Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Arts and Entertainment => Topic started by: Feanor on January 20, 2019, 09:16:43 pm

Title: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: Feanor on January 20, 2019, 09:16:43 pm
I've had reasonably decent hifi systems since I was a PSO 30 years ago.
This eventually morphed into a Linn-Naim tri amped Sondek Isobarik system.

Over the years,  what with kids and all, it rather fell into disuse.
Recently, we got a SONOS speaker to stream choons from a phone to something a bit better.
I then got a SONOS connect, which plugs into a Line Input on a normal amp.

This has totally transfomed my music experience.
Its the best input device into a trad hifi ever.

It Just Works, and the source quality is excellent.
I've been sat in front of it for hours re-living my youth!

Same choons stream to speakers in other rooms too.
And it is bi-directional, and can stream the Sondek's scratchings to the rest of the system.

Well impressed.
SONOS. Just works.

Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: PeterM on January 20, 2019, 09:20:06 pm
Yep, Sonos is brilliant. It’s so good it’s now spread into five rooms of the house after initially colonising the dining room...
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: rafletcher on January 20, 2019, 09:49:01 pm
Yep another vote. We have a Playbase for TV plus tunes in the lounge, and I have a Play One in the shed/workshop/man cave.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: ian on January 20, 2019, 10:18:05 pm
I bought a couple of Sonos speakers late last year. Then I bought some more. They've populated every room. I'm tempted by the garage and summer house.

I love them. It's brilliant to just fire up some tunes and have them wherever you are, the bathroom, the bedroom, my remote command centre, the living room, the kitchen.

Probably the best wireless set-up and indeed, it just works and they sound great.

It's probably fortunate I have a detached house. The cats are less impressed as is my wife, who likes to describe my musical preferences as 'miserable girls singing in bathrooms.' Yeah, well, now they can sing in all the rooms.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: Feanor on January 21, 2019, 07:03:19 pm
[…] my wife, who likes to describe my musical preferences as 'miserable girls singing in bathrooms.' […]

Likewise, Mrs F describes some of the female Celtic singists as 'Another Waily Wummin'.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: geraldc on January 21, 2019, 08:23:59 pm
We bought a couple of play 5s. We love them. The biggest revelation was realising we didn't miss stereo, when we decided to run them independently.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: pdm on January 21, 2019, 08:51:41 pm
Sonos Play 5s have enough speaker units inside to play stereo as individual units when placed horizontally. The Play 1s & Play 3s do not.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: ian on January 21, 2019, 09:56:10 pm
I can't say the lack of stereo bothers me either, I did buy a pair originally as a stereo pair for the remote command centre, but after a couple of days decided that I wanted one in the living room. And so on.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: Redlight on January 21, 2019, 10:34:32 pm
[…] my wife, who likes to describe my musical preferences as 'miserable girls singing in bathrooms.' […]

Likewise, Mrs F describes some of the female Celtic singists as 'Another Waily Wummin'.

My late wife used to refer to Kate Bush, of whom I was a fan, as "Wailing Winnie"  ::-)
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: sg37409 on January 22, 2019, 11:17:25 pm
Its possibly my router/wifi but I find the app can take time to connect and loses connection sometimes.

I have my turntable connected to an older (single) play5 and I have a play3 in the kitchen/dining room. I really love the sound quality.
I have a NAS drive with my cd's and downloads on it.

I rarely if ever use the grouping function, but I love the sound quality.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: geraldc on January 22, 2019, 11:25:49 pm
It was my wife who got interested in the Sonos system. I was surprised she was willing to spend so much money, then I found out she'd actually been considering a Devialet wireless speaker, and so a Sonos seemed a positive bargain.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: ian on January 23, 2019, 08:03:56 am
I think it's lost a connection once and required a reboot, but I think that's better-than-average-for-wifi. I like to wander around the house with the music playing everywhere, which is nice. They only occasional issues I've had are with AirPlay, that might in part be due to the fact that I have a mix of Sonos One and Play:1 (the latter I didn't realise didn't support AirPlay, though you can group them with the Ones), or it might just be AirPlay. Not a big deal, it's once in the blue moon and the only time I used Airplay if I'm playing music from my iMac in the remote command centre. Generally, I'll just use the Sonos app on my phone.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: Mr Larrington on January 23, 2019, 10:04:29 am
(Looks at prices, recoils in horror)
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: sg37409 on January 23, 2019, 02:32:04 pm
Does anyone use / like the amazon alexa integrated Sonos speakers ? Mine are from before these were launched, and I've wondered if that could be a better option than relying on the app on my iPhone.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: pdm on January 23, 2019, 03:02:11 pm
Personally, I prefer using the PC and phone app interfaces (usually using playlists and searches on Spotify rather then the Sonos interface - Spotify actually has a nice Linux client....)
Alexa and I often do not seem to understand each other very well....
Using playlists through Alexa is OK, provided they are set up beforehand.
If you get on perfectly with Alexa, your experience may be better!
While music is playing, Alexa often does not hear me very well.
I sometimes use the Alexa interface for occasional ad hoc one off tunes.
Its also cheaper to get the pre-Alexa Sonos stuff and an Echo Dot with the advantage of placing the Dot well away from the speakers.
YMMV
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: rafletcher on January 23, 2019, 03:15:10 pm
Does anyone use / like the amazon alexa integrated Sonos speakers ? Mine are from before these were launched, and I've wondered if that could be a better option than relying on the app on my iPhone.

