Active or passive? Multiroom?

rodnt

Novice Member
Hey guys,

I've been spending a couple of days reading now and I feel like I'm banging my head in a wall over and over...

I'm upgrading, but I cannot choose system type! Which means I cannot compare speakers.. yet..

My needs/wishes in list of priority:
1. Sound quality in a 20 m2 room. Source is podcasts/Spotify from iphone, sometimes mp3 from macbook pro. Mostly house music, but just about all styles are played every now and then. Volume doesn't necessarily need to be that high.
2. Simplicity. Since the source is wireless this is obviously important. I usually use airplay with ATV (old version), but it doesn't always work. I need a system that works. Period.
3. Possibility to play the same music in the kitchen. Sound quality doesn't need to be as good, but ok. If an app can control volume in both rooms that'd be great. I heard about chromecast audio, don't know if thats the solution? Or do I need to buy speakers from the same series?
4. Movies/TV - Surround is nice but no requirement. Could always complement the system later.
5. Discret design. If desktop speakers like the Egg + a sub are enough, great. If bookshelf speakers like Dynaudio Emit M20 are needed - fine. If floorstanders like Dali Zensor 5 AX is the answer.. Well ok then, would have preferred smaller but sound quality is more important.

Budget is flexible, but I'm hoping to stay below 1,000€. 500-700 would be great.

The first question is if I should search for active or passive speakers. Found a pair or relatively cheap active ones in Yamaha NX-N500, or System Audio Saxo 5. Or if I feel rich; Dynaudio Neo 2. Or should I go for Dali Zensor 3/MA Bronze 2 and an amplifier? Or go all-in Sonos? Is the sound quality on par with the other options?

For the kitchen I'm thinking I'll choose that once the main system is up.

Please help me become less confused, anything helps :)
 
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muljao

Well-known Member
The apple system is a bit foreign to me, but cca is not.

You don't say what amp you have, but say you spend 1000 in your main room, you could get a pair of Sonos play 5s, this might just be outside your budget. One play 5 sounds good, a pair set up for stereo are supposedly great (I haven't properly heard this set up). These sonos play all music on streaming or on your mac.

Another option could be a Raumfeld Connector (circa 150 euros). I am assuming you have a decent wifi connection. Add this to your existing amp and you have a wifi/dnla amp that talks to your wifi and phone that is apple friendly.

I think your own suggestion of the Yamaha nx-n500 is probably the most sensible. If you set this up in your main room you basically have everything you need. For your smaller room you then just need to find a suitable set up that is also compatable with yamaha musicast. There is a device
Yamaha WXAD-10 MusicCast Adapter Review
that allows any system that has an input to become compatable, so then decide if the harmon is enough, plug this into it and you have 2 musicast setups

As for CCA-if spotify was sufficient these would do the trick, just buy 2 , and put them wherever in the house, but they are not that apple friendly so would leave you wanting elsewhere
 

rodnt

Novice Member
Now we're starting to get somewhere. Thank you. I think a pair of Sonos 5's in the living room, and a pair of 1's in the kitchen would work budget wise since I don't have to buy everything at once.

The negative with the sonos is that they are quite expensive, but still not hi fi. The Yamaha's works too. Or a pair of nice passive ones connected to a decent amp and then sonos connect/chromecast/other(raumfeld?). I have a fibre wifi connection so I'm planning on using that, not Bluetooth
 
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muljao

Well-known Member
Now we're starting to get somewhere. Thank you. I think a pair of Sonia 5's in the living room, and a 3 in the kitchen would work budget wise since I don't have to buy everything at once.

The negative with the sonos is that they are quite expensive, but still not hi fi. The Yamaha's works too. Or a pair of nice passive ones connected to a decent amp and then sonos connect/chromecast/other(raumfeld?). I have a fibre wifi connection so I'm planning on using that, not Bluetooth
Hifi is a loaded word. Sonos is no doubt hifi. The sound quality is excellent with them. There are some things about hi-res music that they don't support, but they support above cd quality. You are correct though, Sonos are expensive. There is a thread in a different forum about a guy who went from a multi-thousand euro set up to a pair of play5s and he thinks it's the best move he has ever done with his hifi

Say you go the Raumfeld connector or sonos connect(not the connect amp) route. You the have a music hub, both of these are preamps, which lend themselves to working well with active speakers as suggested above. These units could of course also be plugged into a regular amp with passive speakers.

