I now have a 4 zone Sonos icing layer on my hi fi cake at home, and I thought that this subject may be of interest. Sonos is expensive, but one can build up the system in a modular manner, and to me, it is value for money. Amazon now ships Sonos to homes in India, with a mark up of around 22% on the USD prices to cover air freight and all Indian customs duties and taxes. All my orders were delivered at my door in 7-10 calendar days from the order click date, with no damage of any kind. Brilliant.
The only prerequisite is to have broadband at home that can then allow Sonos to interface with it at one end and existing hi fi set ups at the other, for a great multi room sound set up.
What does it do for me? It takes the music from my CD collection of some 4000 tracks, and allows me to play any (not necessarily the same) track in any of the 4 rooms, at individually controlled volumes, controlled by a free app on my iPod touch. And one can have as many controllers as one has i pods, so my son can do just the same from his. I can also play the same music in all 4 rooms, in perfect synch.
I am also able to use Sonos in a one room set up with the internet modem and router turned off, with no router based wifi in the home. This way, I just drop my iPod into a Sonos dock by my bed, and the music is played out of a speaker pair sitting at the other end of the room.
When connected to internet broadband, Sonos also plays all available internet radio stations, many of them streaming music that is just as good as CD replay, from thousands of radio stations around the world, through existing hi fi systems, in the same way that it plays the CD library. In all or any of the 4 rooms. The same or different stations, as one wants.
Sonos has an outstanding support system - first there is a forum where one can post questions and get guidance very quickly.
To back that up, there is Sonos support that one can email, chat with, or talk to, and to help Sonos pin point the problem,
one sends them a system diagnostic snap shot of the system state uploaded via a button on the controller.
I played around with airport express/airplay based wifi before moving to Sonos, and that worked reasonably well too.
Sonos however is in a class of its own, with respect to how well thought out the entire system is designed, made and supported.
Last edited by sid; 11-01-2011 at 07:34 AM. Reason: Pics make for an interesting add on to any article
Brilliant note there sawyer and certainly wud be helpful for many. Reppin it!
Can I request for your eMail ID (PM, if you prefer). I would like to share the inputs here with Mr. Rajiv Makhni @NDTV (Gadget Guru).
He has been struggling with this and will benefit from you (and theaudiophile.net).
In the bargain we can have many more people come here.
Another thing about Sonos is the flexibility of the solution that allows for it to be tailored for user needs. There is a different product for each of the following audio circumstances:
1. If you already have a amp+speakers set up in place, or have a pair of active speakers.
2. If you have just speakers - with or without a sub - and need an amp to drive them as well.
3. If you have nothing - where you need it all.
One can pick and choose what one needs based on the above, for each of the zones where music is to be played.
I must say that Indian homes, with their RCC+brick wall construction, can present a bit of a challenge for wifi to propagate around the house, but Sonos has little boxes that can be strategically placed to get around this, if required, and the Sonos network works a lot better than ordinary internet wifi networks. With the cost of lan cables quite low now, where possible, installing a lan cabled connection to the Sonos device in every zone is the solution for this, but I haven't had any problems at my home, without having to add any of the additional Sonos boxes to help get the signal across.
Last edited by sid; 11-01-2011 at 09:41 AM.