Introducing Trueplay and the New PLAY:5

  • 29 September 2015
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So why is this new one Play:5 and not Play:6 or 4? Obviously it's a different animal, and even looks different. Would save some confusion and annoyance.
Probably because it occupies the "Play5" slot in the lineup. It is replacing the old Play5 so retains the name as the "current" Play5.
Replacing was done with a name change in the past for zp90 and zp120, so that isn't the reason.

Keeping the play 5 name for what is a new product is going to cause confusion for some time, for sure. New play 5 will need to be the clunky name for some time to get over that.
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I have an opinion on SqueezeBox having owned a whole house full of them. They were great if you like to tinker, but they never just worked like Sonos. While the radios sounded good, they don't sound nearly as good as a Play 1. And, it used the bandwidth of your existing wifi router instead of a proprietary mesh like Sonosnet so players skipped when grouping many together. So glad I sold mine and switched.
Replacing was done with a name change in the past for zp90 and zp120, so that isn't the reason.

Keeping the play 5 name for what is a new product is going to cause confusion for some time, for sure. New play 5 will need to be the clunky name for some time to get over that.


Play:5+
5+ is one solution that is at least better than the existing one.

For some time now I have thought that what Sonos was missing was a better play unit, that would close the small gap existing between the 1 and good hifi speakers. The new 5 seems to fill that gap nicely, although being a traditionalist I would have liked it to look more like a hifi speaker.

Leaving that aside, I suspect that a pair will be all it will now take to obtain sound quality as good as most legacy CDP+Amp+Passive speaker kit that will run to 2-3 times the price of a 5 pair. And with a much smaller footprint and no cable mess. Even the Sub may be redundant with it.
They have a lot in common with the $10,000/pr Kii Threes, and might even be better looking. 6 drivers, 6 Class-D amps, DSP correction and tuning. The Threes are going to embarrass a lot of inferior "high end" speakers, as will, no doubt, the Play:5s. Both are bleeding edge designs.

http://kiiaudio.com/en/prod-life.html
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On the naming of the new PLAY:5

Probably because it occupies the "Play5" slot in the lineup. It is replacing the old Play5 so retains the name as the "current" Play5.

This is basically right on the spot. We didn't want to confuse anyone and change up the naming scheme. We weren't going to be making more of the old PLAY:5, so if it were to be named the PLAY:6 (for example) our lineup would become the PLAY:1, PLAY:3 and PLAY:6. I know some people wouldn't care, but the symmetry/sequence crushing change would upset just the right people here.

The idea of course is that the new PLAY:5 will replace the old one in such a way that people will remember that the PLAY:5 is our flagship speaker. It's the top all in one speaker we make for music listening in the home.

Replacing was done with a name change in the past for zp90 and zp120, so that isn't the reason.

Strictly speaking, the ZP90 is an identical unit from the CONNECT, there have been some minor changes since that name change happened, but it was a branding change more so than a replacement unit. Much like the PLAY:5 was originally called the Sonos ZonePlayer S5. With the launch of the PLAY:3 we changed the names to the current naming convention, and I don't think anyone's planning on changing that again.

Strictly speaking, the ZP90 is an identical unit from the CONNECT, there have been some minor changes since that name change happened, but it was a branding change more so than a replacement unit. Much like the PLAY:5 was originally called the Sonos ZonePlayer S5. With the launch of the PLAY:3 we changed the names to the current naming convention, and I don't think anyone's planning on changing that again.

My reference to the zp90 was to an earlier change, not to the rebranding it to Connect. The zp90 replaced the zp80 and the zp120 replaced the zp100. Replacement caused a change of name, so not doing so for a play 5 replacement doesn't have Sonos history behind it.
I'd think that the new 5 is as much a new product as the 90 and 120 were, compared to the 80 and 100 they replaced, and if they earned a new name, so does the 5.
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I don't recall every song I heard on the stereo pair, but the ones that brought on the goosebumps were the Led Zeppelin tracks. People were commenting through several of the other music genres which were being demoed, but as soon as the opening riff of "Whole Lotta Love" came on, the place fell silent. Whatever wizardry was done to tune these new players adds a freshness to the sound that's difficult to describe, especially when the volume is cranked up above 50%.

The zp90 replaced the zp80 and the zp120 replaced the zp100. Replacement caused a change of name, so not doing so for a play 5 replacement doesn't have Sonos history behind it.
I'd think that the new 5 is as much a new product as the 90 and 120 were, compared to the 80 and 100 they replaced, and if they earned a new name, so does the 5.

Maybe they did it because there is no other Play:5 any more. Google did the same thing with the Nexus 7. The new one grew a rear facing camera, double RAM, about 50% improvement on resolution, battery, and a faster CPU. It was still called a Nexus 7..
The new one grew a rear facing camera, double RAM, about 50% improvement on resolution, battery, and a faster CPU. It was still called a Nexus 7..
Resulting in there no longer being a common understanding across people using the label "Nexus 7", as to what object are they talking about. That's the only thing some of us here seem to think will be an avoidable issue.
On the other hand, there obviously must be some benefits in staying with Play 5...or Nexus 7. What are these?
Quote from a tech radar review, on the name subject:
"Interestingly, on the unit I played with the words 'Encore' were stamped across the back, leading me to believe that Sonos may have been thinking of releasing this as an entirely new product range. Given the changes, it would have had every right to."
On the naming of the new PLAY:5

Probably because it occupies the "Play5" slot in the lineup. It is replacing the old Play5 so retains the name as the "current" Play5.

