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View Full Version : Squeezebox or Soundbridge ???



ejevs
2007-10-30, 08:40
Im pretty hoocked on bying a squeezebox BUT.
The soundbridge is an option and af far as i can see it does everythin the squeezebox does plus beeing mouch more autonome (can function with upnp alone. Unfortunately it is really ugly.
I havo now been throug lots of reviews but noboddy addressed the fact that the squeezebox cost twice the soundbridge WHY ? (it does less).
Please support me with a reason to by the nicer (squezzebox) of the two !

snarlydwarf
2007-10-30, 08:49
It does less?

News to me...

It also sounds better, since it doesn't resample everything.

plympton
2007-10-30, 09:28
It does less?

News to me...

It also sounds better, since it doesn't resample everything.

I think he means it's better because it's autonomous - it doesn't REQUIRE a server, just a UPNP server (or a Samba share?). Maybe I'm just confused.. it's been a while since I looked at Soundbridges (when refurbs were $100! And those didn't resample everything!). The end result is that I got a Squeezebox 3 and didn't look back - love the thing!

-Dan

ejevs
2007-10-30, 09:30
It does less?

News to me...

It also sounds better, since it doesn't resample everything.
Guessed so, since it only plays an mp3 stream i thought it needed a much smaler cpu, am I wrong ?

Plympton: Yes, thats how I saw it, squeezebox need the serverbackend (or nedds it more) opposed to the soundbridge, which then costs less ????

Ps. I understand my post looks Squeezebox-unfriendly, it is be no means so, im writing in this forum because i'm 90% decided on bying the box, just wanted to get this out of the way (and newer look back (quote: plympton)

snarlydwarf
2007-10-30, 09:50
The Soundbridge takes CD-type input (44.1kHz sampling) and resamples to 48kHz. That degrades quality. (You can see the effect visually by resizing an image to a non-multiple. The real world doesn't work like TV where CSI can enlarge a photo to infinite resolution... what happens when you resize an image is straight lines become jaggedy, curves become a mess, etc... The same happens with audio.)

It is slightly cheaper for them to do that... but saving a buck for a serious degradation of sound quality is very bad.

As for just playing mp3 streams... the SB3 plays mp3, ogg, wma, flac and wav by itself. The Soundbridge docs look like it only supports FLAC when used with Slimserver....

The SB3 also actually works with SlimServer/SqueezeCenter (instead of "well it mostly works with SlimServer 5.4").

The SB line is actively supported and developed... the code is OpenSource so you are free to fork it if for some reason you get mad at them for parking funny or something.

mvalera
2007-10-30, 09:57
The Roku is basically a knockoff of our old SB2.

You can go with the BMW or the Hyundai. They both "do" the same thing, but one is definitely superior to the other.

Mike

snarlydwarf
2007-10-30, 09:58
And more little "we cut corners" things:

M1001: 280x16 VFD (4480 pixels)
SB3: 320x32 grayscale pixels (10240 pixels).

No wonder the display looks so icky in the Soundbridge pics.

ddewey
2007-10-30, 10:14
Quoting snarlydwarf (snarlydwarf.2z9ztb1193763001 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com):

>
> The Soundbridge takes CD-type input (44.1kHz sampling) and resamples to
> 48kHz. That degrades quality. (You can see the effect visually by
> resizing an image to a non-multiple. The real world doesn't work like
> TV where CSI can enlarge a photo to infinite resolution... what happens
> when you resize an image is straight lines become jaggedy, curves become
> a mess, etc... The same happens with audio.)
>
> It is slightly cheaper for them to do that... but saving a buck for a
> serious degradation of sound quality is very bad.
>
> As for just playing mp3 streams... the SB3 plays mp3, ogg, wma, flac
> and wav by itself. The Soundbridge docs look like it only supports
> FLAC when used with Slimserver....

And that FLAC support is through transcoding to mp3, right? It
doesn't support FLAC in hardware.

I'm very interested in this topic because SB v. Roku has come up
twice this week at work. I've already lost one to a Roku and I'd
like not to lose another. I take it personally.

