Question

Why can't I just use you like any other speakers?


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So it's Boxing day, and I've just received a lovely big SONOS Play:1 speaker for Christmas. I set the speakers up and try to find them on my system. Nothing.

I do some research, trying to figure out why I can only play through SONOS app and verified programmes approved through the SONOS app.

Why something which clearly cost more than a few pretty pennies is essentially useless for anything other than playing music.

No live sound, no video sync, nothing but music through SONOS.

So the decrepit old speakers I have had since 2000 are essentially doing a better job than the basic model of SONOS. Not only this but my cheap shower bluetooth speaker I bought for my boyfriend (£5.99) can do what this supposedly amazing modern and high quality technology cannot. Which is play ANY sound off of my computer or phone that I want it to.

How is this a complicated concept and why, after literally years and years of community comments and wailings and clearly strong customer dissatisfaction haven't you developed a simple software fix for this? What, you can play my music at the highest sound level ever but can't handle a simple YouTube video? What kind of operation are you running? Please for the love of all things good and pure and sound related, just fix this issue. I don't think I've ever had more issue with such a supposedly 'amazing' product before. If Bluetooth is such a low quality sound how come they can do what you can't?

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PaperDandilion, Just take it back and get LG,BOSE, etc SONOS aren't going to fit your requirements.
They have a very narrow technology view/product, it does work well within a narrow band of requirements but these days there are no reasons for it to do better just as other manufacturers do.
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That would work if it hadn't been a gift. How does one take back something when you don't know where it comes from?
LG and Bose do it via Bluetooth to only one speaker with no multi-room. Fact is, the app manufacturers have never standardized on a multi-room, Ethernet based casting architecture, never mind a standard protocol. Unreliable Bluetooth to a single speaker is as good as it gets. So Dec, with your effort to disparage Sonos,you actually came up with a very good description of the shortcomings of your "preferred" systems, in that they have to use inferior synching, standard WiFi, and Bluetooth to mimic a cheaper, unreliable feature set, something which Sonos refuses to compromise.
That would work if it hadn't been a gift. How does one take back something when you don't know where it comes from?

So ask where they bought it. Simple, no?
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LG and Bose do it via Bluetooth to only one speaker with no multi-room. Fact is, the app manufacturers have never standardized on a multi-room, Ethernet based casting architecture, never mind a standard protocol. Unreliable Bluetooth to a single speaker is as good as it gets. So Dec, with your effort to disparage Sonos,you actually came up with a very good description of the shortcomings of your "preferred" systems, in that they have to use inferior synching, standard WiFi, and Bluetooth to mimic a cheaper, unreliable feature set, something which Sonos refuses to compromise.

jgatie, I don't really think it's fair to sat they are uncompromising when they clearly know it's possible to play music sound live but won't make any changes to make computer audio workable. And I may have to see if I can return it. But I still think it's ridiculous that I should have to replace it because it doesn't do something so incredibly simple and obvious that one assumes it of course would work and also overtly omits from its description on the website and many reviews.
It doesn't do it because it isn't possible, except for Bluetooth, which Sonos predates. Sonos devices don't even have Bluetooth chips. When Apple, Google and Microsoft sit down and agree on a standard WiFi based streaming architecture and protocol, you may see it happen. The problem is, Apple and Google seek to monetize their Airplay/Chromecast technologies, so they freeze the other out, with Sonos caught in the middle.

And by the way, you shouldn't assume anything. Sonos has never claimed to do what you assume it should do. Your assumptions are your fault, not theirs. Good luck with an inferior competitor. Be careful what you wish for applies.
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LGs Music Flow uses wifi, they can also play music from portable devices via Bluetooth. They also use a mesh setup.

Bluetooth is as, if not more, reliable than wifi.
Bluetooth has AFH, to avoid congested channels by monitoring the RF spectrum.

