Sonos ZP80 Digital Music System



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  • Review Price: £779.00

It’s hard being a ‘phile these days. On the one hand I’m a technophile: the effect that technology is having on music gets me really excited; I can see the possibilities and can’t wait for the day when I never have to go searching through my chaotic CD collection to find that album I haven’t played for years.

I couldn’t wait to get my sticky mitts on the latest Walkman from Sony before Christmas. I’m a big fan of the way audio compression formats allow you to carry around a large chunk of our music collections in our pockets.

The trouble is the other half of me is audiophile and isn’t so keen. This part of me wants to hear music played back as close to the real thing as possible and will quite happily justify the spending of faintly ridiculous sums of money on equipment to attain that goal. This half of me hates the idea of MP3, WMA, OGG and AAC compression formats because they’re lossy and compromise on sound quality to achieve their small file sizes.

So when Riyad said he wanted me to take a look at Sonos’ wireless hi-fi gear I was in two minds. The company has a reputation for manufacturing the finest wireless music equipment you can buy: one that’s easy to set up and a snip to use – a system that has won a hatful of awards. I was eager to get it home and get it set up. But I was also worried it would prove a disappointment, that I just couldn’t bring myself to like it, that I’d be forced to go back to my clunky old CDs.

The Sonos Digital Music System certainly doesn’t disappoint on the first count. After digging all of the various components out of their various boxes (and there were a LOT of boxes), I had the system connected to my PC and streaming music from the music folders on my PC to my stereo system in less than half an hour.