Sonos Alternative

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by Hairy Hippy, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Hairy Hippy

    Hairy Hippy
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    Can anyone recommend a decent alternative to Sonos?

    I like, what appears to be, the simplistic "plug 'n' play" capabilities of the Sonos but was wondering what similar alternates there are out there, preferably cheaper.

    It must also be able to read tracks from a NAS (Thecus N5200 Pro).
     
  2. amcluesent

    amcluesent
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    If you want something with it's own hard-disk storage to connect to your hi-fi (in rising price) -

    Ipod 120Gb + dock (ie Wadia 170) + DAC (i.e. DACMagic)
    Brennan JB7
    Cambridge Audio Music Server
    Mac mini and Apple Airport Express or Apple TV
    Arcam MS250
    Macintosh Music Server
    Naim HDX
    Sooloos

    If you are thinking about streamers which rely on external music stores, your options would likely be (in rising price) -

    Slimdevices Squeezebox Classic
    Slimdevices Duet
    Sonos Zoneplayer/Controller
    Any of the above, plus an external DAC
    Slimdevices Transporter
    Linn Majik DS
     
  3. Hairy Hippy

    Hairy Hippy
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    Thanks amcluesent. Don't the Slimdevices need to connect via a PC rather than just a NAS hooked up to a wireless router?

    Sorry I should have said in my original post that a wireless solution was the perferred option.
     
  4. amcluesent

    amcluesent
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  5. Hairy Hippy

    Hairy Hippy
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    Excellent thanks amcluesent.

    How you rate the Sqeezeboxes against the Sonos?

    If I went for the Sonos, I was going to get their speakers, which alternatives would you recommend for about the same amount of money? Actually I've just thought, would you need an amp in between the Sqeezebox and speakers, and if so what would you recommend?
     
  6. davepuma

    davepuma
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    You're opening a can of worms there! Sonos owners rate Sonos, Squeezebox owners rate Squeezebox. Do a search as there are numerous SB v Sonos threads.

    You will need an amp and speakers if you opt for a non amplified solution. What is recommended is down to your budget etc. If you're on a budget there are any number of amp & speaker solutions such as budget NAD amps, Tannoy F1 or Wharfedale speakers and so on. I suggest a demo. If you check the slimdevices forum, there is a gallery of setups, which show basic kitchen setups through to mega buck audiophile solutions.
     
  7. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Don't even go there, you'll start a riot. :rotfl:

    Tannoy Mercury F1 Custom

    Yes you would. I would suggest something along the lines of the new Marantz PM5003.
     
  8. amcluesent

    amcluesent
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    >and if so what would you recommend? <

    I have -

    Squeezebox Classic, Mission Cyrus 2, Wharfedale Diamonds
    Transporter, Arcam Solo music, B&W CM 2
     
  9. 53Robbo

    53Robbo
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    Some questions re Slimdevices duet -

    1. Streaming of MP3s from an 'internet music locker', eg MP3tunes, is this totally seamless ?

    2. Is the look-up function, using the 'internet music locker' exactly the same as if you were streaming from your PC ?

    I'm looking for a system where I don't have to run my Plasma TV to be able to drive the player and also not necessarily have a PC/NAS running. I think the Slimdevices is one of the few players that does this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  10. Hairy Hippy

    Hairy Hippy
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    I suppose the crux, from what you've all said, there is no exact alternate to the Sonos ZP120 (the receiver with the in-built amp), which is what I suppose I was alluding to in my original post about the "plug n play" capabilities of the Sonos. Therefore going with the Slimdevices I'd have to buy a seperate amp, which I was sort of trying to avoid for soley simplistic reasons.

    Therefore at the end of the day, and to davepuma's point, it comes down to budget. So with the ZP120, and the Sonos speakers (SP100 - are they any good?), and I should really add in the cost of the Sonos controller and cradle, we're looking at a budget of £450 a room. I am happy to spend the same amount to get better quality but would rather save. I will look at the Slimdevices forum, as davepuma suggests, to get ideas but if anyone has some good suggestions on here, I'm more than willing to listen.

    Lastly, I am right in saying that with the slimdevices you don't need a bridge (e.g. the Sonos Zonebrdige) as they'll connect to a NAS directly via a wireless router?
     
