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Alternative to Sonos


Userlevel 5

I sent this to the Sonos CEO email, as this seems to be the only support option available. My main point is to find a solution on the bad situation I find myself in, with the non-functioning new app.

Anyone else, if not the CEO, is welcome to give their suggestions and comments, that may help me on the way. Thanks.

 

“Dear Sonos,

You have done something completely absurd, as you are aware of, by killing off a functioning app and replacing it with one that has close to no functions - a work in progress, at best, or a disaster of an app, when speaking realistically.

After some years without Sonos for my part, since you decided to kill off all older devices, threatening that if I didn't replace them with new ones I would be at risk of you sending out software updates at any time that would render my system useless, I decided to give you a chance again, ordering a Port.

The day after receiving this new device, before I had even managed to connect it and start using it, came this infamous app update.

I have one - one - purpose of owning a Sonos system: I want a player for the music I have in my own collection. CDs that I have copied to a local SAN and are playing from there.

This is hardly possible now. I was lucky to get the old desktop app before you stopped access to it, so that I at least in that app can make playlists - which most of the time are visible and playable from the mobile app.

In the mobile app, it happens from time to time that "My music" appears - and when it does, it sometimes stay long enough for me to see the music collection - in a somewhat useless form, as all contributing artists and their mother and neighbors seem to be in the list that, therefore, becomes extremely long - and since it is not searchable, I can effectively see only the first few letters of the alphabet. When it works at all, that is.

And what can I do with that music overview? I can pick one tune. Or one album. And play it directly. That's it.

If I pick an album, I cannot see the tunes on it in the queue, which is called empty, even though the system does play song after song until that album is over.

If I try with the web app, I can always see My music, and I can pick an artist, if I want - but wanting this means accepting that all tunes by that artist will be played either alphabetically or in random order (if I push that button). I cannot get them played in the order they are on the albums.

So, back to the old desktop app that I now do not dare to upgrade, even though it constantly asks me to do so: There, I can make playlists of albums that will be played in the correct order.

You want so much that I upgrade that app, but what will come out of it? I expect nothing good.

My take on all this is that you have ruined my joy of ownership of that new thing, the Port, like you previously did with the older devices I had. It was wrong of me to give you another chance. You have not proved worthy of that.

So, apart from not buying any more devices from Sonos, due to this failure of delivering what you sold me, I will again start looking for an alternative. 

You are in general lucky, in that the competition is very poor. I tried out Yamaha's MusicCast and Denon's Heos, and where Yamaha had great hardware, they had a terrible app. Where Denon had a useful app, they had malfunctioning hardware. Sonos used to be the combination of good hardware and software, even though you several times have shown a lack of sense of fair business, but now you have the most miserable app of them all, making it impossible to utilize the hardware, so it no longer matters if that is good or bad.

I hope that there is a fourth or a fifth player on the market that I can find and shift to. And since you obviously do not want me as a customer (making my ownership experience as miserable as possible), you probably wouldn't mind that I move to a competitor? 

So, please advise on who is providing a system for playing music that actually works.”

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Best answer by wayneo123 17 May 2024, 13:34

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Userlevel 7
Badge +18

@Bumper Thanks, but I was testing the high-res out on a bluesound node and KEF LX IIs (I have started replacing my Sonos equipment).

@Kumar, not sure I would be able to tell the difference on a blind test either - I just wanted to test the Roon and the lms software and compare.

@castalla I have installed the material plugin and couldn’t find (albeit I only l looked briefly) the setting you show in your screenshot. I will revert back to the default skin and amend the setting.

I have also installed iPeng app on my iPhone which was no extra cost as I had installed it back in the day when I was using LMS.

Thanks all for your contribution 👍

Do you mean the Music & Artist Info screen?  It's a plugin (3rd party, I think). 

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Manage Players Screen (with updating mini screen artwork) 

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

All up and running now and I have the expected sampling rate. It seems that the Qobuz plugin was the limiting factor when carrying out the initial testing.

Not sure if I will pick this over Roon at present. That said, I may well use LMS for the alarm functionality in the future, currently neither roon or the kef app have built-in alarm functionality, so if I do swap out my current sonos bedroom speakers I will have access to alarm functionality. I was going to attempt to do this via automations in Home Assistant.

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Excellent!  

