Sonos V Bluesound?



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Hi Kumar,

Do you have a link to these double-blind tests. I would like to read up on them.
Perhaps I did not write clearly enough - there have been no double blind tests reported. It isn't that they have been conducted but no one picked out a difference.
How many of us have both a ZP90 and a Connect to test with? Moreover, once something is not it perfect any longer all sorts of tinkering might take place: it is what distinguishes one jpeg produced by camera X from the one produced by camera Y, which is why many prefer to work with raw files (yes, I know the analogy isn't perfect but it is the best I could come up with).
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One not on the Digital Trends article. The much maligned (for obvious reasons in prior software update) feature of the red room (quick menu to add/subtract rooms from current playing) .... the reviewer didn't know about and listed as a win feature for BS (as their arrow menu)
How many of us have both a ZP90 and a Connect to test with? Moreover, once something is not it perfect any longer all sorts of tinkering might take place:.
I agree; and doing a good test is even more than just having available the two units you refer to. But that does not mean that one should start believing subjective statements claiming differences; to arise in reality, audible differences need more than what is visible on test instruments, and even more so when what one hears is after the involvement of speakers and room acoustics that can cover a multitude of sins and variables. Something might take place if there is tinkering, and it is at least equally likely that nothing will. And Sonos is the one that has done any tinkering - they also will not be reckless with the sound quality their products deliver; so what is the more likely from the two alternatives?

Then there are the psychological factors that every human brain is very vulnerable to. When someone discovered and reported here that Connect isn't bit perfect as measured on an instrument, he heard sound differences. Others who read this, who had not heard any differences till then, also started hearing them. Expectation bias is universal and very powerful as is Confirmation Bias, so this isn't a surprise. It is human nature and the human brain as it is wired to work.

Finally and most important to me: my personal experiences do not tally with these subjective reports; I don't hear any differences in two Connects. So for me to agree that there is something wrong with my Connect or my ears, I need more than subjective claims that no scientist will accept as valid.

Finally, even if there is some very small difference that only an "audiophile ear" can hear, it can be easily corrected downstream of the Connect in the rest of the chain that sends the sounds into the room. So even in this case, this is an irrelevant distraction.

YMMV.

The jpeg analogy is faulty because each camera's jpeg program contains the camera designer's view point of what a good image should look like that is baked into the jpeg, and also comes with a restriction on how much this can be changed in post processing compared to raw files. In this case of the Connect, the image is still raw, but some bits are missing. What remains is still raw. And the image that will be made by processing the two raw files by the same program may well be the same as far as the eye can make out.
Let me also point out that I am not a "Sonos cannot do any wrong" fan; I believe that the USD 35 Chromecast Audio can serve just as well as Connect in many cases. The reason I don't use it is because it does not do NAS music as slickly as Sonos does and it does not have the control buttons that Connect carries that allow it to be easily accessed without first locating the phone/controller. But from purely a sound quality point of view, the Chromecast is brilliant, and as good as Connect for 10% of the Connect price. I pay more for the Connect for its features. As someone may well decide to in the case of Bluesound, for features that Connect does not offer. As I would, if I needed those features.
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Connect replacement in Sonos lineup is well overdue with needing digital input for one. I'm going to assume its not a huge seller compared to the Play units. But at the age it is the price seems very steep (especially as Kumar mentions the price of the Chromecast).

It does sound like Bluesound does a better job of listening to customers when it comes to features. Sonos hates any complexity or user options. Maybe it does give Sonos the better reliability and consistency - but they go to the far extreme. I personally think Sonos needs to embrace at least a little of the user requested customizations - as users today don't like being so locked their personalization (and as can be seen on many posts in this forum can be outright demanding in what they want).
It will be interesting to see how Sonos prices any new Connect, if one does appear. The problem they must have is how to prevent cannibalising of play unit sales: with a cheap USD 100 Connect, one could use one of the very many active speakers that are available that are better value for money than the 5, IMO. And still get all the Sonos front end benefits.
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I don't know how cheap a Connect ever will be. I personally would expect a Connect with some additional features (like digital input and bit perfect) but at same price point. I just don't think they sell enough of them to drop the price further. But I think the features you get vs. the price is what is currently out of line.

Chromecasts - I mean they probably sell 10,000 to 1 vs. the Sonos Connect so of course that cost to manufacture goes down significantly (and Connect does have in its defense much more capability even in todays form).
So let's say a new Connect at the same price: who would be the target buyers that cannot use today's Connect for their needs? What of their needs that cannot be met today would this new Connect fulfil?
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Well you certainly have the bit perfect crowd.

