Sonos vs other speaker options (Samsung etc)


(Don Roberts) #1

So I’m getting ready to build out my house speaker setup, but I’m not finding a whole lot of information on what is looking like the best option. I was thinking of some Sonos speakers, but have also seen that the Samsung multi rooms speakers are also now integrated… Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks


Samsung SHAPE WAM350 M3 Wireless Audio Speaker
(Stephen) #2

The Sonos speaker is great but the integration is terrible. If you are buying it for the integration you will be disappointed.


(Don Roberts) #3

Any recommendations on feature rich implementation? Are the Samsung speakers a better implementation option? Any others I should look into?


(Chuckles) #4

I would first ask what is your primary use for the speakers?

If it’s to provide high quality playback of music throughout your house, from a variety of sources and with several rooms synchronised (even if only for the occasional gathering of friends) then Sonos is a leading solution.

If it is to provide a voice prompt from your home automation system, there are far cheaper alternatives.

I’ve had a Sonos system far longer than I’ve had SmartThings and I’ve not been tempted by any alternative music system to date. Sonos wakes me in the morning with music followed by the news (built-in alarm function and streaming from a vast selection of commercial radio stations around the world - with a different schedule for weekends vs. weekdays to allow me a sleep-in). In addition to all my CD music in FLAC form, the Sonos also has access to a wide variety of music streaming services - I find Pandora quite useful for discovering new music based on what it learns about my likes and dislikes.

Don’t overlook the fact that Sonos is not just speakers - in fact the speakers are the late comers to their lineup. The Connect and Connect:AMP let you integrate any existing sound systems or regular speakers you may own into your Sonos network. I use a ZP-90 (now known as the Connect) with an SP-DIF optical connection into the AV Receiver in my living room to take advantage of that amp and its speakers. In the bedroom I use a ZP-120 (now known as the Connect:AMP) with a pair of bookshelf speakers which I already owned. The bedroom TV also feeds analogue audio into the ZP-120 audio input to make use of its amp and the bookshelf speakers rather than the tiny speakers (with poor / non-existent stereo separation) built in to the TV.


#5

If you want quality go with Sonos. They’ve sold so well for a reason. On integration, my experience has been around 75% operational accuracy.

I haven’t heard the Samsung speakers, but my luck with their products has been terrible. Out of the three Samsung products I have purchased only one still works, and they quit supporting it within a year. The other three products all died just outside the warranty.


(Don Roberts) #6

It sounds like Sonos is the way to go, the price is just a lot to bite. I wanted to build out my whole home audio, but if I go the Sonos route I might have to just go slowly over time.

My biggest concern is future proofing, as I really don’t want to buy multiple speakers for different things. As is I’ll need a Echo speaker, and multiple Sonos throughout the house. I could buy the Sonos connect to integrate into my current receiver, which is a bonus. I didn’t realize the Connect devices even existed. From there get a Harmony to run the receiver, which I’ve been needing to do anyways…


(Matt Fink) #7

I went the apple AirPlay route… You can get airport expresses for $50 on eBay to turn any speaker wireless. I personally did in ceiling speakers wired down to a cheap amp to power the speakers.

I have not played with smartthings integration yet through obythings or other methods.

Right now I am figuring the best way to run and there are two options;

A dedicated music server with airfoil on it - iTunes is the only way to send to multi AirPlay devices at once which is fine if you use Apple Music or have local music but if not airfoil allows you to send to multiple AirPlay devices from any audio source. So you could also play pandora on your iPhone then AirPlay to your server which will route it the speakers you want.

My new solution is better. I bought a cheap android - Samsung galaxy tab 4… Rooted it and bought the app airaudio. I use the tab as my whole home controller with smartthings/Smarttiles and it also allows me to stream right to all my AirPlay devices from any app on android. I also got a mic app and now I have an intercom system too. I’m still perfecting the system but it works amazing!

And the best benefit of adding AirPlay - if you use an AirPort Extreme router (I love mine), every airport express can act as a wireless extension and it works seamlessly.


(Steve) #8

I have several Samsung Multi-room speakers and have used the Samsung Audio SmartApp but so far cannot work out how or what to do with them now they are connected to ST Hv2, I can see lots of messages in the activity feed for each speaker and the level (Assuming this is volume) but I cant actually tell outside of of the activity feed which speaker is which or how to use as maybe an internal Siren etc! Does anyone think this maybe coming?


(Don Roberts) #9

Although Airplay would be a decent option for some, I think it would kill my WAF. Wife is not very techy and chances are, anytime theres any sort of manual operation requires, even as simple as selecting a speaker, she just never uses it and gets annoyed with it.

