Anything like the Sonos ZP120 that is cheaper? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 09-12-2011, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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There is a good chance we are having a bathroom remodel coming up and I am trying to figure out a way to get audio streaming into the bathroom from my WHS

This is what I would like it to do:
Wirelessly connect (although I can run a cable if absolutely necessary but it would not be fun)
Play standard audio formats: MP3, MP4, etc. FLAC is not a requirement but would be nice
No Video playback is necessary
Connect to two in ceiling speakers*
Can be controlled by Android or a Windows based computer
Internet streaming is not important

The Sonos ZP120 seems like a very good fit but the price tag would be a bit hard for me to sell. Is there anything close that would work for <$250 or am I just asking too much

I tried looking around but most of what I see can do video as well and require a display to navigate well. I could be wrong but the Android apps for PCH and Dune do not look that great/versitile for navigating music

*I do have an extra receiver thats a tad old but it would work. If it had an amp like the Sonos ZP120 that would be preferable

Thanks guys
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post #2 of 29 Old 09-12-2011, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exterous View Post

There is a good chance we are having a bathroom remodel coming up and I am trying to figure out a way to get audio streaming into the bathroom from my WHS

This is what I would like it to do:
Wirelessly connect (although I can run a cable if absolutely necessary but it would not be fun)
Play standard audio formats: MP3, MP4, etc. FLAC is not a requirement but would be nice
No Video playback is necessary
Connect to two in ceiling speakers*
Can be controlled by Android or a Windows based computer
Internet streaming is not important

The Sonos ZP120 seems like a very good fit but the price tag would be a bit hard for me to sell. Is there anything close that would work for <$250 or am I just asking too much

I tried looking around but most of what I see can do video as well and require a display to navigate well. I could be wrong but the Android apps for PCH and Dune do not look that great/versitile for navigating music

*I do have an extra receiver thats a tad old but it would work. If it had an amp like the Sonos ZP120 that would be preferable

Thanks guys


airport express $99 optical and analog outputs.

or logitech

I owned both. I sold my logitech solution and now have two apple based whole house audio systems (1 at each house). Its a good solution for the money.

Sean
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post #3 of 29 Old 09-12-2011, 12:28 PM
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You could use the old receiver and grab a used squeezebox duet from ebay for around $200.

If it were me I'd bite the bullet and get the Sonos, but if it were not convenient to wire the ZP120 to your router then you would have to add another $50 for the Zonebridge and that gets you up to $550 total.

Sonos is worth every penny to me, but yours and others value propositions are likely different.

Jgiddyup
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post #4 of 29 Old 09-12-2011, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

airport express $99 optical and analog outputs.

or logitech

I owned both. I sold my logitech solution and now have two apple based whole house audio systems (1 at each house). Its a good solution for the money.

Sean

You're right Sean I forgot about the AE solution, but can you get iTunes running on WHS?

Jgiddyup
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post #5 of 29 Old 09-12-2011, 12:41 PM
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Dont know anything about WHS but you dont need itunes

Winamp or Media Monkey with plugin or airfoil or use an airplay compatible source.

Sean
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post #6 of 29 Old 09-12-2011, 12:43 PM
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Evidently getting itunes running on WHS is possible

\\\\http://techcrunch.com/2009/09/11/hel...s-home-server/
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post #7 of 29 Old 09-12-2011, 12:57 PM
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I use a 1st gen Apple TV for similar application in my home (porch/pool area). I use an old reciever via optical for the amp. I am able to fit all my muisc on the internal drive of the ATV. I occasionally sync the ATV with my windows PC w/itunes. Then only the ATV needs to be on to listen to music. You can control it with an iphone/ipod touch or from a PC. Works very well for me and is dirt cheap since I already have iphone.

