Sonos BU250 Wireless Digital Music System - Sonos BU250

By Riyad Emeran


  • Editors choice
Sonos BU250 Wireless Digital Music System


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

Whether you choose to subscribe to Napster, like to use, enjoy listening to Internet radio or just want to kick back and listen to your own, personal music library, Sonos makes the whole experience just so much better. It's hard to describe if you haven't used a system like this, but being able to just lay on your bed or sofa and have all your music in the palm of your hand is, quite simply wonderful.

As has always been the case with Sonos, the sound quality is primarily dependant on the quality of your digital library. If you rip everything in a lossless format and output it digitally from a ZP90 to a high quality DAC and amplifier it should sound pretty much perfect. However, that doesn't mean that compressed music doesn't sound good if it's ripped at a reasonable bit rate. Even the amplified ZP120 produces decent sound as long as you don't skimp on the speakers.

At £799 the BU250 bundle isn't what you'd call cheap, but you are getting a lot of very good technology for that money, including one of the best wireless controllers I've ever come across. It's also worth remembering that the kind of functionality that a Sonos system gives you can only really be compared to a proper custom audio install, which would set you back far, far more. And even then, the combination of dedicated controller, iPhone app and PC desktop controller make Sonos arguably more versatile than many custom installs.


The Sonos BU250 bundle may be £100 more than last year's BU150, but it's worth it. The new controller is an absolute gem, and shows that Sonos has taken its time to produce something special rather than jumping on the touch-screen bandwagon too early. Everything that was great about a Sonos system still stands, but all those features are just easier to use with the CR200.

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September 2, 2009, 5:53 am

2 apple airport expresses, an ipod touch and the remote app. job done at a fraction of the price with pretty much zero chance you could tell the sound quality difference.

Bobby D

September 2, 2009, 12:01 pm


Many people can tell the sound quality difference between an iPod and a system that can play a decent uncompressed file format.

Bobby D

September 2, 2009, 12:02 pm

Sorry I meant lossless, obviously....


September 2, 2009, 1:00 pm

@BobbyD -I agree 100% - the audio quality of an iPod is seriously lacking. Don't get me wrong, I love mine for the portability etc but the sound quality sucks, even when compared to my "trusty" Creative Zen 20Gb.


September 2, 2009, 1:13 pm

Still think it's a shame that it doesn't support Unicode.

A deal breaker for me.

Hamish Campbell

September 2, 2009, 4:10 pm

Hmmm I think that assessment is wrong. Jay is saying that the muzak is playing through the apple express routers, so the Ipod's dac is irrelevant.

The apple express has a digital (optical) out so you really the quality of music is really down to your file (so apple lossless or high bit rate lossy will be fine) and then the system you are pumping the bits and bytes into.

If you've already got that great hifi system, and an ipod touch or iphone, then this would be a pretty sweet setup.

You're library can of course be held on a NAS or laptop or usb off your router or whatever.

Chris Beach

September 2, 2009, 4:52 pm

The cheaper option would the Logitech Squeezebox's...the upcoming touch version looks to be a great edition to the lineup.


September 2, 2009, 8:55 pm

To the doubters, I think you're kinda missing the point of what the Sonos does, which is more that just play music. Its integration, usability and convenience are streets ahead of the Apple solution, which is really a hack by comparison. I imagine the sound quality on offer would be far better as well, although I've never heard music played from an Airport Express to properly compare.

These are difficult concepts to explain, but if you saw (and heard) one in action you'd know what I mean.

As cjb110 says, the closest competitor comes in the form of the Squeezebox, which can be had for much less although that system requires a PC or powerful NAS device to perform server duties.

Hamish Campbell

September 2, 2009, 11:48 pm

It's obviously a fantastic system, however 700 squids is a big whack of cash. Now I bet a fair few folk have a good hifi and an iphone, plus a computer with a large itunes library. Then 70 quid for an apple express router and the free iphone remote is a pretty good option, you're getting most of the functionality that you're looking for at a 10th of the price. It all depends on your situation, but I would guess quite a few iphone owners fall in this category.


September 4, 2009, 4:02 pm

'The best multi-room digital music system'

Given their position in the market you could argue that the Meridian Sooloos would take that crown. Audio quality is far superior to the Sonos.


September 4, 2009, 6:31 pm

@OldTimer: Seeing as the Meridian can cost up to $5000, I think we can forgive them.. :)

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