The one I lost was due to the couple involved having two separate
music collections on 2 different laptops, no constantly-on machines
and no desire to mix collections. The Roku is able to 'see' their
iTunes libraries and switch between them, a much more involved
proposition on the SB.

ejevs
2007-10-30, 10:14
Thanks for the input.
I could newer afford a BMW.
Musicquality matters, as I intend to use i with a "nice" system
Display does not (if it did I proberly would get a sonos)
Opensource matters two (I'm listening to slimserver with softsqueeze right now)

But to summerize:
Soundbridge would connect to slimserver for less $ (and a different pixelcount in the display), but with lesser quality (if high quality source is used). right
So the main difference is in the quality vs Autonomity (spelling ?)
and secondary aestetics (squeezebox is nicer).

reg. "separate music collections" I did not see that as a problem but it is a part of my surpposed use of the box, arer there no serverside solutions (must be), eventually slimserver could make a better solution where the box get served the sum of collections instead of having the user select one or another.

snarlydwarf
2007-10-30, 10:23
And that FLAC support is through transcoding to mp3, right? It
doesn't support FLAC in hardware.

Well the Soundbridge says it does WAV, so their ancient version of SlimServer could transcode to WAV... (only to have it resampled to 48kHz...)



I'm very interested in this topic because SB v. Roku has come up
twice this week at work. I've already lost one to a Roku and I'd
like not to lose another. I take it personally.

Penny-wise and pound foolish? The SoundBridge is cheaper, but then so is an SB1G on ebay... I'd still rather have an SB2/3. (Though even on ebay, they hold their value amazingly well for a consumer electronics product. Not that great a bargain for a buyer... I would say buy new for the great warranty.)



The one I lost was due to the couple involved having two separate
music collections on 2 different laptops, no constantly-on machines
and no desire to mix collections. The Roku is able to 'see' their
iTunes libraries and switch between them, a much more involved
proposition on the SB.

Not that hard on the SB at all.. run Slimserver on both, and hold the left arrow to choose which server.

seanadams
2007-10-30, 10:24
Actually, soundbridge emulates a Squeezebox _1_ (2003), but since it has a different button arrangement, it doesn't even do that correctly.

Ejevs, if you are really on the fence then I would recommend buying both and returning whichever one doesn't work for you.

maggior
2007-10-30, 10:33
A key differentiating feature that I see is gapless support with both lossless (FLAC, etc.) and LAME mp3 formats. I've seen discussion of gapless support in the Roku forums and to my knowledge the feature has never been delivered.

snarlydwarf
2007-10-30, 10:35
Thanks for the input.
I could newer afford a BMW.

Well, the price difference in this case is a hundred bucks not thousands...



Musicquality matters, as I intend to use i with a "nice" system

The SB3 easily wins that.



Display does not (if it did I proberly would get a sonos)
Opensource matters two (I'm listening to slimserver with softsqueeze right now)

It will if you are sitting across the room and trying to squint to read the display. The SB3 display is very readable with smoother and larger fonts (the advantage of having twice as many pixels).



But to summerize:
Soundbridge would connect to slimserver for less $ (and a different pixelcount in the display),


According to Roku, it would connect to Slimserver version 5.4... and even that gets very little support from them and the "Upgrade to the current version" may or may not work for you, you would get very little support for that software here....



but with lesser quality (if high quality source is used). right


Always lesser quality. You can't just resample music randomly, it doesn't work. (You can resample 44.1kHz to 88.2kHz, just interpolate every other sample, but some people would still have a problem with that going on in the digital realm... 44.1 to 44.8 is going to lead to problems.)



So the main difference is in the quality vs Autonomity (spelling ?)
and secondary aestetics (squeezebox is nicer).

For you, perhaps... I don't trust the long term support of the Soundbridge (which has changed software multiple times, from SlimServer to their own and now with Windows Media Connect/iTunes...). I dislike their slow updates (how long did it take for them to support WPA?) and the tone on their message boards is nowhere at all as nice as here (despite periodic outbursts, this is a mostly friendly area, especially if you stay away from the audiophiles section).



reg. "separate music collections" I did not see that as a problem but it is a part of my surpposed use of the box, arer there no serverside solutions (must be), eventually slimserver could make a better solution where the box get served the sum of collections instead of having the user select one or another.

See Erland's MultiLibrary plugin.