  11. amcluesent

    amcluesent
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    >there is no exact alternate to the Sonos ZP120 (the receiver with the in-built amp)<

    Linn Sneaky DS?
     
  12. Hairy Hippy

    Hairy Hippy
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    Sorry missed your Linn Makik DS in your original answer and therefore thought there wasn't an alternate brand. Thanks now though.
     
  13. Member 292373

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    Hi,

    Connected Acoustic have recently launched an 80watt amp with a built in Squeezebox Duet receiver - "SRi". See https://www.ripcaster.co.uk/node/427 for more info

    Hope that helps

    ripcaster.co.uk
     
  14. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello HairyHippy

    The USP of the Sonos system is the user experience - yes its great that it can be a pretty painless system to install/configure but that's forgotten once you start to use the system.

    How many rooms, how big are the Rooms and how many folk using the System?

    Joe
     
  15. Hairy Hippy

    Hairy Hippy
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    Looks like a good alternative to the ZP120 for sure. Thanks will look into further.
     
  16. Hairy Hippy

    Hairy Hippy
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    Hi Joe - Can you elaborate on your first sentence? What does USP stand for? Are you saying the Sonos is fine to install but then you have major issues afterwards?

    # of rooms and dimensions in metres - probably 4 (lounge (6.5x3.5), dinning (3.2x2.8), kitchen (6.3x3.2), master bedroom (4.6x3.2)
    # of people using - the wife and I but I wouldn't have a problem with a guest picking up the controller and having a play.
     
  17. Member 7321

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    USP - Unique Selling Point.

    Generally Sonos installations work straight out of the box and stay working as they are pretty much self contained apart from accessing the music files you want to play. That said, they have been known to cause issues with other Wi-Fi products or just not work at all but this doesn't happen very often.

    You would need 4x zones plus a controller if you want the ability to be able to stream different music to each of your rooms. If you go for ZP-90's then you would need to add an amplifier and speakers or active/powered speakers. If you go for ZP-120's then you would just need to add passive speakers.

    HTH
     
  18. Hairy Hippy

    Hairy Hippy
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    Thanks ultra for the USP explanation.

    Thanks to the configuration system on the Sonos website, I know what I probably need from them, I'm really trying to find out what other "plug 'n' play" alternatives are out there that hold their own against the Sonos. I suppose I'm also trying to avoid having to buy seperate amps, hence I'm now very interested in the Connected Acoustic SRi, posted by ripcaster.
     
  19. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Hairy Hippy

    For many folk the Sonos ZP120 matched to relatively efficient Speakers (you can have two pairs per ZP120 if you need to cover a big area) will be fine in your room dimensions - if you want a really big sound in the main lounge some folk would consider a ZP90 + bigger amplification.

    Are there plans for TV/Cinema sound in the Lounge?

    Talk to anyone who sells/installs the stuff and apart from the slim dealer margins they will all tell you its a pretty unique package in terms of the technology, the back up/support you get from Sonos and the customer feedback you receive from happy owners.

    Joe
     
  20. Hairy Hippy

    Hairy Hippy
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    Hi Joe

    Yes, intend to hook up a ZP90 to a home cinema system (see my thread, "the challenge to the Samsung HT-BD2").
     
  21. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    A ZP90 in the main lounge will be ideal - though the all-in-one system you are considering is (like most of these units) pretty lacking in terms of connectivity (especially video) so think carefully about what else you will be wanting to hook up in that room.

    Joe
     
  22. Hairy Hippy

    Hairy Hippy
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    Hi Joe

    That's a very good point. And I've just thought about something else. Depending on the DLNA capabilities of the TVs mentioned below

    I think AV equiment will be:
    TV: Pioneer KRP-500A or Samsung LE55A956D1M
    Home Cinema: Samsung HT-BD2
    Games Console: Wii
    Music streamer: Sonos ZP90 or Media streamer: something like the Netgear EVA9150. I'm putting this now as I'm not sure about DLNA capabilities of the TVs and if go with the Netgear, this would negate the need for Sonos in the lounge, no?

    So I think there will also be enough connectivity on that HT-BD2? Edit: I actually think I might be wrong here.
     
  23. v1per

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    Chiming in on this thread I would say that I before I comment please note the hardware in my sig :D.

