Dream? Nightmare more like.
Proper speakers on proper wire please. Less is more.
The big dog in the streaming Wi-Fi speaker business has barked and delivered a sub-woofer - called the Sub. In fact it launched it a year and a half ago, but we can only now write about this heavy boom-box, so to speak, because the damn thing costs the best part of six hundred quid and we've had to save up our pennies. It's …
No, any reasonably chunky cable will do. Mains cable is good. Much better at keeping signals in phase than wifi.
Audiophile and Sonos mentioned in the same article? Really? If I could afford to be an audiophile, I'd have me some Volti Vittoras. Admittedly they're $17,000 a pair but I can dream...
If I only had enough money for a Sonos system, I'd buy a proper amp and speakers, not some Fisher Price wifi lashup
Making a fashion statement is the most important part of being an audiophile. It's like having a letter on the side of your headphones.
Sure you could buy something that sounds better for half the price, but it would not look like a big black doughnut and be sort of wireless.
Yes,decent amp + Speakers is the way to go, but I do love the idea of whole house audio using the LAN for control, there is no reason lossless audio can't be shifted over a modern wifi and decoded in whatever box is being used to do the sound, which is pretty much what UPNP/DLNA does I think, the trick is synchronising playback and what is played back on each device, which last I checked UPNP/DLNA can't do.
Ive been looking at Bose's new system that uses WIFI, looks promising, if more expensive than Sonos.
>I've been looking at Bose's new system that uses WIFI, looks promising,
Wow you are probably going to get downvoted on that statement. I am far from an audiophile and even I know (and can hear) Bose with their paper cones are garbage. They are only priced like they are legitimate. The one exception I have ever seen was a few years back they had a decent looking and sounding sub $100 desktop computer speaker set but even then there was still better quality to be found for cheaper.
Chunky cable, indeed, very important. Decent speakers, not this plastic junk.
For that kind of money, I can at least afford a valve/solid state hybrid amp,a nd add an airport express to strearn digital music to it. Or a bluetooth audio adapter, if you don't mind losing a few bits.
You end up with a halfways decent audio system, and standardized interfaces, rather proprietary junk in a plastic enclosure. Junk with good D/A, but still <shudder>
Indeed, I was going to mention items like the Goldmund Reference turntable, and the Infinity Reference System loudspeaker... then there are Krell amplifiers. Six hundred quid being "audiophile"? Well, yes, not all high-end audio equipment has stratospheric price tags, but the speaker in question is not particularly expensive audiophile equipment.
And any decent shop should tell you that too!
When I got my CM9 speakers and Cyrus amplifiers I asked what type of cable I should use. They showed me some chunky, but not expensive, cable (around 2.50 a meter IIRC). As that was the type of thing I was already using I didn't replace it.
I asked what the hideously expensive cable was for and they said they had to stock it for some people to take them seriously even if they never recommended it. Some people just didn't believe that you could spend less than 1000 on speaker cable and so didn't.
I loved that shop, they saved me huge amounts of money by focussing on sound and not price when I bought stuff (I saw some lovely speakers - looked lovely, and had a price tag to match, but they said they were a waste of money and that the CM9s at half the cost sounded so much better. And they did!). It's a shame the owner decided to retire when the shops rent came up for renewal...
Glow in the dark audio as in '50s Mullard 5/20 (Maplin Millenium with E34L / E83CC and E86F) + a pair Roth Oli RA3 + bog standard B&Q 15A mains cable blows Sonos Sub away... seems to work fine with Virgin V+ box and Samsung TV. And it costs less than this Sonos 5h1te.
The Maplin Millenium valve amp schematics are still out there...
True hifi has as little 'processing' between source and speakers preferably using vacuum state audio :)
Paris as she was always fond of a 7' hot tube.
Did you miss the words "low end HiFi"? Spend only £150 on a Cambridge AM1 amp, a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9's and a Harmon Kardon Bluetooth Audio adaptor and I guarantee you'll be able to tell the difference between this and a £250 Sonos Play 3
""low end Hi(gh) Fi(delity)" - is it an oxymoron?"
Not really. As with anything, you can have low and high end of the range where each individual example will still be high fidelity compared with the mass market.
But you can use the term "budget end" instead...
