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Sonos Music System


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14 replies to this topic

#1
bsoltan

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Hi all,

I'm considering getting a Sonos music system for home. http://www.sonos.com/

For those that haven't heard of it, it is a speaker system that can hook up to your network and play songs from a computer, or direct from streaming sites (Last.fm, Spotify etc.)

At the moment I'm looking at getting the Sonos Play:3 and the Bridge. They have a bundle in Costco but I can't remember the price. Online it comes in at just about £300.

What I'm looking for is any input from those that have used the system, good/bad points, things to note etc. Any alternatives worth considering?

Ta.


#2
grrrpoop

An alternative, if you have an iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad, might be an Airport Express. It has stereo / optical out for hooking into a sound system and acts as an AirPlay target.

Anything you can play / stream to your device will be audible.

Cost is just £79 / $99.

#3
bsoltan

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I'll have a look but at the moment I don't have any speakers or hifi system so i'd need to then look into that. :P

#4
tom_hargreaves

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Hi Ben, we have Sonos at home and it's good. Works as it should and the software is simple to use.

We have all our music stored on a WD Mybookworld NAS hard drive which we stream music from, and my Dad also uses his Napster account to stream from too.

Can't say there's been any bad points for me as i'm tech-savvy. Easy set up (Even if you aren't tech-savvy). Recommended from me.

#5
bsoltan

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Question: can it play songs directly from an iPhone wirlelessly or only from PC/NAS?
Similar is it possible to hook up an iPod or USB MP3 player and picks songs or is that only on the Amp version to have other sources?

#6
grrrpoop

Question: can it play songs directly from an iPhone wirlelessly or only from PC/NAS?
Similar is it possible to hook up an iPod or USB MP3 player and picks songs or is that only on the Amp version to have other sources?


You can "control" the Play:3 wirelessly using free iOS / Android apps but to stream music you need to hook up a.. *drumroll* ..Airport Express :D

Either that or their wireless iPod (iphone?) docks, which are sold separately (cost more than the Airport though). Seems that the Play:3 lacks a line-in socket, you'll need the Play:5 for that.

So a Play:3 with the wireless dock or a Play:5 with Airport Express seem the ways to go.

#7
bsoltan

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So after flirting this thought, since, well, July... I finally bought the Bridge and Play:3 from Costco yesterday. It was about £260, where they're about £250 and £35 separate online.

It was a bit of a hassle to get setup, well initially anyway. It should be simple, plug in the Bridge to router and push the buttons to sync with PC, but it wouldn't pick it up. Tried same with the speaker. Loads of searching online, in the end I went to bed. This morning I followed one person's advice to power down my network, and restart it. Router -> Sonos Bridge -> PC. It was then detected and same with the Speaker.

The Bridge plugs in to the router and acts as a wireless access point I guess, the speakers can then be placed anywhere within wireless range and just need a power source. So they can be moved to other rooms and whatnot while the music is streamed over wifi.

After that I was able to get the software to point to my music library, which at the moment is on one PC split in folders, but it can also pickup from a NAS or such.

From there it has been a breeze. Got the Sonos Apps on my iPhone and iPad, I can see the Nexus 7 being the main controller though specially when friends are round.

It tags its library in a strange way which doesn't go with what I have setup with Winamp and iTunes for my music so it might mean re-tagging a bunch of Albums and Tracks. Also it doesn't play too well with iTunes natively, you just have to point it to your entire iTunes folder so it can pickup .xml playlist files and various things so the Music Library looks really messy at the moment. I need to create some playlists then it should be ok.

Overall I'm impressed with the ease and usability so far, I am thinking to get an Airport Express as mentioned by grrrpoop to make it easier to access my iPhone (iPod) and iTunes, specially when friends come around too to play direct from their devices. The dock is being discontinued as of this month due to Apple changing the port with no plan to replace it, if I spot one cheap I might get one but I think wireless would be best.

