Why I don't own a Sonos system (and what Sonos can do about it)



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I just don't see Sonos devoting much effort towards a market that isn't growing, and is already well covered with other products.

Wireless speakers are not in a growing market?


No. OP wanted speakers for PC audio. I don't have stats on it, but PC sales have been going down for years, in favor of phones and tablets and IoT. It stands to reason that speakers for PCs would also be going down. And since the need for wireless is less useful with PC, I just can't see a lot of potential market here. Surely there are customers out there, but probably not enough to produce products for.
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I just don't see Sonos devoting much effort towards a market that isn't growing, and is already well covered with other products.

Wireless speakers are not in a growing market?


No. OP wanted speakers for PC audio. I don't have stats on it, but PC sales have been going down for years, in favor of phones and tablets and IoT. It stands to reason that speakers for PCs would also be going down. And since the need for wireless is less useful with PC, I just can't see a lot of potential market here. Surely there are customers out there, but probably not enough to produce products for.


He wants wireless speakers. Speakers that he can stream to from a computer/tablet/phone etc. You can see why people would mistakenly assume a Play:1 is such a speaker, and why they would find it useful.
"Then she says, oh OK, and of course they play music and sound from my laptop that is on my desk, so I can watch YouTube, and news stories and such, and listen to them on these speakers. Of course they do, I said... Little did I know, you can't!!! This is a huge miss from Sonos. These speakers should definitely have bluetooth capability added in addition to their network Wifi interface."

She essentially wanted PC speakers. Yes, your portable Bluetooth can get that done too, but not needed when you're talking about a desk setting.

And yes, he wanted wireless speakers, but he also didn't seem to care about streaming from a laptop.

Whatever.
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"Then she says, oh OK, and of course they play music and sound from my laptop that is on my desk, so I can watch YouTube, and news stories and such, and listen to them on these speakers. Of course they do, I said... Little did I know, you can't!!! This is a huge miss from Sonos. These speakers should definitely have bluetooth capability added in addition to their network Wifi interface."

She essentially wanted PC speakers. Yes, your portable Bluetooth can get that done too, but not needed when you're talking about a desk setting.

And yes, he wanted wireless speakers, but he also didn't seem to care about streaming from a laptop.

Whatever.


The Play speakers are described by Sonos as 'wireless speakers'. I think most people's expectation of wireless speakers is be that you can stream audio to them from your computer, phone or tablet.

You can't (Spotify apart) hence threads like this. Pretty simple, and an obvious use case that's currently not possible.
I get that people can misinterpret what Sonos means what they say they're speakers are wireless, and that's irrelevant to what I was saying. I was saying that speakers that play audio from your PC is not a growing market, since PCs are used less and less every year. And there are already a ton of Bluetooth speakers on the market to do that.
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I get that people can misinterpret what Sonos means what they say they're speakers are wireless, and that's irrelevant to what I was saying. I was saying that speakers that play audio from your PC is not a growing market, since PCs are used less and less every year. And there are already a ton of Bluetooth speakers on the market to do that.

Well l I have no idea why you brought "PC speakers" up. The OP doesn't want PC speakers, he wants his Sonos to do more things.
lol. The 'more things' he wants (really, his wife) is to "play music and sound from my laptop that is on my desk". In other words, what PC speakers do.

But you read it differently. Doesn't matter, whatever.
To quote the OP:



. . .

Then she says, oh OK, and of course they play music and sound from my laptop that is on my desk, so I can watch YouTube, and news stories and such, and listen to them on these speakers. Of course they do, I said... Little did I know, you can't!!!

. . .

Sonos, add that and I'll buy a whole house full of these. But having to have an entirely separate set of speakers just for PC audio? That's a non-starter!



Nah, she didn't want PC speakers at all! She wanted "more things." :8

And it seems this guy agrees with melvimbe:

Despite what jgate says, wanting to play wirelessly from your computer is a perfectly valid thing to want and expect from Sonos.

