I'm not entirely convinced that the lack of higher res support in the Sonos eco system is a major problem. For any of their all-in-one speaker products I don't see how hi-res support will make them any better.
I have Sonos and also use a Naim streamer for serious listening and hi-res music. The two share the same basic files on a NAS, and in general the solution works well. I keep the HD files in separate directories that the Sonos simply doesn't see and therefore doesn't get hung up trying to play. The NAS media server can see them and I tag them so you can easily find them against the CD quality versions.
It would be nice to have the Naim participate in the Sonos network, and have all of the Sonos features, but I have a Sonos connect attached to the Naim digital inputs which works well in all but party mode as the Naim adds a small processing delay.
I can't see Sonos making a Naim/Linn competing streamer, and trying to push 192KHz, 24-bit files round a Wi-Fi network reliably for little sonic gain on Sonos kit seems dubious. Unless Sonos can sell their control system to someone who makes high-res streaming kit, so that such a device could join a Sonos system, the lack of high res seems to be nothing more than an empty tick box on a marketing driven spec sheet.
Bought the Mu-so qb over this as it sounds better and AirPlay / Bluetooth capability. The fact that the sonos app doesn't keep podcasts in sync with the podcast app was also an issue for me as I listen in multiple places.
Why buy a low res speaker when you have hi res files.... this may only be 10 % of my listening but it is important, the only other thing holding the brand back is a play 5 - 3 or 1 with a good sized battery to make them portable around the home plug your mobile/pad into the speaker via usb and charge your device so you have many hours of BBQ music as well
I think most people know how to use UNC paths to SMB servers on their NAS. I've deployed a few Sonos systems now with Synology NAS's, works fine. Do agree about the indexing flaw though. Surely an automated job overnight or when idle is all it takes to fix this.
I think there are just two camps when it comes to multi-room solutions be it Sonos or a wannabe: you like a walled-garden approach, similar to Apple, solid and reliable but perhaps not feature rich; or you may wish your tech to support open standards, maybe taking a little more effort to get off the ground, but pays back dividends in flexibility. For the former, nothing stands out head-and-shoulders above Sonos for me.
Maybe MusicCast sits in the middle? Not sure, I haven't played with it yet.
I do have a work-around for those who use the streaming services' own apps, like Tidal's radio station based on a song or an artist. You can save this to your own playlists, and Sonos can see your own playlists. It's not slick, it's a multi-stage work-around; but it works.
So, the Sonos app does let you schedule a daily re-index as well as a manual update. This covers most scenarios for me, leaving only the inability to not discover hi-res music that it can't play. However I think that is where the 'archaic' method of pointing to your libraries helps. I have my HD music in a different NAS folder to everything else. That folder isn't exposed to Sonos.
The other 'trick' with Sonos if you use iTunes for your iPhone etc is to put your iTunes library on the same NAS folder that you point Sonos at. So you still use iTunes to rip/manage your music, Sonos discovers all the music correctly, and will also automatically import all of your iTunes playlists. I find that makes Sonos/iTunes interaction virtually seamless and has worked very well for me for years. If I add a playlist on iTunes, it appears automatically on Sonos (once the daily library rescan picks it up..)
I then have minimserver as my uPnP server which sees my HD music and exposes that to my hifi streamer as well as everything the Sonos sees. I have a Sonos connect that has a digital connection to the streamer so I get the Sonos streaming capabilities with the better SQ for my main setup.
So I'm glad Sonos doesn't just go off scanning everything in sight as it gives me great flexibility and control over my setup and has allowed me to integrate a hifi solution with Sonos which could probably only be bettered for control by a high end Sonos device.
Hey, I am using my Sonos mainly in the living room. It would be awesome to be able to control TV and streaming with one remote. Since there is no Sonos remote control anymore and I don't want to use my smartphone/tablet to control my TV: Is there any alternative streaming solution controlable with a TV remote conrol?