Has anyone come across a better system?

  • 16 January 2021
  • 23 replies

  • Contributor I
  • 7 replies

Dear community, 

as many customers were quite upset with how SONOS is developing both ignoring customers and global warming by producing extra waste I was wondering if you had come across a better solution for a multiroom speaker system. 

I guess, the most sustainable system would be based on bluetooth? What do you think?

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23 replies

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Userlevel 4
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Not only is my Play 5 pair,with the Sub seriously good….I used to be into high end components and now don’t give them a second thought!

You just can’t beat technology

From your post on another thread, you appear to have missed the fact that your Sonos system still functions perfectly, and that nobody has been forced to upgrade.  Perhaps if you had a clue what the true situation is you wouldn’t be asking this question?

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It’s a complex subject and I don’t claim to understand a huge amount about it, but Bluetooth is probably the wrong choice, mainly because it is deliberately constrained in terms of power to make it (primarily) useful for battery-powered devices.

If you’re making a multi-room system which can cope with all of the building construction types you could reasonably expect to see around the world, it’s probably not going to give you the range that you need to establish a reliable mesh network.

As to sustainability - is Bluetooth really any more environmentally sustainable than wi-fi? I doubt there’s much in it really...

Well, I tried to downgrade my Play:1 and Play:5 to S1, which according to Sonos is possible (and after resetting it) and it says, "those speakers are not working with S1, download the S2 app". So that great solution is not really working! 

And with sustainable I mean not to have a system that you need to recycle just because of outdated software although the speakers are working perfectly. I never really used the option to have different music on different speakers. So in the end I guess 2 pairable bluetooth speakers should do it. Especially since I'm afraid there will be another upgrade in 5 years again.

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My personal experience is that I have (as a test) two separate installations of S1 and S2 hardware, and they all seem to work perfectly at the same time.

I’ve got four Connects and one Connect:Amp (mostly bought faulty and repaired) on an S1 network, and three Ports on an S2 network. I can control them all from one phone, simply by having both the S1 and S2 apps on that phone - so it can be made to work!

I don’t think that with tech items you can expect a product range to stay the same forever. Sonos faced limitations with the S1 range that some users cannot accept, so they had to move forward. Whether they could have done more to make S1 and S2 work together, I don’t know - but similar things happen throughout the tech world. My favourite Sony flip-phone no longer works because the networks no longer support the technology that it uses - it’s just something you have to accept!

Sure, just accept it and buy a new system for 500$...pfff

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That isn’t exactly what I said! What I said is that I’m still using 10 year old Connects, with no problem.

Any system that has a CPU, memory, and an OS will eventually need updating, or to be put in to the effective ‘maintenance mode’ similar to S1. If you don’t want to pay the associated costs with technology like that, I’d recommend choosing a more standard ‘old school’ stereo system. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, it’s a choice we all need to decide on. 

@Saem . Why were you trying to downgrade your system to S1?  Why were you not on S1 already? What generation is your Play:5? 

You still appear to have no idea what the reality is here.

I bought a connect:amp, but the wrong one (1st generation, but they almost look the same) and now I'm trying to find a solution. I got a record player for xmas and wanted to connect it to my system. My speakers used to run on S1 before the S2 was released, and it says on the support site that they can be run by both apps, so dont know, why the S1 app is telling me, the speakers can only be run by S2. But I guess, I just try to reset everything one more time. 

But I am indeed considering to sell everything now that its still worth something before the next update comes and go for an old school stereo system. Thanks for the tip! 

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[Edited following advice below from JohnB]

@Saem . Please don't factory reset anything else. If you have already reset everything then that is what stopped you getting everything back to S1. 

If you have any device that has not yet been reset then please leave it alone. We need to take stock of what you have done and where you are.

Hmm, but it said in the recommendations to reset the speakers…

There was someone asking if he could use a player from a friend that has a S2 and use it in his S1 system. And the answer was yes, just reset it (what you have to do anyway) and include it in your S1 system. 

I'm confused...so, here I am now: both speakers (all I got) resetted, S2 app deinstalled, S1 app installed, new system set up, both speakers found, message: not compatible with S1, download S2. 

And the sonos support is not available, not via telephone nor via chat...

@Saem - first, let’s get the picture clear.  If I have got the facts wrong about what you have done, I apologise, but I am doing my best with the slightly confused version you have provided.  

