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post #31 of 47 Old 08-26-2012, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyTT View Post

This is just the thread I wanted to start :-)
I've been looking at sonos, but I'd like something that hooks into my wider a/v setup. I too already have several existing amps & stereos in the house I'd like to utilize. I'm looking to make the move from WMC & mediabrowser to XBMC in each room. With the XSqueeze addin to XBMC that's got to be one of the best extensible unified interfaces around. Running it on a cheap android device something like a pivos XIOS attached to each amp or tv or stereo would deliver that same glorious experience.
Me personally it's the route I'm going to take with a few of the Sumvision nano slim+ (XIOS equivalent). I'll use the WMC machine as a media hub,or my qnap box I have. When the pvr is sorted I can't see a single interface beating this. I'm sure Sonos or other point solutions may be better or more reliable, but for a single solution, I'd like to know if there is better.
** edit - thought I should add that the nano android devices are cheap too @ less then £80 in the UK.

Sonos does have the unit that can do audio output for preamp, but its pretty pricey in the 300 range for the function of a 60 dollar Roku.
I like XBMC, and as long as you dont mind navigating its menu's to hear what you want to hear, its a good system.
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post #32 of 47 Old 10-14-2012, 07:21 AM
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I'm a bit late to this thread, but I need to add my two cents towards a Sonos system. I agree it is pricey for a music only solution, and I was very apprehensive at first, but once I bit the bullet I couldn't be happier with the system.

Here is the evolution of the system I currently have:

- I recently moved into a new home that had pre-existing speaker wiring and Cat5e runs to most rooms so the infrastructure was in place. After installing 4 Polk Rc80i ceilling speakers coupled with a PSW111 Sub (about $460) for the set, I picked up a Sonos connect and and Audiosource amp100 (both cost around $450 which is $50 less than the SonosAmp). This unit, when connected via Cat5 to my network serves as the hub to the music source. It provides access to all of my music stored on a Qnap NAS and also any internet radio source I choose. The Sonos connect and the Audiosource is a fantastic combination since the amp has signall detection and can just remain in 'standby' until I want to listen to something. It has no problem driving the 4 polk speakers and the amp. Once I have the volume set to the level I want on the amp, all other volume levels are controlled by the Sonos.

- I then added 2 Sonos play 5 at $400 a piece. These units are placed anywhere you have a power source and are served by the Sonos Connect. I place one near our dining room and the other is in the bedroom. If we have a BBQ outside, I move one unit onto the back deck.

Total cost of the system: $1700. This is alot of cash, I agree, but if you have an existing amp and speaker system, the price could be much less. The advantages of the system:

- Ease of use. We just use it, every day. I have a stereo system and a few PCs in the house, but we never use them anymore. I can't remeber the last time I listened to a CD on my existing stereo. No fiddling with the system. It just works and even my wife and kids can run it.
-Apps to suppport both iphone and android. We have one of each, and our phones control the system. The sonos app is free, and is as full featured as the PC control software.
-The sonos system is very versatile. The play5s can be moved anywhere on my property. The power supply supports 110 and 220 volt input, so a great choice for anyone who might be moving to a different country.
- Great sound. From quiet ambient dinner music, to inspired classical, to thumping the walls at a party, I couldn't be happier with the sound. Clear and full range.

So there is my set-up. I have 3 zones, 2 of which can be moved elsewhere if needed. All can play the same source, or you can play seperate tracks on each one. The two play5 can even be linked as a stereo set if you wanted. I've tried it a few times and it sounds great.

As with a previous poster, I do not work for Sonos, I'm just a completely satisfied customer.
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post #33 of 47 Old 10-14-2012, 06:34 PM
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While I respect your decision to enjoy your Sonos products, I would not suggest getting any of their products that have a DAC, preamp or amp (their streamers with digital out that go to a REAL DAC should be fine, however). The fact that they use class D amplification is very telling - I would much rather have something that doesn't sound like garbage (look at Bryston gear as a starting point) than an all-in-one unit that dissapoints me every time I turn it on, even if it costs a bit more or is more difficult to setup.

