Sonos ZoneBridge 100
- Cheaper than previous devices, well designed
- Performance can be spotty, overall system is still expensive
While we experienced some problems using a Sonos system with a ZoneBridge, they weren't out of the ordinary (unfortunately) for network streaming devices. We'd still recommend a ZoneBridge if you're going to spring for a Sonos system and your router is in an area of the house where you don't plan on listening to tunes.
Price$ 189.00 (AUD)
The Sonos Digital Music System, introduced in 2004, is a well-designed, generally reliable way to stream music from devices (including PCs and hard drives) on your home network to multiple rooms. But it's also expensive – at least $1000 for a basic system. The new ZoneBridge 100 connector, however, will make a Sonos system cheaper for some households.
Until now, a Sonos system consisted of ZonePlayers (normally two) – networking devices that output music to your receiver or to a set of speakers – and the Controller, a remote with a three-inch LCD that looked like an overgrown iPod. You control your music either through the Sonos software that you install on your PC, or via the Controller. But the system isn't completely wireless: one of your ZonePlayers must have a wired connection to your router in order to stream music from your PC or networked hard drive; this leaves one unwired ZonePlayer to be placed elsewhere in the house. If you wanted to stream music to additional rooms, you had to pay at least $350 for each extra ZonePlayer – a lot of money if you just wished to listen to music in a room other than where your router resides. In that instance, the new ZoneBridge is a better choice. It doesn't output music, but instead serves as the wired connection to your router, and it costs only $189.
Our experience with a Sonos system that included a ZoneBridge was a little spotty. A few times during our two weeks of testing, the bridge lost its connection to the ZonePlayer we were using in our test centre (about 50 feet away), and we then had to re-establish the connection to the player. That took only a minute or two, but was still a hassle. Also, a number of times the music just cut out for 30 seconds or so, then came back on its own.
About the same time that Sonos released the ZoneBridge, it also pushed out a free software upgrade that lets you search your own music library or the huge libraries of online services like Rhapsody (the Sonos system can play music from Rhapsody, Napster, Sirius, Pandora, and other online music subscription services). You can search for artists, albums, composers, or tracks. To type a query on the $399 Sonos Controller, you pick letters from an on-screen keyboard using the scroll wheel. This isn't the worst method of entering text we've come across, but it's not the most efficient either. Trying to nudge the cursor from one letter to its next-door neighbour (from s to t, for instance) can be frustrating. Sometimes you move your finger but don't go anywhere; other times, you move it a little and jump two letters instead of one. Still, adding search makes Sonos far more usable with a service like Rhapsody that has too many artists and albums to simply scroll through.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- 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
- PlayStation Vue is now available on Apple TV
- Apple's new TV app puts all the shows and movies you want to watch in one spot
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
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?
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Front End DeveloperOther
- CCPerformance Test AnalystOther
- FTSoftware Sales & BDMNSW
- CCAPI DeveloperOther
- FTManager Integration PlanningNSW
- FTMid Level .Net DeveloperNSW
- CCAccount Executive - SMEVIC
- FTSitecore .Net DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Security Analyst | 6mth ContractVIC
- CCJava DeveloperWA
- CCMS Dynamics CRM Functional ConsultantQLD
- CCSenior Security ConsultantACT
- FTAPI Design LeadVIC
- CCSoftware Engineer - Submarine simulation and testing - MELBOURNEACT
- FTChief Security Officer l CISSP l ISO27001NSW
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- FTEUC Solution Architect l Large Transformation ProjectNSW
- PTService Desk AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Back-end Developer/Database DesignerSA
- TPSenior Project AnalystNSW
- CCCX Program LeadNSW
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagersACT
- FTPractice AdvisorQLD
- FTSecurity EngineerVIC