Wi-Fi(delity) in a Smaller Sonos

High-Quality Sound in a Downsized Speaker

Sonos downsized speaker

Sonos has been a gold standard - on a market for high-quality wireless speakers that stream music digitally. Its items produce sterling sound, do not require wiring or professional installation and are also restrained by apps on computers, tablets as well as smartphones. They can be used by themselves, or few can be networked together in order to form a whole-house system.

Sonos products have been somewhat expensive, ranging between $300 and $700 for a single speaker, plus $50 for a “bridge” device that plugs into your home Internet router to make the speakers’ wireless network work. Also, its speakers have mostly been large and heavy.

At the moment, the Santa Barbara, Calif., company has launched a lower-priced, smaller model that keeps its quality sound and its modular, wireless connection system. Like its larger siblings, it functions with a nice Sonos app on Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets to stream music either from those devices, or from the cloud via services like Pandora, Amazon and Spotify.

So, what’s the difference between the Sonos wireless speakers and smaller, battery-powered speakers for digital devices that use Bluetooth?

These latter products are best thought of as wirelessly tethered amplifiers for smartphones and tablets. Although they produce good sound, they won’t work if the digital device they are secured to moves out of the short range of Bluetooth.

Also, in case you are playing music stored on a portable device, Sonos won’t be able to keep playing the music for too long after you move the device out of range. However, its range is much greater than that of a Bluetooth device. You’ll easily be able to stream music stored on an iPad to a Sonos on another floor.

The conclusion is that Sonos has democratized its quality product line eventually, with a more affordable as well as smaller, but still very good, wireless speaker.

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