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


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I have owned several Logitech Squeezeboxes (Squeezeboxen? 🙂 ) for many years, so I am familiar with the network music paradigm. I like the concept, but the Squeezebox has always been a tempermental device. From what I have seen at retail stores and what I have read and seen on the Internet, I have no doubt that Sonos is a better system. I would definitely buy several Sonos components, especially since they have removed the requirement for the Bridge component (they call it something else now) so that I don't have to buy something extra.

In fact I went to the big box store yesterday with the intent of starting my Sonos collection by buying (2) Sonos Play: 1 speakers for my wife's office (her desk). We demoed a Play:1 and it sounded great. The day before she had actually purchased a Bose Revolve Plus for her desk, which also sounds great (but not quite as good as the Sonos Play 1: in my opinion.)

So I told my wife, this Sonos does so much more than your Bose speaker. First, you can buy two of them ($350/pair right now) for less than one Bose Revolve+ ($399). And you can play all of these network music stations, and Spotify, and another 30+ different music services, plus all the music on our server, and on your iPhone, etc. And look how nice the App is I told her, it would be easy to switch between sources, and select your music. She was impressed. She didn't care that the Sonos wasn't battery powered, and wasn't as portable as the Bose speaker, she just wanted them at her desk anyway. I mentioned that they connected via Wifi, so they wouldn't have any dropouts like Bluetooth sometimes does. 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.

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!

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73 replies

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To each his own. Sonos is definitely missing a market. I am certainly not the only person by FAR that feels this way. I am expressing what I would like to see in the product. Sonos is free to ignore my wish and stick with their "corporate mission" if they choose (to their detriment in sales IMO). And I am free to not buy their product, and express the opinion that I would buy it if it had the feature set I want, such as additional line-in or bluetooth connectivity.

And to your question, "why refuse to purchase something because it doesn't do something it wasn't it wasn't designed for", you can certainly purchase it if you want. It obviously meets your needs. I would like a more versatile product, whether from Sonos or some other company. You can be a jerk and cite silly analogies of all the off-road sports cars you like, and try to imply that I am some kind of idiot because I would like the speakers to serve two purposes. It may make no sense.... to YOU. It makes plenty of sense to many other people who would like to use one set of speakers for both uses, and not clutter their work spaces with two different audio systems. Have a nice day.
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Hi Jaynlisa, I saw some of your other comments too around this suggestion and figured this was the best place to reach out. The idea of playing everything on your computer to Sonos is definitely a big request here. It's an easy thing to ask but definitely one of the most complicated things to do. A lot goes into making Sonos as stable and great as it is today, and there have been a number of technical limitations we've worked through as the product developed. For example, wireless surround sound was nearly impossible to get synced and harmonious without 5GHz.

A big reason we never adopted Bluetooth is the quality and reliability of the stream. Also, Sonos is designed as a home system, multiple users at a time, which has never been a very Bluetooth friendly idea.

We don't have any plans or details around adding Bluetooth or a play anything from anything to Sonos that I can let you in on, but I'll make sure to add your voice to the request.

To everyone, remember that we handle complicated things all the time, Trueplay was a far-fetched idea at one time. You never know, maybe we'll have a toaster-speaker one day. Let's not attack any ideas or suggestions.
Userlevel 1
Hi Ryan, I certainly appreciate and agree with the comments on the Bluetooth side as far as quality and reliability, and would never suggest that Sonos make it the primary means of bringing audio sources to the music system. I think it is clear that many people would like to see an alternative to allow their computer sound to be piped to their Sonos speakers as well. 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! 🙂

Thanks for your reply.
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Despite what jgate says, wanting to play wirelessly from your computer is a perfectly valid thing to want and expect from Sonos. It's really odd how he spends his time on these forums telling customers that what they want is wrong.

