Question

SONOS hardware a dead end?

  • 11 February 2017
  • 21 replies
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I read that SONOS is concentrating their efforts on streaming instead of hardware. So I'm wondering from a hardware standpoint, is SONOS a dead end hardware-wise? The really havent released any thing new except for the Sonos Boost, mostly been hardware/software up dates.
Although SONOS works flawlessly for me, other manufactures are developing their system, typically with improved loudspeakers etc

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21 replies

Userlevel 4
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Dead end hardly, Sonos right now it seems is concentrating their focus on the Amazon echo integration and probably rightly so. I am sure in the future when that's a thing of the past they will be back to something new. They are so tight lipped that for all we know they have something in the works now. - Kris 🙂
You have completely misunderstood Sonos' strategy. Sonos make money by selling speakers. And you seem to have overlooked the Play:5 gen2. Developing Sonos' functionality on streaming services is part of its strategy to sell more speakers. And as the Play:5 gen 2 shows, they appreciate that in the end the quality of the hardware matters most.
It is also important to see the larger picture for Home Audio; in general it has been a hardware dead end since the time CDs were introduced over 30 years ago. Most of the development since then has been in content handling and distribution to and within the home and Sonos is up to date on that except for being in catch up mode on the voice control front. Thankfully, Sonos does not do the eye candy kind of hardware development in the way of product line refreshes.
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Home audio a dead end? Hardly. The equipment is getting better and better, new technologies, new sound formats like Dolby, ATMOS, new recording formats, digital amplification etc. I'm a fairly serious audiophile, even though I'm slowly going deaf due to medical reasons, but my main system is high end, for example I'm using a Theta Casablanca, I've gone through 3 major upgrades and another is on the way, I've upgrade my amps from the Dreadnaught, to the new Prometheus, which is digital technology. I can clearly tell the difference, I just have to happen to listen at pretty high volumes.
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Sonos has really had no competion all these years, but other companies are catching up.There's BlueSound, Definitive Technology, Samsung Shape, Denon Heos etc. So plenty of alternatives out there. Technology advances both in hardware and software.
What differentiates Sonos is the software support, the system works flawlessly, you can stream so many more sources etc.I'm sure the others will catch up sooner or later.
Yup, they got to move the boxes but people want newer, improved stuff. Look at how TV's have improved over the past few years. Those folks know how to move boxes.
I'm perfectly happy with my Sonos system but my more serious audiophile friends feel the BlueSound and Heos sound better, although the software is somewhat glitchy.

I'm perfectly happy with my Sonos system but my more serious audiophile friends feel the BlueSound and Heos sound better

For more on the subject, see:

https://en.community.sonos.com/music-services-and-sources-228994/sonos-support-for-hi-res-audio-

Just one of the many threads on the subject. The linked one is just the latest.
Userlevel 7
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I find it odd that there are a spate of Novice posts that seem to start as a Sonos user then digress to espousing the benefits of other less capable systems. I have a fried who was a BBC sound technician setting up some serious studio kit, music and film. Ask him about the stuff Audiophiles espouse and he can barely stand for laughing
I have a fried who was a BBC sound technician setting up some serious studio kit, music and film. Ask him about the stuff Audiophiles espouse and he can barely stand for laughing
That's not a surprise; commercial organisations have to be very hard-nosed about equipment purchase budgets and ROI. Plus they are not in love with the equipment for its own sake; for them it is simply a tool, and they have other outlets to fulfil their psychological needs.
Userlevel 7
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I read that SONOS is concentrating their efforts on streaming instead of hardware. So I'm wondering from a hardware standpoint, is SONOS a dead end hardware-wise?

They have let it be known the areas in which they will be concentrating in order to maintain and improve the attractiveness of their products - Ie Streaming music services and voice.

