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Roadsterstu

Wireless networked speakers

I recall that we had some discussion on here a little while ago on this subject and I believe that Martin has a Sonos set up.  I'm looking for something similar since moving in with Mrs R - she has refused outright to let me have my lovely Eltax floorstanders in the living room but she is rather supportive of splurging a good few quid on Sonos gear or something similar.  Her friends have a Sonos Play:3 and she really likes it.  On a recent visit to my brother we got to listen to his Sonos Play:1, too.

Now, I'm used to the excellent sound quality, depth, imaging, etc of the big floorstanders, so I want a quality and handling of the music that gets as close to that as possible.  Not easy with a very small box.  The Play:1s, whilst impressive for their size and price, sounded like the music was coming from a small box.  Good for what they were but nowhere near good enough for what I want.  Yesterday evening, after work, I popped in to Currys PC World (I know, I know) and had a quick listen to the Play:3 and the Play:5.  The 5, especially, was really very good.  However, what I really went to have a listen to was a Naim Muso.  I've read the reviews on this and it seems to impress all round.  As it should, at 895 quid.  The sound, on a quick listen from a sales assistant's bluetooth phone, was fantastic.  It's a nice bit of kit, too, beautifully made and stylish.  The only downside, which will probably kill the idea from Mrs R's perspective, is the size.  It's not small.  It is very lovely indeed but I do have a little difficulty with the price, to be honest.

A near second choice, though, could the Muso's smaller sibling, the Muso QB.  I can see that being ideal in terms of size and sound and there is an ideal spot for it in the living room.  Again, it gets a great review from What HiFi and elsewhere.  These are around the £595 mark, so also rather pricey.  I have seen one on Ebay at 400, no bids, boxed, allegedly unused and fairly local to me, so that may be the one to go for.  As long as it hasn't come from a burglary...

So, anyone here heard a Muso or Muso QB or got any suggestions other than these or the Sonos kit?
Martin

I can't help with the other options I'm afraid, but I'm very happy with my Sonos system, especially the Play:5, but I think the Play:1 does a very good job for something so small and is great for a bedroom.  You can pair them up and add a subwoofer, it adjusts for whatever combination you have, both of which will make a difference.   Configuring them properly makes a big difference as well.  I didn't believe it would work, as you walk around the room with your phone/tablet, but the 'after' was much better, especially the one in the Kitchen.

A system of this type is never going to be as good as a decent standalone setup and if you only have one unit you're not getting the benefit either.
Tim

My brother-in-law, who is a musician and therefore VERY fussy when it comes to sound quality, recently bought a Panasonic All 70T with 2 SC-All 2 satellites (speakers, I think!).

It was £900 though.
I've heard it and it sounds good even to me!
Martin

Just one persons view, but worth wading through.....

https://en.community.sonos.com/wi...-went-back-not-the-play5--6736348
Nice Guy Eddie

I wasn't blown away by Sonus when I heard it and went for an Audio Pro speaker instead which sounded a lot better but the connectivity is no where near as easy to use as Sonos.

Sonos you can combine with a playbar so you get a 2 in one in terms of tv/hifi set up.

If you can afford it, I'd go with Naim. You can't get better.
Big Blue

Martin wrote:
Just one persons view, but worth wading through.....

https://en.community.sonos.com/wi...-went-back-not-the-play5--6736348


Verbose doesn't cover it!
franki68

I sold all my hi fi stuff off and my surround sound home cinema stuff.
replaced my hi fi with a par of senheiser momentum over earphones and they are stunning.
The home cinema stuff for my office was replaced with a MOnitor audio sound bar and canton subwoofer and it sounds amazing witht he tv  ,really stunning even with music as well.
still to replace the full surround system but the wife wont let me use rear speakers etc so another soundbar looms..looking at the yamaha stuff as it gets the best 'virtual surround'.
I tried a lot of stuff,the sonos stuff is good ,very flexible but the sound was not that great I thought.
Giant

What will be the music source? Little point splurging on the better kit if you're feeding low def tracks into it.