A digital input would allow tv input (I have always wanted a superconnect that would decode multichannel audio and send out to multiple play speakers).

uSB input that would be nice or and hdmi pass thru?
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So let's say a new Connect at the same price: who would be the target buyers that cannot use today's Connect for their needs? What of their needs that cannot be met today would this new Connect fulfil?
I have no immediate needs that the CONNECT does not already meet, apart from IR control so that it works with my home theatre setup and Logitech Harmony remote. (I've now solved this with a Raspberry Pi, a FLIRC, and a bit of coding.)

In general, though, I'd look for more CONNECTivity, along the lines Chris mentions. I also wouldn't mind some visual indication that the CONNECT is streaming versus stopped/paused.
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The current CONNECT had a lot more value in the pre-cloud streaming era. It mad perfect sense to own one and only one back then as means of easily playing your digital music without connecting a computer directly to your receiver as well as easily controlling the system. Now, there are plenty of other methods of doing that. The CONNECT really only makes sense if you have an existing receiver you want to include in a Sonos system for multiroom.

I agree with Chris in that an new version of the CONNECT would need to have more features added in order to be of value at the current price. Such a product could hurt the sales of other products and decrease profits overall. For the same reason, dropping the CONNECT price to something more in line with it's features could also hurt overall profits. That, IMO, explains why the CONNECT remains at a high price with the same features.

On the superconnect, it would make sense since the price of the superconnect + 2 Play:1s would roughly be the same price as a plabar/playbase...providing roughly the same value. I would also be interested in a version with built in amp(s) so that customers could use their own wired speakers and or possibly use the setup outside. You probably could price that at around $600-650. Again, it's hard to say whether that would bring in enough new customers.
Well you certainly have the bit perfect crowd.

A digital input would allow tv input (I have always wanted a superconnect that would decode multichannel audio and send out to multiple play speakers).

uSB input that would be nice or and hdmi pass thru?

Just rejigging the Connect would get the bit perfect folks back - I would not call them a crowd. Of those that have known what has been done and have therefore left, is an even smaller number I bet, not going into three digits.

With the super connect, if a play 3 could be used for centre speaker duty - it being of dimensions best suited - that would allow a much better HT set up using speakers with front separation, for everything from 2.0, 3.0, 5.0 and all the aforesaid with the .1 as an option. Why else have it do multichannel audio?

Other than such a dramatic expansion of use case for TV that may then blow the bar/base away, but that still makes sense IMO, I don't see much additional revenue being garnered by a new Connect to justify development resource diversion from getting voice to work properly and for getting more streaming services into the use of their native app in the way Google Music or Spotify can be used. Sonos isn't being fast enough in these areas at this time.

For visual indications of even artwork of what is streaming, I suspect that the Echo Spot is a simpler solution to implement.

On the Bluesound subject: I haven't used these to know how suspect their streaming stability is in actual use. But if that be the case, I find it amusing that people will put up with that to get the psychological benefits of bit perfect.
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I stalked this thread for awhile long before I made any contributions to the community. Curious what an update might look like today to some of the questions being asked.

When I first considered Sonos for multi-room play, BS was a product line I also considered. Was able to demo some of their products at a regional HiFi room, but quite frankly they sounded (to me) tinny, and some of the treble was very sharp. Vocals were spot on in terms of the warmth and feel and bass was in line with where I believe it should be.

The Gen 2 P:5 was (and remains) too pronounced on the low end, in my opinion. Trueplay did make a big difference, but not enough for me to invest in a stereo pair. The paired 3's I own are perfect for the space I needed at the time, and I have since moved them to a different locale with exactly the same favorable results.

Obviously, price point was a determining factor as well. Glad I chose Sonos and have been quite pleased, for the most part.
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I would highly recommend Sonos.

One big requirement for me is longevity. Investing thousands into a sound system is not something I want to regret. Sonos has been around for much longer than Bluesound, and is very responsive to its community, constantly adding new features/fixing bugs.
Bluesound might go this path, I'm not sure: there isn't much data to go from. I feel like at this point, Sonos' track record speaks for itself.

Stumbled upon the BlueOS Alexa skill. It's hopelessly inept, lol. A joke. You have to preface EVERY command with "Alexa, ask BluVoice to..."


There's no way to voice search for albums, songs, artists, etc. Extremely limited to predefined commands. Sad! Sonos Alexa (and GA) skill is light years ahead of BlueOS implementation.

https://support.bluos.net/hc/en-us/articles/360009439514-Getting-Started-Install-the-BluOS-Skills

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