Airport Express or Sonos for 6 sone system? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Baselworld is only a few weeks away. Getting the latest news is easy, Click Here for info on how to join the Watchuseek.com newsletter list. Follow our team for updates featuring event coverage, new product unveilings, watch industry news & more!


Forum Jump: 
 7Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 38 Old 07-16-2014, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
baltik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Airport Express or Sonos for 6 Zone system?

Here is what I am trying to accomplish:

6 zone distributed sound system (12 in ceiling speakers)
all wired to a central closet.

Everything controlled wirelessly via Apple and Android devices (no keypads)

My initial thought would be to have 6 airport Express hardwired to a router and then connected via aux chord to a multi-channel amp located in the same central closet:
http://www.htd.com/Products/multi-ch...fiers/DMA-1275
or
http://www.russound.com/product_detail.php?i=1548

the amp would need to be able to auto-sense the input and switch accordingly..

Will this work as planned or am I missing something? Would 6 Airport Express all next to each other cause too much wireless interference?

Alternatively I could get 6 Sonos Connects at a MUCH higher price point but would obviously prefer to go the cheaper route if possible...

Last edited by baltik; 07-16-2014 at 01:21 PM.
baltik is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 38 Old 07-16-2014, 01:57 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,161
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 649 Post(s)
Liked: 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by baltik View Post
Everything controlled wirelessly via Apple and Android devices (no keypads)
Using the Airport Express for this purpose means that you're not just "controlling" the system - you're also using that device as the music source. Which means the device is either streaming music from the 'net, or you've got the music all stored locally. And more importantly, that will tie up the device while music is in use.

So sitting on the couch, listening to music while using the iPad to read / surf / play - doesn't work, because the unit is serving up music.

Controlling six AE's, selecting / deselecting, swapping apps, etc. all degrade the experience as compared to the fully integrated solution the zone player products provide. But yes, those are more expensive than the pieces parts you can assemble...

IMO these systems only get utilized if they're easy for everyone in the household to use. Too cumbersome, restrictive, or difficult to operate, and they get relegated to 'special events'.

So I'd recommend the Sonos Connect:Amp (instead of Connect plus external amp) for each zone - perhaps start with a few zones (or share one unit between two rooms / speaker pairs) - and add zones as budget allows.

Also look at the NuVo P3100 zone player, which is a 3-zone unit in a single unit. Can be had for a bit less street-price than 3x Sonos Connect:Amps.


Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #3 of 38 Old 07-16-2014, 02:54 PM
Senior Member
 
FlyingDiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 103 Post(s)
Liked: 26
No, you won't have a problem with wireless interference between the AEs, because for this usage you would have Wifi turned off on all of them. They would be connected to your network via ethernet.

I'm assuming you mean the amp would need to switch on/off depending on if there's a signal or not. There's no input switching in this scenario.

You would be using AirPlay to get the audio stream from the mobile device to the AE. Any iOS device can do that for most sources. I don't know if Android can do AirPlay at all. You need to check on that. You also need to check to ensure that the app for the music source you want to use is AirPlay compatible (but I think they pretty much all are).

As Jeff says, you're tying up the mobile device to provide the music, it's the source not just the control. If that's OK with you, then it should work. I have no idea what'll happen if you get a phone call, I don't use AirPlay that much from my phone. Where I used to (my patio speakers), I now have them hooked up to the output of a Mac mini, and I use the Remote app to control iTunes on that mini to play what I want to play. Only works with iTunes sources.
FlyingDiver is offline  
post #4 of 38 Old 07-16-2014, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
baltik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Thank you both for the thoughtful responses, the point about the iOS device being dual use and potentially causing issues when phone calls and text messages come in is very valid and not one that I considered. That said i currently do a lot of streaming to Bluetooth speakers and while the occasional phone call can be annoying I can certainly live with it especially since this would cut the cost of the system significantly. There are a few android apps that allow for airplay so not concerned about that. The Remote app workaround is a great idea and should work for all of my sources with the exception of Pandora.

Are there any other amp solutions i should consider?
baltik is offline  
post #5 of 38 Old 07-16-2014, 03:29 PM
Senior Member
 
FlyingDiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 103 Post(s)
Liked: 26
The Remote app doesn't work with an AE. Only iTunes on a computer or an AppleTV. It has to be something that's capable of being a source device (which the AE is not). I considered suggesting using AppleTVs, but they only have HDMI or optical as outputs, so that would really complicate your amplifier setup.