    I looked at all the stuff on the market before I bought and to put it simply I cannot find a bad review of the Sonos system, anywhere, even now (I've had my setup for about 18months or so) I still can't find one.
    I have however seen mixed reviews for many of the 'alternatives' to the devices including the Philips WACS700/05 and the Squeezeboxes.

    I think there is a clear clarifying line between the systems if push comes to shove and that quite simply is... price.
    You should determine what you need for your ideal scenario at home, some find the Sonos system cannot be justified on that level and for me I think that is fair comment for those whom it applies to.

    Cheers:smashin:
     
  24. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Hairy Hippy

    You can go around in as many circles as you want - none of the alternatives that I've tried come anywhere near to the user experience delivered by Sonos.

    We have a few devices here that can stream music, play internet radio etc - after a five minute look at the user interface you do have to wonder if the software team that create these things ever get out of the development lab!

    The all-in-one you linked to is not a great Hub for your system - even the simplest system quickly sprouts new arms and legs as you find new toys to add to the party; ensure you have plenty of additional switching capabilities or be prepared to add in extranet switch gear at a later date.

    Joe
     
  25. Hairy Hippy

    Hairy Hippy
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    Viper thanks for your input. Point taken, see my last sentence in this post.

    Hi Joe

    I get your point about adding to the party but with just the AV items I listed, would I be ok or am already going to have to start thinking about extranet switch gear?

    Also, I suppose I should really find out more about this DNLA business before deciding to buy the Sonos or Netgear, as I don't really see the point in having both in the lounge. I think I've decided to go with Sonos in the rest of the house though. :)

    Thanks HH
     
  26. blisteringblue

    blisteringblue
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    Have to agree this sums up the whole squeezebox v sonos argument imho.

    Personally I'd love a Sonos but while I love my music I just could not justify the price. Majority of my listening now is in the car via my ipod and in my home office (PC with Soundblaster x-fi xtreme music and decent 2.1 speakers).

    When my i-deck broke I wanted to stream as I was moving gradually to FLAC so I bought a Squeezebox Boom. Perfect to fill any of my rooms and I just move it into another room if I want to. OK not ideal but I'm streaming FLAC to any room for under £200. Couple that with squeezecenter Handheld skin on my wifi smartphone and I've a free controller too.

    People can argue this sounds better or that sounds better but really it is down to how much you want to spend.
     
  27. glenlevisohn

    glenlevisohn
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    Speaking personally, I would have to disagree to a certain extent.
    The cost difference between Sonos and Squeezebox is not that much really.

    If we were to compare Sonos/Squeezebox against something like Soolos .... now that is a price difference :)

    When I decided to go down Squeezebox route rather than Sonos, price was very low on my list of deciding factors.
     
  28. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    I would agree. Personally I think that the Sonos product is a more complete and solid package overall. The price difference is really very small indeed, especially when compared to other products that aim to do the same thing such as the Sooloos. A couple of hundred quid is neither here nor there if it means getting the right solution for the job.
     
  29. v1per

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    Clearly even the price debate is a matter of opinion :D

    I agree that a couple hundred £ between the two is not of vast significance if you are talking just x vs. y... however... if you are talking multi-room this can increase to a couple hundred multiplied by 'x'.
    That difference can, by some, be too much to justify, especially if you are not an avid audiophile and just your average joe (the latter incidentally I would class myself to be).

    If a ZP90 is gonna run you £220, a controller £240, a ZP100 £250, a 120 @ £300. A Squeeze Duet will run £250, a receiver a further £100. Wheras a Soolos is what?, £7k?!!
    *all prices relative to where you buy of course

    When I say price I mean pertaining to your personal setup, not specifically Sonos vs. Squeeze (or anything else for that matter).

    I answer based on the way I looked at the choice. You have to look at your setup individually and asses how much it will cost to kit out your room/s, price it up and if the number looks ok to you, there you go, if not it becomes a point of if how and where you reduce that number.. be it remove a controller and use an iPhone/ iPod OR change system.
     
  30. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello all

    Hairy Hippy - put a ZP90 in the Lounge. Whilst your enjoying your music via the Sonos you can waste an hour or so trying to understand how limited DLNA is compared with Sonos :)

    Joe
     

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