Sonos Play 5 Gen 1 vs Gen 2 [2022 Review]

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Sonos Play 5 Gen 2

The Play:5 was the company’s first all-in-one item, having previously concentrated on gadgets meant to link electronics and speakers produced by other firms.

Sonos Play 5 Gen 1

The black Sonos PLAY:5 (Gen 1) Wireless Speaker provides high-fidelity digital music. It connects to the Internet through an Ethernet connection or built-in Wi-Fi.

It’s easy to overlook how significant the original Sonos Play:5 was for both Sonos and music streaming in general. The Play:5 was the company’s first all-in-one item, having previously focused on gadgets designed to link electronics and speakers made by other firms.

Sonos was so successful that it is still primarily a wireless speaker firm today, creating a slew of competitors and rivals attempting to copy the Sonos model.

However, in the realm of technology, standing still is equivalent to moving backwards, so the original Play:5 was discontinued and replaced by a new model after six years and numerous software updates.

This Play:5 Gen 2 was a terrific gadget when it first came out, but a fresh look in light of the advent of a number of new rivals reveals that it’s no longer the best-sounding device, even if it’s still the best in terms of convenience.

If you are interested in these models, keep reading our Sonos Play 5 Gen 1 vs Gen 2 review for more information below.

Winner of Sonos Play 5 Gen 1 vs Gen 2: Gen 2

I hope this post has helped you understand the changes and similarities between the Sonos Play 5 (Gen1) and Play 5 (Gen2) systems (Gen2).

When it was first released in 2009, the Play 5 (Gen1) was a fantastic speaker. Excellent sound quality, wireless connectivity, and welcome addition to the Sonos ecosystem for whole-home audio enjoyment.

Technology in today’s world does not wait for anyone. It was unavoidable that Play 5 (Gen2) would be released. Unlike many 2nd generation devices from various manufacturers, Sonos’ Play 5 (Gen2) was an upgrade over the first version.

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For that reason, our winner for this review is Sonos Play Gen 2.

Sonos Play 5 Gen 2

Features: The Play:5’s ability to fill even the largest rooms with a rich, powerful sound is a feature. The driver setup, which includes six matching Class D amplifiers and nearly three times the acoustic horsepower of its predecessor, accounts for a large part of this.

Three custom-designed 10cm mid-woofers on the bottom, which are larger and more powerful versions of those found in Play:1, are joined by three tweeters on the top.

The left and right tweeters are housed in horns that are angled out to the sides to provide a more expansive sound. These are 20mm in diameter, with the central tweeter being significantly larger at 23mm.

We got to hear two of the new PLAY:5 speakers combined for stereo playback in a demo here at Crutchfield HQ.

The amount of clear, dynamic sound they created caused a few people’s mouths to drop. This system was on par with some of the best stereo speaker and amplifier combos we’ve heard in the same room.

You may rest the new PLAY:5 speakers on their ends for vertical position when setting up a stereo pair. The speaker will recognize this configuration and modify the sound accordingly. This gives you the best stereo image while also allowing you to fit these speakers into small locations on a shelf or stand.

The new version will be slightly louder than the previous one. But it’s really more about how much great it seems as you increase the volume. As you near the high limit of its output, the new PLAY:5 retains its smoothness, whilst the original begins to get a little harsh.

Sonos Play 5 Gen 1

Features: The black Sonos PLAY:5 (Gen 1) Wireless Speaker provides high-fidelity sound for digital music. It works by using an Ethernet cable or built-in Wi-Fi to connect to an online platform.

You can play music from your collection or stream music from Internet radio stations, as well as many other Internet music services after you’ve connected.

The PLAY:5 is equipped with a five-driver speaker system and five dedicated amplifiers, one for each driver. Two tweeters, two mid-range drivers, and one bass driver are included. If one room or one speaker isn’t enough, you may connect more Sonos devices wirelessly across your home.

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You can listen to various musical sources from each player or experience multi-room concurrent streaming. You may operate your PLAY:5 remotely using an Android device, iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad for increased convenience.

