I have made a costly mistake buying a Sonos play 5

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johnjo569

Active Member
Hi,

Think i may have made a mistake buying a Sonos play 5 with a bridge for wireless playing! I have been using my iphone 5 to play my itunes music, podcasts and music directly from apps like BBC radio app/ iplayer and others for ages now as i can get back dated programs/shows,6 music jukebox, desert island discs... all kinds of stuff, all on a little gear 4 docking station, i got with my original iphone 4, great little thing, simplicity personified but sounds rubbish!

As i thought i understood its capabilities i have wrongly it seems presumed that i could do the same with the Sonos system. But having set it up, i seem to be restricted to playing my music library and a variety of internet stations both from my PC or iphone (through its own interface and app) but i don't have the ability to fire up an app like BBC music and listen to music directly off it so losing loads of backdated music or shows from earlier in the week etc.

Am i getting this wrong somehow or not? What should i be looking at as an alternative as i will have to try and take it back somehow if it wont play things direct from apps etc, its quite limited.
If anybody can help it would be a great help!
Cheers
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
I don't know much about Sonos but doesn't it have a line in you could plug a decent dock into?

Or wirelessly with an Airport Express?
 

johnjo569

Active Member
I am using a Sonos bridge with it so i can use the iphone as my main supplier of music.

Its got a line in and comes with a 3.5mm baby pin cable but when you attach iphone5 direct to it and open the BBC iplayer app and try playing directly from it, it wont play.

An external dock.. would that be any different to putting the 3.5mm pin directly into the iphone as above, sorry im not well up on external docks and line in options etc.
 

larkone

Member
A basic dock uses the line out from i-thing which is an improvement over the 3.5mm headphone socket because it bypasses the headphone amp. Better still are docks that have their own DACs and take the digital output from your i-thing and convert it.
 

amcluesent

Well-known Member
What should i be looking at as an alternative as i will have to try and take it back somehow if it wont play things direct from apps etc, its quite limited.

B&W Zepplin Air? An iPhone can 'capture' the audio output of any app and push this to the Airplay compatible device for playout

Sonos did do a dock for iPhone, but abandoned it when Apple changed from the 30pin connector.
 
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HumberMart

Standard Member
I have my PC connected to the line in on a Sonos and you can play anything from the PC. I also use an Arcam iPac for this feed and the quality is top notch.

You could also connect a variety of wireless adapters to the line in. Inc. BT or AirPort if you wanted to play anything off the iPhone. However the 3.5mm line out works on mine so it should on others.

Although I'm sold on Sonos, I picked up an iHome iW1 at Tesco over the weekend for £75! It does all you require. Not as good SQ as a Play 5 but cheap as chips.
 

johnjo569

Active Member
Thanks for the replies they have cleared some things up and now i have now got the line in to work so i can play direct content off the iphone working but the only pain being i have to leave my iphone by the side of it.

If i was to get airport express plugged into the play 5 would i still be able to play my main music library via the sonos bridge network (better quality stream) AND play iphone content from bbc iplayer app, youtube etc via the airport network or would i have to choose one option for music library (sonos) then change the settings over on my PC every time i wanted to use Airplay or does my phone just pick airplay up and it switches over from the Sonos network to airplay by itself?

Sorry if i sound a bit backward i am only just getting my head around wireless, streaming etc so not entirely sure how this would work.
 

HumberMart

Standard Member
johnjo569 said:
Thanks for the replies they have cleared some things up and now i have now got the line in to work so i can play direct content off the iphone working but the only pain being i have to leave my iphone by the side of it.

If i was to get airport express plugged into the play 5 would i still be able to play my main music library via the sonos bridge network (better quality stream) AND play iphone content from bbc iplayer app, youtube etc via the airport network or would i have to choose one option for music library (sonos) then change the settings over on my PC every time i wanted to use Airplay or does my phone just pick airplay up and it switches over from the Sonos network to airplay by itself?

Sorry if i sound a bit backward i am only just getting my head around wireless, streaming etc so not entirely sure how this would work.

Wow I'm impressed!

Just run a test to check out your query.

Used just the one iPhone to start Spotify streaming at 320kbps in the Lounge via Sonos Connect. Then started up iTunes streaming from the phone through the Play 5 in the Kitchen. Then fired up the iW1 using Airplay from the phone playing BBC iPlayer!

All working perfectly with no drop out.

I assumed it would work one at a time, but didn't expect the phone would simultaneously stream both to Sonos and AirPlay. Spotify would always work of course because all the phone is doing is acting as an RC.

Magic!
 

johnjo569

Active Member
Magic indeed!! Thanks for that, think i'll use an Airport for my iplayer content.

No longer a costly mistake... just costly! :)
 

wysinawyg

Active Member
JohnJo, Airport Express into Sonos is actually I think a supported solution, or at least one where Sonos provide details on setting up. You may well have figured out Autoplay already but if not its worth having a look on the Sonos site as I'm fairly sure they give a full explanation of how to setup Airport Express with Sonos (although its basically just plugging the wires in and configuring Autoplay).
 

johnjo569

Active Member
Thanks, yes i'v found out it is supported but i'm still a bit unsure how Airport Express works on the Sonos in conjunction with the iphone as it uses a standard 3.5 plug plus an ethernet cable... what's that for?

What i want to know is how my iphone connects to the play5:
iPhone<WiFi>Airport Express>Play5 output

or is it intergrated into the Sonos network somehow so its:
iPhone <WiFi> router <Ethernet> Bridge <SonosNet> Connect <Ethernet> Airport Express>Play5 output

All very confusing!
 

HumberMart

Standard Member
The AP Exp works the same as any line in source the the Sonos. The AP takes it source from the normal house wifi, in this case via the wifi out from your phone. So the data leaves your phone via wifi- but badged as AirPlay, and is decoded by the AP Exp into an analogue feed via the 3.5 into the Sonos.

You can also play music directly into the Sonos system using the Sonos net. And as I proved before, you can do both of the above simultaneously.

Note that the Sonos net delivers at a higher quality and usually without the dropout than can plague the AP method.
 

wysinawyg

Active Member
The ethernet port on an AEx is for either IP in or IP out depending on how it is configured. Now assuming you have a single router which handles your wifi and the Sonos bridge is connected to that...

If you do nothing but plug the 3.5mm into in the Line-in on the Sonos (and add power :) ) your signal goes:

iPhone <WiFi> WiFi Router <WiFi> AEx <3.5mm cable> Play 5 Input

If you connect an ethernet cable between the Sonos and the AEx it goes:

iPhone <WiFi> WiFi Router <ethernet> Sonos Bridge <Sonos Net> Play 5 Network <ethernet> AEx <3.5mm cable> Play 5 Input

Which I think is what you were meaning with your second option.

Which is a more roundabout way, but only one trip over regular wifi so depending on the relative strengths of your wifi vs Sonos Net may be a more reliable signal (and will get increasingly more reliable as you inevitably add more Sonos components...)
 
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