Sonos Play 5 Review - Audiostance

Sonos Play:5 Review

WiFi speakers are quickly overtaking their Bluetooth counterparts as the more popular wireless option, with a huge spike in new products and demand over the last 12 months. Sonos is arguably one of the more popular WiFi speaker brands, with products for every room and application in the home. The Sonos Play:5 is a standalone speaker but can also be integrated into a home theater system or multi-room speaker setup.

The Sonos Play:5 also features on our list of the 10 Best WiFi Speakers.

Sonos Play:5 Specs

Low Frequency Driver: 3 x 4” woofers
High Frequency Driver: 1 x 1” + 2 x ¾” tweeters
Inputs: ⅛” AUX, WiFi
Dimensions: 14.3” x 8” x 6″
Weight: 14 lbs

Sonos Play:5 Design

The Play:5 is an ultra-stylish, sleek-looking speaker with some serious power. The Play:5 features a total of six speaker drivers, which are independently driven by six internal Class-D amplifiers. For the low-end, there are three 4-inch low-frequency drivers along the front of the speaker. To cover the high-frequencies there are two ¾-inch tweeters left and right with a 1-inch tweeter mounted in the center.

The Play:5 can be positioned vertically or horizontally, depending on your preference. When the Play:5 is placed horizontally or on its side, the speaker configuration delivers a stereo image significantly better than most single-source speakers. Placed upright the Play:5 becomes a mono speaker. The Play:5 features a built-in gyro so the speaker knows which position it is in and adjusts the internal processing to deliver either a stereo or mono image, giving new meaning to the term “smart speaker”. In the vertical position, the Play:5 can still achieve a stereo image when paired with a second Play:5, which we will get to in a bit.

Sonos Play 5

What Does the Sonos Play:5 Sound Like?

The Play:5 is one of the best-sounding WiFi speakers on the market. The woofers produce a powerful yet tight and controlled low-frequency response that never overpowers the rest of the frequency spectrum. The bass is deep and punchy without ever getting woolly or distorting. The low-end produced by the Play:5 will be appreciated by bass heads, (some) audiophiles, and certainly the general consumer.

The mid-range and the high-frequency response are just as impressive. The mids are upfront and present, giving the speaker excellent clarity regarding the music and vocals. The tweeters deliver a pleasant crispness, which gives the Play:5 incredible intelligibility for all audio formats.

The speaker delivers a good sound stage with excellent detail and accuracy. While the Sonos Play:5 is by no means an audiophile speaker, it certainly delivers a listening experience at the high end of the consumer audio spectrum.

Aside from the exquisite sound, the Play:5 also delivers some serious power. Although Sonos doesn’t specify the power output for the Play:5, I would estimate it to be somewhere between 50W and 80W. Certainly enough to fill most medium to large living spaces with ease.

Sonos Play 5

Play:5 Inputs & Controls

Sonos has decided to keep things simple with the Play:5 when it comes to audio inputs offering ⅛-inch AUX input, WiFi, and Ethernet connections. The Play:5 incorporates a total of six internal antennas, so the speaker is able to offer superior connectivity with zero dropouts (assuming the Play:5 is within range of your WiFi network, of course). Apple users also have the option of connecting via Airplay.

Play:5 can be controlled either by using the onboard touch-sensitive pads or via the Sonos App. The onboard controls are neatly concealed on top of the Play:5 near the Sonos logo. A multi-function button is in the center, and a touch-sensitive button is on either side. Functions include play/pause, volume up, volume down, next track, and previous track. Volume is controlled by tapping either of the touch controls, while track skip is achieved by swiping from one-touch control to the other.

On the rear of Play:5, you’ll find the join button to connect to another Play:5, Sonos Sub, or an entire Play speaker network, including a surround sound setup in a home theater.

You’ll need to download the Sonos App to access and control the full features. Using the app, you can connect your favorite streaming services, link, control, and operate multiple Sonos speakers, change audio settings, and more.

Sonos Play 5

Sonos Play:5 Multi-Speaker Setup

The best thing about purchasing a Sonos speaker is a multi-room or multi-speaker setup. For a simple stereo setup, you can link two Play:5 speakers. With two Play:5 speakers linked, you get incredible stereo imaging with improved clarity compared to listening to just one speaker. You can perform a mono link of multiple Play:5 speakers if you wish to place the speakers in different rooms for a multi-room Sonos speaker set up. You can also use the Play:1 or Play:3 with a Play:5 for multi-room setups.

When paired with the Sonos Playbar, the Play:5 can also be used in a home theater setup as front left/right or rear surrounds. I would only use the Play:5 in a home theater setup for larger rooms as the speakers may be overkill in small to medium-sized living spaces due to their incredible power. For the smaller living spaces, we would rather incorporate Play:1 or Play: speakers instead.

While Play:5 does have a great low-end response, it lacks in the sub-bass frequency spectrum. If you’re looking for more bass, the Play:5 can be paired with the Sonos Sub. Like the rest of the Sonos range, the Sonos Sub connects to other Sonos speakers wirelessly for a quick plug-and-play setup.

Sonos Play 5

What’s in the Box?

Included with the Sonos Play 5 WiFi speaker:

  • Sonos Play:5
  • Power cable
  • Ethernet cable


If you’re in the market for a WiFi speaker, then the Sonos Play:5 (or any Sonos speaker for that matter) is definitely worth consideration. The speaker sounds excellent, with perfect balance across the frequency spectrum. Sonos has made multi-room and multi-speaker setups so simple, which means you can grow your WiFi speaker network as you go. Whether it’s a stereo pair, multi-speaker, or surround sound setup, the Sonos range has a solution for every application. And they all sound great! At under $340, the Play:5 is competitively priced in relation to competitors Bose, Klipsch, and others.

Audiostance Author - Matt Hallowes
Written by
Matt Hallowes

Matt is a sound engineer and confessed vinyl junkie! His work as a sound engineer includes live production and venue installations, giving him deep insight into the audio industry, with personal experience with dozens of products. While traveling the world, Matt shares his knowledge and expertise with us!

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