back to article It's big, it's expensive and it's an audiophile's dream: The Sonos Sub

The big dog in the streaming Wi-Fi speaker business has barked and delivered a sub-woofer - called the Sub. In fact it launched it a year and a half ago, but we can only now write about this heavy boom-box, so to speak, because the damn thing costs the best part of six hundred quid and we've had to save up our pennies. It's …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Dream? Nightmare more like.

    Proper speakers on proper wire please. Less is more.

    1. Steve Foster
      Flame

      Re: Dream? Nightmare more like.

      "proper wire"

      Ah, made from de-oxygenated copper, right? Or is it oxygenated, I can never remember.

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: de-oxygenated copper

        No, any reasonably chunky cable will do. Mains cable is good. Much better at keeping signals in phase than wifi.

        Audiophile and Sonos mentioned in the same article? Really? If I could afford to be an audiophile, I'd have me some Volti Vittoras. Admittedly they're $17,000 a pair but I can dream...

        If I only had enough money for a Sonos system, I'd buy a proper amp and speakers, not some Fisher Price wifi lashup

        1. Tom 35 Silver badge

          Audiophile and Sonos mentioned in the same article?

          Making a fashion statement is the most important part of being an audiophile. It's like having a letter on the side of your headphones.

          Sure you could buy something that sounds better for half the price, but it would not look like a big black doughnut and be sort of wireless.

          1. Wilseus

            Re: Audiophile and Sonos mentioned in the same article?

            "Making a fashion statement is the most important part of being an audiophile."

            Is it? I'd be very surprised if the average joe on the street has even heard of the companies that made my hifi equipment.

            1. lotus49

              Re: Audiophile and Sonos mentioned in the same article?

              Isn't that the point?

              How much cachet would your absurdly over-priced equipment have if ordinary people had heard of it?

              Audiophile = snake oil consumer.

        2. MrXavia

          Re: de-oxygenated copper

          Yes,decent amp + Speakers is the way to go, but I do love the idea of whole house audio using the LAN for control, there is no reason lossless audio can't be shifted over a modern wifi and decoded in whatever box is being used to do the sound, which is pretty much what UPNP/DLNA does I think, the trick is synchronising playback and what is played back on each device, which last I checked UPNP/DLNA can't do.

          Ive been looking at Bose's new system that uses WIFI, looks promising, if more expensive than Sonos.

          1. asdf Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: de-oxygenated copper

            >I've been looking at Bose's new system that uses WIFI, looks promising,

            Wow you are probably going to get downvoted on that statement. I am far from an audiophile and even I know (and can hear) Bose with their paper cones are garbage. They are only priced like they are legitimate. The one exception I have ever seen was a few years back they had a decent looking and sounding sub $100 desktop computer speaker set but even then there was still better quality to be found for cheaper.

        3. Fair Dinkum

          Re: de-oxygenated copper

          Chunky cable, indeed, very important. Decent speakers, not this plastic junk.

          For that kind of money, I can at least afford a valve/solid state hybrid amp,a nd add an airport express to strearn digital music to it. Or a bluetooth audio adapter, if you don't mind losing a few bits.

          You end up with a halfways decent audio system, and standardized interfaces, rather proprietary junk in a plastic enclosure. Junk with good D/A, but still <shudder>

        4. John Savard Silver badge

          Re: de-oxygenated copper

          Indeed, I was going to mention items like the Goldmund Reference turntable, and the Infinity Reference System loudspeaker... then there are Krell amplifiers. Six hundred quid being "audiophile"? Well, yes, not all high-end audio equipment has stratospheric price tags, but the speaker in question is not particularly expensive audiophile equipment.

        5. durandal

          Re: de-oxygenated copper

          When D&B were exhibiting their speakers at conventions they'd often challenge a speaker cable manufacturer to a listening contest between the premium product and any old mains cable that was kicking about.

          Funnily enough, there were no takers.

          1. Stacy

            Re: de-oxygenated copper

            And any decent shop should tell you that too!

            When I got my CM9 speakers and Cyrus amplifiers I asked what type of cable I should use. They showed me some chunky, but not expensive, cable (around 2.50 a meter IIRC). As that was the type of thing I was already using I didn't replace it.

