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Discussion Starter #1
After about five years of using SONOS, I read this article about SONOS layoffs.

Because SONOS is not publicly traded, we can't know their financial situation, and having been burned in the past by companies suddenly shutting down and disappearing, I decided it's time to have a SONOS bankruptcy plan in place. I'm also hoping a different product will fix some annoying issues that SONOS has felt are not worth fixing - like giant playlist support, lack of bluetooth, lack of AirPlay, lack of a headphone jack (luckily I've got an old PLAY 5 that has one) and lack of support for another bluetooth product (e.g. stream from a Sonos to a non-Sonos bluetooth product [like wireless headphones or outdoor speakers]). Additionally SONOS has actually been removing alarm capability, with the removal of a snooze button that was only available on their dedicated control unit. Now that my control unit has died ($300 for three years of use), I have no snooze capability.

First I picked up Amazon's Echo. Sound quality is vastly superior to the SONOS 1 and remarkably it costs less. With built in alarms and snooze functionality, plus the millions of other things Echo can do, I've already replaced one SONOS 1 and two SONOS 3 with Echo's, in each of the kids rooms, replaced my SONOS 5 in the master bedroom with one and threw a fifth in the kitchen. Since we never "group" music in the bedrooms, these Echo's have been a blessing, even helping the younger boy with his simple arithmetic because he can double check is division by asking the Echo the answer.

But now my bigger issue - streaming my music from my NAS box, Spotify, Pandora and Rhapsody for the Living Room/Patio/Kitchen.

This is where I'm intrigued by the Yamaha MusicCast system, Denon's HEOS and DTS Play-Fi. MusicCast appears to be SONOS closest competitor, but am I missing a few worthy competitors?
 

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I'm not that worried about the Sonos I own if something were to happen to them. Android products can cast directly to them (or you can add a Chromecast Audio) and iOS devices can AirPlay to them with an Airport Express. I personally don't even use the Sonos app at all - at the end of the day it's just a powered speaker...
 

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I'm not that worried about the Sonos I own if something were to happen to them. Android products can stream directly to them (or you can add a Chromecast Audio) and iOS devices can stream directly to them with an Airport Express. I personally don't even use the Sonos app at all - it's just a powered speaker...
Do you use the grouping function? I've noticed I can cast to Sonos devices from Android but never tried grouping without using the app.
 

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Interesting. Most people think SONOS has the edge because of it's easy to use app, and you can include me in that group. How does a child or a friend who might come over play music? We've got a SONOS in the guest bedroom with an old iPhone as a controller for friends and family who stay over.
 

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Do you use the grouping function? I've noticed I can cast to Sonos devices from Android but never tried grouping without using the app.
I don't use it but yes the casting on Android gives the same function you used to have to use the Sonos app for...
 

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Interesting. Most people think SONOS has the edge because of it's easy to use app, and you can include me in that group. How does a child or a friend who might come over play music? We've got a SONOS in the guest bedroom with an old iPhone as a controller for friends and family who stay over.
With Chromecast Audio, anybody (iOS or Android, at least, dunno about Windows) who is on your WiFi that opens an app that is supported by Chromecast Audio (examples include: Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, Rhapsody, etc) can simply "cast" to any individual or "grouping" of CCA's. It's just a button press, usually at the upper right corner of the screen. It's really great.

For Android users, even apps that AREN'T supported for Chromecasting can be cast from within the Chromecast app itself (example: SiriusXM).

[Edited: The poster below is correct, Tidal isn't supported natively, so I deleted it and replaced it with Pandora, which I believe is]
 
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With Chromecast Audio, anybody (iOS or Android, at least, dunno about Windows) who is on your WiFi that opens an app that is supported by Chromecast Audio (examples include: Spotify, Tidal, Google Play Music, Rhapsody, etc) can simply "cast" to any individual or "grouping" of CCA's. It's just a button press, usually at the upper right corner of the screen. It's really great.

For Android users, even apps that AREN'T supported for Chromecasting can be cast from within the Chromecast app itself (example: SiriusXM).
This works with Sonos as well, at least on Android. You can cast music to Sonos from your phone. Also, Tidal is not supported by Chromecast Audio, at least not on Android.

I'm running both Sonos and Chromecast Audio (just one Chromecast so I haven't tried multi-room with it) and I still prefer Sonos...although that price difference is really tough to ignore.
 

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Also, Tidal is not supported by Chromecast Audio, at least not on Android.
Apologies, you are correct. Native cast is not supported from within the Tidal app.

But you can cast Tidal (and anything else) to a CCA from an Android device, by way of "screen mirroring" using the Chromecast app... fyi.


I'm running both Sonos and Chromecast Audio (just one Chromecast so I haven't tried multi-room with it) and I still prefer Sonos...although that price difference is really tough to ignore.
I think the reviews and user responses on these forums speak for themselves. Virtually everyone that owns Sonos LOVES it. You hardly EVER hear anyone that owns one speak poorly of it. I know that, in general, people tend to praise the tech they own, as a means of confirming their own bias's and decision making, but the praise-and-support Sonos tends to receive from it's owners on this site goes wellbeyond that, IMO.

I'd always found the idea of whole-home-audio appealing, and as such had looked at Sonos several times over the last 5 or 10 years... I never ended up pulling the trigger, for two reasons:

1) Cost, which you alluded too.

