Squeezebox+amp versus Sonos

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by fourtears, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. fourtears

    fourtears
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    I keep changing my mind between buying 2 squeezeboxes versus Sonus.

    Here is my thinking

    Price:
    Squeexeboxes £350 (2x£175 each from US) + Amps?
    Sonus £950 + £100? for a wireless access point to connect to media.
    ...... Squeezebox wins.

    Sound Quality:
    Sonus amp probably not as good as a £200 power amp attached to each Squeezebox. Any suggestions for a good amp to drive Wharfdale Diamond 9.1 or MS 902 ?
    ...... Open issue.

    Remote Control:
    Sonus is obviously very nice but if I really want something like that can pick up a PSP to control Squeezebox for £180.
    Advantage of the Squeezebox is that can control from both rooms using the supplied remote and screen whereas Sonus only get one remote for the price and can't control at all if the remote is on another floor!
    ...... Draw. Both have advantages.

    Data source:
    Music files on a linkstation which is plugged into a wireless router and loaded up with music by downloading or ripping in iTunes on a laptop.
    For squeezeboxes need to hack the box and install slimserver which will probably take most of a saturday.
    Sonus can use the shared files out of the box with no server software.
    ....... Sonus wins.

    Network:
    Sonus will need a seperate wireless access point to access files on my existing wireless network (no wired connection anywhere near where the Sonus boxes will go).
    Squeezebox will work directly on existing wireless network.
    ....... Squeezebox wins.

    Asthetics:
    Screen of the Squeezebox will look better on the mantle, but remote of the Sonus will look better on the coffee table.
    ....... Draw again.


    So anyone got the clinching argument? Also would really like to hear about people who can compare sound on the Sonus with its own amp versus Squeezebox DAC + a budget power amp (and suggested models please).
     
  2. nicnic

    nicnic
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    PRICE: Squeezebox wins hands down.

    Sound Quality: With Sonus you HAVE to use their amp, therefore no upgrade path. With Squeezebox you can use any amp. Squeezebox ships with a superior DAC and can also be modded by yourself or experts to an even better DAC. I think some are even using external DACS. Can you do with Sonus? Squeezebox wins.

    Remote Control: The Sonus RC is cool as ****. But I'm sure the novelty will wear off. Squeezebox has a nice big clear display and can be controlled over any web enabled device, phone, psp, pc, pda's etc. But Sonus wins as that remote is seriously cool.

    Data source: There are many Slimserver-ready NAS's available (e.g. Qnap 500Gb is 450 quid). Or much less for less storage. The Qnap isn't wireless yet, but a module is coming out in May. Therefore no hacking. Squeezebox wins.

    Network: Yep Squeezebox wins.

    Asthetics: Yea Sonus looks nice. But does the amp fit in with the rest of your hifi? There are plenty of amps much nicer than the Sonus and ultimately with the Squeeze box you choose the aesthetics of the amp. The lcd display on the SB is pretty damn nice too in my opnion.

    Clinching arguement? http://forums.slimdevices.com/forumdisplay.php?f=7 the audiophile forum says it all.

    Squeezebox is less money and has better sound quality, more storage, more network options and more upgrade/hackability paths. I think the only really thing Sonus has going for it is the remote. I'm not paying the difference. Squeezebox can be done with a NAS with minimal setup, about as plug and play as you can get.

    My mind is already made up, I'm going for the Squeezebox.
     
  3. fourtears

    fourtears
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    What amps are you going to use with the Squeezeboxes? I was wondering if I could get away with a cheap power amp without even a volume control.
     
  4. shahedz

    shahedz
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    i think a power amp would cost more than an amp with a volume control
     
  5. Strobe

    Strobe
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    Sonos are brining out the Sonos ZP80, basically wireless media player without the amp but with digi outs.
    I was in a similar situation to you having to decide whether the Sonos justified the extra cost over the Squeezebox. Bearing in mind if you want a wireless set up you need two Sonos players as one must be hardwired to your PC/NAS. In the end, I went with the Squeezebox. Sound quality is in my humble opinion great! I have ripped at 320 CBR mp3.
     
