When Praise is Due

  • 3 July 2017
  • 4 replies

Userlevel 1
Hi Sonos,

1) I have just bought a new Land Rover and customer service is no service at all!
The infotainment system is slow and just doesnt work well. In fact it's impossible to even change media devices connected by bluetooth without a 20 step procedure. No one from Landrover knows anything about using the system.

2) I have 3 top spec Samsung TVs. Two of these purchased in 2016 have 'clunky' software. The 2017 model is a lot better, but it doesnt look like I'm going to get a software update for the 2016 models. This is a shame because it would improve the whole experience.

These purchases just highlight the fantastic experience I have had with Sonos. I have phoned Sonos 3 times with problems relating to anti virus and router settings and wifi extenders. Your staff were so helpful, knowledgeable and got the problems solved.

On top of that I've been delighted with the Trueplay updates (now including the Playabar).

Therefore I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your whole business :
Great products
Great updates
Great customer service

Thank You

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4 replies

To add:
I have been a speaker nut since I was a kid going to goodwill stores with my parents looking for remnants that I could use for my custom builds.
As I got older, and fortunate to earn a decent income, I was able to purchase some mid/high level equipment. I still own this equipment and like the old adage, you get what you pay for.
I just recently started my journey with Sonos and inside of 2 months have purchased 2 -Play:1's, 1-Play:5 and a Connect. I was skeptical at first which is why I only purchased a play:1 to start. I was used to setups costing 20-30 times as much.
Consequently I am astounded at the quality of your products. Absolutely stunning sound and technology. So happy and just thrilled with how connected my home has become with my music collection. Not to mention streaming my records throughout the home!
So yes, praise is certainly due here. Way to go Sonos team.
I still own this equipment and like the old adage, you get what you pay for.

I have done a lot of dabbling in the world of high end - read expensive - audio and I no longer believe in this adage where the world of high end audio is concerned. Sonos kit played a large part in this realisation.

In the world of high end audio, when you pay a lot of money, you now pay for:
1. Higher cost of manufacture because of low volumes sold.
2. Ditto, for higher cost components needed that are not mass manufactured.
3. Bling.
4. The need for higher profits per unit in the absence of volumes, to justify business existence, that drives up per unit selling price that is paid.
5. Marketing spend including there the cost of media brainwashing done to convince people that expensive high end is special in some way.
6. Brand building that has been done to justify the high price and all of the above.
7. And finally, membership of the elite club of audiophiles so you can be one up over the "ignorant".

On the other hand, technology has driven the cost of component hardware and embedded software to ridiculously low levels without any loss in the quality/reliability of the output delivered. None of these benefits are delivered in high priced audio kit.

In terms of value for money, home audio is in a golden age for the users and a very challenging one for makers. As a user, one just has to know what to ignore to get what is audibly as good as anything else in the market.
I think your line of thinking is applicable to a range. Not low and not high, but in the middle where the money spent for your Sonos could have been spent (maybe more) on other products. But you spend less and you get absolute crap (meaning $100 or less for a speaker) and you spend more (meaning $2000 or more for a speaker - considering I have $1400 in sonos so far) you should get great setup. Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part yes you would get what you paid for.
But I do agree with your points within a range, like brands and marketing. Just look at Beats. Amazing marketing for the cheapest components available. Massive profits. Bestbuy will not even offer protection plans on them anymore because of failure rate.
But I do not believe in snake oil in regard to high end speakers (sans other high end products) disagree? Then listen to a pair of Meadowlark's on the right power. Unforgettable.
Debate never ends on this but agree Sonos has changed the game with technology.
How about a DAC that is sold for USD 60,000?
How about Dayton external speakers sold for less than USD 100 - excellent reviews in general, see Wirecutter, and also a member here that has used them?
How about pro studio active monitors that aren't dressed up to look good because the pros don't care about bling? Excellent ones for USD 200 a pair and a much wider range in the USD 500-1000 a pair price point.
High end passive speakers - and I am talking about those that sell for more than USD 5000 a pair - are also not value for money, for the exact same reasons I mentioned. Notice that I am not talking about snake oil, but about genuine products that one has to pay a high price for, for the all the reasons I listed, where the high price has no bearing on the sound quality. And once things are not value for money, the adage that you get what you pay for is broken, unless what you get also includes psychological satisfaction.
I don't know the speaker you are quoting, and there are other expensive ones as well that may be good that don't need a millionaire's mansion for proper placement having regard to their size. But there are many at the price that, to put it mildly, suck. Many justify their price by claiming hand built. Irrelevant to sound quality, that trait. Just makes it expensive.
I am not saying that High end is all bad - I am saying that in high end audio, high price does not automatically equate to better. Exceptions do not make an adage. And there are enough examples that contradict the claim for it not to be an adage as well. I agree that debates don't end on this, but that also proves my point - adages are such because they are not prone to much debate, by definition.