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bhaagensen
2010-02-16, 14:57
Hi,

The Danish national radio and television network, DR, just featured a review/comparison of Sonos vs. Squeezebox in their consumer electronics review program "So Ein Ding". Its broadcastet in primetime on the national network.

In conclusion the Squeezebox got 4 stars and Sonos 5 (out of max. 6).

As for the Squeezeboxe's, he featured the Duet, Radio, and Boom. Basically the main objections towards Squeezebox was:

- Multiroom functionality was deemed unconditionally cumbersome using the Controller. He did mention that iPeng improved on this, but also remarked that it is a 3rd party app. Apparently he did have some issues with synch drifting.
- Setup, while not overly diffecult, still more so than with Sonos.
- User interface, e.g. Controller, is "fiddly".
- Mysqueezebox.com/Squeezeboxserver - The combination of multiple sources and the point made on how multiple devices are used made him conclude that this entire X * Y number of combinations is cumbersome.
- Lots of bloat: Too many settings, facebook, etc.

Sonos was mainly critisised on two points:
- No podcast streaming.
- Price.

Bear in mind this was a show on the national network, which means one can only assume where little technical knowledge on the audience. I must say I agree with him though. Its kind of a shame because the nationally broadcasted show is quite popular and will probably mean that Squeezebox will remain viewed upon as the choice for nerds who enjoy technology for the sake of technology, and Sonos for those who just want a streamer that works out of the box.

The show was on televison (and not radio)

maggior
2010-02-16, 15:15
- Multiroom functionality was deemed unconditionally cumbersome using the Controller. He did mention that iPeng improved on this, but also remarked that it is a 3rd party app. Apparently he did have some issues with synch drifting.


I wonder what version of squeezecenter he was using and what kinds of files (mp3 vs. FLAC). I'm running 7.3.3 and sync multiple players playing FLAC files for hours on end with no trouble or issues with drift.



...and will probably mean that Squeezebox will remain viewed upon as the choice for nerds who enjoy technology for the sake of technology, and Sonos for those who just want a streamer that works out of the box.

...or have a large amount of disposable income available. The Sonos system is too expensive to me as well as for others I suspect. Yes, it's too bad the squeezebox didn't have a better showing, but it wasn't totally panned based on what you said. Sometimes any publicity is good publicity.

Schindler
2010-02-16, 15:29
Maybe they are right...

- Tell me why I have to enter my podcast streams at mysqueezebox.com if I run my own server?! Hää!

Christian

bhaagensen
2010-02-16, 15:37
I wonder what version of squeezecenter he was using and what kinds of files (mp3 vs. FLAC). I'm running 7.3.3 and sync multiple players playing FLAC files for hours on end with no trouble or issues with drift.


He didn't say, but he had the Radio, so that implies a reasonably recent version.



...or have a large amount of disposable income available. The Sonos system is too expensive to me as well as for others I suspect. Yes, it's too bad the squeezebox didn't have a better showing, but it wasn't totally panned based on what you said. Sometimes any publicity is good publicity.

Certainly, and the rating - 4 vs. 5 - reflects that. The Sonos price was called "boarderline ripoff" - but in a humerous way. The show reminds me a bit of "Top Gear" - its good entertainment. But IMO he is rather good, and gets to the important points.

Its just that when there are only two contestants, there is no such thing as a (good) second place - winner and looser. That said, the reason he had only those two on show, was that they are the best available offers of that type to begin with.

Justme
2010-02-16, 17:08
- Mysqueezebox.com/Squeezeboxserver - The combination of multiple sources and the point made on how multiple devices are used made him conclude that this entire X * Y number of combinations is cumbersome.


This point interests me, though I'm not entirely sure I understand exactly what he was saying here.

Personally, this has always been a sore point for me. I wish we had an easier ability to create multiple library's and not with the plug in, which quite frankly was far too much work to set up. Something basic and simple should exist like creating a playlist. Just point to a new library and it's done as part of the basic package.

As for the switching between MySB.com and SBS, I wish this was converged into one with a preference that could be set, again, without messy plugin's. i.e. when PC is on, it connects to the SBS, but as soon as PC is off, it automatically looks for the MySB.com and connects.

