I've had a single Play 1 for about 8 months now and despite it frustrating the hell out of me, I'm very eager to expand the system. I'm not an audiophile (in a sense that I have a terrible technical understanding of sound), but I'm a fanatic of awesome sound with perfect base and like it much louder than most. The Play 1 has been a tease!
I also think the Echo is really cool but the sound quality does not make my ears happy. On a budget my first thought was a Play 5 and Echo Dot ($550). I want to see what that Play 5 feels like at all volumes...something tells me if I bought it I'd have a very hard time returning it. I also really like the Line-n feature because it would allow me to play my old school Ipod through it directly, bypassing that horrific app. Without question, my Ipod sounds way better than any of my iPhones ever have (both using auxiliary input in my car...no idea how it would sound with Play 5). The ability to have Alexa using a Dot really seemed to tip the scale, I'd have all the cool features of Alexa, plus I can use her instead of the app. I've lost sleep imagining that sound in my living room.
Then I picked up that Echo Dot had to be connected using Line-in, and that (in addition to command issues, and others) the sound quality was slightly diminished when Echo was the source. If that's accurate, then it's a deal breaker for me on the Play 5 with Dot.
Now I'm thinking that on the cheap side I could just pick up a Sonos One and a Play 1 for $350. That way I have Alexa as a useful speaker and with no diminished sound, plus I now have another Play 1 that I could pair up and have Play 1 in stereo in my living room. I've never heard them in stereo. I expect to be pretty impressed, but there's no way to know how good it's going to sound loud until its set up. I KNOW the Play 5 will have very impressive sound at satisfyingly high volume. I've READ that pairing Play 1's in one room really kicks up the volume and the base, but I'm not sure if it's true. If the paired Play 1's fall short of what I need, I still have that shiny new Sonos One to add to the mix, which should make it even better. Plus I've just saved $200 that I can put toward my PLAYBAR and eventual SUB. Oh yeah...that day's comin.
Sorry for rambling but I didn't want to just say "sound quality is important to me". As cool and fun as I think it would be to have Alexa, I would end up in a padded room if I had no better luck with her than with Siri.
To Anyone who reads this:
What's your Alexa setup?
What are the limitations on her abilities?
Are you happy with it?
How do Play 1's sound in stereo compared to Play 5?
If I want quality sound and decent Alexa, what's a better value, Play 5 with Dot, or Sonos 1 and 2 Play 1's?
Thanks for listening!