Sonos Gets Everything Right With Play:3 Wireless HiFi System

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The Sonos Play 3 also comes in Black with a graphite grille.
The Sonos Play 3 also comes in Black with a graphite grille.

Sonos, already highly regarded for its lineup of great sounding home audio products, this week released the Play:3 Wireless HiFi System, which could — as the marketing materials suggest — make you forget everything you’ve heard before.

Controlled with free apps for iPhone and iPad, the Play:3 streams music not only from files stored on your local computer or NAS drive, but also from 100,000 Internet radio stations and online music services including Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM, last.fm, rdio and more.

The apps are thoughtfully laid out and intuitive — and Sonos gets bonus points for building a dedicated iPad app that’s not just a universal binary port of the iPhone version.

The Play:3’s three speakers and three integrated Class D amps throw huge sound from a compact package that can be situated vertically or horizontally and fits easily on a bookshelf, end table or sideboard. It features volume and mute control on the unit, which connects by Ethernet cable to your router, or wirelessly to a router-connected Sonos Bridge ($49, sold separately).

We enjoyed an awesome demo from Craig Wisneski, Sonos Senior Product Manager, who showed how effortlessly the Play:3 tracks music from a local iTunes library, to online services, to Internet radio and back with the controller app. Even more impressively, from a sonic standpoint, two Play:3 units in the same room can easily be configured to stream Left and Right channels for a rich, hi-fidelity sound experience it would cost thousands of dollars to replicate with pro audio gear.

You can try your own demo out and get full specs on the Play:3 at the Sonos website.

The Play:3 Wireless HiFi System is available now from the Sonos site and 6200 retail locations for $299.