Here's another possible amp: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2

It has switching capabilities, but no good way to do that from your mobile devices (that I know of). But as a straight six-zone amp it could work.
FlyingDiver is offline  
post #6 of 38 Old 07-16-2014, 06:43 PM
Senior Member
 
Pvr4Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Near Toronto, Canada
Posts: 352
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post
Using the Airport Express for this purpose means that you're not just "controlling" the system - you're also using that device as the music source. Which means the device is either streaming music from the 'net, or you've got the music all stored locally. And more importantly, that will tie up the device while music is in use.

So sitting on the couch, listening to music while using the iPad to read / surf / play - doesn't work, because the unit is serving up music. ...
Sorry, Jeff, but you are completely wrong. The iOS device can certainly be used for other functions (surfing the web, mail, whatever) while streaming music. I believe it has worked this way since AirTunes was introduced.

Pretty easy to choose among zones with Control Center:



From:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4437
Craig
Pvr4Craig is offline  
post #7 of 38 Old 07-16-2014, 07:04 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,161
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 649 Post(s)
Liked: 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvr4Craig View Post
Sorry, Jeff, but you are completely wrong. The iOS device can certainly be used for other functions (surfing the web, mail, whatever) while streaming music. I believe it has worked this way since AirTunes was introduced.
No, sorry, I'm not.

You can certainly swap apps, so perhaps I overstated the lack of functionality for simplicity. But any application that produces sound will play right along with whatever is being streamed via AirPlay. Pandora plays fine in the background, but I can hear game sounds as well. And some combinations won't work at all - launching "Angry Birds", for example, halts playback from the Pandora app altogether.

So you can do basic tasks without much trouble, but stray into anything that makes sounds (effects, game music or otherwise) and the audio gets mixed in.

Airplay along with a PC/Mac running iTunes and using the Apple Remote app for control avoids this - but will be limited to stuff playable within iTunes. AirFoil can get around that, but then you face remote control issues, so would not be recommended for this type of solution.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #8 of 38 Old 07-17-2014, 08:55 AM
Senior Member
 
Pvr4Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Near Toronto, Canada
Posts: 352
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post
No, sorry, I'm not.

You can certainly swap apps, so perhaps I overstated the lack of functionality for simplicity. But any application that produces sound will play right along with whatever is being streamed via AirPlay. Pandora plays fine in the background, but I can hear game sounds as well. And some combinations won't work at all - launching "Angry Birds", for example, halts playback from the Pandora app altogether.

So you can do basic tasks without much trouble, but stray into anything that makes sounds (effects, game music or otherwise) and the audio gets mixed in.

Airplay along with a PC/Mac running iTunes and using the Apple Remote app for control avoids this - but will be limited to stuff playable within iTunes. AirFoil can get around that, but then you face remote control issues, so would not be recommended for this type of solution.
I don't want to belabour this, but I don't understand your use case. Why does it matter that game sounds go out via AirPlay? Normally, I don't play music while I'm playing a game but suppose I do. If the phone or tablet is the output device, I'll hear both. If the AirPlay zone I'm in is the output device, I'll hear both. Same result using AirPlay or not.

I suppose the issue could be due to other people in the same room? I think there are lots of easy workarounds:
-stream the music from iTunes on a computer
-let them stream the music while you play your game.
-mute the game sound effects
-talk to them instead of playing the game!
-etc

Sonos is pretty cool but some of us find it brutally expensive compared to what you can achieve with AirPlay. It seems 'fashionable' now on AVS to answer virtually all multi-room audio questions with "send buckets of money to Sonos". AirPlay--AirPort Express, AppleTV OR other AirPlay-enabled network receivers, etc--is a good and sufficient solution in at least some of those cases, IMHO.