            I asked what the hideously expensive cable was for and they said they had to stock it for some people to take them seriously even if they never recommended it. Some people just didn't believe that you could spend less than 1000 on speaker cable and so didn't.

            I loved that shop, they saved me huge amounts of money by focussing on sound and not price when I bought stuff (I saw some lovely speakers - looked lovely, and had a price tag to match, but they said they were a waste of money and that the CM9s at half the cost sounded so much better. And they did!). It's a shame the owner decided to retire when the shops rent came up for renewal...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dream? Nightmare more like.

        > Ah, made from de-oxygenated copper, right? Or is it oxygenated, I can never remember.

        Don't forget to spring for the TOSLINK cable with the gold plated connectors.

        1. LesC
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Dream? Nightmare more like.

          Glow in the dark audio as in '50s Mullard 5/20 (Maplin Millenium with E34L / E83CC and E86F) + a pair Roth Oli RA3 + bog standard B&Q 15A mains cable blows Sonos Sub away... seems to work fine with Virgin V+ box and Samsung TV. And it costs less than this Sonos 5h1te.

          The Maplin Millenium valve amp schematics are still out there...

          True hifi has as little 'processing' between source and speakers preferably using vacuum state audio :)

          Paris as she was always fond of a 7' hot tube.

          LC

          1. Frankee Llonnygog

            Re: Dream? Nightmare more like.

            Thanks for mentioning the Maplin Millenium - you've led me to a whole new trove of audio nerd articles to read over the weekend. And, maybe my first valve DIY build... (and maybe last of course, given the perils of working with toobs)

      3. Random Coolzip
        Trollface

        Re: Dream? Nightmare more like.

        Oxygen-free Litz wire, of course, drawn from virgin copper (although you can get "audio annealed" recycled copper, in a pinch). Wound widdershins along the signal path for best signal propagation.

  2. Stretch

    asbo

    Hope your neighbours are deaf

  3. Steve Todd
    WTF?

    Sorry, Audiophile and Sonos in the same sentence?

    You need to have ears of purest cloth not to hear the difference between even a low end HiFi rig and Sonos speakers.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: Sorry, Audiophile and Sonos in the same sentence?

      Arguably, it is actually quite hard to buy audiophile grade amplifier for this sort of money - unless it is entry level and for headphones only. Add reference grade headphones on top of it, and you have exceeded your budget.

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Sorry, Audiophile and Sonos in the same sentence?

        Did you miss the words "low end HiFi"? Spend only £150 on a Cambridge AM1 amp, a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9's and a Harmon Kardon Bluetooth Audio adaptor and I guarantee you'll be able to tell the difference between this and a £250 Sonos Play 3

        1. Dapprman

          @Steve Todd Re: Sorry, Audiophile and Sonos in the same sentence?

          In which case you can plug a CM100 (or is it 120) unamped unit in to your stereo and take advantage of streaming over your decent HiFi system. Leave the play 1/3/5s to other rooms.

          1. Steve Todd

            Re: @Steve Todd Sorry, Audiophile and Sonos in the same sentence?

            Erm, the point was that you can put a cheap HiFi into each of your other rooms for less than the cost of a Sonos system, and get better sound to boot.

        2. Vince

          Re: Sorry, Audiophile and Sonos in the same sentence?

          Bluetooth? For Audio. Is this a joke?

          Are you in a car?

          1. Steve Todd

            Re: Sorry, Audiophile and Sonos in the same sentence?

            Again the words "low end HiFi". For less money you can build a low end system that sounds better than the Sonos. If you're prepared to throw money at your system then the results will be MUCH better (and not run over Bluetooth)

            1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
              Flame

              Re: Sorry, Audiophile and Sonos in the same sentence?

              "low end Hi(gh) Fi(delity)" - is it an oxymoron?

              1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                Re: Sorry, Audiophile and Sonos in the same sentence?

                ""low end Hi(gh) Fi(delity)" - is it an oxymoron?"

                Not really. As with anything, you can have low and high end of the range where each individual example will still be high fidelity compared with the mass market.

