What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 14 Aug 2009, 11:00am

Sonos BU250

Tested at £960
100100
5

Best Multiroom streamer, Award 2011. The best wireless music system in the business

Write your own review

For

  • Fine sound
  • robust wireless performance
  • flexible music choices
  • brilliant new user interface only adds to the appeal

Against

  • Nothing

Sonos still feels as fresh and exciting as it did when we first saw it in 2005. That’s largely thanks to the company’s penchant for constant evolution and development, and it’s seen the system gradually morph from a brilliant but niche concept to a product that’s all things to all types of listener.

Want to integrate streaming into an existing setup? You need the ZP90, which can connect to any standard amp through analogue or digital cables. Want to add an all-in-one unit with built-in speakers to the bedroom? The Play:5 or new Play:3 will fit the bill.

Then there’s the type of audio you want to play – if you’ve already got stuff stored on your network the Sonos will play it, almost without exception, but if you neither have nor want to rip CDs or download tracks, it will also connect you to the all-you-can-eat musical buffets of Spotify, Napster and Last.fm, with internet radio on tap, too.

You’ve even got control options: the (admittedly expensive) dedicated CR200 is a delight, but there are also brilliant free apps for iOS and Android devices, plus PC and Mac-based control programs.

The best news is that the cost of entry is now lower than ever, with the Play:3 coming in at a reasonable £260.

One thing to bear in mind is that for security and robustness, the system creates its own wireless network, but one of the components – it doesn’t matter which – needs an initial wired connection to your router.

The good news is that if this isn’t convenient you can now pick up the Bridge, which will happily fill that role – for just £39.

In summary, then, Sonos makes it easier, cheaper and more fun than ever to set-up a streaming system that can fill just one room or your entire house. We love it, and we know you will too.

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