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Sonos v Apple TV/Airplay for streaming

I have several different amp and speaker systems in different rooms, and several macs, one of which is connected to TV and main hi-fi. I also have 2 old airport express units and an airport extreme as part of my wi-fi network. I was also considering Sonos, as I'd heard the sound quality was better than Apple airplay.
I posted a question regarding this in another thread but am now making this new thread to avoid thread hi-jack.
The Sonos system will allow streaming from phones and tablets and from connected computers, as will the Apple airplay - with the addition of Apple TV (for streaming from phones and tablets -I don't have yet -costs 79)
Two helpful replies from the other thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alf M. View Post
The wireless streams are in Apple lossless format, 44.1Khz 16bit. Identical to a CD.

Sonos may offer higher sampling rates and bit rates (I honestly don't know) but

a) it can only ever be as good as the original source, ie a 96kHz sampling rate applied to a 44.1kHz CD won't make it any better..indeed the digital upsampling can make it worse,

and

b) even of the original source is a 96kHz sample rate, beware of the sampling rate myth:
Are high sample rates making your music sound worse ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 100th_Idiot View Post
Adding a decent DAC can make a difference though. I have a Cambridge Audio DACmagic plus. Well worth it for the improved sound.
Thanks for the replies
At the moment I'm thinking 79 for Apple TV might be my best bet, any other opinions/ advice?

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Personally I'd go for Apple Airplay on the grounds of maximum flexibility.

I am a Logitech Squeezebox fan so a lot of music is server based and encoded in FLAC. I have physical Squeezeboxes dotted around the place but as you may know this ecosystem has reached end of life with no further players available. Sonos is similar but arguably not as sophisticated. It could die off in just the same way.

One of my "solutions" is to carry on with SB on the server side but using an iPhone app (iPeng) to stream lossless to Airplay devices. In addition I can stream from online sources to the Airplay devices.

There is a 40 audio only non Apple Airplay receiver available that has optical out and is also DLNA compliant for Androids. I haven't tried it though.
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I have a Sonos system that I play in kitchen and office through a Sonos Play3 and in my living room I play it through my ARCAM amp and Monitor speakers.

Can't compare with Apple but I am more than happy with sound quality sourced from local drive or internet especially in living room.

Cost more than 79 squiddlies though.
 
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I'm happy with Sonos also for both local content, streamed radio and spotify. Only use in one room Into Cambridge Audio DACmagic plus feeding Rocksan Kandy amp to Monitor Audio RS6 speakers. Not worried about multi room. Kitchen has a media PC to Cambridge Audio amp with KEF speakers buried in the ceiling. If I move rooms I switch one off and the other on. I doubt you could tell the audio quality difference between Apple and Sonos given equivalent source quality and outputs so it is really a case of what fits your needs the best and is easiest to install.

Just your friendly neighbourhood Idiot.

Never argue with idiots. They will just bring your down to their level and beat you with superior experience.

Never make fun of a short idiot. It's not big and it's not clever.
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(Post Link) post #5 of 14 Old 03-08-14 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys!

I think I'll try the Apple TV, but will wait 'til Autumn when the nights draw in as I'm too busy enjoying the weather to be faffing about setting stuff up right now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrishendrix View Post
Thanks for the replies guys!

I think I'll try the Apple TV, but will wait 'til Autumn when the nights draw in as I'm too busy enjoying the weather to be faffing about setting stuff up right now
The only drawback with Apple TV from an audio only viewpoint is that you may need to switch the TV on to control it (but not always).

This looks interesting - audio only with Optical out -but as I have said I haven't tried it.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/WiFi-Audio-M...irplay+adapter
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(Post Link) post #7 of 14 Old 13-09-14 Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies above

Having done further research I found that overwhelming advice was to go for Sonos - coz it's flexible, user friendly and works.

Today I bought the Sonos connect (plugged in to my router and main amp and speakers) and play 5 (wireless in the kitchen). Very impressed. Easy to set up, great sound, control from phone, computer, ipad easy as pie.

......I have music files on all devices, which can stream to the sonos sysytem no problem, but it seems like a good idea to have a dedicated music hard drive so that all music files will be available to the system at all times. I have plugged this drive into my Airport Extreme, and my mac can see this drive over the network and connect to it successfully... but I'm having trouble selecting this disc as my music library for Sonos

Long shot, I know, on an Alfa forum but anyone got any tips?