Unless wanting to play audio wirelessly from your computer doesn't mean wireless PC speakers?
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lol. The 'more things' he wants (really, his wife) is to "play music and sound from my laptop that is on my desk". In other words, what PC speakers do.

But you read it differently. Doesn't matter, whatever.


He doesn't want seperate speakers to do that. He wants one wireless speaker to cover all his needs. It's really quite simple.
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To quote the OP:



. . .

Then she says, oh OK, and of course they play music and sound from my laptop that is on my desk, so I can watch YouTube, and news stories and such, and listen to them on these speakers. Of course they do, I said... Little did I know, you can't!!!

. . .

Sonos, add that and I'll buy a whole house full of these. But having to have an entirely separate set of speakers just for PC audio? That's a non-starter!



Nah, she didn't want PC speakers at all! She wanted "more things." :8

And it seems this guy agrees with melvimbe:

Despite what jgate says, wanting to play wirelessly from your computer is a perfectly valid thing to want and expect from Sonos.

Unless wanting to play audio wirelessly from your computer doesn't mean wireless PC speakers?


Wireless speakers. To which you stream audio from whatever device you want. Wireless speakers, as most people understand them to be.

He does not want speakers to specifically and only play audio from a "PC". He wants general purpose wireless speakers.
*YAWN*
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*YAWN*

Bizarre.
Wireless means different things to different people; an expectation of no mains cords is also legitimate for people that see just the ordinary English meaning of the word and there are many speakers that meet this expectation; loads of bluetooth speakers in fact, that need a wire only for charging.

Unless expectations have been clearly stated, it is futile for others to argue about what really is conveyed by the use of the word "wireless" by the prospective user/s.
Even in a line-in jack on the smaller speakers would be a reasonable solution. As I said in my original post, if the speaker had that, I'd be a Sonos owner as of yesterday! 🙂

This seems to be a reasonable request too, that will obviate the need to add a more complex BT feature to meet the needs of many in the same boat. Many will then moan about the need for wires of course, but that isn't a big issue for someone that wants a 1 pair flanking the computer on the desk. I have a 1 pair on my desk and at times I too wish it would play You Tube videos or sample music tracks on Amazon/iTunes as well; if there was a line in on them, I would have run a wire to one a long time ago. The obvious solution is a BT speaker pair, or a pair of computer speakers, but the loss of other features of Sonos would not be a net benefit for me, so I have no plans in that direction.
A cheaper/smaller Connect, another often requested ask, will also solve this problem.


Wireless speakers. To which you stream audio from whatever device you want. Wireless speakers, as most people understand them to be.

He does not want speakers to specifically and only play audio from a "PC". He wants general purpose wireless speakers.


It is unfortunate that Sonos identifies their products as "wireless speakers" because they in fact are not. All Sonos devices are basically music streamers. Some of those devices (the Play series) have built-in speakers while others (the more agile and therefore superior in my opinion Connect and Connect Amp) do not. It is useless to apply specific expectations to a music streamer to do things it is not designed to do just because it has been improperly identified as a general purpose wireless speaker. General purpose wireless speakers do exist, but Sonos doesn't make any.
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Wireless speakers. To which you stream audio from whatever device you want. Wireless speakers, as most people understand them to be.

He does not want speakers to specifically and only play audio from a "PC". He wants general purpose wireless speakers.


It is unfortunate that Sonos identifies their products as "wireless speakers" because they in fact are not. All Sonos devices are basically music streamers. Some of those devices (the Play series) have built-in speakers while others (the more agile and therefore superior in my opinion Connect and Connect Amp) do not. It is useless to apply specific expectations to a music streamer to do things it is not designed to do just because it has been improperly identified as a general purpose wireless speaker. General purpose wireless speakers do exist, but Sonos doesn't make any.



General purpose meaning Bluetooth capable? People who like to hear their phone over the play 1s should look elsewhere.

