Answered

Potential Buyer - researching purchase!


Userlevel 1
Badge +4
I understand that it's possible to run a multi room set up, mixing speaker types and able to play different tracks in different rooms. Is this possible from one controller, which for me would be my phone / android app. Is it also possible for two controllers to manage the separate room tracks, or can it only be controlled from one device? Presumably, in multi-room set up, it's only possible to stream frm one spotify account, or can you assign different speakers to different controllers / streaming accounts simultaneously?
icon

Best answer by Ryan S 8 September 2016, 21:43

The Sonos players (speakers) are all smart speakers. Each one of them has a computer built into it, much more than just a wireless speaker. They each play to themselves, you just tell it what to do with a controller. You can also group rooms(any player(s)) together in any combination and they'll play the same thing, in sync.

You can start with a single Sonos player, like a PLAY:5. It'll connect to your wireless network, and you can use your various mobile devices and computers to tell it what to do. From there you can build up to multiple rooms and play around with the options.

The real "work" when it comes to streaming is being handled by your Sonos players. This also means if you get a phone call, music keeps playing. If you walk out of the house and take every single one of your Sonos controllers with you, music keeps on playing. But if you want to stop the music, you can just grab the nearest controller and say stop.

View original

39 replies

You can have up to 32 simultaneous controllers, all controlling the entire system. Actions on any one controller; volume up/down, tracks added, speakers grouped/ungrouped, etc. will be reflected instantly on all other controllers. You can add multiple accounts for each music service, and choose which account is the default for an individual controller. That way Tom's Spotify account will be the default for searches on Tom's phone, whereas Sally's Spotify account will be the default on her tablet.
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
OK, so let's assume I have 4 controllers - all phones for arguments sake. Each phone has it's own spotify account and playlist. Assume I have four speakers, and all four phones are paired with all sonos speakers. At any given time, how many controllers / separate accounts can control each speaker, and how are clashes resolved - so in your example, if Tom is streaming his playlist to all four speakers, could Sally stream her separate playlist in one speaker (and thus replace Tom)?
Leaving aside radio type sources and only concentrating on individual tracks/albums/playlists being selected and played,, each speaker (or group of multiple speakers) will have a queue consisting of the Now Playing track, previously played tracks, and the tracks to follow. In your scenario, say Tom adds a playlist from his account into the queue. Sally can then replace that queue with her own playlist (which is the default), add her playlist to the end of Tom's playlist in the queue, add it to play next and then continue with Tom's tracks, etc. So the current queue can be a mix of additions from each controller, with each controller having the ability to overwrite the current queue, add to the end, edit the contents and/or order, set it to shuffle or repeat, and other things I'm probably forgetting.
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
All of the accounts are stored on the players themselves. An easy way to think of it is that the controllers are remote controls, that's what the app does, it sends commands to the players. The last command sent from any controller is the one that's followed.

The players don't have much differentiation from which controller is which, if Tom has told a room to play a playlist, on Sally's phone she'll see the playlist that Tom's told it to play and can make changes or add her own music to it. They're both looking at the same information at the same time.
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
So, what device is streaming the Spotify data?
So, what device is streaming the Spotify data?

That's the beauty of the system: It's none of them. The controller app/device is merely a remote control, nothing is streamed through it. The controller actually tells the Sonos player to go get the stream directly from the source. Once the track(s) are added to the queue, the Sonos player takes over and does everything. This cuts down on bandwidth, no relying on a device that may be getting bogged down, no system sounds are played, and you can even shut the phone off (or Sally can take her phone out for Tapas with the girls) and the music keeps playing!
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
Sorry, and by "player" you mean speaker? Or do I need something additional than a couple of Play 5s and a wi fi connection?
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
So, what device is streaming the Spotify data?

That's the beauty of the system it's none of them. The controller actually tells the Sonos player to go get the stream directly from the source. The phone is merely a remote control, nothing is streamed through the phone. This cuts down on bandwidth, relying on a phone that may be getting bogged down, no system sounds are played, and you can even shut the phone off (or Sally can go out for Tapas with the girls) and the music keeps playing!


Sorry for all of these questions, just want to understand how it works. What do you mean by the "source"? Something in the system must be receiving the streamed spotify data - is the decoder in the speaker unit? What about offline playing - can you stream a spotify file from a phone (with synced files obvioulsy). How does streaming from a laptop work - I guess the DAC is also built into the speaker unit?

Sorry, and by "player" you mean speaker? Or do I need something additional than a couple of Play 5s and a wi fi connection?

Sorry for all of these questions, just want to understand how it works. What do you mean by the "source"? Something in the system must be receiving the streamed spotify data - is the decoder in the speaker unit? What about offline playing - can you stream a spotify file from a phone (with synced files obvioulsy). How does streaming from a laptop work - I guess the DAC is also built into the speaker unit?


Yes, a Sonos player is a speaker (Play:5, Play:3, Play:1), a Connect, or a Connect:Amp. Nothing more is needed.

A source is where the track originates from. Sources are listed in the Music Directory area of the Sonos app. It can be a local drive, a Spotify/Google Play Music/Apple Music account, a Pandora station, or an internet radio URL. The Sonos speaker goes to the source and requests the data, decodes it when it arrives, and then plays it (each unit has it's own DAC). Streaming local music from a PC or NAS drive is done via the source called "Local Library" which is a shared directory added upon setup. There is no direct streaming from a PC or apps (which means you cannot stream from the Spotify app on your phone) at this time, though streaming from the Spotify app has been announced for beta testing soon, with more probably to follow.
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
The Sonos players (speakers) are all smart speakers. Each one of them has a computer built into it, much more than just a wireless speaker. They each play to themselves, you just tell it what to do with a controller. You can also group rooms(any player(s)) together in any combination and they'll play the same thing, in sync.

