Take Heed Sonos Devs

  • 3 November 2017
  • 73 replies
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While you sit in your conference rooms and debate the 8.x app with corporate speak sentences like "They will get used to it" and "This happens every major upgrade" and "Scale-able, cross-platform modern blah blah blah.....".
One thing that has never happened before with my Sonos house happened last night. And it is important you realize the significance.

I had three couples over for drinks and I put on one of my playlists and then I turned the ipad over and placed it under my bar. I did it without thinking - it just seemed less distracting that way.

This morning i did think about it however. I had never done that before. I tend to hand off the Ipad and let guests marvel at my wonderful Sonos system. I let them pick music from the seemingly endless inventory of tunes from Google and Apple. Soon old songs are played that bring back great memories - people sing and some might even dance.
It almost always turns into a "So what is this Sonos thing?".

Last night. That did not happen.
The new interface is just confusing enough for new users that i have to give a tutorial I didn't feel like giving a tutorial.
The aesthetic is a bit too glaring and, in my opinion, not as attractive as it once was.

Your app is more than a tool. It is a showpiece. And we, the owners of Sonos dearly love to show it off. The speakers, yeah, they the Wow factor when the rich sound fills the house but when a new user touches the app and finds any song at the end of their fingertips, you can almost see the excitement in their eyes.

So while we can debate endlessly of 8.x being intuitive or not intuitive or 8.x being an evolutionary step forward or backward, one thing is a stone cold fact: six people did not fall in love with Sonos last night.

And THAT is something you should worry about.

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73 replies

So we're not really talking about sound quality at all, simply convenience.
We are talking about sound quality and the application. The latter is not the same as "simply convenience".
As to hearing things that others do not, asking for the other's hearing to be checked is one of many possible responses, and less courteous than most of them.
A longer reply is probably not going to get past moderation.
Userlevel 7
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I was trying to show somone round my Sonos setup last week, got stuck at one point and I bet they were thinking what a lot of effort to go through..

Didn't sell itself at all..
Userlevel 6
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If the message is a childish rant, then I am shooting the message, not the messenger.
By calling people childish you are shooting the messenger instead of the message. And given how often you have done so the past weeks, you'd expect Sonos to be a product for toddlers.

I offer valid and proven facts that people now love the 5.0 UI which was once slagged 10 times more than the current 8.0 release
What you have is anecdotal evidence at best, based on a single instance. Anyone with a science background can tell you that doesn't mean much.

Moreover your line of reasoning ignores the possibility that the app before 5.0 was indeed more intuitive, and that the new version simply got even worse.

, and state that because of these facts, most of the complaints can be boiled down to familiarity and muscle memory.
Muscle memory is one little element in terms of intuitiveness and easy of use. And in case of 8.0 plenty of others apply as well. from inefficient navigation paths, over a design that results in excessively long lists, to a poor colour choice.

None of those examples have anything to do with muscle memory, yet they all apply. Something you conveniently keep on ignoring although the majority of complaints are aimed at such issues.

The overwhelming response to those facts has been personal attacks and cries for me to shut up, the loudest cry from the very poster I was replying to here.

Yes, and that can't have anything to do with constantly derailing the conversation with that muscle memory rant while calling people childish now, can it?

Which is btw, exactly what you did in this thread as well. Because clearly it can'tbe anything else. The new design can not be less intuitive then before, let alone flat out a step back compared to the previous version. No, it must be muscle memory and nothing else.


The very, very few posters who have attempted to discuss the phenomenon I describe I have engaged with politely and respectfully. One poster even asked me for my actual opinion on Sonos' latest releases and I ripped them as bad as anyone here, sans the childish nonsense. But hey, one sees what they want to see.

More like, one sees what is typically there to be seen. I don't rule out that you have occasionally discussed the actual merits of the new design, but in the large majority of the cases you derail the conversation and start shooting the messenger. And yes, that does get annoying quite quickly

Oh and by the way, I also can be seen in other threads helping hundreds of users with troubleshooting problems or buying decisions. If one spent any time outside the complaint threads, one would notice that.

Your helpfulness elsewhere in this forum doesn't justify the rudeness you display in this one..
Userlevel 6
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Oh and by the way, I also can be seen in other threads helping hundreds of users with troubleshooting problems or buying decisions. If one spent any time outside the complaint threads, one would notice that.

Your helpfulness elsewhere in this forum doesn't justify the rudeness you display in this one..


His rudeness is displayed in many other threads also.
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While the Sonos speakers sound good for their size, I think that it would be a struggle to find many who would call the sound output "audiophile".

As for compressed vs uncompressed and hearing sound above 20kHz, I personally cannot detect a difference but there are plenty who claim they can.