"Unreliable Bluetooth to a single speaker is as good as it gets", Jgatie go look at the LG website,

Standard wIFI!, WIFI uses the ISM band just like Bluetooth and your microwave etc. I doubt Sonos have gone and setup their own ISM band RF communications mesh, this wouldn't sit nice with the rest of the kit people have in their homes.

Sonos have taken a gamble in that if they get their product out and force a standard then every body will follow suite. However if the likes of LG/Bose/Yamaha/SONY etc don't like it they can group together and produce a "standard" which may put Sonos on the back foot.

Unless it is the useless 5GHz which has trouble leaving a room.

The combination of Bluetooth for device discovery and features and wifi for data transfer is a good use of both technologies, BT 3.0 +HS spec.

Just been looking at the LG HS9 soundbar connectivity, if these options were on the Playbar trust me I'd have one.
Its Sonos' refusal to compromise that will put people off, everybody has an HDMI cable and has an idea what its for, very few people know about the optical cable. HDMI seemed a good way to standardise on digital media between devices.

My play 5s will probably be up for sale in the new year.
And yet Sonos still owns the multi room streamer market, claiming the vast majority of top selling spots on Amazon.com, with LG and Denon not even in the top 15, and Bose not cracking the top 5 which are all Sonos. Seems Sonos is doing just fine. The fact it doesn't fit well for folks who have different assumptions and/or expectations doesn't change that.


I'm sure you will get top dollar for your Sonos gear, and whoever buys it will probably go on to purchase even more from Sonos. It's a win win for you and Sonos. Enjoy your Bluetooth speakers! 🙂
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Yes I will, My Jabra soulmate works well in the bathroom, no problems at all, phone stays in the bedroom.
I could do this with a play1 perhaps, oh hold no power in the bathroom, try better Sonos.
Yes I will, My Jabra soulmate works well in the bathroom, no problems at all, phone stays in the bedroom.
I could do this with a play1 perhaps, oh hold no power in the bathroom, try better Sonos.


You mean the Play:1 which occupies the top 4 spots of top selling multi-room speakers on Amazon, both pairs, singles, and colors, whereas the competition offers only a single unit in a single color is 7th? The Play:1 that sits next to my sink in my bathroom? That Play:1?

Look, I understand you are disappointed because you made foolish assumptions about your purchase. Your are in the minority, and to keep bashing here puts you in the annoying minority. Fine if that's what you want to be, but know the sales figures and reviews are decidedly against you. Sell your stuff and go be happy.
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I've made no assumptions, I know exactly what SONOS devices are capable of.
The OP had assumptions dashed, and was disappointed that a high end speaker was limited in its functionality where as a previous less expensive solution was not.

I suggested that Sonos would not meet his requirements and move on to something else, the same as you are suggesting, so how am I dissing Sonos and you are not?

Be careful with that speaker in the bathroom, electrons and non pure water don't mix.
Since my country makes it part of the electrical code to have special GFI outlets in every bathroom, not to mention near any water source, I'm not worried. Seems to b a better solution to protect people from themselves than only allowing a razor in the bathroom.

And you are dissing Sonos because you are dissing Sonos. Unless you wish to point out where you have praised them, as I have numerous times? Sonos is not right for some. They are still the best there is, with their benefits far outweighing their shortcomings. Do you agree? If not, then there's your answer to your "dissing" question.
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Sonos is not a computer speaker
Jabra Solemate is not a multi-room system

Get what you want/need

Simple
Sonos is not a computer speaker
Jabra Solemate is not a multi-room system

Get what you want/need

Simple


Exactly. I don't have to link/unlink my phone to my Play:1. If my girlfriend gets in the bathroom after me, she can listen to my music or change it to her own without a hassle. The music won't stop for her if I take my phone to work. If I want my music to follow me downstairs, it's two clicks without leaving the app. I can then control it from my tablet as my phone charges. I can listen to Sirius, Pandora, Slacker, or a playlist from Google Music, Apple Music, and my own library, or all mixed together, without once leaving the app. That to me is far superior to a battery powered Bluetooth speaker.
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jgatie : I think it's a bit cheap to take legitimate grievances of customers and just brush them off. "Dissing"? Grow up a little. I own a set of Sonos speakers ( I bought them for myself and they were not a gift) and I also recently purchased a Google Chromecast Audio.

