Comparison of Sonos, Heos, Paradigm, Samsung, Bluesound etc? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-28-2015, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Comparison of Sonos, Heos, Paradigm, Samsung, Bluesound etc?

I am in the market for a new streaming speaker setup for my home. I currently have an old Logitech Squeezebox that I use daily for Internet radio and a Pioneer A3 portable boombox that I use occasionally for music. The Squeezebox uses TuneIn for various news/talk stations and we also play music (mono) on it. By comparison the Pioneer is 'stereo' but not really, it sounds mono. I use the Android app, BubbleUPnP, to send MP3s/FLAC from my DLNA home-server to the Pioneer but I skip my HD FLAC because its unsupported (and wouldn't sound any better anyway). I also send DLNA to my Yahama receiver in the family room but it is not reliable, e.g. it crashes if I try to skip songs. (I've had this problem with multiple AVRs so maybe it's a problem with my DLNA server -- J. River Media Center -- or my DLNA Controller, BubbleUPnP?)

I would like to get a pair of high-quality streaming speakers which can support all of this but I'm having a really hard time comparing the available systems. If I post a list of requirements, I'm hoping that owners of these systems can weigh-in with what/how their setups can meet my list?

I super appreciate any feedback I receive!

MY IDEAL GOALS
  • Available in large premium size, e.g. not just miniature
  • Ability to link 2 units for wide stereo separation
  • Pull MP3/FLAC from DLNA server
  • Act as DLNA renderer/target for BubbleUPnP
  • Act as stable DLNA renderer, e.g. not crash when skipping songs
  • Decode high-def FLAC, e.g 24/96 and 24/196
  • Accept analog input, e.g. from Squeezebox, for playback across both units
  • Accept wired network connection
  • Dual-band 2.4/5 GHz wifi
  • Physical volume controls, especially if rotary knob

FYI - THINGS I'M NOT CONCERNED ABOUT
  • I have not mentioned any specific online services; I'm pretty sure they all include TuneIn and I'm not committed to any music service as yet.
  • I omitted any requirement re multi-room because that's not important to me (yet).
  • Bluetooth would be convenient but hardly high-def

Last edited by sdsalsero; 11-28-2015 at 10:37 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-28-2015, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-28-2015, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Initial impression of Denon Heos from their online manual:
  • available in small, medium or large/premium size units
  • capable of stereo pairing
  • playback from local server though it's not clear if that's DLNA or Windows file-share
  • UNKNOWN if it acts as a DLNA renderer
  • NOT compatible with HD FLAC
  • able to playback local analog source, though maybe not across stereo pair?
  • Both wired and dual-band networking
  • Physical volume controls but not rotary

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post #4 of 8 Old 11-28-2015, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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The Polk Omni S6 manual says "DTS Play-Fi transmits high-resolution files, but it does down-sample them so that they can be distributed throughout a home." What? I found a Crutchfield review of the Definitive which says it down-samples 96/24 to 48/16, i.e., maybe that's the max you can transmit over Play-Fi ?

Also, the Polk Omni A1 is the only reasonably priced stand-alone amp ($200) whereas Denon, Paradigm and Definitive's are $500, which is more than their smaller speaker/amp combos. Probably, they're assuming that if you want to use your own speakers then you're not interested in saving money.

The Samsung R5/R7 play high-def FLAC, as does the LG Music Flow H7. But I doubt their speakers are very 'high def', both because of the brands and also because of the low prices, e.g. $300 vs $500-800. But the LG has a nice rotary volume knob :-)

Finally, I haven't seen any mention of DLNA renderers so probably none of these will work with my existing BubbleUPnP app. The Definitive manual, at least, mentions that it can pull files from DLNA servers. But I think they're talking about the 'generic' DTS Play-Fi app, i.e., I don't think they make their own app.

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post #5 of 8 Old 11-29-2015, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Summary of Martin Logan 'Crescendo':
  • Premium speaker components, e.g. folded-diaphragm tweeters, ext sub out
  • primarily a DLNA renderer, there is no app or built-in streaming services
  • No stereo pairing (much less multi-room)
  • UNKNOWN what formats it supports, there's no mention of FLAC etc in the manual
  • No dual-band wifi, but it has wired as well as BT 4.0
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-22-2015, 08:43 PM
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PLEASE NOTE: ANSWERS ARE IN
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsalsero View Post
Initial impression of Denon Heos from their online manual:
  • available in small, medium or large/premium size units YES
  • capable of stereo pairing YES
  • playback from local server though it's not clear if that's DLNA or Windows file-share DLNA
  • UNKNOWN if it acts as a DLNA renderer TRUE
  • NOT compatible with HD FLAC YES IT IS
  • able to playback local analog source, though maybe not across stereo pair? YES
  • Both wired and dual-band networking YES
  • Physical volume controls but not rotary TRUE
SOURCE: OWNER OF HEOS HC soundbar
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-25-2015, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 72.9.159.100 View Post
acts as a DLNA renderer? TRUE
That's great, thank you! So i can continue to use my preferred app, BubbleUPnP. I couldn't find anything in the brochures or manuals about the extent of DLNA support.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-25-2015, 06:48 PM
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yeah it displays both my emby and serviio servers
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