Have your say & ask the experts!

Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

85 replies [Last post]
woollyjoe's picture
Offline
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 395

I love my Sonos, but want higher resolution capability and the ability to upgrade the power supply. Sonos started with Audiophiles, but is now targeting mainstream. The all in one boxes and standard iPhone trend is fine, but it has so much more potential.

 

When will the relook at their core target market and innovate?

nopiano's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Feb 2009
Posts: 1059
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

I suspect Naim and others have got too much of a grip on the higher end.  Sonos, as you imply, seem more like Apple. Looks cool, works first time, and lots of profit margin.  I rather think they completely understand their core market!

Have you seen this?  

http://www.whathifi.com/news/arcam-rseries-sonlink-dac-designed-for-sonos

I suspect the upgrade route is where any gains in performance will come from.  Mind you, a sub-woofer at £599 isn't exactly cheap, especially if you add on two Play 5s.

__________________

Hi-Fi: Krell KAV-300cd, Michell TecnoDec/RB250/Grado Prestige Black1, KAV-300i amp, Transparent balanced interconnects and bi-wire to Sonus faber Concerto grand piano speakers, Nakamichi ZX-7 cassette deck, Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Hitachi FT-5500 and Sony S570ES tuners, BCD Engineering stand, RA Powerlink, Chord powerchord, Grado SR60i cans.

AV: Sony Bravia KDL-32EX503 telly, BDP-S370 player with QED HDMI. Currently unused: Denon AVR-1705, DVD-1710, KEF KHT1005.2 

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 11418
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

It's a good question.

As I see it, there are at least 3 problems:

1. The people who actually care, make up a very small part of the market

2. The brands that are already there and established, set a high standard, so market penetration would take considerable effort and cost.

3. They are very succesful filling the need at their end of the market, and the risk / cost in moving away from this could be high (marketing, Firmware costs, R&D, costs related to extra SKUs, labour and possible tooling for new product lines etc etc)

 

I will probably be proved wrong!

__________________

"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again."  André Gide

eggontoast's picture
Offline
Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 1388
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

Why would they bother yet, hi res downloads/music is so small that it's insignificant and probably always will be. The next big white elephant, I think they have the major target market covered. 

chebby's picture
Offline
Joined: 2 Jun 2008
Posts: 15340
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

In Clare Newsome's August 2011 'Inside Sonos' report their annual turnover was expected to be around $250,000,000 that year.

Even assuming it hasn't increased since then (unlikely), Sonos could probably buy out the entirety of the UK hi-fi manufacturing sector - a couple of times over - and still have change for a nice fish supper and a taxi home.

I expect they know their market pretty well and will do the the hi-res thing (or not) just exactly when (if) it ever seems profitable enough to do so.

__________________

Marantz M-CR603 • Rega R3 loudspeakers • AirPlay • Apple iPad Mini • Apple iPhone 5 • Apple iMac • Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11N • Humax HDR-Fox T2 • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390

manicm's picture
Offline
Joined: 1 May 2008
Posts: 2669
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

woollyjoe wrote:

I love my Sonos, but want higher resolution capability and the ability to upgrade the power supply. Sonos started with Audiophiles, but is now targeting mainstream. The all in one boxes and standard iPhone trend is fine, but it has so much more potential.

 

When will the relook at their core target market and innovate?

An instant way to improve its sound is to connect it to a DAC - have you done so yet?

PS. To my knowledge Sonos never catered to the pure audiophile, yet their latest Connects are the best sounding yet I believe.

__________________

Arcam Solo Mini/Monitor Audio RX1/Cambridge Audio 751BD/Samsung 37” LCD

fr0g's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Jan 2008
Posts: 2877
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

High resoltution is a white elephant to gain more cash and of no value sonically(unless you are a mosquito), we simply need more high quality mastering. I would rather have a Sonos than any "high end" streamer TBH, as the apps and interface will be better. One reason I am unhappy with the loss of Squeezebox going forward.

All IMO.

 

__________________

“Out beyond ideas of wrong and  right, there is a field.

I'll meet you there."

 

 

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 12589
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

manicm wrote:
their latest Connects are the best sounding yet I believe.

What makes you think that? My understanding is that nothing has changed within the Connect since it was released as the ZP90.

Overdose's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Feb 2008
Posts: 3135
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

woollyjoe wrote:

I love my Sonos, but want higher resolution capability and the ability to upgrade the power supply. Sonos started with Audiophiles, but is now targeting mainstream. The all in one boxes and standard iPhone trend is fine, but it has so much more potential.

 

When will the relook at their core target market and innovate?