Imagine your phone booming over the Sub and Playbar and play 5s all over the house.... Sheesh...
Sonos may have its own good reasons for not using BT, but that does not mean that BT cannot do HiFi sound.
A case in point: https://www.whathifi.com/q-acoustics/q-bt3/review

There are now battery operated BT speakers that are portable as well as weather proof with excellent sound quality.

Nor is it necessary that only phones can be a source for them. Any BT equipped device like a computer or iPod touch can also be an excellent quality source for them. And the nature of the tech means that it is not necessary for the app developer to shake hands with the speaker maker as it is in the case of Sonos. Anything that can be played on the source device can be transmitted by it via BT to a BT speaker; there is none of waiting like, for example, Apple Music and Sonos to do common users a favour by allowing the use of the native Apple Music app.

They make a very good option for a horses for courses strategy.


It is unfortunate that Sonos identifies their products as "wireless speakers" because they in fact are not.


They communicate without wires. How does that not make them wireless? Wireless does not mean that it uses Bluetooth protocol or any/every other wireless communication protocol that exists. By your definition, does that mean that all the Bluetooth speakers out there are not wireless because they cannot communicate through wifi?


All Sonos devices are basically music streamers. Some of those devices (the Play series) have built-in speakers while others (the more agile and therefore superior in my opinion Connect and Connect Amp) do not. It is useless to apply specific expectations to a music streamer to do things it is not designed to do just because it has been improperly identified as a general purpose wireless speaker. General purpose wireless speakers do exist, but Sonos doesn't make any.


Saying it's just a music streamer is somewhat of a weird way of looking at it, and ignores some of it's best features. It's hard to find a music streamer that can communicate and be in sync (or not) with other music streamers in your home. That can be bonded with other devices to create stereo, 5.1 audio, etc. That will also have such flexibility in music sources. That has the level of control that sonos has.

But no, they are not general purpose wireless, which I guess means Bluetooth.


All that said, I would not be against adding line in's to all Sonos products and Bluetooth functionality. I'm not that bothered by the lack of it either, personally. I can see where someone who's grown accustom to Bluetooth would feel like it's a must have feature, but I think most wouldn't miss it much after benefitting from all that Sonos provides.
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My opinion is that sample accurate multi room sync is a very, very niche requirement compared to the ability to stream audio from a device to your Sonos speaker. I personally have zero use for multi room sync.
My opinion is that sample accurate multi room sync is a very, very niche requirement compared to the ability to stream audio from a device to your Sonos speaker. I personally have zero use for multi room sync.


No wonder you have so many complaints and spend an inordinate amount of time lamenting that Sonos isn't what you want it to be. Turns out, YOU BOUGHT THE WRONG PRODUCT!!! You literally bought a Ferrari when you had no use for a sports car!

I personally use multi-room sync every day of my life, and would not have bought Sonos if it didn't have perfect multi-room sync. It was the single feature that sold me on the system. I imagine there are far more of me out there than those who "have zero use for multi room sync", because most people who want only the features of a Bluetooth speaker would actually buy a Bluetooth speaker!
[...] I personally have zero use for multi room sync.
Do you actually own any Sonos gear?
My opinion is that sample accurate multi room sync is a very, very niche requirement compared to the ability to stream audio from a device to your Sonos speaker. I personally have zero use for multi room sync.
You may have a point in that I don't see any use for it in different rooms either, but in a large open space living+dining+kitchen, where I have three zones to cover the whole space without music having to be too loud in any place, it is invaluable. Is this a super niche case - I could not say.

Another Sonos USP that also may be getting eroded over time is of using one NAS to pipe different music in different rooms. As more people turn to streaming services, this is also no longer a big deal for them because each occupant can stream whatever they please from single room solutions as well.

With voice and home automation also presenting challenges, these no doubt are testing times for Sonos. Perhaps more than any since the days when it was getting established. I believe Sonos recognises this, as well as the need to be more agile. Will this recognition translate into outcomes? Only time can tell.