I know there is a plug-in that works for some people for this, but I never got it working and would just prefer this to be a standard feature.

I love how this device is great also for tech nerds who can create and modify it for all their specialist needs, but I always thought that these two features should be standard. Afterall, most households have more than one person, so that means more than one library, and having to switch between mysb.com and SBS is just way too fiddly. I can do it without issues, but my wife just freaks everytime she has to and I can see her point.

But I really do love these products. Bought a SB2 what seems like years ago now, a Boom for the kitchen and just last week the Radio.

pski
2010-02-16, 19:39
Does Sonos allow over-the-internet streaming to remote hardware?

Just asking.

P

bhaagensen
2010-02-17, 01:28
Does Sonos allow over-the-internet streaming to remote hardware?
P

I don't really know, but afaik they use upnp for accessing music on the external network and also need a single ethernet connection. With suitable port-forwarding etc. I see no reason this should/could not work. Perhaps others know for sure.

bhaagensen
2010-02-17, 01:35
This point interests me, though I'm not entirely sure I understand exactly what he was saying here.


I should emphasise that I don't really recall exactly what his issues where. The incentiment was that it is too complicated to be easy :S Not complicated as in incomprehensible, but rather as in 'this requires many user operations'. E.g. suppose you have three players already connected to local and remote servers and you do not know which is connected where. The goal is to have the three players play some given three tracks on given players. This takes quite some button pushing and wheel spinning to accomplish on the Duet - can't argue that.

In addition is the whole challenge of understanding this eco-system of servers and players to begin with. Again not impossible for most, but you need to be willing to bother in a non-trivial way.

The problem with the Squeezebox is that you almost have to understand this. The technology is exposed in the user interface. Not ideal.

The show is available online - albeit in danish of course...

slate
2010-02-17, 01:53
The show is available online - albeit in danish of course...

For your entertainment http://www.dr.dk/dr2/soeinding

About the drifting with multiple players - There is no doubt that he (Sonne) is an iSheap and as such his music would not be in FLAC, but rather ALAC/MP3.
But why should the music format have an affect?! yes if a non-native format the server will have to convert; but that is hopefully only done once before streaming..... so?!

maggior
2010-02-17, 12:21
There is no doubt that he (Sonne) is an iSheap and as such his music would not be in FLAC, but rather ALAC/MP3.
But why should the music format have an affect?! yes if a non-native format the server will have to convert; but that is hopefully only done once before streaming..... so?!

iSheep...that's pretty funny!

The music format *should not* matter, but I imagine it could. I mentioned it just to qualify my statement that I've seen no issues with multiplayer sync.

bhaagensen
2010-02-17, 12:23
For your entertainment http://www.dr.dk/dr2/soeinding

About the drifting with multiple players - There is no doubt that he (Sonne) is an iSheap and as such his music would not be in FLAC, but rather ALAC/MP3.
But why should the music format have an affect?! yes if a non-native format the server will have to convert; but that is hopefully only done once before streaming..... so?!

Not sure about the status of ALAC, but mp3 should work. Synch seems to work fine for most. I guess he was just unlucky. IMO he could have mentioned something like this instead of only relying on his own experience.

ADDED: Synch always works for me (flac/mp3), but I only use it occasionally.

Aslak3
2010-02-17, 13:33
Maybe they are right...

- Tell me why I have to enter my podcast streams at mysqueezebox.com if I run my own server?! Hää!

Christian

My bug on this:

https://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=15399

Note that this only true on SqueezePlay. Before I got a Radio I used my local SMS and had no issues.

Kuben72
2010-02-17, 13:45
IMO he nailed the biggest problem of SB on the dot: The way to accomplish synchronisation between 2 or more players is too difficult. Without the use of Eric Koldingers Synchronizer-plugin it is beyond what a standard user can figure out.

bhaagensen
2010-02-17, 13:52
IMO he nailed the biggest problem of SB on the dot: The way to accomplish synchronisation between 2 or more players is too difficult. Without the use of Eric Koldingers Synchronizer-plugin it is beyond what a standard user can figure out.

