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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- YouTube launches streaming TV service with 40 channels and unlimited cloud DVR storage
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTLevel 2 Desktop Support - Microsoft Office 365 experienceNSW
- TPSenior Project Manager - Digital Application CX TransformationNSW
- FTSenior Solution Designer/ ConsultantVIC
- TPPrincipal Data Analyst | ArcGIS | Power BI | QlikQLD
- FTBUSINESS TECHNOLOGY PARTNERVIC
- FTSplunk Software Developer | 6mth ContractVIC
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- TPDelivery Coordinator - ProjectsQLD
- FTApplication Support Lead l Experience with health applicationsNSW
- CCJava Developer - IntergrationQLD
- CCDevOps EngineerVIC
- FTsolution ArchitectNSW
- CCJava Developer / System Designer - Aus Citizens OnlyWA
- FTSenior Support EngineerNSW
- FTStorage EngineerSA
- CCBusiness Intelligence and Analytic Solution DesignersACT
- TPAssistant Change Manager | System Implementation ProjectQLD
- CCJunior .NET DeveloperQLD
- FTSolution ArchitectWA
- CCJava / J2EE DeveloperVIC
- FTP3O SpecialistACT
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- TPIT Business AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager IT HealthcareQLD