Yep, they're the "Play One"'s. Link to your streaming account and just ask for your music. I use mine in the shed/man cave so easy to change when I'm fettling or on the turbo.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: Feanor on January 23, 2019, 03:15:51 pm
The SONOS systems can't connect to my WiFi due to they type of security setup I use ( WPA2-Enterprise, with Radius servers ), so I have a SONOS Boost, which is like a SONOS-dedicated access point which the devices connect to.  Seems to Just Work.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: pcolbeck on January 23, 2019, 03:36:42 pm
The SONOS systems can't connect to my WiFi due to they type of security setup I use ( WPA2-Enterprise, with Radius servers ), so I have a SONOS Boost, which is like a SONOS-dedicated access point which the devices connect to.  Seems to Just Work.

Cool WPA2 Enterprise at home! Bit of an overkill though unless your work for GCHQ or something.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: ian on January 23, 2019, 03:57:05 pm
Does anyone use / like the amazon alexa integrated Sonos speakers ? Mine are from before these were launched, and I've wondered if that could be a better option than relying on the app on my iPhone.

You need a streaming service or otherwise you are limited to simply shouting louder, skip etc. You can't select local music. Unless you need handsfree operation, it's mostly a convenience rather than must-have for me, I prefer to jibble things on my iPhone.

I confess I have no idea how they work with wifi, since it didn't require any passwords etc. but work they do.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: Feanor on January 23, 2019, 04:12:18 pm
I confess I have no idea how they work with wifi, since it didn't require any passwords etc. but work they do.

How it seems to work on a regular domestic WiFi setup is this:

On the phone app, when you search for a new speaker, it initially connects over bluetooth.
It has to do this, since the speaker doesn't know the passwords to your WiFi.

The App then scrapes the WiFi connection details from the phone, and sends them over to the speaker via Bluetooth.
The speaker then connects to WiFi, and the connection then transfers to WiFi.

When we then moved the system to Feanor Towers, the WiFi connection was no longer found, but the app found the Boost, and set it up.  It then used the Boost to search for speakers, and it found them. So the speakers seemed to magically connect to the Boost's hidden network with no user configuration required.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: ian on January 23, 2019, 04:40:38 pm
Hmm, I didn't think the Sonos One or Play: 1 had Bluetooth in any format (you certainly can't connect via BT) – but I presume it's getting the details from somewhere and somehow (I did Google, but it's still very mysterious), I don't remember actually authorizing anything. I just pressed the button and waited for the satisfying chime. They don't seem to connect to the local network per se though, they won't for instance span my two SSIDs, they'll only connect to one SSID (fortunately not an issue, it seems to reach them all).

(I guess the Boost just creates its own wireless network using one of the speakers as the base station.)

It's all quite pleasingly mysterious. Not admittedly quite as cool as answering my mobiles on my computer, even when they're in my coat pocket upstairs, but pretty cool nevertheless.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: rafletcher on January 23, 2019, 04:44:35 pm
They can all receive BT from the phone/table for the setup, my Playbase was just the same.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: ian on January 23, 2019, 04:49:41 pm
Secret radio signals, ahoy.

I assumed a lack of BT on the grounds they don't offer it as a connection mechanism (not that you need it, which probably answers that question).

