I too like the concept of SONOS but it is overkill for much of my needs and at this time, I will also wait until after CES before I commit to it.
While there are a few rooms in my house and outside that I want unique audio to, in many of my rooms I just want backgroud music. I am not looking to drive high quality audio in those areas, and I want them to all get the same audio that the other rooms are receiving.
I too cannot run wires and in fact I cannot even have speakers showing in these rooms. So I have to find very unobtrusive solutions for distribution and sound reproduction.
If SONOS had some very inexpensive devices that could be deployed in this manner I would probably put it everywhere. But at over $650 a room for a Z100 and speakers, this is a ridculous cost, plus its far from unobtrusive.
I have done searches on every wireless distribution system, wireless speakers and wireless audio systems on the net. Its like playing a rubics cube. Each one has a suite spot but they all seem to fall off in one area or another. Here are the criteria I need to evaluate a system on for generalized audio distribution:
1. Needs to be wireless
2. Cannot interfere with my wireless phone (900 mhz) or my b/g network (2.4 ghz) - its ok to coexist
3. Must be able to send one broadcast to mulitple zones with no lag between zones (ie no audio delay)
4. Must be able to be easily hidden or so small its virtually undetectable
5. Must not consume significant power
6. Must be inexpensive (i.e. fractional from the Sonos per room price above).
7. Should be able to be integrated with a SONOS system as well as my existing HT based audio system
There may be no solution to these requirements out there today. Again SONOS is very close and if they dropped their price on the Z80/Z100 to about 20% of its current price, I think it would be justified for a whole house audio system.
I have found a few devices that seem to meet my needs and have ordered enough to outfit a four room test. However I am not comfortable at this time that it will work. After various reviews and discussions with vendors, there are mixed feelings that these components will actually do what I want and work as advertised. I will have these next week and by 12/9/2007 I should know if it will work in my environment.
Here are the solution elements I will be trialing:
(4) Yamaha NX-A01 One-Box Cubic Stereo Speaker - Black
(1) Amphony L1520 Model 1520 Digital Wireless Audio Transmitter / Receiver Amplifier Pair, 5.8 GHz, Stereo amplifier with 20-Watts peak output power per channel, No audio compression, stereo class-T digital amplifier
(3) Amphony Model 1520R Digital Wireless Audio Receiver / Amplifier, 5.8 GHz, Stereo amplifier with 20-Watts peak output power per channel, No audio compression, stereo class-T digital amplifier
I only found the receivers at one site and they are not stocking them at this time but will order them for me if I can get the 1520 pairs working first.
The speakers are only about $50 each and only one is used (bi directional stereo), the trans/rec pair is about $100 and the receivers are about $55 each. So my four room setup will only cost about $450 or $125 per room. Its not SONOS by any means, but it would allow all four rooms to receive the same audio, be wireless and unobtrusive if it works.
More about this after I get the units up and test their applicabilty.