Sonos Wireless sound?

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ResearchMed
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Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:27 pm

Well! I feel like I've just been welcomed into the 21st century.
Didn't know about Sonos and the "full piece" vs. Pandora and the teasing snippets of pieces.
<insert embarrassed emoticon here>

We just brought home a Sonos speaker, and it's main use will be for classical music - full pieces rather than the teasing bits via Pandora.
Monthly cost will be pretty much unnoticeable, especially since we'll discontinue the paid Pandora.

So... Is there anything we'll be missing with Sonos that Pandora could have done?

Are there any warnings/alerts about Sonos that we should watch for or check out early while we can still return it?
Any competition for this type of service [easy streaming of *choice* of full classical pieces] that we should consider/try?

Bass is important (string bass, bassoon, etc.), so we chose the "Play 5".
Does anyone know if the Play 5 is really noticeably better for bass (or anything else) than the lower priced models?
We are not trying to get sound into a huge space, and much of the listening will be "background" all day.
But sometimes, with certain pieces, I'll be *really* listening and enjoying.

Thanks!

RM
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Seoulseeker
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by Seoulseeker » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:46 pm

We enjoy Our Sonos sound system very much. If you are not a hard core audiophile they are a great choice, especially for background music. We have one Play 5 and 4 Play 1's. the bass in the Play 5 is excellent and should be great for your purpose. While the music available on Sonos is good, we did wind up supplementing with an Amazon Music subscription which is pretty cheap as an add on to Amazon Prime. The selections from Sonos are very good, but sometimes stations you like stop being part of the service. Also we wanted to connect Alexa to the system to be able to voice command music and until the interface is completed Alexa cannot access the Sonos selections.

DSInvestor
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by DSInvestor » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:50 pm

Sonos speakers can be setup as stereo pairs. I started with a Play 1 and was impressed. I bought a second Play 1 and configured as a stereo pair - definitely sounds better than a single speaker. I tested a Play 3 and returned it as I didn't feel it was much of an improvement on Play 1. I bought the new version of the Play 5 and it is much better than the Play 1 and 3. I have not tested two Play 5s in stereo.

What sounds better to me may not sound better to you. The only way to tell is to compare them with your music in your home in different locations. Speaker placement can dramatically change the sound. If you're a best buy elite member, you can buy some and have 30-45 days to test them.

We have about 700-800 CDs imported into our music library, stored on the network which is accessible by the Sonos system. No computer needs to be left running for the sonos system to access it.

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Ged
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by Ged » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:03 pm

Another up and coming music service seems to be Tidal. Maybe a bit more hard core than what you are looking for but some people I know like it.

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heartwood
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by heartwood » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:12 pm

We have several Sonos systems at our home and at our condo, for many years. Its a great product. We have a subscription to Google Play Music. We went that route because our entire music collection has been uploaded to it. We have only a small number of albums on Amazon. Spotify is great, but you need a subscription to use it on Sonos. Many other services are available.

All that said, we bought a Google Home a few months ago for $130 (??). While it doesn't have the sound quality of Sonos it more than works for our older ears and the types of music we play. I have access to all my Google Play music and also have Assistant. I can ask it to play dinner music, or play my thumbs up play list, or Nina Simone, and it does. I can ask what time it is, or what's the weather or my day tomorrow and it tells me.We currently have six various model Sonos systems, from 2 Play-1s on up to a whole house system installed in the ceilings. YMMV but we wouldn't buy another or recommend someone buy one w/o first checking out Google Home or Amazon Echo or Dot. I see the added versatility as a game changer for Sonos. Unless they adapt to what Google and Amazon are offering , especially voice control v. an app on a smart phone ...
Last edited by heartwood on Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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telemark
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by telemark » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:26 pm

Check out Classical Archives. Most streaming services do a terrible job of indexing classical music, what with every piece having a composer, multiple performers who are generally not the composer, multiple movements meant to be heard in a particular order, albums with music by more than one artist, etc. Classical Archives gets this mostly right and they're finally available on Sonos.

I have two 5s arranged as a stereo pair, and I like them fine, but they're the old version. I haven't heard the new 5. For a really big bass you may want to add the subwoofer.