Userlevel 2
Badge

I’ll be installing Denon HEOS this week, instead of Sonos. This is because Sonos ran the update in the middle of my Sonos installation, and I was unable to complete the install. 

I have to pull all of the whole house Sonos equipment out, and install HEOS to remedy this absurdity.

Denon HEOS and Yamaha Musiccast are viable alternatives. I’m sure there are other alternatives as well.

I will no longer recomend Sonos to anyone, if Sonos doesn’t take immediate, effective, corrective action, like rollback to version 16.

Userlevel 5

I’ll be installing Denon HEOS this week, instead of Sonos. This is because Sonos ran the update in the middle of my Sonos installation, and I was unable to complete the install. 

I have to pull all of the whole house Sonos equipment out, and install HEOS to remedy this absurdity.

Denon HEOS and Yamaha Musiccast are viable alternatives. I’m sure there are other alternatives as well.

I will no longer recomend Sonos to anyone, if Sonos doesn’t take immediate, effective, corrective action, like rollback to version 16.

I hope that Heos will work for you, but I had big problems with my two AV amplifiers from Denon with built-in Heos - they apparantly loose the network connection every now and then, and it has been reported since Heos was invented in 2007 or there about, and it still happens.

My own experience says that when it happens, it can then stay like this for a minute, an hour, a day, or several weeks. Resetting the network may help, or not, updating the firmware, etc. may or may not help for a while, then it is bad again.

The USB connector doesn’t work either when it happens (so playing back from a USB disk isn’t possible). Or, that is - it does…! The AV amplifiers can act as DLNA servers with a USB disk connected, containing the contents, and this still works even when Heos claims that there is no network - other devices in my network can see and use the Denon DLNA as if nothing had happened, all while the device itself claims that there is not network connection and refuses to play neither my own music collection from any medium, nor internet radio.

I have not tried any dedicated Heos devices - maybe they are better.

Otherwise, the mobile app is quite good to use and I enjoyed it when it worked.

Yamaha’s MusicCast I also tried, and it works well. Only, the app is not a masterpiece, to put it nicely. The queue is not very long, it doesn't tell what is actually in the metadata for the music, just a selection of it (for instance, you may not be told which album a tune is from or some other arbitrary info left out), and there are a maximum of 5 playlists, each with max 200 tunes.

The worst part is that MusicCast makes a several seconds long pause between the tunes, which for some kinds of music is quite annoying. But the sound that comes out of it is great and for the most part, it is possible to listen to music through this system.

Much better seems Bluesound that I have tried for a few days now, though only with one device, and then people speak about WiiM as a good and less costly alternative.

With Roon you can control several different media players and send them your music queue that you can set up as you wish - also an advise from the forum; I am testing this now.

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

The Wiim range (90-350 usd) are excellent - decent app too!  You need powered speakers for each unit, however.

All, except the cheapest Mini, are Roon and Lyrion ready. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Wiim's also have chromecast. 

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

I got the WiiM amp delivered yesterday (chose it over the Bluesound Powernode as a replacement for a sonos amp).

I have to say I am pretty impressed. I had read rave reviews about them, but I still had nagging doubt given the relative cheapness of the product.

The finish was good and as @castalla said the app is pretty decent as well.

It may potentially struggle to fill big rooms, but apart from that, I can’t fault it. It’s an absolute steal for the price (£319).

I may well end up in profit when I sell the sonos amp it replaced (assuming sonos finally get their @rse in gear and fix the app ).

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

I recieved a reply - unfortunately not from the CEO but from the well-meaning support. Here it is, and following is what I responded.

It doesn’t look like anybody in the “community” really cares, so I will leave with this as my final words.

 

Dear Jörgen,

Thank you for reaching out to share your feedback about the new Sonos app.

...We are committed to providing our users with the best possible experience, and we are working tirelessly to reinstate some important features in the app in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

This is nonsense corporate script.  They are absolutely not committed to providing users with the best possible experience or they would immediately pull this release and let users rollback.  What a disingenuous crock of $#%#.

