Set to arrive later this year, Sonos will be replacing its Play:5 speaker with something a little bolder and more up to date for today.
The name will stay the same, but that’s about it, as the second-generation Play:5 will arrive with a changed inside, working with six synchronised drivers comprised of three mid-woofers and three tweeters, all of which work together with individual amplifiers to create a range that Sonos says is bigger than you’d expect in a single speaker.
And Sonos is right.
Tested at a briefing well ahead of launch, you find that when closing your eyes, the sound coming out of the 2015 Play:5 is bigger than what it should be doing, unleashing an audio amount that not only fills a room without fear, but also feels quite like the speaker should be larger, as if Sonos has created a tall loudspeaker and somehow encased it in a smaller package.
Two orientations for the 2015 Sonos Play:5 exist, with either the flat orientation ideal for one speaker, or sitting up on its side in a vertical configuration useful if you have two, because then the Sonos software can setup the audio to fire in a slightly different way, running the speakers in left and right and feeling even larger again.
That’s without multi-room engaged, and given that multi-room is supported — part and parcel of the Sonos ethos — should cater for a large breadth of sound in the home overall.
The inside isn’t the only place that has changed on the Play:5, with the design also becoming sleeker, the basic colour scheme of the original feeling like it has become more contrasty, switching from the black and silver or white and silver combinations of colour to just either black or white.
Even the speaker grill appears different ,with smaller holes that appear as if they’ve been chiselled into the speaker rather than attached from the front, and we’re even told there are a good 60,000 of these.
To show a point of difference, smaller holes can actually be found on the logo, with very little of the speaker blocked up for cosmetic value, and making sure the drivers have plenty of space to get their sound out.
The buttons up top have changed, too, switched over to smart sensors that can change based on speaker orientation and allow you to touch or swipe to change tracks or volume quickly.
Sonos is also keeping a few things the same, and while wireless audio is supported, you can plug in a wired Ethernet cable, as well as a 3.5mm jack input source, making the Play:5 a way of handling your old vinyl player or other media source.
In Australia, it does need to be said that the Sonos Play:5 isn’t going to be cheap, though sitting at the upper end of the Sonos product spectrum, we can’t say we’re surprised.
You’ll find the Sonos Play:5 in stores soon, too, with an expected release later in the year alongside that of the Trueplay update for the Sonos Play:1, Play:3, and previous generation of the Play:5, and until this one lands, you can even expect some deals on the older Play:5. If you were looking for a way into the Sonos system without forking out a bucket load of cash, this may be the way to do it, at least until the new 2015 Play:5 rocks up.