An example of a good (active)stereo set up might be - Sonos Connect/ JBL305lsr / good speakers stands-approx 800 euro, dont underestimate speaker stands
Maybe a passive- sonos connect amp- monitor audio bronze 2- speaker stands- 900 euro
 

rodnt

Novice Member
Thanks a lot. Feels like I'm finally making progress here!

I'll build three alternatives and compare prices and pros cons. But I'll definitely read up on sonos sound quality. If it's as good as a "regular" Hifi bookshelf system (as long as the source is no higher than Spotify quality), then that's definitely a contender.

Trying to think future proof as well. Airplay2 is coming and surely more. If the hardware doesn't need to be replaced that's a huge advantage
 

muljao

Well-known Member
The thing is there are loads of good options. If the sonos setup suits, it certainly is simple and tidy

Revolution is complete
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Remember also that these are being released soon, and they are supposed to have great sound quality and you can run them in stereo.

HomePod
I'd hate to buy these knowing apple probably have them so bogged down that they'll likely only ever work with their own product range. Having said that apple products are usually of pretty high standards
 

muljao

Well-known Member
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rodnt

Novice Member
I've never tried Apple Music, but if Homepod works with other sources, is priced like sonos and has better sound quality; sure!

I have an old Sony 820 DTS (Sony STR-DG820 review) and a pair of budget floorstanders. Coupled with an Apple TV it works decent. But not good enough, not good enough sound quality and too bulky.

Honestly, sonos is tempting. I just don't want to spend $1000+ and always wonder if a bookshelf system would have sounded significantly better. Say for example sonos connect amp with MA Bronze 2, or in the next tier; Dynaudio Neo2/4
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
If you want to fill a large room on your budget then I'd go for these.

Tremendous sound quality and they'll fill a castle.

Adam A7X

Close to your max' budget I know, but for main music it's worth spending if you can afford to.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I've never tried Apple Music, but if Homepod works with other sources, is priced like sonos and has better sound quality; sure!

I have an old Sony 820 DTS (Sony STR-DG820 review) and a pair of budget floorstanders. Coupled with an Apple TV it works decent. But not good enough, not good enough sound quality and too bulky.

Honestly, sonos is tempting. I just don't want to spend $1000+ and always wonder if a bookshelf system would have sounded significantly better. Say for example sonos connect amp with MA Bronze 2, or in the next tier; Dynaudio Neo2/4

If you want genuine, serious sound quality on a budget I'd always recommend the active route.
 

rodnt

Novice Member
Hey, no I'm in Sweden. Just found this forum and thought it looked good :)
Thomann is in Germany and I've bought stuff from them before. I do like that pricing (similar to the Yamaha NX-N500)
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Just know the price you see on thomann for speakers is per speaker, not per pair
 

rodnt

Novice Member
oh, that price is per speaker. And they're studio monitors which according to reviews seems to be quite revealing. Hence likely not the best choice for me since I'm not playing any high res (only spotify/podcaster/mp3's).

If going active I'm leaning towards System Audio Saxo 5, Yamaha NX-N500 or if I feel rich; Dynaudio Neo 2. It's a small room (20 m2) and I rarely (never) play loud, so I don't think I need bigger.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
oh, that price is per speaker. And they're studio monitors which according to reviews seems to be quite revealing. Hence likely not the best choice for me since I'm not playing any high res (only spotify/podcaster/mp3's).

If going active I'm leaning towards System Audio Saxo 5, Yamaha NX-N500 or if I feel rich; Dynaudio Neo 2. It's a small room (20 m2) and I rarely (never) play loud, so I don't think I need bigger.
Why not try this risk free

Raumfeld connector- 8 weeks trial period, no questions asked return -approx 150 euro

Mackie MR6 mk 3- approx 300 euro- 30 day return policy- gear4music and Thomann.

This gives you an idea and if you don't like them, box up and ship back

My thoughts are you'll keep the Raumfeld once you try it. I love the Mackies but different people different thoughts.

If the setup works for you, you can worry about the second room then
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
In the old days, though still when Streaming was available, you would have one multi-channel distribution amp and something like a single Sonos Stream. That's fine if you want the same music in every room. But that's not how a typical family lives or listens to music.

Today, you want each room with the ability to act independently.

Then, your budget is too low for a multi-room system.

Ideally, you want they same service through out your house. In short, if you pick SONOS, then to the extent possible and reasonable, go with Sonos everywhere.

It sounds like you have one Primary Room with the potential for music in a second room (Kitchen). I would be inclined to treat those two as separate issues, and concentrate on the Primary room.