You can start with a single Sonos player, like a PLAY:5. It'll connect to your wireless network, and you can use your various mobile devices and computers to tell it what to do. From there you can build up to multiple rooms and play around with the options.

The real "work" when it comes to streaming is being handled by your Sonos players. This also means if you get a phone call, music keeps playing. If you walk out of the house and take every single one of your Sonos controllers with you, music keeps on playing. But if you want to stop the music, you can just grab the nearest controller and say stop.
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
Perfect, thanks Ryan, now it's clear. I just need to bottom out the loudness (max SPL) question that a number of users have experienced wit the play 5. I have no issue with algorithmic volume increase profile, but I need it to play sufficiently loud to drown out conversation in an average lounge. I don't expect the same levels as my separates system that cost an order of magnitude more, but I'd hope for something akin to spending the same on a pair of budget speakers and amp.
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
Perfect, thanks Ryan, now it's clear. I just need to bottom out the loudness (max SPL) question that a number of users have experienced wit the play 5. I have no issue with algorithmic volume increase profile, but I need it to play sufficiently loud to drown out conversation in an average lounge. I don't expect the same levels as my separates system that cost an order of magnitude more, but I'd hope for something akin to spending the same on a pair of budget speakers and amp.

I can't speak for everyone, but my PLAY:5 gets extremely loud. I'll get calls from the neighbors if I turn it up past 75%. That one's probably going to be a "try it in your home and see" type of answer. I know everyone likes slightly different sound profiles, so it's hard to say.
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
Is there a max SPL spec for each speaker? Or a sensitivity measurement, dB/1W/m for example. I can see there is a power rating for the amplifiers.
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
Hopefully last question. The play 5 has a line in, is it possible to configure two speakers line in for stereo?
I'm not sure I understand your last question (and I know I don't understand the previous one....I just listen to music), but let me try to explain.

The line in on the Play:5 is a stereo line in. You can take that input and send it to two "bonded as a stereo pair" speakers or even just a single speaker carrying both L+R. . If the other speaker also has a line in, you can take that stereo data and send it to any other speaker (s) you want, irrespective of whether it's being used by the other input or not. Basically, think of it as a separate input, not actually directly connected to the speaker, just housed in the same unit. It's data can be assigned anywhere within the ecosystem.

Hope that helps.
Ummm, so, if I can say one more thing....if you had a stereo signal being split to L and R on two separate mono mini-plugs (1/8 inch), you could potentially plug each plug into separate Play:5s and get your stereo without bonding the speakers in the Sonos system. But that would be an odd way to handle things, in my humble opinion. Easier to get a stereo cable to carry the signal to the Play:5.
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
Aha! OK got you. So, I just plug my phone headphone line out into any play 5, and if it's one of a stereo pair, the processing is all done in the sonos box? That is neat, really neat.
I think yes. Your "phone headphone line out" is mildly confusing to me, but that's probably just me. If you mean the normal connector that comes out of your headphone port on the device supplying the signal, yes, assuming it's a stereo cable. I do have some mono cables, as I've used them for other reasons (one way to tell is to look at the grooves around the plug. If there's 2 grooves, it's a stereo cable. If there's only one, it's a mono cable). And then you just use Sonos' app to make sure that whichever speaker you want is playing the "line in" from that speaker.

if you want to have it be a stereo pair, you need to bond the two speakers in the room using the app, as well. Clear as mud? 🙂
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
Yes I understand fully. And yes, I mean standard headphone output on smart phones and tablets etc.
Then we're both in agreement and understanding. Happy I could help.

I hope you can find answers to your other questions, although they do sound like you're looking for someone that does levels of testing that most of us are not equipped for, or for that matter, interested in. Not that I'm familiar with many similar speaker systems, but I wouldn't think that kind of data would normally be available from the manufacturer. Best of luck, and enjoy the new (and eventually expensive...I have 13 devices now!) world of Sonos.
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
Well, the intention was to downsize, but rather than simply a smaller cheaper version of what I had (been there) I want something that does it differently. I've ditched the audiophile utopia, it doesn't exist, at least not in the real world of real money, and sonos offers a different way of enjoying music. More £££s to spend on guitars and guitar amps, real music.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Well, the intention was to downsize, but rather than simply a smaller cheaper version of what I had (been there) I want something that does it differently. I've ditched the audiophile utopia, it doesn't exist, at least not in the real world of real money, and sonos offers a different way of enjoying music. More £££s to spend on guitars and guitar amps, real music.

Sorry to burst your bubble but it won't work.


You see, you are going to love it. The Sonos Plays are going to multiply, like rabbits. So you might save on the cost of individual units but you're going to buy way more!!
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
I've bought four to start with. 2 X play 5 and 2x play 1. That's the lounge, bedroom, and my office covered as I don't mind moving the 1s about. That's £1100 which is about half the cost of just the hegel amp, and less than what I sold it for. But I see your point!
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
Another question as I've now moved from potential buyer to customer. I have assumed I do not need a bridge with the gen 2 play 5 and play 1? Just plug n play with each unit?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
You don't need a Boost (Bridge was replaced by the Boost a while back). But ideally you will wire one of the speakers to your router but that isn't a requirement either.

Depending on your router, your physical environment, other wireless networks and other wireless equipment will determine how stable your experience is connecting via wi-fi.

Reply

    Cookie policy

    We use cookies to enhance and personalize your experience. If you accept you agree to our full cookie policy. Learn more about our cookies.

    Accept cookies Cookie settings