If you genuinely think your Sonos amplifier sounds good, all the more power to you, but my 45 day demo (including the replacement, as I felt I received a defective unit it was so bad) was painful. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.
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post #34 of 47 Old 10-15-2012, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.astley View Post

While I respect your decision to enjoy your Sonos products, I would not suggest getting any of their products that have a DAC, preamp or amp (their streamers with digital out that go to a REAL DAC should be fine, however). The fact that they use class D amplification is very telling - I would much rather have something that doesn't sound like garbage (look at Bryston gear as a starting point) than an all-in-one unit that dissapoints me every time I turn it on, even if it costs a bit more or is more difficult to setup.
If you genuinely think your Sonos amplifier sounds good, all the more power to you, but my 45 day demo (including the replacement, as I felt I received a defective unit it was so bad) was painful. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

What is so telling about using a class D amplification Almost everyone has switched to D if you compare it to an A/B you would be hard pressed to hear a difference in any audible range. And comparing it to class A sure there is a difference but at a huge sacrifice of being power hungry.
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post #35 of 47 Old 10-15-2012, 12:13 PM
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Class D amplification is obscenely cheap to design, implement and construct, and it is incredibly low power. As a result, products that rely on class D amplification tend to sound like garbage when compared to real equipment.

You are lying when you say that 'almost everyone' has switched to class D amplification. To my knowledge, not a single company that produces what I would consider audiophile-level equipment has a single product relying on class D amplification. I will not be 'hard pressed' to hear a difference between quality class A or A/B amplification and quality class D amplification - to me, the difference is plainly obvious, and I am supremely jealous of you if you genuinely cannot hear the difference, as you can save a small fortune on audio equipment and be just as happy. I, unfortunately, am not as lucky, and I am forced to spend significantly more on audio equipment to reach the same level of sonic enjoyment as you.

Electricity is cheap compared to the enjoyment I get out of a real stereo, so to me, the 'power hungry' claim is not a detractor.
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post #36 of 47 Old 10-15-2012, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.astley View Post

While I respect your decision to enjoy your Sonos products, I would not suggest getting any of their products that have a DAC, preamp or amp (their streamers with digital out that go to a REAL DAC should be fine, however). The fact that they use class D amplification is very telling - I would much rather have something that doesn't sound like garbage (look at Bryston gear as a starting point) than an all-in-one unit that dissapoints me every time I turn it on, even if it costs a bit more or is more difficult to setup.
If you genuinely think your Sonos amplifier sounds good, all the more power to you, but my 45 day demo (including the replacement, as I felt I received a defective unit it was so bad) was painful. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

 

I think the fact that you recommend Bryston in a thread with the title "Cheaper Alternative to Sonos" is very telling.   Bryston costs a bit more?   A Bryston 60 watt 2 channel amp retails for over $2,000, and that's pretty much the cheapest item they sell.    For many, its not a situation where "ignorance is bliss".  Its more like "the extra $7,000 in my pocket is bliss".     Heck, two Bryston XLR cables cost more than a Sonos Play:5.  

 

Also, how can you even compare setup?   With Sonos, you press a button and you are done.  Nothing comes close to that when you are dealing with separate components.  

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post #37 of 47 Old 10-15-2012, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by edpowers View Post

I think the fact that you recommend Bryston in a thread with the title "Cheaper Alternative to Sonos" is very telling.   Bryston costs a bit more?   A Bryston 60 watt 2 channel amp retails for over $2,000, and that's pretty much the cheapest item they sell.    For many, its not a situation where "ignorance is bliss".  Its more like "the extra $7,000 in my pocket is bliss".     Heck, two Bryston XLR cables cost more than a Sonos Play:5.  

Also, how can you even compare setup?   With Sonos, you press a button and you are done.  Nothing comes close to that when you are dealing with separate components.  

To me, a proper audio setup is priceless - I would rather work two extra weeks a year to afford a Bryston than to cheap out on a Sonos. My B60-RDAC (that's their 60 watt integrated amp with DAC section) cost me only $800, which is a 'little bit' more than a Sonos. I added a $200 HTPC to that, but I consider that cost-neutral, as even with the Sonos you need to store your media somewhere. The speakers are also cost-neutral, unless you choose one of Sonos' units with speakers integrated (hint: don't).

I'm not advocating going to ridiculous gear levels, but I still hold firm that Bryston is about the lowest you should aim if you have decent ears and appreciate music to any real degree, and that anything less means you are getting an incomplete experience. My bedroom setup cost about $1400 total (Bryston B60-RDAC, HTPC and Totem Arros), used, and I consider that to be absurdly cheap for the sound quality it produces.