And there are also plenty who spend £1,000's on audiophile USB and HDMI cables and claim they can hear or see a difference.

Obviously a very poor sample rate will sound poo, but regular streaming from Amazon through a pair of Sonos Ones is more than adequate for me to enjoy music without the hassle of powering everything on to listen through full sized speakers.
While the Sonos speakers sound good for their size, I think that it would be a struggle to find many who would call the sound output "audiophile".


For their size, you'd be very hard pressed to find any speakers with better performance, actually. Objective reviews certainty confirm this. It's just the ridiculous subjective audiophile press, who jumped the shark many years ago, who refuse to review "lifestyle" speakers, as an honest review (which really never happens in their pages anymore) might roundly embarrass their advertisers.

https://www.lifewire.com/sonos-play-1-measurements-4103874
I repeat, if you folks have a problem with my posts, report me to the mods. The discussion of muscle memory and familiarity is both on topic and reasonable when it comes to UI complaints and I will continue to give my opinion until the mods tell me otherwise. If you don't like it, that is your problem. But please stop confusing disagreement with bullying or rudeness. You want bullying and rude, talk to the people asking me to shut up or telling people their hearing is screwed.

Again, until informed by the mods I am in violation of the TOS I, like all of you, will post what I like, when I like.
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I'm sure that there exists small bookshelf speakers that compete sonically (is that a word?) with Sonos, but I can't think of any smart speakers that have Alexa built in that may sound better.

I only bought a One because I wanted an Echo for controlling home automation, but don't like the insecurity of always on WiFi, and as far as I can tell, the One is unique in having wired Ethernet.

I was impressed with the sound quality and the novelty of calling out a song or genre without having to switch anything on or pick up a smartphone, so I bought another one to stereo pair, and I find the sound to be very good for the size, but I wouldn't call them audiophile speakers.
While the Sonos speakers sound good for their size, I think that it would be a struggle to find many who would call the sound output "audiophile".
You'd think so, wouldn't you? :8
While the Sonos speakers sound good for their size, I think that it would be a struggle to find many who would call the sound output "audiophile".

I am one that would. And as someone that has been an audiophile for ten years with exposure to most audiophile speakers out there except ESLs and the monstrosities that are more than 6 feet tall with 6 or more drive units.

As always, before we can debate this point, there has to be a working definition of the word "audiophile" and from there of the word "audiophile speaker". What is that, please? I still haven't found a good one.

Many would call a passive speaker to be one, even if it has over 20 year old tech inside, if it carries the brand name of the usual suspects and has an appropriate veneer. Many would refuse to call one that, if it does not bear such a brand name, even where it has active tech, with every driver driven by a dedicated amp, using active crossovers that allow the use of state of the art DSP. As the play 1 does.

It has to be down to the sound quality in the listening position, not to ill defined audiophile cred. But unfortunately the latter is more often relied on to label a product an "audiophile speaker".

And even in the arena of audiophilia, it is widely accepted that the satellite+Sub combination is often better able to handle the problem of bass bloat and muddied mid range than large full frequency boxes. Which is why the sound from a 1 pair + Sub sounds as good as it does. But, I hear the audiophile protest - it may be good, but it isn't audiophile. And we are then back to square one in the debate.

Or do I need to get my hearing checked?
Userlevel 6
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IThe discussion of muscle memory and familiarity is both on topic and reasonable
It's a small piece of a bigger puzzle which you keep on ignoring. Doesn't matter what other points people bring up, you won't address them. You just repeat your little rant and try to limit the thread to just that. And yes, that's derailing the conversation.

But please stop confusing disagreement with bullying or rudeness.
If you don't think it's rude to cal people childish, overly dramatic about a first world problem, etc, you need your eyes checked.

Again, until informed by the mods I am in violation of the TOS I, like all of you, will post what I like, when I like.\
Says the bully..
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"As always, before we can debate this point, there has to be a working definition of the word "audiophile" and from there of the word "audiophile speaker". What is that, please? I still haven't found a good one."

What defines audiophile? it can be no more than a personal opinion, it can be relative to what other equipment a person has experienced hearing before, and may well be down to someones individual hearing profile and range.

I think "audiophile" defines equipment (and possibly surroundings) that is able to reproduce a particular frequency range faithfully and accurately without any unwanted distortion or colouring, and without compromise.

I think that "an audiophile" is a Hi-Fi enthusiast.


A person may have a Fiat Uno Turbo and think that it is a very fast car.

Another person may have a Bugatti Veyron and think that it is a very fast car.

The Bugatti owner is unlikely to think the Fiat is a very fast car.


