updated 08:55 am EST, Wed January 4, 2006
Sonos ZonePlayer ZP80
Sonos today introduced a new , which allows users to play their digital music, all over their house, on all of their favorite audio equipment - a home theater system, powered speakers, a premium table top radio, and more. "By connecting a ZonePlayer ZP80 to any amplified audio device via the analog or digital outputs, that device instantly and seamlessly becomes part of a wireless, multi-room digital music system. This provides the consumer with the power to use the full-color Sonos Controller to control all of their music, in all of their rooms, all from the palm of their hand." The company says that the ZP80 can also be used to retrofit a conventional multi-room audio system with home-run speakers or as a wireless extender to increase the wireless range of Sonosnet, its AES-encrypted peer-to-peer wireless mesh network created by Sonos.
"We created the ZP80 because many of the rooms where consumers want to listen to digital music already have an amplifier," said John MacFarlane, chief executive officer, Sonos, Inc. "Our goal is to provide digital music lovers with a range of products for building a wireless digital music system throughout their homes."
As with the Sonos ZonePlayer ZP100, the ZP80 includes auto-sensing line-in connectors that can digitally encode any line-in source. This provides Sonos users with the ability to connect an external audio source, such as Apple's iPod, a CD player or satellite radio, to the Sonos Digital Music System and to listen to that source throughout their home.
Sonos said the player supports compressed MP3, WMA, AAC (MPEG4), Ogg Vorbis, Audible .AA (format 4), Apple Lossless, FLAC (lossless) music files, as well as uncompressed WAV and AIFF files, delivering native support for 44.1kHz sample rates along with additional support for 48kHz, 32kHz, 24KHz, 22kHz, 16KHz, 11KHz, and 8KHz sample rates. Support for audio formats can be added via a simple firmware upgrade, according to the company. The company, however, notes that Apple's "Fairplay" and Microsoft "Plays-for-sure" DRM-encrypted and WMA Lossless formats are not supported.
The system features analog (RCA), optical and coaxial digital audio line-outs, a two-port 10/100 Ethernet switch as well as an analog line-in connection (and is able to digitally encode line-in sources).
The Sonos ZonePlayer ZP80 will ship this Spring for $350/ €400; it will be available at Sonos authorized retailers worldwide and directly from Sonos.