Is it better to have separate amp and speakers now we know how sonos will treat customers long term with the S1/S2 debacle?

  • 22 November 2020
  • 6 replies

I am due to renew my multiple sonos ZP100/120s a couple of play 5s and connects. I have one new AMP and it works ok, sound is better than before. However I am hesitant because I dont know if Sonos will brick hardware in the future. Am I better buying some quality amps to go with the speakers (instead of sonos AMP) and then using an alternative distribution system. It was nice when it was integrated but sound quality always suffered. Is there a better way now, could I even just live with Amazon Shows around the house and use spotify.


I feel seperating hardware and network distribution is the way forward after we have seen Sonos’s true colours. To be honest I cant blame them as the old business model wasnt working - however i dont want to sink several thousand into this every few years.


help/opinion appreciated.


6 replies

Sonoa have only 'bricked' the CR100 and the Wireless Dock, so I am surprised you see that as so important. 

In what sense are you 'due to renew' your existing Sonos gear?

I can't really see how others' views on the available options could be of any value to you.  How could anyone else know if you could live with something?  But then the real purpose of your post is to take a few swipes at Sonos, is it not?

I was just interested in what others have tried or are using. I am interested what works well for others. 

if the answer is that nothing compares to the reliability and useability of Sonos, then maybe Sonos is the right choice for multi room streaming.

I know there are some much higher end solutions out there but they come with a price tag.

I am not “swiping” at Sonos, they make their decisions and the consumer must make their own.

The reason I want to upgrade or change now is that I have no idea how long hardware will be supported going forward by S1 app.

Sonos have indicated that they will continue to support legacy devices even as S1 naturally slowly degrades (e.g if a particular music service becomes incompatible).

I think it is likely to be years yet. But what is the logic of changing now?  However long it takes there will be better alternatives available in 1. 2 or 5 or whatever years from now. 

If there is something you prefer right now then by all means sell the Sonos and get the other thing. But the logic escapes me for changing now because you don’t know how long it will be before you have to change. Cross that bridge when you come to it.

I find it no longer makes sense to have a bundled smart front end with high quality audio components that can be built, even for a modest price, to last much longer than said smart front ends. And in quality audio components, I include those made by Sonos.

This, now that cheap smart front ends like Echo Dots/Echo Show 5 are available for a fraction of the price of Sonos, which means they can be replaced as often as more features get added to them.

I had made use of this once I gave up on Sonos ever getting the Alexa integration to India when I discovered that a Echo device wired to Sonos line in jacks works just as well, and in some respects better than what Sonos offers via the integration.

The S1/S2 thing was what fully convinced me that unbundled components are the way for me to stay with S1 and get off the largely empty upgrades that Sonos offers with whatever offered so far even in S2 not being more than just another ice cream flavour.

By staying on S1 I will continue to get all the hardware life there is in my excellently engineered and built Connects/Connect Amps that I refuse to brick for any reason, especially the kind that Sonos served up.

As to the other question, Echo devices are still not there yet in sound quality compared to Sonos/HiFi kit, but they are now listenable and getting closer every year; but I would not spend on bundled expensive but better sounding Echo products either - now or in the future. And any sound quality upgrade is easily made possible via their audio out jacks. Play something like Spotify on an Echo Show 5 and wire connect it to a HiFi set up or even Sonos S1 kit and you get best of both worlds including album art, something that Sonos still does not offer.

The one thing that Sonos still does best is grouped play; but this can be obtained even in S1 state if one has Sonos kit with line in jacks. With Echo Dots/Shows as the wired in smarter front end.

Also, I have zero concerns about S1 not being supported - once the line in on Sonos units is set to autoplay, the units can be used as dumb but high quality audio hardware even if Sonos were to go bust.