Sonos PLAY:1, multi-room for the masses


Sonos today announced the PLAY:1, a small tower speaker that fits perfectly in their current lineup. At 199$, Play:1 is the new entry level Sonos product. A smart and obvious move, in retrospect.

The PLAY:1 works in the same way as all other Sonos products. You control it with the Sonos remote app and play music from Spotify, locally, Internet radio and much more.

The PLAY:1 has two Class D amplifiers, one 3.5″ mid-woofer for mid-range frequencies and to deliver deep bass. And one tweeter for crisp high-frequency response.


Sonos states that no other wireless speaker this size delivers such rich, clear HiFi sound.

The PLAY:1 is Humidity Resistant so it is ok to have it in the bathroom.

Example usage scenarios:

  • Standalone in a room.
  • Two Play:1s paired for stereo sound in a room.
  • Get 5.1 audio with two PLAY:1s paired with the PLAYBAR and the SUB.

24-bit audio streaming with Bluesound

Bluesound is a new streaming system that has something Sonos doesn’t, 24-bit audio steaming. Pair it with the new Wimp HiFi service and you have a system with millions of 24-bit tracks to fill your home with.

The Bluesound product family consists of the following products:

PULSE is a standalone speaker with a 35-bit/844kHz DAC and Bi-amplified Direct-Digital Amplifier by NAD Electronics.


POWERNODE is player with a built in Direct-Digital Amplifier by NAD Electronics with 80 watts total into 4 ohms. It has outputs to speakers and subwoofer. It also has a USB port for memory.


NODE is a player without amplifier. It has USB, Analog RCA stereo jack, TOSLINK digital optical output and trigger output.


VAULT is a player and a NAS in one unit. It has 1TB storage and a CD reader for ripping music in lossless formats or mp3 to the drive.


All units support TuneIn Radio, WiMP and rdio. Formats MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, FLAC, ALAC, WAV and AIFF. Native Sampling Rates 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz. Bit Depths 16, 24.

The system is controlled by iOS and Android apps. You can play different songs and sources in different rooms at the same time.

Many of the people behind Bluesound has previously worked for NAD and has long experience of high end music systems.

It is nice to see a new multi-room audio system that can handle a comparison with Sonos well. Supporting 24-bit audio makes Bluesound more interesting than Sonos for hardcore music enthusiasts. The support for Wimps new HiFi 24-bit service makes a perfect combination. VAULT ripps and stores your existing CDs in lossless. Bluesound is a great option for music enthusiasts to consider.

Update: Support for Spotify Connect is added. Read more.

Samsung Shape

Samsung is aiming at Sonos with the new multi-room music system, Shape. It consists of the M7 speaker and the hub which is required for connecting more than one speaker.


The system is controlled with a smart phone remote app for iOS and Android. It can play
locally stored music, stream from Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, Rhapsody, TuneIn Radio and devices connected with Samsung AllShare. The app can control the volume with an on-screen slider or the phone’s volume button. You can play different music in different rooms.

The M7 speaker includes two mid-range speakers, two tweeters and a woofer.

Shape does not seem to support samsungs own online music service, at this time. It does not support Spotify either, nor AirPlay.

Samsung is a welcome player in the multi-room market but the system needs to support Spotify or other equal services to be a real contender. The market is flooded with systems that does not make it all the way to Sonos high standard. Samsung starts on that sub Sonos level and needs to deliver more services in order to make it all the way.