You want Streaming ability, sound sufficient for movies, good music, and ease of use.

My suggestion would be to start with the Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver (£380 for multiple sources) which has 80w/ch, Network Streaming from local storage and from the Internet, 2xOptical In, 2xCoaxial In, 1xUSB-Media In, Bluetooth Streaming, Phono In, Sub-Out, etc....

Yamaha RN602 Networked Stereo Receiver - Superfi

From a budget of about £700, that leaves you with a remaining budget of about £320, which is more than enough to get a good pair of Bookshelf Speakers.

Wharfedale Diamond 225 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Tannoy Mercury 7.2 Speakers - Superfi

Monitor Audio Bronze 2 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Dali Zensor 3 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

From a £1000, it leaves you with £620 for speakers, which is enough for some nice Floorstanding Speakers.

KEF Q500 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

KEF Q700 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Wharfedale Diamond 240 Floor Standing Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Big discount on the Diamond 240, and I've seen them at other dealers for this same price.

Tannoy Mercury 7.4 Speakers - Superfi

Dali Zensor 5 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Monitor Audio Bronze 5 Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Q Acoustics 3050 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Some of these are 5" (130mm) and some are 6.5" (165mm), which you choose will depend on the size of your room and your listening distance.

Can you give us the Actual Dimension of your Prime Room, and where the system will be placed in that room?

Next, where is the kitchen in proximity to the prime listening area?


If we treat the kitchen as completely separate, is there a place in the kitchen to put speakers and possibly an Amp?

For the most simply and basic Kitchen setup, a pair of good Active Bookshelf Speakers plus something like the Google Chromecast-Audio, you can have everything you need for a very reasonable price. The Chromecast is only £30 and would be controlled with an App on your Smart Phone or other Smart Device.

For Speakers - Chromecast - Google

There is also a Chromecast ULTRA for £70-

Chromecast Ultra - Chromecast - Google

As for speakers, for this, it depends on how far you want to take it.

The Edifier R1700BT are active speakers with 66w/ch amps, and has Bluetooth capability which would allow you to Stream music directly from a Smart Device, and when connected to something like the Chromecast, would allow streaming from the Internet.

Total cost for this would be about £160 -

Edifier R1700BT loudspeaker - loudspeakers (Tabletop/bookshelf, Studio, Built-in, 2-way, 60 - 20000 Hz, Black, Wood): Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

Notice these Speakers also have a Remote Control, which I think you will find handy.

If you have a TV in the Kitchen, then these Edifier R2000DB speakers have Optical Digital Inputs as well as Remote and Bluetooth -

EDIFIER R2000DB Home Audio Speakers: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

Though for a considerable £232, there are probably a few other speakers you could consider.

Most of the Active speakers that have been suggested, while very good studio monitors, do NOT have Bluetooth or a Remote Control.

To the best I can interpret the requirements, this seems the best solution. Depending on requirement, it is possible to hit your desired budget pretty closely, and you can very easily accomplish two rooms with Streaming for £1000.

But then ... that's just my opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Why not try this risk free

Raumfeld connector- 8 weeks trial period, no questions asked return -approx 150 euro

Mackie MR6 mk 3- approx 300 euro- 30 day return policy- gear4music and Thomann.

This gives you an idea and if you don't like them, box up and ship back

My thoughts are you'll keep the Raumfeld once you try it. I love the Mackies but different people different thoughts.

If the setup works for you, you can worry about the second room then

Excellent idea.

And don't worry too much about reviews and words like 'revealing'.

Actives are simply speakers with amplifiers tailored for each drive unit. That makes them controlled, accurate and have plenty of headroom.

And all music benefits from those attributes, whether it's MP3, lossless rips or "high resolution" downloads.

As an example. My current set up is a pair of near three grand active Adams and a thousand quid processor. And about half my listening is Spotify. It sounds superb, as do my lossless apple files through iTunes.

Decent actives are worth a good long listen.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Like BlueWizard I would split your requirement between the Amp/Speaker system for your Living room plus networked audio players to play in as many Zones as you would like to include in the system.

SONOS - I'd use every time. A CONNECT in the Living room (as a source into your choice of Amp/Speakers) and then any number of PLAY:1, PLAY:3 or PLAY:5 in your other rooms, you can add Zone Players with ease as the budget/requirement dictates.

Living room - where possible try out any Amp/Speakers you are considering in your room to determine if they 'work' for you in your room.