I only have the one Play:3 speaker so far but I want more already. Not good when they're £250 a pop.

#8
madwedge

Hi Ben. How are you getting on with your Sonos?

 

At work we have this employee benefits scheme and a part of this is electronic deals through "Lets Connect". Incuded is a number of Sonos speaker components which I'm interested in. Just wondering if Sonos are actually any good? 

 

An example of pricing is:

 

The Wireless Bridge, Sonos Sub, and 4 x Play:1 speakers will cost me £29 a month for the next 3 years.  Total price £1046.88.  According to "best" prices I've found on the net, these items would normally cost me £1217 ish so I save a little bit of money.

 

Any advice on setups would be helpful?  Eg, getting a Play:3 and a couple of Play:1's instead of 4 x Play:1's etc. 

 

Many thanks



#9
catchamonkey

Hey,

 

I have a single Play1, and am planning on a Playbar and a Sub soon (which replaces my wired Yamaha 5.1 with another Play1).

 

I'm very impressed with the quality of the single Play1 for music, which replaces my dedicated separates system.

It's not quite as good no... but it is really good, and much smaller so my wife is happier!



#10
tom_hargreaves

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I've just moved on my Sonos equipment - Do people here not think that the app needed to control from a tablet or phone is a load of crap? I personally think it should get more attention from Sonos considering how reliant you are on using it.

 

The lack of Aux-In on the Play: 3 is also unforgivable IMO.



#11
madwedge

Hmmm food for thought. The reviews of the app speak for themselves. It does appear to be a terrible app! No third party app that can be used?

I got nearly a month to make my "elections" for the work scheme so I'll be doing a lot of research!

#12
bsoltan

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Did you use the App since the update? I don't see the problem with it myself.

Sonos have also just announced that a Bridge is no longer required for Wireless streaming, for new users it can all be done over home wifi.

I have found two problems;
1. The wireless connectivity can be a bit dodgy in that songs will cut off or skip if it can't find a strong enough signal.
2. Either there is some problem with my library/computer/connection but in the past it has 'lost' the library on my machine.

Saying that I have found it great for what it does and my friends have enjoyed connecting up with their own phones when they come round and can then play their tunes.

However, I sometimes think I would have been better just buying a decent AirPlay speaker as 90% off the time I'll be playing the music or podcasts stored locally on my phone. I rarely access my complete library due to 2. above. I have just connected now though and it seems ok so I'll have to use it some more.

Depending on the size of your room will depend on what speaker to get. I find the sound quality very good on the Play:3. For the size of my house and rooms I don't think I'd need to go bigger.

I don't think I'd recommend paying over 3 years for technology though. It might get replaced in 6months and then you'd feel rubbish.

#13
catchamonkey

I don't have a problem with the app either.

 

Ben, I've never had a problem with songs cutting out, and i'm sitting on a 1Mb connection.

I use it mainly with Spotify which is great, but am planning on setting up a lot of music on a new NAS too.



#14
bsoltan

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I think it is more to do with the internal wireless network. Particularly if the particular channel is congested. As mentioned I run from my phone most of the time so probably not ideal. When I mentioned it to Sonos support on Twitter they said to move closer to my router/bridge!

Even with nothing going on and my phone next to the speaker I've had podcasts just stop at random points though.

#15
bsoltan

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Another update on Sonos, as mentioned previously I was mainly playing music straight from my phone to the speaker. Something that could be done by a Bluetooth or Airplay speaker not really utilising all the Sonos features.

 

However, this weekend I found that it supports more Music Plugins than I previously realised. I had setup Spotify on it but as I don't have a Premium account it can't be used. I have now set it up with SoundCloud and Amazon Cloud. It also includes loads of others too: http://www.sonos.com/en-gb/music?r=1

 

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The simple thing I realised last night though is that you can of course create a playlist on Sonos, across these services (DURR!) so without having to store the music yourself you can pool together your music libraries and play a selection from songs.

 

Shiny.






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