Sonos has announced a modular music system that can stream audio to and from almost any device, including iPods, the Apple iPad, Android smartphones and PC hard drives. The £259 Sonos Play:3 is designed as a modular music system that isn't tied to a particular piece of hardware or software. It can recognise and content in an Apple iTunes library, stored on an MP3 player or a NAS drive and works with a range of music streaming services including Spotify and Napster.
Playback is via a free app the user downloads to the Apple iPod touch or Apple iPhone, Apple iPad or Android smartphone or tablet. In all, Sonos says there are 13 million tracks available already for streaming on the device. As well Napster, Last.fm and Spotify, the Play:3 works with around 10,000 internet radio stations from around the world and with the Wolfgang's Vault live music archive. Podcasts can also be played.
Explaining the concept behind the modular music player. Sonos CEO John MacFarlane said: "PLAY:3 gives music fans an incredibly easy way to listen to all the music on earth. Its innovative design sets a new bar for Hi Fidelity audio in a compact package and makes it simple to amplify the music experience in any room of the home.”
A single £259 Play:3 unit can be supplemented with additional units that then play simultaneously to form additional speaker sets or can be used as individual players serving up different content in different rooms of the house. A separate Sonos Bridge that connects to the home router is required in order to enable multiple Sonos Play:3 units to work together wirelessly. In order for a pair of Sonos speakers to act as a stereo pair, one of them needs to be designated as the 'slave' unit by pressing a switch on its top. In this respect, the setup is similar to the Creative ZiiSound speaker range.