Whole house audio

audiobookman

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Hi guys, (mods sorry if wrong room - couldnt find a area that excatly fits, feel free to move if needs must).

Ive been researching installing whole house audio, including our summer house that has good wifi coverage.

I have a 3 storey town house, downstairs i have my ageing but FANTASTIC technics seperates hifi (oldschool).
In our bedroom on the 1st floor, i have my newer 5.1 technics seperates (not as good as my old school one but ok).
Then in the living room on the first floor i have my onkyo (509) av reciever connected to some very nice Kef 5.1.
I also have a mini hifi by panasonic that is plumbed in during in the summer to the summer house.
In the garage i have another identical system to the summer house.
Kitchen is covered by my old school system (thats also connected to the downstairs mini mac / server).

What im after is a system that will allow me to stream and control from mobile devices / laptops and a centre unit (thinking av reciever maybe the best here).
I want to be able to use it in zones so if were just sitting in the living room it wont be streaming to other devices.
And most of all they MUST be in sync.
They must also be able to stream google music (deal breaker)

Now I did initally i did look at replacing everything with sonos, but they use "D" class amps, i dont want to be replacing my "A" class with "D" that would be a waste especially when not streaming. Also sonos is using its own network, which is good and bad, it means that if they dont support a service within thier app your out of luck (looking at google music). - What will happen if they go bust, you end up with 2-3k worth of door stoppers. Its also too damn expensive to get what i want. But the mesh network is supposed to be the best with audio dropouts.

Ive then looked at rocki, which showed signs of promise, it uses your wifi so could suffer with dropouts (but i have a very good router so this shouldnt be an issue). Again they dont currently support google music (but promised it will be coming). Big problem they dont sync across the network, deal broken..... But they have again promised this is in the pipe line, so they are reasonable price, and connect straight to existing equipment. Another bonus is they have built in batteries and can create a mobile wifi hotspot so can be used out and about....

Now Beep, looks really promising, it another kickstarter like rocki but it already syncs, the units are slightly more expensive and look very retro.
They can also remotely control your device. It intergrates with your apps like chromecast so will be compatible with most if not all apps from the getgo.
BUT there is no aux in so you cannot stream say from your cd player from the looks of it...

Now am i barking up the wrong tree - are there better ways / means (i dont want to run av cables around the house, the wife would kill me as i only done it a few years back with cat 5).

Has anyone set up a whole house setup? which way did you go about it, or do you have any better ideas.

Ive also tried and failed trying video sender units, the break up was awlful, having ac router distroyed the signal and it broke up.

cheers for any pointers, its a mine field of information and miss information.
 

audiobookman

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cool, i hadnt thought of the pie, i did try it with chromecast but its not reliable or multicast, pie may fit the bill.
Something else to research.
thanks
 

audiobookman

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oh well i gave a play with a pi but its a bit beyond me tbh and a lot of work - i want and need a plug and play system.
I decided to go to richersounds and have a good look at sonos, and tbh i was blown away, even with the D class amps its sounded very good and rounded. Even the cheaper play 1s sounded good.
So i came away and done some more research. THEN sonos dropped the bombshell - they now support google play music!!! deal done!!
I rang up richersounds for 2 play 1s and bridge.
They threw in the bridge for free - i have 30 days to test it under sonos sale or return promise, but i cannot see myself giving these babies up.
The little things rock, im that impressed im going to get the expensive play 5s for the living rooms and put the ones i have in our bed room and summer house.

Im also now chewing over getting the connect system to use on my old school hifi - i really cannot let her go no matter how old she gets, having records cds, md and cassettes still make listening to music more fulfilling.

The kids are having fun with the system, i put the app on my eldest tab and she took control of the front room zone listening to her rubbish while we were in another room.

Its a really nice set up sonos has developed, its simple to use and has indexed my music collection, but the google play was the icing, they must have read my post about it being a deal breaker lol.
 

Mick

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oh well i gave a play with a pi but its a bit beyond me tbh and a lot of work - i want and need a plug and play system.
I decided to go to richersounds and have a good look at sonos, and tbh i was blown away, even with the D class amps its sounded very good and rounded. Even the cheaper play 1s sounded good.
So i came away and done some more research. THEN sonos dropped the bombshell - they now support google play music!!! deal done!!
I rang up richersounds for 2 play 1s and bridge.
They threw in the bridge for free - i have 30 days to test it under sonos sale or return promise, but i cannot see myself giving these babies up.
The little things rock, im that impressed im going to get the expensive play 5s for the living rooms and put the ones i have in our bed room and summer house.

Im also now chewing over getting the connect system to use on my old school hifi - i really cannot let her go no matter how old she gets, having records cds, md and cassettes still make listening to music more fulfilling.

The kids are having fun with the system, i put the app on my eldest tab and she took control of the front room zone listening to her rubbish while we were in another room.