  6. fourtears

    fourtears
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    Now Sonus in the lead again. Clinching argument is that I just don't want to have two things (amp + squeezebox) and two remotes to turn on/set volume etc in order to play music when I walk into a room. Also, the price thing gets largely negated once you add a decent amp to each squeezebox.

    ..... unless there is a compact amp out there that can be hooked up to squeezebox with fixed volume and turns itself on and off with squeezebox so i can hide it away and bin the remote.
     
  7. nicnic

    nicnic
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    Strobe, thanks for the heads up. May just be worth the extra if you don't have to use their propriotary amp! I do like the remote a LOT.

    But I'm not really fully understanding the setup?

    Even with the ZP90??
     
  8. Strobe

    Strobe
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    The ZP80 is basically a networked audio player (not media player as I said before). To get wireless you need two ZP80's; as one ZP80 must be connected via ethernet to your PC/NAS. Sonos have their own wireless network (called sonosnet I believe) which is then used to link subsequent players and the remote control. The sonos website gives a lot more info on this but in simple terms a basic network could comprise :-
    ZP80 no.1 linked to PC/NAS and linked to amplifier via analogue or digi outs
    (fine if you are happy with wired network)
    ZP80 no.2 linked to first ZP80 via sonosnet and again linked to amplifier via analogue or digit outs
    Remote control liked to both via the sonosnet.
    Hope that makes sense.
    If you just want to store your music on your PC and wireless link it to your hifi just get a Squeezebox...but no 'too die for' remote control!!
     
  9. Doctor_AB

    Doctor_AB
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    I believe that it is possible not to have to connect the 1st zone player directly to modem/router od pc if using a NAS. Connection cn be made via a wireless bridge or using a home phone network adapter.
     
  10. Strobe

    Strobe
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    Only going by what I was told by the local Sonos dealer and by http://www.sonos-uk.co.uk/page/home.asp. 1st sonos needs to be hardwired to pc/nas and then this sonos is used to create the sonosnet wireless network. Makes sense otherwise, you would have two separate wireless links ie. 54g (or whatever) from 1st sonos to pc/nas and then sonosnet. If there is a way around it then I would suggest it is probably a faff rather the official sonos way. I stand to be shot down in flames if anyone has connected all their sonos players wirelessly to the pc or nas and managed to get it working all ok.
     
  11. Doctor_AB

    Doctor_AB
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  12. nicnic

    nicnic
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    yet another rreaosn not to get the sonus in my book! 300 dollars for a fancy remote, i ask you!
     
  13. grahamricho

    grahamricho
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    I would suggest trying a Sonos in the flesh, it is the most perfect item i have ever bought it is so easy to use and the remote is the dogs bxxxxks,you get what you pay for, buy a squeeze box and get the crappy plastic remote and the crappy display what you have to stand next to to see the track selected.
    The Sonos is the best and most perfect thing i have bought it is easy to set up and easy to use and looks great, you get what you pay for.
    When looking in to buying a wireless system i looked at them all, it was either a Sonos or nothing the others did not really interest me, i would not have bought any of the others they all had faults and the biggest one was the control .... Go to see a Sonos and im sure you will change your mind.
    I went to my local high end hi-fi dealer and he had (not sure what make) systems in costing £1000,s for a simple set up but the Sonos in my veiw better and a lot cheeper !
     
  14. grahamricho

    grahamricho
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    The first zone player has to be conencted to you p.c offically to be supported by Sonos for upgrades etc, if you go to there site a lot of people do use wireless which does work but is not 100 % as is a wired conection, i bought a 10mts ethernet cable for £ 3.00 from e bay and wired the first one in the kitchen..
     
  15. grahamricho

    grahamricho
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    The squeeze box looks like some 1970,s hi fi gear it not very nice to look at, the sonos remote even shows you your album art work on the track its playing..
     