I would be temped to add the SONOS CONNECT to your current Amp/Speakers and see how you get on and then decide if you need to change out the Amp and or Speakers.

Joe
 

rodnt

Novice Member
In the old days, though still when Streaming was available, you would have one multi-channel distribution amp and something like a single Sonos Stream. That's fine if you want the same music in every room. But that's not how a typical family lives or listens to music.

Today, you want each room with the ability to act independently.

Then, your budget is too low for a multi-room system.

Yeah, but I don't have to buy everything at once. Ideally, I'd spend somewhere around 500€ now, and then add stuff later.

Ideally, you want they same service through out your house. In short, if you pick SONOS, then to the extent possible and reasonable, go with Sonos everywhere.

It sounds like you have one Primary Room with the potential for music in a second room (Kitchen). I would be inclined to treat those two as separate issues, and concentrate on the Primary room.

You want Streaming ability, sound sufficient for movies, good music, and ease of use.

My suggestion would be to start with the Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver (£380 for multiple sources) which has 80w/ch, Network Streaming from local storage and from the Internet, 2xOptical In, 2xCoaxial In, 1xUSB-Media In, Bluetooth Streaming, Phono In, Sub-Out, etc....

Yamaha RN602 Networked Stereo Receiver - Superfi

From a budget of about £700, that leaves you with a remaining budget of about £320, which is more than enough to get a good pair of Bookshelf Speakers.

Wharfedale Diamond 225 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Tannoy Mercury 7.2 Speakers - Superfi

Monitor Audio Bronze 2 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Dali Zensor 3 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

From a £1000, it leaves you with £620 for speakers, which is enough for some nice Floorstanding Speakers.

KEF Q500 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

KEF Q700 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Wharfedale Diamond 240 Floor Standing Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Big discount on the Diamond 240, and I've seen them at other dealers for this same price.

Tannoy Mercury 7.4 Speakers - Superfi

Dali Zensor 5 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Monitor Audio Bronze 5 Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Q Acoustics 3050 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Thanks, been looking at some of those speakers previously. But are they really better than active speakers? For example Dali Zensor 5 AX, System Audio Saxo 5, Yamaha NX-N500 etc. And are they better than 2x Sonos Play 5? For TV-sound I don't care at all right now. Could by a cheap soundbar and be happy I think.

Some of these are 5" (130mm) and some are 6.5" (165mm), which you choose will depend on the size of your room and your listening distance.

Can you give us the Actual Dimension of your Prime Room, and where the system will be placed in that room?

Next, where is the kitchen in proximity to the prime listening area?


If we treat the kitchen as completely separate, is there a place in the kitchen to put speakers and possibly an Amp?

Prime room is roughly 6 x 3,5m, and the speakers will be on one of the shorter walls. But it will hopefully not be too long (2-3 years) until we move to a bigger house, so rather slightly too big than "just enough" for this room.
In the kitchen, speaker(s) will go in ceiling level (top shelf). The way I see it; two Sonos Play 1 would be ideal, but I could settle for an Audio Pro Addon T3 as well.

For the most simply and basic Kitchen setup, a pair of good Active Bookshelf Speakers plus something like the Google Chromecast-Audio, you can have everything you need for a very reasonable price. The Chromecast is only £30 and would be controlled with an App on your Smart Phone or other Smart Device.

For Speakers - Chromecast - Google

There is also a Chromecast ULTRA for £70-

Chromecast Ultra - Chromecast - Google

As for speakers, for this, it depends on how far you want to take it.

The Edifier R1700BT are active speakers with 66w/ch amps, and has Bluetooth capability which would allow you to Stream music directly from a Smart Device, and when connected to something like the Chromecast, would allow streaming from the Internet.

Total cost for this would be about £160 -

Edifier R1700BT loudspeaker - loudspeakers (Tabletop/bookshelf, Studio, Built-in, 2-way, 60 - 20000 Hz, Black, Wood): Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

Notice these Speakers also have a Remote Control, which I think you will find handy.

If you have a TV in the Kitchen, then these Edifier R2000DB speakers have Optical Digital Inputs as well as Remote and Bluetooth -

EDIFIER R2000DB Home Audio Speakers: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

Though for a considerable £232, there are probably a few other speakers you could consider.

Most of the Active speakers that have been suggested, while very good studio monitors, do NOT have Bluetooth or a Remote Control.

To the best I can interpret the requirements, this seems the best solution. Depending on requirement, it is possible to hit your desired budget pretty closely, and you can very easily accomplish two rooms with Streaming for £1000.

