The Sweet Sound of Sonos
When I was in middle school, my pride and joy was my small purple tape player, through which I would blast (I'm using that term generously) my New Edition and Whitney Houston tapes (procured from BMG of course) and otherwise try to catch favorite tunes via the radio. However, in the years that have passed, despite loving music (in addition to general listening, I was a violinist for 20+ years), I've found my listening habits hampered by evolving technology; for example, choosing aesthetics over music when it came to big ugly speaker units, missing the radio with iPod sound dock systems, and enjoying Pandora (a lot) but only being able to access it when I was working on my laptop.
So when Sonos approached me about testing out their product, I experienced a palpable moment of nostalgia (purple tape player!) and flat out excitement about finally landing on a music system that is compact and delivers everything I want musically. And I am thrilled to report that Sonos delivers the awesome.
I have never had patience for complicated instructions, and happily, the Sonos system is easy to set up. Simply plug the wireless bridge into the wall and router, plug the speaker into an outlet, follow the steps to install the software on your computer, and download the app so you can control music from your phone (more on that in a second). These steps take a matter of minutes. Via the Sonos software on your computer, you then tell the system where to find your music; this phase of setup time will vary depending on how many music sources (e.g., iTunes library) and logins (e.g., Pandora) you have.
The output is fantastic, even with the Play:3's compact size, and the unit is definitely portable -- it would be easy to move around the house or outside. However, we've currently got the Play:3 set up upstairs and are planning on buying another unit for downstairs. Given the layout of our home, one Play:3 can definitely fill each level of our house with music. (For, er, research purposes, I did experiment with blasting music from the second floor and listening to it downstairs -- impressively effective yet not awesome in terms of neighborly behavior...)
But the real kicker for me? I adore that you can access your music wirelessly via your phone. If you're accessing iTunes you need to have your computer on, but for other sources such as Pandora, you don't need your laptop. Totally awesome right? In fact, right now I'm controlling Pandora via my phone from the next room. (My laptop thanks me for having one less window open.)
More info + a rad bargain
You can learn more about Sonos here and here. Or, you can take my word for it since you know I don't feature anything unless it totally rocks. Or you can take the word of the FedEx dude who delivered my Sonos and said, "I used to deliver for these guys. This system is awesome -- I hope you love it as much as I do!"
If you'd like to pull the trigger on Sonos, this is a great time to do it. Target is running a dads & grads promo for a free wireless bridge ($49) when you buy a Play:3 ($299) or Play:5 ($399). This special runs in stores and online now until June 9. Perfect for celebrating dads. Or grads. Or yourself. Or summer. Or the power of music to impact your life positively in many ways (I can say this, given that I was a music and brain scientist in a former life).
And the purple tape player? It will always have a place in my heart, but I've now officially moved on.
Disclosure: This post was inspired via sponsorship by Sonos. However, this post never would have come to fruition if I didn't love the product.