I fell in love with the concept of the Sonos wireless music system last year when my partner charged me with the task of installing a whole-house music system for an upcoming party.  The only problem was, the upcoming party was scheduled to start in about 24 hours!  At that time, Sonos was only available for purchase online and it was just too late.  The other wireless alternative I found was Radio Shack’s Homeplug system called Accurian (more about that experience will be written in another blog entry).  Due to time constraints, we actually bought and installed the Accurian system over a year ago; however, I’m very happy to report we recently replaced it with Sonos.

Purchasing Sonos

Sonos is available for purchase via the Sonos website at www.sonos.com, at Best Buy (only stores with Magnolia boutiques) and at Hi-Fi Buys (Tweeter). I opted to buy the Zone Player 100 Bundle directly from Sonos. The order was placed online on a Saturday and on the following Friday, the package was delivered.

Installing Sonos

Installing Sonos was a relatively easy task; although, I did have to run 100 feet of Cat-5 cable from the router (in the office) to the living room through the basement. The installation instructions recommend one of the ZP100s be directly connected to the router via cable for best performance. Evidently, it can be done wirelessly, but I didn’t really want to figure it out.  The first ZP100 was placed in the living room and connected to the existing pair of Bose speakers via Monster cable.  The first thing I noticed about connecting the speaker wires is the great design of the cable clips (see image).  To attach a speaker wire, simply push the spring-loaded button to open the hole, insert the wire and release.  The wire holes are generous enough to allow stripped Monster cable wire to be inserted with no problem.

The 2nd ZP100 was placed in the kitchen pantry.  At first, I set the ZP100 on the floor and could not get it to communicate with the other zone player at all.  Next, I moved it to an upper shelf in the pantry and it was able to communicate.  I don’t know if the communication problem was due to the ZP100 being on the floor or the Sub-Zero refrigerator installed next to the pantry (between the zone player and the living room).  Maybe the refrigerator was emitting some interference?  Who can say?  All I know is it worked when I elevated the ZP100 above floor level.  I also purchased another ZP100 for music on the front porch at Hi-Fi Buys (didn’t want to wait for delivery from Sonos) so we could have music out there.  The ZP100 for the porch is actually in the front bedroom but the speaker wires go outside to the porch.  I really wouldn’t recommend exposing one of these boxes to the outside elements.

Music & Sonos

At first I had grand plans about using my own music files stored on my laptop for Sonos; however, I soon abandoned that idea after using the Rhapsody service.  Rhapsody is integrated with Sonos so that any playlists created on the Rhapsody website are synchronized with the Sonos system (as long as Sonos knows about your Rhapsody account).  Rhapsody works perfectly with Sonos as long as your high speed internet connection is online.  Forget using the Sonos desktop controller or the remote Sonos controller, just use the Rhapsody website to set up your playlists and favorite artists, albums, tracks, genres, etc.  The title/artist/album/keyword search function on Rhapsody’s website makes creating playlists a breeze.

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Now, two weeks later, I’m very happy with Sonos.  The only glitch has been the hand-held controller freezing up; however, once I discovered how to reset it (hold the mute button and the music buttom simultaneously for three seconds), everything has been great!  Our neighbors across the street also have Sonos installed (for months now) and they love it.  I wholeheartedly recommend Sonos.