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tdhg566
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by tdhg566 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:46 pm

+1 for Sonos

Over the decades we've had one version of AV receiver after another, one set of speakers after another. Some floor standing, some mounted on walls. All very complicated, all very room specific, all very expensive, never covered the rest of the house, etc etc etc

Once I discovered Sonos a few years ago, I was immediately hooked. I went on a binge and discarded/recycled all the electronic equipment and speakers and junk and put a playbar under the TV in the great room, a sub nearby, Play 5s in most of the rooms and a Play3 under the counter in the master bath. Got a subscription to a streaming service so wife could find her classical music and we've never been more pleased. Thought about mounting some Play3s in the great room for surround sound but never got around to it.

Kids have Sonos at their houses too so when they come to visit, they just take over our system and play their music in their rooms. Perfect.

At some point the electronics in the Play5s will need to be upgraded, but that won't happen soon and at that point I'm confident I can do it on a room by room basis, and there will always be someone who would appreciate an early model Sonos speaker.
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eastwayroad
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by eastwayroad » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:46 am

Love my Sonos Play 5. It brought me back into active music listening after years of neglect- and gave away all my older audio equipment.
I too am a Classical listener and use our excellent local public library to borrow cd's for import into the system.

chuppi
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by chuppi » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:15 pm

I have play:1 and I love it. I was so impressed that I ordered play:5. It could be just me or the piece I received. None of us at home could tell the difference between Play:5 and Play:1. I kept them in the same location in the living room, played same songs, switched randomly from one to other trying to figure out the difference. I ended up returning play:5
I play it in the backyard or in the garage while I am cleaning yard or doing home improvement work and I love it.

My initial plan was to expand sonos in the house and also build home theater system. I don't want to get spotify subscription just to play on sonos. On occasion, I want to play something from my phone but sonos does not support bluetooth. I have given up on my plan to expand sonos. Now I am considering Klipsch soundbar for the tv room.

eucalyptus
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by eucalyptus » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:54 pm

I have Sonos but prefer my Sprout. Worth a thought.

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chuckb84
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by chuckb84 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:22 pm

eucalyptus wrote:I have Sonos but prefer my Sprout. Worth a thought.

psaudio.com
And I love my wren.

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doon
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by doon » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:50 pm

I came close to buying Sonos but decided against it as soon chromecast audio came to the market last year.

https://store.google.com/product/chromecast_audio

Its a boglehead way to whole house sound system. I have 5 chromecast audio connected to 5 under $100 speakers and I can play music, radio, youtube etc on one speaker or groups of speakers at the same time from my android phones or laptop.

Marshall Acton speakers from Costco for $100 bucks

https://www.amazon.com/Marshall-Acton-M ... B00OHW3DF6

The over all set up cost me about $500 bucks because I was able to use couple of old speakers for the purpose. Been very happy with it so far.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:19 pm

doon wrote:I came close to buying Sonos but decided against it as soon chromecast audio came to the market last year.

https://store.google.com/product/chromecast_audio

Its a boglehead way to whole house sound system. I have 5 chromecast audio connected to 5 under $100 speakers and I can play music, radio, youtube etc on one speaker or groups of speakers at the same time from my android phones or laptop.

Marshall Acton speakers from Costco for $100 bucks

https://www.amazon.com/Marshall-Acton-M ... B00OHW3DF6

The over all set up cost me about $500 bucks because I was able to use couple of old speakers for the purpose. Been very happy with it so far.
I am surprised that so many people on Bogleheads are fans of Sonos. I have no experience with it, but I have seen it described as simple (very Bogleheadish) but pricey (decidedly non-Bogleheadish).

I, too, have one Chromecast Audio but rarely use it as it is on a setup mostly used by DS and occasionally DW. If anything ever happens to my now out-of-production Logitech Squeezebox system, Chromecast Audio would probably be the way I would go--but I already have AVRs and speaker systems in place, which are not necessary with Sonos as I understand their ecosystem.

michaeljc70
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:50 pm

doon wrote:I came close to buying Sonos but decided against it as soon chromecast audio came to the market last year.

https://store.google.com/product/chromecast_audio

Its a boglehead way to whole house sound system. I have 5 chromecast audio connected to 5 under $100 speakers and I can play music, radio, youtube etc on one speaker or groups of speakers at the same time from my android phones or laptop.