  16. eeek

    eeek
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    But could the Sonos in my daughter's bedroom play a different track to the one in the kitchen?

    And could both people change tracks without running upstairs / downstairs to get the single rather expensive remote?

    I have the feeling squeezeboxes are rather more flexible
     
  17. grahamricho

    grahamricho
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    You could, if you had 32 zone players , you could have 32 different songs playing out of the 32 different zone players in 32 different rooms.
    You need the controller to change/select tracks or you can use the controller on the p.c which looks the same as the controller but its on your p.c.
    So you would have to use your p.c to control downstairs and the controller up stairs.
    I bought the Sonos and really think its the dogs BXXXXKS
     
  18. fourtears

    fourtears
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    I thought I would report back. I went for Sonos in the end, with the clincher being I could buy it much cheaper in the US while I was over there on a trip. It is so nice to just pick up the controller and press play withoput having to turn on all my seperate equipment. By the way, if anyone in the UK wants to benefit from US prices then take a look on ebay and order from the US.

    Now I am looking for some decent speakers for one of my rooms. I went for B&W 600s on brackets for the kitchen, and I am wishing I went for the 601s so I don't plan to make the same mistake in another room. I am therefore ruling out the smaller Wharfdale Diamonds or Mordan Short speakers, and will probably go with modest floorstanders or bigger stand-mounts. Monitor Audio Silver RS6 floorstanders in another room are excellent and the lack of power in zoneplayer amp is no problem for those speakers. Anyone tried the KEF iQ5 floorstanders with a Sonos ZonePlayer's internal amp, or Epos M12.2 / M5 ?
     
  19. fourtears

    fourtears
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    Tried out all those speakers today with the Sonos built in amp. Here are the results.

    KEF iQ5 - Definitely missing some substance here. It souned like it was missing both the top and bottom end compared with the other speakers I tried.
    Epos M5 - Very acceptable. On stands it delivered more low down than the KEF above and also sounded more complete in the higher end. Slightly worried about the bass getting boomy though if you move too close to a wall.
    Epos M12.2 - Altogether a more full sound than the M5 but the Sonos was strucggling a bit, needing noticably higher volume levels to drive the speakers and getting a bit streched if you try and get it loud. I think these need a more powerful amp.
    Monitor Audio RS5 - The last ones I tried today and by far the best bass. I really like the sound of these speakers which sound very 'together'. The RS5 is almost as good as the more expensive RS6s I tried earlier. One nice thing is that the Sonus amp does not seem to be under any strain at all. I found I was playing at 40-50% volume as opposed to 80-90% on the M12.2 for instance.

    I still have not decided for sure, but probably the M5 is the best compromise for me in terms of small box and big bang for bucks. Most disappointing was the 'award winning' iQ5 which really sounds pants compared with the Monitro Audios for only a slightly bigger box and price.
     
  20. timmorris

    timmorris
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    And so does the Squeezebox if you use one of a number of far cheaper remote solutions, which also allow you to check your email, diary, to-do list and play games if you like:

    1. Wireless Pocket PC
    2. Sony PSP

    The Squeeebox is a far more flexible and higher quality solution. I have mine connected to a Meridian G68 via SP/DIF playing FLAC encoded music and the quality is outstanding. I can also control ANY of the 3 Squeezeboxes in the house using any one of the 6 fixed PCs, 3 Notebook PCs and 2 Pocket PCs and the Philips Pronto I use in the home cinema.

    Tim
     
  21. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    I have been using a squeezebox for a few years now.. lovely bit of kit into a Lexicon amp.

    Love the look of the Sonos but even with the ZP80 boxes the basic kit to do what the squeezbox does is £700.. ouch!

    Will probably go for the squeezebox 3 unless I can get the Sonos alot cheaper abroad.

    [edit] After checking ebay US prices are identical to what it would cost in the UK.. so no joy there.. £500 difference over the Squeezebox for a cool remote is a no go..

