Zone Players are the heart of the Sonos system. You place them anywhere in your house where you want to hear music. The various pieces of Sonos hardware communicate among themselves through a wireless mesh network that the devices automatically set up. The company also claims that it has doubled the wireless range in the ZP
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Designed to let you play your music all over your home via wireless, amplified ZonePlayers now called the ZonePlayer , or ZP , and control those players from a wireless remote that can be used anywhere in your home, the Digital Music System fulfilled its promise with metaphorical aplomb. In other words, the ZP80 truly is a player , designed to be connected to an existing stereo or in-home system. At only 5.
The ZP left and ZP80 right. You connect it to your existing stereo system and then connect speakers to that system. The ZP80 also includes only two Ethernet ports as compared to four for the ZP, and is missing the voltage selector switch found on the ZP units we reviewed last year; the ZP80 includes an auto-switching power supply. Same but different Aside from its lack of an amplifier, the ZP80 functions nearly identically to its larger sibling. This process takes only a few minutes and is dead simple.
At the end of the setup process, you tell the Sonos software where to find your Music—an iTunes Music Library, a folder of music files on your hard drive, or music files on a network share.
You can mix and match up to 32 ZP80 and ZP units. The Sonos system uses an Your ZonePlayer 80 s can then be connected to your existing audio system s via analog or digital outputs. The backlit, 3. You can browse music by artists, albums, composers, genres, playlist, songs, or even filesystem folders.
For playback, you can synchronize several zones so they play the same tracks or you can play different music in different zones; you can even link some, but not all, zones so the bedroom plays one thing while the kitchen and family room play something else. You can also listen to Internet radio, and even stream music from the Rhapsody music service.
My favorite Controller feature bears repeating from my earlier review: A motion sensor automatically turns the Controller on when you pick it up. I also enjoyed the ability to connect an analog source, such as a CD player or even a radio, to one ZonePlayer and listen to its audio via any other ZonePlayer. The fixes are in As I mentioned above, using a ZPbased Digital Music System was little different than my experience with the ZPbased system we reviewed last year; I encourage you to read that review for all the nitty-gritty.
However, since that review, Sonos has made a few additional improvements to the System itself that are worth mentioning, including a few that address complaints I had. Of interest to many users will be the expanded format support: The Sonos system can now play Apple Lossless, Audible, and Rhapsody 3. And that network is now protected by bit AES encryption. The Sonos Controller has seen a couple useful improvements, as well. The first is that during playback you can now view full-screen album art and get more detailed track information.
The cradle, which can be placed on a flat surface or mounted on a wall, provides a convenient place to store and charge the Controller when not in use.
Without the cradle, you charge the Controller by plugging an AC cable into a power jack on the top of the unit. On the other hand, a few of my minor complaints about the original Sonos Digital Music System still stand.
Pros Provides nearly all the features and benefits of the ZonePlayer to an existing stereo system for a lower price and in a much smaller package Cons Digital Music System requires at least one ZonePlayer be connected to your computer, router, or wireless bridge Digital Music System still has a few minor limitations noted in No headphone jack.
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