Or iPeng which is very good at this - but of course requires iPhone/Touch. But you're right. Before I got this I almost never used synch - too cumbersome (and I don't really need it that bad)

Aslak3
2010-02-17, 15:08
Or iPeng which is very good at this - but of course requires iPhone/Touch. But you're right. Before I got this I almost never used synch - too cumbersome (and I don't really need it that bad)

I don't agree with this this? Sync is straightforward both from the SBS interface and from the SB itself. At least with 2 players as I've never had the opportunity to sync >2 SB.

pski
2010-02-17, 15:15
I don't agree with this this? Sync is straightforward both from the SBS interface and from the SB itself. At least with 2 players as I've never had the opportunity to sync >2 SB.

It's a little clunky: you have to sync the first two and then switch to the third and sync it to the other two..

I use it all the time with a receiver/boom/SB3 playing apple lossless. I've only had an issue when one of the players goes goofy (every 3 months or so.) At that point, power cycle of the player fixes the issue immediately.

P

toby10
2010-02-17, 15:16
Their should be a Sync All option within the basic Sync setting.

bhaagensen
2010-02-17, 15:32
I don't agree with this this? Sync is straightforward both from the SBS interface and from the SB itself. At least with 2 players as I've never had the opportunity to sync >2 SB.

Its cumbersome, for a number of reasons:

- Syncing >2 is fiddly, as others have pointed out.
- There is no clear clues as to what the semantics is. Is sync, 'to' or 'from', or... The only way to know is to learn by doing and memorize it. This perhaps applies in particular to those of us who have been around long enough to know that the semantics has actually changed at least once.
- When a sync group is set up, you still have to remember which one is the 'to', when you want to change tracks etc.
- Volume is either absolutely synced, or not at all. iPeng allows for arbitrary level sync while maintaining easy access to individual volumes.
- If players are connected to different sources, be it SqueezeboxServers, or Squeezenetwork, even more footwork is required.

Agreed, this is not impossible, but it is unnecessarily complicated.

pski
2010-02-17, 16:41
Its cumbersome, for a number of reasons:

- Syncing >2 is fiddly, as others have pointed out.
- There is no clear clues as to what the semantics is. Is sync, 'to' or 'from', or... The only way to know is to learn by doing and memorize it. This perhaps applies in particular to those of us who have been around long enough to know that the semantics has actually changed at least once.
- When a sync group is set up, you still have to remember which one is the 'to', when you want to change tracks etc.
- Volume is either absolutely synced, or not at all. iPeng allows for arbitrary level sync while maintaining easy access to individual volumes.
- If players are connected to different sources, be it SqueezeboxServers, or Squeezenetwork, even more footwork is required.

Agreed, this is not impossible, but it is unnecessarily complicated.

It doesn't matter which player is selected in a sync group: changing the current track list is shared across all the players. (Maybe this didn't always work this way.)

I usually don't fiddle with the volume(s.) Normally (as for phone calls,) the pause button works well.

If you change the music source from one SBS to another SBS, all the synced players are moved to the new source. I like this.

Since my house is usually a "single-user-system" I keep all the players synced. Even so, their systems are powerful to the point where listening to several different songs at once would be really annoying..

At any rate, sync in itself wouldn't prompt me to pay double for Sonos.

p

bhaagensen
2010-02-17, 17:29
At any rate, sync in itself wouldn't prompt me to pay double for Sonos.
p

Me netiher. I'm just saying I sympathise with the POV. Especially after trying this on Sonos and getting used to iPeng.

Muele
2010-02-18, 00:09
I didn't view the show yet.
Sonos 5/6 stars. Probably fair.
SB one less star for being less easy to set up and the sync-stuff. IMHO he should have given it an extra star for being able to serve the audiophile and for its flexibility because of its open source, pluygins etc. ending up at 5/6 stars as well. But thats just me. And since the reviewer has bought Sonos himself, he really couldn't let it loose ;-)

Anyway. I'm sure the SB developers want to get into improving the sync-UI experience as soon as priority fits.