Craig
(Personally I use a Marantz network receiver that cost about the same as a Sonos Connect amp. It does Internet streaming and is an AirPlay zone. But a lot of the time I'm using the built-in FM receiver because I like a couple of local stations. All controlled from my phone or tablet.)
Pvr4Craig is offline  
post #9 of 38 Old 07-17-2014, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
baltik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 12
I also think there is an advantage to using the phone/tablet vs the proprietary systems like Nuvo. since digital audio is always evolving you can be sure that the apple/google platforms will be at the forefront and are effectively future proof. Who knows how aggressive the proprietary systems will continue development especially when latest and greatest models come out. To be fair Sonos has been excellent in this regard but at the very least it will be on the mobile platforms first and a much lower price point..
baltik is offline  
post #10 of 38 Old 07-17-2014, 11:14 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,161
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 649 Post(s)
Liked: 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvr4Craig View Post
I don't want to belabour this, but I don't understand your use case. Why does it matter that game sounds go out via AirPlay?
Because it disrupts the audio (either by mixing or muting), whereas any other solution doesn't have that issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvr4Craig View Post
Normally, I don't play music while I'm playing a game but suppose I do. If the phone or tablet is the output device, I'll hear both. If the AirPlay zone I'm in is the output device, I'll hear both. Same result using AirPlay or not.

I suppose the issue could be due to other people in the same room?
Other people in the same room, other rooms, yes, that's certainly one of the biggest reasons. Two people listening to music in the same room while doing other activities is not uncommon. But yes, we're talking 'background music' here as a use case - if you're "listening" to music in the audiophile sense, you aren't playing a game on your tablet (or at least, you shouldn't be!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvr4Craig View Post
I think there are lots of easy workarounds:
-stream the music from iTunes on a computer
-let them stream the music while you play your game.
-mute the game sound effects
-talk to them instead of playing the game!
-etc
Streaming from iTunes using Airplay / Apple Remote is a great way to access a digital library. With iTunes Radio there's some amount of streaming support there, too. (I found iTunes' implementation of Internet Radio listening very cumbersome, though)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvr4Craig View Post
Sonos is pretty cool but some of us find it brutally expensive compared to what you can achieve with AirPlay. It seems 'fashionable' now on AVS to answer virtually all multi-room audio questions with "send buckets of money to Sonos".
$500 per zone is right in the mix when compared with other commercially available, turnkey product offerings from any of the major players when you tally up the costs for amp/system + sources + controller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvr4Craig View Post
AirPlay--AirPort Express, AppleTV OR other AirPlay-enabled network receivers, etc--is a good and sufficient solution in at least some of those cases, IMHO.
It certainly can be, and is absolutely a less-expensive solution. If one's usage model allows that to work, or budget precludes more expensive solutions (which for most of us is a factor), it can be viable solution. But those decisions should be informed ones knowing the limitations and how the "better" solution compare.

To me the worst outcome is folks that spend money for distributed audio and then never use it because of usability / stability issues. Done right these systems can be used daily. Done poorly they'll only get rolled out for special events...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvr4Craig View Post
(Personally I use a Marantz network receiver that cost about the same as a Sonos Connect amp. It does Internet streaming and is an AirPlay zone. But a lot of the time I'm using the built-in FM receiver because I like a couple of local stations. All controlled from my phone or tablet.)
The AVRs are doing better and better with their app implementations (early forms were really clunky in terms of music browsing). And you should check the Internet Radio support (vTuner / RadioTime) in your AVR to see if your local stations have a high quality stream available (an option depending on how good your FM reception is).


Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #11 of 38 Old 07-17-2014, 11:26 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,161
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 649 Post(s)
Liked: 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by baltik View Post
I also think there is an advantage to using the phone/tablet vs the proprietary systems like Nuvo.
Ok, but realize you're comparing one company's unique products and solutions to another. Apple's products are just as "proprietary" - by definition... What Apple / Google have is an ecosystem created around their mobile platforms. The audio companies like Sonos figured out they should leverage that ecosystem for the control aspects - and they support BOTH!

Quote:
Originally Posted by baltik View Post
since digital audio is always evolving you can be sure that the apple/google platforms will be at the forefront and are effectively future proof. Who knows how aggressive the proprietary systems will continue development especially when latest and greatest models come out. To be fair Sonos has been excellent in this regard but at the very least it will be on the mobile platforms first and a much lower price point..
It's a fair point, but more about the size of the companies involved and the resources / attention they can throw at the problem. But if Apple / Google decide to shift their focus, these types of solutions could be discarded as "not strategic". Not suggesting that would actually happen for these products, though...

But for a company like Sonos or NuVo who's whole business is in this product area - you know they'll be paying attention to what is popular with customers. However, Google or Apple may choose to NOT support a "popular" service/format because it comes from a competitor to one of their own products/services. Amazon support on AppleTV? iTunes Store on Android?