This is basically right on the spot. We didn't want to confuse anyone and change up the naming scheme. We weren't going to be making more of the old PLAY:5, so if it were to be named the PLAY:6 (for example) our lineup would become the PLAY:1, PLAY:3 and PLAY:6. I know some people wouldn't care, but the symmetry/sequence crushing change would upset just the right people here.



So instead, we now have two completely different units, with different facilities and connectivity - called exactly the same thing...

And that's not confusing????
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Quote from a tech radar review, on the name subject:
"Interestingly, on the unit I played with the words 'Encore' were stamped across the back, leading me to believe that Sonos may have been thinking of releasing this as an entirely new product range. Given the changes, it would have had every right to."


Indeed they must have had a late change of heart or perhaps 'encore' is the internal name for it to not confuse with the current (old) Play 5.
In the unpacked android software you can see the images named 'encore' for all the (new) Play 5 references:



I agree, I think its going to be more confusing calling it a Play 5 when it clearly isnt ! Play 6 would have been more appropriate since its a newer, better 'flagship' speaker with 6 drivers compared to the old one !
At least add a 2.0 after the name to differentiate it. Ordering online somewhere will be a treat, and no telling what version you're going to get in the shipping box. Amazon shows it as 'discontinued by manufacturer.'
At least add a 2.0 after the name to differentiate it.
That would differentiate it from the Play:1 & the Play:3, whereas maybe it has much in common with the tech in those devices (ie. WiFi capabilities, and CPU & memory headroom).
When is TruePlay expected? With the next update that fixes bugs iOS9 caused?
We use this place to complain a lot about Sonos - which is how it should be - but it sometimes takes an outsider to say this:
"The real value, though, lies in Trueplay. How often does a company such as Sonos make a major breakthrough in how its products work and then give that breakthrough away to its customers?"

Quote from a review on bloomberg.com


Must admit that room equalization is a big deal and much more of value than me moaning about the lack of a headphone socket when I "could" just plug headphones into my iPad.
I like the guys that buy it and use it for years and then discover it doesn't do something they think it should, and then bash Sonos continuously because their bizarre feature isn't ever included in an update. Or say how they will never recommend Sonos because a feature doesn't work the way it does on some non-Sonos gear.
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I like the guys that buy it and use it for years and then discover it doesn't do something they think it should, and then bash Sonos continuously because their bizarre feature isn't ever included in an update. Or say how they will never recommend Sonos because a feature doesn't work the way it does on some non-Sonos gear.

My only grumble is that some of the features that have been asked many times by many users are overlooked in a new 'flagship' product e.g. digital input.
I often recommend Sonos and I know that my endorsement has put many extra thousands of dollars sonos' way over the years. Im not going to grumble about a hardware feature missing from a product I already selected and purchased. I might however also make the odd grumble about something that could be solved with a software update 😛
Is it really missing or 'solvable' if it wasn't intended nor there to begin with?
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Is it really missing or 'solvable' if it wasn't intended nor there to begin with?

Only Sonos can answer that - take the multiple accounts for example - that wasnt intended nor there to begin with since streaming services didnt really exist when Sonos started. As streaming services became more prevalent, users within the same Sonos household ended up different accounts with the same service and Sonos kindly adapted the software to 'solve' that need. Only they know what can else be achieved on their own platform. All we, as users, can do is indicate and justify each and any requirement and hope it gets fulfilled - see https://en.community.sonos.com/controllers-software-228995/wishlist-for-sonos-controller-improvements-6730862
I agree. Guess I was stating that if they add it, great... if they don't, how can people be annoyed with them? I'd love to see the 65K barrier shattered, but I've worked around it and live with it. When I started with Sonos, that limit was 30K, so they more than doubled my initial capacity. I'm still hopeful for a fix, but I'm not going to bash them because of the lack of one. Technically, it's my problem... not theirs.
I agree. Guess I was stating that if they add it, great... if they don't, how can people be annoyed with them? I'd love to see the 65K barrier shattered, but I've worked around it and live with it. When I started, that limit was 30K, so they more than doubled my capacity. I'm still hopeful of a fix, but I"m not going to bash them because of the lack of one. Technically, it's my problem... not theirs.

My grumble is the removed headphone socket which in all fairness was in the gen 1 model, but the 65k barrier for me went away a few years back as better streaming services came on-line and as said I could plug headphone into my iPad. It would have been nice to have more inputs like a combo analogue / optical 3.5mm but Sonos clearly have a direction they are taking us.

Anyway a pair of gen 2 Play 5's sound like they could be fantastic. As they can be used as rears with a Playbar then I would hope that there is going to be some development in that area 😉