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Sonos support for Hi Res Audio



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Yes, I think there is a reasonable chance that voice control will be a flash in the pan.
That is what I thought until the Sonos announced epiphany had me do some research on the success of the Echo; though I still personally don't see the attraction. As to the internet listening 24/7, all of us need to have concerns about loss of privacy in many more subtle and potentially dangerous ways than this, but the alternative seems to be to head for the hills.

3D Tv is still a gimmick, but the immersive experience that home theatre now offers to those interested and having the space for it is a big step forward from the days of using even a DVD player with a big screen CRT. No such progress has been made in the field of home audio, and I can't say I have any reasons for that; but that may well be the next real advance.
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... read the Dynaudio website on their views on hi res... perceptions are being set.

ok... tried... I really did.. but WTF are they thinking layering loads of pictures with convoluted descriptions and limited clarity on what each truly delivers.

As a potential consumer, I have absolutely no idea what of their line world be of interest to me, or what I'd want to invest in... does their home theatre solution connect with what I *think* is their whole home wifi solution? (their XEO wireless multi-room?) There is a clarity of purpose that I think companies need to identify in their marketing. It seems Dynaudio are selling the 24 Bit thing strongly "...all can handle all can handle full-fat 24-bit/192kHz hi-res files through their entire signal path for zero-compromise sound"...but truth is, I still can't figure out if there is anything there I'm interested in... Not to say they are not great products... just that I can't get through their marketing noise to find out if I'd be interested...

I'd say this to Sonos... keep the marketing message clear and precise. It may be that "full-fat 24-bit/192kHz hi-res files" matter... but the current Sonos clarity of purpose serves so very very well thought out and articulated that I think *that* is important to highlight. Sonos don't do stand-alone speakers to add to an amplifier and audio system (they obviously could build these if they wanted)... that has value in carving out their future space with clarity I think...
Part of the improvement in home theatre has been the audio component. Watching a movie with Sonos 5.1 is very immersive. Or even just an excellent home stereo works very well. In the field of home audio, I would say that Sonos has nailed a couple of key improvements: different music in different rooms using the same system, and the SAME music in all rooms in perfect sync. I love filling the house with music.
Here's a thought. Sonos caved in to the perceived demand for a fully wireless system. I think it has brought a world of pain, soothed only by turning everything off, restart router, restart Sonos speakers one by one, restart controllers, restart ... etc. I hope it was worthwhile, but this mantra needs to be repeated here over and over again.
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.... but the immersive experience that home theatre now offers to those interested and having the space for it is a big step forward from the days of using even a DVD player with a big screen CRT. No such progress has been made in the field of home audio, and I can't say I have any reasons for that; but that may well be the next real advance.

Anyone have any thoughts to Kumar's provocation? Why haven't there been? Or have there been and we simply haven't taken advantage of "what is out there"? Or Is it tied to the ability to capture more in the recording process than is currently the standard? e.g perhaps look to 7.1 or 9.1 audio, as an AUDIO experience (not a MOVIE experience) ... I can see value in sitting in a space and experiencing a 9.1 audio "event" that has been captured properly in a way top create that format... buit is this materially relevant... or will we always be audio aficionados that mainstream system can't bother to product.... because your car can only do stereo.... and obviously that is good enough for audio... 🙂
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I love filling the house with music.

As do I.... and I don't think this is a small deal... it is a material difference from any ability I've ever had in the past.

(Not to mention that my daughter had an amazing party with *unbelievable* audio (of a scope that honestly I've never personally created) throughout the entire space.... when I came home all I could think of was ..."wow, this sounds awesome!!")🆒
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Here's a thought. Sonos caved in to the perceived demand for a fully wireless system. I think it has brought a world of pain, soothed only by turning everything off, restart router, restart Sonos speakers one by one, restart controllers, restart ... etc. I hope it was worthwhile, but this mantra needs to be repeated here over and over again.

So... that leads to.... Do you think that future systems will need to be deeply connected to future developments in wireless? (I think that may be a no-brainer.., but it requires Sonos to understand the future of not only wireless demands.... but the future of home networking.)

While I'm a *bit* of a technology geek... I can see that the developments *necessary* for future IOT and networking demands will require development in home wireless this space..... Home networking is still frustratingly inadequate to deliver what many people want.... This will be an area of future development in the future. I certainly hope that Sonos finds a way to look ahead to the ensure their products don't get left behind in transition to new protocols I seriously hope they have a relationship with NetGear.. or Asus.. or DLink... or all of them... to understand where the future is going.
Why haven't there been? Or have there been and we simply haven't taken advantage of "what is out there"?
My 2 cents: a real life audio experience isn't immersive, one listens to music from a largely 2 dimensional stage in front, something that can be reproduced in a stereo image via 2 channel audio. The only immersive effects are reflections from the rear in a hall. About 40 years ago these were sought to be added and reproduced in quadrophonic systems, but they never really took off.

