Best Sonos Play5 II Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020:
Sonos renews its Sonos Play5 II which dated from 2010 and which remains the spearhead of a range which has grown well. It remains the most powerful model of the brand and adds a new automatic calibration function called TruePlay.
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Best Sonos Play5 II Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
Aesthetically, the Sonos Play5 II is more sober than the old generation. To the rectangular monobloc type construction with rounded angles is added a metal grid which protects the loudspeakers. Sonos has therefore not really played the card of originality with its new Play: 5. However, the adjustments are very well done, the many rubbers allow, like the Play: 3, to orient it horizontally or vertically, which is always practical to install it in more or less narrow places .
As if to offer an even more streamlined design, the controls become fully tactile and allow volume adjustment, play / pause or even change tracks with a simple swipe of your finger (see photo below) – many functions that were sorely lacking on the old model. Another small feature: depending on the positioning of the speaker, the button to increase the volume is always located upwards, practical.
Since Bluetooth is THE great absent from the Sonos universe, a mini-jack socket located on the rear side of the speaker – which also shines by its absence on the Play: 1 and Play: 3 – is the only way to connect to a source other than Wi-Fi. This port allows you to directly connect a TV, a walkman, etc. If two Sonos speakers have already been paired, then the audio will be transmitted without latency. We can therefore consider that the Sonos Play5 II serves as a sort of bridge between the other Sonos speakers and any equipment that cannot be connected to the network.
Installation is very simple: just install the software on a Windows / Mac compatible computer or the application on an iOS or Android mobile device then plug in the Ethernet cable and everything works. In Wi-Fi use, handling is just as simple.
Sonos Controller app
The essential application to use the Sonos system remains practical, simple and above all very stable. Over the years, we have seen the speed of the Sonos group in effectively developing and improving its platform. Thus, the Sonos Controller offers nearly 100,000 internet radio stations and almost all online music services (Qobuz, Spotify, Deezer, etc.). It is of course possible to import the music tracks present on your computer, NAS and other external disks.
However, it quickly finds its limits when using an online streaming service : the interface becomes much heavier in use, less intuitive, less customizable, less attractive; in short, less practical.
Supported audio formats are MP3, WMA (uncompressed), AAC (+), Ogg, Apple Lossless, Flac and AIFF. Sonos points out that its player cannot currently read Apple “Fairplay”, WMA DRM and WMA Lossless formats.
It is also possible, via the Controller, to pair two Sonos Play5 II in stereo, to manage the multiroom very easily by creating different listening zones – Sonos specialty all the same, it should be remembered -, to adjust the balance bass-mid-treble, activate a Loudness mode or access the famous Trueplay function via the mobile application. This function, precisely, let’s talk about it.
This function is, for the moment, only accessible on iPhone / iPad / iPod running iOS 7 or later, and allows you to configure the Play: 1, Play: 3 and Play: 5 players. Trueplay performs acoustic measurements according to the positioning of the speaker in the room – sound propagation, reflection on the walls of the listening room. Once the measurements have been made, an algorithm present in Sonos Play5 II adapts the sound rendering of the speaker. In practice, it is therefore enough to follow the indications on the control screen and then a presentation video indicates the procedure to follow.
Its effectiveness remains quite subtle in small rooms. In a listening room of about 20 m², however, with a 2.5 m drop, the treble register is actually slightly improved. However, we did not observe any change in the bass or mid-range or in the stereo rendering.
Small point on the characteristics: the Sonos Play5 II embeds 3 tweeters for the treble and 3 mid-woofer speakers to reproduce the bass and midrange. Everything is powered by 6 class D amplifiers.
As you can see from the frequency response curve below, the Sonos Play5 II provides very balanced sound across the entire audible spectrum. It starts from 50 Hz (bass) with a maximum difference of +4 dB to -5 dB – a very honorable rendering for a speaker that remains relatively compact.
Listening, you are immediately hooked by a level of bass present, powerful and almost allowing to do without a box sometimes bulky in a small listening room. However, even if the bass is far from boomy , we would like a more impactful, dynamic rendering. You can clearly hear when listening to the slight dip at around 500 Hz, decreasing the “horn” frequencies. The curve then rises to stabilize and highlight a very good reproduction of voices without megaphone effect.
In general, these mediums are detailed and very well transmitted. The high mids remain fully under control with a crossover frequency – relay passage between the mid-woofers and the tweeters – well controlled, betrayed on the graph above by the dip located around 4 kHz. The top of the spectrum is present, clear and does not generate any sibilance (wheezing).
The distortion is very well contained, as shown by the curve above. The average across the spectrum at 94 dB is 0.13%, when it begins to be heard above 1%. A more than correct result that we are not used to seeing on an enclosure of this type.
- Faithful audio rendering.
- Serious frequencies present.
- Multiroom intuitive and quick to set up.
- Autocalibration function.
- Autocalibration only available on iPhone / iPad / iTouch.
- Limitations of the Sonos app.
- Proprietary system.
- No Bluetooth.
- Apple “Fairplay”, WMA DRM and WMA Lossless formats not accepted.
The Sonos Play5 II is, in terms of audio performance, the best speaker created by the Californian company. On the other hand, we can criticize it for a proprietary Wi-Fi system, the absence of Bluetooth and a high price compared to those of other equally efficient and much more affordable facilities. However, if you absolutely want to offer a Wi-Fi only multiroom system , the Sonos universe remains the best.
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