Join Lynda.com Staff Authors for an in-depth discussion in this video Streaming music with Sonos, part of Home Techonomics.
(clicking and typing sounds) - My name is Jess Stratton and welcome to this week's edition of Home Techonomics. Today, I am going to show you how I stream music throughout my entire house using the Sonos music system. My entire family all has devices and we all like to listen to music so we saw that we were always fighting over the docking station speaker. Sometimes it wasn't charged when we needed it. Different devices dock using different ports so we couldn't even use it with everything.
Now, we have the Sonos music system throughout our entire house. We use our own devices and computers to run it and we can listen to what we want where we want, any time we want it. Sonos is a wireless home streaming music system. You can purchase individual speakers of all different sizes and types such as this one from Sonos dot com or other major electronic retailers like Target, Best Buy, and even Amazon dot com. You put them all over your house, label them with names, and the speakers will create their own internal wireless network to connect the speakers together and they use one unified app to control them.
I am going to show that to you in a second but before we do, I want to explain where the music comes from that Sonos can play. It comes from your music libraries and places like iTunes and Amazon Music and other cloud services that you have accounts with like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, and even SiriusXM. I currently have several Sonos Play:1s in the bedroom and offices like this one, and a larger Play:3 to serve the kitchen and living areas.
Let's start by looking at the speakers themselves. The speakers have a nice, sleek design and they are available in black or white. Internally, the Play:1 has a nice pleater which wont break up when the volume is loud and also a nice midwoofer for a great bass sound. First and foremost, Sonos will give you fantastic audio quality, which is very important to me. The speakers themselves have play/pause control directly on them, and volume.
In the back, they have an ethernet cord to hook directly up to a router, a place to put a wall mount, and a power cord. Several other speakers have different outputs, Which you can see on Sonos dot com. Getting started with Sonos is easy. First, download the Sonos controller app to your Mac, Windows PC, smartphone, or tablet. Eventually, you'll want this app on all your computers and devices but it only needs to be on one to get started.
If you plan on using the Sonos speaker in the same room as your router, you can directly connect a speaker to your router via ethernet cable. Otherwise, connect a Sonos bridge to the router via ethernet cable. Then, put your speaker in place and plug it in to a wall outlet. After that, follow the easy directions on the controller app. It involves pressing a button on the bridge and then pressing buttons on a speaker.
You can be up and running in two minutes. That's it. You're ready to continue the controller app to choose a music source. Now that I have a few speakers in place and have signed in to music services with a few accounts, let's see it work. The first thing I am going to do is choose a room and then I'll choose a music source. I can add music services at any time. I'll choose one of my Pandora stations. I can also choose from thousands of radio stations.
I can choose local stations or any other station in the world that also broadcasts on the internet. Anyone else connected to my home wifi network can use their device to choose a room and choose a music source. Each speaker can play anything independently from one another. They can even play different music at the same time and control the volume right from the app. However, I can also group certain or all speakers together to play the same thing and I can control the volume of them all at once.
I can easily add, move, or rename speakers at any time. Sonos was first released well over 10 years ago and it's grown in leaps and bounds by continually adding new services and new components. You can even buy a play bar and have your home theater powered by Sonos. Now there are some limitations. The speakers, with the exception of the larger and more expensive Play:5, do not have a standard line in jack so you can't easily hook up a home stereo CD player or headphones to your system.
Also, they don't come with a battery pack, so while you can move them outside to a deck very easily when you're entertaining, you'll still need to plug it in to a wall outlet. At the bare minimum, you can get started with a Play:1 and a Sonos bridge. Alternatively, if you can connect a speaker through ethernet directly to your router via that port in the back of the speaker, you can skip the bridge all together though it may limit where you can put the speaker depending on how long your ethernet cable is and where your router is.
A Play:1 speaker currently costs 199 dollars, and a bridge is 50 dollars. However, several times a year, most retail locations and Amazon dot com even will run a special where you can get the bridge for free if you purchase a speaker. One last thing, you can also stereo pair the speakers meaning instead of a larger Play:3 in my kitchen, I could have gotten two Play:1s and set them up to work together as one unit in stereo.
Once you hear the exceptional audio quality and see how easy it is to set up a zoned music system throughout your house, your brain will be buzzing like mine did on where the next speaker should go.