Sonos has rolled out Play:3, a smaller and lower-priced version of its wireless Internet-connected speaker system. Retailing for $299 rather than the $399 of its larger brother, the company says the smaller boxes give you “the same powerful sound quality” as the Sonos S5.
If you’re not familiar with Sonos, it’s a wireless speaker system that operates via Wi-Fi, and lets you spread seriously high-fidelity music throughout your house.
With the help of a $49 wireless bridge plugged into your home network, you can gang up 16 of these speakers, each either by itself or in a stereo pair. That’ll let you play either all the same music or different music in every room, with the ability to control each separately.
The system allows you to play most of the music you have on your Mac or PC, portable audio devices, or link up to your accounts with Spotify, Pandora, Last.fm, and just about any other Internet music service in existence. You can control all this music from apps available for iPhone, iPad or Android phones, or you can opt for the swanky Sonos controller.
We’ve tested the larger Sonos S5 speaker system, and can vouch for its startling power and excellent fidelity. Sure, it’s not cheap, but it’s not just any ordinary speaker. Could this smaller (measuring 10.5″ x 5.2″ x 6.3″) and cheaper Play:3 sound as good as the mighty S5?
Giving it a fighting chance is the fact that the Play:3 shares its power system with the S5, but while the Play:3 has three drivers and three digital amps inside, the S5 (which Sonos has now renamed the Play:5) has five of each. And the Play:3, like its big bro, is available in either white or black.
We hope to be testing these smaller and lower-priced speakers soon, so we’ll compare them directly with the S5s. Until then, let’s just say if these smaller speakers sound anything like their brandmates, we’re in for a treat.