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  22. Mike-M

    Mike-M
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    Got to agree. I've had both and the Sonos is in a whole different league. Both have been played through my Quad gear using the same cables and speakers and there really isn't any comparison IMHO.
     
  23. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    Just ordered my SB3.. for the flash remote I'll be using my PSP...
     
  24. SimonO

    SimonO
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    If cost is an issue go for the SB3, it's a quality product, but the Sonos IS in a different league :smashin: ...

    If a mod reads this, it would help if the title was changed from Sonus, to Sonos ;) ...
     
  25. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    The thing that annoys me is the need for 2 zone boxes because of its private network..and £700 just to stream tunes to a hifi is a bit much imho.

    Sound quality should be pretty irrelevant as I will use the digital output from the SB to my Lex. I have been using the SB1 for ages.. just upgrading to take advantage of WPA encryption etc etc. I do love the Sonos remote.. though not the £300 price tag.

    Though I am looking forward to tyring out the new Nokia skin someone has built and made available in SLimserver 6.5 It looks damn good on a psp as well :)

    Matt
     
  26. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Title changed.
     
  27. fourtears

    fourtears
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    So I have had Sonos up and running for a few weeks now.

    Here are the overwhelming + points for Sonos.

    + Gets WAY more use than any other piece of kit I have owned. Everyone in the house uses it (who don't usually bother to fire up the CD player). It is so compelling to use even the TV gets less use these days.

    + Now I feel like I am getting my money's worth out of all the other gear hooked up to the Sonos players, and the CD collection. All those years of wasting money on hifi gear that only I used, now everyone benefits.

    And the minus

    - You will like it so much you will find yourself buying more zones and more sets of speakers as you will want it in every room.

    Oh and whoever said it was same price in the US... check out the exchange rate. I bought mine in NY and brought it back in my suitcase. Probably save a couple hundred quid on a starter pack and it is dual voltage.
     
  28. PannyAdams

    PannyAdams
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    I completely agree with Fourtears - Sonos is THE best piece of kit I've ever bought. I used to own a Squeezebox - and that wouldn't even make my top 10!

    I listen to my music all the time now (easily 10 times more than I used to) because it is so easy to access and play where I want. That is the only arguement!

    If you want a chance to win a Sonos system of your own (and maybe help me out at the same time) read on.

    A while back I entered a competition called "How do you Sonos?" on their web site. Well, I made the final:

    http://www.sonos.com/community/how_do_you_sonos/

    You can't fail to spot my entry - it's the best one. But just in case that description doesn't help you find it, it's the one about halfway down labelled:

    "Room Service - Barry J., Epsom, England"

    Us AVForums members should stick together, so help me out by voting for me. It'll take you 1 minute and it's free. What is more, just for voting you also enter a draw to win a £1000 Sonos bundle all of your very own.

    The Sonos forums only has 2,700 members, 1,000 people have read this thread alone! If every one had voted there'd be a 30% chance someone from the AVForums would win!

    The competition rules are pretty clear, one vote per person (you have to enter an e-mail address) - but nothing in the rules about canvasing for votes :D !

    Thanks and good luck

    Barry
     
  29. wellsi

    wellsi
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    It would seem that now the £250 Sonos ZP80 is out, the price advantage of the Squeezebox is greatly diminished.

    You can pick up ZP80 intro packs of the smart controller + 2 ZP80s for £769.
    The Sonos will play multiple zones simultaneously (for the odd party) and any zone can play any local input (ie a DAB) located in any other zone.

    Does the Squeezebox allow for simultaneous playback in multiple zones, or playback of a local input attached to another squeezebox?
    Cheers
    Ian
     
  30. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    Yes, it does support simultaneous playback, but can't do playback of a local input.

    The price is indeed fairly similar now providing you need 2 zones or more

    2 zone Sonos: £769

    2 squeezebox's: £400 + Nokia 770 tablet £280, Total: £680
     

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