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View Full Version : Sonos review on theregister.co.uk



gingerneil
2006-04-25, 00:53
Was shown this review by a colleague at work. On page 5, they compare the SB to the Sonos and get some things very wrong. I have emailed the author to put him right, I urge others to do the same. Hopefully he may update the article.
http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/04/24/review_sonos_zp80/

The funniest part is about the Sonos not being able to cope with a basic wireless network ! Cracked me up !
Crazy also, that he refers to the Sonos as fully cross platform - but earlier in the article says there is no chance of a Linux install of the software.

Khuli
2006-04-25, 01:26
It sounds like he was desperately trying to show it was better than a Squeezebox, but in the end it only got a 90% rating (SB3 got 95% http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/03/02/review_squeezebox_3/)

gingerneil
2006-04-25, 02:06
Well spotted - I'll pass that on !

oreillymj
2006-04-25, 02:45
Despite the factual errors and the odd inconsistency, I thought the overall review was quite balanced. He did mention the downside of having a zoneplayer connected to his wireless router etc...

Sonos are going after the premium segment of the market. They have a very "Apple-like" product. Not necessarily the best, but it looks the part.

Although I'd love a remote like the Zoneplayer's, I've just bought an SB3 to go with my earlier SB2.

4mula1
2006-04-25, 05:03
The review was fair towards the SB, the only thing I didn't like was it implied that the SB can't act as a wireless bridge, when we all know it can.

Pale Blue Ego
2006-04-25, 07:20
Seems like a waste that the reviewer had to use a $500 Zone Player solely for networking because his router wasn't near his audio system and the Sonos requires a hard-wired connection to the router to establish its own optimized wireless net.

Sonos should offer a small, cheap networking unit that plugs into the router and establishes the proprietary Sonos net.

bigjules
2006-04-25, 16:11
Or he could have used a squeezebox as a wireless bridge to connect his Sonos to the wireless network. :P

BTW.. I thought the review was balanced and useful.. and wasn't particularly unfactual about the SB.. Nothing worth getting worked up about.

jaffacake
2006-04-26, 06:44
The funniest part is about the Sonos not being able to cope with a basic wireless network ! Cracked me up !
Crazy also, that he refers to the Sonos as fully cross platform - but earlier in the article says there is no chance of a Linux install of the software.

Very true, it won't cope with a basic wireless network as it comes pre-configured for a WPA2 secure wireless network that self-configures at the push of a button.

No messing around with keys and stuff which is quite handy for the consumer.

As for cross-platform...Sonos doesn't need ANY software. It doesn't need a "server" machine of any kind.

No messing around with Windows services or keeping machines logged in which is quite handy for the consumer.

oreillymj is right, Sonos is the premium product. It's simpler to use, has some better features but costs more for the benefit.

Slimdevices are cheaper but take considerably longer to setup. Time is money to many people and they'd rather have something that just works out of the box.

I've seen quite a few people who use both Slim Devices AND Sonos on the same network and others who just ditched Slim Devices completely and went to Sonos.

As highlighted above, the multi-zone controller is the big win...along with zone synchronization.

aubuti
2006-04-26, 07:20
As for cross-platform...Sonos doesn't need ANY software. It doesn't need a "server" machine of any kind.

No messing around with Windows services or keeping machines logged in which is quite handy for the consumer.


As the review notes, however, you *do* need to use the Sonos desktop control software if you want to add any internet radio stations (p. 2 of review). And while we could split hairs over what is a "server machine", obviously you do need some machine (Mac, Windows, or NAS) running to host the music collection, just like Squeezebox.

But these are admittedly picky points, because someone ready to plunk down $1000+ for a Sonus can probably easily lay their hands on a Mac or PC to input radio URLs. IOW, someone ready to buy into a proprietary system probably isn't exclusively wedded to linux anyway ;)

Although the primary target market for Sonus is a bit different than for SB, I think the introduction of the ZP80 extends Sonus closer to SB territory. And if/when Sonus picks up on PBE's suggestion for a cheap networking unit to plug into the router to establish the proprietary network (rather than wasting a ZP80 where you don't play music), they'll be that much closer.

jaffacake
2006-04-26, 07:40
As the review notes, however, you *do* need to use the Sonos desktop control software if you want to add any internet radio stations (p. 2 of review). And while we could split hairs over what is a "server machine", obviously you do need some machine (Mac, Windows, or NAS) running to host the music collection, just like Squeezebox.