Marshall Acton speakers from Costco for $100 bucks

https://www.amazon.com/Marshall-Acton-M ... B00OHW3DF6

The over all set up cost me about $500 bucks because I was able to use couple of old speakers for the purpose. Been very happy with it so far.
I use Google Chromecast audio for my outdoor speakers since Sonos doesn't have an outdoor version and have been happy with it. Note they do have speakers with it built in: https://www.google.com/chromecast/built-in/audio/. Sonos is probably more refined, but Chromecast is inexpensive. If you have to do many rooms, Sonos can get pricey.

Just to clarify one thing the OP asked ("So... Is there anything we'll be missing with Sonos that Pandora could have done?"), Pandora is a music streaming service. You can access it through Sonos, a PC, a phone, tablet and other integrated speaker systems. Think of Pandora is a music source just like a CD, tape or whatever.

sat24
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by sat24 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:39 pm

Big fan of Sonos here. They pioneered the genre, the whole thing felt and still feels "magical" (I very rarely use that word with electronics).

2 Play:5s in Stereo pair for Family room
1 Play:3 in my kid's bedroom (birthday gift)
1 Play:1 in living room
1 Play:1 in Kid's bathroom
1 Play:1 in master bathroom

In Party mode this fills about 80% of the home.

It was a significant investment for quality of life, but given we use it 1-2 hours every day (in lieu of the stupid box - aka TV), and destresses ALL of us in the household, it is totally worth it. Also we built the ecosystem over time, so the pinch wasn't felt too acutely :)

Just get it...

aquifer
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by aquifer » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:52 pm

You'll like the Play: 5's. Clarity and bass output are both very good. I like my Sonos system very much, and I often recommend it. The controller app has been updated over time, and they update the speakers' firmware now and then. Apple Music integration could be better, but it works well enough.

You can use Pandora through the Sonos system. You could discontinue the paid version and revert to the free version of Pandora, and still access it through Sonos. You probably know that, but your original post suggested it was an either/or proposition, which it isn't.

ResearchMed
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Each movement a separate track = problem? Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:03 pm

aquifer wrote:You'll like the Play: 5's. Clarity and bass output are both very good. I like my Sonos system very much, and I often recommend it. The controller app has been updated over time, and they update the speakers' firmware now and then. Apple Music integration could be better, but it works well enough.
Yes, there were some delightful low cello notes, where it seemed like the cello was right there (well, if I closed my eyes).

Now as for the controller...

EDIT: We *might* have figured out the below problem. Please don't spend time on it (yet......).
Thanks.

I'm trying to use the Windows version, and we're having trouble getting the 4 movements of one symphony to play in sequence.
Saving "tracks" might be good/okay for non-classical (I don't know), but it certainly doesn't work for classical.

It jumped from 1st movement of one symphony to the 3rd movement of a different one.
Definitely NOT what I had in mind in wanting to leave Pandora's semi-random snippets. At least there, I wasn't expecting a full symphony.

DH just went to his mini-iPad and downloaded the regular app.
His first experience was the same, each "track" (aka "movement") was independent.

Surely this isn't what is intended... or is it?
Oh, I hope not! :(

We are assuming that we just need to figure it out... we hope.
And no, we aren't hitting "shuffle"! :shock:


All set, we think.

Thanks.

RM
Last edited by ResearchMed on Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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desiderium
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by desiderium » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:37 pm

We have had various Sonos components for several years, and love the sound and convenience.

We recently added a Sonos Subwoofer in our living room. It is an absolutely remarkable addition. Small speakers simply can't deliver the low end like this. It works flawlessly and I would strongly recommend it, especially since you like the low cello notes.

We have also subscribed to Tidal, and as an experiment are using their "premium" high fidelity services. There are several reviews on the internet claiming that most people cant reliably tell the difference. After doing quite a bit of testing back and forth with Tidal, Pandora, Spotify, there is an unmistakeable difference on our system.