I don’t know what’s up with them - must be getting heat from the BOD over poor growth / sales.  Well this ain’t how you fix that.  I imagine a lot of users have about all the product they can use - after years and years, I do.  So they force an upgrade on the hardware that should have been enough to tell us they are not committed to customers at all.  Now they are at it again and the CEO clearly has zero interest in our email feedback.  I feel like they are heading for a “TiVo” moment of irrelevance. I’m voting with my money now:
 

  • no Sonos music subs for me
  • no headphones or whatever life raft they are pitching that forced this software release
  • no new speakers or amps or ports - when they break, I’m looking elsewhere
Userlevel 2

Absolutely the worst app update I’ve ever seen.  Piece of junk.  Hardly can use it.  What is Sonos doing.  We pay a Premium for equipment and then they screw it all up.  If I could dump it all I would consider.   Very disappointing to say the least.  Used to love this system and speaker set up I have for outdoor patio pool etc.  What are you going to do Sonos to fix this piece of shit app? Who makes these decisions and who the heck tests it?  No one obviously.  Not sure I’ll ever buy another piece of the this premium platform.   
Get this FIXED.   

"We pay a Premium for equipment and then they screw it all up." That's just so true. Startet planing my new homesetup, but Sonos did it again. Couple of years ago I noticed at a customers spot that Sonos just quit support for older devices, providing a 50€ coupon to buy a new version of something that was bought for 200 months ago. Your politics are absolut ridiculous. I'll will never buy or recommend Sonos anymore. It's just sad what Sonos is doing with it.

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

@Kumar

The majority of my rooms use an amp/port to stream the music and are paired with other equipment.

The only room currently using sonos speakers is the master bedroom.

These will stay, more for convenience (ie not having to redecorate if I remove the arc from the wall) than anything else.

Amp/port both have line in jacks that can free you from the yoke of the Sonos app, once you have used it to configure the line in on the port/amp, by setting that to autoplay. Thereafter any source plugged into the line in jack just has to start playing for it to be heard downstream of port/amp, from the speakers at the downstream end.

 

I don’t know about the line-ins on older S1 devices, buy my line-ins on the S2 Ports are sub-par.  I was hoping to use one to get audio out of my recording studio into my rec room.  The sound was low volume and I had to overly crank the AV8002 to hear it.  I played around with the line-in settings trying all the various component options and adjusting the output of my studio into it. To achieve “normal” playback levels that matched my other gear and systems, the line-in would distort and sound terrible.  My final solution: 40 feet of wire/RCA connections from the studio to the rec room, old-school.  That’s a lot of wire and long run for RCA cables but sounds perfectly fine now compared to the line-ins.  I don’t recommend the line-ins for any decent fidelity.

Userlevel 2
Badge

I sent this to the Sonos CEO email, as this seems to be the only support option available. My main point is to find a solution on the bad situation I find myself in, with the non-functioning new app.

Anyone else, if not the CEO, is welcome to give their suggestions and comments, that may help me on the way. Thanks.

 

“Dear Sonos,

You have done something completely absurd, as you are aware of, by killing off a functioning app and replacing it with one that has close to no functions - a work in progress, at best, or a disaster of an app, when speaking realistically.After some years without Sonos for my part, since you decided to kill off all older devices, threatening that if I didn't replace them with new ones I would be at risk of you sending out software updates at any time that would render my system useless, I decided to give you a chance again, ordering a Port.

The day after receiving this new device, before I had even managed to connect it and start using it, came this infamous app update.

I have one - one - purpose of owning a Sonos system: I want a player for the music I have in my own collection. CDs that I have copied to a local SAN and are playing from there.

This is hardly possible now. I was lucky to get the old desktop app before you stopped access to it, so that I at least in that app can make playlists - which most of the time are visible and playable from the mobile app.

In the mobile app, it happens from time to time that "My music" appears - and when it does, it sometimes stay long enough for me to see the music collection - in a somewhat useless form, as all contributing artists and their mother and neighbors seem to be in the list that, therefore, becomes extremely long - and since it is not searchable, I can effectively see only the first few letters of the alphabet. When it works at all, that is.

And what can I do with that music overview? I can pick one tune. Or one album. And play it directly. That's it.

If I pick an album, I cannot see the tunes on it in the queue, which is called empty, even though the system does play song after song until that album is over.

If I try with the web app, I can always see My music, and I can pick an artist, if I want - but wanting this means accepting that all tunes by that artist will be played either alphabetically or in random order (if I push that button). I cannot get them played in the order they are on the albums.

So, back to the old desktop app that I now do not dare to upgrade, even though it constantly asks me to do so: There, I can make playlists of albums that will be played in the correct order.