I finally joined the digital age this very weekend, and signed up to TIDALs lossless service. Streaming the same track back to back compared to a friend's Spotify, via his SONOS play:1, the difference was remArkable.

Having full access to seemingly every track in the world, feels like a similar jump to getting my first iPod and being able to have 100 albums in my pocket.

Was impressed with the play:1 for its size and price, but not comparable to my basic TEAC system and Monitor Audio standmounts, so will be interested to hear which system you go with and how it compares to your traditional system.
Twelfth Monkey

Surely no-one's worth this degree of compromise, Stu?!

(Nothing to add, it's outside my area of 'special interest'.)
PG

And women say size doesn't matter. Yet so many ladies seem to take against big, "proper" hi-fi.  

When my old NAD amp and Mission speakers started to paly up, size was an issue for the replacement. In the end I got some Cambridge Audio freestander speakers and a sub-woofer (that could be hidden). They can be plugged into your current amp. At £120 each they sounds pretty good ( but I can tell the difference to the old system).

[url]http://www.richersounds.com/product/standmount-speakers/cambridge-audio/minx-min22/camb-min22-blk  [/url]
JohnC

I was "forced" to sell all my Hi-Fi gear many years ago when we refurbed the last house and big speakers and a box of separates looked hideous apparently.

I have done without since then. However life has also become so much busier that getting the time and the quiet to sit down and listen to music properly would be nearly impossible anyway.

All other branches of the family seem to have a Sonus system, except my brother who has the most monstrous sound system costing a small car's worth. He also has an attitude and a manner about him that means not even his wife questions it.

I like the sound of the Naim system, having had a Naim Amp many moons ago. For the women in our lives though, it needs Apple like connectivity or 'it's not coming in here'!
Martin

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
I wasn't blown away by Sonus when I heard it and went for an Audio Pro speaker instead which sounded a lot better but the connectivity is no where near as easy to use as Sonos.

Sonos you can combine with a playbar so you get a 2 in one in terms of tv/hifi set up.

If you can afford it, I'd go with Naim. You can't get better.


The playbar doesn't have decent connectivity, so I've stuck with my surround sound system for the TV.

We use the multi-room functionality a lot, and hardly ever just sit and listen to music, so the Sonos system is ideal.
Roadsterstu

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Surely no-one's worth this degree of compromise, Stu?!

(Nothing to add, it's outside my area of 'special interest'.)

Ha ha! Thought that might be your take on it  
Roadsterstu

Tidal is one option. If you buy a new Naim Muso it comes with a free 90 day Tidal trial, I believe. Spotify is the other option, streamed via the wifi, although I believe this can compress tracks. Not sure exactly what from/to in terms of bit rate but I believe above CD quality is still possible. The other source will be my iTunes library, either from the iPod or iTunes. Whichever I figure is the best way.

I'm veering towards the Muso QB more, at the moment, mainly due to the size of the full fat Muso and likely opposition. Only a woman could choose something where it's sound is it's whole raison d'etre based solely upon what it looks like...
Martin

You only have yourself to blame for being in this situation Stu!
Humphrey The Pug

I'm thinking of either a sound system or a single speaker for the lounge with the potential to add to it at a later date, however I don't want to spend fortunes and don't need anything huge as we only have a small house.

It will 100% streamed music from Spotify or internet radio, it's a bloody minefield out there with what is on offer.
franki68

whatever you do,test the stuff,listen to it with music you listen to.
Use reviews as just a rough guide,just because it won an award in a magazine or something does not make it good for you.
Roadsterstu

Martin wrote:
You only have yourself to blame for being in this situation Stu!


I know  
Roadsterstu

franki68 wrote:
whatever you do,test the stuff,listen to it with music you listen to.
Use reviews as just a rough guide,just because it won an award in a magazine or something does not make it good for you.


