SONOS Backup Plan - Bankruptcy - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 57 Old 01-19-2017, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Pupator View Post
Half the people I know have Sonos.
If this statement isn't an exaggeration, you and I know and interact with DRAMATICALLY different subsections of the greater consumer market...
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post #32 of 57 Old 01-20-2017, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
If this statement isn't an exaggeration, you and I know and interact with DRAMATICALLY different subsections of the greater consumer market...
Oh, I don't think it's unrealistic that someone on the geek-end of the automation/media experience is going to know a lot of other people with the same kind of gear. Half? Maybe/maybe not, but it's not something I'd insult someone over.

The Sonos stuff really had a lot of appeal to a pretty wide segment of the market. Where they ran into trouble was deliberately ignoring/alienating the fringe end of OWNERS that really wanted to be able to 'do more' to integrate the stuff. Had they done more to engage that market they'd probably have had a better feel for the importance of emerging tech like Alexa. Instead they lived in their own echo chamber (pun intended) and totally missed the shifts in the market.
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post #33 of 57 Old 01-20-2017, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
The Sonos stuff really had a lot of appeal to a pretty wide segment of the market. Where they ran into trouble was deliberately ignoring/alienating the fringe end of OWNERS that really wanted to be able to 'do more' to integrate the stuff. Had they done more to engage that market they'd probably have had a better feel for the importance of emerging tech like Alexa. Instead they lived in their own echo chamber (pun intended) and totally missed the shifts in the market.
I don't disagree with that, at least for people that have already invested heavily in SONOS equipment and come to know/love the SONOS app.

But Sonos has a *serious* problem in terms of attracting new customers. CCA is a thing now. That genie isn't going to go back in the bottle. And at 1/10 the cost of a CONNECT, SONOS has to make a pretty strong value proposition to justify that dramatic price disparity, or they need to dramatically lower their costs...
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post #34 of 57 Old 01-20-2017, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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But Sonos has a *serious* problem in terms of attracting new customers. CCA is a thing now. That genie isn't going to go back in the bottle. And at 1/10 the cost of a CONNECT, SONOS has to make a pretty strong value proposition to justify that dramatic price disparity, or they need to dramatically lower their costs...
SONOS biggest issue is they maintain servers and other equipment to stream. The devices aren't just a direct link to Pandora/Napster/Spotify/etc. This creates a recurring cost that they don't make up with a recurring fee to the users. This lack of a recurring fee means tech support and maintenance must be paid for by continually selling new equipment. When sales slow, profits drop or worse they incur losses.

I don't believe they could pull off a monthly subscriber fee now. Their current users would flip out. But this cost issue could cause a downward spiral that could get out of control. Higher costs and lower sales means less money into new product development until they get so far behind the curve, they sell out to a larger company.

That's my bet with the CEO leaving. He doesn't want to be around when they give up control. I will speculate they are looking into selling the company to a larger company right now and will announce a sale within the year. They're not going to go public as some have speculated, as their sales numbers will have to be disclosed, and the stock market likes high growth companies, not those on the wrong end of the curve.

Why is there NO perfect equipment, only compromises?
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post #35 of 57 Old 01-20-2017, 03:18 PM
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SONOS biggest issue is they maintain servers and other equipment to stream. The devices aren't just a direct link to Pandora/Napster/Spotify/etc.
Are you sure about this? Why would Sonos maintain their own servers to stream music hosted by other services?
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post #36 of 57 Old 01-21-2017, 01:18 PM
 
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It's not an exaggeration to say that half the people I know have Sonos - it's not something I sat down and calculated to the tenths of a percentage either. Also, these are not geeks. These are normal people looking for a dead simple way to have the same music playing in two different rooms.

I chuckle at the comment about "dramatically different subsections of the consumer market," while there are others in this thread saying SONOS should have made a rack-mounted version. The fat middle part of the home audio user market doesn't have racks and doesn't have multi zone setups on their av receiver.

I've been asked by several friends over the years " What is the easiest way to have multi-room music?" The answer is always Sonos. $150/room (bought in two packs or on sale) is an amazing value for what you get. I have it now in six rooms, but we host a lot of parties.