                But you can use the term "budget end" instead...

    2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: asbo

      Wouldn't help them much, as these frequencies are felt as a vibration by the whole body, not only heard by the ear...

  4. jason 7

    Not bad for...

    ...£50 worth of parts.

    I meant getting people to pay that much for it. Genius.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Not bad for...

      Oh, it's far less than 50quid in parts. Probably more like £16 if they're running them off in quantity in a Chinese factory. It's all marketing, baby, just ask Bose. They used to be a technology company, now they're just a very good marketing firm with a herd of lawyers to patent and prosecute. Kinda sad, really. Dr. Amar Bose must have died an unhappy camper at what happened to his company.

      Sound is air in motion. The lower the frequency, the more air you have to move for the same sound pressure level. Basic physics. It is possible to "cheat" the listener by having a very peaked response down around the kick drum range. Claiming that it's flat to 25Hz is absurd. I see that the article didn't claim that, but proper specifications would list the -3db point as the lowest useable frequency. Little bitty units like this will need a sensitive detector to pick up their signal at 25Hz. A unit this small isn't going to have the umph to piss off the neighbors either.

      If you want to commit structural damage by Toccata and Fugue in D minor played on the big pipes, you are going to need more cone area, excursion and plenty more amplifier. (and a good sense of fun)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Audiophile's? Audionuts is more like it

    If your room is an audinightmare because of the (echo'ing) walls, objects, and other interfering stuff then you can buy yourself for half a million worth of speakers and it will still sound like shite ;)

    1. Cryo

      Re: Audiophile's? Audionuts is more like it

      That is why music should only be listened to naked in the center of an anechoic chamber buried a hundred meters underground.

  6. Pavlov's obedient mutt

    have they fixed the horrible lag?

    I had the Sonos 5 setup - wonderful sound, and loved the interface, but the 2~3s lag from source-to-play made it unusable in my view

    1. Dapprman

      Re: have they fixed the horrible lag?

      Never had that problem myself, however I know that issue is meant to exist with the Play Bar.

  7. Haku

    *does best Crocodile Dundee impression*

    "That's not a sub

    That's a sub."

    Wanna make your own? Sonosub.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Sonosub

      A cylindrical subwoofer? What about standing waves?

      1. Haku

        Re: Sonosub

        Foam dampening.

        Check out the build pictures of this guy's Sonosub.

        1. Frankee Llonnygog

          Re: Sonosub

          Foam will maybe cut some HF - but that won't be present in a sub-woofer in the first place. Maybe a sturdy MDF baffle shaped to give some asymmetry to the interior volume might work. On the other hand, if you're after the one-note bass typical of 'impressive' subwoofers, the standing waves may actually help!

    2. The Stolly
      Thumb Up

      Re: *does best Crocodile Dundee impression*

      Thanks a bunch, now I'll get no work done again!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: *does best Crocodile Dundee impression*

      At least use https://startpage.com/ you *tard, google is not secure!

  8. cambsukguy

    Stuff must be much cheaper now

    I paid 750 for my sub sometime in the 90s - hardly use it now because I don't buy DVDs any more and haven't got any BluRay discs either.

    It gets some exercise if I bother to stream music to the system but it never seems worth sending the TV sound to the system and the HDMI I have on this (Samsung) TV doesn't do Dolby Digital from my laptop.

    Not that the stuff I have has DD, Netflix missing something there I guess - it's all about the HD now I think.

  9. andreas koch
    Thumb Down

    16kg.

    That's supposed to be heavy for a speaker? An active speaker?

    Bah.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    Handy

    Should you need some cheap earthquake simulation

    1. Haku

      Re: Handy

      I recall The A-Team did that once, attaching some speakers to foundations of a building and dropping flour into the ventilation shafts to simulate an earthquake to get people to leave the building.

      1. Yves Kurisaki

        Re: Handy

        No, it was MacGyver who did that, using only a penknife and a bag of flour.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Handy

          Actually I think you'll find it was Chuck Norris, and all he did was belch

  11. dogknees

    Standard

    I seem to recall seeing a standard for subs that said they should be able to deliver a constant 20 Hz tone at 120dB indefinitely.

