Sonos Five is the most expensive, but also the most powerful “traditional” wireless speaker in the Sonos range. It’s a wireless speaker with meaty bass and enough power to fill any room with rich, fun sound. Let’s find out more about it in Sonos Five Review below.
Welcome to my comprehensive review of the Sonos Five speaker! If you’re looking for a great sound system with a sleek design and powerful performance, then the Sonos Five is a perfect choice. In this review, I’ll be taking a closer look at the features, sound quality, and other features of the Sonos Five to help you decide if it’s the right speaker for your needs. So, let’s dive in and see what this speaker has to offer!
Sonos Five Specifications
Details & Dimensions
- Height: 8.03 in (203 mm)
- Width: 14.33 in (364 mm)
- Depth: 6.06 in (154 mm)
- Weight: 14 lb (6.36 kg)
- Colors: Black, White
- Finish: Matte
- Controls: Use the capacitive touch controls on the product to play, pause, skip, replay, adjust the volume, and more
- LED: Light on the product indicates connection, mute status, and errors
Power & Connectivity
- WiFi: Connect to WiFi with any 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4 or 5 GHz broadcast-capable router
- Voltage: 100-240V 50/60Hz internal power supply
- Line-in: Connect an audio device to the 3.5 mm input using an auxiliary cable
- Ethernet: 10/100 port for hardwiring to your router
- CPU: Quad Core 1.3 GHz
- Memory: 512 MB SDRAM, 512 MB NAND Flash
- Apple AirPlay 2: Works with AirPlay 2 on Apple devices iOS 11.4 and higher
You can download the manual here->Sonos Five Manual
Design & Build Quality
Compared to its predecessor, the Play:5 speaker, the design of Five has not changed. It is a substantial wireless speaker with smooth, rounded edges, available in black and white. From all sides, it appears robust and structurally convincing. While it doesn’t carry an official liquid-resistance certification, Sonos calls it moisture-resistant, implying it’s safe for use in the bathroom.
Sonos Five is the most powerful wireless speaker in the company’s range. Here, above all, I mean the maximum volume, which is delivered by six class D amplifiers, driving three tweeters and three bass-midrange units, located under a graphite protective mesh. Other features of the Five are no different from other Sonos home speakers, which means you get a speaker that easily connects to your home network (wired or wireless) and integrates smoothly with every other Sonos speaker in your home. Of course, Five can be the first or only speaker you own.
In addition, to support AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, which are common on Sonos speakers, the Five offers access to all relevant music and radio services, within the Sonos S2 app, which is used for control. This includes Apple Music, whose “blessing” for integration and use no other competing multiroom system has, as well as all the usual suspects, such as Spotify (if for some reason you don’t want to use it through the official app), YouTube Music, Tidal, Deezer, TuneIn, Amazon Music, Qobuz and others.
- All-new Sonos Five - Experience vividly clear, room-filling sound for music and more with Five, tuned by renowned...
- Deep bass - Five's unrivalled acoustic design features 3 high-excursion woofers within a sealed architecture that...
- Ultra-wide soundstage - 2 precisely-angled side tweeters create spatial extension and rich stereo sound, while a center...
- Smart stereo sound - Place a single speaker horizontally for stereo sound. Pair 2 speakers in an upright position and...
- Line-in and play - Connect your turntable, CD player, or other device directly to Five using the 3.5 millimeter line-in...
If you have only one speaker, you will place it horizontally in the desired location. If you have two and want to use them in stereo, the idea is to orient them vertically, after which each of them automatically turns into a mono channel and starts working as a full member of the stereo pair. To allow for both orientations of the speaker, Sonos has placed tiny feet on three of its sides, giving us complete freedom to position it however we want.
Admittedly, you’ll have to dig deep into your pocket for two Sonos Fives, and we definitely can’t call these speakers cheap. The price puts it alongside other high-end wireless speakers, such as the Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i and the Harman Kardon Citation 500.
Connectivity & Controls
On the top of the speaker is a set of touch controls. They are intended for pausing and playing music, adjusting the sound volume, and quickly grouping with the second physically closest Sonos speaker. The latter is handy when you want the Five to play what you hear currently playing on another Sonos speaker in your home, without reaching for your phone and control app. Touch controls can also be used to jump to the next track (swipe left to right) and return to the previous one (swipe right to left).
On the back, there is a 100-megabit network connector, a 3.5 mm line-in jack, a Join button, and a power port. The mentioned line input can be used to connect a record player or any other analog external sound source. The Five is also equipped with an 802.11b/g/n wireless network card, which works well with the 2.4 and 5-gigahertz frequency bands. Of the wireless connections, only Bluetooth is not supported, which is true for most other Sonos speakers. Five, namely, is not intended as a portable speaker, but as a home player, or one of the parts of your Sonos multiroom system.
