08 Feb So you’ve heard all about “Sonos”
More and more properties have multi-room audio systems and the brand that is on everyone’s lips is – Sonos. The Sonos products are available from most high street retailers and they’re popular because of their price, ease of set up, diminutive size and aesthetically pleasing design. So, what’s the deal and are they worth it? Here at Pro Media Solutions we have encountered countless Sonos system installs and thought it was high time to take a proper look at full, multi-room Sonos audio system set up.
For the purpose of this article we are only looking at the streaming devices, designed for a more centralised setup. These are the Sonos Connect and Connect AMP. The Sonos Connect is designed for a setup that already has a power amp or amplified speakers and is a streaming device with various audio inputs for other devices.
The Connect AMP is similar to the Connect but is designed for a setup that isn’t already amplified; it has stereo speaker connections on the rear. These can be daisy- chained on a network. The more audio zones you have, the more boxes you’ll need in order to have an independent stream per room. The only limitation on the number of Connects in a single property is based on the number of ethernet connections and/or the WiFi signal strength and distribution. Even for the layperson it is pretty easy and straight forward to set up – hence the products’ popularity.
But… let’s say you have a property with eight audio zones which need to be amplified. A set up like that would require eight separate Sonos Connect AMPs stacked up together in a central racking system. You would get an individual stream per room and practically instant audio with the units constantly powered on which is a big selling point but, for an average – or even large property – it is unlikely that all eight streams will be running simultaneously. You would also need to manually use the Sonos App to stream music and control your audio system. If you have already have smart devices in your home it’s just another app… here’s where our friends at Control4 change the game.
All of the Control4 Entertainment Automation controllers (EA) come with the most popular streaming services built-in as standard (Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, Napster, Tidal and TuneIn). This not only enables the distribution of high resolution audio but, gives you room for expansion –for complete home automation.
The argument we put to our clients is – why purchase a product that only caters for audio when you could future proof your whole system to eventually accommodate lighting & shade control, as well as video distribution and room temperature. All accessed from a variety of instantly accessible options: hand-held remote controls, on-wall keypads and/or touchscreens not to mention the Android and iPhone compatible mobile app.
Sonos is an excellent brand and a great choice for wireless audio streaming with easy app control and we have successfully incorporated them into a number of our projects. However, we do suggest that if you are looking for future-proofing options, or considering more than just audio distribution to contact us to discuss how Pro Media Solutions and Control4 can help you.
photo credit – Control4