Sonos make money by selling speakers (hardware) and as you know they make NO money from except by selling hardware. So they have to persuade people that buying Sonos is the preferred solution. So clearly they have to persuade potential customers that they not only are the best solution to allow those people to listen to their particular form of audio poison and ensure that the hardware is still suitable aesthetically and quality wise.
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Well what do you know!!!! After wondering if was Sonos is a dead-end for hardware and posting about since the last new piece of hardware was 17 months ago, along comes the PlayBase. Now the question is, do I get the sub for my Playbar or get the Playbase? Same price either way. But can recoupe some money by selling playbar. Always good to have options.
Userlevel 6
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Go for the Sub!
Userlevel 4
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I don't want to be the one that told you so. So I won't. LOL! Agreed, Go for the sub. - Kris 🙂
Now the question is, do I get the sub for my Playbar or get the Playbase? Same price either way. But can recoupe some money by selling playbar. Always good to have options.
Sub is probably the answer, but a better one will emerge when enough is known/reported about the sound quality from the base compared to the bar. Good idea would be to wait a bit!
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I find it odd that there are a spate of Novice posts that seem to start as a Sonos user then digress to espousing the benefits of other less capable systems. I have a fried who was a BBC sound technician setting up some serious studio kit, music and film. Ask him about the stuff Audiophiles espouse and he can barely stand for laughing
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Seriously? A friend who sets up serious kit for studio kit for music and film? Does he even listen to music? Does he even understand what dynamic range is? I sure wouldn't take his advice for a home audio system. The goals and purpose of studio or pro equipment are way different then the goals and purpose of home audio whether low end or high end equipment. This pretty much applies to everyone else except for the BBC. A couple of engineers that I met at some technical conferences really did care about how good it would sound.
A long time ago, I was a recording engineer, quite successful but I was also an audiophile too. Most things I did in the studio and the equipment used was to record the music so it would sound good coming out of an automobile radio and that it would "stick out" better then other recordings. At the start of any contract, the first thing in my mind to settle out was the goal "How loud it can play or how good did it sound?". Generally louder won out, holy smokes Batman, where is the compressor? The technical quality of studio equipment was mediocre at best, it was designed and built to a completely set of different standards then home audio. The environment is way different. Reliability and generally being indestructible to all the abuse it would receive in the studio was the primary goal of the equipment not sound quality.
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I don't want to be the one that told you so. So I won't. LOL! Agreed, Go for the sub. - Kris :)
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I hear you brother. I used to be one of those early adopter types. Betamax? Laserdiscs? Early days of CD's The RCA answer to laserdiscs? Elcasets? DAT? Quadrophonic? Flat screen tv's? Actually till just recently I lament getting rid of my old Sony XBR CRT tv. Had them all. Learned my lesson the hard and expensive way, when it comes to digital audio, wait a few generations.
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I'm perfectly happy with my Sonos equipment all things considered due to my hearing difficulties it sounds great and absolutely flawless in operation. But there are now competing systems out there now from some manufacturers with pretty deep pockets. The equipment selection and quality just keeps getting better. And is that surpassing Sonos?
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I hear you brother. I used to be one of those early adopter types. Betamax? Laserdiscs? Early days of CD's The RCA answer to laserdiscs? Elcasets? DAT? Quadrophonic? Flat screen tv's? Actually till just recently I lament getting rid of my old Sony XBR CRT tv. Had them all. Learned my lesson the hard and expensive way, when it comes to digital audio, wait a few generations.
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BTW, I still have my McIntosh MR78 tuner, MPI 4 max performance indicator, and a couple of reel to reel tape decks - Revox, Tascam BR20 and Tandberg 20SE. So I did pick some winners.
it sounds great and absolutely flawless in operation. But there are now competing systems out there now from some manufacturers with pretty deep pockets. The equipment selection and quality just keeps getting better. And is that surpassing Sonos?
What have you found on the home audio side that surpasses Sonos on both the criteria you have listed - sounding great and being flawless in operation? Where sounding great isn't just the result of bias - bias not being used as a nasty adjective but as something that every human is susceptible to?