New "Sonos" speakers

by Volker Weber

As I was thinking about the S5 stereo pairs, I just noticed another small change in Sonos' offerings. They dropped their own branded speakers. I always liked them, they were OK, but not really great. I am running one pair in the bedroom and another one in the office, supported by a Yamaha subwoofer, which adds the missing punch.

I was thinking it did not make much sense to buy a ZonePlayer ZP120 and add the Sonos branded speakers, when already one S5 outperforms this setup. If you can pair two S5 players they would fly rings around the ZP120 plus Sonos speakers. What Sonos did now is up the ante. They are recommending (and selling) speakers that promise to be much better than what they used to offer. I have to say "promise" since I have not heard them, and Sonos will be reluctant to send them my way, since nothing great ever leaves the gravity of vowe's magic flying circus. ;-)

So which speakers do they recommend now? It depends on where you live. In North American Sonos offers the Klipsch RB-51 for $389 or for $300 in the bundle:

Klipsch RB-51

In Europe Sonos offers the Canton Karat 520 which is even more expensive than the Klipsch: 499 € alone, or 300 € in the bundle:

Canton Karat 520

Both raise the price of a ZP120 plus speakers above the S5 stereo pair. What would you want? Depends if you have power at both speaker locations. Without having heard the new speakers, I would probably get the S5s.

Having said that, the Canton speakers would look really nice in my office. Wink wink.


Sonos means radio listening, right? Most of the time at background to intermediate volume and very seldom all buttons to ten. So if you want to save A LOT of money and build something on your own, i recomment this little gem:

CT in CT242 doesn´t stand for my all-time favourite comupter magazine but for cheap trick this time - and it really is! Build from an IKEA flower pot and a tiny classic broadband speaker from VISATON without using any frequency correction. Material costs are less than twenty Euros for one box.

A friend of mine built a pair of ct242 for his son and brought it to our regular freak meeting, where we sit and talk and listening to some fine classic and jazz music like the brand new contemporary ECM-masterpiece of Keith Jarret and Charlie Haden:

We started the eveing listening to high class stand speakers, driven by a distinguished tube amplifier. After first records we switched over to the ct242 and it became really late. Just before good-bye we recognized that we had listen to cheap-as-can-be speakers all night instead of the usual ones. This proofs how harmonic and sadisfying those ct242 are.

In german:


Gerd Gerbert, 2010-05-12

Sonos means radio listening, right?

No, it does not. And cheap speakers aren't news. There have always been people who claimed success getting all out of nothing.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-12

>Sonos means radio listening, right?
yes. And much more. I was surprised that my 1st and new Sonos comes really close to my $$$$ Linn DS when streaming flacs from a NAS.

Helmut Weiss, 2010-05-12

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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