With my bedroom setup, I push two buttons and I'm playing music. I don't see how that is much more difficult than one push, but hey, if you can't handle it... wink.gif
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post #38 of 47 Old 10-16-2012, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by s.astley View Post


To me, a proper audio setup is priceless - I would rather work two extra weeks a year to afford a Bryston than to cheap out on a Sonos. My B60-RDAC (that's their 60 watt integrated amp with DAC section) cost me only $800, which is a 'little bit' more than a Sonos. I added a $200 HTPC to that, but I consider that cost-neutral, as even with the Sonos you need to store your media somewhere. The speakers are also cost-neutral, unless you choose one of Sonos' units with speakers integrated (hint: don't).
I'm not advocating going to ridiculous gear levels, but I still hold firm that Bryston is about the lowest you should aim if you have decent ears and appreciate music to any real degree, and that anything less means you are getting an incomplete experience. My bedroom setup cost about $1400 total (Bryston B60-RDAC, HTPC and Totem Arros), used, and I consider that to be absurdly cheap for the sound quality it produces.
With my bedroom setup, I push two buttons and I'm playing music. I don't see how that is much more difficult than one push, but hey, if you can't handle it... wink.gif
 
Congrats on your bedroom setup.   This thread is about WHOLE HOME music.  Also, you may consider $1000 before speakers "cost-neutral" to a Connect:Amp at $500, but I doubt most people would.   
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post #39 of 47 Old 10-16-2012, 12:46 PM
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I guess we all have different levels of audiophileness smile.gif. My main system is a Yamaha reciever driving 2 x Energy V-6.3, 2 x Energy Conniseur series that are quite old and an Energy 12 inch sub. Musically this system is far superior to my Sonos gear, but since it is tucked away in a media room, the Yamaha/Energy is religated to movie watching duties.

I certainly like to save money where I can, yet still have some decent products. For me the Sonos fits the bill. I agree that there is better sound to be had out there, but for the shear ease of use, the Sonos fits the bill. My family and I have listened to more music in the last six months than we have over the past few years.
I must be one of the lucky fellows whose hearing is not up to par, because I think the system sounds good and company I have over for dinner parties agree.
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post #40 of 47 Old 10-16-2012, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.astley View Post

To me, a proper audio setup is priceless - I would rather work two extra weeks a year to afford a Bryston than to cheap out on a Sonos. My B60-RDAC (that's their 60 watt integrated amp with DAC section) cost me only $800, which is a 'little bit' more than a Sonos. I added a $200 HTPC to that, but I consider that cost-neutral, as even with the Sonos you need to store your media somewhere. The speakers are also cost-neutral, unless you choose one of Sonos' units with speakers integrated (hint: don't).
I'm not advocating going to ridiculous gear levels, but I still hold firm that Bryston is about the lowest you should aim if you have decent ears and appreciate music to any real degree, and that anything less means you are getting an incomplete experience. My bedroom setup cost about $1400 total (Bryston B60-RDAC, HTPC and Totem Arros), used, and I consider that to be absurdly cheap for the sound quality it produces.
With my bedroom setup, I push two buttons and I'm playing music. I don't see how that is much more difficult than one push, but hey, if you can't handle it... wink.gif

While I understand that every piece of equipment does not produce the same sound quality, this is not the thread to discuss it. I'm looking for an inexpensive multi room audio solution.
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post #41 of 47 Old 10-16-2012, 06:34 PM
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What about fusion research audio server? http://www.fusionrd.com/ovation.htm It's based on a squeezebox protocol. Seems way cheaper than the Autonomic MM5A http://www.autonomic-controls.com/products_hardware_mirage_mms5.php

The Autonomic prides itself on 4 different streams to unlimited zones and better sound 192 vs 96kHz 24-bit. I'm not sure if the Fusion is 5 zones or 5 streams to multiple zones.
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post #42 of 47 Old 10-17-2012, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by wildta View Post

I was thinking about doing this for my "whole home audio." Question for you, if you run a single sonos 120 handling two different rooms, each of the rooms would have to listen to the same thing though right? Or does sonos have the ability to split two different streams to each of the rooms independently?

Each zone player can run a different source but each individual player is limited to one source. Sonos is pricy but I have not found any other solution that is so flexible and has very good audio quality to boot.