Oh, it's far less than 50quid in parts. Probably more like £16 if they're running them off in quantity in a Chinese factory. It's all marketing, baby, just ask Bose. They used to be a technology company, now they're just a very good marketing firm with a herd of lawyers to patent and prosecute. Kinda sad, really. Dr. Amar Bose must have died an unhappy camper at what happened to his company.
Sound is air in motion. The lower the frequency, the more air you have to move for the same sound pressure level. Basic physics. It is possible to "cheat" the listener by having a very peaked response down around the kick drum range. Claiming that it's flat to 25Hz is absurd. I see that the article didn't claim that, but proper specifications would list the -3db point as the lowest useable frequency. Little bitty units like this will need a sensitive detector to pick up their signal at 25Hz. A unit this small isn't going to have the umph to piss off the neighbors either.
If you want to commit structural damage by Toccata and Fugue in D minor played on the big pipes, you are going to need more cone area, excursion and plenty more amplifier. (and a good sense of fun)
Foam will maybe cut some HF - but that won't be present in a sub-woofer in the first place. Maybe a sturdy MDF baffle shaped to give some asymmetry to the interior volume might work. On the other hand, if you're after the one-note bass typical of 'impressive' subwoofers, the standing waves may actually help!
I paid 750 for my sub sometime in the 90s - hardly use it now because I don't buy DVDs any more and haven't got any BluRay discs either.
It gets some exercise if I bother to stream music to the system but it never seems worth sending the TV sound to the system and the HDMI I have on this (Samsung) TV doesn't do Dolby Digital from my laptop.
Not that the stuff I have has DD, Netflix missing something there I guess - it's all about the HD now I think.
"Audiophile", especially the silly/expensive stuff, is relatively poor quality (sub hi-fi) kit sold to the domestic market, which p*ss-poor enthusiast magazines have been duping innocent (but usually non technical) music lovers into buying since around 1977. Monoblock amps, valves, etc .etc. have nothing to do with hi-fi.
Phew got that off my chest. Well the author says ...contemplative core... fabulous jolts as it climaxes... wonderful precision....It's like moving from a Trabant to a Mercedes." and so on and so on. That's great, but it sort of depends on what you were listening to before the sub woofer. I guess you were using rather small speakers ?
Possibly by the Illuminati via hijacked Freemasonry etc.; they were documented as being deliberate sponsors, mentors, or associates around major European composers, and even contributed to or inspired them; Bach, Mozart and others included! Lets just say that they had hidden, long term, IMO some harmful, goals which you may not like, and probably still exist without most being aware of them.
Have been having 3 sonos components, for around a decade now. Yes, the price tags are steep, but all the components last for years on years, and I love to never have to think about my sound system - those Sonos devices really produce great sound. All reviews love the Sonos Sub, even with its price tag. I am pretty sure I need to start saving money as well, just to be an even happier music listener for the next 10-15 years.
And Sonos not recognizing new components - happened to me once in around 10 years as well, but is usually caused by distortions or other WLANs around. Once paired, I never had an issue or dropped components.
"Sonos said it was going to introduce a cheaper, matt black finish box shortly after it launched the Sub but never did."
Yes they did, I have one. To honour their promise, for a very limited time you could order one. I did, and still have one.
They still do sell a Matte sub, it's listed in the Shop, though appears you need to be in the US, Germany or Scandanavia. And as stated was available for a limited time in the UK.
Sonos has impressed me. We have 3 of their demo units at my club and I have never seen a better example of "out of phase". These things can do that so well that even our most deaf members can tell.
As far as a 25Hz... those extra 5 make a huge difference which is why CDs replicate them.
I think I'll stick to my IRS
Down to 25Hz eh? Heard that one before. It'll produce something like a wet fart at that frequency and will sound nothing like a 21.8 Hz 64ft Organ pipe (Pedal F if you must know). Besides, before even casually thinking about subs you should be sorting out your room accoustics, which are crap in most buildings and not especially good in some so-called studios.
The vast majority of the posts seem to by from people who think Sonos is a wireless speaker system, It's not. It very much IS NOT.
