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Sonos Port review: flexibility for a price

Sonos Port review: flexibility for a price

I was halfway through reviewing the Sonos Port when the company called me to say the price was going up by $50 to $449.

The diminutive box, which allows you to integrate Sonos’ whole-home audio into virtually any kind of setup you might have, was already feeling a little expensive to me. Now it seems like there’s a clear break between the Sonos devices meant for consumers and the devices meant for high-end AV integrators to sell as part of extremely custom — and extremely expensive — audio systems.

Let’s back up: the Sonos Port is part of a welcome reboot of the Sonos product line that’s been happening since new CEO Patrick Spence took over. One of his stated goals was to move a little faster, and he’s accomplished that: first by quickly introducing new consumer products like the Sonos One and Beam, partnering with Ikea on the Symfonisk line of speakers, and then by making sure the professionals who install custom Sonos systems had new, modern products to use.

The first of those products, the Sonos Amp, was a total reboot of the older Sonos Connect:Amp. While it’s expensive (more so now), I really liked it and thought it made a case for itself in a variety of situations since it is a self-contained high-end amplifier with Sonos capabilities. But at $449, I’m less sure about the Port, which is an update of the Sonos Connect, and it really can’t do anything until you plug it into something else. The Port worked flawlessly in my testing, and it offers a tremendous amount of configuration options that allow Sonos to work with almost any kind of audio system you might have. But it’s priced to match, and I think it’s entirely too expensive for the two things most people would want it to do: connecting a record player to an existing Sonos system, or integrating an existing audio system into a Sonos setup.

The Port is an unassuming black box that can either send audio from your Sonos system out to an amplifier or take audio in from a component like a turntable or AirPlay and send it out to your Sonos system. It’s a simple idea executed extremely well — everything works and sounds solid, and the box itself is highly configurable for a variety of wacky situations. There’s a 12V trigger output so it can power up an external amp when it detects incoming audio, and it can accept commands over the network from custom smart home controllers. If you have a Pioneer or Onkyo surround receiver, it can even power them up over the network so they integrate into your Sonos system. (Sadly, the Sonos app cannot control the volume of a receiver over the network in that configuration, which seems like a miss.)

Setup is as easy as any other modern Sonos device: you plug it in, open the app, and tap the connect button on the back when prompted, and then you’re off and running. If you’re swapping out an older Connect, the only hard part will be rerunning the power cable, since the Port uses a different connector.

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from The Verge 

Sonos Port review: flexibility for a price Sonos Port review: flexibility for a price Reviewed by streakoggi on December 27, 2019 Rating: 5

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