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Sonos Multizone-Audio System Adds 1-Piece Amp/Speaker Client

10/13/2009 03:11:30 PM Eastern

Santa Barbara, Calif. - Sonos is adding a new playback option to its wireless multizone-audio system, which streams music wirelessly from a networked PC, network-attached storage (NAS) device or the Internet to stereo systems throughout the house.

SonosThe $399-everyday ZonePlayer S5, due in stores in late October, is one-piece tabletop client with built-in amplifier and stereo speakers. It will join two clients that lack embedded speakers. One is the $499 Zone Player ZP120 client with embedded amplifier, which requires consumers to add their own speakers. The other client, the $399 ZonePlayer ZP90, lacks amplifier and is designed to connect to a consumer's existing sound system.

Music sent to all Sonos clients can be controlled from Sonos' $349 wireless-RF touchscreen controller or, via Wi-Fi network, an Apple iPod Touch or iPhone loaded with free Sonos app.

To access PC-stored music and Internet radio, consumers must hardwire one client, or a $99 ZoneBridge repeater, to the Ethernet port of a home network's router. Users must also load Sonos software, included with the S5, on their Mac or PC.

The S5 incorporates two tweeters, two midrange drivers and a single built-in woofer, each amplified by a dedicated digital amplifier. All filter settings, bass and treble controls, active equalization and time-alignment functions are performed in the digital domain. The client also features analog audio input to connect legacy music sources that can be streamed to ZonePlayers in other rooms.

Besides offering its components separately, Sonos also bundles some. A $999 bundle, for example, includes the RF controller, Zone Player ZP120 amplified client and ZonePlayer ZP90 unamplified client.

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