Each Sonos component can work completely independently so you can have completely different sources playing from each unit if you so wish. The audio is not 'played' to the speakers negating speaker wire - it is STREAMED to the devices, decoded, amplified and played on the devices (So to answer the first post, the only thing better than than good quality speaker wire is a very very short run of speaker wire, which is what you get in a Sonos component)
The Sonos can stream and play music from anything at all, it's a perfect companion for Spotify, for example and pretty much every radio station you can imagine is on there. And podcasts.
It can play from Audible, 7digital, amazon, last.fm, napster and even The Hype Machine (to name but a few!)
It can also stream your perfect loss-less FLAK rips from your NAS, Server, PC, Mac, Iphone & android.
I have had a 7 zone setup in my house for a few years now and I can honestly say that it sounds amazing and I have never suffered audio echo or reverb due to things being out of state (I have seen this at sites however where they have had them plumbed in to the network via a switch without spanning tree support enabled) -
Each component can be wired or wireless. You don't need a 'bridge' if you can plug ANY of the components into the Network and the rest will mesh together wireless. You an even tap into this mesh if your home wireless is poor to pass through normal internet traffic rather than just the Sonos communications.
If you don't like the sound of the speakers in the components you can get a Sonos Amp which lets you plug in any speakers you like.
If you don'y like the sound of the Sonos Amp you can get a Sonos Connect which only has a pre-amp. I have this in the living room plugged into my Onkyo and KEF 7.1 system.
The point is, Sonos is not 'Wireless Speakers'
Regarding the SUB - you would really need a decent space to use this effectively, same goes for any sub, really - positioning is everything. If you have heard a 5 (or pair of 5's in stereo) the sound quality and range is lovely*, and I have no real complaints about the Bass. Sure things sound better through the AV amp and surround - but I would expect them to, that wasn't cheap! But nor does it do anything that the Sonos does.
*Unless you are the sort of person who buys things like: http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina47.htm
Yep. SONOS systems are Linux boxes. You can even download the source code (not to their fancy proprietary bits of course, but to the bog-standard GPL components).
I'm with Chris on this one. I *LOVE* the SONOS systems. I have a bunch of them in my house (3 play-5's, 2 play-1's in the kitchen and 4 connects to drive the surround-sound systems in various rooms).
I do have some really fancy audiophile speakers (JM Labs Focal Beryllium speakers) but the systems I find myself listening to the most are the stereo paired SONOS Play-1's in the kitchen, and the stereo paired Play-5's in the master bedroom, linked with a SONOS sub.
The sound really is amazing. Regular non-audiophile people listen to the bedroom system and just go "Oooh, that sounds different. How does it do that ?" It's the depth and richness of the sound that the SONOS sub adds I think. I now listen to music all the time at home as it's just so easy and convenient (controlled by my Android phone).
Oh yeah, one other thing. Wired is the way to go. Wireless just *SUCKS*. Always :-). All my SONOS boxes are wired (the house came with gigabit already plumbed into every room so that was easier :-). Even the one too far away from the wall-plate is wired via a ethernet-over-power box. Wireless *SUCKS* :-).
Only problem is convincing the wife to let me add more zones :-).
I always wonder how many artists play with deliberate de-phasing at low frequencies, I can think of a few tracks that have the effect in them which when played on a full stereo system (or headphones) produce an interesting effect but when played back on a 2:1 / 5:1 or 7:1 system just has the effect of ramping the bass up and down.
My living room system consists of a pair of Wharfedale Modus 8s and a late '70s vintage Onkyo receiver. It will quite easily blast the dishes off the shelves in the kitchen while staying squeaky clean - and (amazing concept) can deliver sub-200hz audio in stereo!! Wow!
This kind of performance doesn't come cheap, though. The Wharfedales I picked up for free on Freecycle from a guy who didn't want them anymore, so I had to pay for the gas to drive and get them, and the Onkyo was 35 bucks at the thrift store - plus rather a lot of effort to carry around, so you have to consider the cost of the food calories I used moving it.
But still, I don't think it's too bad.
Loved the comments, especially audiophile = hifi enthusiast with credit card. The whole set of comments has opened doors into music playback fields I didn't know existed. Sort your room out before sorting the audio out - that notion is, well, interesting. Music playing in my house is something we do in a room alongside other things - eating, reading, TV, meeting friends, chilling out and so on. It isn't just a listening room.
But I have got to listen to a high-end audio system to see/hear the difference. Are there demo centres anywhere near Croydon, UK I could visit?