    Hardly audiophile, prices in that world start in the high 4 figures and go up rapidly from there. Some will spend $250,000 for a set of speakers.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Standard

      That's not exactly a high bar to meet. You could probably overdrive and underclock a Rampant Rabbit to meet that spec

    2. Jim 59

      Re: Standard

      "Audiophile", especially the silly/expensive stuff, is relatively poor quality (sub hi-fi) kit sold to the domestic market, which p*ss-poor enthusiast magazines have been duping innocent (but usually non technical) music lovers into buying since around 1977. Monoblock amps, valves, etc .etc. have nothing to do with hi-fi.

      Phew got that off my chest. Well the author says ...contemplative core... fabulous jolts as it climaxes... wonderful precision....It's like moving from a Trabant to a Mercedes." and so on and so on. That's great, but it sort of depends on what you were listening to before the sub woofer. I guess you were using rather small speakers ?

      1. Chris Mellor 1

        Re: Standard

        Pair iof Play:3s. Before that a cheap Sharp surround system. Progression is a wonderful thing.

        Chris.

  12. ElNumbre
    Joke

    "It's big, it's expensive and it's an audiophile's dream: The Sonos Sub"

    The only thing I know about audiophilia is that you can't please any of them, any of the time.

  13. Yves Kurisaki

    Well..

    The Toccata and Fugue in D minor, against popular believe, was not written by J.S.Bach.

    This has been proved pretty much conclusively by many prominent Bach scholars.

    1. Badvok

      Re: Well..

      I think you'll find that the jury is still out on that one, it is definitely not proven.

      1. Yves Kurisaki

        Re: Well..

        Just listening to it is proof enough.

        It's a shit piece of music, devoid of any harmonic structure.

        And I'm Bach fan nr. one.

    2. Chris Mellor 1

      Re: Well..

      Oh. Bach to my sources - sorry.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well..

      Possibly by the Illuminati via hijacked Freemasonry etc.; they were documented as being deliberate sponsors, mentors, or associates around major European composers, and even contributed to or inspired them; Bach, Mozart and others included! Lets just say that they had hidden, long term, IMO some harmful, goals which you may not like, and probably still exist without most being aware of them.

    4. lotus49

      Re: Well..

      There are good reasons to doubt the attribution of BWV 565 to Bach but it is not true that it has been proved conclusively and the doubts over the attribution are certainly not universally accepted by Bach scholars.

  14. Anonymous IV
    Angel

    Virtual purchase

    "The damn thing costs the best part of six hundred quid and we've had to save up our pennies."

    Are you seriously suggesting that you actually bought this thing, and that it wasn't the usual journalistic freebie?

    1. Chris Mellor 1

      Re: Virtual purchase

      YES!!!!

      Chris.

    2. Chris Mellor 1

      Re: Virtual purchase

      Damn right!!!!

      1. Anonymous IV

        Re: Virtual purchase

        I bow in admiration of your wallet, then, if not necessarily your lifestyle choices!

  15. Chewy
    Trollface

    With all that power

    You'd need a Shunyata Alpha Digital Power Cable to do it justice.

  16. aebe

    Aw - could resist so far, but even the reg loves it

    Have been having 3 sonos components, for around a decade now. Yes, the price tags are steep, but all the components last for years on years, and I love to never have to think about my sound system - those Sonos devices really produce great sound. All reviews love the Sonos Sub, even with its price tag. I am pretty sure I need to start saving money as well, just to be an even happier music listener for the next 10-15 years.

    And Sonos not recognizing new components - happened to me once in around 10 years as well, but is usually caused by distortions or other WLANs around. Once paired, I never had an issue or dropped components.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sub 25Hz

    "The Sub has two Class-D amplifiers and can deal with sounds down to 25HZ"

    What do they do with the real bass below 25Hz?

    I don't think my reggae friends would call that bass

  18. phil4

    "Sonos said it was going to introduce a cheaper, matt black finish box shortly after it launched the Sub but never did."

    Yes they did, I have one. To honour their promise, for a very limited time you could order one. I did, and still have one.