I love Sonos hardware. My recent acquisition was 2 of their Play 1's. I love the sound that comes out of these speakers, for the size that they are. I also love their design. However, Sonos needs to wake up and smell the competition. I don't know how else to say this but: Sonos, your software absolutely sucks. It really does. Every single step of the way, you have decided to take more and more control away from the user. Equalizer control? Almost non-existent. Tone settings? Nope. Third party support or open source support? Nadda.

What makes me mad about the Play 1 in particular is not that you decided to not include 3.5mm Audio-In, but that you decided not to include it despite not offering any kind of official screen-cast capability. Why does this matter? Well if I wanted to play audio from an application or device that isn't supported by your streaming firmware, I could at least physically connect it to a 3.5mm and continue my listening but you decided not to. So I can't listen to apps you don't care enough to support. On speakers that I paid over $400. The cost of adding a line-in is trivial. What the hell?

Fine whatever, you don't want to add line in. At least add support for screen-casting like Google Chromecast Audio does. Open up your software. Or take the trouble to make it better.

With Google Chromecast Audio, I can cast whatever audio is streaming on my screen to whatever speaker I like in whatever room I would like to send it to. My favorite podcast application on Android is Pocketcasts. It's a great app, been using it for years. And yet Sonos can't play nice with it. Why? Because Pocketcasts stores its files in a certain sub-folder and the developers at Sonos can't be bothered to have the Sonos app set up to generate lists that include all sub-folders within a folder. You know what's even worse? I searched through and people have been complaining about this same exact problem for over a year! And your only response is to say Pocketcasts isn't compatible. Like, what? You're not capable of building something that can read sub-folders and your response is to just say, "Meh. It's somebody else's problem"? It's 2015 Sonos. Sub-folders are a thing. Surely you have the technology to populate lists from within sub-folders? And why do you not care about people asking you for this?

Some fans declare that Sonos is not meant for all-purpose usage. Instead that it's mostly for music-heavy use only. Well I'm one of those people that bought the Sonos for music only and I'm still disappointed. If sound is the most important thing that why is their so little control over sound settings or playlist management? I have 1 bar for base and 1 bar for treble and a button that says "Loud Mode"? Why?

And why is your library management so piss poor? I have a huge collection of music, a lot of which comes from CDs that I bought and ripped and there's no way to arrange the library by folder and sub-folder? I have music apps on my smartphone that I've bought for $5 that give me more control over sound and better library support. Please take a look at PowerAmp on Android ($3.99) as an example of what a beautiful, powerful music application should be (I am not affiliated in any way) : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.maxmpz.audioplayer&hl=en

It really is a shame that you don't listen to your power-users and your customers with more common needs. I'll probably be leaving the Sonos bandwagon and switching to buying powered speakers and connecting to them through Chromecast Audio or similar streaming devices. There's lots of great speakers out there. I bought Sonos because I thought that you guys did the best job of integrating the whole experience. It's sad to see that you have stopped innovating and are falling behind.

I'm sure you made a killing over Christmas with all the people that bought your devices. But I think you will see a lot of returned merchandise and a lot of one-time customers that won't come back. The competition is growing and the future is coming. I will be making my own video review of the Sonos eco-system as it stands today.
I'm not the one to mention dissing, Dec did. As to why Sonos hasn't adopted a universal audio streaming/casting protocol? There isn't one yet, and unlike Bluetooth, the big players are creating their own for monetization in lieu of standardization. See my earlier posts for details. So until the industry standardizes and the monetization works itself out (a big if), it is Apple vs. Google, with third party hardware waiting it out. Look at what is happening to Spotify Connect if you want to see what happens when third parties are locked into one non-standard protocol. That isn't Sonos' fault.

