Amazon Echo is better than Sonos


I've had Sonos for over a decade. Started with a Play:5. Decent enough. Definitely not audiophile and doesn't compare to my B&W CDM 9NT speakers, nor do I expect it to, but I did hook a Sonos Connect up to that system for the better audio quality of those speakers. I also eventually got some Play:1's, a Playbase, a Sub, and a Sonos One.

Sonos eventually rendered my old system incompatible with itself. The older Play:5 and Connect are not compatible with the other newer speakers. If I try to play through all of them on the legacy app, the sound keeps dropping out. Their solution is to buy more of their stuff and junk my old perfectly working $500 Play:5 and both of my $350 Connects. Yes. That is over $1,000 in equipment they want me to junk.

Well, with the Echo, you can take the 1/8" jack and output audio to any type of amp and speaker. If the tech in the Echo becomes outdated, just get a new cheap Echo instead of throwing out $1,200 in equipment. In fact, I had an old, but good quality 100W/channel studio power amp in a rack and some decent bookshelf speakers, just hooked an Echo up to them, and they sounds way better than the pair of Play:1's that were originally in the room... And it still would have been cheaper if I bought everything new instead of using stuff I had lying around.

Granted, the audio quality of the Echo output isn't audiophile quality. However, if you pair it with a better speaker, it will sound better in many respects than any of the Sonos speakers. Also, if you want better quality audio, just get the Echo Link. Best of all, you won't be forced to throw out a perfectly good amp and speaker when Sonos decides to render the streaming portion obsolete.


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Well, with the Echo, you can take the 1/8" jack and output audio to any type of amp and speaker. If the tech in the Echo becomes outdated, just get a new cheap Echo instead of throwing out $1,200 in equipment. In fact, I had an old, but good quality 100W/channel studio power amp in a rack and some decent bookshelf speakers, just hooked an Echo up to them, and they sounds way better than the pair of Play:1's that were originally in the room

Also, if you want better quality audio, just get the Echo Link. Best of all, you won't be forced to throw out a perfectly good amp and speaker when Sonos decides to render the streaming portion obsolete.

Agree with all this the thinking; this is exactly what I have done, to the extent of using Connect Amps as just amps now with an Echo front end because where that is a Show 5/8, I get voice control otherwise not available in India, with album art as well.

I am not sure I would invest in an Echo link; I have never understood the point of it when even the Dot is a perfectly good source, with sound quality completely dependent on the downstream kit that it is wired into.

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Highly unlikely that Sonos would ditch streaming... In fact, Sonos as a streamer has probably the biggest choice of services. 

To my mind, there are other cons, eg. lack of chromecast, bluetooth in/out.

If you're not a fan of voice control, the Alexa control app is even worse than Sonos. 

Highly unlikely that Sonos would ditch streaming... In fact, Sonos as a streamer has probably the biggest choice of services. 

To my mind, there are other cons, eg. lack of chromecast, bluetooth in/out.

If you're not a fan of voice control, the Alexa control app is even worse than Sonos. 

Why the reference here to Sonos ditching streaming? No reason for them to do that, it is now their mainstay.

Does Alexa even have a control app? I haven’t found one, but have never felt the need for one, being able to use voice control and Spotify casting depending on what is convenient at the time.

I've had Sonos for over a decade. Started with a Play:5. Decent enough. Definitely not audiophile and doesn't compare to my B&W CDM 9NT speakers, nor do I expect it to, but I did hook a Sonos Connect up to that system for the better audio quality of those speakers. I also eventually got some Play:1's, a Playbase, a Sub, and a Sonos One.

Sonos eventually rendered my old system incompatible with itself. The older Play:5 and Connect are not compatible with the other newer speakers.

All your Sonos devices are compatible with each other under S1.  Your statement is simply untrue.

