CD Quality Wireless Audio - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-18-2011, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for a wireless speaker system that is not compressed or lossy in any way. What are my choices? It would be nice if I could control the volume independently on several different pairs of active speakers and if those speakers were high quality and somewhat accurate sounding.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-18-2011, 06:00 PM
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SONOS S5. Add as many as you want (up to 32). Add a Zone Bridge if needed. And control it from your PC, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android device, or the SONOS CR200 controller. You can also use 2 of them as a stereo pair in 1 zone.
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought Sonos was compressed audio...I'm looking for Red Book or better.
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
I thought Sonos was compressed audio...I'm looking for Red Book or better.
>>Support for compressed MP3, iTunes Plus, WMA (including purchased Windows Media downloads), AAC (MPEG4), Ogg Vorbis, Audible (format 4), Apple Lossless, Flac (lossless) music files, as well as uncompressed WAV and AIFF files.

Native support for 44.1kHz sample rates. Additional support for 48kHz, 32kHz, 24kHz, 22kHz, 16kHz, 11kHz, and 8kHz sample rates.<<

So it claims to support red book losslessly.
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
>>Support for compressed MP3, iTunes Plus, WMA (including purchased Windows Media downloads), AAC (MPEG4), Ogg Vorbis, Audible (format 4), Apple Lossless, Flac (lossless) music files, as well as uncompressed WAV and AIFF files.

Native support for 44.1kHz sample rates. Additional support for 48kHz, 32kHz, 24kHz, 22kHz, 16kHz, 11kHz, and 8kHz sample rates.<<

So it claims to support red book losslessly.
Is this the claim or are they claiming that they can handle any of these sample rates on the input side before compressing them for their wireless protocol? Sonus is an 802.11g system. I was hoping to find something that utilized a 2.4GHz protocol and that had high quality speakers.
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete View Post
Is this the claim or are they claiming that they can handle any of these sample rates on the input side before compressing them for their wireless protocol?
Their system applies sample rate conversion, same as AppleTV, so it always runs as one sample rate. But I see no evidence that they apply compression. Do they say that somewhere?
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
Is this the claim or are they claiming that they can handle any of these sample rates on the input side before compressing them for their wireless protocol? Sonus is an 802.11g system. I was hoping to find something that utilized a 2.4GHz protocol and that had high quality speakers.
The only compression offered by Sonos is as an option on the Line-In jacks on each ZonePlayer. Local library file sources are streamed over their proprietary SonosNet wireless protocol -- 2.4GHz, but not 802.11g -- as files, as-is.

There is no "input side" the way you're thinking of it except on the Line-In. The ZonePlayers receive the files, decode them to, in effect, wav's, and that output is made available to both the DAC to supply the amplifier input (internal or external, depending on model), and the optical and coax digital outputs (again, depending on model).

The S5 sounds amazingly good for a little portable boombox-sized unit. If you want better speakers, they can be wired directly to an amplified ZonePlayer 120 (which also includes an output for a powered subwoofer).

I don't even have a CD player anymore. Sonos -- and units like it -- have made it obsolete.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 08:25 PM
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Other option is an Airport Express or any receiver that supports AirPlay - either supports Apple Lossless playback from iTunes (not as nice as an open lossless standard, but it does the job)...

Jeff

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post #9 of 17 Old 04-20-2011, 10:05 AM
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Audio Pro out of Scandinavia. You can stream wirelessly with out any compression to their speakers or buy the send/receive unit and stream to your system.

http://www.audiopro.com/
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-21-2011, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagorep View Post

Audio Pro out of Scandinavia. You can stream wirelessly with out any compression to their speakers or buy the send/receive unit and stream to your system.

http://www.audiopro.com/

This seems more like what I'm looking for. The sound quality of the Sonos transmit protocol and their speakers never impressed me. I'd rather pay more and get full-range uncompressed audio.
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-21-2011, 08:15 PM
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This Stereophile review confirms Sonos is lossless:

Quote:
I did check the integrity of the data transmitted over the wireless link, selecting a variety of Apple Lossless files in my iTunes library and played these on the ZP80 in my listening room. I recorded the ZP80's digital output on my laptop, using a Metric Halo FireWire interface to turn the S/PDIF data into SD2 files. These were then translated to AIF files, which were compared, bit for bit, with the original AIFs that had been used to generate the ALC versions. There were no differences, showing that Apple Lossless, the Sonosnet encoding and encryption, and the ZP80's data processing are all transparent to the original data.
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-22-2011, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

Is this the claim or are they claiming that they can handle any of these sample rates on the input side before compressing them for their wireless protocol?

Skeptical aren't we.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

Sonus is an 802.11g system. I was hoping to find something that utilized a 2.4GHz protocol

And what frequency do you think 802.11g uses?

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-22-2011, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm still trying to wrap my head around this whole wireless thing. I'm curious to know...Will non-lossy compression sound the same as no compression at all? What about upsampling? will upsampling to 48KHz give better audio performance than 44.1? And as far as bandwidth...how many Megabytes per second per channel do you need for HD audio? Also, if I'm putting video with audio, how much latency can there be before there's lip synch issues?
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-22-2011, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this whole wireless thing. I'm curious to know...Will non-lossy compression sound the same as no compression at all?

All else being equal, yes. What Sonos claims to do is package the audio in such a way as to improve the robustness of the link. That's an inaudible difference, until you need it.

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What about upsampling? will upsampling to 48KHz give better audio performance than 44.1?

No. It could theoretically be worse if the source is 44.1. Depends on the quality of the upsampler.

Quote:


And as far as bandwidth...how many Megabytes per second per channel do you need for HD audio?

There are many flavors of HD audio. The raw payload would be calculated by 24 bits x 96 kHz = 2.3 Mbps per channel, no error correction overhead included. 2-ch CD is 1.44 Mbps.

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Also, if I'm putting video with audio, how much latency can there be before there's lip synch issues?

Latency has no effect on sync if it applies to both the audio and video equally. If you're asking how much delay offset can be tolerated, it is dependent on the particular observer, but 30-40 ms audio lag is about where it becomes an issue. If you have an AVR with a manual lip sync control, you can try applying 30-40-50-60 ms delay and see how it feels. That would be the best way to judge. Use a news broadcast so it is actual synced content, not ADR movie content.
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-22-2011, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

All else being equal, yes. What Sonos claims to do is package the audio in such a way as to improve the robustness of the link. That's an inaudible difference, until you need it.

By "package" you don't mean compress... it's converted into packets?
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-24-2011, 03:04 PM
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Sonos doesn't transmit the audio, it transmits the files from a hard drive somewhere on your network. It's a networking protocol while in the transmit stage. Once the packets arrive at the ZonePlayer, it decodes them into audio.

It's no different from playing a lossless file -- like a FLAC or ALAC -- located on your computer with the media player on a laptop. The file is transferred over the network, is decompressed by the media player, and is output as audio by the laptop. The only difference is Sonos uses one of their specialized ZonePlayers instead of the laptop/media player, and they use their proprietary SonosNet instead of standard 802.11 wireless. The basic transport concept, though, is pretty much the same.

There's a lot more that Sonos can do, like stream to as many as 32 ZonePlayers in perfect sync, but that's another story for another day.
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-24-2011, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

By "package" you don't mean compress... it's converted into packets?

Error correction and buffering to ensure smooth playback.No compression.
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