Product snapshot: Sonos PLAY:3 wireless speaker

Sonos’s mini speaker system is full of big features

Sonos has, in the last year, completed what is now a comprehensive wireless home speaker line-up. It’s got the PLAY:5, SUB, PLAYBAR, and the little PLAY:3.

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As you’d expect, the PLAY:3 is the cheapest Sonos speaker you can buy. Picking up one will cost you $419 at RRP, making the PLAY:3 cheaper than a Sony network speaker or Pioneer XW-SMA4.

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Like any other Sonos component, you hook the PLAY:3 up to your home network — whether it’s wirelessly or through Ethernet — and load up Sonos’s apps for iOS, Android, PC or Mac. Once you’re in the app, Sonos’s smart mesh network protocols find the PLAY:3 and link your computer, smartphone or tablet directly to it, letting you choose what music or audio to play.

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Buy a second PLAY:3, and you can control it in exactly the same way. You can play different music, or you can have multiple PLAY:3 speakers — or any other combination of Sonos components — working together simultaneously.

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Sonos speakers like the PLAY:3 work just fine playing a library of music you’ve got stored on your PC or smartphone, but they come into their own if you subscribe to a streaming music service. We like Rdio, which is convenient since Sonos has integrated it right into its Controller apps — just plug in your login details, and you can access your library and playlists. Heaps of other streaming services like Spotify and Pandora are also integrated.

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You can also hook your phone or tablet into the PLAY:3’s 3.5mm analog line input to play music directly — useful if your Wi-Fi network is down, or if you want to use a portable media player without built-in Wi-Fi.

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The PLAY:3 is, interestingly enough, more versatile than the more powerful PLAY:5. If you’ve got two of them, you can use them as rear speakers with a PLAYBAR and a SUB — giving you 5.1-channel wireless surround sound with your movies or TV.

If you have a wired or wireless network in your home, Sonos’s PLAY:3 speaker is a pint-sized way to get high-quality, high-volume music happening wherever there’s a power point.

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Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

PC World

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