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Sonos home system?

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emcc_3

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2008
59
11
18,545
I have three Sonos play 1s and they are very good wireless speakers. Have heard the play 3 as well and it is good but 2 play 1s in stereo better it.

Only heard play 5s on a shop floor and it sounded good.

I concur with the other users that the Sonos software is excellent. Though slightly irritating that it uses the 2.4ghz band rather than 5ghz.
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
51
5
18,545
QuestForThe13thNote said:
Yes I agree they are good as a single speaker and it would probably be very hard to buy a new hi Fi for £440 (current retail of play 5) with an amp, source and speakers for same performance. They make sense as a kitchen, bedroom speaker etc but if spending at least a grand on hi Fi, I don’t think these play speakers replace such ‘normal’ hi Fi

The play speakers may be better than the muso qb but if you hear the bigger muso and compare it to sonos play speakers and sonos playbar (my sisters friend has one) the sonos speakers are not as good. Obviously the naim muso is around £300 more than the sonos playbar but where I thought the sonos is about all out guts and drive, as these types of speakers tend to be, the naim muso often sounds really transparent, delicate and detailed. I was listening to the muso for an hour when picking up my speakers and waiting for the owner to come back, and I defo think what hi Fi have got it right that the naim muso is the best type device like this for the money. I think you can put it under a tv too.

On the Devialet phantoms, I’ve never thought they are very good. I heard them at the last two hi Fi shows I went to and I thought they are overpriced and average at their price. In one show they were distorting very badly and sounded terrible people were walking in and out. The girl that was demoing them was very pretty though.
I’d agree. I heard them a while ago at Devialet’s Paris showroom and thought them to be ‘meh’. Their Amps though are awesome.
 

bigboss

Moderator
QuestForThe13thNote said:
I don’t think two play 5s would be better than a hi Fi system for the same money no way. You could get a pair of mission lx2 speakers, a cyrus one, and Chromecast Audio for very near same money. Also the Dali 5ax speakers are better than sonos for slightly less money, also some other actives of same concept but cheaper than kef ls50w.

Also the play 5 isn’t good enough sound wise (whilst it’s still very good as a single speaker) to discern differences of good recorded ripped cd v hi res. So there wouldn’t be limitations to accept on that score. I’ve had Sonos play speakers and you wouldn’t notice any difference in tidal hi Fi cd quality v Apple Music 320kbps, let alone hi res to cd quality. 

if you are buying one, it’s clearly not going to be as good for imaging, creating soundstage, of a system designed with left and right channels. If you are buying two for a hi Fi it would be an expensive way around things. 
Sonos has really pushed the boundaries with the second generation Play:5. In stereo.mode, the pair of Play:5s are absolutely stunning. I would urge you to demo one and compare.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Dont get me wrong, as I say they are good and Ive heard the play5's when I go into the local dealer, but I just think when youve heard and owned much better proprietary hi-fi, these type all in one speakers become much of muchness, with some exceptions where they stand out for similar sound quality like the muso.

I tend to find that the sound of portable speakers is all about drive and volume, because this is what pleases the mass market when they go and buy them (ie. big sound from small box) and also what they have to design the speakers for being in small boxes. But they dont have the finer detail, nuance, realism and just outright musicality of good 2 oe 3 way speakers built around good amplifiers. But that said for what they do, they are more than good enoigh as Ive said.
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
15
0
0
QuestForThe13thNote said:
Also the play 5 isn’t good enough sound wise (whilst it’s still very good as a single speaker) to discern differences of good recorded ripped cd v hi res.
Well, part of the reason could be that the Sonos streaming architecture is limited to 16/44.1 - and therefore can't cope with hires.

The other could be that your hearing isn't capable of discerning a difference between 16/44.1 and hires (no reflection on you - no one's hearing is capable).
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
bigboss said:
QuestForThe13thNote said:
I don’t think two play 5s would be better than a hi Fi system for the same money no way. You could get a pair of mission lx2 speakers, a cyrus one, and Chromecast Audio for very near same money. Also the Dali 5ax speakers are better than sonos for slightly less money, also some other actives of same concept but cheaper than kef ls50w.

