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dave

Anyone participating in the Sonos beta for their new controller apps?



I've been a pretty huge fan of Sonos for a few years now and have amassed a small army of their speakers, providing some pretty great sonic satisfaction throughout our home. That said, one of the most frustrating things about Sonos has long been their apps (both for desktop and mobile devices). It's slow, cumbersome, and sometimes makes it a pain to get to the music you want to enjoy.

They recently announced an open beta for their new controller app, and if you have an Android device, you're able to check it out! Sadly for me, I only have iOS devices at the moment. But for those of you with an Android device and a Sonos system or two, have you had a chance to check it out? What do you think? Is it a big improvement over their current offerings?
More info: www.sonos.com­/newcontrollerapp

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8 replies
Dignan17

I actually don't mind their apps, even though they're pretty basic and not very pretty. But then again I haven't been able to get much time with them because I don't own a Sonos system personally, I've just set them up for other people.

There continue to be two gigantic problems with Sonos that hold me back from starting a system in my home.
  1. Price - I do think that Sonos speakers are worth their price (for the most part - the connect is way overpriced for something with no speakers or amp in it), but the components are still very expensive. The Play:1 has helped a lot, and it provides enough sound for an average bedroom or office. The price is a big issue, but it's not the biggest issue holding me back from the Sonos. That would be:
  2. Podcasts - The Sonos is, in every way, terrible for podcast lovers. I guess they have support for Stitcher, and I could figure out some weird bluetooth receiver to the line in on a Play:5 or something, but that's not convenient.

    My wife and I both LOVE podcasts, but we listen to different shows, and even for the shows we both listen to, we listen at completely different times. There is currently no way whatsoever to incorporate this into the Sonos system.

    I understand that challenges to this. Sonos works because everything is coordinated by the system, and the controllers are ancillary. But some smart person at Sonos has got to figure out a way to work this out in a world where podcasts are becoming a huge deal. I can't tell you how much I'd love to queue up a podcast in my kitchen and in my bedroom, so that I could do laundry and not have to pause it when I went upstairs.
If Sonos can fix issue #2, quite frankly I would throw issue #1 out the window. But until then, there's really no point in a Sonos system for me. Do the new apps do anything for podcast lovers?
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frankspin

I would love a Connect to use with a record player but I'm not spending that kind of money on a device just to use for connecting to Sonos.
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Dignan17

Yeah, they really need to make some cheap devices that do nothing but add a source to the system. It makes no sense to me that the Connect costs $50 less than their Play:5. That's ridiculous.
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frankspin

I almost, ALMOST, went the Sonos route for my soundbar until I remembered just how much the SUB costs. Then I bought a Vizio soundbar for 1/3 of the price.
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AdamWillis

I just use a play 5. I have the white and red connected to a RCA to 3.5mm then plugged into the back of the play5. I'm sure it's not the best way to setup a turntable but these speakers aren't all that ideal for listening to vinyl anyway. At least this way you getting a speaker out of the $400 deal.
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frankspin

I'd still need an amp for the record player, there wont be nearly enough power for it without one.
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AdamWillis

I'm not sure what kind of turntable you have but mine needs a phono preamp before anything else, regardless. I use this one TCC TC-750 BLACK Audiophile Phono Preamp, Pre-amp (Preamplifier) www.amazon.com­/dp­/B000A36LQ4­/ref­=cm­_sw­_r­_udp­_awd­_E... and it goes straight to my sonos play 5 with no issues. You would only need to set the line-in input level on the sonos preferences to match the voltage level.
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AdamWillis

I'm on the public beta for iOS. I would look again at the links. You have to install it by visiting the open beta page sent via the emails on your iOS device to install. It will just give you a popup dialog and if you hit install, it will overwrite your current version.

I gotta say tho, the app looks fresh and works a little smoother but it still has the same problems it always has had like how it lacks support for radio on Spotify. I agree with a lot of what dignan17 is saying about price vs function. I feel like most systems you can buy the expensive part upfront and upgrade pieces fairly reasonably but with sonos, if you wanna plug anything wired in, you're stuck paying for the most expensive pieces (play:5 or the connect). I currently have a play:5 connected to my turntable and it works nicely but I'd like to get airplay setup on it which means I'd have to swap out the cables or buy another play:5 pretty much. So much money and trouble for a headphone jack? It's not like they are giving me gold plated RCA jacks that are attached to tube amps and has the audiophile thumbs up. The speakers sound good but they are no way near the best speakers I've listened too. I had nicer speakers on my turntable and bought the sonos to slim down its footprint and to get more function but now my records don't play nearly as beautifully as they used too. Such a shame.
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