones and tablets. Since the smart phone apps connects to your wireless network, you can change your music or change the volume from anywhere in the house. Since each player can be controlled individually you can play different music in every room.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.
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