You want so much that I upgrade that app, but what will come out of it? I expect nothing good.

My take on all this is that you have ruined my joy of ownership of that new thing, the Port, like you previously did with the older devices I had. It was wrong of me to give you another chance. You have not proved worthy of that.

So, apart from not buying any more devices from Sonos, due to this failure of delivering what you sold me, I will again start looking for an alternative. 

You are in general lucky, in that the competition is very poor. I tried out Yamaha's MusicCast and Denon's Heos, and where Yamaha had great hardware, they had a terrible app. Where Denon had a useful app, they had malfunctioning hardware. Sonos used to be the combination of good hardware and software, even though you several times have shown a lack of sense of fair business, but now you have the most miserable app of them all, making it impossible to utilize the hardware, so it no longer matters if that is good or bad.

I hope that there is a fourth or a fifth player on the market that I can find and shift to. And since you obviously do not want me as a customer (making my ownership experience as miserable as possible), you probably wouldn't mind that I move to a competitor? 

So, please advise on who is providing a system for playing music that actually works.”

Hi Jorwin. Having become exhausted looking for a workaround to the chaos the new App has caused to my life I’ve been contemplating all night (again) if I should send a personal message and what I would say to Patrick Spence - and then I come across your comments. My thoughts exactly - thank you.

I suspect from your message to him that you, like me, have amassed over the years a vast library of physical music on Vinyl and CDs on which you have spent many pleasurable hours painstakingly and meticulously downloading to your desktops, tablets and mobiles and, through investment in SONOS equipment and the S1 and S2 Apps, have been able to enjoy through the versatility of being able to listen to any artist, at any time, anywhere in your house at the swipe of a screen or the press of a button.

Not anymore I’m afraid. Me-thinks Spence feels as if we should drag ourselves even further into this modern world, that personal music libraries derived from old and ancient mediums such as CDs and Vinyl should be consigned to the bin and we should all fork out more money to subscribe to faster broadband and digital music services - and by hook or by crook SONOS will force you down that path whether you like it or not, ‘cos they obviously don’t give a s**t for the customers that have supported them and put vast amounts of cash in their pockets.

I’ve totally lost faith in SONOS and I’m about to consign the majority of my now practically useless £8000+ worth of equipment to Room 101 (or is that error 913?) to join the defunct SONOS Connect and Bridge which are already gathering dust in there, thanks to previous SONOS “innovative” updates.

I’m not sure where you are based Jorwin but here in the UK we have what has become known as the *Post Office Scandal* which involved an IT company and crap software which ruined peoples lives. While in no way am I comparing the suffering those people went through with what we are going through with SONOS, I can’t help but compare Spence’s attitude to his customers with that of The Post Office CEO Paula Vennells` to the Post Masters affected. My only wish would be to find a way to bring Spence to account for his actions and utter lack of respect for his customers, as Vennells has been.

Well that vent should help get me through another day - I’ll think I’ll check out the email SONOS has sent me about their new Ear Phones -- NOT!!!!!!!!!

Cheers

 

Userlevel 5

I hope that there is a fourth or a fifth player on the market that I can find and shift to. And since you obviously do not want me as a customer (making my ownership experience as miserable as possible), you probably wouldn't mind that I move to a competitor? 

So, please advise on who is providing a system for playing music that actually works.”

Hi Jorwin. Having become exhausted looking for a workaround to the chaos the new App has caused to my life I’ve been contemplating all night (again) if I should send a personal message and what I would say to Patrick Spence - and then I come across your comments. My thoughts exactly - thank you.

I suspect from your message to him that you, like me, have amassed over the years a vast library of physical music on Vinyl and CDs on which you have spent many pleasurable hours painstakingly and meticulously downloading to your desktops, tablets and mobiles and, through investment in SONOS equipment and the S1 and S2 Apps, have been able to enjoy through the versatility of being able to listen to any artist, at any time, anywhere in your house at the swipe of a screen or the press of a button.

Not anymore I’m afraid. Me-thinks Spence feels as if we should drag ourselves even further into this modern world, that personal music libraries derived from old and ancient mediums such as CDs and Vinyl should be consigned to the bin and we should all fork out more money to subscribe to faster broadband and digital music services - and by hook or by crook SONOS will force you down that path whether you like it or not, ‘cos they obviously don’t give a s**t for the customers that have supported them and put vast amounts of cash in their pockets.