I hear ya on the "stability" / "longevity" argument - I just hate to hear "I don't want to buy from a small(er) company because I don't know if they'll be around" (and I'm putting words in your mouth here - so this really isn't directed at you, just a general rant ). It's a common, circular argument. If no one buys from them, of course they won't be around. But it's also exactly what I would say as a big company sales rep. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt!

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #12 of 38 Old 07-17-2014, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
baltik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 12
I get your point but Nuvo is owned by legrand and is basically smaller than a pimple on their a$$, it's a 12 billion dollar company with 30k employees, they could shut down that entire product tomorrow and it would be so small it wouldn't even touch their earnings since it's just a rounding error. Could the same thing happen to Apple and google? sure in theory but mobile music is a hell of a lot more central to their products than it is to a French industrial powerhouse.
baltik is offline  
post #13 of 38 Old 07-17-2014, 12:27 PM
Member
 
GlowingGhoul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 117
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by baltik View Post
I get your point but Nuvo is owned by legrand and is basically smaller than a pimple on their a$$, it's a 12 billion dollar company with 30k employees, they could shut down that entire product tomorrow and it would be so small it wouldn't even touch their earnings since it's just a rounding error. Could the same thing happen to Apple and google? sure in theory but mobile music is a hell of a lot more central to their products than it is to a French industrial powerhouse.
A whole house audio system without dedicated controls in each zone quickly becomes cumbersome for the users. You get a call on your cell, what are you going to say, hold on while I load up this app to turn down the volume?


Your idea sounds ok in theory, but in practice its going to suck. At the very least, get some cheap Android tablets and dedicate them to streaming and control duty.
MikeSVO likes this.
GlowingGhoul is offline  
post #14 of 38 Old 07-17-2014, 12:39 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,161
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 649 Post(s)
Liked: 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by baltik View Post
I get your point but Nuvo is owned by legrand and is basically smaller than a pimple on their a$$, it's a 12 billion dollar company with 30k employees, they could shut down that entire product tomorrow and it would be so small it wouldn't even touch their earnings since it's just a rounding error. Could the same thing happen to Apple and google? sure in theory but mobile music is a hell of a lot more central to their products than it is to a French industrial powerhouse.
True, although in that specific case, Legrand just recently (last year?) bought NuVo - so new to Legrand in the sense that if they didn't want it to grow, they wouldn't have bought it.

But yes, ANY of these products/companies can vanish at any time for a number of reasons - none of which have anything to do with the quality of the product or how much we like them... I certainly take the long-term support/potential into account when I buy stuff - but lacking any evidence that says they're on the decline or in serious trouble, I don't like allowing "company size" to become the deciding factor.

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #15 of 38 Old 07-17-2014, 01:47 PM
Member
 
GlowingGhoul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 117
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post
True, although in that specific case, Legrand just recently (last year?) bought NuVo - so new to Legrand in the sense that if they didn't want it to grow, they wouldn't have bought it.

But yes, ANY of these products/companies can vanish at any time for a number of reasons - none of which have anything to do with the quality of the product or how much we like them... I certainly take the long-term support/potential into account when I buy stuff - but lacking any evidence that says they're on the decline or in serious trouble, I don't like allowing "company size" to become the deciding factor.

The fact is we're only talking about the audio source being compromised by a lack of support if the company disappears or drops development for a product.


Lets take Nuvo as an example. Legrand drops support for the streaming hardware. Just hook up your iPhone/android streaming box as one of the inputs, and you still have a system with local control and access to any service available on those platforms.
GlowingGhoul is offline  
post #16 of 38 Old 06-15-2015, 09:32 AM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 0
@baltik ,

I am in the process of implementing an AirPort Express based multizone (5) pre-wired system in my house currently. (shocked that Sonos hasn't yet developed a device that allows multizone switching/inputs) and would like to hear how your implementation went. I've read numerous forums and websites weighing the pros and cons of various systems and have come to the conclusion there is no single device option for the wired use case you (and I) desire. In terms of simplicity (for my family at least), the Airplay distribution is by far easiest. typical scenario goes:
1. I get up in the morning, want to listen to news program via an app on my iphone over wired speakers in our bathroom while getting ready. (no time to fire up a PC, tablet/ipad)
2.Then, wife gets up, and does the same thing, but different app and programming, on her phone.
3. I migrate downstairs (now in kitchen zone), and have the same program/app follow me there, while master bath zone continues playing her content.
4. in the afternoons, wife moves to patio zone, wants to stream background music, again from iphone, as it is outdoors and cannot dedicate a PC there, nor stand up and operate anything from a keypad (do they still install those in this day of mobile everything? can't think of a single reason why...)
5. on weekends, guests may stream content from their (mostly iOS) devices to the patio or other zones, and prefer not to "train" them on anything outside standard iOS functionality and the wifi AP name and PW.
6. also have living room and basement zones, all which may have different content sources, playing at different times, w/ kids, etc.