Also, to the comment about the wifi needing to be perfect or nothing works - that hasn't been my experience at all. My wifi is all kinds of flakey. I had a multi room airplay setup prior to SONOS that was unusable the signal was so bad. The SONOS is rock solid to me. Two years in, we use it every single day, and I can think of twice where they didn't connect right away.
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post #37 of 57 Old 01-21-2017, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jnak View Post
Are you sure about this? Why would Sonos maintain their own servers to stream music hosted by other services?
I'm basing the statement about SONOS having its own servers on this SONOS employees response to this question.
"There are four servers of ours which act as intermediaries between Spotify, Amazon, SiriusXM, and Deezer."
https://en.community.sonos.com/wirel...ervers-6171963

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post #38 of 57 Old 01-21-2017, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleTheater View Post
I'm basing the statement about SONOS having its own servers on this SONOS employees response to this question.
"There are four servers of ours which act as intermediaries between Spotify, Amazon, SiriusXM, and Deezer."
https://en.community.sonos.com/wirel...ervers-6171963
Thanks for the link. Pasting the relevant bits below:

Somebody asked:

Quote:
Is it true that the music I stream to my Sonos system goes through servers at Sonos? And that if Sonos' systems go down I won't be able to get music from online services like Spotify and Pandora ? I thought that once I had my equipment set up and running, the streaming was handled by my hardware and my own internet connection.
To which a Sonos employee responded:

Quote:
In short, no.
And then goes on to explain that they collect usage data (which you can opt out of).
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post #39 of 57 Old 01-21-2017, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sooke View Post
Thanks for the link. Pasting the relevant bits below:

Somebody asked:



To which a Sonos employee responded:

And then goes on to explain that they collect usage data (which you can opt out of).
Maybe his wording is vague, but after he wrote "In short, no" he said "To be clear,SONOS does not send all play requests through Sonos servers. There are four servers of ours which act as intermediaries between Spotify, Amazon, SiriusXM, and Weezer"

Which makes me think that the request goes through SONOS servers, but if you opt out for privacy reasons, SONOS simply won't collect data on your usage. The request is still going through their servers, regardless if you opt out or not. Now the streaming is happening from the music service, but if the request goes through their servers it begs the question what happens if SONOS goes out of business? Will those services stop working?

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post #40 of 57 Old 01-21-2017, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I just found this link where someone wrote "The main concern would be the online streaming services, where some of them rely on intermediate servers that are hosted by Sonos. With them gone, the streaming services would be gone too (Spotify, for instance).

Hopefully, the streaming company would take over the hosting of the said services, and everything would remain intact. Concerning local playback and services that doesn't require Sonos hosted servers, you would still be fine."

https://en.community.sonos.com/setti...business-33313

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post #41 of 57 Old 01-21-2017, 05:26 PM
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The Sonos employee says he replied in detail to the original blog post, but unfortunately those links no longer work (for me at least).

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post #42 of 57 Old 01-21-2017, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't work for me either.

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post #43 of 57 Old 01-21-2017, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Pupator View Post
It's not an exaggeration to say that half the people I know have Sonos - it's not something I sat down and calculated to the tenths of a percentage either. Also, these are not geeks. These are normal people looking for a dead simple way to have the same music playing in two different rooms.

I chuckle at the comment about "dramatically different subsections of the consumer market," while there are others in this thread saying SONOS should have made a rack-mounted version. The fat middle part of the home audio user market doesn't have racks and doesn't have multi zone setups on their av receiver.

I've been asked by several friends over the years " What is the easiest way to have multi-room music?" The answer is always Sonos. $150/room (bought in two packs or on sale) is an amazing value for what you get. I have it now in six rooms, but we host a lot of parties.

Also, to the comment about the wifi needing to be perfect or nothing works - that hasn't been my experience at all. My wifi is all kinds of flakey. I had a multi room airplay setup prior to SONOS that was unusable the signal was so bad. The SONOS is rock solid to me. Two years in, we use it every single day, and I can think of twice where they didn't connect right away.
So a couple av enthusiasts who post on an av enthusiast website asked for rack-mountable equipment. This is not surprising. It doesn't change the fact that, in my day to day life, no one I know (ie, people who dont frequent/post on avforums) has Sonos.

As for what is the easiest answer for whole home audio, Sonos absolutely WAS the #1 answer on the board... until a certain $35 hockey puck hit the market...
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post #44 of 57 Old 01-22-2017, 01:06 PM
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So a couple av enthusiasts who post on an av enthusiast website asked for rack-mountable equipment. This is not surprising. It doesn't change the fact that, in my day to day life, no one I know (ie, people who dont frequent/post on avforums) has Sonos.
...sigh... what's your point, then? That your opinion of the market is better? Other than your ego, who does that help?

