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!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 3 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 4 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
- Here's what's coming next from Sling TV
- The guts of Onkyo's SBT-A500 sound bar come in an external box to give the speaker an ultra-low profile
- Plex embraces Kodi as Plex Media Player becomes available to all
- 'Google Cast' is being phased out in favor of Chromecast for connected TVs and speakers
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.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- TPJava DeveloperSA
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- TPChange ManagerNSW
- FTLinux EngineerNSW
- FTSenior AEM Consultant - Public SectorACT
- FTWeb Front- End DeveloperSA
- CCSolution Delivery Manager / Project ManagerNSW
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- TPBI Data AnalystQLD
- CCIT Support AnalystVIC
- FTChief Information Security OfficerNSW
- TPInfrastructure ArchitectVIC
- TPSQL Server DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Test AnalystQLD
- CCSharepoint DeveloperQLD
- TPPMO SchedulerNSW
- CCService Desk Consultant-Baseline Clearance RequiredNSW
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperVIC
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst Finance & Lending - Brisbane Based RoleNSW
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- FTSystems Engineer - SCCM & Lync/Skype for BusinessQLD