iTouch Home Audio to Replace Sonos? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-13-2010, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm building a house and have been researching solutions for multi room audio and streaming devices. No doubt Sonos dominates this market with the Sqeezebox in close second (not a post to debate this).

With the price point of $350-$500 per device I can't get over the fact that it really only streams/plays audio and at $200 per device you could essentially do something similar with an iPod Touch/iPod/iPad.

I'm not saying an iPod Touch alone could replace Sonos however it would appear one could create a similar setup based off multiple iPod Touch devices and still come out cheaper. Then if someone wanted to commercialize the solution, throw in an app, dedicated remote, and some custom docking stations and you'd quickly have an iPod Touch based solution with all the features and more Sonos provides.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-13-2010, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Let me give an example to base the discussion on. I understand the solution must satisfy a very wide range of scenarios however for the sake of keeping this discussion simple lets look at this scenario.

Situation:
-3 rooms with independent speaker setups
-Family room using A/V receiver as amp and 5.1 speakers
-Porch using un-powered in-wall speakers
-Bedroom using un-powered in-ceiling speakers
-1 Mac with iTunes music collection
-1 iPhone used as a controller
-Wireless Network



To stream music independently to all three rooms and have the ability to completely control (volume, songs, stream, etc.) each from an iPhone you would need the following.

Sonos
-1 ZonePlayer 90 for Family room $350
-2 ZonePlayer 120 for Porch and Bedroom (has built in amp) $1,000
-1 Remote (use iPhone app) $0
Total: $1,350



iPod Touch Solution
-3 iPod Touch $600
-2 Amps (iPod Touch can't power speakers on Porch and Bedroom) $200
-2 iPod Docks (for powering and digital outputs to amp) $60
Total: $860


I know the above solution doesn't completely compare however if it were to be commercialized and the following added it would still be cheaper, allow for more functionality, and you'd have the iPod Touch for more diverse use.

-A dedicated app that synced and controlled all iPod Touch and computers in your setup as well as pull in iTunes library (similar to the app Sonos created)
-A dock with built in amp designed to work with this solution (similar to the ZonePlayer120)
-A dedicated remote to control system if you didn't/couldn't use iPhone (similar to Sonos controller)
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-14-2010, 08:00 AM
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First of all, I presume by "iTouch" you mean an iPod Touch. And I can't for the life of me imagine why you'd need 3—or any, since you already have an iPhone.

A lot depends on whether you want to be able to play different music in different rooms at the same time. That requires something like Sonos, I think.

But if you're satisfied with a single stream at a time, all you need is an Airport Express for each room, plus the amps.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #4 of 4 Old 07-14-2010, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

First of all, I presume by "iTouch" you mean an iPod Touch.

Yes, sorry iPod Touch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

And I can't for the life of me imagine why you'd need 3or any, since you already have an iPhone.

The three separate iPod Touch would go in each room (Family, Porch, Bedroom) and act as the streaming capable device that outputs the audio. The iPod Touch basically functions as the the ZP90.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

A lot depends on whether you want to be able to play different music in different rooms at the same time. That requires something like Sonos, I think.

You're right, that is the beauty of Sonos. You can independently play music in whichever zone you wish and control each zone from as many controllers you wish. However with the assistance of an app you could also independently play any audio from the iPod Touch and if the app could link them all together you could play the same thing in each zone. Without an app you could still stream/play independently in each room however you'd have to walk to the iPod Touch in that zone to control. The key component to the sonos system is the UI controller interface and experience. I can't see why it's not possible to create a similar UI app that acts the same but instead of using the Sonos Zone Players you simply use an iPod Touch?

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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

But if you're satisfied with a single stream at a time, all you need is an Airport Express for each room, plus the amps.

Single stream may not be the worst thing in the world (still not Sonos par) however with airport express you still don't have a remote control and your computer has to be on. The Airport Express and Airfoil solution is great and getting really close to what I'm thinking however the key element is the ability to have full remote control with a great UI. I don't want to be listening to Pandora in the bedroom and have to walk all the way to the office computer to change the song/channel.

Thanks for the reply!
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