Sonos BU150 Wireless Digital Music System - Sonos BU150

By Riyad Emeran



  • Recommended by TR
Sonos BU150 Wireless Digital Music System


Our Score:


In my house I use a mixture of Wi-Fi and HomePlug for my devices, and where my AV kit is setup, I have an Ethernet switch, that’s connected to a HomePlug module. This allows me to connect my PS3, Xbox 360 and HD DVD player (yes I still have one) without resorting to wireless. So when it came to hooking up the ZP120, I had the option of just connecting it to the switch via Ethernet.

Despite the fact that the ZonePlayers are undoubtedly cool, it’s the remote handset that really steals the show. Although the controller is essentially the same as it was two years ago, it’s no less impressive to use, and just goes to show how far ahead of the competition Sonos was back then. Sonos has, unashamedly aped the iPod scroll wheel, but that's no bad thing. When you’re having to navigate through a massive music library, there is no better tool out there. Just like on an iPod, you can rotate the wheel clockwise or anticlockwise, then press the button in the centre to make selections - it’s quick, it’s simple, it works!

Below the wheel are play/pause and skip forward/backward buttons. While above the wheel is a Music button, that jumps you straight back to the music menu from anywhere, a Back button and the all important Zones button. Hitting the Zones button brings up a list of all your configured zones - Living Room and Dining Room in my case, but of course your zones could be anywhere and far more numerous. Simply select a zone, and then you can control all the music in that particular room - want to turn the music on in your bathroom while you’re in the kitchen? No problem.

The controller is dominated by the 3.5in colour screen, which displays all the menus as well as cover art for the music you’re listening to. The screen is transflective, so it’s easy to read even in bright sunlight, which is important if you want to control your music while you’re having a barbecue on the patio. To the left of the screen you’ll find volume controls and a Mute button - pressing the Mute button for three seconds will mute all the zones on the system, another nice touch. Finally, below the screen are three soft buttons - these are context dependant and will do different things depending on which menu you happen to be in and what you’re doing.

The charging cradle is an optional extra, but it's definitely worth the extra cash.

It’s always good to see backlit buttons on a remote control, making it easy to use with the lights dimmed, and the motion sensor is a stroke of genius. While the controller is lying dormant, it will switch the screen and buttons off, but the minute you pick it up, it will spring to life, without you having to touch a thing. It’s also definitely worth investing in the optional charging cradle for the controller - it’s a far more elegant solution than having to plug a cable into the top of the device to keep it juiced up.


August 11, 2008, 7:08 pm

Looks like a nice system, however a question regarding the remote.

Since the system is able to use an iTunes server, and since Apple has now released the remote app for iTunes, do you think in the future Sonos will release an update / software that will let you control the system on the iPhone/iTouch?


August 12, 2008, 6:33 pm

Err - I never said it used an iTunes server, I was specifically saying that it doesn't need an iTunes server. That's what's so good about it, you're NAS appliance doesn't need to support any kind of streaming service.


August 14, 2008, 3:56 pm

Ah sorry, I thought I read it could connect to an iTunes server my bad


September 21, 2008, 2:33 am

Amazed by this and saw/heard a demo recently...not a techie,and haven't got an MP3 player or iPod...bit behind the times!

One thing I haven't grasped it possible to play music files from the hard drive on the PC through the Sonos if the PC isn't turned on? If not, is there any way of listening to our CD collection around the house using the Sonos?


November 24, 2008, 7:09 pm

I've had the Sonos system for a few years now. The updated ZP90/Z120 look worthwhile on their own merits, but together with the price drop the system is just irresistable if you're serious about music.

During the time I've had it, it's been faultless and a joy to use.

Just like to add a couple of things to the review:

Big news is that there is now a free iPhone/iTouch app which turns these devices into fantastically slick controllers of the Sonos system. You can even purchase an iTouch and load the app for less than the cost of an additional Sonos controller.

There's also a free PC app which can control the system.

Lastly, Sonos also regularly supply free firmware updates that continually enahnce the product, such as support for additional file formats or new music services - although with support for a large complement of file types and streaming services such as Napster and internet radio, it's pretty comprehensive already.

In summary a fantastic product, with fantastic support which any music lover (Audiophile to mp3 junkie) would love.

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