Sonos BU150 Wireless Digital Music System - Sonos BU150

By Riyad Emeran



  • Recommended by TR
Sonos BU150 Wireless Digital Music System


Our Score:


As enthusiastic as I am about services like Napster, it’s worth noting that if you're concerned with audio quality, you should think of Napster as an auditioning tool. A service that allows you to listen to an album at your leisure for a while before you decide whether or not to buy the CD. You see, even if you download music from Napster, the vast majority of it will be encoded at 192kbps, which many will consider too low, especially if you’ve gone to the trouble of ripping your whole CD collection in Flac (yes I’m talking about you Jon). But even that caveat doesn’t change the fact that the addition of Napster support to the Sonos party is a definite bonus.

However, while I’m talking about music services, I should probably mention another potential issue. If you’re one of those strange people who insists on buying DRM encoded tracks from the iTunes store, a Sonos system will not be able to play those tracks, since Apple is far from liberal when it comes to licensing its DRM technology. Personally I don’t see this as a problem, since I have no idea why anyone would buy compressed music from iTunes, when the proper CD can usually be had for roughly the same price, giving you the uncompressed music and the opportunity to make a compressed copy yourself. That said, I’m sure that there are many, many people out there with a library full of DRM music purchased from iTunes, and this could be a major consideration for them.

Oh, and I almost forgot that the Sonos system will let you stream Internet radio stations too, so if you happen to be in an area of poor broadcast reception, you can be sure you never miss your favourite show. Not to mention the fact that if you have a penchant for a particular foreign radio station, you’ll be able to listen to that all over the house - assuming it streams its content of course.

Finally, if you find yourself in the mood for a house party, a Sonos setup will let you pump the same music to multiple rooms, to keep the party going all over the house. Of course playing different tracks in different zones is also possible, but syncing the same track in multiple locations is another impressive feat.

The BU150 bundle may look expensive at £699, but it really isn’t. What you’re getting is a superb, easy to setup, easy to use and brilliantly implemented wireless digital music system. But before you whip your credit card out, let’s not forget that you’re going to need a decent set of speakers to go with the ZP120, and already have a Hi-Fi to connect the ZP90 to. Realistically, you’re probably looking at closer to a grand to get the very best out of a Sonos system - that will let you buy a great pair of speakers, a ZoneBridge and a docking cradle for the controller. And even when the purchase price is pushing four figures, I still can’t help but think it’s worth it.


Two years ago Sonos had the best digital music solution out there, and two years later nothing has changed. Yes, there are other products on the market that can do some of what the Sonos can do, but there’s nothing short of a full professional install that can really compete with this. If you’re looking for the most versatile way to listen to digital music anywhere in your home, you better start saving for a BU150.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 8
  • Features 9
  • Design 9


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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