(Plugins are a -huge- advantage to SlimServer... and again, Roku only kind-of-sort-of supports SlimServer with the Soundbridge and even that is with an ancient version of SlimServer. So, no, plugins may or not work with the Soundbridge.)

y360
2007-10-30, 10:38
http://forums.rokulabs.com/viewtopic.php?t=7009

The above post discusses a noise problem introduced in M1001 due to hardware redesign. There are many complaints about the noise in this model because of its re-sampling. As far as I know it has not been resolved.

mvalera
2007-10-30, 10:48
I'm afraid you didn't understand the analogy...

The Roku is inferior in almost every way.

DAC, Signal to noise ratio, formats supported, software, support, construction, wireless spec and wireless security. Go compare the spec, and make sure you are looking at the m1000 and not m500 specs as you can't get the m500 anymore.

Just a few examples:

M1000 20 bit dac : SB3 24 bit dac
M1000 SNR >96 dB : SB3 100+ dB
M1000 Distortion -90dB typical : SB3 -93dB
M1000 802.11b : SB3 802.11b/g
M1000 WEP : SB3 WEP/WPA/WPA2

You can also compare 3rd party test results here:

http://www.hardware.no/tester/lyd/slim_devices_squeezebox_v3/Squeezebox%20v3.htm
http://www.hardware.no/tester/lyd/pinnacle_soundbridge/SoundBridge.htm

BTW you can see the m1001 tested MUCH worse than their specs.

pfarrell
2007-10-30, 10:56
ejevs wrote:
> Im pretty hoocked on bying a squeezebox BUT.
> The soundbridge is an option and af far as i can see it does everythin
> the squeezebox does

Most of us don't agree that it does everything, And its clear it does
not do what it tries to do as well.

More importantly, the SB3 is supported. The version of SlimServer that
Roku wants is ancient, several years old. Not nearly as cool as the
modern versions.

Plus, and this is big to me, Sean and Dean, who invented the SqueezeBox
are regulars here. They are engineers, not some marketing guys who took
the SlimDevices good ideas and made sort of equivalent cheaper versions.

All IMHO, of course.

ejevs
2007-10-30, 10:56
Incredible, i posted this question about an hour ago.
And am now convinced that this is the right bye for my studio (and later proberly also home), I was already convinced but then the last post nailed it reg. WPA2 support, theres is no way i'm gonna settle for WEP at work.

I be back when I got the box, thanx for spending your time on a "prospect".

mvalera
2007-10-30, 10:59
Just a note that we support AES/TKIP WPA2, not the server based enterprise stuff.

Mike

bpa
2007-10-30, 11:17
For the sake of being correct.

The M1001 which replaced the original M1000 supports WPA but because of confusion with users Roku now call the M1001 - M1000. So now there are two different specs for the "M1000" depending on whether it is the old or new model.

Also outside the US the Roku is sold by Pinnacle and Pinnacle models do not have ITunes support so iTunes users have to use the Firefly server. Pinnacle have a M500 lookalike and it is in production.

mvalera
2007-10-30, 13:20
Ok then:

M1001 WEP/WPA : SB3 WEP/WPA/WPA2

bernt
2007-10-30, 13:54
This is the main reasons why I chose Squeezebox over Soundbridge.

1. Native flac support.
2. 802.11g.
3. The look.
4. Server Plugins.

bpa
2007-10-30, 13:58
A few more differences between Roku and Squeezebox.

Only native lossless formats supported are WAV and AIFF.

Itunes integration only using Roku branded unit - if Pinnacle branded unit is used then Itunes support is only possible using the Firefly server which user will need to install somewhere.

Roku can use uPNP servers which come with many NAS have but the search and browser features are dependent on the server so functionality may vary from NAS to NAS and are not very good at handling large collections.

No synchronisation between units.

No FF/Rew of native formats

Support for non native formats such as RealAudio, APE etc. depends on the server. Many UPNP servers and Firefly offer limited or no support for transcoding.

No support for radio stations with special logins procedures such as Sirius, XM. No plugin capability makes this hard to implement beyond user id & password in the URL.

No MP3Tunes support.

No Pandora support except using by a PC and software such as Icecast with control on the PC.

Rhapsody support requires a PC to be running.

Roku has poor multilingual support.

On the plus side - RokuRadio is supposed to provide a very comprehensive organised list of radio stations.

tgoldstone
2007-10-30, 20:21
Oh and don't forget the free pony you get with every unit purchased! :)