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Sonos Play:5 Gen 1: A Comprehensive Review

If you’re looking for a premium wireless speaker that offers excellent sound quality and seamless integration with other Sonos speakers, the Play:5 Gen 1 is still a great option even years after its release.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1, from its audio performance and features to setup, design, and comparisons with other Sonos speakers.

We’ll provide detailed insights to help you decide if the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 is the right speaker for your needs. Read on for the full review.

Audio Quality and Performance

When it comes to audio quality and performance, the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 truly stands out.

With its advanced technology and meticulous engineering, this speaker delivers a balanced and spacious sound signature that will immerse you in your music like never before.

Balanced, Spacious Sound Signature

The Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 boasts a sound signature that is carefully tuned to provide a balanced audio experience.

Whether you’re listening to your favorite rock band or enjoying a classical symphony, every note and instrument is reproduced with impressive clarity and accuracy.

The speaker’s ability to create a wide and spacious soundstage adds depth and dimension to your music, making it feel as if you’re sitting in the front row of a live concert.

Loud Maximum Volume

One of the standout features of the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 is its ability to reach high volumes without sacrificing audio quality.

Even at its maximum volume, the speaker maintains its clarity and definition, ensuring that you can enjoy your music without any distortion or loss of detail.

Whether you’re throwing a party or simply want to fill your room with music, the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 has got you covered.

Deep Bass Response

For those who appreciate deep, rich bass, the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 delivers.

Its built-in woofers are designed to produce powerful and impactful bass that adds depth and excitement to your favorite tracks. From thumping beats to rumbling lows, this speaker will make you feel the music in your bones.

Detailed Treble and Mids

While the bass response is impressive, the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 also excels in the treble and midrange frequencies.

The speaker’s tweeters and midrange drivers work together to reproduce crisp and detailed highs, as well as clear and articulate vocals.

Whether you’re listening to a delicate acoustic guitar or soaring vocals, every nuance and subtlety is faithfully reproduced.


The Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 is a powerful wireless speaker that offers a range of innovative features to enhance your music listening experience. Let’s take a closer look at some of its key features:

Wireless Multi-Room Streaming

One of the standout features of the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 is its ability to wirelessly stream music to multiple rooms in your home.

With the Sonos app, you can easily group multiple speakers together and play the same music throughout your house or choose different songs for each room.

This feature allows you to create a seamless audio experience and enjoy your favorite tunes in every corner of your home.

Touch Controls

The Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 features intuitive touch controls that make it easy to adjust the volume, skip tracks, and pause/play your music.

The touch-sensitive surface on the top of the speaker allows for effortless control, eliminating the need for physical buttons or a remote control.

Simply tap or swipe on the surface to navigate through your music library and control playback.

Equalizer Settings

With the Sonos app, you have access to a customizable equalizer that allows you to fine-tune the sound to your preferences.

Whether you prefer more bass for a party or a balanced sound for a relaxing evening, the equalizer settings give you the flexibility to adjust the audio output to suit your listening needs.

This feature ensures that you can enjoy your music the way you like it.

Stereo Pairing

The Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 supports stereo pairing, which means you can connect two speakers and create a wider and more immersive soundstage.

By placing the speakers in different locations, you can enjoy a more realistic and spacious audio experience.

Whether you’re listening to your favorite albums or watching movies, stereo pairing enhances the overall sound quality and makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the action.

AirPlay 2 Support

The Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 is compatible with AirPlay 2, which means you can easily stream music from your Apple devices directly to the speaker.

Whether you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can effortlessly cast your favorite songs to the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 and enjoy high-quality audio without any interruptions.

This feature adds convenience and versatility to your music streaming experience.


Durable Build Quality

The Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 is known for its exceptional build quality, making it a reliable and long-lasting audio device. The outer shell is made of sturdy materials that can withstand everyday wear and tear.

Whether you place it on a shelf or mount it on a wall, you can be confident that the Play:5 Gen 1 will remain intact and perform at its best.

Minimalist Aesthetic

The Play:5 Gen 1 boasts a sleek and minimalist design that seamlessly blends into any modern home decor. Its clean lines and understated appearance make it an aesthetic addition to any room.

Whether you prefer a black or white finish, the Play:5 Gen 1 will effortlessly complement your existing furniture and electronics.

Flexible Placement Options

One of the standout features of the Play:5 Gen 1 is its flexibility in terms of placement options. You can position it vertically or horizontally, depending on your preference and the layout of your space.

This versatility allows you to optimize the audio experience and create the perfect ambiance in any room.

Additionally, the Play:5 Gen 1 can be easily paired with other Sonos speakers to create a multi-room audio setup, enhancing the overall listening experience throughout your home.

Setup and Ease of Use

Setting up the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 is a breeze, making it a great choice for both tech-savvy individuals and those who are less inclined towards technology.

Quick and Simple Setup

The Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 offers a quick and simple setup process that can be completed in a matter of minutes. All you need is a stable Wi-Fi connection and the Sonos app installed on your smartphone or tablet.

The app will guide you through the setup process step by step, ensuring that you have a seamless experience from start to finish.