MY point was, and is, when vendors go out of their way to alienate segments of the market, they do so at their peril. Sure, it'll take some development work to address the integrator needs. It'll take saying some things that marketing droids might think are "too difficult" for their broader target demographic to understand (the kind of folks you seem to know). Which is likely true. What that ignores, however, is losing feedback from the integrators and their bleeding edge customers.

Here's another example of Sonos being tone-deaf:

http://www.cepro.com/article/sonos_d...mation_channel
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post #45 of 57 Old 01-22-2017, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Pupator View Post
Also, to the comment about the wifi needing to be perfect or nothing works - that hasn't been my experience at all. My wifi is all kinds of flakey. I had a multi room airplay setup prior to SONOS that was unusable the signal was so bad. The SONOS is rock solid to me. Two years in, we use it every single day, and I can think of twice where they didn't connect right away.
My experience has differed. Took two Play-5's and the subwoofer to a house that had wifi. Router was on the other side of the wall from the first unit, but siding was metal. Could connect to the first speaker, but it wouldn't play. Also wouldn't link up to the second speaker in direct line of sight to the first without any obstruction, nor the sub. Tried for hours to get it working. The problem was, we couldn't just forego the wifi and go direct to BT, so the entire party with over 100 people had only a small portable BT speaker to listen to instead of the ~$2500 setup that was purchased just for social gatherings like that one. If it can't connect properly to the wifi, nothing works. That is a big glitch to me. That wasn't the first time that happened, nor the last.

I completely agree that CCA killed Sonos. I love the Play 5 speaker from a sound quality standpoint, but the interface left a lot to be desired, the cost of things like the connect were just too high, and when it came down to it, there have been better options for a while now. Hopefully Google will buy them, use the sound quality tech to make a high end line of their voice activated products, all tied together with open platform programming so people can integrate it with anything. I'm really dreaming now ...
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post #46 of 57 Old 01-22-2017, 06:24 PM
 
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As for what is the easiest answer for whole home audio, Sonos absolutely WAS the #1 answer on the board... until a certain $35 hockey puck hit the market...
I'm not trying to be daft here - what product are you talking about? There's a $35 product out there with a good (even decent) sounding speaker than can do multi-room audio like the SONOS and stream from locally stored media or web services? Again, I'm seriously asking because I didn't know that exists and if it does I want to buy some and stop recommending SONOS.
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post #47 of 57 Old 01-22-2017, 11:49 PM
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post #48 of 57 Old 01-23-2017, 07:29 PM
 
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Ahh, thanks. I hadn't seen the audio only version of that - very cool.

Still, $35 + a powered speaker + a second power outlet nearby. That's not a deal-breaker, but it certainly narrows the gap between this an a Sonos Play:1, right? Does it also do the mesh networking effect to help spotty home wifi?
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post #49 of 57 Old 01-23-2017, 08:10 PM
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Ahh, thanks. I hadn't seen the audio only version of that - very cool.

Still, $35 + a powered speaker + a second power outlet nearby. That's not a deal-breaker, but it certainly narrows the gap between this an a Sonos Play:1, right? Does it also do the mesh networking effect to help spotty home wifi?
A "Google Home" is a mono speaker with a CCA built in to it. If you don't get a "deal price" (and deals aren't very uncommon, traditionally, for other Chromecast devices), they're $130, which I believe is $70 under a Play 1?

It uses just one power cable, it supports voice control, and has the Google Assistant built in, if you do any sort of Home Automation/smart home shtuff.

I have 4 CCA's and 2 Google Homes. They "group up" with other CCA's and Homes, the same as a CCA does.

"FYI"

Edit/Update - As I explained above, I think a Home is the proper comparison to a Play 1. A CCA puck fills the same kind of roll a Sonos Connect does... Gets your current equipment "in the game"...

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post #50 of 57 Old 01-24-2017, 06:24 AM
 
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Thanks for that extra info!

Getting Play 1s for $150 has generally been possible, either through the 2-pack ($300) or recent sales. For the $20 extra bucks I think the quality difference is worth it, but I could see how someone already in the Andriod/Google ecosystem would go the other direction.

What I don't see is what some others have said in this thread: that SONOS is doomed because of the products you've mentioned.
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post #51 of 57 Old 01-24-2017, 10:20 AM
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Thanks for that extra info!

Getting Play 1s for $150 has generally been possible, either through the 2-pack ($300) or recent sales. For the $20 extra bucks I think the quality difference is worth it, but I could see how someone already in the Andriod/Google ecosystem would go the other direction.