    They still do sell a Matte sub, it's listed in the Shop, though appears you need to be in the US, Germany or Scandanavia. And as stated was available for a limited time in the UK.

    1. Chris Mellor 1

      Ah, never realised that matt black version was a time-limited offer. Couldn't see it had ever happened anyway.

      Chris.

  19. Semtex451 Silver badge

    You do realise Chris Mellor & Rik Myslewski only do this to get us all agitated.

    "Wind them up and watch them go" they giggle.

    1. Chris Mellor 1

      Well no. But a good wind-up comment.

  20. -tim
    Mushroom

    Impressive!

    Sonos has impressed me. We have 3 of their demo units at my club and I have never seen a better example of "out of phase". These things can do that so well that even our most deaf members can tell.

    As far as a 25Hz... those extra 5 make a huge difference which is why CDs replicate them.

    I think I'll stick to my IRS

  21. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    25 Hz?

    Not really trying very hard, are they?

    More Woofer than subWoofer.

  22. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Oh Yeah?

    Down to 25Hz eh? Heard that one before. It'll produce something like a wet fart at that frequency and will sound nothing like a 21.8 Hz 64ft Organ pipe (Pedal F if you must know). Besides, before even casually thinking about subs you should be sorting out your room accoustics, which are crap in most buildings and not especially good in some so-called studios.

  23. Zacherynuk

    You guys.

    The vast majority of the posts seem to by from people who think Sonos is a wireless speaker system, It's not. It very much IS NOT.

    Each Sonos component can work completely independently so you can have completely different sources playing from each unit if you so wish. The audio is not 'played' to the speakers negating speaker wire - it is STREAMED to the devices, decoded, amplified and played on the devices (So to answer the first post, the only thing better than than good quality speaker wire is a very very short run of speaker wire, which is what you get in a Sonos component)

    The Sonos can stream and play music from anything at all, it's a perfect companion for Spotify, for example and pretty much every radio station you can imagine is on there. And podcasts.

    It can play from Audible, 7digital, amazon, last.fm, napster and even The Hype Machine (to name but a few!)

    It can also stream your perfect loss-less FLAK rips from your NAS, Server, PC, Mac, Iphone & android.

    I have had a 7 zone setup in my house for a few years now and I can honestly say that it sounds amazing and I have never suffered audio echo or reverb due to things being out of state (I have seen this at sites however where they have had them plumbed in to the network via a switch without spanning tree support enabled) -

    Each component can be wired or wireless. You don't need a 'bridge' if you can plug ANY of the components into the Network and the rest will mesh together wireless. You an even tap into this mesh if your home wireless is poor to pass through normal internet traffic rather than just the Sonos communications.

    If you don't like the sound of the speakers in the components you can get a Sonos Amp which lets you plug in any speakers you like.

    If you don'y like the sound of the Sonos Amp you can get a Sonos Connect which only has a pre-amp. I have this in the living room plugged into my Onkyo and KEF 7.1 system.

    The point is, Sonos is not 'Wireless Speakers'

    Regarding the SUB - you would really need a decent space to use this effectively, same goes for any sub, really - positioning is everything. If you have heard a 5 (or pair of 5's in stereo) the sound quality and range is lovely*, and I have no real complaints about the Bass. Sure things sound better through the AV amp and surround - but I would expect them to, that wasn't cheap! But nor does it do anything that the Sonos does.

    *Unless you are the sort of person who buys things like: http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina47.htm

    1. Jeremy Allison

      Re: You guys.

      Yep. SONOS systems are Linux boxes. You can even download the source code (not to their fancy proprietary bits of course, but to the bog-standard GPL components).

      I'm with Chris on this one. I *LOVE* the SONOS systems. I have a bunch of them in my house (3 play-5's, 2 play-1's in the kitchen and 4 connects to drive the surround-sound systems in various rooms).

      I do have some really fancy audiophile speakers (JM Labs Focal Beryllium speakers) but the systems I find myself listening to the most are the stereo paired SONOS Play-1's in the kitchen, and the stereo paired Play-5's in the master bedroom, linked with a SONOS sub.

