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The system consists of two main components: ZonePlayers and the Controller. The ZonePlayers are the business end of the system. They act as wireless music sources, receiving streamed music via your PC and redirecting it elsewhere. There are two types –ZP80s and ZP100s. The former are a recent addition to the range and are about the size of a small jewellery box so they are extremely easy to tuck away in a corner of your listening area. These act as simple receiver components providing a pair of analogue stereo phono outputs for connection to an existing amplifier and speakers, plus coaxial and optical digital outputs.
They also boast a pair of analogue inputs, which you can use to link analogue wired components wirelessly to another ZonePlayer in another part of the house, and a two port Ethernet switch. And, of course, all ZonePlayers have a wireless adaptor built in with an antenna in the feet of the units – the system uses wireless mesh network technology to link everything together.
The ZP100 ZonePlayers are slightly larger and add a 50W per channel stereo amp, speaker outputs, auto-detecting sub-woofer output and two Ethernet ports to the ZP80’s features (though you do lose those digital outputs). They can be used to set up a system from scratch for anyone who doesn’t already own a decent stereo system. Just for good measure, Sonos also delivered a pair of its own brand stereo speakers to complement the ZP100.
The nerve centre of the whole shebang is the remote control unit. I say remote control, but it’s more like a portable games console in its layout. It has a 3.5in screen which displays album art and track information in glorious colour, and music navigation duties are taken care of by an iPod-alike scrolling click wheel. It can be taken from room to room and be used to control each and every one of your ZonePlayers – as long as you stay in range.