I’ve totally lost faith in SONOS and I’m about to consign the majority of my now practically useless £8000+ worth of equipment to Room 101 (or is that error 913?) to join the defunct SONOS Connect and Bridge which are already gathering dust in there, thanks to previous SONOS “innovative” updates.

I’m not sure where you are based Jorwin but here in the UK we have what has become known as the *Post Office Scandal* which involved an IT company and crap software which ruined peoples lives. While in no way am I comparing the suffering those people went through with what we are going through with SONOS, I can’t help but compare Spence’s attitude to his customers with that of The Post Office CEO Paula Vennells` to the Post Masters affected. My only wish would be to find a way to bring Spence to account for his actions and utter lack of respect for his customers, as Vennells has been.

Well that vent should help get me through another day - I’ll think I’ll check out the email SONOS has sent me about their new Ear Phones -- NOT!!!!!!!!!

Cheers

 

Yes, that music collection and the many hours spent on making it available at the swipe of a screen, as you say it, is essential to me. Therefore, Sonos’ killing the possibility to utilise it and do just that was a full stop for me.

And then not. I can advise you to have a look at Roon - simply some software that works and can be used to control not only Sonos media players but also many other devices. With this, you can get value out of your Sonos equipment, apparently both S1 and S2 - even though I myself have only S1 devices left, so I haven’t tried out how well it works with S2.

It takes a bit of effort to set it up on a computer (preferably one that can stay on all the time) and let it index all your music, but then you have it there and it simply works. It is a server app plus two apps for the mobile and other client devices - one for in-house playing of music, the other to be used when you are out (yes, you can get access to your music even when you are not at home).

Now, Roon is owned by Harman Kardon, again owned by Samsung, and in this world of big money everything can happen. I hope that they will not kill Roon or the app,

The best part of it is not even the great app which beats anything else on the market (and certainly the new Sonos app) - it is that you can mix different brands of media players, so you don’t have to show that one-way loyalty that each of these usually expects from you.

Multi-room works across different brands, as long as they use the same communication technology - meaning that Sonos is on its own, but many ChromeCast or AirPlay devices can be mixed brands in the same multi-room group.

Roon costs some money, but not much when comparing to the price of a media player.

Currently, I use Roon for listening to music in mainly one room with a Bluesound Edge player and a Yamaha WXC-50 player connected to a Denon amplifier (the latter having HEOS built-in, but it doesn’t work). With two players, I can switch between two different queues in the Roon app, so that I can pick the one for the mood I am in. Luxury, of course, but I had the Yamaha player from previous and decided to try it out with Roon after I had already bought the Bluesound, and it works.

In another room I have a Sonos Play 5 - not the most fantastic sound quality, according to my ears, so it will be replaced some day, but for now it works - with Roon.

A third room will soon be equipped with a Harman Kardon Citation 700 sound bar, as it is on sale just now, and yet another room will soon get a WiiM Amp connected to a pair of wall-mount Dali loudspeakers and a Canton subwoofer.

My old Sonos Connect will be installed in yet another room with yet another Denon amplifier.

I have an Apple TV player connected to a Samsung TV (the latter having Airplay but is invisible from Roon).

Roon itself is installed on an old iMac, but it could have been any PC that can be left on - running Windows, macOS or Linux. Roon sells special small computers ready equipped with the software, but they also advise on how you can make one yourself using such as an Intel NUK mini computer.

Out of all this, the Sonos devices can be grouped with each other - but not with anything else. The Yamaha, Bluesound and maybe more devices can be grouped through Airplay. The Bluesound and Wiim can be grouped through the native Roon protocol, and the Citation probable needs to be operated alone through ChromeCast (but from Roon) or simply just playing the sound from the connected TV.

A bit of care when buying players should allow for them all to have at least one common protocol, so that they can all be grouped for full-house multi-room music, but that is not a high priority for me.

I am in Sweden, and I haven’t heard about the Post Office Scandal in the UK. But I have during the years experienced bad behaviour from Sonos, and to me the continued breach of respect for their customers’ needs is unforgivable. But I don’t think that Sonos really cares about loosing a few customers, since they obviously want to move towards a model with shorter timespans, shorter product lives, where they get new customers all the time on the basis of advertising and “fads of the month”. They want to be a deliverer of many pieces of equipment, not a fan club for old devices.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope that you can make Sonos change their mind and yourself find a good way forward. This is about music, first of all, and there are, luckily, many ways of listening to that - Sonos may once have looked like the way forward but they have burned the bridges not only behind them but also in front of them. 