      The sound really is amazing. Regular non-audiophile people listen to the bedroom system and just go "Oooh, that sounds different. How does it do that ?" It's the depth and richness of the sound that the SONOS sub adds I think. I now listen to music all the time at home as it's just so easy and convenient (controlled by my Android phone).

      Oh yeah, one other thing. Wired is the way to go. Wireless just *SUCKS*. Always :-). All my SONOS boxes are wired (the house came with gigabit already plumbed into every room so that was easier :-). Even the one too far away from the wall-plate is wired via a ethernet-over-power box. Wireless *SUCKS* :-).

      Only problem is convincing the wife to let me add more zones :-).

  24. jaywin

    Dixtionary definition

    Audiophile - hi-fi enthusiast with a credit card

  25. Jess--

    I always wonder how many artists play with deliberate de-phasing at low frequencies, I can think of a few tracks that have the effect in them which when played on a full stereo system (or headphones) produce an interesting effect but when played back on a 2:1 / 5:1 or 7:1 system just has the effect of ramping the bass up and down.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My living room system consists of a pair of Wharfedale Modus 8s and a late '70s vintage Onkyo receiver. It will quite easily blast the dishes off the shelves in the kitchen while staying squeaky clean - and (amazing concept) can deliver sub-200hz audio in stereo!! Wow!

    This kind of performance doesn't come cheap, though. The Wharfedales I picked up for free on Freecycle from a guy who didn't want them anymore, so I had to pay for the gas to drive and get them, and the Onkyo was 35 bucks at the thrift store - plus rather a lot of effort to carry around, so you have to consider the cost of the food calories I used moving it.

    But still, I don't think it's too bad.

  27. Chris Mellor 1

    SUBstance abuser

    Loved the comments, especially audiophile = hifi enthusiast with credit card. The whole set of comments has opened doors into music playback fields I didn't know existed. Sort your room out before sorting the audio out - that notion is, well, interesting. Music playing in my house is something we do in a room alongside other things - eating, reading, TV, meeting friends, chilling out and so on. It isn't just a listening room.

    But I have got to listen to a high-end audio system to see/hear the difference. Are there demo centres anywhere near Croydon, UK I could visit?

    Chris.

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: SUBstance abuser

      Well, Richer have a branch in Croydon that do demos. They go up to mid-range (£2400 for a pair of speakers and £1500 for an amp).

      1. Chris Mellor 1

        Re: SUBstance abuser

        That's mid-range? Sheesh!

        1. Steve Todd

          Re: SUBstance abuser

          Speakers go for up to $2million per pair and amps for $600k. To be honest it's a case of diminishing returns, but some folk are happy to pay those sums.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SUBstance abuser

      I was going to be the naysayer about the quality of the sound, but...

      a) I've never heard them so I can't really comment.

      b) Let's face it, for most of the population they are going to be amazing!

      I don't *think* that they would be for me, I love my CM9s and my Cyrus system too much! But for most people it's over the top :)

      Then again, a 300 euro sofa that looks OK and is comfy and lasts for 5 years is fine for me (mine is currently at 9 years and, er, dead ;p), whilst I know people who wouldn't dream of spending less than 3500 on the same. The same people who would not dream of spending more than 300 on a 5.1 system with speakers.

    3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: SUBstance abuser

      "Music playing in my house is something we do in a room alongside other things - eating, reading, TV, meeting friends, chilling out and so on."

      You only need a proper hi-fi if you are planning to listen to music on its own, without any distractions. If music for you is a background audio accompaniment to other things, you don't need to trouble yourself and spend time and money on hi-fi equipment.

      You should probably look at some multi-room systems that make it easier to fill the house with ambient audio, rather than concentrate on fidelity issues.

  28. MachDiamond Silver badge

    The bass guitar

    Open E on a 4 string bass guitar is …. 42Hz. The lowest note on a 5-string is not that much lower. I can't remember the frequency off the top of my head. I'm not a musician, I'm a drummer. Below about 35Hz you aren't going to get much but the AC wind blowing across the microphone in the studio. Going down to 20Hz is just an exercise in credit card rewards points unless you fancy listening mostly to really big pipe organs at live levels. Even movies with heavy special effects aren't getting as low as most people think. The movies have to be mastered to play in theaters that have spent far less on the sound system than some audiophiles spend on interconnects.

