Rated 2 out of 5 by lukemac77 Great design/sound, POOR AirPlay performance
I was eagerly awaiting the release of this speaker because I liked the design and the possibility of using it as an AirPlay device.
The speaker looks great and is nice and compact. It definitely fills the room with nice quality sound, but does not get very loud (which is sometimes useful, i.e. party). When placed on the floor, the bass is actually pretty good!
HOWEVER, and this is a big however, unless you actually have something physically plugged into it via a stereo cable, this speaker is useless! It is constantly dropping the sound and/or disconnecting from the network. AirPlay works for 5-15 minutes and then drops out. There is a known issues with iPhone 4S and AirPlay sound dropping, however, a similar issues occurs when streaming directly from a computer with iTunes, albeit after about 30 minutes.
Hence, this speaker cannot be recommended as a wireless/AirPlay device. I do like the way it looks and sounds, but unless Sony fixes the firmware, I have no choice but to return it.
February 24, 2012
Rated 3 out of 5 by BBOO Beautiful but full of bugs
Have been trying to set this up with Mac for hours now -- unable too. The speaker will work for a couple of minutes, bring my entire network down, and then stop working.
Tried setting it up via Windows Machine with the same result.
Beautiful design, great sound (when it works), and excellent features (when they work) but the firmware is BUGGY. Fees rushed -- Sony: Please push a firmware update soon or this bad boy is going back to your store
December 4, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by DeathraceKing AirPlay works great after update
Many old reviews on here are stating horrible AirPlay performance, however since the last firmware update (I believe from 3/2012) the issues with dropping AirPlay signals have been fixed and it works flawlessly now.
July 19, 2012
Rated 3 out of 5 by SolidState Working right after a year
I've had two of these for almost a year to replace the SA-NS300s I had. When I first got them, I had them setup for WIFI and one would always cut out. I fixed the problem by using Ethernet. I have Ethernet jacks through out the house. Since firmware 2.01.2.04 the WIFI problem seems to be fixed. It only took Sony a year to fix the problem.
The device has a battery for use without AC but it seems kinda pointless because you still need an access point to use it. It not very mobile with the battery because there is no bluetooth or direct connect to use it on a picnik or tailgate party. Bluetooth or direct connect would have made since if is has a battery. The could made it withour a battery to keep cost down, only reason I got this was because it had airplay. The SA-NS300 did not have airplay and I did not think I would need airplay until I discovered the iphone app is almost useless. You can not access music on the stored on iphone or even on android devices to send to the device.
The new firmware did add internet radio support but still has a horrible iphone app to navigation stations. I do not think the people who designed the Iphone or adroind app ever had to use it or have a lot of music. The app is very slow and tedious to use.
Maybe sony will wifi direct connect with a firmware release, but knowing sony they will probably just make a new version to buy instead of adding the feature to the current version.
September 20, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by slick1 Great Product
I purchased two of these units a few months ago. Set up was a bit different than I have had to do for other products connecting to my wireless network. The only issues I have had was that I had one unit that would drop the signal after a few minutes. However, moving the location of my wireless router solved the issue.
I also am an all Mac, iphone, iPad user. I have no issues with Airplay from any of these devices. I also recently installed an Apple Time capsule with the built-in wireless router and the set up went well and have had no further connection issues.
May 20, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by kc83 Perfect
Setup was a snap If you read the instructions.
Very simple solution to stream music anywhere you want it. Elegant device.
January 15, 2012
Rated 1 out of 5 by kasrhp Simply a joke that Sony is trying to sell this thi
This might come across as harsh to some, but this is by far the worst product I have ever purchased. Leave it up to Sony to make a nice product, only to ruin it where it matters.
This wireless speaker will not connect to my network to even get set up properly. After spending almost 2 hours trying to properly pair this with my network, after getting several connections only to lose them with password submission, I finally gave up and will be returning this. I had seen the many comments from Amazon reviewers as well as reviewers from Sony's own website discussing the horrible connection issues with the ns500, but I figured it was worth a gamble anyways. My network would not recognize the speaker when plugged in with the LAN connection, and I frequently had to redo the setup to try to get the system working properly. Making sure to follow the directions Sony had in the manual didn't change a thing. Clearly, there are just to many bugs in this speaker to warrant the potential benefits of having a nice networked environment. There are other DLNA speakers and Airplay speakers on the market, which I would definitely choose over any of these Sony products.
As for the actual speaker system itself, the quality of materials are very nice. Nothing out of this world, but the speaker has some weight and is made with quality materials. There is a horrible looking charger that gets bundled with this, like a laptop charger. It seems pretty overboard for a speaker dock.
The sound quality is merely OK. The lower end frequencies are boomy and overly exaggerated, leaving a slightly mushy sound. Not that it sounds horrible, but the bass isn't tight and precise. I know that this is a portable speaker, but there is plenty of bass available, it's just not as refined as some other speakers are, such as the Zeppelin Air or even the Dre Beatbox. The rest of the sound spectrum fills out fairly well. Vocals are a little recessed and distant compared to the bass, which presents itself in the forefront. Overall, there are some much better choices, especially in this price range.
February 1, 2012
Rated 1 out of 5 by joejohn constantly drops airplay
Streaming drops after 10-30 minutes. It goes into sleep mode! This is a crippled $300 product right now. Update the firmware before the negative reviews (see, eg, amazon.com) pile up!
January 22, 2012