The Sonos Play:5 (2015) is one of the better wireless speakers money can purchase. It has great sound, great software and the look to suit an elegant house or flat. It’s now been replaced by the Sonos Five (2020)
Fantastic, warm sound
Looks the business
TruePlay generally helps using environments
TruePlay is tricky to set-up
Single application approach could be a pain
Review Price: £429.00
Support for plenty of streaming services
The Play:5 (2015) is Sonos’ major speaker for music playback. If you would like to stream from Spotify or another music streaming service, this can be the model you need.
It provides bigger, better sound than either the Play:1 or Play:3. As you’d expect the £499 price, this is actually the type of multi-room speaker made to be used as your primary hi-fi system.
For long-term Sonos fans, the existing Play:5 sounds much better than the initial if you’re considering an upgrade.
Related: Sonos One review
Sonos Play:5 design – Demands a good amount of space
If you prefer a Sonos Play:5, you’d better prepare to create space. Unlike a Play:1, that is a speaker that demands space to use. At 37cm wide and 20cm tall, it’s no bedside speaker.
It’ll blend into most rooms easily enough, though. You have a selection of black or white, although both finishes have a dark front speaker grille. The casing is high-quality plastic, and the grille metal.
Short on space? The Sonos Play:5 can take a seat on its side, but doing this turns it right into a mono speaker. When you have the very best part of a £1000 to play with, you can buy two of the and turn them right into a stereo pair.
Related: Best Bluetooth speakers
Other Sonos speakers use physical buttons, however the Play:5 includes a touch panel at the top plate instead. This simplifies the appearance, although there are a few icons so you’re not left swiping blind.
There’s a play/pause pad, and the four-dot markers to each side to improve the volume. Swipes over the surface change tracks.
These are doubly helpful because you don’t have to use the Sonos iphone app to begin hearing music. Press the play button and the Sonos Play:5 only will continue the album or the last played playlist.
The Play: 5 isn’t the very best speaker for all those with a good amount of non-wireless sources, such as a record player. There’s a 3.5mm jack around the trunk, but you have to use the Sonos iphone app to choose this input. Unlike various other wireless speakers, it doesn’t switch over automatically.
Sonos Play:5 features – A lot of choice for streaming services
For those not used to the Sonos universe, the Play:5 is manipulated generally through the Sonos Controller app. This aggregates a great number of streaming services, including all of the most popular ones. Apple Music and Google Play are here, and old staples like Spotify and Tidal. Not absolutely all need a paid subscription. TuneIn, for instance, enables you to stream radio stations free of charge. The Play:5 (2015) speaker can be appropriate for the S2 operating-system.
The Sonos iphone app also enables you to play any locally placed music and Plex is just about the best way to gain access to your music library if it’s a huge collection. You can include it to the software just as you’ll add Spotify – it just requires a few taps.
Spotify users can leave the iphone app behind after initial setup too. The Play:5 supports Spotify Connect, permitting you to send tracks to the speaker directly from Spotify.
What’s missing is an effective way to stream all sound from your own phone, perhaps to hear the audio tracks of a YouTube clip or a mobile game. This could be done by using a cable and the 3.5mm jack. But if you’re likely to wish to accomplish this continuously, you may well be better off with a radio speaker which has Google Cast, AirPlay or Bluetooth, including the Riva Festival.
The Sonos Play:5 does now support Amazon Alexa (which didn’t do at launch), though this only available via an additional Echo speaker rather than built-in.
In the last years, set-up of a Sonos system required the Bridge to wireless hook up the speakers. You can now just boot up the iphone app and enter your Wi-Fi password. If there are any issues there’s an Ethernet socket on the trunk, and setup takes simply a few minutes.
If you’re likely to buy several Sonos speakers, you’ll be glad to listen to multi-room is simple to control too. When you put in a Play:5 or another Sonos speaker to your network you give it a name, which is normally the room where it lives.
After that you can group these speakers to have a song playing at home. Having said that, I don’t think you desire a giant multi-room setup to understand the Play:5. Among these speakers in the lounge and a Play:1 in your kitchen is most likely all I’d need.