UPDATE.
Got it working now!
I found advice on sonos forum - had to simplify name of airport network - now all is good

Last edited by chrishendrix; 13-09-14 at 18:56. Reason: Problem solved.
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(Post Link) post #8 of 14 Old 15-10-17 Thread Starter
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After 3 years, my Sonos connect gave up the ghost.
Richer sounds (where I bought it) seem to think that me leaving it connected to power all that time might not have helped, despite the advice from Sonos being that they are designed to be always on and use minimal power when not streaming music.
Any thoughts?

Anyway, as it was out of warranty I had to pay 109 (including return of faulty unit)for a replacement from Sonos (349 retail cost of new unit so seemed worth it).
I now have it back working and BONUS - I have figured out how to route audio from my turntable to anywhere in the house through the Sonos system. Vinyl in the kitchen - well pleased about this*


*not gonna beat myself up about being too thick to realise before now that this was possible
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Hi,

I am on my 2nd Sonos Play 5 Gen 2 (I will explain why its the 2nd later) the sound quality is awesome it is a great piece of kit!

HOWEVER! I got my first play 5 Gen 2 in April, it lasted a month before SONOS determined the wireless receiver was faulty, they sent me another speak (probably a refurbished unit) Which has lasted almost 5 months until last week when the same fault occurred. I have been in contact them about either a refund or an extended 5 year warranty over the original 2 year warranty for their poor product reliability. Still waiting to hear back from them... hopefully tomorrow.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danstevens94 View Post
Hi,

I am on my 2nd Sonos Play 5 Gen 2 (I will explain why its the 2nd later) the sound quality is awesome it is a great piece of kit!

HOWEVER! I got my first play 5 Gen 2 in April, it lasted a month before SONOS determined the wireless receiver was faulty, they sent me another speak (probably a refurbished unit) Which has lasted almost 5 months until last week when the same fault occurred. I have been in contact them about either a refund or an extended 5 year warranty over the original 2 year warranty for their poor product reliability. Still waiting to hear back from them... hopefully tomorrow.
Hope you get a good result!
I have two play 5s in my kitchen configured as a stereo pair, they do sound great and have been running trouble free (touch wood!) for 3 years now.
They are not cheap, and I will expect them to continue to function for many more years to come.
I have Tannoy speakers which are now 33 years old and still going strong, my main amp and turntable are both about 25 years old - this is what I expect from quality hifi.
With equipment connected to rapidly developing systems (such as Alexa voice control etc )I can see there might be a temptation for manufacturers to either deliberately build stuff with a limited life span, or not consider durability and longevity in their design spec. If they take this route they need to consider carefully the importance of trust in their brand, as I for one will not buy more Sonos gear if I have any more premature product failure.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrishendrix View Post
~I can see there might be a temptation for manufacturers to either deliberately build stuff with a limited life span, ~


I believe that is illegal under EU rules.

Or at least as implemented here in France, they must now put the life expectancy of appliances on the "score cards" along with efficiency ratings etc.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrimJeeper View Post
I believe that is illegal under EU rules.

Or at least as implemented here in France, they must now put the life expectancy of appliances on the "score cards" along with efficiency ratings etc.
That's good! How does that work with (for example) printers with software counters which will require a re-set to allow the printer to continue even though there's nothing wrong with it?
(This just happened to my Epson - I paid $8.99 for a reset key from a 'non-authorised' 3rd party to 'fix' my printer! )
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrishendrix View Post
Hope you get a good result!
I have two play 5s in my kitchen configured as a stereo pair, they do sound great and have been running trouble free (touch wood!) for 3 years now.
They are not cheap, and I will expect them to continue to function for many more years to come.
I have Tannoy speakers which are now 33 years old and still going strong, my main amp and turntable are both about 25 years old - this is what I expect from quality hifi.
With equipment connected to rapidly developing systems (such as Alexa voice control etc )I can see there might be a temptation for manufacturers to either deliberately build stuff with a limited life span, or not consider durability and longevity in their design spec. If they take this route they need to consider carefully the importance of trust in their brand, as I for one will not buy more Sonos gear if I have any more premature product failure.
Are your plays 5's 1st generation? Mine is 2nd Gen and like I say been nothing but problematic really. Maybe I am just unlucky!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danstevens94 View Post
Are your plays 5's 1st generation? Mine is 2nd Gen and like I say been nothing but problematic really. Maybe I am just unlucky!
Yes. That could be it, although luck shouldn't come into it imo, regardless of generation, a 4 or 500 quid speaker should work and last.
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