To the original poster - if I were you I'd stick with a Squeezebox system for now, until Sonos catches up. I'm a user of both, but the SB system does a lot more.
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.
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 also have a multiroom SB based system in the downstairs of my house. Here I have a RPi in each room (i.e. A Sonos Connect), connected to
Hifi Amps and speakers. So it's equivalent to a two room Sonos system. I can't ever think of a time I was playing the same thing in both rooms.... I guess sometimes the TV in each room is playing the same channel, when sport is on.

The equivalent and more elegant solution using Sonos would be to use as many Sonos speakers as are necessary to produce the required music presence in the second/additional rooms. Declutter the space of amps and wired speakers.
If the 5 was one of these, the line in necessary for taking input from all that a device can play is also present. Correction: the line in on your existing 5 can be used to stream content from a device wired to it to any other Sonos speaker anywhere else in the home. Or to as many as are grouped together.
What you will not get is the geek attraction of a visible PCB.
Depending on the speakers replaced, you may not get equivalent quality sound, but it may even be better. Ditto on budgets.
Discussing the subjective merits of Sonos speakers versus any HiFi speaker is something I can do at length, but that would be completely off topic.
So you are compromising your whole home audio system for the price of a pair of PC speakers? Sounds like cutting off the nose to spite the fact to me.

One thing is clear, Sonos is not, nor have ever claimed to be, a PC speaker. They also eschew the unreliability and compromised audio of Bluetooth. I doubt you will see them veer from those corporate philosophies. Better to accept that now than sit around waiting to see if they change their mind.

Now excuse me, I have to go post on the Ferrari forum that I won't buy them until they can go off-road. 🆒
jgatie, I am amused every time I see your comment about off-road Ferraris, and then I think of this:

http://www.ferrariagri.it/en/product/tractors-53fae2b9a2387c362f7b23c7/vega-v95-mt-53fc514fa2387c60527b23c7

which appears to be designed for off-road use, and the fact that I'm ashamed that Porsche sunk to the low of creating an SUV as well, which can be conceivably taken off-road.

But your point is valid. Why refuse to purchase something because it doesn't do something that it wasn't designed for? Makes no sense at all. I think people get caught up in the paradigm of "it looks/acts like a device that I'm familiar with, so it must be the same thing".

In the meantime, I'm not going to buy another Miata until they can fly.
jgatie, I am amused every time I see your comment about off-road Ferraris, .Hang on that was my joke / analogy!! Unless I accidently nicked it from jgatie? I claim the silly analogy
Sonos is not missing a market if they had/have no intentions of targeting that market in the first place. In fact, they have made conscious decisions to avoid being the Swiss Army knife of speakers, concentrating instead on being a fine set of kitchen knives. Sure kitchen knives won't open bottles, remove corks, or take out a splinter, but I wouldn't want to use a Swiss Army knife to de-bone a chicken or carve a roast.

Horses for courses. Many a company has lost market share for trying to be everything to everybody, probably more than those who failed because they refused to branch out.
Hang on that was my joke / analogy!! Unless I accidently nicked it from jgatie? I claim the silly analogy

It's mine, unless a search proves differently.

Haha! A search. Good luck with that!
I never said it was a stupid suggestion. I've simply said that Sonos has never advertised or even implied they make a computer speaker, and to expect it to be one is a bit like expecting a Ferrari to be an off-road vehicle.

I also imagine Ferrari's measured response to that wish for 4x4 capability would be similar to Ryan's "It's an easy thing to ask but definitely one of the most complicated things to do.
I too think that BT would be a nice add. Used to stream in the same room from a computer or from a dedicated handheld nearby, the interruptions to it of the kind when using a phone are non existent, I don't think the music drops with a noticeable frequency.

But I would not cut my nose to spite my face and not use Sonos for not offering BT, because the many other things that Sonos does for me are very useful to me. Like Mr Bond, Nobody Does It Better for those needs. I did need BT for my travel use and that was easily solved by picking up a cheap but excellent BT speaker that ticks all the necessary boxes for that application.

