Reviews of Sonos, Cambridge Audio 640H and Apple Airport Express Needed!

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by andrew1810, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    I'm just putting together some reviews of all of the wireless audio players currently available, but to be as unbiased as possible, need some reviews of:

    Sonos
    Cambridge Audio 640H
    Apple Airport Express
    Acoustic Energy Wifi Radio

    I'm looking for the following:

    Price 1-5
    Sound quality 1-5
    Ease of use 1-5
    Compatibility 1-5
    Looks 1-5
    Reliability 1-5

    Pro's

    Con's



    I will be adding a note of thanks to everyone who helps on the review page.

    Any help would be great

    Andrew
     
  2. brookheather

    brookheather
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    I've sent you my review for the Hifidelio - you may want to ask steve-p and kendalbeefcake for their reviews on this as well - both of them are ex-640H users.

    - Simon.
     
  3. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    Hifidelio and Acoustic energy now sorted, anyone have the others?
     
  4. denony

    denony
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    Hello :hiya:

    I will write a mini-review about 640H for Andrew this week-end... But I need more information about Andrew ? What do you sell ? Where the reviews are published ? Why do you need these reviews ?

    Thank you
     
  5. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    Hi,

    That would be great.

    To answer your questions:

    Primarilly I sell old PC's and do IT support etc. but also sell the odd music server. These reviews will have nothing to do with selling anything though, it is simply reviews.

    They will be on a website and the odd hifi forum

    I need these few because although I own or have tested a large amount of these devices, I haven't used them all and to keep everything ubiased, I need comments from actual owners.

    There is nothing devious going on here, I'm just trying to put together some reviews of everything available to help people out when making a decision.

    Andrew
     
  6. Cheap&Effective

    Cheap&Effective
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    Blimey - you're hardly likely to get an UNbiassed view here!!!!

    It's a (sad) fact that most posters on here only do so because they have a totally BIASSED view - just surf around any of the forums from the top level onwards, and you'll see total bias on almost every subject imaginable (and a few that I'd never imagined would cause flames!)

    "Average", "Normal" or "Happy" users are almost certainly not going to be avid posters here.....same as any forum.

    I'm also on a camera forum site, and it's just the same there - a good mix of hints and tips, but most of the posts are of the "A is better than B"..."No, B is better than A" type..ultimately pointless, imho.

    I own a couple of audio servers (640H, Stremium) and a couple of cheap "play-out" boxes in the kids rooms - more than happy to write a para on each, but there's no way they would be UNbiassed reviews.

    eg....I think the Stremium stinks as it is just too limited in its features and audio-glitches too often - hardly "nice"; I think the features of the 640H are market leading and beyond competition by many many months, especially when you look at a wider multi-room set up. My £80 Linksys playout box (probably £60 now) is just bloody awful as the audio quality makes my ears hurt and has as near to zero features as you can imagine.....why??!!

    ....but am I a normal user? (don't answer that).....I'm posting on here !

    I guess that statistically posters on AVF are in <<1% of the user population of any product...hardly a representative sample who are going to give an UNbiassed view.

    imho, of course!
     
  7. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    I was hoping to get 2 or 3 responses so it would be slightly less biased, or reviews from some serial-upgraders who have tried a number of them (I have tried/owned 6 or 7 already) so can compare the different models more easily.

    Any details on the 640H would be great though

    Andrew
     
  8. cbarrow1

    cbarrow1
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    Hi, I bought myself a 640H a few months ago, and out of the box you can't help but be impressed, it is a well built piece of kit and even after the first boot up seems very good, once I'd found my way round it, it time to start ripping my CD's........which is where it all went wrong! The problems I had resulted in me resetting the database several times, I had tracks I could see but couldn't play, tracks I couldn't rename, all in all the database was a mess, so after several calls to CA's help desk Ed advised me to rip on my PC/Mac then transfer files to the 640H - he said this was the most reliable way which seemed a little bit of a cop out but I really wanted this thing to work. So off I went with iTunes only to find the USB support on the 640H was rubbish - aaarrrggghhhh!!!!! More calls to CA, more failed attempts more dissapointment - essentailly I had spent £600 on a box that did nothing but frustrate the hell out of me. So it went back - thanks Richer Sounds. I then went for a demo of the Sonos with Simply Sonos (www.simplysonos.co.uk) who were great, I spent ages playing and prodding and poking after all I had had my fingers burned once before, well I was so impressed that I placed my order there and then - roll on delivery.


    In Summary, the 640H would be the audiophile choice but the Sonos is just so sexy and easy to use that these aspects alone outweigh the 640H - SONOS FOR ME EVERY TIME

    Hope this helps, let me know if you want any more details
     
  9. steve-p

    steve-p
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    Do you want the review(s) sent to you via PM, or posted here?
     
  10. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    Hi,

    I don't mind either way, pm would be fine if you would prefer to keep it hidden until I put it online.

    Cbarrow1 - thanks, that is very useful
     
  11. steve-p

    steve-p
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    OK, I'll try and send you something later today then.
     
  12. steve-p

    steve-p
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    Can you clarify if you expect the price rating to really mean value for money?
     
  13. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    Yes, value for money, I usually compare to the price of competitors offerings, so in this case the hifidelio.
     
  14. steve-p

    steve-p
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    OK, I'm working on it now.
     
  15. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    Thanks for the reviews everyone, nearly done now.

    cbarrow1 - How would you rate the ease of use of the sonos? (1-5 with 5 being best)

    Also, did you find any drawbacks at all?

    Thanks

    Andrew
     
  16. cbarrow1

    cbarrow1
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    Hi
    I'd give the Sonos a 4 for ease of use, it dropped a point because of the lack of search function. If you want to find a partucular track the best you can do is "power scroll" to the first letter of the name (the 640H does at least have a search facility although without a USB connected keyboard it is a bit of a pain to use.) One of the things the guy at Simply Sonos got me to to do was just "play" for the first 5 mins which really only proves that apart from initial setup you don't need a manual at all to work the thing - which to me is the sign of a well made user interface (just look at the tiny manual you get with an iPod)
    Hope that helps.
     
  17. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    Hi,

    Thanks for that, it was the one section I was missing.

    I have put them online here: http://www.audiofi.co.uk/reviews/

    Still work in progress, but they are all there at least.

    Andrew
     
  18. steve-p

    steve-p
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    Hi Andrew,

    One small point regarding the Hifidelio Pro. It does have iTunes support. You have it listed as not having it.

    Steve
     
  19. AMc

    AMc
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    Likewise MP3>iTunes>Twonky>Netgear MP101 works really well - no support for iTunes music store content or AAC I suppose.

    Might be worth indicating that there are ways to get any of the uPnP players to work with iTunes as a library but not DRM'ed or proprietary formats?
     
  20. brookheather

    brookheather
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    Another small point on the Hifidelio:

    Can copy files to an ipod, but unfortunately not to a PC

    You can copy to a PC if you change the Samba configuration file on the box - I realise this needs a bit of technical ability but is pretty easy for anyone familiar with UNIX/Linux.

    - Simon.
     

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