If I try to play through all of them on the legacy app, the sound keeps dropping out. Their solution is to buy more of their stuff and junk my old perfectly working $500 Play:5 and both of my $350 Connects. Yes. That is over $1,000 in equipment they want me to junk.

 

More nonsense.  The solution is to address your network issues.  There is no need for you to buy any replacement equipment.

Still, welcome to the forum, as you joined today after 10 years as a Sonos user!  It is a shame that you seem to have believed the misinformation spread by numerous trolls on here.  The S1/S2 split seems to be their topic of choice.

Well, with the Echo, you can take the 1/8" jack and output audio to any type of amp and speaker. If the tech in the Echo becomes outdated, just get a new cheap Echo instead of throwing out $1,200 in equipment. In fact, I had an old, but good quality 100W/channel studio power amp in a rack and some decent bookshelf speakers, just hooked an Echo up to them, and they sounds way better than the pair of Play:1's that were originally in the room... And it still would have been cheaper if I bought everything new instead of using stuff I had lying around.

 

This is a perfectly fine solution for a lot of people.  However, you’re limiting yourself to the streaming services Amazon offers, while Sonos offers quite a bit more.  To my knowledge, no airplay option.  You can play audio from an aux input or TV. You can’t play a bluetooth  or local music file source.  You could bypass your echo and play directly on the amp for some of these, but you can’t play that audio in any other room in your home.  You cannot change the rooms you’re playing audio in midstream.  You can’t do anything without an active internet connection. You can’t use any voice control but Alexa.

Again, it’s a good option for a lot of people, particularly if you just want easy streaming music for cheap.  I’ve got my mother setup with echos, as it meets her needs better than Sonos.  She doesn’t even connect them to a better amp/speakers.  But I certainly would not say that Echos are better than Sonos.

 

 

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If you only use an Echo dot to feed a non-connected amp you are, at least financially,les vulnerable to electronics that stop receiving updates. You’ll only need to replace a part of your system when the updates end on the part that connects to the net. This is the timeline for Amazon devices: https://www.aftvnews.com/when-each-fire-tv-fire-tv-stick-and-fire-tv-cube-model-will-stop-receiving-software-updates/

 

Note that Sonos still gets security updates to players that could have been produced in 2006. It’s just that you cannot group them anymore with (some of the) newer stuff.

If you only use an Echo dot to feed a non-connected amp you are, at least financially,les vulnerable to electronics that stop receiving updates.

That is one part of the rationale. The other part is that new features to existing Echos are available immediately - while the Sonos Alexa integration involves a wait for these, and some may not even make it to there. With SVC this delay may no longer be there, I don’t know SVC - the new Sonos voice control feature - but I suspect the same may apply.

Then there is the case where Amazon releases a brand new front end, loaded with the latest in smarts, and it will still make financial sense to just replace the older front end without letting the downstream audio components go to a landfill, especially if these are quality components.

Not to forget the opportunity today to use even the humble Dot to drive audio components that are better than the best of Sonos to get sound quality that is correspondingly superior, knowing too that these can survive the Dot being superseded, and therefore justify a higher spend on them.

Now it is understandable that financial investment translates to emotional attachment, and for people with such an attachment to not accept that Echos could be better than Sonos, except as a cheap solution. 

Having used/using both, I will just say that Echos now offer a very viable option to Sonos, for those that want cheap and cheerful all the way to those that want high end audiophile set ups. In the latter case, they just need to get over a hang up for Dot as a source in such a set up. But they also have to make the same mental leap to use the Connect/Port in a like manner. 

There is also the opportunity to use the Dot to drive active speakers of excellent quality and value, if sourced from the pro audio maker product lines whose target customers refuse to pay for frills like veneered carpentry. From a vast range of price points - USD 100 to maybe USD 2000 a pair.

PS: I have always found it ironic that a lot of Sonos fans are also Apple haters - Apple and Sonos basically treat their customers in a like manner via bundled hardware. Sonos has even copied Apple extensively in product and package design. Which is all fine of course, but the Apple hate in Sonos fans is amusing.