And I can say with 100% conviction that going Open Source is the one single move which will cause me to abandon Sonos.

It really is a shame that you don't listen to your power-users and your customers with more common needs. I'll probably be leaving the Sonos bandwagon and switching to buying powered speakers and connecting to them through Chromecast Audio or similar streaming devices. There's lots of great speakers out there. I bought Sonos because I thought that you guys did the best job of integrating the whole experience. It's sad to see that you have stopped innovating and are falling behind.

One reason why Sonos is the best out there in its addressed market is precisely because it chooses not to be the solution for everyone out there. Jack of all trades and all that...

Your CC approach is a valid option, but not for the reasons you want addressed. CC is for either a low cost front end, or for using much better sound quality but no WiFi active speakers than what Sonos offers, without at the same time also spending money on the Sonos connect. Or if you must have the native music apps.

I have played around with CC and it is a very interesting option for sure. But it isn't for me because its user interface to music play is nowhere as slick/stable as it is for Sonos. YMMV, and if so, you aren't part of the market that Sonos addresses, which by the way, is quite large going by Sonos revenue volume and growth numbers. Recognise that and move on.
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Nobody is talking about a universal audio protocol! What are you even talking about? This is not some abstract discussion about standards and protocols. I'm perfectly fine with Sonos using their own proprietary standard. I could care less! This is not about Apple VS Google either. You're just having an argument with yourself mate.

Let me put it simply :

1. Sonos has 1 official application for streaming. All your services and local media utilize this application.
2. If they made their 1 and only application amazing and paid attention to it, I would have no complaints.
3. If they chose not to make their official application powerful and useful I would be fine with it too, IF and only IF they made it possible for 3rd Party applications to tie into their streaming protocol.
4. You do not have to be open source in order for this to happen.
5. You do not have to be part of a universal protocol for this to happen.

Don't want to build a good application? Fine. Let other 3rd Party applications stream to your Sonos speakers. Let my favorite Android, iPhone and Windows Phone applications handle the User Interface and Library management for you and let them stream to your speakers.

And if you can't even be bothered to do that, at the very least, put a 3.5mm line-in on it!
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It really is a shame that you don't listen to your power-users and your customers with more common needs. I'll probably be leaving the Sonos bandwagon and switching to buying powered speakers and connecting to them through Chromecast Audio or similar streaming devices. There's lots of great speakers out there. I bought Sonos because I thought that you guys did the best job of integrating the whole experience. It's sad to see that you have stopped innovating and are falling behind.

One reason why Sonos is the best out there in its addressed market is precisely because it chooses not to be the solution for everyone out there. Jack of all trades and all that...

Your CC approach is a valid option, but not for the reasons you want addressed. CC is for either a low cost front end, or for using much better sound quality but no WiFi active speakers than what Sonos offers, without at the same time also spending money on the Sonos connect. Or if you must have the native music apps.

I have played around with CC and it is a very interesting option for sure. But it isn't for me because its user interface to music play is nowhere as slick/stable as it is for Sonos. YMMV, and if so, you aren't part of the market that Sonos addresses, which by the way, is quite large going by Sonos revenue volume and growth numbers. Recognise that and move on.


I find Sonos is neither a Jack of all trades (which is fine) but it definitely isn't a master of audio thanks to it's poor library management and lack of any real control over sound quality or processing.

I also find it funny that any criticism of Sonos is met with "well, they make a lot of money and ship a lot of units so you must be wrong". The consumer audio equivalent of saying Brittany Spears sold more records than Led Zeppelin so that must clearly be better. Sonos had no real competition until recently. And it's this kind of response that brings down products.