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post #43 of 47 Old 11-23-2012, 06:52 AM
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As some others say; this is exactly the post I wanted to create.. smile.gif

After reading all about it.... I am surprised that we are all limited to Sonos... mad.gif

@archbid I can not agree with you any more with the time and cost calculation... we do make this mistake regularly... at the same time we have to agree that " i did it, from these scrap" is a priceless feeling to any geek smile.gif

OK

I am trying to achieve the same thing. To avoid any confusion, I am not an audiophile, I can live with class D amps. The environment (my rooms) are not perfect either lots and lots of reflective surfaces, odd shapes etc. However I would like to keep the stereo sound. that means 2 Sonos per zone frown.gif

My audio is stored in a NAS / SAMBA device which is on all the time. I do need around 5 zones / rooms.. sonos set up will cost me more than $3000 at least

1) I want to be able to control volume and what is playing for each zone / device / streamer.

2) I want to be able to play the same music in sync in all zones / devices / streamer so called party mode.

From an old projectI have few very low power embedded x86 devices with 15W audio amps smile.gif I also have 5" and 7" android devices left from another project... with these and XBMC I can do 1) without any problem. I can even add a plug in to the android remote control to do WOL for the devices so they can switch off when not in use and wake up to play.

How can I sync sound from different streaming devices, party mode?

Has any one managed to do this with any thing other than sonos?

sonos do this, are they the only one?

nippit
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post #44 of 47 Old 11-23-2012, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by nippit View Post

As some others say; this is exactly the post I wanted to create.. smile.gif
After reading all about it.... I am surprised that we are all limited to Sonos... mad.gif
@archbid I can not agree with you any more with the time and cost calculation... we do make this mistake regularly... at the same time we have to agree that " i did it, from these scrap" is a priceless feeling to any geek smile.gif
OK
I am trying to achieve the same thing. To avoid any confusion, I am not an audiophile, I can live with class D amps. The environment (my rooms) are not perfect either lots and lots of reflective surfaces, odd shapes etc. However I would like to keep the stereo sound. that means 2 Sonos per zone frown.gif
My audio is stored in a NAS / SAMBA device which is on all the time. I do need around 5 zones / rooms.. sonos set up will cost me more than $3000 at least
1) I want to be able to control volume and what is playing for each zone / device / streamer.
2) I want to be able to play the same music in sync in all zones / devices / streamer so called party mode.
From an old projectI have few very low power embedded x86 devices with 15W audio amps smile.gif I also have 5" and 7" android devices left from another project... with these and XBMC I can do 1) without any problem. I can even add a plug in to the android remote control to do WOL for the devices so they can switch off when not in use and wake up to play.
How can I sync sound from different streaming devices, party mode?
Has any one managed to do this with any thing other than sonos?
sonos do this, are they the only one?
nippit

Have you considered running the Squeezebox addon for XBMC? Off the top of my head, it's called Xsqueeze. I know you can play synced music with that.

Also: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=78431
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post #45 of 47 Old 12-20-2012, 09:22 AM
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why not add raspberry pi with xbmc and control it from a mobile device.... android as well as iOS
+ve
1 cheap ~$50-$60 including a SD card and HDMI cable (assuming u have a dac in AV processor)
2 works with loss less formats.
3 Video capabilities as well.
4 always on and low power consumption 3-4 watts

-ve
1 is not a good looking solution (if u care).
2 on the fly playlist not possible.
3 May crash on you sometimes.
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post #46 of 47 Old 12-20-2012, 09:42 AM
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i didn't see airport express mentioned in this thread. don't apple tv's require D/A conversion? an AE can't be had on ebay for $65, connect to an old pair of powered computer speakers and you've got music (streamed from itunes running on a computer) with volume control contrallable with any ipad/iphone/itouch
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post #47 of 47 Old 01-23-2013, 04:16 PM
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These are all very nice ideas, I like the WDTV idea and I actually did pick up a refurbed Roku 2 XS for $50 but this isn't a very good solution for outdoors when I want something permanently in place.

I guess the way that the installer is running the wires, I will have a lot of control, basically he will be running speaker wire in the rooms to a spot on the wall in that room, then from that spot he will run speaker wire and cat5e so I can do either, sent audio or whatever through cat5.

The only thing is I don't necessary want a amp or have the power run for a clean in wall solution in each room.
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