Its a really nice set up sonos has developed, its simple to use and has indexed my music collection, but the google play was the icing, they must have read my post about it being a deal breaker lol.

I have been banging the sonos drum for years :)

I have 3 x play 1, 3 x sonos connect amps, and a sonos connect (attached to my av amp).

It just rocks, the deal breaker is the wireless PHONE docking :), walk through the door press my iphone and then choose my playlist, press group and instantly you have a whole house playing your tunes in every room (synced perfectly) :).

Why did they give you a bridge, can you not get a network cable into just one of the play1's ?

Bridges are only used when you cannot connect to one of the Sonos units, they have there own wireless MESH network that they use to make sure the sound is synced :)

But if the bridge was free then it is a win win, yes the play1's sound decent, but believe me pair a connect amp with 2 b&W CCM663's and it will sound even better!

Glad you are enjoying them matey!!!

Mick
 

audiobookman

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i needed a bridge as my network is up in the loft and the speakers themselves dont have pass thoughs like the bridge - just inputs so i would lose that cable unless i split it again. As it was thrown in that was a result.
I would love the amp but thinking the connect maybe a better option to connect to my av system already in place and my technics downstairs.
The amp would probally be more use to me in the garden with some water proof speakers.
Options options, these things are awesome.
 

hatab

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Hi Guys

I have just started looking to find something like this (i think) so we can listen to all our music around the house we have over 250GB between us on one of the disks on the server, at the moment we have to load up to mp3 player, burn cd/dvd or sit in the study to listen.

I have just googled so far and found Sonos, Bose and LG systems, it is early days yet i haven't gone out to listen to anything yet but i feel a visit to Richer Sounds and/or Cymbiosis will help me find what i want.

The main stumbling block for me so far on all these systems is ok you can use an app on your smartphone to control it all, great if you have iPhone or Android phone but none of the systems seem to have apps for windows 8.1 phone :-(

Do you know will the Sonos system look for a shared folder on a disk or does it prefer a NAS setup ?

Also does it just look for an iTunes library or will it catalog files and folders in a normal windows environment ?

Also what files will it play ? MP3, Flac etc.

Any answers gratefully received and any other info for somebody just starting to look, Ta
 

Mick

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Sonos plays them files.
It also has a great windows app

It will also play from any location you have music... Nas drive... Windows folder... It will even play anyone's phone playlist without docking
 

hatab

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Well after lots and lots of looking at specs, control apps and much more listening have bought the Denon Heos systems it was for me out of all the systems between that and the Sonos but Mrs came to listen on the last trip to buy and with same tracks on the two systems she preferred the sound out of the Denon.

The Denon is awash with ways you can play music NAS, Share on a pc on network, any phone or tablet with the app through wifi, any usb stick or disk plugged into any speaker, through the AUX port on any speaker, Spotify, Deezer, Napster, Tunein.

The only thing that caught me out was playing Flac files from pc share was a phaf as windows doesn't natively support Flac so you have to download a codex, i have read windows 10 does support Flac, however this was just a quick search on the net, now sorted.

The Denon doesn't use itunes, hurray neither do I :) , it uses windows media player to index the files only and then the app picks up this index file to locate the files to play.

I have bought a cheapy android tablet to use as the main controller but as everyone has the app on their phones its not a problem.

so far so good, Denon sell it with a 90 day trial.
 

Tamarc

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Sounds awesome guys,don't know much about Sonos or whole house audio for that matter,but used to have Denon hifi years ago,just wondering what a ball park figure is for a setup maybe covering 3 bedroom sized house ?
 

hatab

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@tarmac

Its tricky to give a ball park as you might need or want different piece parts the good thing it what ever system you go for you don't have to buy all at once. (as they are all different there isn't mix and match)

The Pure system parts are the cheapest and Bose seemed to be most expensive when i was looking.

The Sonos has bridges and amp addons which the Denon doesnt use everything is included in every speaker.

on average

Little £170-250
Medium £250-335
Big £350-450

But there are deals to be done
 
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IANB

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I have to say that sonos quality is top notch. I have a play 5 2 play 1's and a playbar. I have the play 1's set as surrounds for the playbar and its awesome. Great for music as well if you config the surrounds on full when playing audio . I actualy regret buying the play 5 as i find the 1's paired as a stereo pair to be superior. I am going to invest in another 2 play 1's at some point soon.
 

tredman

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Has anyone gone from squeezebox to sonos? Looking to change, but really like my squeezeboxes - couple have died and have been getting by on picoreplayer, but its not as easy.
 

yaya

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Attached to my Squeezeboxes too - got them when Logitech were clearing stock before UE launch. Migration to Sonos will be expensive.
 

miggy

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Attached to my Squeezeboxes too - got them when Logitech were clearing stock before UE launch. Migration to Sonos will be expensive.

Never mind that tish mate, shouldn't you be more worried about playing a decent game for Man City because I know I am. ;)
 
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