Oh, and about bridges - yes, I had such one from Sonos. It died one day, was completely bricked, so I took it away and it made not difference whatsoever. It had been a dead weight in the system, or a decoration, but without any real use.

Userlevel 2
Badge

I hope that there is a fourth or a fifth player on the market that I can find and shift to. And since you obviously do not want me as a customer (making my ownership experience as miserable as possible), you probably wouldn't mind that I move to a competitor? 

So, please advise on who is providing a system for playing music that actually works.”

Hi Jorwin. Having become exhausted looking for a workaround to the chaos the new App has caused to my life I’ve been contemplating all night (again) if I should send a personal message and what I would say to Patrick Spence - and then I come across your comments. My thoughts exactly - thank you.

I suspect from your message to him that you, like me, have amassed over the years a vast library of physical music on Vinyl and CDs on which you have spent many pleasurable hours painstakingly and meticulously downloading to your desktops, tablets and mobiles and, through investment in SONOS equipment and the S1 and S2 Apps, have been able to enjoy through the versatility of being able to listen to any artist, at any time, anywhere in your house at the swipe of a screen or the press of a button.

Not anymore I’m afraid. Me-thinks Spence feels as if we should drag ourselves even further into this modern world, that personal music libraries derived from old and ancient mediums such as CDs and Vinyl should be consigned to the bin and we should all fork out more money to subscribe to faster broadband and digital music services - and by hook or by crook SONOS will force you down that path whether you like it or not, ‘cos they obviously don’t give a s**t for the customers that have supported them and put vast amounts of cash in their pockets.

I’ve totally lost faith in SONOS and I’m about to consign the majority of my now practically useless £8000+ worth of equipment to Room 101 (or is that error 913?) to join the defunct SONOS Connect and Bridge which are already gathering dust in there, thanks to previous SONOS “innovative” updates.

I’m not sure where you are based Jorwin but here in the UK we have what has become known as the *Post Office Scandal* which involved an IT company and crap software which ruined peoples lives. While in no way am I comparing the suffering those people went through with what we are going through with SONOS, I can’t help but compare Spence’s attitude to his customers with that of The Post Office CEO Paula Vennells` to the Post Masters affected. My only wish would be to find a way to bring Spence to account for his actions and utter lack of respect for his customers, as Vennells has been.

Well that vent should help get me through another day - I’ll think I’ll check out the email SONOS has sent me about their new Ear Phones -- NOT!!!!!!!!!

Cheers

 

Yes, that music collection and the many hours spent on making it available at the swipe of a screen, as you say it, is essential to me. Therefore, Sonos’ killing the possibility to utilise it and do just that was a full stop for me.

And then not. I can advise you to have a look at Roon - simply some software that works and can be used to control not only Sonos media players but also many other devices. With this, you can get value out of your Sonos equipment, apparently both S1 and S2 - even though I myself have only S1 devices left, so I haven’t tried out how well it works with S2.

It takes a bit of effort to set it up on a computer (preferably one that can stay on all the time) and let it index all your music, but then you have it there and it simply works. It is a server app plus two apps for the mobile and other client devices - one for in-house playing of music, the other to be used when you are out (yes, you can get access to your music even when you are not at home).

Now, Roon is owned by Harman Kardon, again owned by Samsung, and in this world of big money everything can happen. I hope that they will not kill Roon or the app,

The best part of it is not even the great app which beats anything else on the market (and certainly the new Sonos app) - it is that you can mix different brands of media players, so you don’t have to show that one-way loyalty that each of these usually expects from you.

Multi-room works across different brands, as long as they use the same communication technology - meaning that Sonos is on its own, but many ChromeCast or AirPlay devices can be mixed brands in the same multi-room group.

Roon costs some money, but not much when comparing to the price of a media player.

Currently, I use Roon for listening to music in mainly one room with a Bluesound Edge player and a Yamaha WXC-50 player connected to a Denon amplifier (the latter having HEOS built-in, but it doesn’t work). With two players, I can switch between two different queues in the Roon app, so that I can pick the one for the mood I am in. Luxury, of course, but I had the Yamaha player from previous and decided to try it out with Roon after I had already bought the Bluesound, and it works.

