I’m a terrible product of my millennial generation for a few reasons, but I stick out most notably because technology scares me. If a high-tech product is tough to set up and navigate, my eyes glaze over and I start foaming at the mouth. I’ll sheepishly admit, however, that when a new gadget comes along, especially if it’s related to music, I can’t help but get swept up in the hype. So when I was asked to test-drive one of the much buzzed about Sonos wireless speakers, I was nervous, but also pretty dang excited.
Thankfully, I got to test the smallest, simplest model, the Play:1, and after pulling the sleek but heavy black speaker out of its box and plugging it in, I followed the pleasingly compact installation insert and downloaded the free Sonos application to my iPhone. Next, I connected the device to my Wi-Fi and went through a few simple, user-friendly steps (no foaming at the mouth!), roughly along the lines of “press this button,” and it was smooth sailing from there. The whole setup process took all of five minutes.
As a speaker, the Play:1 has a clear, beautiful sound quality, capable of filling a room of any size, and once you start using this model, you’ll understand why people are buying them for every room in the house. Once you’re set up, the rest is the fun part, where you can scroll through dozens of streaming services on the app, conveniently collected in one place. Sonos gives you the freedom to connect with the services that you already use, so I started simply by allowing the app to access my premium Spotify account. This may seem a bit overwhelming, but from Jay-Z’s Tidal to Sonos’ own, newly developed service, Sonos is guaranteed to work with whatever niche service you subscribe too. And if paying more money isn’t your thing, one of the terrific perks is that many of the listening formats are free, including Pandora, HypeMachine, Last.fm and plenty more. If your eyes have glazed over at this point, and “streaming services” holds little meaning or excitement for you, you can easily access your iTunes or, for those of us who are even more old school, the radio. That’s right, Sonos picks up both local and national radio stations that are accessible to stream with one tap, no dial fiddling required.
There will always be days when I want to pull out my record collection or dust off that old Walkman, but even I have to admit that sometimes technology can be truly exceptional. And thanks to Sonos, with a few simple clicks, the biggest, easiest to navigate collection of music that exists today is at your fingerprints, and the possibility for rocking out 24/7 is endless.
– Emily Gawlak