All of these are extremely easy for kids and wife to do via the airplay functionality on the iphone, no additional app required, and its already intuitive based on using other standalone bluetooth audio devices already (car, speakers while camping, etc).

- so, which system did you install?
- if iOS, are you finding that mobile device-driven content is a problem with possible call/text/other app interruptions?
- if you went with sonos, do you find that introducing another app to the picture simplifies the situation or makes it more complex? does sonos offer outdoor speakers?
- any issues with the multi-zone amp?
jefemundo is offline  
post #17 of 38 Old 06-15-2015, 10:02 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,161
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 649 Post(s)
Liked: 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefemundo View Post
(shocked that Sonos hasn't yet developed a device that allows multizone switching/inputs)
Not sure I follow that - a stack of Sonos Connect:amp units (or similar setup) *is* a multizone system with switching and inputs for external audio sources. The only thing it's NOT is a bunch of zones in a single box. Or is that what you meant - having 2-4 Connect:Amps in one box?

NuVo has their P3100 / P3500 multizone streamer boxes (three zones in a 1U rack mount chassis).

The big difference is that in these WHA systems, they are taking care of the streaming instead of your phone doing that work. Moving around, sharing sources among zones, etc. are all easier and done from within a single app (Sonos, Nuvo, Denon HEOS).

And well, the other difference is cost. Simplicity and integration are what makes things relatively expensive...

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #18 of 38 Old 06-15-2015, 11:34 PM
Senior Member
 
XJBaylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 264
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefemundo View Post
@baltik ,

- if you went with sonos, do you find that introducing another app to the picture simplifies the situation or makes it more complex? does sonos offer outdoor speakers?
- any issues with the multi-zone amp?
Sonos isn't really "another app", it is THE app. No need to call up your music, and then pull up the zone to which you want to airplay in, then return to the app you are playing music from to control it. You just do everything in Sonos. Source selection, zone selection and volume. Want to play in 32 zones at once? Easy to do with Sonos. Want to change volume independently in all zones (or adjust them all together)? Again, exceptionally easy to do. Sonos isn't amazing because it does things other systems can't. It is amazing because of how easily it does all of those things.

Regarding Sonos outdoor speakers. No, they don't make any outdoor speakers, but the Sonos systems we are typically discussing on here are amps driving standard passive architectural speakers. So just pair any outdoor speakers of your choosing and go to town. I personally like Sonance, Episode, Niles and Yamaha (good budget outdoor speaker.)
XJBaylor is offline  
post #19 of 38 Old 06-20-2015, 05:54 AM
Member
 
Jimnicoloff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Six Sonos Connect Amps would cost $3k. And then you are totally locked in with no other options down the road unless you want to gut all of your sources and amps.

I think a better solution is to use one of the HTD systems, with one Sonos Connect, one Airport Express, and home theater preamp out as another input to the HTD controller. You can still put a couple of Airport Expresses directly on the amp (bypassing the controller) for rooms like your bathroom that don't have to be included in a "party mode" type of scene.

The downside of this is that you don't get that single app experience, you will need to jump into the HTD app to modify zones. But the up side is flexibility down the road, cost savings, and the ability to add sources other than Sonos. What if you want to hear the news from an iPad in the bathroom? Airplay is simpler in the majority of almost all use cases except for when you want one output over multiple zones or when you want to do something with sound on your iPad while it is also playing music. That last one hasn't been a problem for me though, really. I currently don't have the HTD system (just three distinct Airplay zones) and I just play music on my phone while I browse on the iPad, or vice versa.
Pvr4Craig likes this.
Jimnicoloff is offline  
post #20 of 38 Old 06-20-2015, 08:57 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,161
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 649 Post(s)
Liked: 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimnicoloff View Post
But the up side is flexibility down the road, cost savings, and the ability to add sources other than Sonos. What if you want to hear the news from an iPad in the bathroom?
You've missed a major feature of the Sonos (and the other zone player products from Denon and NuVo). They all have an analog audio input - so you can attach any other source, and it's made available to all zones in the system. You choose the "Line in" source in the app, and done.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #21 of 38 Old 06-21-2015, 09:46 AM
Member
 