First, a definite general fact.  Once a speaker has become part of an S2 system it can only be taken back to compatibility with S1 if you have an existing S1 system to add it to.  This is intended for users who split their existing system into S1 and S2 then changed their mind and decided to go back to a single S1 system.  This does not seem to be the scenario in your case.

If I understand your history correctly, at the time that S1 & S2 were introduced you owned no legacy devices.  It appears you had a Play:1 and a Play:5 gen 2, both of which were fully S2-compliant.  You could have carried on as if nothing had happened.  But you actually went out and bought a legacy device (albeit by accident).  I think you must have at some point upgraded your P:1 and P:5 to S2.  You now cannot get them back to S1 because you don’t have a pre-existing S1 system to add them to.

I suggest you do the following:

  1. Forget about the legacy Connect:Amp that you bought by mistake.  Sell it.  You sabotaged your system by introducing this.  Buy an S2-compatible C:A later if you still want one.  For the moment, power it off.
  2. If the System Settings of the S1 app contain a compatibility checker, run it and choose to upgrade to S2, and follow the prompts.  But I am not sure if the compatibility checker will be there after all that has happened.  If it isn’t, then download the S2 app and try to connect to existing system.  I am not sure exactly how it will respond - please report back

I hope that is helpful.  If I have got the details wrong I’m sorry, but I am doing my best.

@John B : What if he installed the legacy Connect Amp as a new S1 system via the S1 app? Can he not then revert the S2 kit to S1 as a second step? Because then there will be a S1 system in place.

@John B : What if he installed the legacy Connect Amp as a new S1 system via the S1 app? Can he not then revert the S2 kit to S1 as a second step? Because then there will be a S1 system in place.

I think from recollection of other threads that doesn’t work, even though you might think it would.  However, this is worth a try if @Saem wants to give it a go. I would never be totally confident about what will happen in a particular situation with a particular history of S1/S2.

I still think that going forward he is best to get onto S2, although that would always be an option later.  It just doesn’t feel sensible to bring a legacy device into an S2-compatible setup, for the saving of the difference in price of a gen 1 and gen 2 C:A.  It was never his intention to do that in the first place.

That was indeed the trick. It now works perfectly! The only thing is, that I have to put the speakers as loud as possible to hear the vinyl, but I guess, thats why Sonos developed a new amp. I also think the amp:connect 2nd generation wouldnt help much in that regard…

The amp:connect was pretty cheap (2nd hand) so I wont go for the 2nd generation that is at least 200€ more expensive. 

I guess I'll stay with this  S1 system now and be frustrated in 5 years time again when there will be no more support…

The old school stereo system still seems attractive as you can be with a system for some 20-30 years without any problems. 

Oh and @John B and the others: thank you for all your support! It really helped! 

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If you have to have to turn up the volume to hear a record player on Sonos, your record player either has no pre amp or it is turned off. https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3548?language=en_US

A couple points to make here.  First, it sounds like your turntable does not have a built-in pre-amp, which is why the volume is so low. You need to look into getting a separate preamp.  It has nothing to do with the amp itself.

Second, did you get a Connect:Amp just for the aux input?  If so, you really didn’t need that as your Play:5 has an aux input.  All you would have needed is a RCA to headphone input adapter, plus the preamp, and you could play your turntable and on your play:5 and play:1 no problem.  If you’re actually using the amp with passive speakers as well, then yes, you would need the Connect:amp.


I guess I'll stay with this  S1 system now and be frustrated in 5 years time again when there will be no more support…

The old school stereo system still seems attractive as you can be with a system for some 20-30 years without any problems. 

I am not sure where this five years worry comes from, and even so, my approach is to cross that bridge IF it comes, and not get hustled into S2 just now by worrying about some future event that may never come to pass.

Hardware failures are a different issue. And the 20-30 years life you refer to is there only for kit at higher price points that Sonos.

And to the question in the thread, a limited answer: Where home audio is concerned, S2 is not a better system than S1, not even for being able to offer the convenience of playing HD music without downsampling it offline, because it does not do even that. As far as sound quality is concerned I suspect that the present Sonos hardware architecture cannot deliver SQ that is noticeably superior to what it does today - and which can even now be set up to meet HiFi standards of excellence, be it under S1 or S2.

I don’t use Sonos for TV - or anything else that offer the latest thrill like Atmos - and my comment above does not apply to improvements on that side of things, about which I know little due to a lack of interest in them.