Author Topic: Sonos - which music service is best?  (Read 4826 times)

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Sonos - which music service is best?
« on: October 21, 2010, 03:56:23 PM »
Hi there,

Well I've recently entered the Sonos world, getting a ZP90 to go with my newly acquired DAC XP+ (which sounds almost 3D-like, amazing). So far I've only set it up to use the Radio options and Last FM (the only free music service offered).

Has anyone subscribed to the Napster or Spotify services - are these really worth £10/month or this is real waste of money?

Oh and without wanting to mix up too much in one post, I'm currently using an old Chord Crimson analogue interconnect as the coaxial digital cable between the Sonos and the DAC XP+. I've swapped it for a Cyrus analogue interconnect and a dedicated Cambridge Audio digital cable, and well, ermm I can't tell the difference....

Rich
Don't agree with my comments? - no problem, by all means disagree, but please be polite about it. There's too much anger and hate in the world as it is.

Sonos ZP90 ------>
CDXTSE2 (PSX-R) --Belden 1394a--> DACXP Sig (PSX-R) ---chord-chorus-2-> Mono X300 --Atlas Hyper 2.0--> B&W CM7

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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2010, 04:08:30 PM »
MrCyrus said "Has anyone subscribed to the Napster or Spotify services - are these really worth £10/month or this is real waste of money?"

Napster is only £5 per month and, I believe, very good value.

Are you saying you can't tell the difference between the Sonos inbuilt DAC and that of your DACXP ?  Something wrong there I feel.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
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 Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
 The frumious Bandersnatch!"

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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2010, 04:17:38 PM »
Quote from: Hidden
Are you saying you can't tell the difference between the Sonos inbuilt DAC and that of your DACXP ?  Something wrong there I feel.
My reading is that he's talking about digi cables from the Sonos to the DACXP, thereby bypassing the inbuilt Sonos DAC. Guess what - all digi cables sound the same...

« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 04:18:03 PM by wyjsar »
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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2010, 04:21:31 PM »
I've subscribed to the Spotify premium since the service became available and I'm very happy. It depends how you listen to your music and how much you appreciate discovering and listening to new (to you) tunes in good quality.
Why not try it for a month, if you don't like it, cancel it?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 04:21:44 PM by monkeyrhythm »
MAIN: Spotify Premium + WHS (FLAC) > SB Touch > Meridian DSP5000's

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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 04:36:28 PM »
Hi Rich

you dont state what you mean by best? quality or usability?

i have tried both and found spotify had a slightly better quality due to a higher bit rate.

As far as functionality goes i didnt really keep napster for too long but do use spotify a lot on my desktop, spotify integration via other devices will give you a subset of functionality and control, e.g ipad/iphone loses the whats new listings but plays playlists nicely, as has been stated you can try both for a few pounds,

I use spotify mostly to identify new music rather than playing much through sonos / hifi, i do this at my desktop while im working, fwiw i currently subscribe to spotify premium but having tried the free service i found it met my needs nicely (the advertising is not particularly intrusive and the iphone offline play lists are nice but not essential for me), for this reason i have cancelled my premium membership after 2 months.

You may want to give Wolfgangs vault a go too, free service is limited in bit rate and catalog isnt great but there are a few nuggetts on there,

hope this helps

Ian
WHS> Sonos>
.     .     .     .    .    .    .    .   .XPd QX (PSX-R) +X Power >> ATC SCM12
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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 04:44:53 PM »
Quote from: Hidden

Quote from: Hidden

Are you saying you can't tell the difference between the Sonos inbuilt DAC and that of your DACXP ?  Something wrong there I feel.

My reading is that he's talking about digi cables from the Sonos to the DACXP, thereby bypassing the inbuilt Sonos DAC. Guess what - all digi cables sound the same...




Absolutely correct Jon, I misread that post.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
 The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
 Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
 The frumious Bandersnatch!"

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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 05:11:32 PM »
Hi Rich,
with the Napster / Spotify choice I would decide based on cost vs musical taste.  As ROF said, Napster is half the price (plus you get a few 'free' downloads thrown in each month, not sure if Spotify does this :huh: ).
After this, I would chose a couple of your fav bands and see which one has them on their books.  Chose some obscure and popular ones.  I think Spotify wins on this front for me, but it really depends on what you listen to.  NB.  I have been using Napster for the last year and have been very happy with it.  In November I am going to swap to spotify for a couple of months to see if it is worth the extra dosh :S.
LP12 & Linn Akurate DS - w4s DAC1 & w4s STP Pre -  Missing Link Cryo Ref XLR - w4s SX-500 monos - Townshend Isolda - PMC GB1i Speakers.  Isotek Titan plus link.
My Last.fm = http://www.last.fm/user/Dinkydave1

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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 05:14:37 PM »
Quote from: Hidden

.....Guess what - all digi cables sound the same...