Jimnicoloff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Ah I forgot all about that! Anybody out there want to connect an Airport Express to their Sonos and tell me if they start attacking each other?
Jimnicoloff is offline  
post #22 of 38 Old 06-21-2015, 12:16 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jautor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,161
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 649 Post(s)
Liked: 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimnicoloff View Post
Ah I forgot all about that! Anybody out there want to connect an Airport Express to their Sonos and tell me if they start attacking each other?
Sonos actually recommends that as the solution for supporting AirPlay!

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
jautor is offline  
post #23 of 38 Old 06-23-2015, 03:13 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Joe Fernand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Scotland, UK
Posts: 1,385
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Liked: 81
I use the Line-in on my SONOS system with a couple of old AM/FM tuners to ensure I can have certain live sports broadcasts which are not streamed online.


I also find the Play/Stop/Pause/Next option using the physical Buttons on the Zone Players is a handy function at times.


Joe

If I've helped 'Like' us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/Octavainc
Joe Fernand is offline  
post #24 of 38 Old 06-24-2015, 08:53 AM
AVS Special Member
 
AV_Integrated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Northern, VA - Washington, DC
Posts: 4,391
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 686 Post(s)
Liked: 546
This:
http://www.htd.com/Products/mid-leve...ller-Amplifier

and this:
http://www.htd.com/Products/mid-leve...e-audio/GW-SL1

Add a Sonos Connect:
http://www.amazon.com/CONNECT-Wirele...=sonos+connect

An Airport Express:
http://www.amazon.com/Apple-AirPort-...irport+express

Speakers and speaker wiring of your choosing, and you have a 2 source multi-zone system which can grow as you want/need it to.

Want more Airport Express units? Add them!

The Sonos solution is nice, and really isn't limited, but it ends up being about twice the price of what many may want, and may not deliver everything that someone may want, but it's pretty close, and should be for the price.

Of course, every time you want to adjust the volume you have to pull your phone out.
SMHarman likes this.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
AV_Integrated is offline  
post #25 of 38 Old 07-05-2015, 08:15 PM
Member
 
mike mcdaniel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North of Atlanta Ga.
Posts: 63
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I have a 6 zone amplifier with airport express on each input. Kids and wife love how simple it is. I also have a 5.1 amp in living room that has AirPlay. I use the computer and use iTunes's when I want to send signal to all channels and use apple remote on iphone to control it. I have at times walked thru house and kids playing tunes in each room and wife playing different in master room and me in living room. System works great and for $1000.00 I have full control from phone, iPad, etc.
Pvr4Craig likes this.
mike mcdaniel is offline  
post #26 of 38 Old 07-06-2015, 10:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
AV_Integrated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Northern, VA - Washington, DC
Posts: 4,391
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 686 Post(s)
Liked: 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike mcdaniel View Post
I have a 6 zone amplifier with airport express on each input. Kids and wife love how simple it is. I also have a 5.1 amp in living room that has AirPlay. I use the computer and use iTunes's when I want to send signal to all channels and use apple remote on iphone to control it. I have at times walked thru house and kids playing tunes in each room and wife playing different in master room and me in living room. System works great and for $1000.00 I have full control from phone, iPad, etc.
How do you play the same things to all rooms if you had a party going on?

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
AV_Integrated is offline  
post #27 of 38 Old 07-07-2015, 12:29 AM
Newbie
 
PLTurbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
This:
http://www.htd.com/Products/mid-leve...ller-Amplifier

and this:
http://www.htd.com/Products/mid-leve...e-audio/GW-SL1

Add a Sonos Connect:
http://www.amazon.com/CONNECT-Wirele...=sonos+connect

An Airport Express:
http://www.amazon.com/Apple-AirPort-...irport+express

Speakers and speaker wiring of your choosing, and you have a 2 source multi-zone system which can grow as you want/need it to.

Want more Airport Express units? Add them!

The Sonos solution is nice, and really isn't limited, but it ends up being about twice the price of what many may want, and may not deliver everything that someone may want, but it's pretty close, and should be for the price.

Of course, every time you want to adjust the volume you have to pull your phone out.

