Ask me what ONE thing I would recommend for every household and the answer would be simple: wireless speakers. Wireless speakers are, for me, an essential piece of kit for music lovers and I am almost evangelical when I talk to friends about them. Whether it’s portable Bluetooth devices to higher-end Wi-Fi systems from the likes of Denon and Samsung, there is scope for every budget. For me it has to be Sonos; a company that’s been doing multi-room wireless audio for more than a decade.
The Play:5 replaces the oldest model in the Sonos lineup and is a completely redesigned speaker. It features a number of new technologies that Sonos expects to set the tone for many of its products henceforth. The speaker comes with six drivers – one more than the original model – three tweeters, and three mid-woofers, all designed and custom-built. Aesthetically, it looks better too, having changed the metal grill for polycarbonate, and can be placed in three different configurations: horizontally, or vertically with the controls set to either left or right.
Sonos speakers have always impressed me by giving me the ability to crank up the volume without any kind of distortion and Sonos say that the Play:5 will push that even further.
Making that hardware sound even better is what’s behind Trueplay, their latest software update, that promises great things. It’s truly one of the most impressive things I’ve heard from the Sonos team. The idea of Trueplay is incredibly simple: making sure your speaker sounds amazing, no matter where it’s placed. Sure, most of us know that there are certain rules about where one should place a speaker for the best audio but, if you’re like me, you are never going to bother. As a result, speakers get stuck in corners, on shelves or (in this house) anywhere that The Things can’t reach. Obviously, that can directly affect the acoustics so even if you’re listening to an amazing speaker, the placement could still make the sound pretty awful, tinny even.
Trueplay utilises the microphone on an iPhone or iPad as a calibration tool to alter the settings on the speaker. No matter where you’ve placed the speaker/s you’ll hear it exactly the same way that Sonos intended. Trueplay has the ability to dramatically alter the sound, so whether your speaker is up against a wall or inside a cupboard, the sound will still be amazing, opening up placement options many of us wouldn’t have previously thought of.
Many consumer electronics companies hope to sell you items that you replace or upgrade every couple of years or so, but Sonos is interested in selling products that have future-proofing in mind. That’s why they are making Trueplay available across the entire product line, including the older, discontinued Play:5. It means that my three Sonos speakers are not on the road to being obsolete.