True indeed. Although buying a single speaker is perhaps a bit less of an issue than buying a set up consisting of separates and high end speakers. I do want a high level of sound quality, though. I get narked by music played through boomy or tinny sounding speakers.
simonp

Thing with the Sonos 5 is that it may be 200 quid cheaper than the QB, but it looks it, too. I have a couple of Sonos bits and find the app pretty irritating. The way you have to search for songs, then line them up in a queue and then tell it where you want to play them grates. It all seems such a faff!
Martin

simonp wrote:
Thing with the Sonos 5 is that it may be 200 quid cheaper than the QB, but it looks it, too. I have a couple of Sonos bits and find the app pretty irritating. The way you have to search for songs, then line them up in a queue and then tell it where you want to play them grates. It all seems such a faff!


You need to upgrade the app, it's not been like that for a while.
Big Blue

What are the amps like these things drive from? If they're crap you're pissing up a rope for sound quality.
Tim

Our main source at home is an iPod speaker bought about 10 years ago.
It seemed an expensive extravagance at the time (£200) but reading through this thread makes me realise we're completely out of touch!
TreVoR

I use airport express base stations to stream from my iPad/phone to an AV amp - one in the lounge and one in the conservatory. I used to use the Apple TV for music but it wasn't reliable and the interface was horrible.
Roadsterstu

Big Blue wrote:
What are the amps like these things drive from? If they're crap you're pissing up a rope for sound quality.


Certainly on the Naim it is a quality amp.
simonp

Martin wrote:
simonp wrote:
Thing with the Sonos 5 is that it may be 200 quid cheaper than the QB, but it looks it, too. I have a couple of Sonos bits and find the app pretty irritating. The way you have to search for songs, then line them up in a queue and then tell it where you want to play them grates. It all seems such a faff!


You need to upgrade the app, it's not been like that for a while.


I do upgrade it, virtually every bloody week and it never seems to change much.

TBH, most of this tech is shite. It is a pain in the arse to use whilst pretending to be more convenient and sounds worse, or at best, no better than a CD. Whilst I don't prescribe to the hipster vinyl resurgence I do think that CD was and still is our musical pinnacle. I still buy them all the time and the only place I think all the other shrunken digital formats has a place is in a car. I certainly won't be buying any other home streaming kit.
Andy C

Worth a trip to richer sounds demo room
?
gonnabuildabuggy

Martin wrote:
simonp wrote:
Thing with the Sonos 5 is that it may be 200 quid cheaper than the QB, but it looks it, too. I have a couple of Sonos bits and find the app pretty irritating. The way you have to search for songs, then line them up in a queue and then tell it where you want to play them grates. It all seems such a faff!


You need to upgrade the app, it's not been like that for a while.


I'm no great audiophile, I love Music and have a large collection of CD's/Vinyl/Cassettes but I'm not too concerned about the finer aspects, it's about the song not the quality (perhaps related to my taste in Music).

We've got a Sonos 3 in the Lounge and 1 in the Kitchen and about to buy another 1 for the bedroom probably (though it will not have a clock which might be a killer).

The app works well for me and the fact you can set it up then take the phone away and it will stream as planned was a big win.

After we go to work the kids join the two up and blast music throughout the house.
Tim

I think Mrs Tim must be reading the forum because at the weekend she started suggesting that we should get a wireless multi-room sound system!

What are the suggestions for a £1k spend to cover, say, 5 rooms?
Racing Teatray

Reading this gives me comfort as my wife has suddenly started wibbling on about getting a Sonos system so that she can play streamed music throughout the house. This is of course entirely because various friends of hers have gotten them and have been enthusing about them. I got completely shot down for even daring to suggest that our current 6yr old Cambridge Audio music system was even half-way adequate, notwithstanding that it has an i-dock and can therefore play whatever we care to stream through whichever of our many i-things. Apparently the fact that it cannot be controlled remotely from wherever and whenever in the house means that it is simply not good enough.