I’d really like to tie it all into Smartthings as well, and use it for small things like announcing opened doors, presense sensors, etc (From what I understand is broken in Sonos right now, unless i missed the post on it working?). I’d also like to be able to play music to any room, and the normal stuff that they do. The Connect option for Sonos seems to make it the best option, but since the Samsung devices are integrated as well, I’m wondering if they are going to be a better option in the future.


(Aaron S.) #10

I’d be interested to hear from those who have the Samsung, Sonos or other speakers how integration works for you. I made a ‘dummy’ device on my hub to see what can be done and I only see very basic controls (e.g. play, pause, volume, etc). Can anyone tell me how these work with the speakers in practice?

Will sending a play command just resume the last item selected in the native app (sonos or samsung multi)?
Does one have to initiate the playback in the native app first each time?
Can specific songs be played for certain events on the ST? Is that something that can be done through IFTTT?

Just wondering how people are using these. I’m less interested in the quality, etc, just in the practical functionality.

Thanks!


(Jason) #11

I have a samsung shape M7. Play/pause will only resume if you leave it on the station. If you exit the station, or play a notification i.e. weather, that will clear the station and play/pause automation won’t work until you select something to play again.

To my knowledge yes, but only if it’s playback has cleared. For example I leave my basement one on a pandora station that play’s when I turn on the light downstairs, and pauses when I turn off that light. It works continuously Unless something clears the selection being played on the device.

Not that I know of, or at least not through the native ST app, It may be possible with some community created smartapps, but I haven’t looked into it too much.

If they sold a speaker that I knew would work with like this, I would buy it, but I haven’t really looked too far into it =D

I have only played with the published apps by ST in conjunction with the shape M7.


(Aaron S.) #12

Thanks @schapper05 Jason,

Very interesting. Does the Samsung app let you schedule music or radio at certain times? It sounds like from the comments of others that Sonos allows that. I do a combo schedule with my LIFX lights and SmartThings and they seem to play together pretty well.

Would be interested in your experiences with the Samsung app or others with the Sonos App.


(Keith) #13

I have a few Bose Soundtouch 10’s. The integration is pretty good. I can play, pause, previous, next, adjust volume, switch to Aux, and choose any of the 6 presets. You can “group” them so the same thing plays on every speaker through the app, but it’s a little wonky. It’s much easier through the Bose App, but you can do it. In the Bose app you set up what the presets are, and for multi room you designate one as primary and the others follow that one. Then any commands sent through ST to the primary, will be distributed to the others. There’s no way in the ST app to designate a primary as far as I know, but when joining them I think it uses the current primary, or whichever one was primary last.

I then set up virtual momentary switches tied to previous, next, play, presets, etc on the speaker usually used as primary so I can control playback through Amazon Echo. “Alexa, turn on Preset 1” and so on. The one problem that I haven’t solved (nor have I spent much time trying) is how to turn on multiple speakers from the app and have them automatically group.


(Keith) #14

For Bose:
I have a routine that kicks off when I arrive home that turns on a lamp and plays Preset 1 on one Bose.


(Ule) #15

HI @DonRoberts , If you like music, choose the best sound speakers, ST is so limited, If your goal is quality music, then select music, to send messages from st can be done with cheap speaker, even to your phone (android)


(Jason) #16

Can you give me an example of what you can use the 6 presets for? Can I have different playlists/apps as a preset?

If it does, I don’t know how, and If Bose lets you select stations to play between 6 presets like @KeithJW said I will be picking some up…

I made the silly assumption that the Samsung speakers would have a More robust integration…

My M7 does sound great though.


(Keith) #17

Mine are currently set to internet radio stations but I was able to set them to iTunes playlists. I believe you have to have an actively running iTunes program/app somewhere in your network to play from it. I’m not 100% sure on that one. According to Bose “you can personalize six presets with your favorite streaming music services, stations, playlists, artists, albums or songs from your music library.” I haven’t messed around with them too much though, my husband is the music manager of the house. I can look into gathering some more information when I get home tonight though.


(Steve G) #18

I just bought an R5 unopened in the box from HH Greg for $75 and got home and it is blown or broken. Samsung did say that they would send a tech out to diagnose it and replace it if necessary. Haven’t decided what I am going to do yet. It was part of their going out of business sale so no returns. I may have to have them come out. I went to Best buy to make sure that they are not supposed to sound like that and they sound decent in the store. My broken one does work with ST decently. Just sounds bad.