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Sonos Upgrades Wireless Music System

Santa Barbara, Calif. — Sonos released software upgrades for its PC-connectable wireless multizone music system, enabling it to stream podcasts and Windows Media Internet radio stations. The upgrades also include an expanded selection of more than 100 internet radio station URLs and an expanded song library index of 40,000 songs, up from 30,000.

Another upgrade adds system control from a desktop Mac computer, supplementing PC control.

The system already streamed MP3 radio stations and Rhapsody’s subscription music-streaming service.

Sonos’s wireless multizone audio system uses a wireless-RF handheld LCD controller to distribute music wirelessly from a PC or from a network attached storage (NAS) server to up to 32 zones in a house. The system also streams Internet radio stations directly from a home’s networked broadband connection.

The system consists of a $399-everyday handheld wireless controller and a $499, 10.2-inch by 7.2-inch by 4.4-inch ZonePlayer, which incorporates audio decoders, proprietary mesh-network wireless transmitter and receiver, and a Class D amplifier rated at 2×50 watts into 8-ohm loads with less than 0.02 percent THD. The player drives any pair of speakers, including in-wall and in-ceiling speakers.

A $1,199 package consists of two players and a controller.

For multiroom applications, one ZonePlayer must be wired into a PC or NAS directly or via a wired Ethernet network. Additional ZonePlayers, however, will wirelessly access the music.