Wireless speakers: Do you love them or hate them? For most audiophiles, the wireless speakers are of passing interest, simply because they aren’t capable of much when it comes to sound quality. A single speaker that you can pick up with your hand can’t compete with any surround sound. But trust Sonos to come up with a way to please even audiophiles: The Play:5 update.
Don’t get us wrong, the Play:5 isn’t a new wireless speaker, but this is a new generation, and it looks vastly different from the old one. It includes 6 different drivers all in one little speaker, three tweeters and three midwoofers, plus a semi-modular design that allows for some flexible positioning options. Three touch-sensing buttons control everything from volume to tracks. As far as looks go, this wireless speaker looks like it knows what it’s doing, end of story.
But the really fun advancement is in the software package called TruePlay. TruePlay isn’t just a way to control your wireless Sonos Play:5 speaker via a smartphone – who doesn’t have that? No, it’s a way to customize the sound itself to fit your room. Much like how surround sound systems can calibrate, the Play:5 uses an iPhone/iPad microphone to calibrate its own speaker. Put it in a particular room, and it can adjust those six drivers to create just the right sound to fill it properly.
For those who have been turning up their noses at the wireless speaker market, this sort of advance breaks down one of the barriers to buying. You can also hook up more than speaker to TruePlay to create a better, more surroundy environment, another step in quality evolution that other speakers have, sans room customization.
Okay, let’s visit the price. At $500, the Play:5 is not on the cheap end of wireless speaker. It’s pretty much on the far side, which means you’ll need some significant investment to really appreciate its high-tech capabilities.