 You can’t play a bluetooth  or local music file source.

 

 

False, where local music is concerned. I play mine often, using voice control and also get album art when played on Echo Show devices - even SVC cannot voice command local music to start as far as I know, and album art is beyond Sonos, no model offers a screen option. Yes, even this needs the Show to be connected to the internet, but even in India, this is now as much a utility as is mains power.

PS: I don’t use bluetooth, but I am pretty sure the BT claim quoted is also false.

 

If you only use an Echo dot to feed a non-connected amp you are, at least financially,les vulnerable to electronics that stop receiving updates. You’ll only need to replace a part of your system when the updates end on the part that connects to the net. This is the timeline for Amazon devices: https://www.aftvnews.com/when-each-fire-tv-fire-tv-stick-and-fire-tv-cube-model-will-stop-receiving-software-updates/

 

Note that Sonos still gets security updates to players that could have been produced in 2006. It’s just that you cannot group them anymore with (some of the) newer stuff.

 

The link is for firetv devices only, and I’m not sure you can assume a similar schedule for echo devices, I could be wrong, but I think all devices are still supported and can connect with all other echos.  Regardless, the point still stands that a more component based setup, where a single device performs are granular function in your system, will tend to have lower replacement costs.

 You can’t play a bluetooth  or local music file source.

 

 

False, where local music is concerned. I play mine often, using voice control and also get album art when played on Echo Show devices - even SVC cannot voice command local music to start as far as I know, and album art is beyond Sonos, no model offers a screen option. Yes, even this needs the Show to be connected to the internet, but even in India, this is now as much a utility as is mains power.

 

Are you using a 3rd party skill to access local files, or is it standard Alexa functionality?  Can you play the audio on multiple echos at the same time (without using Sonos to group the audio)?

AS far as album art, correct that Sonos doesn’t produce any devices with a screen.  You can see the album art on the Sonos app.

 

PS: I don’t use bluetooth, but I am pretty sure the BT claim quoted is also false.

 

I believe echos can be put into bluetooth mode, where they can then be used as a dumb BT speaker.  You cannot share the BT audio with any other echos in your system, as can be done with the Roam.

If you only use an Echo dot to feed a non-connected amp you are, at least financially,les vulnerable to electronics that stop receiving updates.

That is one part of the rationale. The other part is that new features to existing Echos are available immediately - while the Sonos Alexa integration involves a wait for these, and some may not even make it to there. With SVC this delay may no longer be there, I don’t know SVC - the new Sonos voice control feature - but I suspect the same may apply.

Then there is the case where Amazon releases a brand new front end, loaded with the latest in smarts, and it will still make financial sense to just replace the older front end without letting the downstream audio components go to a landfill, especially if these are quality components.

 

 

This is an argument for Alexa via echos though, not necessary using echos as music speakers or physically connecting them to an amp.  You can easily setup a room with echo connected to Sonos  speakers via Alexa groups to get all the advantages of Alexa voice without losing the capabilities of Sonos and SVC.  I have it setup this way in about 4 rooms.

 

Not to forget the opportunity today to use even the humble Dot to drive audio components that are better than the best of Sonos to get sound quality that is correspondingly superior, knowing too that these can survive the Dot being superseded, and therefore justify a higher spend on them.

 

Will the echo deliver the same digital to analog audio quality through the RCA cables?  I have not kept up with what echos are capable of.

 

 

Now it is understandable that financial investment translates to emotional attachment, and for people with such an attachment to not accept that Echos could be better than Sonos, except as a cheap solution. 

Having used/using both, I will just say that Echos now offer a very viable option to Sonos, for those that want cheap and cheerful all the way to those that want high end audiophile set ups. In the latter case, they just need to get over a hang up for Dot as a source in such a set up. But they also have to make the same mental leap to use the Connect/Port in a like manner. 

