Sonos speakers? How are they?

spincut

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jan 19, 2005
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I was thinking about picking up a few for my place soon (how many and what sizes I've still be pondering), but I did notice others are getting into the higher end wireless speaker game (Bowers and Wilkins, for instance).

So I guess I was curious to hear how people think Sonos stacks up, and if there's even possibly anything better out there? Or if Sonos is still pretty solid?
 

fvbounty

Weaksauce
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Oct 12, 2009
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We have Sonos Play one's in the kitchen set up in stereo mode and they sound Great, there software is top notch, we have our music library set up through our Synolog Nas and use Pandora and Google play music for content on the Sonos, get it you won't be sorry, by the way setup takes about 5 minutes!
 

Nenu

[H]ardened
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I auditioned a soundbar, subwoofer and satellite speakers at a friends.
Pretty good imo.
The subwoofer goes quite deep and has decent power, its not the deepest though but works very well and looks nice.
The soundbar and satellites were pretty detailed and have a nice sound.
Overall, a pleasant experience if you dont want a full blown hifi.
Wireless works well and is seamless.
My friend controls it from his iPad.

I'm into high end audio.
The differences wont be that great for most people.
I prefer a more extended bass, better stereo imaging and higher detail.
But I could live with the Sonos for general use, I expected it to be much worse, high praise believe it or not :)
 

spincut

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I like the sub, but I got really unsold when I noticed it can't really be used like a normal sub addition to a regular home theater setup. Not unless you buy more Sonos crap anyway. And for a seperate sound zone for music I hardly need the oomph of a sub. The design is neat though.

I likely also wouldn't get the soundbar as I already have a full on surround sound setup in my media room.

That does however still leave the Play 1's, 3's, 5's, and some sort of combination of them to get that I'd still need to figure out.

I also am pretty sold on the idea that they're easy to setup, I guess I was just curious how the speaker quality stacked up to any of it's potential competitors.
 

TESLA

Gawd
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Aug 4, 2005
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Against their competitors, e.g. other wireless whole-home solutions, their speaker quality is quite good, probably the best out there when talking about all-in-one solutions (excluding some "if you have to ask" and niche installer solutions). And even against discrete systems their sound quality fairs decently.

No, I do not mean to imply that their PLAY:5 will compare favorably to a $400 powered monitor or passive bookshelf, but, critical listening aside, they get the job done well enough that one can forget that they are listening to a wireless lifestyle product.

To put this more in perspective, even as an enthusiast with thousands of dollars in speakers in the same room, I still find myself turning to the Sonos system over my main system for background music throughout the day. The convenience and polish of the Sonos system wins me over, and the sound quality of the system is enough to keep me satisfied for this use case.

That said, imaging and the lower frequencies (Sonos sub or not) aren't really quite there, due to the form factor. And anything approaching reference levels is straight out the window, for obvious reasons. I would, however, also note that while many other companies try to imitate the lower frequencies by pumping out "booming" (a real technical term that one) sound, Sonos does a decent enough job at working within the limits of their speakers without forcing them to reproduce beyond their capabilities. The end result is that you have sound with enough body to it so as to avoid sounding thin, but with less of the typical and, to many enthusiasts, undesirable faux bass.
 

Trimlock

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Sep 23, 2005
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They are the best as far as wireless/modular sound systems go. The key thing that ties them together is the software and how well it works in splitting up multiple sound areas.

Of course what you are paying for isn't so much a great sound quality (it is very adequate) but you are paying for very well made (and extremely patented) software integration that works like a beast on both android and iPhone.

I'm always finding myself wanting to buy a full set up of SONOS but I can't swallow the price they charge!
 

spincut

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jan 19, 2005
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Well thanks! the BW ones were tempting, but I guess nothing beats well established techniques.

Now just gotta decide what specifically to get. I guess I can just call Sonos and get some advice for that. Given each speaker is sort of self contained, it seems as if I don't need a stereo setup, but the right combo of 1's 3's and 5 (I probably would not need more than one 5 at least?) is still up for debate I suppose.
 

SiNGeD

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Jan 9, 2001
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I'm always finding myself wanting to buy a full set up of SONOS but I can't swallow the price they charge!

This is what did it for me, the overall sticker shock if you want add on parts to integrate into complete system. I had a SONOS Playbar for about two weeks and returned it since it was useless without the sub and could not decode Dolby Digital and DTS. Software integration on an IPAD was great and the ability to control music in various zones was impressive.
 

Dephcon

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Jul 27, 2004
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I will be very interested in trying the Playbar+Sub once I move and split off the HT gear into the basement and have something more elegant for the living room. I just wish the price of admission wasn't so high.
 
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