Monday, 31 October 2016


So my first smart home "investment" was a new sound system for my new house.  I was looking for something that would allow me to listen to my music in a way which reflected how I used my home and so a multi room system looked worth investigating.

After much research online I plumped for probably the best known name in this space, Sonos.  Obviously there are a number of similar systems on the market, some of which have become available since I started "investing" in my system but as little as 18 months ago there weren't a huge number of choices.

Why a multi-room system? I picked this approach as I don't just listen to music in one place. I like to have music playing as I go about my chores, in the kitchen when I am cooking and then following me (and my food) into the lounge diner. Sonos offered a good entry point with their Play 1 speaker which allowed me to try out their system without breaking the bank (of course it is really addictive so you may find yourself, like me, buying quite a few speakers - but it does help spread the, not inconsiderable, cost).

The Sonos system revolves around their controller applications (which are available for various platforms) and I found the whole thing really easy to set up. It allows me to stream my digital music collection, radio stations and streaming music services (I ended up subscribing to Spotify as I was buying quite a few albums each month as I used the system more and more).

The ability to group speakers together so that I can have my music running in the ground floor rooms whilst my daughter has hers running upstairs; and then be able group all the speakers together when I am going around cleaning on my own means you can have the music you want where you want - all synchronised.

The Play 1 does have its limitations but I find the sound quality certainly good enough for most of the house and I have now added a Play 3 for one of the bigger rooms.

Other than the somewhat steep eventual investment, my only real quibble is the lack of connectivity.  Sonos doesn't really work with any of my other smart home systems (this isn't quite true as I can do some limited things but you don't get anything like the full potential).  I haven't yet felt the need to pair speakers but may be in the future...

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