Could we as a community come up with constructive ideas how to improve it. Not so much on the touch. They can get plenty of inspiration from iPeng, Sonos, Slimcontrol etc. But for the spinning-wheel/knob devices, Radio and controller. Maybe also leave out the VFD based devices as their limited visualization makes it hard to do the massive improvement that is needed.
???

I think I'll start a new thread here in the General Discussion forum.

jimbo45
2010-02-18, 02:28
Hi there
Sonos better than Squeezebox is an absolutely STUPID statement -- different tricks for different markets.

It's like saying a small Smart Car is better than a decent BMW or IPOD type bud headphones are better than a pair of Bose Noise cancelling 'cans.

The SONOS system is HIDEOUSLY expensive -- true it's considered the "Rolls Royce" of this type of application - but the squeezebox system is the "best bang for buck" BY FAR -- the quality isn't that far off the Sonos system either -- plug the duet into a decent amp (with or without DSP's in it) and it still sounds impressive.

The RADIO also is a very nice piece of kit -- my main grumble was that I had to buy it without the re-chargeable battery -- almost a MORTAL SIN for this app since this radio is just ASKING to be carried around.

Works very well indeed for what it does.

If I could afford one I'd buy the SONOS system in an instant -- but my budget doesn't run to that.

I DO like the squeezebox system a lot --in spite of one or two little quirks in setting it up from time to time.

Cheers
jimbo

majones
2010-02-18, 04:14
I watched it but couldn't understand what he was saying. It's hard for us Texans to understand your European accents.

jimbo45
2010-02-18, 04:22
I watched it but couldn't understand what he was saying. It's hard for us Texans to understand your European accents.

How about the other way round too.

Actually I was in a small Texas town a while back and got stopped by a "Real Sheriff -- Stetson and all" for speeding.

After a while he let me go saying "Limey's OK - he first thought I was an Australian- but if you had been a Yankie your a-s would have been grass". A night as a Guest of the taxpayers of Texas in "The City Hotel" for sure.

Seems in the US the Deep South still lives.

Funny later at night I saw him in a Local Tavern and we ended up drinking together - in spite of the accents.

Cheers
jimbo

Kim.T
2010-02-18, 05:21
Comparing a touch screen with the wheel of the Controller...... I guess that I also would have chosen the Sonos controller - he tried to search for a song using the keyboard.
Using the iPeng on his iPhone would have helped (both for controlling the voulume and the diff zones) - but it's an 3. party app that you have to pay for - not off. from Logitech.

upstatemike
2010-02-18, 05:44
Hi there


The SONOS system is HIDEOUSLY expensive -- true it's considered the "Rolls Royce" of this type of application - but the squeezebox system is the "best bang for buck" BY FAR -- jimbo

Is it really? An SB3 is $300 and the Sonos preamp models are $350. Add a decent "auto power on" amp to the SB3 and you won't be far off the $500 price of the Sonos amplified model. The Sonos Controller at $350 is more than the SBC at $250 but it is also a touch screen unit with proprietary radio linking to the nearest zone player so you get tangible performance uplifts for the cost difference.

It's true that Sonos doesn't have anything in their product line to compete with the cheap and frustrating, non staic IP configuring, no GUI setup, SBR, but I'm not sure that this is a market niche that any company should be chasing. When comparing the rest of the Squeezebox line I really don't see where the price delta is all that dramatic.

pippin
2010-02-18, 05:56
It's true that Sonos does't have anything in their product line to compete with the cheap and frustrating, non staic IP configuring, no GUI setup, SBC, but I'm not sure that this is a market niche that any company should be chasing. When comparing the rest of the Squeezebox line I really don't see where the price delta is all that dramatic.

Wrong comparison.
The $350 ZP90 competes exactly with the "non static IP configuring...SB(R)" since it

- doesn't support static IP addresses
- actually it doesn't even support wireless access, you need to wire it or you need an additional $100 Zone Bridge
- You can't really use it without the $350 controller
- It doesn't have a display, which is the most expensive part of the SB3. Also, you don't pay $300 for an SB3, don't you?