Having said that, there is still a vast difference, still almost as much as it was 50 years ago, between the audio experience of a live gig, and the recording of that at home. Be it a full scale orchestra in a concert hall from the prime seats or be it live jazz in an intimate setting. But the way to bridge that gap isn't by multiples of 16/44. That gap, IMO, is the opportunity. Is it that like sound added a huge amount to the movie experience, what is missing is the visual experience for audio? But then I don't think that the sales of music Blu Ray discs are anywhere near those of movies. And I don't think that many people listen to music in the way they watch movies at home from one place in the room, so there is that as well.
I love filling the house with music.

As do I.... and I don't think this is a small deal... it is a material difference from any ability I've ever had in the past.


Agreed!
but it requires Sonos to understand the future of not only wireless demands.... but the future of home networking.)

Again, agreed; also with the preceding Peter comment on the network issues intruding in the Sonos experience, the solution for those lying in the home network domain.
While we have digressed from the thread, it has served to emphasise how hi res in terms of 16/44 multiples is just a red herring with more noise than useful signal.
I can see that the developments *necessary* for future IOT and networking demands will require development in home wireless this space..... Home networking is still frustratingly inadequate to deliver what many people want.... This will be an area of future development in the future. I certainly hope that Sonos finds a way to look ahead to the ensure their products don't get left behind in transition to new protocols I seriously hope they have a relationship with NetGear.. or Asus.. or DLink... or all of them... to understand where the future is going.

I'm no expert here, but I perceive a move to mesh networks for the home (see, for example, here). Sonos nailed this many years ago.
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I'm no expert here, but I perceive a move to mesh networks for the home (see, for example, here). Sonos nailed this many years ago.


Agreed... more and more of these systems are popping up because of fundamental dissatisfaction with the traditional "router" and perhaps developments in a new way to blanket your space with network access.... but that creates new opportunities/.challenges for Sonos ... if these become awesome and standard... does that mean Sonos will not need to lead the pack on facilitating device to device communication? Or is it better form them to continue to enable the management of this "on their own".


And I don't mean any disrespect to the OP on this thread.... it remains a fundamental question... is HiRes a red herring or a fundamental stratigic necessity for Sonos to consider going forward? (I know where I lean... but I'm open to other's thoughts!)
I expect future new homes to have wired networks in parallel to mains cables; even in India, new apartments have this as a standard feature that isn't even touted in their marketing now. That should simplify matters on the network side, with Wifi needed perhaps only to eliminate in-room cables to the speaker locations. With some work on router/switch architecture, up time should then easily be as it is/was for legacy wired kit, with broadband service becoming as ubiquitous as mains power. Or not:-), seeing how mains power can be irregular here.

IMO Sonos may even soon go hi res in hardware, merely because the required internal components become cheaper to buy than the current ones used that may go out of production. But I don't see any such compulsions driving expansion of the availability of hi res music content in a hurry.

Of all the new music released in 2016, how much was in hi res formats as well? How much was in hi res only? Low single digit percentages is my guess, with a fraction of a digit for the second kind.
For the jgatie, I do have outstanding hearing and, yes, I have been tested at medical facilities so i am atypical and noted that in my posts.

What is fascinating about this board is how fanatical some are about the science of what inherently is a personal matter. Sharkb8t and Peter Mc are going where I hoped we'd get to namely constant improvement either for technical or business merits.

I encourage folks to read the Dynaudio website on their views on hi res... perceptions are being set.


Of course you have superior hearing to the rest of the entire human race. Why should we think any differently? So I expect you will be submitting yourself to a scientifically based ABX test between a hires and CD quality track from the same masters quite soon, and the results will be published in a peer reviewed scientific journal? Since your claim, if true, would be worth millions in endorsements from the hires music industry, we eagerly await the findings.
I subscribe to Deezer Elite on Sonos which is CD quality streaming. That is good enough for me and I suspect a great majority of Sonos users
Since your claim, if true, would be worth millions in endorsements from the hires music industry, we eargerly await the findings.
IMO, if this was true, there would have been plenty of such people making valid claims in the last decade that the hi res music and equipment industry would have used in very clever (but honest) marketing campaigns. That they haven't tells all there is to be said, I believe. Much more likely, now that I think about this, frantic efforts to promote hi res would not have been needed in the first place, it would have sold itself in exactly the manner Bluray has; one has to see just one movie in that format to be disenchanted with DVDs, no external push is needed once the budget is found, and no scientific claims for image clarity and superiority are needed to bolster the evidence of one's eyes.
What is fascinating about this board is how fanatical some are about the science of what inherently is a personal matter.
I'm glad we at least have what appears to be an honest admission of confirmation bias.
I subscribe to Deezer Elite on Sonos which is CD quality streaming. That is good enough for me and I suspect a great majority of Sonos users
Indeed, based on the current numbers, better than most Sonos users require.
Since your claim, if true, would be worth millions in endorsements from the hires music industry, we eargerly await the findings.
IMO, if this was true, there would have been plenty of such people making valid claims in the last decade that the hi res music and equipment industry would have used in very clever (but honest) marketing campaigns. That they haven't tells all there is to be said, I believe. Much more likely, now that I think about this, frantic efforts to promote hi res would not have been needed in the first place, it would have sold itself in exactly the manner Bluray has; one has to see just one movie in that format to be disenchanted with DVDs, no external push is needed once the budget is found, and no scientific claims for image clarity and superiority are needed to bolster the evidence of one's eyes.