Anyway, it's all very clever. Still not clear why they can only use one SSID though, if they're routing through the network, it oughtn't to matter. But I'm a proven ignoramus on such matters.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: mike on January 23, 2019, 04:54:50 pm
I'm also a big fan and have 3 1s and a 5 about the house, their soundbar (from 3 years ago, not the new one) is fab too.  The app has improved beyond recognition in the last few years and is now very useable

Anyone remember the pre-iphone sonos controller?  (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sonos-CR100-Multi-Room-Music-System-Controller-X4/273660130139?hash=item3fb76a335b:g:E~sAAOSwcqxcLgjc) I found mine the other day but even after it claimed to be charged it wouldnt switch on.. 
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: Feanor on January 23, 2019, 06:19:06 pm
I guess the Boost just creates its own wireless network using one of the speakers as the base station.

My understanding ( based on random googling ) is that when any one of the Sonos devices has a wired connection, then the entire system goes into a proprietary 'mesh' mode, with the main connection back to the outside world being via the wired unit.

The Boost is essentially doing this function.
It's plugged in, and acts as a bridge between the LAN and the SonosNet.

It's *possible* that even without the Boost, if I connected one of my devices to the wired LAN, then the other devices *might* be able to connect using the mesh system, even though they can't connect to my WiFi.  I've not tested this.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: pdm on January 23, 2019, 07:00:47 pm
I concur.
My system has some units wired and the rest wireless. According to the Router device table, ALL devices are listed as wired, even those that are wireless.
Sniffing Wifi reveals a strong "hidden" network running in parallel with the home WiFi - the Sonos Mesh network is the only possible culprit.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: ian on January 23, 2019, 07:37:28 pm
None of my Sonos speakers have ever seen an ethernet cable, only the diabolical rays of the wifi access point. All five come up connected via wifi as SonosZPs and have DHCP-issued IPs. I think it only creates a mesh if you use the boost feature with a cable. I guess that works analogous with my Arlo, where the cameras mesh with the base station which is wired into the LAN so it can talk to the internets and then Russian hackers can see me in my pants to my favourite selection of Miserable Girls Singing in Bathrooms.

It's just a bit of a mystery how they got onto a WPA-protected network with just, as far as I remember, the press of a button. It's a dark magic, for sure. Either that or I forgot the bit where the iPhone said 'share your password' when I was setting them up in which case there's probably not a lot of mystery to be solved.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: Feanor on January 23, 2019, 08:02:48 pm
None of my Sonos speakers have ever seen an ethernet cable, […] I think it only creates a mesh if you use the boost feature with a cable.

Yes, I *think* that's what I said.

Quote
It's just a bit of a mystery how they got onto a WPA-protected network with just, as far as I remember, the press of a button. It's a dark magic, for sure.

<tweaks ear in the manner of a Maths Teacher>
Review the previous few posts, and write out the answer 100 times.
In ink.
By tomorrow.
And at the same time, Learn It...
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: ian on January 23, 2019, 08:14:30 pm
Oh, I don't understand. I think we've reached the point where technology is so advanced that it's magic to me.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: Vince on January 23, 2019, 08:40:18 pm
Boy Wunja has a Sonos one. I agree with the excellent sound and connectivity functionality.
However, like a lot of IoT stuff the security stinks. I may have downloaded the app on to MY phone and I may have played Val Doonican or Max Bygraves (Spotify doesn't seem to have The Cheeky Girls) in his room when I felt it necessary.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: Feanor on January 23, 2019, 09:41:09 pm
Oh, I don't understand. I think we've reached the point where technology is so advanced that it's magic to me.

I think that's exactly as it should be.
Indistinguishable from magic.

But it's also right that there should be wizards who at least understand the magic, even if they have limited power to control it.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: sg37409 on January 23, 2019, 09:44:59 pm
Boy Wunja has a Sonos one. I agree with the excellent sound and connectivity functionality.
However, like a lot of IoT stuff the security stinks. I may have downloaded the app on to MY phone and I may have played Val Doonican or Max Bygraves (Spotify doesn't seem to have The Cheeky Girls) in his room when I felt it necessary.

Thats happened a couple of times here too, "Keeping your poop in a jar"  didn't go down so well as the alarm call for my son.
Title: Re: SONOS - a revelation
Post by: ian on January 23, 2019, 09:53:47 pm
Oh, I don't understand. I think we've reached the point where technology is so advanced that it's magic to me.

I think that's exactly as it should be.
Indistinguishable from magic.

But it's also right that there should be wizards who at least understand the magic, even if they have limited power to control it.

I have one up on some people. My watch, for instance, automatically logs me into my sleeping MacBook when I sit down in front of it. One of my colleagues was mysterified by this phenomenon, so when she asked how, I told her it read my brain waves and I just had to picture my password in my mind.