Vanatoo T1's + Connect vs Play:1 Pair?

  • 30 April 2014
  • 4 replies
  • 1765 views

Just wondering, for a very small footprint system, how these would compare. The Vanatoo T1's get amazing reviews, and are self-powered like the Play:1's. A bit more at $500/pair plus the Connect, vs $400 for a pair of Play:1's.

Perhaps a pair of Play:3's would be a more fair comparison? From what I've read, a pair of Play:1's will outperform a single Play:3 or Play:5 in clarity, and certainly in stereo separation, but somewhat lacking in bass.

The Vanatoo's are supposed to be superbly well balanced, with excellent bass for their size. Not quite as clean an installation as a pair of Play:1's, though... Hmmmmmm.... What to do?

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4 replies

The Vanatoo's are more detailed and clearer than the Play 1's. You can easily hear the difference. They also have a lot of bass for a bookshelf speaker but not too much..
I find the 1's history at anything about 30 to 40% volume and you won't get that with the Vanatoo's. The vanatoo bass can be a little boomy but the 1's bass is muddy in comparison.
Of course the only way to be sure is to test yourself. I used the Vanatoos with a 3rd gen Apple TV for airplay to the optical port which keeps the connection entirely digital and it sounds great. You can also attach a sub to the vanatoos. But then you start getting alot of wires.


Pretty happy with the Play:1's though. They are accurate, and don't distort at all at my normal, low listening levels. Bass is adequate with the loudness engaged.

I agree. A feeling reinforced in an extended listening session to a play 1 pair while I was updating myself on what is happening in the world of DSP equipped active speakers. It easily sounds much better than a single play 5. It appears that Sonos has made large strides since time the the play 5s were designed.
Given the proven Sonos capability in this sphere, I can't see why they would not be perfectly capable of putting out a audiophile class leading example with all the other Sonos features built in. With a choice of wood veneer in addition to black and white, and of a size that the standard high end bookshelf is these days. With some advanced eq features added via controls on the body of the unit. It doesn't need to go down too deep on the frequency range, with the Sub in the portfolio for bass heads, just add scale and body to the midrange and treble.
A play 7?
PS: In this context, the Connect pricing seems to be too high, unlike in the usual situation where it is usually added to high end legacy kit that costs a lot more than the Connect. To use better quality active speakers in a Sonos environment, it becomes a necessary buy, and the price doesn't feel justified.
The Play:1‘s were bought one at a time, months apart, once enough Amazon points accumulated. Couldn't hold out long enough to save up for the Vanatoo pair. :D

Pretty happy with the Play:1's though. They are accurate, and don't distort at all at my normal, low listening levels. Bass is adequate with the loudness engaged.
This turned up in a google search - if you ever take the plunge, do post.
They seem to be as much state of the art as the play 1s, with possible sonic advantage from a larger size enclosure and a passive radiator at the back, in which they appear do all the things that a play 1 does, except for wifi - which can be addressed by a Connect.
The wood veneered ones should look good too.
For now they won't work for me because they only accept 120V and I don't want to add the clutter of a step down transformer. But a shootout with the play 1s for SQ would be very interesting.