Sonos Five - The High-Fidelity Speaker for Superior Sound

Sonos Five – Test and Review

Sonos Five - The High-Fidelity Speaker for Superior Sound
4.5
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Sonos Five – The High-Fidelity Speaker for Superior Sound

The market for connected multi-room speakers is highly competitive. Sonos is now positioning itself with the Sonos Five HiFi speaker. In the review, we reveal the major challenges Sonos has to overcome, the advantages and disadvantages of the speaker, and how well the Play:5 successor performs in tests.

Design and features

When it comes to the design, Sonos uses the term “monochrome surface”. We assume this refers to the current modern style of “monochrome design”, which is characterized by simplicity in the color scheme and the use of selective details. The design of the Sonos Five WLAN speaker is impressive. Sonos Five is available in white and black and the Sonos logo is a noble and discreet accent, whereas the front of the white model stands out again with a lighter, thin frame.

Sonos Five - The High-Fidelity Speaker for Superior Sound

Sonos Five vs. Sonos Play:5

The Sonos Five HiFi speaker is meant to replace its second-generation predecessor Sonos Play:5. To achieve this, the sound experts have equipped their new speaker with a higher memory capacity plus a more powerful CPU. As a result, Sonos Five can process more data in the same amount of time than the Play:5 model. This is especially important to process larger bitrates, as well as to be able to handle the new technologies that Sonos Five is featured with.

Acoustic room adaptation

Sonos Trueplay should be mentioned here, for example, with which the speaker can automatically adapt its sound playback to the individual acoustics of a room. Automatic sound adaptation to rooms was still a special feature in 2018 when the HiFi WLAN speakers Apple HomePod and Google Home Max were introduced, but it can now be considered cutting-edge in the premium class. With the Sonos Five, Sonos has now joined the premium HiFi streaming speakers from Apple, Google, and Amazon, which also automatically adjust the sound to the room acoustics.


Features and functions

With its HiFi streaming speaker, Sonos goes all out and has equipped the Sonos Five with three High Excursion Midwoofers. The reason: Good speakers hold the sound together well into the room, so to speak. As low frequencies move more air than high ones, bass tends to escape from the sound cone, and the listener perceives this as overdrive or distortion. In contrast, high excursion mid-woofers keep cone excursions to a minimum. Also, speaker enclosures that are as rigid as possible support a good bass sound, which is why a sealed enclosure is used for the Sonos Five.

Sonos Five - The High-Fidelity Speaker for Superior Sound

Three tweeters are located above the three mid-woofers in the Sonos Five HiFi WLAN speaker. The center tweeter is designed for optimized voice reproduction, while the two side tweeters are angled so that they radiate left and right into the room, which enhances the stereo sound. The audio signals are emitted to the left, right, and center of the room thanks to Line-Arrey so that a real stereo sound is created.

Sonos bows to the demands of the hi-fi community with stereo sound. Sonos proves that their wishes are taken seriously with the Sonos Five by extending the stereo listening experience even further with two speakers. If the HiFi box is placed vertically, it automatically switches to mono playback mode. This allows two mono speakers to be placed further apart and then connected to form a stereo pair. One box then takes over the left and the other the right audio channel.

Installing the Sonos Five WLAN speaker

The installation of the Sonos Five WLAN speaker is very easy. You only have to make sure that the HiFi box is in the same Wi-Fi home network as the smartphone on which the Sonos app is installed. Then the setup is done in three steps.

  • Install the Sonos app on the cell phone.
  • Connect the Sonos Five to the power supply.
  • Launch the Sonos app and follow the step-by-step instructions.
Sonos Five - The High-Fidelity Speaker for Superior Sound

Accessories for the premium HiFi speaker Sonos Five

One of the advantages of Sonos is the great compatibility between the individual Sonos sound devices and the support of numerous streaming services. For example, while users of an Amazon Echo Studio cannot use the music streaming service YouTube Music, Google Home Max users are denied access to Amazon Music Unlimited. On the other hand, Sonos speakers can be used with almost all streaming services.

Amazon Echo Studio – Alternative to Sonos Five HiFi

With its Echo Studio HiFi speaker, Amazon offers an inexpensive alternative to Sonos Five. While the device offers 360-degree sound, it needs to be paired with a second Echo Studio for stereo sound. We also recommend the streaming service Amazon Music HD for the full sound experience – Spotify and Apple Play Music are also supported. In comparison to the Sonos Five, Echo Studio has the built-in Alexa voice assistant and smart home functionalities. The price of about 300 dollars is far below that of Sonos Five.


Conclusion

Sonos is competing in a rough market and has to fight against the WLAN speakers from Amazon, Google, and Apple. The rivals have an advantage: They have their music streaming services and can adapt the audio bitrates to their speaker hardware. With its Echo Studio, Amazon has led the way and expanded its streaming service Amazon Music Unlimited with Amazon Music HD, including Ultra HD and 3D music format. Sonos is now trying to gain a foothold here with its Sonos Radio streaming service.

Sonos Five - The High-Fidelity Speaker for Superior Sound

Sonos has equipped Sonos Five with a powerful processor and more memory to meet the requirements of streaming services with higher bit rates. If you still own the predecessor Sonos Play:5, you do not necessarily have to buy the new model right away. Audio enthusiasts who are looking for an entry into the largest possible HiFi streaming universe will feel comfortable with the speaker. Finally, Sonos has not integrated microphones and voice assistants into the Sonos Five. That is something we would have expected at this price.


Sonos Five - The High-Fidelity Speaker for Superior Sound
Sonos Five – Test and Review
CONCLUSION
Sonos has equipped Sonos Five with a powerful processor and more memory to meet the requirements of streaming services with higher bit rates. If you still own the predecessor Sonos Play:5, you do not necessarily have to buy the new model right away. Audio enthusiasts who are looking for an entry into the largest possible HiFi streaming universe will feel comfortable with the speaker. Finally, Sonos has not integrated microphones and voice assistants into the Sonos Five. That is something we would have expected at this price.
PROS
Good sound
Supports a wide variety of streaming services
Automatic room adjustment
Stylish design
CONS
High price
No built-in microphones and voice assistants
4.5
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