What I don't see is what some others have said in this thread: that SONOS is doomed because of the products you've mentioned.
As a heavy google/android ecosystem user, I will admit that if you don't have use for the "Google Assistant" features of the Home, I do think the case for a Google Home vs a Sonos Play 1 is certainly weaker than the CCA - vs - Connect debate. I've personally never had an opportunity to side-by-side compare the audio quality of a Home to a Play 1. I would not be shocked to learn that a Play 1 wins in that shootout. I do not believe my Home(s) are "poor", but my purpose for them is:

1) Google Assistant capabilities (adding items to my grocery list, hands-free, while making lunch/dinner in the kitchen, arming the security system, hands-free, as I walk out the door, etc).

2) Adding "auxiliary" whole-home audio capabilities (IE: background tunes).

For the purposes of just getting my whole-home-audio into a couple extra (less-important) rooms, they do the job, and I would consider them to be "fine" for that purpose.

For "primary listening areas", I have a Chromecast Audio hooked up to each of my three AVRs (one on each floor), and I am taking advantage of their optical-out feature (to bypass the CCA DAC in favor of the AVR DAC) in two out of three of those rigs... and I'm passing my uncompressed FLAC files to it via Plex, and getting CD-quality output within my whole-home-setup.

That's where CCA has "the big advantage" over Sonos, right now, IMO. The Home-vs-Play1 debate is a close one (I bought one of my two Home's on sale for $100, but I paid "full price" for the other), but the $35 CCA - vs - $300 Connect is a major price differential, that I think poses a real challenge for Sonos to justify. If the issue is Sonos superior means of handling spotty wifi, an apples-to-apples budget comparison gives the CCA purchaser $265 to work with to buy new/additional Network equipment and improve their WiFi, which will be a benefit not just to their whole home audio but to everything in their home that uses WiFi... and that's only for the first CCA-vs-Connect. I have three AVRs... once you spend that first $265 to fix your WiFi (if you needed to, of course, not every new whole-home-audio customer is going to have bad/spotty WiFi as a barrier-to-entry), the second opportunity to save $265 is just... money in your pocket... and who doesn't like that?
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post #52 of 57 Old 01-24-2017, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleTheater View Post
Maybe his wording is vague, but after he wrote "In short, no" he said "To be clear,SONOS does not send all play requests through Sonos servers. There are four servers of ours which act as intermediaries between Spotify, Amazon, SiriusXM, and Weezer"

Which makes me think that the request goes through SONOS servers, but if you opt out for privacy reasons, SONOS simply won't collect data on your usage. The request is still going through their servers, regardless if you opt out or not. Now the streaming is happening from the music service, but if the request goes through their servers it begs the question what happens if SONOS goes out of business? Will those services stop working?
You can cast Google Play Music directly to Sonos, or use the Spotify app to directly control Sonos now. In other words, you don't need the Sonos app to play music on Sonos. That would suggest to me that those services are streaming directly to the Sonos, not through a Sonos server. I could be wrong, but I just don't see why those services would have to go through a Sonos server to work when any other device can stream directly.
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post #53 of 57 Old 01-24-2017, 10:46 PM
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I've had half a dozen engineering jobs in my life. Never met a more arrogant bunch of prima-donnas than when I interviewed at Sonos when they were on top of the heap. It's no wonder they couldn't adapt to the changing market and see devices like the Chromecast making them totally irrelevant.
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post #54 of 57 Old 01-25-2017, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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You can cast Google Play Music directly to Sonos, or use the Spotify app to directly control Sonos now. In other words, you don't need the Sonos app to play music on Sonos. That would suggest to me that those services are streaming directly to the Sonos, not through a Sonos server. I could be wrong, but I just don't see why those services would have to go through a Sonos server to work when any other device can stream directly.
if you're using a device to link to SONOS then you're probably right and that will bypass SONOS.

It's just disconcerting that no one has given a direct answer to customers asking a "What if" question.

Why is there NO perfect equipment, only compromises?
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Originally Posted by SimpleTheater View Post
if you're using a device to link to SONOS then you're probably right and that will bypass SONOS.



It's just disconcerting that no one has given a direct answer to customers asking a "What if" question.


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post #57 of 57 Old 01-25-2017, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimpleTheater View Post
if you're using a device to link to SONOS then you're probably right and that will bypass SONOS.



It's just disconcerting that no one has given a direct answer to customers asking a "What if" question.


There is a Sonos beta program being undertaken for integration with Alexa

https://www.slashgear.com/sonos-amaz...year-30453866/

I'm sure google integration is planned too.

Sonos has a new CEO and he recognizes the need to open the products infrastructure up to remain competitive.



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