Considering Sonos - is it right for me?

Rushey_Platt

Standard Member
Hi all

I'm considering a Sonos Multi-Room system, and would appreciate some advice to help me decide.

At the moment I have my music on my Windows 7 PC in the study and my Windows 7 laptop, and my partner has her music on her Macbook Pro. We'd like to have all our music accessible from anywhere, even with the computer and/or laptops switched of, and to be able to stream music to our lounge and kitchen (well, just those at least to start with!).

We have a Sky Wireless Router in the study, where the phone line is, also connected directly to the PC via ethernet. I don't want to run any wires around the house.

So my thinking is to start off with 3 bit of Sonos kit:
1. A Zone Bridge to connect to the router and non-PC dependant NAS (that I also need to buy!)
2. An S5 to go in the kitchen
3. Some form of Zone Player to go in the lounge and connect to the TV
(No need for any controller, as I've got an Android phone and my partner has an iPhone.)

I understand that Sonos uses its own network, separate to my wireless network. So could I use the same NAS to share other files (e.g. docs, photos) via my wireless network, as well as music via the Sonos network?

At the moment I don't have a Home Cinema system, just a 36" LCD TV, though it's a possible future upgrade. For now, I'm wondering whether streaming music via my TV speakers will be sufficient. So would a Zone Player 90 be OK for that? Or is a 120 better? This is my main point of confusion!

I'm sure I've missed some information to enable people to help me, if so please ask.

Thanks in advance for any help

Rob
 

amcluesent

Distinguished Member
The NAS wouldn't be exclusive to the Sonos, it could be used for other storage.

Play back via the telly, I'm not so sure about -

1) Fewer tellys can take an analogue line-in now we're all gone HDMI
2) Turning on/around the telly to listen to music would be chore
3) The sound from most flatscreen telly speakers is pretty bad

The ZP120 contains it's own amplifier, the ZP90 needs an external amp
 

Salamander

Active Member
The zone bridge & s5 sound fine. The television set up not ideal in my opinion.
I personally think the big benefit of multi room set ups is the 'instant' on. Sounds a minor thing, but
really makes a difference to me. I have a five zones, my zp80 & zp90 both connect to active speakers.
Since they have been connected to active speakers, they've gotten a lot more use.
I'd recommend considering the zp120 or a second hand zp100 with a set of speakers for your tv room
 

Rushey_Platt

Standard Member
Thanks, Amcluesent and Salamander. I can see the point about the telly and instant-on being better, so I won't take that idea any further.

So, if I got some speakers and a ZP120, could I use the same speakers for Home Cinema and Sonos? And would both of those systems plug indepentendly into the speakers so that you didn't have to run one through the other (I'm keeping the instant-on in mind).

And if someone could recommend some some good speakers that would fit the bill (or a thread link to the same) that would be really useful. As you can tell, I'm new to all of this!

Thanks

Rob
 

therixonator

Active Member
Hmm, I might be wrong as there might be a clever clogs who knows a good idea. But imo if you want to use the same speakers for sonos and home cinema then ud have to go for a zp90 and an av receiver which means you lose the instant on as u need to switch the amp on to get any sound.

I think the typical set up for sonos is zp90 in your living room and s5 or 120 in the others presuming the other rooms don't have existing amps.

U could use a remote controlled power switch in ur living room for everything apart from the AVR and zp90. That would mean u could leave the AVR on all the time but everything else would be off which might counter balance energy consumption. Or just go s5 in every room and have a separate home cinema system.

Speaker wise, what is ur budget?
 

amcluesent

Distinguished Member
Yep, not easy laying out an upgrade path.

Speaker-wise start with the front L/R pair of a set which can be added to making a 5.1 AV system. Just avoid the teeny 'lifestyle' speakers of Bose/Kef which only work with their subwoofer. You should still have plenty of choice from Wharfdale, Monitor Audio etc. in getting a stereo pair which can be matched with centre/surrounds.

Amp wise, the ZP120 looks attractive as it'll play music and also has an analogue input to which you could connect the telly. The wrinkle is that this analogue input is digitised in the ZP120, which adds a delay - worst case the sound would be after the picture and you'd have horrible lip-sync. Does your telly have any adjustment for lip-sync?

If you want to be sure, just get a basic, decent stereo amp and hook the telly and a ZP90 to that. Sell on when you get an AV Receiver. Loads about, you should be able to pick up something like a Rotel RB-04 off t'Bay

Unless you are a DVD/bluray movie buff, you may find that improvement over the telly's speakers is such, don't need to go to 5.1
 
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Rushey_Platt

Standard Member
Thanks again. I'm comparing the ZP90/amp/L&R speakers option versus just getting another S5.

We're not movie buffs, so two L&R speakers would be as much improvement to telly sound as we'd want to start with. We can't wall-mount speakers so would need freestanders or stands.

I've had a look on Richer Sounds and have found a Cambridge Audio AM1 stereo amp for £79.95, and a Wharfedale CR30.4 Speaker Pair for £149.95. (I wasn't actually choosing what I would buy, just trying to find something that would do the job.)

Adding that to an S5, bridge and ZP90 comes to £890. Getting 2xS5s and a bridge instead of the above comes to £729, so £161 cheaper but with no upgrade path to improving the telly sound.

The first option is just about within my budget. Am I now on the right lines? Any better suggestions for the amp and speakers. (I couldn't find the suggested RB-04 anywere).

Thanks

Rob
 

amcluesent

Distinguished Member
I'd thought you already had some Sonos kit...

There are pros and cons but you could come in a lower price point with a Squeezebox Boom (£155 -Amazon) in the kitchen and a Squeezebox Touch (£199 -Amazon ) on the amp, plus £400 for a 1Gb Vortexbox Music Appliance for your NAS. The Vortexbox has a CD reader, so handles all ripping duties.
 
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Rushey_Platt

Standard Member
I'd thought you already had some Sonos kit...
Not quite yet! I'm decided on Sonos, with a bridge for my router and an S5 in the kitchen. Will be buying that in the next couple of weeks.

It's just the lounge solution I'm still undecided about.

Rob
 

Rushey_Platt

Standard Member
Well, I'm the proud owner of a Sonos S5 and ZoneBridge BR100 now, and very pleased with it. Now for phase two....!
 

therixonator

Active Member
Are u gonna go zp90 in ur lounge rushy. Is there an amp in there?
 

Rushey_Platt

Standard Member
Are u gonna go zp90 in ur lounge rushy. Is there an amp in there?
That's the burning question! All I've got in the lounge at the moment is a telly, Sky box and DVD player. My two choices seem to be:
1) A ZP120 and two L/R speakers - i.e. separate from telly
2) A ZP90, an amp, and two L/R speakers - i.e. run Sonos *and* telly to the speakers

Rob
 

mole2006

Standard Member
I've had the same dilemma for my front lounge and with the help of Therixonator (thanks Therixonator) I decided to go down the ZP120 route, just for the ease of use for the missus (save switching on a separate amp).
Even though I have a 5.1 amp for my TV as my Pioneer Plasma doesn't have a tuner or speakers. The only issue I have is what to do for speakers, I was going to wire separate ceiling speakers for the ZP but last week I went to a NaimNet Presentation and one of the guys said to avoid ceiling speakers like the plague (this might be from a purist point of view, if anyone has any opinions on ceiling speakers I would appreciate them). If I had the budget I'd go for the NaimNet hands down but that's not going to happen :lease:

It might be worth cabling to cover both ways so you can change it in the future if required.

Does anyone know of anything that allows two units to share one set of speakers which auto switches inputs depending on which one has a feed?
 

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