The Sonos Five is equipped with a total of six dynamic speaker units and the same number of Class D amplifiers. Three units are 10-centimeter (4″) bass-midrange drivers, and above each of them is a 23-millimeter (0.9″) tweeter. . The speaker is based on a sealed box design so there are no bass reflex ports on either side.
Sonos doesn’t specify the Five’s output power, but you can rest assured: its volume range is huge. The Five is loud enough for medium to larger rooms and even for outdoor parties, provided you have access to a power outlet. The built-in speaker units are very resistant to distortion, so you won’t experience any sound distortions when listening very loudly.
The tonality of the Five depends mostly on the use of Trueplay technology. The one in question is intended to calibrate the speaker according to the acoustic characteristics of the space in which it is located, and it is only available on devices with iOS, therefore, most newer iPhones and iPads (although not all). Support for Android is missing due to too many manufacturers and devices, or Sonos’ inability to adapt the software to such a huge number of different microphones. The calibration procedure consists of walking around the room and waving the mobile phone or tablet in an appropriate manner, while the speaker emits test signals. What is actually happening? Trueplay technology analyzes sound reflections from walls, furniture and other surfaces in the room, and creates a modified frequency curve, adapted to that speaker and that specific environment.
Without active Trueplay, Five gave me a somewhat dark acoustic signature, with relatively muted high frequencies, but also with a really impressive amount of bass. His bass is deep and meaty, without any excessive layering, but with an impact that in certain types of music is felt throughout the body. It should be noted that the midrange is not obscured by deep frequencies; Five’s speaker units manage to keep them under control. The presence of vocals and most instruments in the overall acoustic picture is additionally ensured by emphasizing the middle frequencies, which, fortunately, is not so much that they sound offensive. The higher part of the midrange and high frequencies seem relatively compressed and closed, and it is precisely in this aspect that the Trueplay technology helps the most.
After performing the Trueplay calibration, for which I used an iPad Air from 2020, the Sonos Five noticeably “lost weight” in the lowest part of the frequency spectrum, but the middle and high frequencies became smoother and better balanced, and the perception of sound width increased drastically. With that in mind, the ideal configuration for the Sonos Five was to keep Trueplay active and add a +5dB bass boost using the equalizer, which is available within the Sonos S2 control app. Depending on the characteristics of your space, these parameters will vary. In any case, don’t be afraid to experiment; Five gives you enough maneuvering space to adjust it to your taste.
Sonos S2 Application – Management and Configuration
The Sonos S2 application is available for mobile devices and computers and is used to configure the company’s speakers, as well as music playback and all forms of multiroom control. You will use it to play music in an extremely intuitive way from all supported music services (Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube Music, TuneIn Radio, Sonos Radio, Bandcamp, SoundCloud and many others), or from your Plex server, or network shared music directory.
It is particularly interesting how two or more Sonos speakers interact within the same application. At any time, in two or three taps, you will be able to group or separate them, play the desired content on all of them together or each separately, and manage the sound volume independently or as a group. It will not happen to you that the application suddenly does not recognize one of the networked speakers, or that they do not react at the same time to pausing the music, switching the song, or some third external stimulus. The sheer intuitiveness of the Sonos S2 application is one of the main advantages of the Sonos speaker Five, but also of all other company products.
Sonos Five Video Review
To Buy or Not?
Although I certainly remain reserved about Sonos’ catchphrase for the Five, which says “HiFi meets WiFi” – a “real” hi-fi experience still implies a more refined sound character than the Five – this does not change the fact that it is a powerful wireless speaker, with a fun sound, tuned to satisfy the masses. Five is definitely not a speaker for listening to classics in a half-dark room, with a glass of expensive whiskey and a thoughtful look into the distance. Modern, more lively and noisy production suits him much better.
Finally, in addition to the speaker itself with all the mentioned characteristics, for the money spent on the Sonos Five, you also get access to the best multiroom system today. The Sonos S2 application, available for mobile devices and computers, enables intuitive and extremely simple management of the speaker itself, which includes its configuration, as well as playing content from music and radio services. And when one or more other Sonos speakers are thrown into the story, the overall impression just keeps getting better.
I draw your attention to one more detail: Five does not like you to sit too close. To achieve any stereo separation and sense of size, the speakers need to be moved at least two meters away, giving the bass-mid units room to breathe and the angled tweeters a chance to create a sense of horizontal spaciousness.
Sonos Five Pro & Cons
- Superior user experience (especially in combination with other Sonos speakers)
- Great Sonos S2 mobile app
- Fun and luxurious sound
- Enough power for rooms of all sizes
- Excellent touch controls
- Possibility of a stereo pairing of two Five speakers
- Does not support Bluetooth playback
- Trueplay technology is not supported on Android
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