I'm A Sonos Man Now!

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
As some of you may remember, I'm working away from home presently, and I was looking for music options to keep me entertained and relaxed in my new space. I had originally thought of headphones, but I couldn't find anything I liked. Then I was thinking an amp and a pair of small speakers, but it didn't really work in the space I'm in. Finally, I started looking at bluetooth speakers, as I don't have wifi where I'm at. While I have to say the state of the portable bluetooth speaker art is almost ridiculously high, they just weren't quite what I wanted.

So, having been quite impressed with time spent listening to a Sonos Move while on my vacation, I figured maybe i should at least give Sonos a listen in my own space. To be honest, I think I have been a bit of an anti-Sonos audio snob. As a proper audiophile, they were just too easy, and I must say, a bit too limited. My idea of a stereo includes multiple sources and options. Just streaming through the Sonos app took all the challenge out of it.

But as desperate times call for desperate measures, I snagged a new Sonos Era 100 and gave it a try. Setup was a breeze. The Sonos guys do software better then anyone, by far, in the audio space. I had to fake a wifi setup using one of my two phones to create a network, while the other installed and updated the software.

The next step was the room tuning. I gave it a listen as was, and it sounded a bit off. The bass was a bit boomy. The highs weren't quite right. So I fired up the Truplay app on my iPhone, and spent two minutes walking around the room, waving my iPhone around like an idiot. Once the app said it was done, the speaker did its tweaking, and it was ready to play music again. I played the same song as before and the difference was not subtle. The bass was now smooth and full, but not boomy. The highs had cleared right up. It was a wide and smooth sounding, single speaker system. Sound quality through bluetooth was nice. Ease of operation was fantastic. Two thumbs up.

So, just for shits and giggles, I got myself a second one to try and see what a stereo pair would do. It's not something I can use where I am due to the lack of wifi right now, but in the future I thought it might make for a nice small room system. Again, it's Sonos setup, so getting everything running was a breeze. Just a couple of minutes to pair them and do the room tuning. For the stereo pair, bluetooth was no longer an option, so I did my two phone wifi setup again and let it rip with some Tidal masters. Well, great Caesars ghost! This setup was sounding way better than the sum of its parts. I'm sure the fact that I was running high res wifi rather then the usual bluetooth helped a lot too, but the stereo pair just blew me away. I've had a lot of systems that haven't sounded as good as this. Running the one speaker with Bluetooth always left me with the impression that some technical trickery was happening. That the speaker was doing some stuff that was not quite natural. With the stereo pair, all of that went away. It just sounded like a very nice pair of mid size speakers. I could settle down with nothing but these and not regret it. I was seriously bummed when I had to give back the second speaker.

For $500 USD for thr stereo pair it might be the best audio value of all time. These little guys absolutely kill the vast majority of the solid state vintage gear I have heard. I can't imagine being without a Sonus system anymore.
 
Have been a fan for ten years now. Have a couple of the older play ones paired in the living room and a Connect to stream to my main system. Many times I have thought of dumping the main system for another pair of ones. The 100 seems even better. If it weren't for nostalgia for things like cassettes and British integrated amplifiers, my whole system would be Sonos.
 
I have been using a Connect as my main living room source for about 8 years now. The wife is comfortable with it and that makes it easier on me. I haven't tried their speakers yet.
 
I often wonder what kind of stereo I would get into if I was just getting into the idea of having a stereo. My idea of what a proper stereo is dates back to growing up with a father who built his own giant speakers, powered by Dynaco separates. I got various hand-me-downs from him and eventually started buying things along those lines after a 10-year foray into home theater. My own form of nostalgia.

If I was just getting into it now, the idea of just having two speakers that I could stream to would be really appealing. I see such things at friends houses and imagine what could have been.... the lack of clutter. The good sound without the hassle.....
 
My idea of what a proper stereo is dates back to growing up with a father who built his own giant speakers, powered by Dynaco separates.
Aside from our Admiral hi-fi console in the basement, my grandfather's system (Heathkit, Garrard, etc.) was probably the catalyst for my audio "illness." As such, for my primary system, I still prefer something hard-wired and "analog" which is what many of us have. I can put a record on the turntable and just play it, without worrying about software or network issues. (And I could still dig out an old CD player and connect it if need be.) I do of course use a NAS to store music, Roon to play it, mix in Qobuz, and run it through a DAC, so I'm happily both worlds right now.

But, I also like really these "wireless" systems for alternate systems in other rooms, where we want background music. I use other systems but the idea is the same--they're easy to use, and I don't have a huge bundle of wires connected to them. All good! 👍 As a primary system though? Probably not, unless they were my only choice (such as when traveling long-term, or if my main system was in storage for an extended period, etc.).
 
Congrats Mr. @prime minister ! SONOS sound quality is excellent, not Harbeth quality but very good. Love your comment about beating vintage solid state. I’ve used SONOS for many years, maybe 10 or so. My frustration is/was it’s a closed system, so they force you to stay within their system, but their system is VERY good. After having Connect, then Ones, we bought a Beam for a pseudo surround sound. We may even add another more recent One for true surround. They couldn’t have gotten away with a closed system for so long without such good SQ. Enjoy!
 
Congrats Mr. @prime minister ! SONOS sound quality is excellent, not Harbeth quality but very good. Love your comment about beating vintage solid state. I’ve used SONOS for many years, maybe 10 or so. My frustration is/was it’s a closed system, so they force you to stay within their system, but their system is VERY good. After having Connect, then Ones, we bought a Beam for a pseudo surround sound. We may even add another more recent One for true surround. They couldn’t have gotten away with a closed system for so long without such good SQ. Enjoy!
I think you'd be surprised how much the Sonos gear had progressed. The new Era 100s are a huge step above the old 1s. I gotta say I was shocked at how good they are. And yes, you are stuck in the Sonos infrastructure. But the damn thing works so well, you just end up not caring.
 
OK, now you’ve done it. The 100’s are officially on my list. I haven’t really kept up since we got the Beam. For a long time, SONOS moved kinda slowly but it seems they are moving much faster with product introductions. Thanks for the recommendation.
 
OK, now you’ve done it. The 100’s are officially on my list. I haven’t really kept up since we got the Beam. For a long time, SONOS moved kinda slowly but it seems they are moving much faster with product introductions. Thanks for the recommendation.

Have a listen. Gilles Martin is running the audio part of the company now, so it's producing a sound that he likes. And he, like his father, had damn good ears. Iirc, Sonos in the US offers a 45 day in home trial, so no big deal if they don't work for you or in your room. And you definitely want to try a pair.
 
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PM,
Some time ago you posted about your interest in getting a soundbar. Did you get a Sonos?

Are you planning to bring your Era100 to the Jun 16 gathering? I’m not attending but I bet a few attendees would be interested in hearing it.
 
I think you'd be surprised how much the Sonos gear had progressed. The new Era 100s are a huge step above the old 1s. I gotta say I was shocked at how good they are. And yes, you are stuck in the Sonos infrastructure. But the damn thing works so well, you just end up not caring.
But the damn thing works so well, you just end up not caring. 😎👍
 
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