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Sonos Play:3 Review

The Sonos Play:3 sounds great for background music but is slightly underpowered and lacks midrange definition.  In can fill a space with sound but we were underwhelmed by the lack of punch. If you’re looking to “blow the roof off” as Sonos suggests in the product description you’ll need two of these units configured as a stereo pair.

However, the Sonos Play:3 is far more than just a speaker.  It's also an amp  and wireless receiver that allows you to forgive some of it's sonic shortcomings. When combined with a $49 Sonos Bridge and Android smartphone, the Sonos Play:3 is the quickest and easiest way to get up and running with a Sonos wireless audio system and that’s reason enough to love it. 

We installed the Play:3 about 40 feet away from the Sonos Bridge on a back patio in Arizona.  The Play:3 includes one mounting hole for a vertical orientation.  We installed it horizontally near the corner of a covered patio which reinforced the bass response. The Play:3 did a pretty good job of filling the space with sound.  It's perfect at lower volume levels but not enough oomph for a pool party. It also tolerated the 110 degree heat in the shade just fine even though its official operating temp is limited to 104.

The Sonos software allows you to access all your music services and the music stored locally on your PC. The services we used the most are Pandora, Spotify and Mog. Sonos had no problem accessing our Pandora account but wouldn’t play nice with Spotify or Mog. There’s not much troubleshooting you can do besides enter the username and password. So for this review it just didn’t work.

Luckily Pandora and Sonos are pretty much a perfect combination. Using the Sonos Android app on an HTC Thunderbolt is awesome. We can’t imagine Sonos will be selling too many controllers anymore. All you need is a good size smart phone and you can have endless fun playing with your music library.

The Sonos Play:3 is about the size of a large shoe box and is built with quality materials and buttons.    It also has a rubberized bottom and would be perfectly happy on a tabletop indoors. A few of these placed strategically around the home can make for an impressive whole house audio system with minimal installation effort.  If you're considering getting into wireless audio the Play:3 is an excellent starting point. 

Visit Sonos for more information and all the specs.

Here's a video we made a while back that explains how the Sonos system works.

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