The rumors were true: Sonos has added a smaller, lower cost member to their family of wireless music systems. The Play:3 is a $299 unit with three drivers, three amps, and integrated wireless/Ethernet networking that streams music from your local collection or various online services and can be controlled with dedicated Sonos hardware (sold separately) or via an Android or iOS app. The folks at the company were kind enough to send me one to check it out, so we get it out of the box, onto my network, and set up to stream from Spotify.
Play:3 is smaller, less expensive, and less powerful than its big brother Play:5 (formerly S5). For an extra hundred bucks, S:5 steps up to five separate drivers powered by five digital amps and the addition of line-in and headphone-0ut jacks. But if you have a smaller space, want to build or expand your Sonos network at a lower price, or are looking to pick up two units to use as a stereo pair, the new S:3 is a compelling option. At least on paper. Let’s see – and hear – what it looks like in the flesh, shall we?