The Sonos Play:5 uses TruePlay. It’s only on iOS and it enables you to calibrate the sound to best suit a room’s acoustics.
You may have a Play:1 saved in the corner of a bedroom, or a Play:3 under a desk in an extended kitchen. The probability of you having the capacity to place them in a correctly square room is rare. In typical Sonos style, setup is super simple. An ominous sound is emitted from the speaker as you slowly walk around the area, raising and cutting your iOS device.
I ran into several issues looking to get TruePlay working. For this to work, the area must be deathly quiet and even though I thought it had been, the application explained it had been too loud. WHEN I closed all of the windows, it finally worked, but in the event that you are in a noisy spot using the feature could be tricky.
When it can work, though, it certainly is important. Audio is cleaner, without sounding overly artificial, and it’s a godsend for attic rooms with sloping eaves or elongated kitchens.
You do need an iPhone or iPad, though, as there’s no Android support. Sonos says “It’s absolutely our intent to aid Trueplay on Android so know we haven’t lost sight of the gap and so are quite unhappy about having less Android support”. However, 2 yrs following the Play:5 launch it really is still not here so I’d advise assuming it’s not coming.
The problem is that Android devices have different mics and methods to audio, so there’s insufficient control over what TruePlay will “hear” when tuning the machine.
Sonos Play:5 sound quality – Impressive highs and lows
The Sonos Play:5 sounds fantastic. Sonos speakers have always impressed with regards to sound quality, however the Play:5 takes things one step further.
In the classy exterior are six custom designed drivers, three mid-woofers and three tweeters. These pieces incorporate to generate sound that’s detailed, with impressive highs and lows and ridiculous levels of volume, and all without the distortion.
There’s adequate bass too, enough for hip-hop to come through as intended however, not so much that it creates for uncomfortable listening of other genres. Bass depth is exceptional for a radio speaker. There’s actual output in the 30-40Hz low sub-bass range. A whole lot of wireless speakers can’t reach anything such as this depth.
For better still bass authority and tighter bass all-round, big spenders should consider pairing the Play:5 with a Sonos SUB. As the Play:5’s bass is powerful, it’s nearly audiophile-grade in its speed. It is possible to increase the sound by reducing the bass just a little in the Sonos app.
What really sticks out is how well the Play:5 copes with varying genres of music. The woozy vocals and bassy sounds of A$AP Rocky or the synths of Chvrches both sound fantastic. The clarity and detail that results in in vocal lead songs is equally impressive.
It’s loud too. This box may easily fill a huge room with sound, rendering it simply perfect for parties. And the audio tracks doesn’t get distorted when it’s pumped up. Though, just like the original Play:5, I think it is doesn’t perform quite aswell at lower volumes. This thing is intended to be loud.
Another new feature for the 2015 Play:5 is how it could be orientated, though this is only going to really be of interest in the event that you plan on picking right up a pair.
As an individual unit it could sit vertically or horizontally – an extremely nice touch is the way the controls automatically sense the positioning and alter, so volume up is always facing up. Two Play:5’s paired vertically offer awesome stereo sound, while two paired horizontally are better for room-filling, immersive audio.
The Play:5 will not support true Hi-Res 24-bit audio tracks files or audio tracks nerd favourite DSD. However, unless you’ve spent an age creating a Hi-Res library don’t get too upset. You’d desire a much higher-end setup to understand what limited percievable difference exists. High-quality FLAC, ALAC and WAV files, which are supported, will sound great anyway.
Should you choose the Sonos Play:5?
The Sonos Play:5 is one of the better wireless speakers money can purchase. It has great sound, great software and the look to suit an elegant house or flat.
If the still-restrictive Sonos approach is a turn-off, it’s also advisable to consider the Bluesound Pulse 2 and Riva Festival. Both are great-sounding speakers that contain slightly different methods to wireless multi-room. The Riva specifically welcomes all sources, with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DLNA and AirPlay support.
However, if you’re pleased to sink in to the Sonos method of thing