" If we've sold a shit load of them, why make anything better! "
The consumer audio equivalent of saying Brittany Spears sold more records than Led Zeppelin so that must clearly be better.
I don't care for either, but that isn't the point, because this isn't as much about being better as it is about being what the addressed market prefers. The Brittany Spears market isn't ever going to buy Led Zeppelin because it doesn't care for the latter.
Which isn't to say that there isn't going to be a better version of Spears or there needn't be one - it just isn't going to a Zeppelin or similar.
Sonos isn't master of audio, no one says so. But for the things it does well, there isn't any better at the price point, or at many above the one it sells at, today. Tomorrow? Who knows, but the chances are it will stay so in the short to medium term of 2-3 years. Long term - I doubt any can say.
The other thing is that Sonos continues to innovate, but what does it say to you if that isn't in the direction you would like it to?
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Case in point, I was complaining earlier about how Sonos can't be bothered to let the user pick a folder and/or folders for Sonos to search populate a Podcast list. This has been going on for over a year. And as of 3 days ago, there's people asking how to get individual podcasts to play friendly with the Sonos application.

https://en.community.sonos.com/ask-a-question-228987/how-to-listen-to-this-american-life-6734015

To put this into perspective, this would be like calling your TV manufacturer and asking him how you can get 'Family Guy' to work on your TV.
The correct answer being that you shouldn't have to struggle to make TV shows work one-by-one. If your TV works, you get all the shows. Done. Simple.

So Sonos isn't the master of Audio. With Chromecast Audio, LG's WiFi multiroom system and Bose following up, Sonos isn't the master of multi-room wireless either. And evidently they aren't the master of software integration either. So what is Sonos good at?

I find it appalling that the Sonos support team finds it respectable to actually tell people work-arounds on a per-app basis. It's a bit shameful that it's 2015 and you have to download a podcast through one app, run through the loops and then use the Sonos app to make it all work. For a podcast. A simple audio file.

And I'd like hear something other than, " they're making a ton of revenue, so whatever ".
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How do they continue to innovate? It's like you guys have exactly one setting: defend SONOS no matter how many complaints appear. Do you work for the company? That would explain a lot. Even if you did though, surely the company should recognise that this is a prevalent problem that is not overtly stated and deliberately omitted from their marketing and website, and as someone who works in sales it is extremely poor customer service for anyone to defend a company's choice again and again to say 'If you don't like it don't get it.' But then how do we know we don't like it until it's too late? I'm not an unreasonable person, but this doesn't seem that complicated to me. Clearly it's possible for other platforms. There's no reason why it shouldn't work on this one.

So Sonos isn't the master of Audio. With Chromecast Audio, LG's WiFi multiroom system and Bose following up, Sonos isn't the master of multi-room wireless either. And evidently they aren't the master of software integration either. So what is Sonos good at?

Ahh, if you are defining master of audio in just that very limited way, Sonos is clearly the master. No one today does multi room wireless audio as well as Sonos does. I have used CC and Bose enough to say that and I doubt LG is any better than these two.
I would extend this to say that it holds true at any price point in the market today.
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The other thing is that Sonos continues to innovate, but what does it say to you if that isn't in the direction you would like it to?

At this point I'm not even asking for innovation. Clearly they had the head start with wireless audio and have done nothing much since. But I could care less. All I'm asking for is to be able listen to a lousy podcast without having to wonder if it'll show up or whether I'm allowed to use a certain application to do it because Sonos doesn't understand what a sub-folder is. I'm asking for a lousy line-in because Sonos can't be bothered to fulfill their promise of "stream anywhere". I'm asking for a little control over audio, because y'know a bit of Hi-Fi technology from the 1960's would be kinda cool, right?

That's not innovation, that's not being demanding, that's just called good customer support and providing a product that does what it says on the box. Especially when your customers have invested a reasonable amount of money expecting you to deliver.

Screw innovation. At this point I'm not really hoping for cutting edge anymore.

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