In the olden days speakers were hard-wired to the wall or you needed to keep a bunch of cd’s in each room you listened to music in. If you now have most of your music collection on your PC or mobile phone, why not switch to a wireless music system?
What is a wireless music system?
A wireless music system will play music from any source on your home network – your computer, NAS drive or mobile – in any room in your house. All you need is a wireless router.
How does it work?
For my husband’s 40th birthday last year I bought him two SONOS Play5’s and a bridge unit (explained below). There are other similar devices on the market so it’s worth having a look around. I chose the SONOS system because users reviews at the time said it was the easiest to set up and use, and more importantly, sounded great.
The Play5 units are “all-in-one” devices that have speakers built-in. Like boomboxes from the 80’s I suppose, but much nicer looking. If you’ve spent thousands on a top end speaker system there are other SONOS units without built-in speakers that can be plugged into your existing setup.
The bridge unit is both the wireless router for the Play5’s and the internet access point for your music service (more on music services below).
Easy to set up
The system was ridiculously easy to set up. I connected the bridge unit to our router, plugged the Play5’s into power sockets and downloaded the controller from the app store onto my iPhone. Using the phone controller, I instructed the bridge to “find” each player and add them to the network. Each player can be set up as a zone – in our case “kitchen” and “family room”. Each zone can play different music (Tony Bennett in the kitchen, Justine Clarke in the family room) or sync’d to play together. Two Play5 units can also be set up as a stereo pair. The final step was to join one of the supported music services like Spotify, Rhapsody and Pandora.
Easy to use
We can create playlists, bookmark favourite albums, tracks, artists etc. and even listen to radio stations all over the world.
Now we’re wondering how we ever got by without it!