In another room I have a Sonos Play 5 - not the most fantastic sound quality, according to my ears, so it will be replaced some day, but for now it works - with Roon.

A third room will soon be equipped with a Harman Kardon Citation 700 sound bar, as it is on sale just now, and yet another room will soon get a WiiM Amp connected to a pair of wall-mount Dali loudspeakers and a Canton subwoofer.

My old Sonos Connect will be installed in yet another room with yet another Denon amplifier.

I have an Apple TV player connected to a Samsung TV (the latter having Airplay but is invisible from Roon).

Roon itself is installed on an old iMac, but it could have been any PC that can be left on - running Windows, macOS or Linux. Roon sells special small computers ready equipped with the software, but they also advise on how you can make one yourself using such as an Intel NUK mini computer.

Out of all this, the Sonos devices can be grouped with each other - but not with anything else. The Yamaha, Bluesound and maybe more devices can be grouped through Airplay. The Bluesound and Wiim can be grouped through the native Roon protocol, and the Citation probable needs to be operated alone through ChromeCast (but from Roon) or simply just playing the sound from the connected TV.

A bit of care when buying players should allow for them all to have at least one common protocol, so that they can all be grouped for full-house multi-room music, but that is not a high priority for me.

I am in Sweden, and I haven’t heard about the Post Office Scandal in the UK. But I have during the years experienced bad behaviour from Sonos, and to me the continued breach of respect for their customers’ needs is unforgivable. But I don’t think that Sonos really cares about loosing a few customers, since they obviously want to move towards a model with shorter timespans, shorter product lives, where they get new customers all the time on the basis of advertising and “fads of the month”. They want to be a deliverer of many pieces of equipment, not a fan club for old devices.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope that you can make Sonos change their mind and yourself find a good way forward. This is about music, first of all, and there are, luckily, many ways of listening to that - Sonos may once have looked like the way forward but they have burned the bridges not only behind them but also in front of them. 

Oh, and about bridges - yes, I had such one from Sonos. It died one day, was completely bricked, so I took it away and it made not difference whatsoever. It had been a dead weight in the system, or a decoration, but without any real use.

Cheers Jorwin,

Lots of good information and ideas there, and very much appreciated. At 72 years young though I'm looking for the simple life, which I thought SONOS had delivered for me! Not so it seems.. so I dusted off my 45 year old Technics SL10 DD turntable with moving coil cartridge, had it serviced, coupled it with my 45 year old Technics SU-C 01 pre-amp and SE-C 01 Amp, playing through my 45 year old passive B&W DM12 speakers all of which sadly had been mothballed with the advent of SONOS….and I am really enjoying listening to all my Vinyl as it should be heard - if I crank the volume up to 10 I can even hear my music throughout my house (so, unfortunately, can the neighbours though!) I’m even getting some extra exercise walking across the room to turn the LP over every 15 minutes.  Bliss.

Take care, and hopefully we may hear something a bit more positive from SONOS soon.

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I’ve stepped my Sonos app back to 16.1 and (I hope) blocked upgrades on my speakers. And I can now play music from my library again.  Which, to be quite frank, is all I ever wanted my Sonos system to do, Play my music.

Now I read they've allegedly fixed some things.  And maybe there’s something I can do to reconfigure the Windows library to make it work.  But why would I want to go through that stress and aggravation (in order to find what functionality is still missing) when it already works?

And listening to the arrogant idiot that is the chief executive, congratulating himself on kicking his customers in the teeth, well, I hope he finds some new ones.

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I am really enjoying listening to all my Vinyl as it should be heard - if I crank the volume up to 10 I can even hear my music throughout my house (so, unfortunately, can the neighbours though!) I’m even getting some extra exercise walking across the room to turn the LP over every 15 minutes.  Bliss.

Take care, and hopefully we may hear something a bit more positive from SONOS soon.

That’s the spirit! Turning up the music was always the way to hear it everywhere :) And turning the LPs was a pleasant ritual - dusting them off, putting the needle right - unless you had an automatic turntable, of course - and accepting that after some minutes that was it and a new round of rituals were to begin.