Jay
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post #8 of 29 Old 09-12-2011, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerndl View Post

I use a 1st gen Apple TV for similar application in my home (porch/pool area). I use an old reciever via optical for the amp. I am able to fit all my muisc on the internal drive of the ATV. I occasionally sync the ATV with my windows PC w/itunes. Then only the ATV needs to be on to listen to music. You can control it with an iphone/ipod touch or from a PC. Works very well for me and is dirt cheap since I already have iphone.

Jay

Thats certainly another option. I use my ATV1 as airport basically and beam music to it from elsewhere.
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post #9 of 29 Old 09-12-2011, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

airport express $99 optical and analog outputs.

or logitech

I owned both. I sold my logitech solution and now have two apple based whole house audio systems (1 at each house). Its a good solution for the money.

Sean

Please forgive my ignorance but does that 3.5mm jack need a special cable to do optical?

Which logitech system did you have? Was it the Duet that jgiddyup mentions below?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgiddyup View Post

You could use the old receiver and grab a used squeezebox duet from ebay for around $200.

If it were me I'd bite the bullet and get the Sonos, but if it were not convenient to wire the ZP120 to your router then you would have to add another $50 for the Zonebridge and that gets you up to $550 total.

Sonos is worth every penny to me, but yours and others value propositions are likely different.

Just out of curiosity - what makes Sonos worth the money to you
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post #10 of 29 Old 09-12-2011, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerndl View Post

I use a 1st gen Apple TV for similar application in my home (porch/pool area). I use an old reciever via optical for the amp. I am able to fit all my muisc on the internal drive of the ATV. I occasionally sync the ATV with my windows PC w/itunes. Then only the ATV needs to be on to listen to music. You can control it with an iphone/ipod touch or from a PC. Works very well for me and is dirt cheap since I already have iphone.

Jay

Also very interesting.

I have an old HP tablet and I am trying to decide if I want to try and make a snazzy mount for that to control the setup. The other option is my Android phone. I need to replace it soon for work and I am pretty sure control apps still work if the soon to be old phone is connected to the wifi network. If I can get this to work I think it'd be a pretty snazzy remote that would work anywhere in the house

The logitech looks promising as well because it has its own remote

Great idea guys - thanks!!!!
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post #11 of 29 Old 09-12-2011, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exterous View Post

Please forgive my ignorance but does that 3.5mm jack need a special cable to do optical?

Which logitech system did you have? Was it the Duet that jgiddyup mentions below?



Just out of curiosity - what makes Sonos worth the money to you

It uses a standard toslink cable with a cheap adapter.

http://www.google.com/products/catal...ed=0CG8Q8gIwBQ

Like this.

I owned a number of logitechs including the duet. models dont really matter as they all work the same. Logitech costs in between the sonos and the apple solution. had more format support than apple and better streaming options native. I find it not as stable as the apple solution and not close the to the Sonos solution.

Why the Sonos Solution? It delivers what the logitech solution advertises without the frustration of the logitech solution. Its a premium product at a premium price. but still cheap compared to the audiophile systems from Meridian etc.

The apple is a cheap solution that works well with a good but not complete feature set. The sonos solution is the reference and logitech is the middle ground which I didn't like and its not worth the money over the apple system to me.

If I didn't have 14 zones the sonos would be top of my list. I've installed two for friends and I never get tech support calls. Highest compliment I can pay a product.
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post #12 of 29 Old 09-13-2011, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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post #13 of 29 Old 09-13-2011, 12:57 PM
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Everything Sean said regarding Sonos and it also runs on it's own network making it more reliable. I've had Sonos for 20 months with zero down time.

Sonos can also be controlled from iPhone/iPod/iPad, Android phone or Mac/PC. It requires no PC or server software to be running for it to work and the ZP120 has a pretty decent amp in it that will power 85% of the speakers out there to quite high volume levels. In your case it would also give you volume control straight from your computer or Android phone as opposed to messing with the receivers volume control, but there are relatively easy work arounds for that.

I've owned the Duet as well and have an Airplay setup in the house right now.

The Duet was not reliable enough for me and Airplay doesn't have near the functionality that Sonos does for how I want to use it.

