A New Member To My Sonos Family, The Play:3

by Damian on October 8, 2011 · 8 comments

in News

If you read my review about the Sonos Wireless Multi-Room System you know that I think very highly abut Sonos and that it is my go to system for listening to music at home. Well, today we added a new addition to the Sonos family, the Sonos S3 (now known as the Play:3), which is the baby brother to the Sonos S5 (now known as the Play:5). I am not going to do a review of the Play:3 since my previous Sonos review covers nearly all the information needed. Instead I am just going to post a few quick thoughts along with some side-by-side photos, so sit back and enjoy the quick ride!



  • Price: $299
  • Amplifier: Three Class-D digital amplifiers
  • Speakers: Three driver speaker system – one tweeter, two mid-range drivers, and one bass radiator. Each driver of the product is individually powered by a dedicated amplifier.
  • Stereo Pairing: Allows you to group two PLAY:3s in the same room with one PLAY:3 serving as the left channel and the other as the right channel.
  • Power Supply: AC 120/240V, 50-60Hz, auto-switchable
  • Top-panel buttons: Volume and Mute
  • Top-panel lights: Indicate ZonePlayer status and Mute status
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 5.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 in. (132 x 268 x 160 mm)
  • Weight: 5.71 lb (2.6 kg)

Here is a photo of the front of the Sonos. As you can see on the top are the volume and mute buttons.

At the rear is an Ethernet connection (only necessary if you plan on hard wiring) and the power input.

Here is a front comparison of the Play:3 (in the front) against the Play:5 (in the rear). As you can see the Play:3 is clearly smaller in size which you would expect since the Play:3 only has 3 speakers versus 5 in the Play:5

Here is a side by side comparison. Although the Play:3 is much shorter you can see it also has much greater depth then the Play:5

Quick Thoughts:

As you can see from the hardware the major difference is the Play:3 comes with 3 speakers ( one tweeter and two mid-range drivers) whereas the Play:5 comes with 5 speakers (two tweeters, two 3” mid-range drivers, and one 3.5” woofer). As you would expect the Play:5 drives a more powerful sound and is great if you are looking to fill up a large room (s). The Play:3 on the other hand is better suited for a smaller listening environment, although it still packs a punch. One other interesting feature with the Play:3 is that it supports multiple orientations. Position the PLAY:3 in a horizontal or vertical orientation to make a perfect fit into tight spots around you home like on bookshelves, nightstands, corners, or just about anywhere else. The EQ automatically adjusts so the sound you hear is always great, not matter what orientation you use. As with the other Sonos components adding the PLay:3 took less then 2 minutes to accomplish.

Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found Mediasmartserver.net, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


saxnix October 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm

I am not really all that into music but in a couple of years we are building a house and I want to have distributed audio. After reading various reviews about the play 3, I decided this would be a good way to test the waters with audio. To my surprise, even thought the Aussie dollar had been stronger than the greenback, the price down here is $419. After doing a bit of hunting around I found a salesperson who dropped the price to $330 – which if I had to add shipping into the mix – seemed a pretty good deal.

I am very happy I did go with the Sonos option. For anyone else on the fence, I second Damian’s appreciation of Sonos. This really is a good solution. The sound is produces is much better than I had expected and am happy I went with the 3 instead of the 5.

I only wish there was a way you could, say, hold the mute button for 5 seconds and it would start playback of whatever was last playing…

JohnBick October 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Pricing in “the net” is interesting, ranging from $289 one plac4e, $299 at Sonos and several other places, and up to $489 at Sears and even $550+ a couple places. Yes, app Play 3 — three speakers and including appropriate pictures! So it’s not JUST the Aussies who are confused on all this!

Quick question, by the way… Can this be controlled by a PC? (I ass-u-me it can, but best to ask!) I’m not into the SmartPhone arena and do not plan to enter it in the near future! Will probably get an iPad soon, but procrastinating at this point. (Maybe iPad 3? Maybe sooner if the price drops?)

saxnix October 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Yes, you can download a desktop controller.

Damian October 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Hey JB,

Yes, you can control via their sonos desktop controller software as saxnix mentioned. I have the software running on my PC and WHS

sj October 11, 2011 at 8:05 am

They also have control apps for Android and the iPhone/iTouch

Cuberob October 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

I love the look of these sonos systems but ended up going for the “Logitech squeezebox” brand. Which are quite a bit cheaper, but offer the same functionality. By now I own: one squeezebox duet, 3 squeezebox radio’s and 1 squeezebox boom. All connected to my synology nas for their streaming needs and controlled from my android and ios devices. Also i’ve got one htpc connected to my stereo with “softsqueeze” always running in the background. By doing so you can create a “free” streaming hub!

Anyways, loving these streaming music players. Once you get used to them you’ll never wanna go back!

Damian October 11, 2011 at 5:51 am

Agreed. Once you go with one of these dedicated audio solutions you will never be able to go back, very addicting!

WishYouWereHere October 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm

What I’d really like is an (in the home) listening experience comparison between the 3 and the 5. Obviously, the 5 should sound better and how does the sound compare when you use two of the 3 units (for stereo) vs the 5? Real world, non audio-purist comments appreciated.


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