And then your cost comparison looks a bit different.

upstatemike
2010-02-18, 06:12
Wrong comparison.
The $350 ZP90 competes exactly with the "non static IP configuring...SB(R)" since it

- doesn't support static IP addresses
- actually it doesn't even support wireless access, you need to wire it or you need an additional $100 Zone Bridge
- You can't really use it without the $350 controller
- It doesn't have a display, which is the most expensive part of the SB3. Also, you don't pay $300 for an SB3, don't you?

And then your cost comparison looks a bit different.

Thanks for the correction... I did of course mean SBR.

You do have to have at least one wired device in the system (Zone Bridge or any player)but in the Squeezebox system you will need a 1 or more WAPs or wireless routers. And if you do have more than one good luck getting your SBC to roam between them reliably.

I'm pretty sure you can use a ZP90 just fine without a controller if you access it from the PC GUI interface.

Agree on the display point, which is why I went with SB in the first place. I just think the price argument is somewhat exaggerated.

pippin
2010-02-18, 06:29
I'm pretty sure you can use a ZP90 just fine without a controller if you access it from the PC GUI interface.

Yes, you can, but that's not really what it's made for (as the SB, too).


I just think the price argument is somewhat exaggerated.

Not so sure. In the case of comparing a one-zone-system 1:1 maybe not so much, but Sonos really makes most sense if you view it as a whole-house audio system and if you do that, you can go quite a bit cheaper - plus probabyly even more user friendly in some situations - with the SB due to the wider product range.
If you really just want a number of rooms outfitted with displayless devices then you should really compare to the SBR. OK, the setup is more cumbersome but you do that ONCE. At least I did and I have absolutely no issues with my Receiver.

But you can also add a cheap kitchen radio that has it's own controls, same for the bathroom. In a realistic scenario, if you compare to Sonos you'll add a number off expensive S5s plus you'd need additional controllers sice you have absolutely no UI whatsoever on any of the Sonos devices and then probably one controller is not enough for a whole house. OK, you can add iPods, but then you need WiFi (redundant!) again.

I still believe for a realistic setup with 4-5 zones you end up with at least twice the cost for a Sonos system and that does even take additional cost for a bigger NAS/Server for SBs into account.

Which doesn't change the fact that Sonos DOES do UI better than SB and DOES do setup better, IMHO.
SBs have better functionality, though.

JeffHart
2010-02-18, 07:03
Is it really? An SB3 is $300 and the Sonos preamp models are $350. Add a decent "auto power on" amp to the SB3 and you won't be far off the $500 price of the Sonos amplified model. The Sonos Controller at $350 is more than the SBC at $250 but it is also a touch screen unit with proprietary radio linking to the nearest zone player so you get tangible performance uplifts for the cost difference.

It's true that Sonos doesn't have anything in their product line to compete with the cheap and frustrating, non staic IP configuring, no GUI setup, SBR, but I'm not sure that this is a market niche that any company should be chasing. When comparing the rest of the Squeezebox line I really don't see where the price delta is all that dramatic.

For me the price difference was dramatic and a big factor in my choice. Using list prices for comparison on the assumption that both are available a comparable street price discounts the Sonos solution was $1,135 more than the SqueezeBox setup, including the $9.99 for iPeng. Probably add another $99 to that - for a Zone Bridge. I could potentially wire in one of the BR100's to the router in my office, but would be a pain.

My Squeeze set up is below in my sig field, the comparable Sonos set up would be 1 S5 (closest thing to the Boom), a Sonos Bundle 250 (don't need the ZP120, but the bundle is $48 cheaper than buying 2 ZP90's and a controller) and three ZP90's for a total list of $2,445.

So yes - my price did include the SBR's which I found to be inexpensive, easy to setup and un-intrusive rather than cheap and frustrating.

List price for my setup is $1,310.

Already have a server that I was using for media, so that's a wash.

Real world numbers, real world economics, not based on the assumption that existing products (SBR) are excluded. If the SBR isn't for you, than the pricing delta would only be $335 less than the Sonos. In my case I already had stereo kit everywhere except the kitchen, where I've put the Boom, so amplified players were undesirable.

majones
2010-02-18, 07:42
I still can't work out how you guys are able to interpret what he actually said. He's got one of the strangest accents I've ever come across. Does he like Sonos because they're made in Denmark county or something?

