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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sonos Makes It Even Easier to Sing in the Shower

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 10:58 AM

San Franciscans love their gadgets. In fact, recent Forbes articlenamed San Francisco the US city with the most tech-savvy residents. When you take into account the city's obsession with live music, it's no wonder that many of

these gadgets enable you to rock out from the comfort of your own home. Today's new product launch by Sonos made it even easier to do so, and affordably, to boot.

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Sonos strives to make music easily accessible from any room in your house. They offer a suite of products - called ZonePlayers - that allow you to stream your music either from a computer or directly from the Internet. The coolest part is that you can have different

music in each room (or Zone), or merge two or more to create a synchronized listening environment. This especially comes in handy when entertaining as people migrate from one room to the next. And they make it easy to control this experience from either their Sonos remote, or most recently, through their free iPhone app.

The only caveat is that the system isn't cheap. They offer bundles starting at $999 that allow you to play music in two rooms in your house; a simple installation for a single room

attached to your existing stereo system will run you $349. But today's product announcement of the Sonos ZonePlayer S5 while still expensive at $399 - aims to tackle the front-runner in the standalone high-quality speaker industry, the BOSE SoundDock. Unlike the SoundDock, which costs $599, this forthcoming product lets you play songs from your entire iTunes library, not just what fits on your iPod. It also allows streaming media from subscription-based Rhapsody, free sites like Last.fm or Pandora, and even syncs with Sirius/XM radio. It's controlled by your iPhone or iPod touch and the music won't stop when you get a text or call, as it would if you were to hard-wire this into an existing system. Add a streamlined body and integrated speakers and BOSE should be quaking in their subwoofers.

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I've tested this out myself - I own the ZP90 for my living room - and I'm not exaggerating when I say the setup took a total of five minutes. Because it's tied to my stereo system, the sound quality is excellent (as expected) but it's the intuitive interface that sold me on this product. I've been waiting for a more streamlined speaker-based model to come out - the existing ZP120 requires wired speakers - and with this iteration, all you need is a power source, making it perfect for bedrooms, kitchens and - my personal must-have -

the bathroom. The S5 comes out in late October - Halloween present, anyone? -

but you can sign up now to get alerted when it's released. Just know your name will be right after mine on that mailing list.

 Follow us on Twitter at @aubs and @sfweekly respectively.

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Aubrey Sabala

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