But then ... that's just my opinion.

Steve/bluewizard

No TV in the kitchen, and the only source I need is my phone. I'm thinking bluetooth is fine, but if I want to be able to play the same music in both rooms (which surely will be multiple rooms in the future), I need some way of connecting them.

I really like the Sonos Concept; Simple to control from your phone, possibility to add speakers over time, could even build a 5.1 system with it. And everything is in good quality as well. The 100 million-dollar question is how good? Will a pair of £700 active stereo speakers outshine a pair of Sonos Play:5? (design denoted).. Will a pair of £400 speakers outshine a single Play:5?
 

muljao

Well-known Member
The terminology is deceiving. A play 5 is an powered speaker with a DAC/ WiFi module. An active has some kind of special crossover technology. Both do the same thing, play music. The only person who can tell which sounds better is yourself.

I'd be willing to bet that in a side by side comparison you'd pick one over the other, but either set up would likely sound great. It's probably down to convenience and great sound, Vs wires and a little bit better sound
 

rodnt

Novice Member
Like BlueWizard I would split your requirement between the Amp/Speaker system for your Living room plus networked audio players to play in as many Zones as you would like to include in the system.

SONOS - I'd use every time. A CONNECT in the Living room (as a source into your choice of Amp/Speakers) and then any number of PLAY:1, PLAY:3 or PLAY:5 in your other rooms, you can add Zone Players with ease as the budget/requirement dictates.

Living room - where possible try out any Amp/Speakers you are considering in your room to determine if they 'work' for you in your room.

I would be temped to add the SONOS CONNECT to your current Amp/Speakers and see how you get on and then decide if you need to change out the Amp and or Speakers.

Joe

Yeah, planning on visiting a store in the city late this week or next to listen to a couple of the active speakers I've been checking out. They don't have Sonos though so can't compare.. Which seems to be my key question right now.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Yeah, but I don't have to buy everything at once. Ideally, I'd spend somewhere around 500€ now, and then add stuff later.

The most economical thing to do is to get an Amp with Streaming built in. The SONOS:Connect alone is about £300. But for £380, you get a full featured amp with Streaming Capability and High Resolution DACs. Baring in mind, that a stand alone DAC is going to fun £150 to £300.

However, as Streaming Devices go, SONOS are both high quality and have the lowest price considering what you get. The Play:1, Play:2, and Play:3 are stand alone devices with Amps, Speaker, and Wired and Wireless Streaming built into one unit.

Wireless Stereo Components | Sonos

Wireless Speakers | Sonos

But, in the UK, the Sono:Connect Streamer costs about £340 -

SONOS CONNECT Smart Wireless Stereo Adaptor: Amazon.co.uk: Hi-Fi & Speakers

Where as something like the Bluesound NODE-2 cost closer to £500 -

Bluesound NODE 2 - digital media players (Digital, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, AC, LAN (RJ-45), RCA, TOSLINK Digital Optical, Black, Cortex-A9, 0 - 40 °C): Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

And a reminder that the Yamaha RN602 with Streaming and DAC costs £380.

Yamaha RN602 Networked Stereo Receiver - Superfi

Here are full specs on the Yamaha RN602 -

R-N602 - Overview

Thanks, been looking at some of those speakers previously. But are they really better than active speakers? For example Dali Zensor 5 AX, System Audio Saxo 5, Yamaha NX-N500 etc. And are they better than 2x Sonos Play 5? For TV-sound I don't care at all right now. Could by a cheap soundbar and be happy I think.

Active speakers can do a very good job, but you have to understand what you are getting. These tend to be Single Purpose speakers. That is, they typically have a single input, and they typically do NOT have a Remote Controls. So in a Music or Home Theater system, they need some type of generally expensive Pre-Amp to expand the number of inputs and give you remote control of the volume. Off the top of my head, the only Pre-Amps I can think of tend to run about £800.

There is perhaps one small exception, the Yamaha WXC-50 Pre-Amp with Streaming -

Yamaha MusicCast WXC50 Wireless Streaming Pre-Amplifier: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

But even it has a limited number of inputs -

WXC-50 - Overview

Aside from The Network Connection, it has precisely ONE additional analog (RCA) input. However, for people who have limited needs, and want streaming, this has potential. It does have USB-In and an Optical In, as well as the single RCA Inputs. So, you could connect to the TV, Plus one additional Analog source, and to your Computer Network, but it is £289 on its own. Add £300/pr for good active speakers, and you are nearly at £600. Keep in mind, I'm quoting POUNDS (GBP) not Euros.

