Skip to main content

Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Speaker System: Five Speakers, iPhone Control

Sonos ZonePlayer S5 (thumb)

Home music gear maker Sonos has long offered multi-room digital music systems that hook together via a wireless mesh network to make entire digital music libraries—plus Internet streaming—available in any room and controllable with wireless remotes. But the systems haven’t exactly been inexpensive, especially considering users still need to hook up speakers of some sort to each wireless ZonePlayer unit. Sonos looks remove some barriers to entry with its new Sonos ZonePlayer S5, an all-in-one audio system with five speakers that can tap into a home network’s music libraries (as well as Internet audio streaming services), and be controlled wirelessly via a free app on an iPhone or iPod touch.

“Our customers tell us they listen to twice as much music after bringing Sonos into their homes,” said Sonos CEO John MacFarlane, in a statement. “The new S5 is our latest effort to simplify the Sonos experience so more people can enjoy more music than ever before.”

The S5 makes an effort to be a cut above the standard set of powered speakers, offering a five-drive system with two tweeters, two mid-range drivers, and a built-in subwoofer, each of which are controlled by dedicated digital amps. The unit also offers filter settings and what Sonos describes as state-of-the-art DSP processing for high audio quality.

As with other ZonePlayers, the first ZonePlayer on a home network requires a wired connection, so users stepping into the Sonos universe with the ZonePlayer 5 will have to hook it up to their network via an Ethernet connection. (A wireless bridge is available as $100 alternative.) But once it’s connected, the system can access any iTunes library on a home computer or NAS device (although only non-DRM music is supported), as well as streaming audio services like, Napster, Rhapsody, Pandora, SIRIUS, and Deezer. Owners can use existing wireless Sonos controllers to manage the unit, or leverage their iPhone or iPod touch as a controller using a free Sonos application.

The ZonePlayer S5 will be available in late October for a suggested price of $399.

Sonos ZonePlayer S5

Editors' Recommendations

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
Put down that iPhone, Aunt Clara will get rid of her StarTAC when she’s ready
StarTAC iphone holiday gifts 2012

I have to admit; I started during commercial breaks in the football games while my family had slipped into tryptophan-induced naps. I scoured the gift guides, organized by category, price, and even whether the target hates Apple products or not. I was plotting gadget purchases for unsuspecting friends and relatives.
While it should come as no surprise by now that I am a raging techhead, I also like to use the holidays as an excuse to turn my friends and family into techheads as well. Anyone behind the curve in their gadgetry can expect to receive the latest version of said gadget. And I’m not alone. 76 percent of holiday shoppers are planning to give someone a gadget this holiday.
Still have a flip phone? Here’s a smartphone.
Still using that old digital camera from Sony that wrote on CD-RWs? Here’s a smartphone.
iPod with a clickwheel, huh? Here’s a smartphone.
Sega Dreamcast? Wow, I miss that. Let’s hook it up.
You get the point.
The receivers of my generosity are always grateful to my face. They usually make a valiant attempt at using their new toy. Some even become addicts and find themselves on the upgrade treadmill in no time, which would cause some guilt for me except that I’m right there with them. It’s hard to feel guilty about giving someone a gateway gadget if you’re an addict too.
But it’s come to my attention that these people might not have even known they were behind in the times. Perhaps they liked their old gadget because they knew how to use it, and it was good enough for their needs. If they weren’t forced up to date, would they have even noticed?
This works in all levels of technology. Remember before you first hooked up broadband at your house? Dialup was fine. It’s not like you were beating the desk in anger at every image that took a full minute to load. It was just how things were; you adapted your needs to those circumstances. You did your email and chat rooms, perhaps booked plane tickets and accomplished a little shopping.
Then the cable guy showed up and you soon wanted to download albums of music in less than a minute and whole movies in an hour. If a website didn’t render in five seconds, you got visibly frustrated. Why the hell does YouTube have to buffer right when the video is getting good?
So you called the guy back out for a very incremental upgrade, and while he’s here he might as well hook up the wireless router. I might get a laptop someday. And… yep, just ordered it. Now I can surf from the couch! Life has definitely improved. But a year ago, it didn’t seem like it needed much improving.
But those were self-inflicted wounds. My gift giving is psychological homicide. In some cases, I feel like I’ve stepped into a time machine and given a caveman a shotgun.
Humans rule this planet because of their adaptability. Fifty thousand years ago we needed those skills to survive against predators, ice ages, and famine. It’s only within the last 100 years or so that that adaptability moved from needs to wants. People had been doing just fine without cars. They didn’t need to fly. Their twice-daily newspapers were all the information they needed. They somehow still held elections, participated in the economy, and, unfortunately, fought wars.
This may be blasphemy on these pages, but in this holiday season join me in resisting the urge to force your technological ideals on your friends and family. Let them make their own decisions about their needs versus wants. If they feel they are missing out on Skyping with the family, they will figure out that they need a new computer. If they suddenly notice that their local video store is gone, they will figure out that they need Netflix.
Let’s be honest, these people were still going to get you a sweater either way.

Read more
Move over iPhone 5, reservation holder places Tesla Model S on eBay hoping for a huge profit
2012 Tesla Model S eBay

The iPhone 5 isn’t the only new high-tech toy to pop up on eBay for exorbitant prices, as one industrious individual has taken to the online auction site in order to sell their soon-to-be-delivered all-electric luxury sedan.
The seller, a reservation holder based in Portland, Maine, placed his Tesla Model S Signature Series on eBay for a staggering $145,000 with an entry bid requirement of $138,500. The vehicle is scheduled to arrive on October 14.
So did anyone actually place a bid? Nope. And we can’t say we’re all that surprised. While a few enterprising folks are likely to sell the iPhone 5 for some ridiculous, inflated price, this seller’s Tesla didn’t fare so well, garnering zero bids.
As a quick recap, the near top-of-the-line Model S  ordered directly from Tesla starts at about $95,400 (excluding a $7,500 federal tax credit). In addition to being your neighborhood’s electric car cock of the walk, that $100,000 will nab you a Model S Signature Series with an 85 kWh battery, zero to 60 mpg in 5.6 seconds, and an estimated range of 300 miles. You’ll also get the second most powerful version (the Model S Signature Performance takes that crown with 362 horsepower, 32 pound feet of torque, and a top speed of 125 mph).
"This may be the only chance in the next few years to acquire one of these amazing, limited edition, game changing vehicles," the seller wrote on his auction post. But rather than turn to eBay, simply placing a $5,000 deposit will reserve you a spot in line for a Model S. Of course that will require a degree of patience as there is currently a 6-12 month waiting list.

Read more
5 iPhone cases for the vintage camera aficionados
Pink polaroid iPhone case

Make sure to check out our picks for the best iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S cases
There are some professionals photographers out there who may shun the idea of iPhone photography otherwise known as iPhoneography, while others embrace the new technology that makes picture-taking easier than ever. Whoever you are, that doesn't discount the fact that vintage camera models are beautiful. Just because many have moved onto their iPhone cameras, that doesn't mean you can't take the look of a classic film camera with you.
Design Milk editor Jaime Derringer teamed with with online art retailer Society6 to bring you The Design Milk Diary, which features unique sets of iPhone cases sure to impress an artist in your life. Of these cases, several fall under the vintage camera look. Here are the selections Society6 offers, and a little history lesson behind the cameras they feature:

1) "Vintage Camera" by Ewan Arnolda
The name really does say it all. The hard plastic case features old models of cameras that used to have twin lens reflex technology that helped photographers take candid photos thanks to TLR cameras being quiet and inconspicuous since it can be held at chest or waist level.
Price: $35

Read more