 

 

As I said earlier, it depends on your needs.  There are lots of things you can’t do with Echos that you can with Sonos.  And I don’t know that you’re in the best position to be a judge of Sonos from an experience standpoint, since you are on the older S1 system and do not own any of the products Sonos currently sells.

 

There is also the opportunity to use the Dot to drive active speakers of excellent quality and value, if sourced from the pro audio maker product lines whose target customers refuse to pay for frills like veneered carpentry. From a vast range of price points - USD 100 to maybe USD 2000 a pair.

PS: I have always found it ironic that a lot of Sonos fans are also Apple haters - Apple and Sonos basically treat their customers in a like manner via bundled hardware. Sonos has even copied Apple extensively in product and package design. Which is all fine of course, but the Apple hate in Sonos fans is amusing.

 

I do not like when company’s produce products and services in multiple markets and then try and leverage their presents in all these markets to an unfair competitive advantage.  Most of the Apple hate’ I’ve seen here has been in response to praise of homepods, which is usually not grounded in facts, or the belief that product or protocol should just blindly follow Apple’s lead.  On the last part, that applies to Google as well.  Don’t see that quite as much with Amazon for some reason.

 

Eh, there’s a decent chance my next phone maybe a switch from android to iOS...don’t know.

The Apple hate is beyond HomePods, is almost pathological, and extends to the Apple philosophy. But the same obsessed fan will not see the irony in his professed Sonos adoration; it must have been embarrassing to even Sonos the way that worthy was defending the Sonos bricking decision right till the day Sonos made a complete about face and left him red-faced and thankfully silent for some time.

Which leads me to another advantage of using Dot as source and high quality downstream kit, that you buy if you like the way it sounds, preferably after a listening test in the home. 

That kit, till there is a hardware defect, will not suddenly sound different because the maker sent down an update that you unwittingly let in, and that is irreversible by you. As a music lover, I prefer that stability to any such gyrations that would destroy the listening experience. Yes, if the change was minor, in a few weeks, I would probably get used to it, but why make minor changes at all is then the question.

 

 

Eh, there’s a decent chance my next phone maybe a switch from android to iOS...don’t know.

A word to the wise: don’t do that unless you are ok with not ever going back to a clunky android. Once you get used to the business class experience of an iPhone in comparison, android will feel like economy.

I was a long time Android hold out, till my son handed down to me his 7, the model that can be held and used in one hand. It still works in the latest iOS environment and is a joy to use. Now my only concern is that it lasts for another three years even with a stalled iOS, till I get handed down his 13!

The other challenge is to not needlessly do Trueplay on Sonos, now that an iPhone is at hand all the time.

Sonos’ original design was essentially a ZP80 + HiFi, or ZP100 + passive speakers, in every room.  That is how I first experienced Sonos - at the home of a very wealthy friend!  Of course, Echo Dots are cheap, and I get the arguments for @Kumar ‘s approach.  There is a place for that.  But it was the introduction of compact, all-in-one speakers that brought me to Sonos, and keeps me there.  Each to their own. 

 Each to their own. 

Exactly. The point about Echo is that since it was introduced, it has offered a viable alternative to Sonos beyond just cheap. Till then, an expensive Sonos was the only robust solution available that did not take a geek to operate.

By the way, Echo now have their own expensive all in one solutions like Echo Studio, but I have not bothered to take that even for a test drive. Sonos to Studio would be just a lateral move that makes no sense to me.

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Clearly the OP lit the fuse and retired back to his cave 😄

Clearly the OP lit the fuse and retired back to his cave 😄

Indeed. But this remains a civilised thread for obvious reasons😂

There is one thing where Echo may actually be better, but this is speculation on my part; I find that it isn't as vulnerable to network issues as Sonos can be. Even in my four Echo grouped play set up, things  seem to work themselves out quite well through updates and the like. So do they for my Sonos units, but that took IP reservation and some amount of tweaking early on to get things to that state. I did not bother with reservations for any of the Echo units.