Also the play 5 isn’t good enough sound wise (whilst it’s still very good as a single speaker) to discern differences of good recorded ripped cd v hi res. So there wouldn’t be limitations to accept on that score. I’ve had Sonos play speakers and you wouldn’t notice any difference in tidal hi Fi cd quality v Apple Music 320kbps, let alone hi res to cd quality. 

if you are buying one, it’s clearly not going to be as good for imaging, creating soundstage, of a system designed with left and right channels. If you are buying two for a hi Fi it would be an expensive way around things. 
Sonos has really pushed the boundaries with the second generation Play:5. In stereo.mode, the pair of Play:5s are absolutely stunning. I would urge you to demo one and compare.
That's what I've heard.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
reply hash30. Was aware it only goes to that resolution with Sonos, but with my streamer into very good dacs, speakers and amps, is that playing hi-res its only slightly different to CD streamed quality, not often better than CD streamed stuff, as its so much recording dependent anyway and the DR ability of the track. You can discern hi-res and Cd quality streamed stuff quite easilly, but again its not huge on good recorded stuff. I admit it may be more marked in better systems to mine, but for systems like this play 3/5 speaker its pretty much academic. I wouldnt trust anyone that says that they can discern hi res and CD streamed stuff on budget hi-fi as being very marked, as it will be just hyped up stuff for the sake of the fact they own a hi-res capable streamer and have paid the cash for it., so dont want to deride it. Im happy to deride stuff even if I have paid for it and found its not as good as I first thought.

Part of the issue with sonos and the Connect's is its reputed to be jittery and this can make all the difference I think in what sounds good compared to other streamers, whether they are hi-res or not. But its a question of balance as if you are pairing a connect with a sub £5000 hi-fi its going to be perfectly OK, but start spending more you are going to hear the difference to better streamers.
 

Andrew17321

Well-known member
Nov 12, 2008
22
0
18,520
I have used Sonos systems for nine years and found it reliable and very easy to use. The quality of their speakers is good (I have an S5 in my study), especially when you take into account their price and covenience. However I use Sonos Connects to drive an Arcam amplifier and Spendor floorstanders (sounds excellent) and a pair of Devialet Phantoms (sounds outstanding).

Devialet seems to mess up demonstrations of Phantoms and tries to sell them as single mono players (where they cannot compete); try listening to them as a stereo pair and you will get a very different impression! In my opinion, the best audio system for the money: Two years ago I went out to buy a new amplifier for about £5,000, but instead came home with a complete new Phantom system for 60% of the cost. Completely satisfied, haven't looked at any other HiFi stuff since!

Another great use of Sonos is that the speakers and connects each have internet connections to the Sonos Net as a very reliable alternative to WiFi. I use these as internet connections to my TV (for iPlayer, TV streaming etc), to a computer, and two my Phantoms. The Sonos Net is extremely stable, no drop-outs. No need for any other streamer unless you need higher than CD quaity music.
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
15
0
0
QuestForThe13thNote said:
reply hash30. Was aware it only goes to that resolution with Sonos, but with my streamer into very good dacs, speakers and amps, is that playing hi-res its only slightly different to CD streamed quality, not often better than CD streamed stuff, as its so much recording dependent anyway and the DR ability of the track. You can discern hi-res and Cd quality streamed stuff quite easilly, but again its not huge on good recorded stuff. I admit it may be more marked in better systems to mine, but for systems like this play 3/5 speaker its pretty much academic. I wouldnt trust anyone that says that they can discern hi res and CD streamed stuff on budget hi-fi as being very marked, as it will be just hyped up stuff for the sake of the fact they own a hi-res capable streamer and have paid the cash for it., so dont want to deride it. Im happy to deride stuff even if I have paid for it and found its not as good as I first thought.

Part of the issue with sonos and the Connect's is its reputed to be jittery and this can make all the difference I think in what sounds good compared to other streamers, whether they are hi-res or not. But its a question of balance as if you are pairing a connect with a sub £5000 hi-fi its going to be perfectly OK, but start spending more you are going to hear the difference to better streamers.
One of the challenges in comparing cd quality and hires tracks is ensuring they come from the same source. The most reliable method is to start with a hires file, then downsample it yourself using a package similar to foobar. You now have two files, one hires, one cd quality that you know have exactly the same parentage.

