What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 5 Aug 2008, 6:00am

Sonos BU150

Tested at £700
100100
5

The Sonos has been one of our favourite products for the last three years, and that hasn't changed with this new bundle

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For

  • Compact units
  • incredibly easy to setup and use
  • sounds terrific
  • great wireless range
  • Napster

Against

  • Perhaps not the revolutionary new product some people were hoping for

When you've got an Award-winning product on your hands you have to be very careful not to change it too much, which is why (sensibly) Sonos has decided to go down the route of evolution rather than revolution with its new ZonePlayers. The changes might be incremental, but they're enough to keep the Sonos at the top of our list.

This BU150 bundle includes each of the new ZonePlayers and the CR100 remote. You simply plug one of the ZonePlayers into your router, and it wirelessly transmits tunes to the other zone.

The ZP90 is non-amplified, and is designed for connection to an existing hi-fi or home cinema setup. It's dimensionally identical to the outgoing ZP80, which is to say, very dinky.

The ZP120 on the other hand, is much smaller than the ZP100 it replaces, and is impressively wee considering it's amplified. The reduction in size has meant the ZP120 has lost its analogue audio out, but we don't reckon this is a huge loss.

Double the wireless range
The other major change is a doubling of each ZonePlayer's wireless range, and thanks to Sonos' mesh network (which sees each unit act as both sender and receiver) the overall distance that your music can travel is truly massive.

Finally, Sonos has also added a number of music services to its line-up. The best of these, Napster, actually came last November, but this is the first time we've been able to test it thoroughly.

Basically, you pay £10 a month and get access to over five million songs instantaneously. These are streamed directly to the Sonos, eradicating the need for a PC. The tracks are fairly compressed, but they sound better than you might expect, and the sheer size of the library makes up for any occasional splashiness.

If you are going to stream your own music, the Sonos is still an amazing performer – it's as close to hi-fi as wi-fi gets. The remote also remains unchanged, and that's no bad thing either; were it not for the arrival of the iPhone, we'd describe this as the nicest interface around.

So, the new Sonos is wireless multiroom music perfected – we like it a lot.

Click here to watch our video review of the Sonos BU150.

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