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 Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- How to customize the Apple TV (fourth-generation) home screen
- YouTube's Content ID program finally provides for ad revenue during disputes
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- Hands-on with Surface Hub: Microsoft's huge tablet has some productivity holes
- Denon's latest S-Series A/V receivers are built for 4K Ultra HD video and 3D audio
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.
- FTService Coordinator/Scheduler | IT Managed Service ProviderVIC
- FTProject Manager | Permanent role in Canberra | NV1/2 clearedACT
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- CCApplication Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCProject ManagerVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst - ICT SecurityNSW
- CCSenior Oracle DBA- Part time 20 hoursWA
- CCData Management & Reporting Development OfficerSA
- CCNV2 - System Administration / Application SupportACT
- CCSenior Frontend DeveloperNSW
- FTSystem EngineerACT
- CCMessaging EngineerNSW
- FTPMO AnalystNSW
- CCAEM DeveloperVIC
- CCInfrastructure Solution Designer - Oracle Exadata/ExalogicVIC
- CCSystem admin with SQL server experience | Defence-wide project | NV1 neededACT
- CCProduct SpecialistVIC
- FTBusiness Intelligence ConsultantSA
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- FTProduct OwnerNSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (Network & System Mgt.) 160509/ITA/281Asia
- CCSAP BW developerVIC
- CCJava Developer / DevOps | FINEOS Application | Long Term ContractNSW
- CCITIL Environment, Configuration, Release Manager- Banking/GovtNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager, Technology Upgrade & RefreshNSW