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Replacement recommendations for Sonos


DaQi
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I am looking to replace my Sonos system and looking for suggestions. I currently have 6 Sonos boxes in the house - 3 with amplifiers built-in and 3 without.

 

What I have liked about the Sonos:

 

-It just works - minimal fuss

-It is plug and play. I don't need a separate DAC or anything else

-It can be controlled through JRiver

 

I have a dedicated Intel NUC based HTPC that I use as the music server which connects to the Synology NAS with all my music on it. I don't listen to much streaming music other than a bit of Pandora for free and that is mostly the kids.

 

What I am looking for in a replacement:

 

-Roon ready

-Will play higher resolution files and if possible DSD files as well natively i.e. without having to go through hoops to get it to work. I can play these types of files on my Sonos but have to go through JRiver and resampling them and thus not through the Sonos interface.

-The benefits mentioned above for Sonos. I am okay with a bit of messing around to get things to work but want something that I can plug in and forget.

-I do have gigabit ethernet to some of the locations but not all so it would need to work on WiFi.

-Not too expensive. I am fine with paying a bit more than for the Sonos but I don't need this to break the bank.

 

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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I am looking to replace my Sonos system and looking for suggestions. I currently have 6 Sonos boxes in the house - 3 with amplifiers built-in and 3 without.

 

What I have liked about the Sonos:

 

-It just works - minimal fuss

-It is plug and play. I don't need a separate DAC or anything else

-It can be controlled through JRiver

 

I have a dedicated Intel NUC based HTPC that I use as the music server which connects to the Synology NAS with all my music on it. I don't listen to much streaming music other than a bit of Pandora for free and that is mostly the kids.

 

What I am looking for in a replacement:

 

-Roon ready

-Will play higher resolution files and if possible DSD files as well natively i.e. without having to go through hoops to get it to work. I can play these types of files on my Sonos but have to go through JRiver and resampling them and thus not through the Sonos interface.

-The benefits mentioned above for Sonos. I am okay with a bit of messing around to get things to work but want something that I can plug in and forget.

-I do have gigabit ethernet to some of the locations but not all so it would need to work on WiFi.

-Not too expensive. I am fine with paying a bit more than for the Sonos but I don't need this to break the bank.

 

Thoughts? Suggestions?

 

My recommendations will not tick all your boxes (Roon Ready mainly), but they will do most.

 

- Naim mu-so. Superior sound, good app, great looks, just works

- Denon Heos. Similar price range as Sonos, ok app, decent looks, just works (Mind you! Will not play uncompressed FLAC files.)

- Bluesound. People have reported good things on them. Enough components to make a system. I haven't tried these myself, unlike the other two.

 

All three devices work with UPnP or DLNA and JRiver should work.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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I am looking to replace my Sonos system and looking for suggestions. I currently have 6 Sonos boxes in the house - 3 with amplifiers built-in and 3 without.

 

What I have liked about the Sonos:

 

-It just works - minimal fuss

-It is plug and play. I don't need a separate DAC or anything else

-It can be controlled through JRiver

 

I have a dedicated Intel NUC based HTPC that I use as the music server which connects to the Synology NAS with all my music on it. I don't listen to much streaming music other than a bit of Pandora for free and that is mostly the kids.

 

What I am looking for in a replacement:

 

-Roon ready

-Will play higher resolution files and if possible DSD files as well natively i.e. without having to go through hoops to get it to work. I can play these types of files on my Sonos but have to go through JRiver and resampling them and thus not through the Sonos interface.

-The benefits mentioned above for Sonos. I am okay with a bit of messing around to get things to work but want something that I can plug in and forget.

-I do have gigabit ethernet to some of the locations but not all so it would need to work on WiFi.

-Not too expensive. I am fine with paying a bit more than for the Sonos but I don't need this to break the bank.

 

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Roon is pretty cool once you understand their terminology. But, it does hang on dsd files and that is not even a nas drive. I use usb drives directly connected to the pc with Jriver.

 

Sonos is still easily the best multi room system in terms of ease and reliability... IMO

 

Maybe focus the budget for a better dedicated system and keep Sonos for multi room. Hires audio is almost indistinguishable in a multi room environment anyways...

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Roon is pretty cool once you understand their terminology. But, it does hang on dsd files and that is not even a nas drive. I use usb drives directly connected to the pc with Jriver.

 

Since Roon started supporting DSF files (which is a while ago now — very early on), I've had no problems playing them, so that's not really a sticking point, IMO.

 

If I were in the OP's position, I think I would wait a little while to see what kind of all-in-one Roon endpoints hit the market. Right now, you can roll your own pretty inexpensively using Raspberry Pi, Cubox-i, and the like, as well as the Sonore Sonicorbiter SE and microRendu, but there's still additional expense (for the actual DAC-amp-speakers part) and futzing around to get everything up and running. I don't have any special knowledge, but I'd expect to see some Sonos-like RoonReady all-in-one endpoints emerge in the near future.

 

Once the Roon ecosystem matures a little bit more, I think it will be really great, because you'll have playback options at a wide range of price points (so, for example, something fancy for the listening room, something basic for the kitchen, and something in between for the bedroom, home office, etc.) Everything is already easy to network, and you can either sync across (Roon RAAT) zones or play tracks independently in each zone.

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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My suggestion (as David stated above) is to watch and wait unless your Sonos system is non functional or problematic. In the next six to twelve months, I anticipate many new product releases which will be Roon ready.

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You forgot the main reason to use Sonos currently : my wife can use it!

 

My listening room / man cave is a different matter altogether.

[Home Digital] Bricasti M12 > DIY M2x Monoblocks > Daedalus Audio Muse Studio Speakers

[Home Analog] Technics SL-1200G > Boulder 508 (Zu DL-103/Hana ML/Denon DL-301 II)

[Office] Laptop > Kitsune R2R lvl3 > Violectric V281 > Focal Utopia Headphones (balanced)

[beach/Travel] Laptop > DragonFly Red > Ether Headphones

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I'd agree on waiting too.

 

Hopefully, we'll get more integrated boomboxes with better sound soon and at budget... or devices like CCA with more digital outputs.

 

I'm all for separates, they perform way higher than most integrated single box solutions, unless you are talking in the Devialet Phantom range.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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