Siduhe
2010-02-18, 07:53
I still can't work out how you guys are able to interpret what he actually said.

Er...because the two posters who mentioned the details are both Danish as well and speak the lingo. Apologies if this was a second joke along the same lines as your first, but the above made me think you might genuinely not know he's speaking Danish! If it is, just give me a good old whoosh...

majones
2010-02-18, 07:57
My Texan ear can't understand Scotch English as it is spoken here in Aberdeen, and I just thought, this being an English forum, that the TV program was from one of the UK regions. My mistake. So, are they speaking German?

Phil Leigh
2010-02-18, 08:00
Just going back to the sync issue for a second, I think life would be a lot easier if the paradigm of a sync Master and sync Slaves could be adopted.

{starting from all boxes un-synced}
1) choose your sync master
2) on the other boxes, you always have 3 choices - no sync, sync slave, new sync master (ie it takes over, rather like the master browser on a LAN). By default, if a new sync master is appointed, the old master becomes a sync slave of the new master.

None of this from/to nonsense.

Of course if you want to have multiple masters with their own discrete slaves, a true Zone system (with join/leave) is required.

Muele
2010-02-18, 08:32
My Texan ear can't understand Scotch English as it is spoken here in Aberdeen, and I just thought, this being an English forum, that the TV program was from one of the UK regions. My mistake. So, are they speaking German?

Heheh, I must asume you're joking....

Nevertheless. If you aren't: Denmark is an actual country in the nothern part of Europe. We have our own language. But almost everybody is able to express themselfes in English.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark

I really hope you are joking If so, laughs on me as well as Siduhe :)

pippin
2010-02-18, 08:41
I really hope you are joking If so, laughs on me as well as Siduhe :)

He's in Aberdeen.
If you've ever been to Scotland you know that since their existence the Scots have either fought the Romans, the English or the Danes. Against the Danes and the Romans they actually won, at the end. Against the English probably isn't over, yet.

So majones probably just assumed that Denmark wasn't existing anymore :)

Kuben72
2010-02-18, 08:51
If you want a bette way to handle sync take a look at this :

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showpost.php?p=383759&postcount=51

DaveWr
2010-02-18, 09:08
He's in Aberdeen.
If you've ever been to Scotland you know that since their existence the Scots have either fought the Romans, the English or the Danes. Against the Danes and the Romans they actually won, at the end. Against the English probably isn't over, yet.

So majones probably just assumed that Denmark wasn't existing anymore :)

They didn't win against the Romans, the Romans didn't like the cold......

Dave

JeffHart
2010-02-18, 10:59
Heheh, I must asume you're joking....

Nevertheless. If you aren't: Denmark is an actual country in the nothern part of Europe. We have our own language. But almost everybody is able to express themselfes in English.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark

I really hope you are joking If so, laughs on me as well as Siduhe :)

Completely off topic, but this reminded me of a time when I worked for a small computer networking company headquartered in Lyngby (suburb of Copenhagen) A coworker and I were in Nofolk, VA and he wanted to stop by the local ballet, so .... Turns out we were the only two people in ties & white shirts. One of the dancers said we must work together and asked where we worked. Since many people in the IT industry hadn't heard of us yet and no one in the general populace would have, my coworker replied that we worked for a Danish company.

After a pause she looked at the both of us and said "But aren't they fattening??

bhaagensen
2010-02-18, 11:20
After a pause she looked at the both of us and said "But aren't they fattening??

She must also have memories of the incidence: two foreigners in white shirts and ties working for a company making pastries :)

majones
2010-02-20, 06:41
After a pause she looked at the both of us and said "But aren't they fattening??
So, what did you say?

JeffHart
2010-02-20, 10:09
So, what did you say?

We agreed, of course. :)

GeeJay
2010-02-20, 21:02
I was nosing around the Sonos forums a few months backed and came across a thread bemoaning the lack of a track rating system and ability to use it with random playlists. Made me very thankful for Squeezebox and its developer community.

Hope y'all were able to understand this post...I'm a native Texan, after all :D