Sonos Zone Player 120
A digital music-streaming system.
- Greater wireless range, smaller form factor
- An expensive system for streaming music
If you already own a Sonos system, the new Zone Players offer no compelling reason to upgrade, unless you have significant range problems. But for new buyers, the updated hardware should make the system even more reliable, especially in large homes.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
Note: Pricing for this product is in US$.
If you already have a multi-room digital music-streaming system, you don't have to replace it, but the Zone Player 120 is a nice choice for new buyers.
In early 2005 Sonos introduced the basic building block of its multi-room digital music system: the ZonePlayer 100, a combination digital music streamer and amplifier. Since that time, the ZP100 has gained lots of new capabilities through software updates, but the hardware itself didn't change. Now, more than three years later, Sonos has finally released a new version, the Zone Player 120. Although that gap is an eon in technology years, don't expect huge differences in the new box.
Zone Players are the heart of the Sonos system. You place them anywhere in your house where you want to hear music. Add the company's CR100, a handheld controller designed a bit like an iPod, and you can play music in all the zones of your house — either the same music everywhere or different tracks in different rooms. The various pieces of Sonos hardware communicate among themselves through a wireless mesh network that the devices automatically set up. A basic two-zone system costs $999.
(Earlier this year, Logitech released a less expensive alternative, called the Squeezebox Duet; a comparable two-zone setup with the Duet costs $550. But its streaming devices don't include an amplifier — they have to be connected to your stereo or to powered speakers.)
The new Zone Player 120 is 35 percent smaller than the ZP100, thanks to an extruded aluminium case that acts as a heat sink. (Sonos doesn't use any fans to cool inside; I didn't feel the unit get hot to the touch, however.)
The company also claims that it has doubled the wireless range in the ZP120. Reliably testing wireless range is difficult because of interference from other wireless sources or because of obstruction by walls and windows, but I did find that I could use the system in the far reaches of my house, something that was occasionally a problem with the older Sonos hardware.
The ZP120 also boasts more audio power, 55 watts per channel, up from 50 watts per channel in the older version.
In addition to the ZP120, Sonos has refreshed its ZP80, a zone player without a built-in amplifier that you can plug into your existing stereo system. The $349 ZP90 is the same size as the original, but also boasts improved wireless range, according to Sonos.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE) review: The tablet of choice for anyone on Android
- 2 Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker review
- 3 Apple MacBook Air 2015 review: Only better with time
- 4 HTC One (M8s) review: Better value for money than HTC's flagship
- 5 ZTE Blade S6 review: A dual-SIM, 4G smartphone for less than $300
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Sony's new whole-home speakers combine Google Cast and Apple AirPlay
- Google, Apple streaming devices shake up the TV market
- FreeviewPlus comes to Samsung TVs
- Watch Catch Up TV through the AerialBox T2100 set-top box
- What Netflix? Vodafone offers free Stan subscriptions instead
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCInternal Communications AdvisorNSW
- FTAccount Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- CCDrupal DeveloperNSW
- CCInternal Communications ExecutiveNSW
- CCSenior Drupal DeveloperNSW
- FTMedia and Communications AdvisorACT
- FTPR & Corporate Affairs ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Sales Support Representative - The Worlds largest Search Engine!NSW