I could indeed split hairs. Yes, you need to host a music collection in some way but a NAS has a major advantage over a Mac/Windows/Linux solution...you don't reboot it...ever. Mine's been up for over 6months. Whichever way you look at it, for software updates, security patches etc. you do need to reboot a PC/server machine fairly regularly. When you do this, on server based solutions, all your music stops. That's why a hardware based solution wins over a software server. I run a software solution for video and it sucks compared so I have been there, done that as they say. PCs crash, PCs need rebooting, PCs need updating...My video stops but Sonos just keeps on playing.



But these are admittedly picky points, because someone ready to plunk down $1000+ for a Sonus can probably easily lay their hands on a Mac or PC to input radio URLs. IOW, someone ready to buy into a proprietary system probably isn't exclusively wedded to linux anyway ;)


I think the difference here is whether you NEED a PC/Mac from time to time or all the time. In honesty, I never really use internet radio except for the presets Sonos send me. These self update every 24hrs...no PC/Mac needed. If I did want to add a URL, I could use any PC then with no inconvenience.



Although the primary target market for Sonus is a bit different than for SB, I think the introduction of the ZP80 extends Sonus closer to SB territory. And if/when Sonus picks up on PBE's suggestion for a cheap networking unit to plug into the router to establish the proprietary network (rather than wasting a ZP80 where you don't play music), they'll be that much closer.

This "wasted" ZP80 is a mis-conception in many cases. You don't need a zone player in the same room as your router, just a wire. Most new homes are pre-wired for ethernet these days and, if not, it's hardly difficult to run a cable under the carpet/floorboards. You only need one in an adjacent room to any one of your zoneplayers. I agree that Sonos should devise some kind of cheap bridge but it would need to be very user friendly and foolproof to tie in with the current product suite. Their current wireless mesh is very efficient and stable, unlike any standard 802.11x I've ever seen.

aubuti
2006-04-26, 08:44
I could indeed split hairs. Yes, you need to host a music collection in some way but a NAS has a major advantage over a Mac/Windows/Linux solution...you don't reboot it...ever. Mine's been up for over 6months.
You're preaching to the converted when it comes to a NAS: I run slimserver on a Buffalo LinkStation NAS, so I don't need to run my Windows or Linux boxes. Slimserver works on several NAS devices, including Qnap, Infrant, and Linksys. I think the hardware/software dichotomy is a bit false. A NAS is really just a specialized computer. It has a processor, RAM, and yes, software (aka firmware) that needs updating from time to time. In fact, many NASs run linux as their OS.

So a NAS works for your Sonos, and a NAS works for my SB. Looks like we're in vehement agreement here.


I think the difference here is whether you NEED a PC/Mac from time to time or all the time. In honesty, I never really use internet radio except for the presets Sonos send me. These self update every 24hrs...no PC/Mac needed. If I did want to add a URL, I could use any PC then with no inconvenience.
Like I said before, I don't doubt that most Sonos users would have access to a Mac or PC whenever they need/want to manually add a radio station. I was merely pointing out that the earlier poster wasn't completely correct in saying that there is no software. And as noted above, with slimserver on a NAS you don't 'NEED' a PC/Mac/linux box all the time either.


This "wasted" ZP80 is a mis-conception in many cases. You don't need a zone player in the same room as your router, just a wire.
Excellent point.

jaffacake
2006-04-26, 08:56
Wasn't aware that Slimserver ran on a NAS, even though I'm guessing it voids warranty (?), I stand corrected.

As was said originally, it's just 2 different markets.

I'm building Sonos into my new house, looking at 10 or 11 different Zone players...2 of them even in the same room!

The main win for me is WAF (wife acceptance factor).

http://vowe.net/archives/007125.html

aubuti
2006-04-26, 09:15
Wasn't aware that Slimserver ran on a NAS, even though I'm guessing it voids warranty (?), I stand corrected.
For some it voids the warranty (LinkStation, Linksys), for others it doesn't (KuroBox, Infrant, Qnap). The very risk averse can always use it as an ordinary NAS until the warranty runs out in a year or so.