What is wrong with the power supply it comes with, have you run any tests to come to this conclusion that it needs another?

Also, what would you consider an 'audiophile' version to be?

They're expensive enough as it is without any extra audio phoolery bling. It works and doesn't need changing and as The_Lhc has pointed out, the latest rendition is really just a set of new clothes, so obviously Sonos don't see any need to tinker.

Higher than CD resolution files do not in themselves guarantee better sound quality. CD resolution is capable of all the dynamic range that the most aurally gifted person could ever hear. The trick is in the mastering of the recording and not the file type or resolution.

__________________

Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts

richardw42's picture
Offline
Joined: 2 May 2010
Posts: 1765
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

I agree with what's been said. I have no thoughts of going from my Sonos to a so called audiophile streamer. Does anything else on the market quite have the functionality of Sonos. The latest update which gives airplay like usability. Why would I want to spend more on something that offers less and gives practically impercibtible sq improvements. 

Video would be a nice cherry. 

 

Op, you know how good Sonos is, IMO you've got the best multi room system going. 

__________________

TV room : Samsung 60" plasma-ATV3, -AVI ADM40, DM5 in 4.0,/Sonos ZP90,, Sky using Sonos for On Demand, PS4, Sony BDP S570 thru a Yamaha RXV3067. 

HiFi : Sonos ZP90 - AVI ADM9 RSS + AVI SUB

Bedrooms : 2 x Sonos Play 3

IPad Air for Sonos & Spotify / AKG K551

staggerlee's picture
Offline
Joined: 11 Apr 2008
Posts: 247
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

If you want to mess around upgrading, adding power supplies then get the naim streamer. What sonos does it does very well and the reason for it's success is its simplicity. High res -  a lot of nonsense. The majority of people are not interested hence no reason for record companies to offer it. 

__________________

naim cd555, naim 552, naim 300, neat mf5's, sonos

woollyjoe's picture
Offline
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 395
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

Sonos' reputation is founded by the few audiophiles (like us) that begun with Sonos a while back, and this credibility helps them. So I think product innovation should still keep going regardless of initial profitability. 

 

I use a QBD 76 DAC and don't mean upgrading the dac, but upgrading the transport part, the streaming quality. I've no issue with the Sonos products, I just think they are missing more, and I would buy a higher quality product, at least on my reference system. 

MajorFubar's picture
Offline
Joined: 3 Mar 2010
Posts: 3118
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

I demo'd a Sonos a while back. Well actually demo'd is a bit strong a word; I turned it on in PC World and listened to some music they were streaming to it from an iPod. Even accepting all the shortcomings of the listening environment, it still sounded naff. I forget the exact model but at £300 it was knocking-on-the-door of the price you can buy a good budget amp and speakers for, certainly so if you go second hand, yet it was mono and sounded about as good as the £60 Pure DAB radio in my kitchen.

__________________

Main system: Mac Mini 2011 • HRT II+ DAC • Lacie 3TB Cloudbox NAS • Marantz PM66 KI • EB Acoustics EB2

In storage: Thorens TD160 (no cart) • Cyrus 2 + PSX • Cyrus tuner • Technics SL-P777 • Marantz CD63KIS • Nakamichi DR-1

bigboss's picture
Offline
Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 11798
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

I queried Sonos' price as well before buying one:

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/wi-fi/why-is-sonos-so-expensive

But after I bought it, I realised what a serious bit of tech this is. Now I don't think it's expensive at all. It's the technology you pay for.

__________________

My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 12589
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

MajorFubar wrote:
I demo'd a Sonos a while back. Well actually demo'd is a bit strong a word; I turned it on in PC World and listened to some music they were streaming to it from an iPod. Even accepting all the shortcomings of the listening environment, it still sounded naff. I forget the exact model but at £300 it was knocking-on-the-door of the price you can buy a good budget amp and speakers for, certainly so if you go second hand, yet it was mono and sounded about as good as the £60 Pure DAB radio in my kitchen.

That was probably a Play:3 and isn't what's being discussed in this thread, we're (mostly) talking about the Connect, which has digital and analogue outputs for use with existing amplifiers, using the digital output into a DAC it'll sound pretty much the same as any other 16-bit digital source.

The_Lhc's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 12589
RE: Will Sonos ever offer audiophile grade streamers?

woollyjoe wrote:
I use a QBD 76 DAC and don't mean upgrading the dac, but upgrading the transport part, the streaming quality. I've no issue with the Sonos products, I just think they are missing more, and I would buy a higher quality product, at least on my reference system. 

The Connect has been proven to give a bit-perfect output, what more do you want (other than 24-bit support and let's not start that argument again)?