The market for networked multiroom speakers is highly competitive. Now Sonos is repositioning itself with the hi-fi speaker Sonos Five. In the Test Check we reveal the great challenge Sonos has to master, what the advantages and disadvantages of the speaker are and how well the Play:5 successor performs in tests.
Sonos Five speaker
Sonos sails in rough waters and has to prevail against WLAN speakers from Amazon, Google and Apple. The competitors have one advantage: they have their own music streaming services and can adapt the audio bit rates to their speaker hardware. Amazon has shown the way with its Echo Studio and expanded its streaming service Amazon Music Unlimited to include Amazon Music HD, including Ultra HD and 3D music format. Sonos is currently trying to gain a foothold with its Sonos Radio streaming service.
Sonos has adapted Sonos Five with a stronger processor and more memory to meet the needs of higher bit-rate streaming services. If you still own the predecessor Sonos Play:5, you don’t have to go for the new model right away. Audiophile newcomers looking to enter the largest possible Hi-Fi streaming universe will be comfortable with this speaker. Unfortunately, Sonos doesn’t have microphones and voice assistants built into Sonos Five. That’s what we would have wanted at the price.
Sonos Five Speaker – Design and Features
In terms of design, Sonos speaks of a “monochrome surface”. This probably refers to the current modern style of “monochrome design”, which is characterized by simplicity of color and the use of punctual accents. In fact, the Sonos Five WLAN loudspeaker can actually convince with its design. The speaker is available in white and black, and the Sonos logo adds a noble and subtle accent, while the white model’s front is further accentuated by a lighter thin frame.
Sonos Five compared to its predecessor Sonos Play:5
The Sonos Five hi-fi speaker is designed to replace its second-generation predecessor, Sonos Play:5. For this purpose, the sound specialists have equipped their new loudspeaker with a higher memory capacity and a more powerful CPU. This means that Sonos Five is able to process more data in the same time as the Play:5 model. This is especially important to handle higher bit rates, but also to be able to use the new technologies Sonos Five is equipped with.
Sonos Five Speaker – acoustic room adjustment
One example is Sonos Trueplay, which allows the speaker to automatically adjust its sound reproduction to the individual acoustics of a room. Automatic sound adaptation to rooms was still a special feature when the HiFi WLAN speakers Apple HomePod and Google Home Max were introduced in 2018, but can now be considered state of the art in the premium class. With its Sonos Five, Sonos has now caught up in this respect with the premium hi-fi streaming speakers from Apple, Google and Amazon, which also automatically adjust their sound to the room acoustics.
Sonos Five WLAN Hi-Fi Speakers – Features and functions
Sonos has taken its HiFi streaming speakers to the next level and has equipped Sonos Five with three High Excursion midwoofers. Background: Good loudspeakers hold the sound together far into the room, so to speak. Because low frequencies move more air than high frequencies, bass tends to break out of the sound cone, which the listener perceives as overdrive or distortion. High Excursion Midwoofers, on the other hand, keep the cone excursion as small as possible. In addition, the most rigid speaker cabinets possible support a good bass sound, which is why a sealed cabinet is used for the Sonos Five.
Above the three midwoofers, the Sonos Five Hi-Fi WLAN speaker has three tweeters. The center tweeter is responsible for optimized voice reproduction, while the two side tweeters are angled so that they radiate into the room on the right and left, amplifying the stereo sound. Thanks to Line Arrey, the audio signals are radiated to the left, right and centre of the room, creating a real stereo sound carpet.
With Stereo Sound, Sonos bows to the demands of the hi-fi community. The Sonos Five proves that their wishes are taken seriously by offering a stereo listening experience that can be enhanced with two speakers. If the HiFi box is placed vertically, it automatically switches to mono playback mode. This allows two mono speakers to be placed further apart and then connected to form a stereo pair. One speaker then takes over the left and the other the right audio channel.
Amazon Echo Studio – Alternative to Sonos Five
Amazon offers an affordable alternative to Sonos Five with its Echo Studio hi-fi speaker. The device offers 360 degree sound and must be coupled with a second Echo Studio for stereo sound. For the full sound experience we also recommend the streaming service Amazon Music HD – Spotify and Apple Play Music are also supported. Compared to the Sonos Five, Echo Studio has the integrated voice assistant Alexa and smart home functionality. The price of about 200 Euros is far below that of Sonos Five.
Sonos Five – Technical Details
- 6x digital amplifier, Class-D
- 3.5 mm socket
- 3x Midwoofer
- 3x tweeter
- Dimensions: 20.3 x 36.4 x 15.4 cm
- Weight: 6,36 kilogram
- Colors: Matt black, matt white
- Indications: Status LED
- Connection: WLAN, Ethernet, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2