Starting from scratch... Buy now or wait?

  • 11 October 2017
  • 6 replies

Evening everyone! First post here.

So the title says it all really. I've decided that I'd like to start my journey into having a wireless speaker setup around the house.

We are an Apple household, with iPhones, iPads and two Apple TV's (4th Gen and 4K) and use Apple Music as our streaming service. We also have Amazon Prime and have used an Echo Dot previously.

Our only speakers are the ones in our phones, a Samsung soundbar and

Now given that we are so Apple heavy, when looking at the various options and discussing it with the boss (AKA Wife), we came to the conclusion that the Sonos speakers seemed to be the most family friendly and unrestricted, as opposed to say getting a HomePod which is Apple only, that when we have people round they can download the Sonos app from their respective app store if need be and then load tunes up with minimal fuss.

But would the community here say it's worth jumping in now or waiting until the dust clears...?

I personally can't see any reason not to wait, but I've obviously got to do my due diligence before making the purchase and I've seen quite a lot of discussion over the past week since the Sonos One was announced that people aren't so happy about the speaker not being compatible with previous devices, the app changing radically, and Alexa not playing ball since everyone was able to enter the beta...

Are there any members of the community excited about the One being released?

I'd be delighted if I could get some input from you all.

Thanks, and look forward to being part of the community.

Best answer by jgatie 11 October 2017, 22:36

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6 replies

Since you are Apple users, you may want to wait until the Sonos One comes out. It is guaranteed to support Airplay 2 when sit comes next year. Also, word is the Playbase and Play:5 (2nd gen) have the required hardware for Airplay 2.

As to the discussions, there is a lot of misplaced furor. The Sonos One will be fully compatible with all other Sonos products. You just cannot bond it as a stereo pair or surrounds with anything but itself. This is exactly the same as the Play:1, Play:3, and Play:5, like only pairs/bonds with like. The furor arose from the fact the Sonos One looks similar to the Play:1 and has the same functional specs , i.e. a woofer and tweeter meant for mono sound (though 95% of the hardware is different between the two). So people expected the One to pair with their existing Play:1s, which is not the case. But you starting out won't have this problem, if you want stereo/surround pairs, just buy two of the same model.

The app is subjective and if history is any indication, the furor seen is more due to unfamiliarity and a muscle memory fondness for the former app than anything inherently wrong (But don't try to tell the detractors that 😉 ). Seeing as how you will have never experienced anything else, you really won't know the difference.

The Alexa skill is still in beta, so who knows what will come from that. Sonos/Amazon seem to be keen on development at a higher pace than Sonos is known for, so there is that benefit.

None of the above should deter you from buying Sonos. It truly is a marvel, and still continues to improve 10+ years after launch, while still supporting the 10 year old players it started with. Not many internet appliances can say that.
First, I think you may have misinterpreted the information regarding the Sonos One. It's fully compatible with all Sonos devices. It just can't be stereo paired with a PLAY:1, that's the only restriction.

Waiting is a mug's game, as some authors I read have put it. THere's always something that's coming "real soon now" that you can wait for. It's entirely up to you as to whether that next feature is compelling enough to wait for. But I think it of like many larger purchases, like a vehicle. Do you need it now, or can you wait for the next model year?

Given what I know about the system, and the large number of devices in my home, I'd say there's no reason not to jump in now. Sure, I'd probably choose to get Sonos Ones in a week or two, rather than PLAY:1s, but honestly, they're pretty similar, so assuming you already have that Echo Dot still, you'd be absolutely fine.
While I am still as much of a Sonos fan as any, in your place I would wait given that Apple Homepods are now imminent and then make an informed call taking all factors into account once they are available.

If you must have something in place before then, one Sonos One will allow you to dip your feet in the Sonos waters, and the speaker will still be usable somewhere in the home should you finally choose to go with the Homepod offering. Needless to say, it will be very useful should you go the Sonos route, regardless of what other Sonos kit makes sense to you.
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The only thing I'll add about waiting for the Homepod (and this is only assuming it sounds as good as a Play:1, One, etc.) as a comparison is that once you experience the sound quality and the simplicity of the wireless nature of the speakers, you'll want to invest in more and expand your setup. We started with a Play:1, quickly added a second, and have now invested in a 5.1 system for the living room. Apple doesn't have a home theater offering. But if you're not interested in a home theater setup, then maybe it's worth waiting a couple months until the Homepod is out.
The SONOS ONE is attempting to be platform agnostic. At this point we do not know how successful this boast will be. This means that SONOS will deal with Apple, Google, and Amazon. In a mixed technology house this could be a SONOS advantage.
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Just as a datapoint, we're a very heavily Apple-invested household, and we're extremely happy with all the Sonos devices we've acquired this year, and with the overall experience. It's nice to have a range of devices to choose from for different rooms/applications, although we don't use it for home theatre.

Something that is often underappreciated on this forum and elsewhere is Sonos's long-term track record in this game, including its continuing support for all of its legacy devices. This is just as important as its responsiveness to forward trends like voice control.