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Sonos BU-150 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £729
inc VAT

Sonos’s ZonePlayer BU-150 is by far the most expensive product here, but it’s the best for multi-room setups and comes with enough equipment to stream music to two rooms and control it from anywhere in your home.

The kit includes ZonePlayer 90 and ZonePlayer 120 receivers and the Controller 100. Neither receiver has an integrated speaker but the ZonePlayer 120 has a built-in amplifier for unpowered speakers, while the ZonePlayer 90 has both digital S/PDIF and analogue audio outputs. Both have phono line-in connectors.

When you connect a Sonos receiver to a network, it creates its own secure wireless network that lets you connect to and control up to 34 additional ZonePlayer receivers. Each can play different tracks or act as part of a group playing the same content streamed from the internet or a server. The wireless remote has a scroll wheel and a 3½in colour screen that lists music and internet radio stations.

The system comes with its own Desktop Controller server software for Windows, a proprietary UPnP system that lets you share files stored on your PC or elsewhere on your network. It also has limited support for some UPnP server applications. It played all our test files, including unusual formats such as Ogg and FLAC. Adding internet radio stations is easy, and it comes with a selection of presets, including all the BBC stations. It also comes with a month’s subscription to Napster’s Music on Demand service and supports other streaming services such as and audio book provider Audible.

Sonos’s system is flexible and easy to use but very expensive. It’s great for streaming music to multiple receivers but, unless you have a large house and deep pockets, you’re better off with a couple of UPnP or SMB receivers. You could buy two Philips Streamium NP2900 receivers for less than £440 and you wouldn’t have to buy external speakers. If you need cheaper receivers that play in sync, opt for Logitech’s Duet and Boom combination.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Media Streamer type streaming audio receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback Yes
Audio WMA-DRM playback No
Audio AAC playback Yes
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback Yes
Audio WAV playback Yes
Audio Audible playback Yes
Other audio formats AIFF, Apple Lossless, FLAC
Internet radio stream compatib MP3, WMA

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playback No
Video MPEG-2 playback No
Video MPEG-2 VOB playback No
Video MPEG-4 AVI playback No
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playback No
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD support No
Video H.264 support No
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio support No
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio support No
Video WMV playback No
Video WMV-HD support No
Other video formats none
Internet video stream compatib none

Image Compatibility

Image BMP support Yes
Image JPEG support Yes
Image TIFF support No

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports Zoneplayer 120 – 2x 10/100, Zoneplayer 90 – 2x 10/100
Wireless networking support Yes
128-bit WEP No
256-bit WEP No

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs 0
Minijack headphone outputs 0
Stereo phono outputs 1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 1
Optical S/PDIF outputs 1
Total SCART sockets 0
HDMI outputs 0
Component outputs 0
S-video output 0
Composite outputs 0
Other connectors nonw


Size Zoneplayer 120 – 89x185x207mm, Zoneplayer 90 – 74x136x140mm
Antennas 3
Internal/external antennas internal
Upgradeable antenna No
Power consumption standby N/A
Power consumption on N/A

Server Compatibility

Software included Sonos Desktop Controller
iTunes No
SlimServer No

Buying Information

Price £729
Warranty one year RTB

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