When this approach is adopted, it has proved impossible for listeners to differentiate between the two files in properly conducted tests.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
Andrew17321 said:
I have used Sonos systems for nine years and found it reliable and very easy to use.  The quality of their speakers is good (I have an S5 in my study), especially when you take into account their price and covenience.  However I use Sonos Connects to drive an Arcam amplifier and Spendor floorstanders (sounds excellent) and a pair of Devialet Phantoms (sounds outstanding). 

Devialet seems to mess up demonstrations of Phantoms and tries to sell them as single mono players (where they cannot compete); try listening to them as a stereo pair and you will get a very different impression!  In my opinion, the best audio system for the money:  Two years ago I went out to buy a new amplifier for about £5,000, but instead came home with a complete new Phantom system for 60% of the cost.  Completely satisfied, haven't looked at any other HiFi stuff since!

Another great use of Sonos is that the speakers and connects each have internet connections to the Sonos Net as a very reliable alternative to WiFi.  I use these as internet connections to my TV (for iPlayer, TV streaming etc), to a computer, and two my Phantoms.  The Sonos Net is extremely stable, no drop-outs.  No need for any other streamer unless you need higher than CD quaity music.
I am not sure if the following is correct, I think I picked that up somewhere; Do Devialet give a 5 year warranty for the phantoms as they can't be opened for repair?
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
andyjm said:
QuestForThe13thNote said:
reply hash30. Was aware it only goes to that resolution with Sonos, but with my streamer into very good dacs, speakers and amps, is that playing hi-res its only slightly different to CD streamed quality, not often better than CD streamed stuff, as its so much recording dependent anyway and the DR ability of the track. You can discern hi-res and Cd quality streamed stuff quite easilly, but again its not huge on good recorded stuff. I admit it may be more marked in better systems to mine, but for systems like this play 3/5 speaker its pretty much academic. I wouldnt trust anyone that says that they can discern hi res and CD streamed stuff on budget hi-fi as being very marked, as it will be just hyped up stuff for the sake of the fact they own a hi-res capable streamer and have paid the cash for it., so dont want to deride it. Im happy to deride stuff even if I have paid for it and found its not as good as I first thought.

Part of the issue with sonos and the Connect's is its reputed to be jittery and this can make all the difference I think in what sounds good compared to other streamers, whether they are hi-res or not. But its a question of balance as if you are pairing a connect with a sub £5000 hi-fi its going to be perfectly OK, but start spending more you are going to hear the difference to better streamers.
One of the challenges in comparing cd quality and hires tracks is ensuring they come from the same source. The most reliable method is to start with a hires file, then downsample it yourself using a package similar to foobar. You now have two files, one hires, one cd quality that you know have exactly the same parentage.

When this approach is adopted, it has proved impossible for listeners to differentiate between the two files in properly conducted tests.
thats not real world though is it. It may be academically however the benefit of hi res or not, is whether it sounds better from hd tracks or whatever torrent site it comes from if that’s your thing, comparable to same cd ripped on your pc in best quality file. And with mqa whether it’s better through the different or same capable mqa streamer etc.
 

Andrew17321

Well-known member
Nov 12, 2008
22
0
18,520
I am not sure if the following is correct, I think I picked that up somewhere; Do Devialet give a 5 year warranty for the phantoms as they can't be opened for repair?

[/quote]

Not as far as I am aware. However, looking at the Devialet Phantom User Forum it would appear that Devialet replaces the very few failed Phantoms regardless of age. They seem to be amazingly reliable despite the high tolerances and extreme pressures involved.
 

scene

Moderator
Sep 25, 2008
783
179
19,070
I've not found the SONOS jittery - only when my network has been playing up. As they use their own SONOS Net, it tends to be interference from other wifi sources on that channel and/or issues with internet connections (for streamed music) that causes the issue.

It helps to have one (or two or three, in a large set up) of SONOS hardwired (i.e. on ethernet cables) as this helps. My oldest SONOS connect is over seven years old, and my Play 5s are actually ZP90s and >6 years and all working AOK (kiss of death there ... )
 

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