Not from my experience they don't, the differences are small but definitely there in my system.
I use Spotify Premium with my Sonos, excellent to use and can find most but not all of the music I search for. I tend to listen to an album through Spotify for a few weeks then if I like it I buy the CD, it's save me at least £10 a month in buying duff CD's
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 05:19:12 PM by IanS1 »
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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 05:23:55 PM »
I use Nappy for checking before I buy and I (and my music interests are very catholic) find the choice on Napster more inclusive.

As to quality, you best let your ears decide, they use different codecs so it's not just a case of comparing numbers, from my background reading the resolution is pretty similar if you're looking at Spotty premium.

Spotty free has 'orrible down market ads and is much lower quality than Napster at £5 per month.

To get similar quality to Nappy and "ad free" from Spotty it's going to cost you £10 a month for a smaller data base of tunes.

Finally, as far as I am aware you can only stream Spotty premium with Sonos.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
 The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
 Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
 The frumious Bandersnatch!"

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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 08:33:24 PM »
Quote from: Hidden

Quote from: Hidden

Are you saying you can't tell the difference between the Sonos inbuilt DAC and that of your DACXP ?  Something wrong there I feel.

My reading is that he's talking about digi cables from the Sonos to the DACXP, thereby bypassing the inbuilt Sonos DAC. Guess what - all digi cables sound the same...




Sorry, yes spot on - I was talking about the digital coaxial cables, not the DACs. The DAC XP is simply stunning in my opinion. Not quite as much as a leap as that going from the X Power to Mono X, but still a mighty leap..
Quote from: Hidden

Quote from: Hidden

Quote from: Hidden

Are you saying you can't tell the difference between the Sonos inbuilt DAC and that of your DACXP ?  Something wrong there I feel.

My reading is that he's talking about digi cables from the Sonos to the DACXP, thereby bypassing the inbuilt Sonos DAC. Guess what - all digi cables sound the same...




Absolutely correct Jon, I misread that post.


I see I should read all the replies before replying! D'oh!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 08:34:28 PM by mrcyrus »
Don't agree with my comments? - no problem, by all means disagree, but please be polite about it. There's too much anger and hate in the world as it is.

Sonos ZP90 ------>
CDXTSE2 (PSX-R) --Belden 1394a--> DACXP Sig (PSX-R) ---chord-chorus-2-> Mono X300 --Atlas Hyper 2.0--> B&W CM7

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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 10:06:53 PM »
Quote from: Hidden

I've tried both.

Napster:

- Excellent music selection
- Cheap at £5/month
- 160kbps WMA - most tracks are good quality
- When I tested it I had some problems with poorly encoded tracks and compression artefacts on a few albums
- Good Sonos integration
- Terrible web based PC interface
- You have to cancel your subscription over the telephone!

Spotify:

- Good music selection - not a great selection of electronic music
- Standard edition is cheap at £5/month and 160kbps OGG gives good quality
- Upgraded is more expensive at £10/month allows mobile streaming and gives 320kbps OGG which is excellent
- No problems with bad rips etc
- Good Sonos integration
- Good dedicated PC based application
- Can cancel on the website

If you want to use it on your mobile or on the PC I'd get Spotify, if you just want Sonos streaming then I'd say there's a possible advantage to Napster to it's wider music selection. This is assuming they've fixed the occasional squelchy encode since I did proper testing last year. I found that Spotify Premium was better quality than Napster but then you have to pay for the privilege. The quality from either is very good and unlikely to disappoint.

Ask yourself whether limitless streaming for £5/10 a month is worth it for you or whether you'd rather put the music towards CDs?

Matthew.



A good set of comparisons Matthew, a small but important correction, Nappy streams at 192 kbps WMA
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
 The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
 Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
 The frumious Bandersnatch!"

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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2010, 10:39:52 PM »
Quote from: Hidden

Aha thanks Chris - they've upped it since my last listen.

Matthew.



I think you enjoyed the Nils Lofgren when you were here?
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
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 Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
 The frumious Bandersnatch!"

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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2010, 10:46:43 PM »
Surely you are making up the part about only being able to cancel the Napster subscription via the phone :dodgy:.
LP12 & Linn Akurate DS - w4s DAC1 & w4s STP Pre -  Missing Link Cryo Ref XLR - w4s SX-500 monos - Townshend Isolda - PMC GB1i Speakers.  Isotek Titan plus link.
My Last.fm = http://www.last.fm/user/Dinkydave1

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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2010, 10:51:58 PM »
Quote from: Hidden

Surely you are making up the part about only being able to cancel the Napster subscription via the phone :dodgy:.


That's right Dave, just cancel your payment instruction and job done.  MM had a bit of a bad experience with Nappy and I think he wanted them to tell him he was shot, not necessary as far as I know.  No money, no subscription, end of story.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
 The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
 Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
 The frumious Bandersnatch!"

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RE: Sonos - which music service is best?
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2010, 12:15:58 AM »
Hey Matthew, I pay my monthly subscription from an account which I top up for paying for Amazon and other music purchases.

Sometimes the account runs out of money, if this coincides with my Nappy subscription falling due my account is in effect cancelled until such time as I re-instate it.  Thus I reckon it is as easy as knocking one's subscription on the head to cancel.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
 The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
 Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
 The frumious Bandersnatch!"