I know that everyone wants a reliable piece of your monthly spend. However, the fee represents what I would typically spend over the course of the year on music, and previously I was filling in with Pandora and listening to the annoying ads. Now with wide access to what is out there, I have been able to explore more new things that my kids are listening to. Supposedly, Tidal is more artist friendly/fair, but I am not in a position to know for sure.

ResearchMed
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Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:16 pm

desiderium wrote:We have had various Sonos components for several years, and love the sound and convenience.

We recently added a Sonos Subwoofer in our living room. It is an absolutely remarkable addition. Small speakers simply can't deliver the low end like this. It works flawlessly and I would strongly recommend it, especially since you like the low cello notes.

We have also subscribed to Tidal, and as an experiment are using their "premium" high fidelity services. There are several reviews on the internet claiming that most people cant reliably tell the difference. After doing quite a bit of testing back and forth with Tidal, Pandora, Spotify, there is an unmistakeable difference on our system.

I know that everyone wants a reliable piece of your monthly spend. However, the fee represents what I would typically spend over the course of the year on music, and previously I was filling in with Pandora and listening to the annoying ads. Now with wide access to what is out there, I have been able to explore more new things that my kids are listening to. Supposedly, Tidal is more artist friendly/fair, but I am not in a position to know for sure.
We need to exchange some audio things for very elderly MIL, so we might as well pick up a subwoofer and give it a try :happy

Don't know how you could stand the Pandora ads. You have more patience than I have.
We splurged for the paid version a few years ago, so at least it was constant music, if constantly varying.

I'll give Tidal a try, including the premium version. Thanks.
Classical music is VERY important to us, and that would be modest spending at this stage in our lives. IF we can hear the difference, it would be worth it.

Just read a review on Verge of a blind testing of Tidal and two others.
Apparently no difference, but... they did it with headphones and and iPhone, not real speakers, and they pointed out that might not have been a fair try (so why didn't they do "Phase II", eh?).

Bogleheads is beyond amazing :!:

Thanks again, to all.

RM
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telemark
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Re: Each movement a separate track = problem? Re: Sonos Wireless sound?

Post by telemark » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:55 am

ResearchMed wrote: Now as for the controller...

EDIT: We *might* have figured out the below problem. Please don't spend time on it (yet......).
Thanks.

I'm trying to use the Windows version, and we're having trouble getting the 4 movements of one symphony to play in sequence.
Saving "tracks" might be good/okay for non-classical (I don't know), but it certainly doesn't work for classical.

It jumped from 1st movement of one symphony to the 3rd movement of a different one.
Definitely NOT what I had in mind in wanting to leave Pandora's semi-random snippets. At least there, I wasn't expecting a full symphony.

DH just went to his mini-iPad and downloaded the regular app.
His first experience was the same, each "track" (aka "movement") was independent.

Surely this isn't what is intended... or is it?
Oh, I hope not! :(

We are assuming that we just need to figure it out... we hope.
And no, we aren't hitting "shuffle"! :shock:


All set, we think.

Thanks.

RM
I should first point out that I've never used Pandora so I'm not quite sure how it works, but I've used a number of other streaming services with Sonos and the interface in Sonos is mostly the same for all of them. Look for a little menu at the right-hand side of the first track you want. On the Android app it's three little dots in a vertical line. On OS X it's a circle with a triangle in it, that only appears when you mouse over it. I'm not sure what it looks like on Windows. Click or tap on that and you should get a list of options: Play Now, Play Next, etc. For the first movement of a piece choose Replace Queue, then for the next movement choose Add to End of Queue, and so on for all the tracks you want. See if that lets you do what you want.

The Sonos app used to work in what I consider an intuitive fashion. About a year ago they changed it to be more familiar to Apple users, and since then I've had to train myself never to simply click on a track, because doing that never accomplishes what I had in mind, and it makes such a mess of the queue that it's simplest just to clear the whole queue and start over. But the people at Sonos are very proud of the new interface, so it seems unlikely to change now.

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