If you’re new to streaming digital music, I introduce you to Sonos and their PLAY:1 wireless speaker. If you are already a user of digital music you possibly know all about Sonos, and could probably do with having an additional speaker for somewhere in the home or office.

Sonos were one of the first bunch of manufacturers that made speaker systems for streaming digital music, and made it simple to do so. At the time, the Sonos user interface was very familiar with the Apple iTunes and Apple iPod user interface, making the system very simple to use. Today, most users will control the Sonos system from their connected mobile device.

Where music used to be stored on a computer or associated hard drive of some type (which you can still do), many users will use an online streaming service such as Spotify Google Play Music, Pandora, Apple Music etc. (Sonos indicates their system is compatible with over 30 different streaming services), to have access to millions of songs. Digital streaming radio services can be listened to via popular streaming radio apps such as TuneIn Radio and iHeart Radio.

The Sonos PLAY:1 is a compact speaker with a big sound. Although technically not a wireless speaker (It has no internal battery and requires it’s main power cable to be plugged into a power outlet), it can connect wirelessly to your wifi network. After downloading the Sonos Controller mobile app, and performing a quick set-up, you’re ready to listen to your favourite music, radio or podcast.

The PLAY:1 is great for the bedside table and can be programmed as a wake-up alarm, playing your favourite content each morning, or using the sleep function the help you drift off to sleep in the evening. Although not water resistant, the PLAY:1 is humidity resistant and suitable for being placed in a bathroom.

Although the PLAY:1 is a mono speaker, two single speakers can be linked together within the mobile app to provide stern sound. If you need more sound or better sound quality, Sonos have a range of other speakers, soundbar, subwoofer and accessories to complete your whole-house listening experience.

The only thing the Sonos PLAY:1 lacks is Bluetooth connectivity to connect and stream digital content directly from your phone, rather than needing a wifi connection. Sonos go to some length to convince users that Bluetooth connectivity is not needed, but I would still like it, especially to play Podcasts from third-party podcasting apps such as Overcast or Pocketcasts etc. from my phone.

Available in white or black, the Sonos PLAY:1 currently sells for around AU$250 through local Australian retailers like JB HiFi.

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