The Play:5 was designed to be “the ideal speaker for the digital age,” according to Sonos, with a new design and a focus on flagship sound.

It has a different look and feels than the original, but it blends in seamlessly with the company’s other recent releases, such as the Sonos One and Sonos Beam.

At Sonos, design is taken seriously, and every inch of the Play:5 is there for a reason. It can be oriented in three different ways: horizontally, vertically, or both ways up. As a result, the design has to work in all orientations, and it leans closer towards the Sonos Play:3’s more basic appearance.

Sonos Play 5 Gen 1 vs Gen 2 Comparison

The Sonos Play 5 (also known as the Zone Player S5) was released in 2009. Sonos’ first all-in-one device was the Play 5. Sonos chose to discontinue the Play 5 after several years of software upgrades and the release of a new enhanced version branded the Play 5 (Gen2) in 2015. The Play 5 was the previous model’s name (Gen1).

The Play 5 (Gen1) is no longer accessible as a new product as of this publishing. The Play 5 (Gen1), on the other hand, can be found on the internet through re-sellers, mainly as a used or refurbished product.

On rare occasions, old stock that a few select vendors may still have on hand as New-In-Box may be discovered (NIB).

Some people still have a Sonos Play 5 (Gen1) speaker (or speakers) and use it as their sole Sonos device, or in combination with other Sonos products for whole-house entertainment.

Sonos Play 5 Gen 1 vs Gen 2 Build Quality

The Play:5 was designed to be “the ideal speaker for the digital age,” according to Sonos, with a new design and a focus on flagship sound.

It has a different appearance than the original, but it blends in seamlessly with the company’s other recent releases, such as the Sonos One and Sonos Beam.

At Sonos, design is taken seriously, and every inch of the Play:5 is there for a reason. It can be oriented in three different ways: horizontally, vertically, or both ways up. As a consequence, the layout has to work in all angles, and it leans closer towards the Sonos Play:3’s more basic appearance.

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When utilized in a stereo pair, this provides it additional placement options and a more natural look. Despite the fact that technology tends to get smaller and thinner with each generation, Play:5 went in the opposite direction.

It’s roughly the same width and height as the predecessor, but it’s substantially thicker – which is understandable.

Sonos Play 5 Gen 1 vs Gen 2 Panels

Some would claim that the Play 5 (Gen1back)’s port made it easier to transfer between venues. That is, in fact, a reasonable evaluation. I haven’t missed it, though, because my Play 5 (Gen2) is in stereo pair and hasn’t been moved from room to room.

You’ll also notice that the Play 5 (Gen1) lacks the 3.5 mm headphone jack and the second Ethernet connector featured in the Play 5 (Gen1) (Gen2).

I don’t require an extra Ethernet port to expand my network, thus its absence from the Play 5 is unnoticed by me (Gen2). The 3.5 mm headphone jack, which is described in the footnotes, was IMO superfluous.

Sonos Play 5 Gen 1 vs Gen 2 Controls

The sophisticated Touch Sensitive buttons of the Play 5 (Gen2) are shown on the right, while the physical button controls of the Play 5 (Gen1) are shown on the left.

I believe you’ll agree that the Play 5 (Gen2) with touch-sensitive controls has a more polished, futuristic appearance, with clean, continuous lines. Both units contain color-changing LED status LEDs.

The new PLAY:5 has a smoother tone than the original. Harmonic overtones were never annoying, as they sometimes are with wireless speakers at high volumes. I was also struck by how quieter the revised version appears to be.

The revised version performed a better job of placing minimalist instrumentation on a quiet background when I sampled quieter sounds, such as some acoustic blues. Consider it the audio equivalent of television with deep blacks for increased picture contrast.

Conclusion: Sonos Play 5 Gen 1 vs Gen 2 [2022 Review]

Regardless of advertised specs and features, only you can determine whether one speaker outperforms (or simply equals) another. The Sonos Play 5 (Gen2), in my opinion, outperformed its predecessor.

Keep listening and having fun! We hope you liked our Sonos Play 5 Gen 1 vs Gen 2 review and it was helpful.

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