And this is even more speculation because I still have my home WiFi served up by a 2011 vintage Apple TC + wired extenders that needs no messing with. And because that is so stable, I see no need for any fancy mesh WiFi when the TC dies - it will just be replaced with a plain vanilla unit because range is no longer a requirement since wired extenders were installed. But I wonder if Echo will move more seamlessly into those powerful whole home wireless mesh systems that are the norm now, than Sonos will.

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To be fair, @Kumar, surely your original Sonos gear was using older technology than that available when the Echo came out? I do recall a Sonos staff member saying, quite recently in a thread, that reserving ip addresses should not make a difference nowadays. (I may be mis-paraphrasing him, but that’s my recollection.) Mind you, my Sonos system is nice and stable, so I’m not going to change anything unnecessarily, just to see what happens. 

 

 

 

Eh, there’s a decent chance my next phone maybe a switch from android to iOS...don’t know.

A word to the wise: don’t do that unless you are ok with not ever going back to a clunky android. Once you get used to the business class experience of an iPhone in comparison, android will feel like economy.

 

 

I’ve had iphones before and both kids have them.  I’m not all that unfamiliar.  I don’t dislike my androids at all as far as functionality goes. It comes down to picking which company I’d prefer to send money at, to be honest.  I would really prefer that there was a realistic 3rd option.

 

 

Sonos’ original design was essentially a ZP80 + HiFi, or ZP100 + passive speakers, in every room.  That is how I first experienced Sonos - at the home of a very wealthy friend!  Of course, Echo Dots are cheap, and I get the arguments for @Kumar ‘s approach.  There is a place for that.  But it was the introduction of compact, all-in-one speakers that brought me to Sonos, and keeps me there.  Each to their own. 

 

For me, it was the ability to use your phone as a controller.  I could stomach paying $400 for a ZP, but not an additional $400 for the CR100.  Including music service was also a big plus, but I would got it just for access to local library.

 Each to their own. 

Exactly. The point about Echo is that since it was introduced, it has offered a viable alternative to Sonos beyond just cheap. Till then, an expensive Sonos was the only robust solution available that did not take a geek to operate.

By the way, Echo now have their own expensive all in one solutions like Echo Studio, but I have not bothered to take that even for a test drive. Sonos to Studio would be just a lateral move that makes no sense to me.

 

Pretty sure the Echo Studio is really competing with Sonos in terms of sales.   And again, why there are some similarities in features between Sonos and echos, there are a ton of feature difference that shouldn’t be ignored.

 

 

I do recall a Sonos staff member saying, quite recently in a thread, that reserving ip addresses should not make a difference nowadays.

You are correct; on the other hand the well known gurus here continue to advise reservations.

Now that the thread subject is beaten to death, a digression:

Suppose one was to install the latest super duper mesh WiFi system, compatible with Sonos. Would Sonos music play stability be better served using WiFi mode, or using Sonosnet with one unit wired to the router?

With or without IP reservations?

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Sonos’ original design was essentially a ZP80 + HiFi, or ZP100 + passive speakers, in every room.  That is how I first experienced Sonos - at the home of a very wealthy friend!  Of course, Echo Dots are cheap, and I get the arguments for @Kumar ‘s approach.  There is a place for that.  But it was the introduction of compact, all-in-one speakers that brought me to Sonos, and keeps me there.  Each to their own. 

 

For me, it was the ability to use your phone as a controller.  I could stomach paying $400 for a ZP, but not an additional $400 for the CR100.  Including music service was also a big plus, but I would got it just for access to local library.

For me it was that and the possibility to use Plex and, though I do not use it as much as I thought I would, Airplay. The remote made Sonos too expensive for me for a long time. I tried a cheaper alternative (Squeezebox), but that never worked well, especially when grouping devices.

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