Sonos Zone Player ZP120
What is it?
A multiroom, network-capable music system from California-based Sonos.
What's special about it?
This one's for the music lover. Using multiple accessories, this system lets you listen to your music library wirelessly in multiple rooms, hook on to the internet for radio and customise the volume levels or pick tracks for individual rooms. Simply put, this is music like you've never heard before.
So how does it work?
Well, this might sound complex but it's actually very simple to set up. Sonos lets you choose storage devices that are connected to your network (this could be a computer or a networked hard drive) and then accesses music files to play through its ZonePlayers. You can also hook up your MP3 and DVD players to a ZonePlayer to play music. The system is capable of handling up to 32 ZonePlayers in one home.
Sounds simple enough. But what are all the other accessories for?
Ahh, therein lies the beauty of this ecosystem. But remember, you don't have to buy all of them to complete the system.
First, the ZonePlayers (which come in three avatars: the ZP120, ZP90 and the S5) are amplifiers which can be wired directly via the in-built ethernet ports. While the ZP120 and the ZP90 can be connected to your own speakers (Sonos also makes speakers) and stereo system, the S5 is an all-in-one and comes with its own in-built speaker. You can buy one of these, many of one or all of them for different rooms.
Then there is the ZoneBridge (BR100), which wirelessly speaks to all the ZonePlayers. The Zone-Bridge is useful if your ZonePlayer is not directly wired to your internet connection or of you have multiple ZonePlayers in your home.
The touch screen full-colour display Controller (CR200) gives you control of your music at your fingertips. The remote comes with its own charging cradle. There is also a nifty wireless Dock (WD100) that can play all the music in your iPod or iPhone in all the rooms where you have Sonos.
Now there is a little twist to this: Sonos has also created Controller apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad which are free to download from your AppStore, automatically turning them into remote controls (sounds familiar Apple TV users?). All Sonos products come with Controller software for Mac and PC so you can control your music from your computer. This makes the CR200 optional. An Android app is scheduled to be launched later this month.