The Sonos Wireless HiFi System creates a dedicated local Sonos network through wireless and/or ethernet connections which allows for the streaming of digital audio to any Sonos device on the network. Audio can be sourced from both the internet and files stored on the local network. Additionally, audio from analog sources can be input to the system using the RCA stereo analog line input terminals which the Connect:AMP and Connect units have while the Play:5 unit has an auto-detecting 3.5mm line-in jack socket connection which can also be used to input audio from external sources. Analog audio is digitised by the Sonos unit and made available for streaming to any other units on the local Sonos network. To retrieve internet audio, one Sonos device must be connected via hard connection to the local router. Expansion can then be achieved through the addition of additional Sonos devices up to a maximum of 32 devices. Sonos has developed apps for Android and iOSand desktop software for Windows and Mac OS X to control the system. Third party software is also available for control using BlackBerry 10devices and GNU/Linux.
There are two main types of players in the Sonos Music System: all in one ‘boomboxes’ and components that convert existing audio equipment into a Sonos Zone. The Play 1, Play 3 and Play 5 are all-in-one self-contained units. The CONNECT:AMP connects to unpowered speakers, creating a Sonos Zone and the CONNECT connects to an existing audio amplifier or receiver, turning the audio system into a Sonos Zone. There is also a Subwoofer and a Playbar, which is a Sonos enabled Sound Bar for use with a television.