    Want impressive? Check out some of the stuff from Linn (linn.co.uk). If you have to ask the price…...

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: The bass guitar

      Uggh - I can still remember my first impression of the Linn Kanns 30 years or so ago. Very loud square wave generators

    2. Steve Todd

      Re: The bass guitar

      Some of the big pipe organs get down to 8Hz (OK, you need a 64' pipe to get that). There are many other wind instruments that can make it down to C0, which corresponds to 16Hz

  29. Heisenberg

    For a hundred pounds less.

    ...you could have bought yourself a B&W ASW610. I'm pretty confident in saying that this unit would, quite literally, blow the socks off the Sonos.

  30. davemcwish

    We've had to save up our pennies

    Don't you have enough clout to blag a review sample ?

    1. Chris Mellor 1

      Re: We've had to save up our pennies

      Sadly not. Though a Playbar might be coming that way...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    squeezelite anyone?

    Ive been running multiple Squeezelite instances in a multi zone setup and the quality is good enough for me - this provides all the features of Sonos but with the ability to pair it with whatever amp/speakers/DAC you desire.

    Plus everything is open sourced so the magic is visible in the code for anyone interested.

    Sonos wins for simplicity but if you want better audio quality there are viable alternatives.

  32. cswright
    Facepalm

    Specs?

    What are the specs for this? Yes, I went to the Sonos site. All they have is two Class-D amplifiers and two speakers. What's the size of the speakers and wattage of the amps? Looks like what I would get from Bose. I'll pass on both.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sub standard neighbours

    Please, no more sub woofers!

    It scares the dogs!

  34. devlinse

    I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that Sonos gear is the tip of the Audiophile iceberg. That said the Play's do sound good (I've a 5 and a 1), and the main room feeds into Arcam and B&W's.

    Yes I could probably get better sound quality by rooting around in a drawer for an old CD and playing that, but frankly that's a pain. I like the integration with Spotify or whatever of my now almost consigned to the cupboard CD's I've ripped. And I like that the same music plays in the bedroom and bathroom when I want it to. I like that it's bullet proof, the software is updated regularly and I can control the whole lot from my phone. Sometimes the sum of the parts are more important.

    So no, it's not going to win a like for like competition with the highest end kit out there (possibly not even some mid range kit), but I listen to a damn sight more music using Sonos than I ever did before.

    Would I buy the Sub? No, can't see the need for it. If Sonos did a product that could help with my mild tinnitus, I'd be all over that in a shot though.

  35. Mike 102
    Paris Hilton

    Trabant to mercedes

    There's lots of b*ll*x being spouted on here about this component and that component...

    Take the average Joe Bloggs off the street and they won;t be able to tell the difference between most of these components. If you spend time training them to listen for specific differences then they might just about but really.... no, no they won't.

    For most people adding a sub of sonos quality to a system without one is like going from a trabant to a mercedes. The author is right.

    Compared to lots of similar audio quality deviceds Sonos is not cheap. But then sonos isn't just an audio device. It's a device to play sound from muliple sources to multiple speakers either in phase or separately. It does the job very well. You can walk from room to room and hear the same piece continuously in phase/synced. You can choose how to combine elements, I have an amp feeding speakers in my kitchen and separate devices in the dining room and living room.

    If I had an audio room, tuned to be acoustically perfect, with a high end audio set up then maybe sonos and/or it's wouldn't be a good choice but lets face it sonos aren't aiming their devices at those people.

    They aim their devices at people who want sound streamed throughout a building. Unless of course all your rooms are acoustically tuned and you sit there with the heating turned off so the vibrations don't distort your listening experience????

    The author has it about right. It's an excellent set up for streaming sound around the average home with pretty easy set up and very easy controls.

    I'm sure a bugatti veyron owner would tell you how much faster and more refined it is than a london route master bus but lets face it a route master will take 60 people over a mile in less time than the veyron.

    Stop being silly ar$es.

    Paris because even she could use it.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019