So I basically just said exactly what Sean did with just a few more details.

Good luck in your search.

Jgiddyup
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post #14 of 29 Old 09-13-2011, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Fantastic information jgiddyup - thanks!
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post #15 of 29 Old 09-13-2011, 08:30 PM
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+1 on the Apple/Airport solution......IF you have or can switch to an iPhone. Otherwise it's not really finacially viable compared to the Sonos option. Content from the iPhone can be directly streamed via Airplay right to the AE...no PC needed and Apps like Pandora, lastFM, Spotigy make the Apple solution nearly as functional as Sonos for a lot less money. Consider the ability to add video to the network via ATVs and the balance begins to shift towards the the Apple network. And there's lot's more on the horizon via new Apps.
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post #16 of 29 Old 09-15-2011, 04:30 AM
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I'll add another plug for Sonos. It's the sort of technology that once you have it set up you sort of wonder how you ever lived without it and why no one else makes a comparable product. Here's a list of some differentiating factors:

- Control any zone, including media source and volume from your iphone
- Link various zones so they play the same source
- Play media and playlists off your NAS and other PCs you have laying around
- Play flac, mp3, aac, audible, wav, aac, etc.
- Browse/listen extensive list of internet radio stations
- Play SiriusXM
- Play Pandora
- Stupid easy to set up. Stupid easy to keep running.

I was not a huge fan of internet radio or Pandora before getting Sonos but now I listen to them with some regularity. It's an endless process of discovery which is pretty cool.

Yeah Sonos is expensive, but the value is there. I honestly think they overcharge for the product and believe that if they found a way to cut the price in half they would easily sell 4x as much or more. Perhaps they are a capitol constrained company and they can't drive growth that would give them the scale to lower their manufacturing costs. Who knows.
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post #17 of 29 Old 09-15-2011, 09:34 AM
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I use a squeezebox system with my WHS at home in six zones. I have a squeezebox duet powering the zone in my bathroom to two ceiling speakers. If you can figure out how to install a program (squeezebox server) onto your WHS, you shouldn't run into too many issues. The great thing about squeezebox is that it's cheap and platform independent. I control it with my android phone and tablet (free app) and my wife controls it with her iphone (also free app). You can even control a box from anything with a browser or another squeezebox touch or radio. Squeezebox also lets you play slacker, pandora, spotify, internet radio, etc. which I now use more than my own music.

I also bought a few squeezebox radios to stick in my kids' rooms where we didn't build in speakers. They love the toddler station on slacker.

I personally found that running itunes on my WHS with 100,000 mp3's bogged down the entire server. You may have a different experience.
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post #18 of 29 Old 01-13-2012, 01:56 PM
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Sonos also has iphone and andriod free apps. I think Sonos should definitely reduce their prices somewhat, maybe they are also afraid of pissing off all of their loyal customers who paid a lot more.

I'm 90% happy with my Sonos box but now that i bought a bigger house the price to upgrade to fill it with music is pretty scary.
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post #19 of 29 Old 01-13-2012, 09:15 PM
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The Apple Airport express system is great. I have two in my house. Just remember, you can only control up to six device at once. Most of us its not a big deal.
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post #20 of 29 Old 01-14-2012, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kneedragger View Post

The Apple Airport express system is great. I have two in my house. Just remember, you can only control up to six device at once. Most of us its not a big deal.

Thats not true. I have a 8 zone system that works perfectly.
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post #21 of 29 Old 01-14-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

Thats not true. I have a 8 zone system that works perfectly.

Sean, I may be branching the topic a bit but what do you use for amplification with the Airport Expresses?

I'd prefer the amps not be on all the time sucking electricity when not in use. There are some signal-sensing amps (eg AudioSource AMP-100) but I haven't seen anything specific to whole-house audio.

Craig
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post #22 of 29 Old 01-14-2012, 05:41 PM
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FWIW, I am pretty sure the ZP120 is the only one with a built in amp...
just make sure to budget $$$ and space for any other solution that does not also include a built in amp...