2) Despite having visited their website several times and glancing at their products, I was unaware until AFTER I already owned multiple CCAs that Sonos had solutions for non-Sonos-speakers as well... how much of that is my fault, for not being smart enough to figure that out, and how much of that is their fault, for not being able to clearly articulate that to me, an interested potential customer, I don't know... maybe I"m just slower than most. :)

I've got 4 CCA's going, all grouped together under an "All Audio" grouping. I've been very pleased by the performance. The one connected to my primary setup bypasses the CCAs DAC in favor of my AVR's, and a recent blind listening test, flipping back and forth between identical playlists on Tidal HiFi and GPM, allowed my wife and I to go a combined 7-for-8 in correctly identifying the Tidal HiFi stream over the GPM stream... which is cool.
 

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But you can cast Tidal (and anything else) to a CCA from an Android device, by way of "screen mirroring" using the Chromecast app... fyi.
That's true, and it works well enough, but it's not the same as native casting. If you do screen mirroring your phone or tablet is still doing all the work and just sending the audio stream to the Chromecast audio. Kill the app or turn off your phone, and the music stops. Battery life takes a hit as a result.

But if you cast from a supported app, it's the Chromecast device that is doing the streaming, and you could turn your phone off and the music keeps playing.
 

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I had a whole house AirPlay setup with the Pioneer (Andrew Jones) units. They sounded great - the 25% of the time they actually worked. Totally unstable, drop outs while playing, and almost never worked the moment I wanted to use them without at least 5-10 minutes of tweaking. Two different houses, very sophisticated wifi setup in both, same result.

Fast forward a couple of years and I finally bite the bullet and purchase 3 Play 1s, a Play 5, and a connect for my surround system. The sound is wonderful (especially tuned to the rooms), and they are rock solid stable. I don't have any trouble using the app with my own library of music, Spotify and google music. The group functions and queue work perfectly for me. I know it's different strokes for different folks, but I love my Sonos.

The only thing I've read in this thread that I can't understand at all was the comment that the Amazon Echo speaker sounds as good as the Play 1. For me, it's not even close. I do not listen to anything on the Echo except spoken word because the sound is (to my ears) terrible. The play 1 isn't anywhere near as good as the play 5, but it's still pretty good and head and shoulders above the echo or the Bluetooth speakers I have.
 

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IThe only thing I've read in this thread that I can't understand at all was the comment that the Amazon Echo speaker sounds as good as the Play 1. For me, it's not even close. I do not listen to anything on the Echo except spoken word because the sound is (to my ears) terrible. The play 1 isn't anywhere near as good as the play 5, but it's still pretty good and head and shoulders above the echo or the Bluetooth speakers I have.
The Echo is certainly not as good as the Play:3 we've got. But the Echo gets a lot more use due to being so darn simple to use.

While folks may love their Sonos units, it's only through continuing volumes of sales that a company survives. At this point, without emerging tech features like voice control, there's not a lot that convinces me to want more Sonos units. I could use a couple more, and their audio quality is superb, but that alone is not enough anymore. If they'd make a skill to allow seamlessly redirecting music audio from an Echo to a Sonos I'd buy. Until then, not a chance.
 

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But if you cast from a supported app, it's the Chromecast device that is doing the streaming, and you could turn your phone off and the music keeps playing.
This gets lost on some folks. Not having your phone/tablet having to be on, charged and awake (draining batteries meanwhile) is a huge win for streaming features built into a device or dongle. The fewer pieces you have in the mix, the better. Sonos was a real pioneer here with integrating Pandora and the like right into the units. More things are doing this (and more) now and that's a good thing.
 

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The Echo is certainly not as good as the Play:3 we've got. But the Echo gets a lot more use due to being so darn simple to use.

While folks may love their Sonos units, it's only through continuing volumes of sales that a company survives. At this point, without emerging tech features like voice control, there's not a lot that convinces me to want more Sonos units. I could use a couple more, and their audio quality is superb, but that alone is not enough anymore. If they'd make a skill to allow seamlessly redirecting music audio from an Echo to a Sonos I'd buy. Until then, not a chance.
I agree, my number 1 feature desire for Sonos is voice control. Other than that I love it.

I just bought my first Sonos products about 5 weeks ago, so hope they remain financially strong for a long time.
 

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Did you all see the announcement that Alexa integration with Sonos will be here (by?) next year?
And if I understand correctly it's only going to be for new Sonos devices. I got the impression that it will not include existing Sonos devices. Now, I can understand why Sonos management would want to consider that path, as adding it existing hardware doesn't generate any new units sales/profits. I'd certainly be willing to spend "something" to have the feature added to existing hardware. Or the addition of a fancier bridge that handled the interfacing. But I have absolutely no intention whatsoever of buying any new Sonos devices as replacements if that's the only way to get Alexa integration.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
And if I understand correctly it's only going to be for new Sonos devices. I got the impression that it will not include existing Sonos devices. Now, I can understand why Sonos management would want to consider that path, as adding it existing hardware doesn't generate any new units sales/profits. I'd certainly be willing to spend "something" to have the feature added to existing hardware. Or the addition of a fancier bridge that handled the interfacing. But I have absolutely no intention whatsoever of buying any new Sonos devices as replacements if that's the only way to get Alexa integration.
I agree, I won't buy any new sonos products for voice control, but I'm not sure you will have to. According to this article it seems to be purely a software update.
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/09/amazon-echo-will-be-able-to-control-your-sonos-speakers-soon/
 

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+1

I have a Sonos Play-1 speaker and cannot remember the last i used their App. Like you said, its just a powered speaker to be used by other devices/apps.
How do you use the Sonos Play 1 with other devices, does it have a line-in or support Bluetooth? I thought their Wi-Fi connection was a closed system. Thanks Bob
 

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How do you use the Sonos Play 1 with other devices, does it have a line-in or support Bluetooth? I thought their Wi-Fi connection was a closed system. Thanks Bob
You can cast to Sonos with certain apps, like Google Play Music, and bypass the Sonos app completely.
 
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