Sonos vs Hifi

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  • Sonos vs Hifi
  • Bimbler

    So I’ve just sold all my 5.1 kit (bit bored of it all really) and in the process of getting a 2 channel streaming setup together. Initially I was looking toward hifi separates with a budget of about £1.2k-ish but keep thinking maybe Sonos is the way forward, not that bothered by the multiroon aspects of it, though it would be nice. Main listening will be in front room.

    So how does Sonos sound compared to proper Hifi, main source will be ripped files (FLAC and MP3) on Synology NAS

    Ho hum

    The Sonos output into a decent hifi set-up is supposed to be pretty good (never heard it personally though).

    Output it through an external DAC into a decent hifi set-up and it can sound sublime.

    I ripped all of my CDs to FLAC and put them on a Synology NAS a year ago and have not used my CD player since.


    Just got a sonos playbar last week and while good at what it does, it doesn’t come close to hi if sound. Admittedly we’re not comparing apples with apples in that a £600 playbar streaming I tunes ripped cd’s or spotify tracks doesn’t match my Roksan Xexes, Audio innovations s500 valve amp and Proac response 1.5 floorstanders. By a long way. How play 3 or 5 compares I have no idea but if you want convenience and immediate impact I.e cinema like bang and crash go for sonos, if you want to hear what’s on the record (yes I’m in my 40’s) get a separates system.


    THe fact you can get the sonos all in one players in Dixons etc sys it all.

    Stream into a decent system ideally with a good DAC.

    Ho hum

    Still buy a separates system, but rather than buy a CD player buy a Sonos Connect and then stream from your NAS to the Connect and into the hifi.

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    For simplicity and plug and play it’s Sonos particularly if you are just playing compressed mp3. If you want sound quality it’s the hifi solution (perhaps with Sonos connect as above)


    I have a ZP90, AKA Connect into a pair of AVI active speakers + Subwoofer. Sounds immense.

    Also have a Play 1 and Play5, sound pleasant enough, but not hifi.

    Premier Icon michaelbowden

    Just moved to a Sonos Connect in to my HiFi with a NAS and it’s great.


    Dixons you say…. isn’t that where common people shop?…. thanks for the “advice” 😉

    As above, I have a mixed setup. Playbar replaced my 5.1 so I dumped 7 boxes from the living room, much more space. Sounds OK, convieience is fantastic.

    For my proper listening I have coax out from a Connect into an amp and speakers.

    Also have a stand alone player which is nice for ease of use and sounds OK.

    So it can be HiFi, or convenient or both. Where it really wins is multi room and ease of use, the sound quality is up to you and can be as good as you need it to be.

    I love it, have refound my love of music. Running the beta software on Android and it’s looking great for the future.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    Still buy a separates system, but rather than buy a CD player buy a Sonos Connect and then stream from your NAS to the Connect and into the hifi.

    This. I do similar with iTunes ripped as ALAC files, streamed from iMac to Airport Express.


    I’m sure the Sonos connect hooked up to a decent hifi sounds fine but I personally wouldn’t bother with any of their own speakers as I would always listen through a hifi.

    Premier Icon somouk

    I’d be getting one of the Samsung tube jobbies that support Airplay and getting an iPad mini as a source to play from my Synology NAS if you’re after some better sound quality 🙂

    Edit: One of these

    Premier Icon vinnyeh

    I’d echo gravity-slave.
    I’m in my 50’s, my hearing’s not what it used to be, and I value the convenience and space saving.
    Sure, to some people it’s not hifi, and there’s obviously variance in sound quality across the units, but I’ve got rid of a load of boxes, and it’s ease of use, robustness and versatility in comparison to airplay is fantastic.
    Surprised to read the ‘bang and crash’ comment in relation to the soundbar, thought it is actually pretty subtle musically. I bought the sub with it, but decided that for the cost it wasn’t worth it to add the bangs and crashes, not really into that in either movies or music, so that went back.


    Play1, play3 and a connect into a mid range Sony av receiver driving both a 5.1 setup and a stereo pair of elderly missions.
    I quite like the sound from the plays. I accept that they are not HiFi but given the convenience,low cost and small footprint, it sounds as good as I’d ever need in those rooms (they move between bedroom, kitchen, garage and garden)
    The connect in the living room sounds beautiful through the missions for when I want to actively listen to music. I’ve certainly never felt the need to buy audiophile kit but I expect that through a decent DAC and amp, sonos will sound as good as any CD transport


    I’ve got a fair bit of Sonos kit. For me, it is excellent, with each product meeting a specific requirement. If you’re into serious listening, I’d recommend a Sonos Connect with your choice of DAC/Amp/Speakers.

    I’ve got a Connect feeding a Cyrus 6DAC, Connect Amp driving bathroom ceiling speakers and one each of Play1, 3 & 5 dotted about the house. Although you may think multiroom isn’t a requirement, once it’s available you’ll love it.


    I echo somouk

    We planned to go wireless but are surprised how poor the free standing sonos units were for the money

    Our solution was the Samsung unit below the one he listed paired either with airplay to our iTunes devices and various Spotify accounts or with blue tooth to my Android phone

    Quality clearly not hifi bit much much better than sonos


    I gotta Sonos for xmas, and as good as it it, I feel it’s not as portable as I wanted. You need the bridge, mains cables etc. Still, good quality for a small unit.

    Premier Icon michaelbowden

    carjomaha – Member

    Have a look at Musaic, a great improvement on Sonos

    In what way is it better than Sonos? Have you litened to it?


    In what way is it better than Sonos?

    From their website they support 24/192 files, whether you can actually hear the difference out of the iddy biddy little speakers or not is moot.

    I was mainly looking at one of these

    Pioneer N50 and adding amplifier, although I have the nagging feeling that as these are two years old a new model is around the corner.

    Or maybe one of these, Yamaha R-N500 which seems to be a pretty good compromise between hifi and a one box system.

    I’ve also listened to one of these Marantz Melody jobs. The sound was amazing really and really surprised me, however it’s a bit plasticky and weighs just 3.5kg and can’t help feeling it won’t last that long. It really does everything though.

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