One of the standout features of the Play:5 Gen 1 is its ability to connect wirelessly to your home network.

This means that you don’t have to deal with messy cables or complicated wiring configurations. Simply plug in the speaker, follow the on-screen instructions, and you’re good to go.

Intuitive Sonos App

The Sonos app is incredibly intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy for anyone to navigate and control their Sonos speakers.

With the app, you can easily stream music from your favorite streaming services, such as Spotify or Apple Music, directly to your Play:5 Gen 1.

You can also control the volume, adjust the equalizer settings, and even create playlists all from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet.

Furthermore, the Sonos app allows you to group multiple Sonos speakers together, creating a multi-room audio experience.

This means that you can have the same music playing in different rooms of your house or have different songs playing in each room, all controlled from a single app.

Voice Control Integration

The Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 also offers voice control integration, allowing you to control your music with simple voice commands.

By connecting your Play:5 Gen 1 to a voice assistant device, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can control your music playback, adjust the volume, and even skip tracks, all without lifting a finger.

This hands-free control adds an extra layer of convenience to your listening experience.

The integration with voice assistants also opens up a world of possibilities, as you can use voice commands to control other smart home devices in your house.

For example, you can ask your voice assistant to dim the lights while playing your favorite song on the Play:5 Gen 1, creating the perfect ambiance for a cozy evening at home.

Connectivity and Compatibility

When it comes to connectivity and compatibility, the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 doesn’t disappoint. With a wide range of options, this smart speaker makes it easy to connect and stream your favorite music from various sources.

WiFi and Ethernet Options

The Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 offers both WiFi and Ethernet connectivity options, allowing you to choose the method that works best for your home setup.

With WiFi, you can wirelessly connect the speaker to your home network, making it convenient to stream music from your smartphone or tablet.

On the other hand, if you prefer a wired connection, you can use the Ethernet port to directly connect the speaker to your router for a more stable and reliable connection.

Works with Major Streaming Services

One of the great features of the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 is its compatibility with major streaming services.

Whether you’re a Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music subscriber, you can easily access and stream your favorite songs and playlists directly from the Sonos app.

Additionally, the speaker also supports other popular streaming services such as Pandora, Tidal, and Deezer, giving you a wide range of options to choose from.

With the ability to connect to multiple streaming services, you can enjoy a seamless music experience without having to switch between different apps or devices.

Simply control and play your music all in one place, making it convenient and hassle-free.

Apple AirPlay 2 Support

For Apple users, the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 offers support for Apple AirPlay 2. This means you can easily stream music from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac directly to the speaker without the need for additional apps or devices.

Whether you’re listening to your favorite Apple Music playlist or watching a movie on your MacBook, you can effortlessly connect and enjoy the high-quality sound that Sonos is known for.

With AirPlay 2 support, you can also create a multi-room audio setup by connecting multiple Sonos speakers throughout your home.

This allows you to play the same music in every room or choose different songs for each speaker, giving you a truly immersive listening experience.

Comparison With Other Sonos Speakers

Vs. Play:1

When comparing the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 with the smaller Play:1, there are a few key differences to consider. Firstly, the Play:5 Gen 1 offers a more immersive sound experience with its larger size and more powerful drivers.

It delivers deeper bass and richer audio quality, making it a great choice for audiophiles or those who enjoy high-fidelity music.

On the other hand, the Play:1 is more compact and portable, making it easier to move around the house or take on the go.

It still provides excellent sound quality for its size and is a more budget-friendly option for those who don’t require the same level of audio performance.

Vs. Play:3

The Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 also differs from the Play:3 in a few significant ways. One notable distinction is the design and form factor. The Play:5 Gen 1 features a sleek and modern look, with touch-sensitive controls and a minimalist design.

In contrast, the Play:3 has a more traditional speaker design with physical buttons for playback controls.

In terms of audio performance, the Play:5 Gen 1 outshines the Play:3 with its larger drivers and more robust sound output.

It is capable of filling larger rooms with rich and detailed sound, making it ideal for those who want to create a captivating listening experience.

Vs. Play:5 Gen 2

Now let’s compare the Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 with its successor, the Play:5 Gen 2.

Both speakers offer exceptional audio quality and are part of the Sonos ecosystem, allowing for seamless integration and multi-room functionality.

However, the Play:5 Gen 2 introduces some notable improvements.

It features updated drivers and a more advanced Trueplay tuning technology, which automatically optimizes the sound based on the speaker’s surroundings.

The Gen 2 model also includes a line-in port, allowing you to connect external devices directly to the speaker.

While the Play:5 Gen 1 still delivers fantastic audio performance, the Gen 2 version offers enhanced features and improved overall performance.


The Sonos Play:5 Gen 1 has stood the test of time as one of the best-sounding wireless speakers available.

While it lacks some of the voice assistant integration and cutting-edge features of newer Sonos models, it still impresses with its powerful, balanced sound, flexible placement options, and seamless integration with the Sonos ecosystem.

If you don’t need the latest smart features and want amazing audio performance from a durable, future-proof speaker, the Play:5 Gen 1 remains an excellent option.

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