If you want active speakers at a low price, they the Edifier R2000DB are worth considering. They have Optical Digital and Analog Inputs, Bluetooth, and a Remote Control. They also have pretty powerful amps.

EDIFIER EDFR2000DB Home Audio Speakers: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

There is one other Receiver with Network Streaming built in, the Pioneer SX-N30 and the SX-N30DAB. Specs very similar to the Yamaha RN602 -

Pioneer SXN30 Network Receiver - Superfi

Pioneer SXN30DAB Network Receiver - Superfi

Prime room is roughly 6 x 3,5m, and the speakers will be on one of the shorter walls. But it will hopefully not be too long (2-3 years) until we move to a bigger house, so rather slightly too big than "just enough" for this room.

In the kitchen, speaker(s) will go in ceiling level (top shelf). The way I see it; two Sonos Play 1 would be ideal, but I could settle for an Audio Pro Addon T3 as well.

That's your choice, but I think ONE big Sonos Play would be better than two small ones, especially in the kitchen.

The Sonos are stand alone units, so technically you only need one. But, unless I am mistaken, you can pair or sync them so two speaker units act as a Stereo.

In the UK, the Play:1 = £185, the Play:3 = £270, and the Play:5 = £460.

On the Sonos Website, the question was asked, which is better, TWO Play:1 or ONE Play:5? Sonos said 1 Play:5 is better, more and larger speakers with deeper bass.


No TV in the kitchen, and the only source I need is my phone. I'm thinking bluetooth is fine, but if I want to be able to play the same music in both rooms (which surely will be multiple rooms in the future), I need some way of connecting them.

I really like the Sonos Concept; Simple to control from your phone, possibility to add speakers over time, could even build a 5.1 system with it. And everything is in good quality as well. The 100 million-dollar question is how good? Will a pair of £700 active stereo speakers outshine a pair of Sonos Play:5? (design denoted).. Will a pair of £400 speakers outshine a single Play:5?

Within reason, it is best to have the same brand through out the house if you want to get them to work together. A Sonos:Connect on you main system, and one of the Sonos:play in the Kitchen and other rooms will assure that all the system can work both together and independently.

But don't spend a fortune on something you will rarely use. How often will you really need the same music playing in every room? Chance are you son in his bedroom wants different music than you wife in the kitchen, and yourself in the main room. That probably represents how the system will most often be used.

There is a Sonos:Connect:Amp that has a decent amp built in. You could use this in the lounge on the main system. The Sonos:Connect:Amp does have an additional set of Analog Inputs, but it is meant to be a streaming device, so the Network connection is the main input.

That means if you intend to use this with your TV for TV/Movies, then you will need an additional DAC (digital to analog converter). Today most TVs only have Digital Output. These can cost anything from £25 up to £500 and more.

The Sonos:Connect:Amp cost about £490 -

SONOS CONNECT:AMP Smart Wireless Stereo Adaptor: Amazon.co.uk: Hi-Fi & Speakers

To that you would need to add a pair of standard Passive Speakers which would bring the cost to about £750.

Or for about £530 you could have the Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver with DAC and a decent pair of Passive Bookshelf Speakers.

If you have an existing main stereo system, and you want to upgrade incrementally, then adding Sonos Connect to the existing system, and later adding the Sonos Play in the kitchen and other rooms as needed, would probably be the best choice.

However, if you are starting with essentially nothing, then the Yamaha RN602 plus speakers, and a separate independent system in the kitchen is the best choice for limited money.

Keep in mind I don't know the prices where you will be buying. They may be sufficiently different to skew the choices in a different direction.

And lastly, I can't tell you want to do, I can only tell you what can be done, the final choice is your decision to make.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
You haven't indicated the layout of your Living Room - that will likely guide you to the type of speakers to consider.

I imagine many of the 'active' speaker options within your budget are going to work well if you are sitting close to them - as you would in a 'studio' type setup.

Not convinced I'd use a pair of PLAY:1, 3 or 5 as my 'main' speaker system - great for bringing music into rooms around the house but not my main system.

If your Living Room system is to cater for the Optical Out of your TV it would be good if your Amp has a User adjustable Digital Audio delay to ensure you have the ability to keep Video and Audio in sync.

Yamaha MusicCast is a good option to SONOS - you could use the Networked Amp BlueWizzard suggests and add in MusicCast streamers (similar to SONOS PLAY devices) in other Zones.

Joe
 

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