I have a 1 pair flanking my laptop on my desk for music while at work; again, it would be nice to have it play stuff from the computer, but most such uses are such that the computer speakers do the job well enough. But I certainly don't need BT around the home, and would prefer not to pay extra to have that in kit like Connect/Connect Amp/Sub.
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To everyone, remember that we handle complicated things all the time, Trueplay was a far-fetched idea at one time. You never know, maybe we'll have a toaster-speaker one day. Let's not attack any ideas or suggestions.



Love that Toaster-speaker analogy! I hope Tim Cook is listening. Apple is on notice with this.
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Maybe Sonos needs to consider a "home away from home" concept and build a portable speaker that you can take away to picnics and parties that would be synced back to your Sonos Systems and still be portable ? Maybe disable from the network if you want Bluetooth or some other crazy design to allow fans to carry a piece of Sonos where ever they go. Poolside party with weather/dirt proof Sonos anyone? Count me in. If they could build PlayBase they could build this.. I even have a few suggestions for names PlayPicnic / PlayParty / PlayMobile....
I just don't see Sonos devoting much effort towards a market that isn't growing, and is already well covered with other products.
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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?
I'd stick with a Squeezebox system for now, until Sonos catches up. I'm a user of both, but the SB system does a lot more.
That advice depends on the user profile; most agree that SB is better suited for geeks that love to fiddle with their kit or at least are ok to do so.
Based on the market response to both solutions, that profile also seems to be rare. SB is extinct, Sonos thrives. And will continue to do so subject to it successfully addressing the challenge of voice control/home automation integration.
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I'd stick with a Squeezebox system for now, until Sonos catches up. I'm a user of both, but the SB system does a lot more.
That advice depends on the user profile; most agree that SB is better suited for geeks that love to fiddle with their kit or at least are ok to do so.
Based on the market response to both solutions, that profile also seems to be rare. SB is extinct, Sonos thrives. And will continue to do so subject to it successfully addressing the challenge of voice control/home automation integration.


It's not extinct at all, it's open source, and in continual development. The fact that you aren't reliant on one manufacturer supplying hardware is a good thing. For example, My system runs on raspberry pis - £30 rather than £350 for a Connect.

You are right that Sonos is a easier to configure, though.
A open circuit board based system is one step further removed than even SB, where the typical Sonos user profile is concerned! There is no doubt that Sonos is expensive, but having used it since 2011 with no issues, over that period and counting it is definitely value for money.


It's not extinct at all, it's open source, and in continual development. The fact that you aren't reliant on one manufacturer supplying hardware is a good thing. For example, My system runs on raspberry pis - £30 rather than £350 for a Connect.

You are right that Sonos is a easier to configure, though.


If the market penetration of current Squeezebox offerings is over 1%, I'll eat a Transformer for dinner. That may not be extinct, but it ain't exactly thriving. But it is quaint, like people who collect AMC Pacers. 😃
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It's not extinct at all, it's open source, and in continual development. The fact that you aren't reliant on one manufacturer supplying hardware is a good thing. For example, My system runs on raspberry pis - £30 rather than £350 for a Connect.

You are right that Sonos is a easier to configure, though.


If the market penetration of current Squeezebox offerings is over 1%, I'll eat a Transformer for dinner. That may not be extinct, but it ain't exactly thriving. But it is quaint, like people who collect AMC Pacers. :D


I judge my systems on what they do, not on their market share. Sonos still lacks features in comparison. These features might not be important to you, but they are for others.


I judge my systems on what they do, not on their market share. Sonos still lacks features in comparison. These features might not be important to you, but they are for others.


*YAWN*

For one who cares not about their market share, you certainly never miss an opportunity to shill the Squeezebox system here on another platform's forum. :8
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I judge my systems on what they do, not on their market share. Sonos still lacks features in comparison. These features might not be important to you, but they are for others.


*YAWN*

For one who cares not about their market share, you certainly never miss an opportunity to shill the Squeezebox system here on another platform's forum. :8


The OP has a SB system already, and isn't happy with the lack of a feature in Sonos. So my advice to him is to stick with his SB system until Sonos does what he wants. I wouldn't recommend SB in general because you need to be semi-competent technically set it up.