Last month Sonos released their new Zone Player 80 (ZP80) and and I've been demoing the system ever since. The Sonos solution allows you to play your digital music throughout your house without having to run any wires between rooms. Playback can be controlled from software installed on your computer or by using the super intuitive wireless remote. The music remains on your computer but can be accessed from each zone separately to play different songs in each room. Multiple zones can be combined for unified playback or all zones, up to 32 are supported, can be combined in "party mode." What makes the Sonos system so good is how well they have simplified an otherwise complex scenario. I was up and running (in my little 2 room apartment) in 10 minutes.
The Zone Players all communicate over a proprietary wireless network which did not have a single drop out during my testing. The ZP80 differs from the original ZP100 because the ZP80 does not have a built in amplifier, making it appropriate as an addition to an existing stereo unit. For rooms where you have no equipment at all, the ZP100 is perfect because you can just plug in speakers that are powered by its 50W/channel amp. And of course the ZP80 and the ZP100 play nicely together and are equally controllable from the wireless remote.
A bundle with 2 ZP80 units and the wireless remote is currently being offered for US$999. Additional ZP80s are US$349, the ZP100s go for US$499 and the remote can be purchased separately for US$399. All available direct from the Sonos Store.
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