So I dropped into Peter Jones on Sunday afternoon to acquaint myself with all things Sonos. They aren't going to win any prizes for outstandingly attractive industrial design are they? They look a bit like cheap radio alarm clocks to me – especially the 3. That aside, they look quite well priced and the app interface appears to work well. The only issue being that the step-up in sound quality from the 1 and 3 to the 5 was quite marked even to my tin ear, and unfortunately so is the corresponding increase in price (and size). She Who Commands' suggestion is that we get a 3 for the ground floor (open plan) and a 1 for our bedroom.
Twelfth Monkey

Can't help but feel that the rise of a lot of these systems, amongst more sensible folk than frequent The Motor Forum,, is because people listen to music in the background, rather than sitting down and being engaged with it, for which a proper system is a prerequisite, to my mind at least.
Martin

The Play:5 is well worth the extra over the Play:3, which is too close to the Play:1 and would struggle in a decent size room.  We have a Play:1 in the bedroom and dining room, Play:3 in the kitchen/diner and a Play:5 in the living room.  Ideally we would have a second Play:5 in the living room but there isn't an ideal location with how it's laid out at the moment.
Andy C

Went round a mates house on Saturday night. His missus has just left him so he went out and spunked over £2k on Sonos gear


A soundbar, sub, two play 5s and two play 3s

Needless to say, it was absolutely insane. He put the song morning glory by oasis on full blast , and  It was like being in a nightclub , with the bass beating your chest and then when it does go quiet , constant ringing in your ears

Very impressive , but I don't get why . He only lives in a semi and will no doubt piss his neighbours off
Roadsterstu

Racing Teatray wrote:
Reading this gives me comfort as my wife has suddenly started wibbling on about getting a Sonos system so that she can play streamed music throughout the house. This is of course entirely because various friends of hers have gotten them and have been enthusing about them. I got completely shot down for even daring to suggest that our current 6yr old Cambridge Audio music system was even half-way adequate, notwithstanding that it has an i-dock and can therefore play whatever we care to stream through whichever of our many i-things. Apparently the fact that it cannot be controlled remotely from wherever and whenever in the house means that it is simply not good enough.

So I dropped into Peter Jones on Sunday afternoon to acquaint myself with all things Sonos. They aren't going to win any prizes for outstandingly attractive industrial design are they? They look a bit like cheap radio alarm clocks to me – especially the 3. That aside, they look quite well priced and the app interface appears to work well. The only issue being that the step-up in sound quality from the 1 and 3 to the 5 was quite marked even to my tin ear, and unfortunately so is the corresponding increase in price (and size). She Who Commands' suggestion is that we get a 3 for the ground floor (open plan) and a 1 for our bedroom.


Try to up it to a 5 and a 3?

I've settled on the Muso QB. Mrs R likes the look of it (who gives a toss what a speaker sounds like, eh?) and it seems to be a great compromise for me in that respect, as it means I won't get any grief about buying one. In theory!

I just need to get my hands on one now.
Andy C

Roadsterstu wrote:
Racing Teatray wrote:
Reading this gives me comfort as my wife has suddenly started wibbling on about getting a Sonos system so that she can play streamed music throughout the house. This is of course entirely because various friends of hers have gotten them and have been enthusing about them. I got completely shot down for even daring to suggest that our current 6yr old Cambridge Audio music system was even half-way adequate, notwithstanding that it has an i-dock and can therefore play whatever we care to stream through whichever of our many i-things. Apparently the fact that it cannot be controlled remotely from wherever and whenever in the house means that it is simply not good enough.

So I dropped into Peter Jones on Sunday afternoon to acquaint myself with all things Sonos. They aren't going to win any prizes for outstandingly attractive industrial design are they? They look a bit like cheap radio alarm clocks to me – especially the 3. That aside, they look quite well priced and the app interface appears to work well. The only issue being that the step-up in sound quality from the 1 and 3 to the 5 was quite marked even to my tin ear, and unfortunately so is the corresponding increase in price (and size). She Who Commands' suggestion is that we get a 3 for the ground floor (open plan) and a 1 for our bedroom.


Try to up it to a 5 and a 3?

I've settled on the Muso QB. Mrs R likes the look of it (who gives a toss what a speaker sounds like, eh?) and it seems to be a great compromise for me in that respect, as it means I won't get any grief about buying one. In theory!

I just need to get my hands on one now.


I've been looking at these too.  They look fantastic and get rave reviews .  