That sound to be a great option for my own project. However it's not 100% clear to me how this gonna work. Will I need to use the HTD apps for the zone contol, sonos apps for the streaming ? What about if my wife want to listen to some music from is Iphone ?

Lets say I will mainly do the following :

1- Steam music from my NAS. How this gonna work, how many apps do I will need to use ? The HTD apps to control the output ( zones, zones group, volume) and the Sonos apps for the steaming ?
2-Steam music directly from my wife Iphone/Ipad or my Android. Again, I guess I will need to use the HTD apps to control in which zones I want to listen to that music and to control the volume, and I'll use an AirPlay apps to stream music directly from the Iphone ?
3- I also love Songza, am I gonna be able to use it ?

Thank you !
baltik, sorry for stealing your post
PLTurbo is offline  
post #28 of 38 Old 07-07-2015, 10:31 AM
AVS Special Member
 
AV_Integrated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Northern, VA - Washington, DC
Posts: 4,391
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 686 Post(s)
Liked: 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by PLTurbo View Post
That sound to be a great option for my own project. However it's not 100% clear to me how this gonna work. Will I need to use the HTD apps for the zone contol, sonos apps for the streaming ? What about if my wife want to listen to some music from is Iphone?
The HTD product allows for you to use up to 6 sources of your own choosing. How you control them will typically be through a separate app.

So, you should be able to (I haven't used their product) launch the HTD app on your phone, then pick one of the six sources for the room you are in. Let's say you choose "SONOS #1 " for your "HOME OFFICE" - and the Sonos player is now routed the home office. You now go to your Sonos application and you choose your music and start playback. Sonos is nice because it offers so many features. So, you now have your music playing from the Sonos in your office, and you would use the Sonos app to change what is playing over the Sonos box.

Just as you described.

If you want to adjust volume in the room, you would go back to the HTD app to adjust your room volume.

This is why I like keypads in the wall, because you walk in the room, press the button that says 'SONOS 1', then start the audio playing, and you can use the keypad to adjust volume. It's nice, but tough to get wires there if they aren't there already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PLTurbo View Post
1- Steam music from my NAS. How this gonna work, how many apps do I will need to use ? The HTD apps to control the output ( zones, zones group, volume) and the Sonos apps for the steaming ?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by PLTurbo View Post
2-Steam music directly from my wife Iphone/Ipad or my Android. Again, I guess I will need to use the HTD apps to control in which zones I want to listen to that music and to control the volume, and I'll use an AirPlay apps to stream music directly from the Iphone ?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by PLTurbo View Post
3- I also love Songza, am I gonna be able to use it ?
Songza looks like it is an available app on the iTunes store, so you should be able to run that through AirPlay. AirPlay can do pretty much any audio application you can run on your iPhone, not just your own music. So, YouTube, Songza, Pandora, Spotify, etc. If you can download it, then you should be able to play it back through an Airport Express hooked up to the HTD box.

I have a client using a 16 source system which works this way. They have keypads, but can use their phones to choose sources and adjust room volume. Then they have his and hers AirPlay devices. He runs his phone to his AirPlay device, starts his music up, then walks into a room and uses the keypad to turn that room on/off and adjust volume. The rooms with surround sound get their own zone off the system as well (line level feeds to the surround sound receiver).

At the end of the day, these systems are very subtle. They aren't flashing in your face and they really aren't inexpensive to install. But, they work well and should be bulletproof reliable.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
AV_Integrated is offline  
post #29 of 38 Old 07-09-2015, 05:50 AM
Senior Member
 
Pvr4Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Near Toronto, Canada
Posts: 352
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
How do you play the same things to all rooms if you had a party going on?
iTunes on the computer can send AirPlay output to any or all of the zones simultaneously.

Craig
Pvr4Craig is offline  
post #30 of 38 Old 07-13-2015, 11:14 AM
Newbie
 
inwall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: West Linn, OR (Portland Metro)
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 2
I just wrote on this topic describing how to set up a 6 zone Apple Airplay Express system with a 6 zone multi channel amp.

Hope it's of some help to someone here:

inwallblog(dot)com/wp/apple-airplay-multi-room-setup-6-zones/
Sorry for mangled link. It appears I'm not allowed to post links until I get to 5 posts. I'll work on it.


Brian Kruse
Pvr4Craig and Montucky like this.
inwall is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Home A/V Distribution

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off