It is unfortunate that Sonos identifies their products as "wireless speakers" because they in fact are not.


They communicate without wires. How does that not make them wireless? Wireless does not mean that it uses Bluetooth protocol or any/every other wireless communication protocol that exists. By your definition, does that mean that all the Bluetooth speakers out there are not wireless because they cannot communicate through wifi?


Clearly my point was not that Sonos products aren't wireless but that they are not really speakers as such. They are devices built to retrieve files and streams from remote locations and convert them to audio. If your computer outputs sound to audio files or as a url that it streams from in a compatible format then Sonos can play it. If not then of course it can't.


All Sonos devices are basically music streamers. Some of those devices (the Play series) have built-in speakers while others (the more agile and therefore superior in my opinion Connect and Connect Amp) do not. It is useless to apply specific expectations to a music streamer to do things it is not designed to do just because it has been improperly identified as a general purpose wireless speaker. General purpose wireless speakers do exist, but Sonos doesn't make any.


Saying it's just a music streamer is somewhat of a weird way of looking at it, and ignores some of it's best features. It's hard to find a music streamer that can communicate and be in sync (or not) with other music streamers in your home. That can be bonded with other devices to create stereo, 5.1 audio, etc. That will also have such flexibility in music sources. That has the level of control that sonos has..


Not following you about hard to find. My Squeezeboxes are music streamers and sync like Sonos. Streaming products from Denon, Bluesound, DTS Play-Fi, etc. all sync like Sonos. These are all very flexible streaming products and some of them include speaker models like the Sonos Play series but none of them are general purpose wireless speakers.

But no, they are not general purpose wireless, which I guess means Bluetooth.

Bluetooth is just a connection mechanism like an optical cable or Analog RCA. To be general purpose wireless speaker you would need a transmitter that accepts an audio signal (as opposed to a file or a stream) and sends it wirelessly to a remote speaker or receiver connected to a remote speaker. You can then connect the transmitter to a PC, stereo, or anything that puts out sound and that sound will play through the remote speakers.

Sonos does not do this natively but can be adapted to operate in a similar mode by using a Connect as the transmitter and letting it translate the audio into a stream that Sonos speakers can receive directly. If you really want to connect via Bluetooth you can add a $20 Bluetooth receiver to a Connect. Either way you need to use a Connect (or Play5) to translate the audio into a stream that Sonos devices can grab because they are wireless audio streamers not wireless speakers.
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My opinion is that sample accurate multi room sync is a very, very niche requirement compared to the ability to stream audio from a device to your Sonos speaker. I personally have zero use for multi room sync.


No wonder you have so many complaints and spend an inordinate amount of time lamenting that Sonos isn't what you want it to be. Turns out, YOU BOUGHT THE WRONG PRODUCT!!! You literally bought a Ferrari when you had no use for a sports car!

I personally use multi-room sync every day of my life, and would not have bought Sonos if it didn't have perfect multi-room sync. It was the single feature that sold me on the system. I imagine there are far more of me out there than those who "have zero use for multi room sync", because most people who want only the features of a Bluetooth speaker would actually buy a Bluetooth speaker!


I have no interest in a Bluetooth speaker. I've no idea why people keep going on about Bluetooth. My use case is for a music streamer - something to play Spotify, internet radio, my music library, etc, and yes - sometimes to play something directly from my phone or computer. Hence having Sonos and Squeezebox equipment.

Sonos lacks the direct streaming, that's all.

Multi room sync isn't important to me because I'm only ever in one room at a time, and if two different zones are playing at the same time, 95% they'll be playing something different.

If my bedroom and the kitchen happen to be playing the same thing, it's utterly irrelevant to me if they are playing slightly out of sync. I can only be in one room at a time.

So to me, direct steaming is more useful than multiroom sync.
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[...] I personally have zero use for multi room sync.
Do you actually own any Sonos gear?


Yes, a Play 5.