Of course they haven't used this in their marketing campaigns. They know they'd be sued, because any claims of scientific proof would need peer review, and we all know their claims would never survive actual scientific scrutiny. Look at Sony using the "finer slices means greater fidelity" meme in their advertising for proof of that.

I'm glad we at least have what appears to be an honest admission of confirmation bias.


If that was an admission of confirmation bias, then I am well on board. However, I posit that if subjective quality differences are what we are seeking, Sonos would be far better off using Kumar's oft suggested idea of tipple induced enjoyment. Sending every user a nice Pinot Noir or single malt Scotch would be a far better investment than developing for the fraction of a fraction of users who would utilize Hires tracks.
Here's a thought. Sonos caved in to the perceived demand for a fully wireless system. I think it has brought a world of pain, soothed only by turning everything off, restart router, restart Sonos speakers one by one, restart controllers, restart ... etc. I hope it was worthwhile, but this mantra needs to be repeated here over and over again.

Actually, that mantra started way before the fully wireless "Standard" setup. No matter what the setup method, if your router has passed out duplicate IP addresses, Sonos will have a problem.
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Actually, that mantra started way before the fully wireless "Standard" setup. No matter what the setup method, if your router has passed out duplicate IP addresses, Sonos will have a problem.


And is wireless tech the potential 'Achilles heel' for Sonos?

To answer my own question: I'm more of the view that wireless tech, or at least the user management interfaces and abilities for wireless tech, will continue to develop as a result of demands from many many places. I think that bodes well for Sonos's future... and given that I now have an internet connection that will give me 300Mbs download speeds where just a few years ago that would unheard of and only available in a corporate space, it bodes well for access to larger data files for consumers that would have been probablematic just a few years ago... so HiRes, or whatever next development occurs in formats and files, shouldn't be a challenge except perhaps in needing changes to hardware for the future that could limit backward compatibility.... perhaps there would need to develop a Sonos2.0 and SonosNet3.0?
However, I posit that if subjective quality differences are what we are seeking, Sonos would be far better off using Kumar's oft suggested idea of tipple induced enjoyment.
Yet another instance of doing just that right now reinforces my firm conclusion that there isn't a better sound quality tweak around:-), preferably allied to turning the lights down low.


And is wireless tech the potential 'Achilles heel' for Sonos?

To answer my own question: I'm more of the view that wireless tech, or at least the user management interfaces and abilities for wireless tech, will continue to develop as a result of demands from many many places. I think that bodes well for Sonos's future... and given that I now have an internet connection that will give me 300Mbs download speeds where just a few years ago that would unheard of and only available in a corporate space, it bodes well for access to larger data files for consumers that would have been probablematic just a few years ago... so HiRes, or whatever next development occurs in formats and files, shouldn't be a challenge except perhaps in needing changes to hardware for the future that could limit backward compatibility.... perhaps there would need to develop a Sonos2.0 and SonosNet3.0?


Unless Sonos undergoes a complete philosophical change, I highly doubt hi-res audio will ever be supported, no matter how much the technology improves. Sonos' philosophy on hi-res has nothing to do with the technical ability to do it or the size of the market (though of course the minuscule market has to be part of the equation). The only public statement ever made on their reasoning for not supporting Hi-res audio is they just do not believe it sounds better. Period. When you flat out don't believe in something, there has to be a huge market influence to change that belief, and that market does not exist, despite audiophiles predicting it will be the next big thing for going on 20 years,

Think about this, since the invention of Hi-res audio (SACD and DVD-A), DVD's have come and gone, Blu-rays are now obsolete, 4K Blu-rays are now slated to be the next big thing, and yet Hi-res audio has either failed miserably (SACD and DVD-A) or never gained anything close to a significant fraction of the digital audio market. You would think if something is going to be the "next big thing" in audio, it would take less than 15 years and 3 generations of the "next big thing" in a sister technology to do it.
And is wireless tech the potential 'Achilles heel' for Sonos?

No, it's the fact that they are (rightly, IMHO) extremely concerned about keeping as much of their kit fully compatible as possible, and as flexible as possible. In particular, it's not easy to get 32 devices playing in perfect sync, and it makes it many times more difficult if the file sizes are hugely increased.

So they are not going to make any change that means that customers existing kit is obsolete. And they're certainly not going to do it when there is no evidence whatsoever that HiRes sounds better - quite the reverse, in fact.

I agree that their marketing people would probably prefer to tick that box, but alienating a large chunk of your customer base is probably not a good trade-off.