updated 07:20 am EDT, Tue October 13, 2009
ZonePlayer S5 depends on iPhone control
Sonos adapted to the changing nature of its market today through the ZonePlayer S5. Rather than bundle a dedicated controller or a bridge unit, the S5 depends on either the iPhone app or computer software to let an iPhone, iPod touch, Mac or Windows PC on the local network steer all its playback. It still provides access to all the same media streaming sources, such as an iTunes collection, Internet radio (including Deezer/Last.fm/Pandora/Rhapsody/Sirius), NAS drives and the device's aux input.
As an all-in-one, the system is more powerful than earlier Sonos speakers and has both its own 3.5-inch subwoofer as well as two 3-inch mid-range drivers and two tweeters. Ethernet is necessary to link the S5 if it's the only ZonePlayer on the network, however.
The self-contained system is priced at $399 and will ship to the US in late October. A ZoneBridge to make the S5 wireless costs $99, and those who prefer not to use an Apple device or a for the remote can instead use Sonos' own $349 CR200 controller.