I'm trying to set up music around the house and would appreciate some feedback. Doing this DIY and so have been looking at sonos, Apple and HTD.
This is my specs
-key separator on direction is I'd like to be able to stream from subscriptions services (spotify) and internet radio and my own local content from single interface on an ipad
-decent sounding system (24/96 audio) in the living room (for example lets say I would a buy DAC up to about $500) and 16/44.1 in other zones
-ceiling/wall or basic book shelf speakers in about 6-8 other zones, which I can add as I go, once the core system is in place.
-happy with the same stream to all zones, but in sync
-would like the option of guests to play their own content to their zones.
-one interface on an ipad, maybe two. I'd settle for the sonos app for music selection for example, and another app for zone/volume selection, such as HTD's.
-possibly use irule which can program devices via IR/IP/wifi with global cache units.I'm a test eng. and can code software
-cat6 to all zones, to speakers and possibly keypads
-I'd also like the option of 24/96 playback but I may trade this for 16/44.1 for convenience in the system
-can home run all to basement
I'm thinking of 3 ways to achieve multi-room audio;
1. Using network players; sonos/SB Touch/Airport, and an ipad app to select music,volume and zones. SB Touch is also now discontinued. Sonos is expensive (I know..but works)
2. A Standalone multi-room controller (HTD) with an app to select zones and volume, and an attached source such sonos/SB Touch/PC with iTunes/Jriver etc with an ipad app to control music selection.
3. Dedicated whole house setup that combine the source and controller such as Niles, Nuvo and Russond, but don't tend to have subscription services, are dealer installed and very expensive, poor apps
4. Using multiple soundcards, but i don't know of any interface that can handle streaming services and separate out the sound card channels to independent zones and in sync. casa tunes could but their Xli card is no longer available and was only 6 zones. Not sure if Vortexbox could do this either
Couple of initial Q's
I know multi room with airports and ATV will work, but I'm stuck inside itunes, so no internet radio or spotify,
-Is the spotify app airplay enabled?
-If so, then using a mac mini/caps server/DAC/good Amp in the living room, and AE's (analog out) around the house, could I get spotify songs(320kbs) to ALL zones OR my Hi Res content (stored on the server) from a caps/mini-DAC/AMP in the living room and 16/48 around the house with AE's?
No local computer playback, so no Hi Res option, however V. good interface, streaming services, hence could use as a source to a htd controller
-can you connect like this;
Sonos Connect > Optical out > DAC > Multichannel controller analog source input > Multi-channel Amp > speakers per zone
Then use sonos app for playback and htd app for zone / volume selection
-would the controller degrade the DAC output?
- If there is no issue with the controller wrt signal integrity, I could always use a better AMP for the main listen room, and the multi-channel Amp for other zones
Any feedback is appreciated.