John Lewis do them I think ?
Roadsterstu

Picking one up from Richer Sounds in Leicester this evening. Pop over for a listen at some point.
simonp

Andy C wrote:
Went round a mates house on Saturday night. His missus has just left him so he went out and spunked over £2k on Sonos gear


A soundbar, sub, two play 5s and two play 3s

Needless to say, it was absolutely insane. He put the song morning glory by oasis on full blast , and  It was like being in a nightclub , with the bass beating your chest and then when it does go quiet , constant ringing in your ears

Very impressive , but I don't get why . He only lives in a semi and will no doubt piss his neighbours off


Think you'll find they're 1s...

I demoed the sub when I bought my soundbar and couldn't tell much difference. Definitely wasn't worth another 600 quid!
Blarno

I'm so glad I'm a cloth-eared simpleton, the choice is too baffling.
Giant

Blarno wrote:
I'm so glad I'm a cloth-eared simpleton, the choice is too baffling.


I find it interesting people (generally, not here specifically) are willing to upgrade TVs every few years for ever higher definition picture, yet audio has become much lower definition and no one cares, but are now embracing expensive speaker systems to play this low-def music on!  

I'm not excluding myself, music on my phone is more convenient 90%of the time, but I do try to mitigate it by importing at high bitrate and now have lossless Tidal for streaming, but nothing beats a cd in the stereo with no distractions.

Wierdly, I think there's something about physically owning music that makes you invest in it more, give it multiple listens and allow it to grow. Streamed music can be background noise, with no investment or attention given.
Blarno

HD TV eludes me as well.

You'd think as a musician, I'd be all over mega quality in music, but I just don't have the time or money to give enough of a shit.

I like having physical copies of music, I always ask for CDs for birthdays/Crimbo/etc. I use Spotify on my phone and computers and in the car (When I can get a working Bluetooth set up).

I purposely set up my ancient Sony stereo the other day to herald the arrival of the new Metallica album, because it can play loud and handle it.
Clunes

We have Sonos in the house and love it for room filling, easy use sound hooked into Spotify and it sounds great for what it is but it doesn't really compare that well to a nice hi-fi system if you want to sit back and immerse yourself in the sound from a well mastered recording.

With regards hi resolution and lossless music  the vast majority of that is basically BS in the vast majority of listening circumstances. Listening to the same mastered recording at lossless vs even 128kbps will rarely reveal obvious differences (there are lots of tests you can find to challenge yourselves). I'm not saying there aren't differences that can be heard but it's far more important to have a good master than a hi-res badly mastered track. Much of what is talked about in audiophile circles is snake oil.

Don't get me wrong, I love good music and love hi-fi. I own some nice kit (Roksan and others) and have a wonderful pair of speakers (Swedish QLN Signature HDII Splitfield ) plus various very good quality headphones and even headphone amps/DACS etc but am very conscious of the limitations when listening.

Same goes for TV. In most scenarios HD is clearly superior to SD but the uplift to higher res might be unnecessary if your viewing situation doesn't enable the eye to discern the difference.
Roadsterstu

Got it. Early impressions? Fuck me. How can that kind of sound come out of such a small box? Granted, it will never have the depth or imaging that a great hifi set up and some really decent speakers would give but it does a bloody good job of it. Coupled with Spotify Premium, I think I am going to like this rather a lot!  
Clunes

Doesn't surprise me - there have been some great advances in the 'one box' speaker options out there and I have always been a big fan/advocate of Naim equipment - an outstanding Hifi company

Glad you like - enjoy both the speaker and Spotify - a great combo although I do with Spotify would introduce an explicit music filter option (young kids plus Amazon echo = interesting song/lyrics being blasted out!)
cbeaks1

SONOS play1 is black fridayed down to £139
simonp

If anyone is still pondering SONOS the prices are going up soon, so get in quick.

https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4252
Andy C

Roadsterstu wrote:
Got it. Early impressions? Fuck me. How can that kind of sound come out of such a small box? Granted, it will never have the depth or imaging that a great hifi set up and some really decent speakers would give but it does a bloody good job of it. Coupled with Spotify Premium, I think I am going to like this rather a lot!  


Having heard this now, I agree . Awesome bit of kit.

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