Disappointed by Sonos

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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Last week I carried out some work around a house as the owner, who we know well, had just moved in. Heard some music being played in the living room, but didn't take much notice initially. Then he asked if I'd heard of Sonos, I said yes read about them many times on forums etc but not heard one in the flesh: He had purchased a complete Sonos system: Soundbar, sub, streamer and tubular speakers. I know many like the brand, especially used as a digital source, so I won't be too disrespectful. However, I was immensely disappointed by the overall sound quality: Very one dimensional, thin and uninvolving, although clarity and detail was pretty good for a budget set-up.

Do you own or heard a complete Sonos set-up, if so what are/were your thoughts?
 

RoA

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Feb 11, 2021
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Sonos is primarily for people that only listen to music as background noise and dislike the 'clutter' of a proper hifi stereo set up. Hugely overpriced IMO.
Totally disagree. Whilst there are now several competitors Sonos' engineering is still superb.

Your references to 'background noise' and 'proper hifi set up' reeks of arrogance and a total misunderstanding of what modern music reproduction and entertainment looks like for many.
 
I've got Sonos in my house (5, 3 X 1s with one in stereo set-up, Move and Playbar) and also have a 5.1 system in the apartment consisting on Arc, sub and 2 X Sonos Ones. They're absolutely brilliant. I also have a 7.1.4 system consisting of Denon AVR, MA speakers and KK sub in my home cinema room / living room. I don't miss this when I'm listening to the Sonos based setup.

It's naive to say that Sonos is only suitable for music in the background. When properly setup and tuned, it rivals similarly priced speakers for sound and with superior software to go with it.

I wouldn't be accumulating so many Sonos speakers since 2009 if I didn't think they were upto scratch.
 
I've got Sonos in my house (5, 3 X 1s with one in stereo set-up, Move and Playbar) and also have a 5.1 system in the apartment consisting on Arc, sub and 2 X Sonos Ones. They're absolutely brilliant. I also have a 7.1.4 system consisting of Denon AVR, MA speakers and KK sub in my home cinema room / living room. I don't miss this when I'm listening to the Sonos based setup.

It's naive to say that Sonos is only suitable for music in the background. When properly setup and tuned, it rivals similarly priced speakers for sound and with superior software to go with it.

I wouldn't be accumulating so many Sonos speakers since 2009 if I didn't think they were upto scratch.
This certainly demonstrates how fickle the hifi business is and how everyone hears differently.
you are perfectly happy with the sound and price you paid for it whilst others like PP find it uninvolving.
It's a funny old world....
Cannot comment otherwise as I don't believe I have yet heard a single Sonus device
 
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millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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Last week I carried out some work around a house as the owner, who we know well, had just moved in. Heard some music being played in the living room, but didn't take much notice initially. Then he asked if I'd heard of Sonos, I said yes read about them many times on forums etc but not heard one in the flesh: He had purchased a complete Sonos system: Soundbar, sub, streamer and tubular speakers. I know many like the brand, especially used as a digital source, so I won't be too disrespectful. However, I was immensely disappointed by the overall sound quality: Very one dimensional, thin and uninvolving, although clarity and detail was pretty good for a budget set-up.

Do you own or heard a complete Sonos set-up, if so what are/were your thoughts?
Thin is not a word i would to describe the Sonos sound at all, especially once true play is utilised.

Looking at it from the perspective of the beam.

If anything, it can sound very chesty and a little to eager in the bass department i guess that "beats" sort of sound in your face and a little unrelenting.

It certainly grabs the attention in the short term, listen for a bit longer and soon release that the sound stage isn't all that deep and wide and it is a bit one-note (the beam) and missed the bas beats and textures ie the difference between a heartbeat and explosion they have the same thwamp to them. But that's me coming from 10k system listening to a 300quid soundbar.

BUT its exciting and when watching a movie it delivers the goods in spades. just don't listen to closely

the play 5's on the other hand are a different kettle of fish and sound very good. and for me i couldn't justify telling someone buy some kef ls50 wireless 2's over them

just my hot take, take it or leave it
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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I always seen Sonos strength being software and how user friendly the whole ecosystem is. Hardware is ok , but nothing ground breaking (not tried new units). Saying that I don't believe they're overpriced as excellent software isn't easy to design.