It is not strange to see that the young ones today have picked up that idea, often turning against many modern inventions and valuing the older constructions of all kinds.

We who were seeking “simple life” have found “rich life” instead - as the providers didn’t want to give us that “simple” to put into our lives and we no longer want to take just whatever they are offering instead.

Life has again become our own.

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I’ve stepped my Sonos app back to 16.1 and (I hope) blocked upgrades on my speakers. And I can now play music from my library again.  Which, to be quite frank, is all I ever wanted my Sonos system to do, Play my music.

Now I read they've allegedly fixed some things.  And maybe there’s something I can do to reconfigure the Windows library to make it work.  But why would I want to go through that stress and aggravation (in order to find what functionality is still missing) when it already works?

And listening to the arrogant idiot that is the chief executive, congratulating himself on kicking his customers in the teeth, well, I hope he finds some new ones.

Yes, why would we volunteer to get kicked - again and again - by that company?

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I’ve stepped my Sonos app back to 16.1 and (I hope) blocked upgrades on my speakers. And I can now play music from my library again.  Which, to be quite frank, is all I ever wanted my Sonos system to do, Play my music.

Now I read they've allegedly fixed some things.  And maybe there’s something I can do to reconfigure the Windows library to make it work.  But why would I want to go through that stress and aggravation (in order to find what functionality is still missing) when it already works?

And listening to the arrogant idiot that is the chief executive, congratulating himself on kicking his customers in the teeth, well, I hope he finds some new ones.

Hi Philip, without making it too technical, if you can, ‘cos I probably wouldn’t understand it,

  1. was your step back to 16.1 on your desktop (or laptop)?
  2. did the step back automatically pick up your music library? (I keep getting Error 913 when trying to pick up my iTunes library which disappeared from SONOS I suspect due to V16.2)
  3. were you, or are you using V80 of the SONOS controller to play your library and control your speakers alongside V16.1?
  4. How, please tell me, how you got back to 16.1….. I’m frustrated and desperate …. cheers
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Sonos has finally found a solution to our problems with the app- turn off your Sonos and don’t use it until they finally fix all the problems.  In the meanwhile, buy the headphones.

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I’ll be installing Denon HEOS this week, instead of Sonos. This is because Sonos ran the update in the middle of my Sonos installation, and I was unable to complete the install. 

I have to pull all of the whole house Sonos equipment out, and install HEOS to remedy this absurdity.

Denon HEOS and Yamaha Musiccast are viable alternatives. I’m sure there are other alternatives as well.

I will no longer recomend Sonos to anyone, if Sonos doesn’t take immediate, effective, corrective action, like rollback to version 16.

I recently upgraded my AVR to a Denon with HEOS “built in”. So I copied all my music library to a large USB “stick” and plugged it in to the Denon and downloaded the Android version of HEOS to my phone. I have to say that I am well impressed with the app so far. Of course it currently only works in my lounge where the Denon is connected to a 5.1 speaker set up. Apart from the USB input, HEOS links to streamers such as Amazon Music, Tune In etc. Album art included and flac files are supported in library music . I still have my Sonos kit and continue to use it with S2 16.1 which works fine. But if the new Sonos app doesn’t get sorted to same functionality I may well be investing in other HEOS speakers to replace my sonos ones in the other rooms in the house, There is no subscription fee to use HEOS but you do need to create an account with them.

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Spotify Connect isn't a replacement.  It's Spotify only. 

Good grief! 

Bluesound speakers can suffer from STICKY GOO syndrome within 2 years - no fix. 

That was an issue but the coating was removed on new devices a few years back, the Pulse Flex speaker actually has silicone skins available which solves this or you can remove the sticky coating on older devices,with pure alcohol.

I switched to Wiim Pro boxes after 13 years of Sonos loyalty. Why did I switch? I had either a 3 or 4 zone setup over those years, that was mostly stable and a satisfying experience. Then came S2, obsoleting two of my players. The last two years with Sonos were spent constantly resetting Sonos players and being told my “wireless environment” is the issue. I finally realized that for the price of selling one my Sonos players on Ebay I could buy 3 Wiim Pro boxes that run on 5G  (what a novel concept, modern wireless protocol).  I’ve had six months of flawless whole house music and wonder why I and others stuck with Sonos so long. I still haven’t gotten over the feeling of being used. 

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Sonos sucks!!!!!!!

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