Offering a little competition to the home audio speakers that support Apple's AirPlay functionality, Sonos has released its new Play:3 speaker, which will stream pretty much any kind of audio you can imagine -- from your iTunes library to Spotify's streaming service, for $299.
The good news is that this is a low price for Sonos, which generally sells costlier components for its whole house wireless audio solutions, but there's a hidden cost if you want to use this as a cord-free speaker. The Play:3 only includes an Ethernet jack, so in order to give it Wi-Fi connectivity, you'll need to buy the $49 Sonos Bridge to connect to your router, which then communicates with the Play:3 (or other Sonos devices) through the SonosNet mesh network.
Either way, the Play:3 packs three digital amps, a tweeter, two mid-range drivers, and "bass radiator" to pump out sound, and you can even use two of them as a "stereo" pair. The speaker can also be oriented either horizontally or vertically for maximum placement versatility; Sonos claims the device's equalizer will adjust the sound according to its orientation.
Sonos units are compatible with about every streaming audio service under the sun, including Spotify, though you'll need to have a paid account to hear many of them, including Spotify. Of course, you can just listen to the tunes you have stored on your computer, and use your Android smartphone, iPhone, or iPad to control playback through the free Sonos app.
I'm told that a review unit is being sent my way, so I hope to have some first-hand observations to make about the Play:3 soon.