For most people sound quality from a Sonos system is all they will ever need. I would not use it for serious listening though as DACs were (are?) not up to scratch. But I admit I'm a little bit of a snob in this department and know what I like.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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Can I just confirm I'm not knocking the brand, but after hearing it I was disappointed.

Many people love the brand, but in direct comparison to my current bundles, I was disappointed. His bungalow has the same dimensions as mine, laminate flooring which I don't, it sounded underwhelming.

Is my bundles world beaters? Of course not but I wouldn't swap any of my analogue set-up for a Sonos.

Bear in mind I've never heard a Sonos system before, I was expecting more -- not in bass-depth terms but in layers. It had none of these. Perhaps it was limited by the speaker size....

I'm just being very honest based on my own experience.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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I didn't take your post as knocking the brand PP. Your setup is far and above what Sonos would be ever prepared to make (just speculating). Not only that but even for the money it's an exceptionally well put together system that will musically challenge setups double the cost. And even treble if they were not carefully matched.

Must admit my foray into Sonos a while back end up being a slight disappointment too. Particularly as digital out wasn't the best so external DAC didn't improve things as much as it could. But that's me and my high expectations and how I consumed music at the time.
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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I've actually not heard any Sonos speakers either. Owned a few Sonos Connects and Connect Amp. And I'm in South Yorkshire (is that why? :ROFLMAO: ).
Possibly….😁 I’m in Sutton Coldfield just north of Birmingham and I can’t get away from them! Many shops have them playing background music and when my son got married last weekend the venue was full of them too!
 

Florestander

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May 8, 2021
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I cannot say that I have ever sought out any Sonos set up. I have experienced the sound though in may retail outlets, hotels and hostelries etc. I do not think it is an avenue that I would explore, if I am absolutely honest - I have always preferred separates and two channels (save for my AV set up which is entirely distinct and independent from my 'music' system. Nevertheless, I guess with most things, it's all about personal preference or 'horses for courses', as it were. It maybe that it isn't something I would not choose, but if it works for others then that's great. Its good for the consumer, good for Sonos and good for the industry - and we all benefit from that in many ways.
 

Niallivm

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Oct 28, 2019
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I live in a terraced house. Sonos for casual listening at lower volume, wired headphones and DAC for more serious listening. With the TV The Sonos Beam is a great compromise as I haven’t the space to dedicate to home cinema speakers. Sonos is a good technology for practical home audio but isn’t for audiophiles
 

manicm

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May 1, 2008
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Try as I might, I couldn't see anywhere to put a CD! I was listening to Spotify premium.
First, I played Pink Floyd’s Division Bell on SP, and even on 320k it sounded flat compared to the CD, And on a Sonos system, probably even more so. Garbage in garbage out. Spotify sounds largely excellent, but I’ve noticed the Pink Floyd catalog sounds very flat compared to my CD rips.

Given a decent source, I have no doubt Sonos would sound great.
 

Niallivm

Well-known member
Oct 28, 2019
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First, I played Pink Floyd’s Division Bell on SP, and even on 320k it sounded flat compared to the CD, And on a Sonos system, probably even more so. Garbage in garbage out. Spotify sounds largely excellent, but I’ve noticed the Pink Floyd catalog sounds very flat compared to my CD rips.

Given a decent source, I have no doubt Sonos would sound great.
Going off topic here but Pink Floyd’s 70s albums are on Apple Music in 24/44.1 Lossless and sound great. They’re Apple Digital Masters, too. In the absence of Floyd HR releases these are the best streamed versions I’ve heard.
 
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knaithrover

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Nov 24, 2013
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I've got a Sonos One in the bedroom and a Play 5 in my kitchen both are excellent for what they are - posh boom boxes. I've also had a few connects and now have a port looking after streaming in my 2nd set up which despite so so reviews is actually very good. I like Sonos it has its place. If I ever hit on hard times I'd be happy with 2 x Sonos Ones as a stereo pair and deep down I think this is where I may end up when I'm too dothery to mess on with cables cartridges and physical flipping media...
 

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