49 posts / 0 new
Last post
admin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 04/09/2013 - 14:19
Posts: 51595
Sonos or not Sonos?

Hello,

I am not an audiophile but I am a huge music lover, so I am seeking your advice.

 

I currently listen to all my music via my Mac and some fairly basic Logitech Z4 speakers.

 

Music is a large part of my life.I don't have a TV, when I get up I listen to music, when I get home from work I listen to music and when I am doing something else I am generally listening to music. My music posion of choice is Rock/Metal. I own a 160gb iPod Classic which holds my music collection.

I have been considering a Sonos system for some time as I am wanting a dedicated music system free from the computer. Through my employer I have the offer of buying a Play:5 + Bridge, Connect, or Connect:Amp at half price.

I have no desire right now for multi room, this is cool as a possible future additional but I really honestly don't picture a time I will ever need it.

What I like is the idea of being able to via the seperate ipod dock, is to come home, dock my ipod and then be able to access all my music via my Phone (Nokia Lumia 800, I belive there are third party sonos apps) or my Android tablet.

My iPod then becomes the hub of all music, it is sync'ed with itunes on my Mac and then I can take all my music away for me for portabilty and then when home have access to it all via Sono's.

In my research I have not really found anything else that does this. Normal Ipod docks would require me to walk over to the dock and use the click wheel to go through all my music. Not ideal.

I have read online great reviews about Sonos sound quality, however I tested out a Play:5 in the store and it sounded awful. Like it could even be a step down from even my currect extremely budget system in terms of sound. At first I thought it was just the poor music on the demo unit so I connected my iPod via the line in and it was still terrible sounding. I wasn't really impressed at all.

Even thought he half price offer, with the iPod dock this would still work out at about 300 pounds for the whole system (Play:5, bridge and dock) I am concerned of spending that much money on something that doesn't work so great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 45 min ago
Joined: 16/10/2008 - 13:23
Posts: 12916
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

I've not heard a play:5 myself but I've never heard anyone say they sound "terrible" and the WHF review was reasonably impressive, could you elaborate? If it's a lack of bass there was an issue a few years back with dry solder joints in the bass speaker connections which led to a complete lack of bass, I would think that's been resolved by now though (I'd hope so, you don't really see anyone mentioning it on the Sonos forum these days).

Sonos DOES work, it's about the most flawless wireless system there is, there is one caveat though, Sonos has actually discontinued their iPod dock, the WD100, and has no current plans to replace it, so if you can still get one you'll probably need to be quick.

kungula's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 5 days ago
Joined: 18/11/2007 - 09:31
Posts: 158
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

Sonos is a great system, easy to install, easy to use. The sound quality of my play 5 is ok for the kitchen. If you spend more money you can add a sub which improves sound quality substantially. The ZP 90 has to be used with a DAC to get the best out of it. The system all in all is very reliable and you will get what you pay for.

Needless to say though that Sonos cannot compete with a high end streamer from Naim or Linn.

 

bigboss's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 33 min ago
Joined: 25/03/2009 - 21:40
Posts: 12859
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

Depends on the store environment as well. I've got the S5 (now renamed Play:5) and it's brilliant. At half price, it's a steal! Alternatively, you can purchase Sonos Connect & connect it to your existing system.

scene's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 25/09/2008 - 12:48
Posts: 2977
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

One thought about the quality of the sound on the Sonos in store: What were the source files they were using? Were they lossless rips, or 128K MP3s? If the latter, they could well sound awful.

If you connected your iPod via the line-in, you will get your iPod MP3s (?) sent to the sonos via the iPod's DAC and then amplified - which isn't the best quality sound in my experience. For a fairer comparison, use the iPod dock.

Personally I rip to Apple lossless using iTunes and send these to the Sonos (albeit from a NAS, but that's a nicety of convenience, not quality) and when I synch to my iPad (or Mrs. scene's iPod) is get iTunes to convert to 128k MP3. I wouldn't send my mp3s directly to the Sonos, why would I?

I use ZP90s (aka Sonos:Connects) to connect to my stereo systems, and I'm hard pressed to tell the difference between playing the music directly from CD. The play:5s are in the bedrooms and sound as good as (if not better) than most docking systems I've used - probably because the music is sourced from lossless, rather than lower bitrate rips to be fair - and I get the convenience of internet radio and an alarm clock...

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 45 min ago
Joined: 16/10/2008 - 13:23
Posts: 12916
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

scene wrote:
If you connected your iPod via the line-in, you will get your iPod MP3s (?) sent to the sonos via the iPod's DAC and then amplified - which isn't the best quality sound in my experience. For a fairer comparison, use the iPod dock.