I was going to be the naysayer about the quality of the sound, but...
a) I've never heard them so I can't really comment.
b) Let's face it, for most of the population they are going to be amazing!
I don't *think* that they would be for me, I love my CM9s and my Cyrus system too much! But for most people it's over the top :)
Then again, a 300 euro sofa that looks OK and is comfy and lasts for 5 years is fine for me (mine is currently at 9 years and, er, dead ;p), whilst I know people who wouldn't dream of spending less than 3500 on the same. The same people who would not dream of spending more than 300 on a 5.1 system with speakers.
"Music playing in my house is something we do in a room alongside other things - eating, reading, TV, meeting friends, chilling out and so on."
You only need a proper hi-fi if you are planning to listen to music on its own, without any distractions. If music for you is a background audio accompaniment to other things, you don't need to trouble yourself and spend time and money on hi-fi equipment.
You should probably look at some multi-room systems that make it easier to fill the house with ambient audio, rather than concentrate on fidelity issues.
Open E on a 4 string bass guitar is …. 42Hz. The lowest note on a 5-string is not that much lower. I can't remember the frequency off the top of my head. I'm not a musician, I'm a drummer. Below about 35Hz you aren't going to get much but the AC wind blowing across the microphone in the studio. Going down to 20Hz is just an exercise in credit card rewards points unless you fancy listening mostly to really big pipe organs at live levels. Even movies with heavy special effects aren't getting as low as most people think. The movies have to be mastered to play in theaters that have spent far less on the sound system than some audiophiles spend on interconnects.
Want impressive? Check out some of the stuff from Linn (linn.co.uk). If you have to ask the price…...
Ive been running multiple Squeezelite instances in a multi zone setup and the quality is good enough for me - this provides all the features of Sonos but with the ability to pair it with whatever amp/speakers/DAC you desire.
Plus everything is open sourced so the magic is visible in the code for anyone interested.
Sonos wins for simplicity but if you want better audio quality there are viable alternatives.
I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that Sonos gear is the tip of the Audiophile iceberg. That said the Play's do sound good (I've a 5 and a 1), and the main room feeds into Arcam and B&W's.
Yes I could probably get better sound quality by rooting around in a drawer for an old CD and playing that, but frankly that's a pain. I like the integration with Spotify or whatever of my now almost consigned to the cupboard CD's I've ripped. And I like that the same music plays in the bedroom and bathroom when I want it to. I like that it's bullet proof, the software is updated regularly and I can control the whole lot from my phone. Sometimes the sum of the parts are more important.
So no, it's not going to win a like for like competition with the highest end kit out there (possibly not even some mid range kit), but I listen to a damn sight more music using Sonos than I ever did before.
Would I buy the Sub? No, can't see the need for it. If Sonos did a product that could help with my mild tinnitus, I'd be all over that in a shot though.
There's lots of b*ll*x being spouted on here about this component and that component...
Take the average Joe Bloggs off the street and they won;t be able to tell the difference between most of these components. If you spend time training them to listen for specific differences then they might just about but really.... no, no they won't.
For most people adding a sub of sonos quality to a system without one is like going from a trabant to a mercedes. The author is right.
Compared to lots of similar audio quality deviceds Sonos is not cheap. But then sonos isn't just an audio device. It's a device to play sound from muliple sources to multiple speakers either in phase or separately. It does the job very well. You can walk from room to room and hear the same piece continuously in phase/synced. You can choose how to combine elements, I have an amp feeding speakers in my kitchen and separate devices in the dining room and living room.
If I had an audio room, tuned to be acoustically perfect, with a high end audio set up then maybe sonos and/or it's wouldn't be a good choice but lets face it sonos aren't aiming their devices at those people.
They aim their devices at people who want sound streamed throughout a building. Unless of course all your rooms are acoustically tuned and you sit there with the heating turned off so the vibrations don't distort your listening experience????
The author has it about right. It's an excellent set up for streaming sound around the average home with pretty easy set up and very easy controls.
I'm sure a bugatti veyron owner would tell you how much faster and more refined it is than a london route master bus but lets face it a route master will take 60 people over a mile in less time than the veyron.
Stop being silly ar$es.
Paris because even she could use it.
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