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #23 of 29 Old 01-14-2012, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exterous View Post

Just out of curiosity - what makes Sonos worth the money to you

I just works. You plug it in, set it up the first time and it just works. When I was researching this prior to my purchase of the Sonos system it was explained that I had two options. I could buy the Logitech system, have to putz with it every so often, reboot it once a month, or I could buy a Sonos. From my research not ALL the Logitech systems need this type of care and feeding, but my wife has ZERO tolerance for ANY putzing around, so my choice was simple.

I have owned the SOnos sytem now for 1 1/2 years. In that time I had to "reboot" the system once.

It plays music in FLAC or Apple Lossless formats (among many others) so it should easily work for almost anyone.

PLUS, you can buy it in multiple installation types. Buy a single speaker (Play 3 or 5) for the bathroom, then a "Connect" to install into your existing stereo setup and a "Connect:Amp" to replace the receiver in your bedroom that died five years ago and you never replaced. Multiple configurations, depending on what you need. And they are all wireless on their own network, so they don't interact with your home wireless network. Very slick.
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post #24 of 29 Old 01-15-2012, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

Thats not true. I have a 8 zone system that works perfectly.


So your telling me that you can have 8 Airports playing the same music at the same time? When I looked on apples support they said only six.

From their site.

Question: Can iTunes send a single AirTunes stream to multiple AirPort Express stations?
Answer: Yes. You can send an AirTunes stream to multiple remote AirPort Express units . The maximum number of remote AirPort Express units is up to six. The actual number that will work in your environment will depend on conditions such as building composition and radio interference, distance to the remote AirPort Express units, and available network capacity relative to your other usage.


Link

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1515
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post #25 of 29 Old 01-15-2012, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kneedragger View Post

So your telling me that you can have 8 Airports playing the same music at the same time? When I looked on apples support they said only six.

From their site.

Question: Can iTunes send a single AirTunes stream to multiple AirPort Express stations?
Answer: Yes. You can send an AirTunes stream to multiple remote AirPort Express units . The maximum number of remote AirPort Express units is up to six. The actual number that will work in your environment will depend on conditions such as building composition and radio interference, distance to the remote AirPort Express units, and available network capacity relative to your other usage.


Link

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1515

yes thats what I said. been doing it for years. actually done 9 but we eliminated a zone.
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post #26 of 29 Old 01-15-2012, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvr4Craig View Post

Sean, I may be branching the topic a bit but what do you use for amplification with the Airport Expresses?

I'd prefer the amps not be on all the time sucking electricity when not in use. There are some signal-sensing amps (eg AudioSource AMP-100) but I haven't seen anything specific to whole-house audio.

Craig


It varies,

Full Theaters
2 channel rigs
powered speakers
jam boxes...

northing like the audiosource. I dont think even the sonos has a 12V trigger but I could be wrong.
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post #27 of 29 Old 01-15-2012, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

yes thats what I said. been doing it for years. actually done 9 but we eliminated a zone.

Thanks for the info.
I'd love to try this, but I don't want to go buy 7 more just to verify.
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post #28 of 29 Old 01-15-2012, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kneedragger View Post


Thanks for the info.
I'd love to try this, but I don't want to go buy 7 more just to verify.

Whadda you need to verify. Sean's already told you it works.....he knows a little bit about this stuff.
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post #29 of 29 Old 01-16-2012, 10:36 PM
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Another option is an iPod Touch with a docking station (maybe something like http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-F8Z126-...6781551&sr=8-2 ).

I have both Airport Express and iPod connected to my main stereo - I end up using the iPod Touch most of the time. You can access Pandora, internet radio, etc - or iTunes Music on the iPod or from PCs on the network. I can also take it to other locations in the house or yard (works great with wireless connection at the pool 100+ft from the house with another docking station, stereo and speakers).

You can of course use it as a remote for the Airport Express etc as well.
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