While they do sound good for the size, I wouldn't call a pair of Sonos Ones "audiophile".
I would. But I am now a music enthusiast, not a HiFi fan.
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I wouldn't. I have always been a music enthusiast, and then a HiFi enthusiast too.

But I do not need audiophile equipment to enjoy music.

Indeed, I enjoy it even on the Sonos One.

😛
I would. But I am now a music enthusiast, not a HiFi fan.

OK, so you're no longer "a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction" - that's entirely your choice. We all make compromises to suit our particular situation. However, you shouldn't expect people who actually do still care about the quality of sound reproduction in their home to settle for Sonos kit just on your say so - particularly when their own ears tell them something very different indeed.

As has been said in this thread and elsewhere - Sonos kit is very good for the cost and size, quite possibly the best in it's class. "Audiophile quality", though? - give us a break.
Good for you. I have to confess that in my full blown audiophile past, I had succumbed to the all too common among audiophiles syndrome of seeing music as a test signal. Or losing sight of the moon in manicuring the finger pointing at it; take your pick of descriptions.

Now, in my main listening space a 1 pair + Sub delivers much more music of the same quality as my now sold "audiophile" set ups. As my 1 pair does on my desktop.

Oops, the post is meant only for shadybee.
Now, in my main listening space a 1 pair + Sub delivers much more music of the same quality as my now sold "audiophile" set ups. As my 1 pair does on my desktop.
It's amazing how you expect people to take this seriously, and puts serious doubts about the quality of your previous "audiophile" setup - amongst other things.
LOL.
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Kumar

Critical listening, and listening to music are two different activities.

I can only assume your previous "audiophile set ups" were "audiophile" to only your ears if your Sonos Ones sound better than a decent dedicated amplifier and full size speakers.

Someone at work once came in with what he thought was a "top end designer Italian suit" that he purchased at Ciro Citterio in Oxford Street, and he was happy with it.

Out of interest, what was your previous "audiophile" set up?

I understand Specsavers offer a free hearing test. Maybe you should give them a try. No offence intended, as we all get older we lose a few kHz from the top end...

Enjoy the Sonos Ones.

:8

PS:, no need for Oop's.. If you wish to amend a post, just click on the 3 little dots down there on the bottom right of your post, and you will see an option to edit.

If you don't see the 3 little dots, while you are in Specsavers you can go for the full service and have them check your eyesight too...

😉

Out of interest, what was your previous "audiophile" set up?

I understand Specsavers offer a free hearing test. Maybe you should give them a try. No offence intended, as we all get older we lose a few kHz from the top end...

No offence taken; and I know I can't hear beyond 14 -15 kHz and I don't much care about that. There is nought to be done about it, leave alone test for this. And if hearing loss of this kind allows me to find the same pleasure as in the past in a 1 pair/ 1 pair + Sub, I see that loss as a blessing. Also because in that past, I was restricted to what I heard - it had to be good enough to be worthy of my "audiophile" kit, and available. Now, I don't much care: Robert Johnson sounds as good as Joe Bonamassa. Or Lester Young as good as Scott Hamilton, for another comparison. From lossless ripped CDs or from Apple Music/Google Play.
My last set up, since you ask, was:
1. Marantz KI Signature SACDP
2. Quad 99/909 amplification
3. Harbeth C7 speakers
4. Van den Hul interconnects and speaker cables.
With some power conditioners and isolation platforms throw in.
And since this has gone wildly off topic, my last post on this thread, with apologies to the OP.
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So I think that missing out about 6kHz of top end may well be the reason you cannot tell the difference between your previous setup and the One's, but not having heard the C7's I cannot say.

If you have a Samsung Smartphone, there is a frequency test built in you can do that checks your hearing. I am sure there are apps you can download if not.

At the end of the day, I am happy listening to music on the Sonos, mainly out of the convenience of being able to just call out a song and have it play, and the quality is very good, more than adequate. Enough so that I haven't played music through my main speakers since getting the Ones. I still wouldn't call them audiophile though.

Yes, off topic it has gone, but seeing as the previous topic appeared to be people bullying and arguing, I wouldn't feel the need to apologise too much. This should be my last post on this thread, but only through boredom of repetition.

But maybe if you had Pear Interconnects instead of Van den Hul ...

😃
Userlevel 1
So all we have here is a predetermined bias that may or may not be due to muscle memory and familiarity issues projected ...

This is a ridiculous response. The ease of use has been dramatically reduced. Period. Why should I have to learn a totally new system at Sonos' whim? At work we accept this as part of the job. I'm at home and I want things to work well and with ease. I don't want to learn a new system. What's more, I don't want to try to teach my mother a new system at her house either.