Just for clarity's sake the Sonos dock takes a digital feed from the iPod, so will bypass any issues with the iPod's analogue stage.

scene's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 25/09/2008 - 12:48
Posts: 2977
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

The_Lhc wrote:

scene wrote:
If you connected your iPod via the line-in, you will get your iPod MP3s (?) sent to the sonos via the iPod's DAC and then amplified - which isn't the best quality sound in my experience. For a fairer comparison, use the iPod dock.

Just for clarity's sake the Sonos dock takes a digital feed from the iPod, so will bypass any issues with the iPod's analogue stage.

Yes, sorry - should have said this, but the OP was using line-in from the iPod, not the Sonos dock in store.

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 45 min ago
Joined: 16/10/2008 - 13:23
Posts: 12916
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

scene wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:

scene wrote:
If you connected your iPod via the line-in, you will get your iPod MP3s (?) sent to the sonos via the iPod's DAC and then amplified - which isn't the best quality sound in my experience. For a fairer comparison, use the iPod dock.

Just for clarity's sake the Sonos dock takes a digital feed from the iPod, so will bypass any issues with the iPod's analogue stage.

Yes, sorry - should have said this, but the OP was using line-in from the iPod, not the Sonos dock in store.

I know, I just to make it clear to him that the dock wouldn't be limited by the SQ of the iPod line-out. I'd still like to know exactly what he thought was "terrible" about the Play:5 though.

scene's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 25/09/2008 - 12:48
Posts: 2977
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

The_Lhc wrote:

I'd still like to know exactly what he thought was "terrible" about the Play:5 though.

+1 on that.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

Thanks for the info. I now have to consider if I'd go for a cheap NAS drive and have my iTunes on there since they discountined the dock but I really like the idea of the dock.

To answer questions about sound quality, it just didn't seem that clear, it seemed rather deep from what I can remember.

scene's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 25/09/2008 - 12:48
Posts: 2977
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

ChildofChaos wrote:

Thanks for the info. I now have to consider if I'd go for a cheap NAS drive and have my iTunes on there since they discountined the dock but I really like the idea of the dock.

You can still get the docks (they're listed on the Sonos UK website shop as limited quantities) - I suspect they're going to upgrade them for the new iPhone connectors (my opinion only), so hence the lack of availability...

Quote:

To answer questions about sound quality, it just didn't seem that clear, it seemed rather deep from what I can remember.

I have found with my S5 (play:5) that if they're back in a corner, or on a particularly resonant surface they can get a bit boomy - probably a combination of resonance and the rear port. As for lack of clarity: I've not noticed this, except when I tried to play some low bitrate music.

BenLaw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 9 min ago
Joined: 21/11/2010 - 20:21
Posts: 6328
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

kungula wrote:

The ZP 90 has to be used with a DAC

Quote:
Sonos cannot compete with a high end streamer from Naim or Linn.

 

I actually find the SQ excellent without a DAC, but if used with a (suitably high end) DAC, why can it not compete with a high end streamer?

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 45 min ago
Joined: 16/10/2008 - 13:23
Posts: 12916
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

scene wrote:
ChildofChaos wrote:

Thanks for the info. I now have to consider if I'd go for a cheap NAS drive and have my iTunes on there since they discountined the dock but I really like the idea of the dock.

You can still get the docks (they're listed on the Sonos UK website shop as limited quantities) - I suspect they're going to upgrade them for the new iPhone connectors (my opinion only), so hence the lack of availability...

Apparently not, according to reports from their forum, announcements seem to suggest there's no replacement coming.

Ah, this is what I was looking for.

scene's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 25/09/2008 - 12:48
Posts: 2977
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

BenLaw wrote:

kungula wrote:

The ZP 90 has to be used with a DAC

Quote:
Sonos cannot compete with a high end streamer from Naim or Linn.

 

I actually find the SQ excellent without a DAC, but if used with a (suitably high end) DAC, why can it not compete with a high end streamer?

I agree, but to be fair to the poster, the Sonos supports a maximum sample rate of 48KHz, whereas the Naim and Linn streamers support up to 24 bit/192KHz - so with suitable sources material they will offer a more audiophile solution.

kungula's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 5 days ago
Joined: 18/11/2007 - 09:31
Posts: 158
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

scene, that is certainly true what you say. But I was just comparing 48 Khz to 48 KHZ and my Naim is by far better than Sonos.

bigblue235's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 22/08/2007 - 14:09
Posts: 1000
RE: Sonos or not Sonos?

I recently heard a Play:5 and wasn't terribly impressed with it either. That may have been due to me expecting too much from it though. I haven't really been that impressed with any docks either. I feel that a decent pair of PC/powered speakers does a far better job, for my uses at least.

OP, what iPod do you have?

I think if multi-room isn't a priority to you, Sonos is rather expensive for what it offers. I keep trying to sell myself a Sonos system, but I keep thinking of better ways to spend the money. I appreciate you're getting it at a good deal though, and you could sell it on if it didn't suit.

Pages

Log in or register to post comments