I'm building Sonos into my new house, looking at 10 or 11 different Zone players...2 of them even in the same room!
I'm curious: why? To have a battle of the bands?


The main win for me is WAF (wife acceptance factor).
Yeah, the Sonos scores high on that. But my wife is happier going out for nice dinners more frequently over the next several years with the money we saved by going for SBs instead of Sonos! ;o)

4mula1
2006-04-26, 09:25
Everyone gushes about the Sonos controller, but if you really think about it, SD can probably make one that would work with the SB and be backwards compatible with older models. Would it be ready to go out of the box? No, it would need some network configuration since they don't use a proprietary wireless implementation. But once past that, how difficult could it be?

I don't think SD have missed how much people like the controller. I feel that SD needs to sort out some issues with SS first (sync), but if they came out with a cool controller like that, I'd buy one. SD have a great product that needs to be polished up some more in the setup and reliability departments, but once those fall into place I honestly think that SD can reach out to the less technically oriented crowd.

Mark Lanctot
2006-04-26, 10:12
Everyone gushes about the Sonos controller, but if you really think about it, SD can probably make one that would work with the SB and be backwards compatible with older models. Would it be ready to go out of the box? No, it would need some network configuration since they don't use a proprietary wireless implementation. But once past that, how difficult could it be?

SB has Nokia make one for them under contract. ;-) It's called the Nokia 770. Costs about the same as the Sonos controller, has a higher resolution, can also play back audio, browse the web, etc.

It is backwards-compatible with all Slim Devices products.

)p(
2006-04-26, 10:22
SB has Nokia make one for them under contract. ;-) It's called the Nokia 770. Costs about the same as the Sonos controller, has a higher resolution, can also play back audio, browse the web, etc.

It is backwards-compatible with all Slim Devices products.

Has anyone compared the sonos controller with the nokia in terms of performance. Do they work as well for example in navigating through large lists, showing album art, etc. ?

peter

Siduhe
2006-04-26, 10:29
The main win for me is WAF (wife acceptance factor).

http://vowe.net/archives/007125.html

*smiles through gritted teeth*

Funnily enough, I used exactly that page as the focus of a class discussion on libel and slander the other day....

4mula1
2006-04-26, 10:40
SB has Nokia make one for them under contract. ;-) It's called the Nokia 770. Costs about the same as the Sonos controller, has a higher resolution, can also play back audio, browse the web, etc.

It is backwards-compatible with all Slim Devices products.

The only bad point about using the 770 is that it's not from SD. Many people would be put off by using a piece of hardware from another vendor. For some it would break the continuity of the system (I for one couldn't care less as long as it works and SD said to use it).

I picture the SB controller being a little bit more specialized...it would need some dedicated keys like next/previous track and pause, but also be uncluttered.

jaffacake
2006-04-26, 10:43
*smiles through gritted teeth*

Funnily enough, I used exactly that page as the focus of a class discussion on libel and slander the other day....

Interesting...care to share?

jaffacake
2006-04-26, 10:46
The only bad point about using the 770 is that it's not from SD. Many people would be put off by using a piece of hardware from another vendor. For some it would break the continuity of the system (I for one couldn't care less as long as it works and SD said to use it).

I picture the SB controller being a little bit more specialized...it would need some dedicated keys like next/previous track and pause, but also be uncluttered.

The 770 and the Sonos controller are VERY different beasts. Battery life, functionality, build...all totally different. I'm not even going to try and compare.

Siduhe
2006-04-26, 11:23
Interesting...care to share?

Ah, well my personal views on "WAF" are well documented on this forum (although, largely tongue in cheek, I hasten to add).

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=22941&page=3&highlight=gritted+teeth

Someone (again on here, I think ?) kindly directed me to that page as an example of "WAF" in all its glory.

I used it as part of a lecture about whether we should continue to refine the boundaries of largely 19C legal concepts (such as defamation and slander) in the era of modern communications, or should just throw them out and start again with new offences that take better account of technological developments (well, you did ask !).

The group was pretty clear that we should stick with existing law, but evenly split as to whether the wife had been defamed or not btw....