Sonos now supports a broad range of audio formats, including MP3, iTunes Plus, WMA (including purchased Windows Media downloads), AAC (MPEG4), Ogg Vorbis, Audible (format 4), Apple Lossless, Flac (lossless), as well as uncompressed WAV and AIFF files. There's native support for 44.1kHz sample rates as well as additional support for 48kHz, 32kHz, 24kHz, 22kHz, 16kHz, 11kHz, and 8kHz sample rates. However, it won't handle Apple “Fairplay”, AAC Enhanced and WMA Lossless formats though Sonos says this may appear later.
The Zonebridge is, effectively, the wireless access point for this Sonos setup
On-line services include Internet radio access, and music from Last.fm, Deezer and Napster (£5 a month now for 8 million tracks, without the need for a computer) plus audio books from Audible and it's now possible to make Twitter updates through Sonos. The service offers a template tweet namechecking the track you're listening to and you can add your own message about it. There's no Spotify yet, which is beginning to feel a little weird, though we've got our fingers crossed.
Putting all that on-line content aside, the primary purpose of the Sonos system is to stream music from your PC, Mac, or a Nas server around your home, and this it does easily and effectively. You can import playlists from iTunes and, for a price, you can add other S5 units and link them to the Zonebridge and control them all from the iPhone or CR200 enabling different music streams, or the same source around the house at different levels for each room.
We used the iPhone app, which, for the most part, is easy to navigate and use. It's lacking a few of the options available on the computer-based interface, but it's all you need to configure the system and control each of the zones you set up.
iPhone control for free, assuming you have one
We had a slight problem during installation, which we're getting used to with Sonos. As we've found in the past when setting up a Sonos system, there are issues with firewalls and the software. Indeed, this occasion was no exception. A phone call to the Sonos support team got it sorted though and once we were up and running, playback went smoothly for the most part.
So why only 85%? You don't mention anything wrong with it.
Thing is ...
If you're wiring it in to your network it's a cheap option. The S5 is less than a ZP120 and that's also before adding speakers. If you do not have a iPhone or iPod Touch, then you can still control it through your PC/Mac.
I got a BU150 set in the Richer Sounds sale (when the new controller and BU250 bundle came out) and added a S5 as a third zone which was both cheaper and more practical. I can move it around the house and the only limitation is the need for a power cable, no having to move speakers (or even stereo system/amp) around.
Half the price of a BU250 bundle...
.. but also under half the functionality. The BU250 includes a CR200 controller and two ZonePlayers (one with amplifier, one without), but an S5 and ZoneBridge for £429 is only one zone and no controller. Makes the price comparison a bit daft.
I should add that I'm a very happy Sonos user, but I'm unlikely to add one of these as an extra zone.
So you don't use the fast search function ? I can't believe they would have dropped it on the new hand controller, but on the old one I can select it then scroll through first letters.
The trouble with Sonos
...Is that you have to scroll through everthing by name alphabetically and you normally give up by the letter C. I have over 1200 albums on the Sonos and browsing through the collection is such a drag. It's easier to look at the CD boxes themselves. Much as it pains me to say so, an ipod-type-coverflow-type-thing would make browsing a lot easier. Even Windows Media Player 11 is easier to browse through with a search bar and browsing by album cover.