Changing existing Sonos set up, should I hybrid mix Sonos & Echos - or lose Sonos and just get Echos?

  • 8 February 2018
  • 5 replies

Hi all - I know we all have complex needs and set ups so I'll try to be as clear as I can!

I have a 2 bedroom house (eventually 3).

Currently I have

- Dining room - Dot + Play:1
- Front room - Dot + Connect (linked to Smart amp and 7.1 surround)
- Kitchen - Dot + Play:3
- Bathroom - Dot + Connect:Amp
- Main bedroom - Dot + Play:5
- Kids bedroom - Dot + Play:1

(Front room and dining room are pretty much the same room, have been knocked through)

I also have Honeywell Evohome smart heating, Hue bulbs in every room and I'm looking to get a Ring 2 video doorbell.

I exclusively listen to Spotify for music. I only have Apple products for phones, tablets and laptops/desktops. I do listen to a lot of podcasts, but these come from my phone, I'd like to be able to listen to them on the nicer speakers if possible. I often use multiform to play music through the house. I often use the alarm features.

Thanks to getting divorced (yay!), I'm going to lose the Play:1 and the Play:5, although not any of the Echo units. (Side note, I found out my wife was cheating because her boyfriend was asking Alexa questions in the middle of the night). This is an opportunity to change things up with the tech.

Am I better following one of these scenarios - or something even better suggested by you?

All Alexa
- Dining room - Echo
- Front room - Echo Show (Spotify is built into the amp, So I can just use the app to play music there)
- Kitchen - Echo
- Bathroom - Echo
- Main bedroom - Echo Show
- Kids bedroom - Echo

- Dining room - Sonos One
- Front room - Echo Show
- Kitchen - Dot + Play:3
- Bathroom - Dot + Connect:Amp
- Main bedroom - Echo Show + Play:5
- Kids bedroom - Dot + Play:1

I am currently not living in the house (More yay for getting divorced) but I am moving back in soon and want to get things sorted out for when I go back.

I really, really appreciate your time and help with all of this!

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5 replies

Userlevel 7
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Bad luck about the divorce but I found mine character building! :)

So the simple answer is that the Sonos One has the benefit of not needing to specify the room name in the command but has the downside that at present not all Alexa skills are supported. Most Podcasts can be output to your Sonos speakers by including the room name in the command - are these available on TuneIn?

You are obviously an Alexa fan but my view of the Sonos One is that as it is AI agnostic and you could have the Sonos One support Google Assistant instead without any hardware changes later this year.

In short, personally I would go with the Hybrid solution if your budget can stretch to it.

Good luck and remember every bad occasion over the next months deserves a nice bottle of wine and no response! 🙂
Thanks for that! Yeah each day one step at a time, cannot say I'm not happier out of it!

Podcasts - they probably are on tune in, or maybe even Spotify, I'm just quite used to keeping them all up to date on my iPhone app, Overcast. Wouldn't be too much hassle to change though I suppose.

I'm reticent to get some Sonos One's, and mix them with the other components, because I'd have to remember what to say in each room, I could do it I should think but the kids will forget and get peeved with the whole thing (although, at 5 & 7 they think being able to ask for their audiobooks at night is awesome)

Budget, well I'm richer and poorer thanks to the divorce, feel I should treat myself to having the house just how I want it now!
Userlevel 7
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I have, or still have Echo, Echo Show, Echo dot and Echo Spot. They are all way inferior to my Sonos and i could not use them to listen to music for any period of time. Fine for Radio 4 though.
Sucks about the divorce. I know you're not asking, but the best thing I did through my own divorce is never ever get in an emotional discussion with her ever again.

But anyway, it's somewhat hard to say what the best setup is without knowing the room dimensions and how important ease of use is to you and the kids. My kids are little older, but I'll tell you how I have it setup for me.

Dining/kitchen/family room - Sonos 5.1 setup with an echo show. This works fine, but my kids tend to just request music through the show only. They forget to say 'on family room' and the show audio is plenty good enough for them.

Kids rooms - full size echos. I considered getting them dot + play:1, but figured they would be more then happy with the echo's, and I had no need to include them in multi-room with sonos speakers.

My bedroom - pair of play:1s, + dot

My bathroom - single play:1

gameroom - dot only + receiver setup for video games. We never listen to music there, so adding sonos was pointless.

outdoors - connect:amp (have a dot with a battery pack for this too, but haven't really used it much)

Like you, much of the home is smart, thus having Alexa throughout is a must. The Show is nice, but not as useful as I'd hoped. I would buy one to see how you like it before investing in 2. You have the advantage of adding things in pieces with the setup, and none of your purchases requires the approval of the wife from here on out.
Sucks about the divorce. I know you're not asking, but the best thing I did through my own divorce is never ever get in an emotional discussion with her ever again...

...none of your purchases requires the approval of the wife from here on out.

Seriously it's great to see every message I appreciate it. I bought a mid century arm chair the other day and happily realised I didn't have to ask anyone if they liked it, if it would fit the front room or if we could afford it, I just saw it, liked it, bought it. A refreshing change!

So it sounds like your set up isn't a million miles away from mine and it's great to hear it's working well for you. If the hybrid approach works well, once it's set up properly then I'm more than happy to go with that approach.

Sound and room size wise - I see you're in Houston so your house is probably much larger than the British Victorian terrace that I live in! But even with the small rooms, the Sonos sound makes such a huge difference, it's great to have the rich, full sound wherever I am in the house.

The Show's are on offer in the uk, they are either £200 for one, or £300 for two, which seems too much of a bargain to pass up. If they don't work out, I can always return them, Amazon have such a great returns policy.

Huge thanks!