"High-end" Sonos goes public

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by John Moschella, Aug 11, 2018 at 9:43 AM.

  1. John Moschella

    John Moschella Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Christiansburg, VA
    So Sonos became a public company last weak with its IPO on Aug 2, 2018. After an initial big pop in the stock price it has pulled back but is still very volatile.

    When the business news commentators talk about the company they use the term "high-end", as in they make high-end speakers, which is kind of funny but understandable considering how dumbed down mass market music consumption is. I just think it is sad that mainstream media think Sonos is "high-end".

    Years ago, when I decided to store my CDs on a PC, I went with Logitech over Sonos because of it's support of high-resolution formats. I still use LMS and have no regrets.

    Not sure if Sonos can be a successful public company, I guess we'll find out.
     
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  2. stanley00

    stanley00 Well-Known Member

    I don’t see the humor, they are “high-end” compared to most other Bluetooth or wireless speaker options they compete with. It isn’t like they are a lifestyle brand tha sounds like crap. There generally well regarded sound quality-wise for what they are. I’m just happy that any audio product is being recognized as “high-end” these days by the masses.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018 at 10:16 AM
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  3. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    I believe the modern dichotomy is "Earbuds" and "High End".
     
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  4. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    I call them "High End Lifestyle"
     
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  5. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Back in 2011, I bought my first Peachtree Audio product, the original Nova.

    [​IMG]


    Here is the rear view. Notice the two removable panels above the "peachtree audio" name.

    [​IMG]

    This is for a Sonos "parking garage".

    [​IMG]

    Funny, I looked up this next image on Google and the image was from a post to a SteveHofffman.TV thread, from 2014.

    System upgrade: recommendations wanted

    [​IMG]

    It is taking the digital coax out of the Sonos and bringing it into the digital coaxial input on the Nova.

    So, with some added equipment, the Sonos can sound more impressive that appearances would otherwise suggest.
     
  6. GroovyVinylDood

    GroovyVinylDood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Eastern Canada
    There is reality and than there is the reality of the "talking heads" in business media. The problem with the talking heads using "high end" is that everyone has a different definition of "high end" depending on what your baseline and your knowledge of audio is. This is typical of the business "talking heads" talking to companies and/or industries they know NOTHING about.
     
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  7. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Everything is relative. I wish Sonos well. They have had about everyone from NAD (Bluesound) to Apple( Airplay2), to Samsung take their best shot at them and Sonos is still leading the pack. I have Sonos in the den (Playbar, Sub) and Patio (Amp) and it works brilliantly for it's purpose.
     
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  8. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    I have always hated about every manufacturer's attempts at adding streaming apps to their equipment, there are some like the Moon ACE seem to have gotten it right, and NAD now has a plugin module to accomplish this with Bluesound, though it's a pretty pricey option on just a few products, David and the guys had a great idea for it's time!
     
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  9. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Absolutely!

    Here is the Peachtree iNova, which was way, way ahead of it's time.

    [​IMG]

    Their flagship iNova (back around 2010) had an iPod docking port on the top left side of the iNova. What made this docking station unique was that it was not analog.

    It was completely digital. It had a chip inside that Peachtree licensed from Apple.

    The first input selector (above the power button) is marked iPod.

    This way, iPod user's could take and plug their iPod's directly into the iNova and have the iPod's digital information transferred directly to the iNova, to be decoded by the top of the line ESS Saber DAC inside the then $1,800 iNova. It could also play Apple FLAC files by streaming them directly from the iPod (I believe).

    [​IMG]

    On the inside of the case. You can see the docking station circuit board directly behind the toroidal transformer. You will notice the blue, green and red colored connectors at the back of the case (on the left side). They are Red, Green and Blue output connectors for video.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a rear view.

    [​IMG]

    Since the regular Nova did not have the iPod docking station, they used this space for the "Sonos garage".

    Clever idea, IMO.

    Here is the iNova's remote control. You can control the basic iPod functions with it, pretty neat idea.

    [​IMG]
    Peachtree took of with a running start and no-one had what they had back then. Most still don't have what they had then, today.

    Since then, they have never let grass grow under their feet.

    Good Stuff!
     
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  10. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    When they removed both the dock and the Sonos options, they told everyone on their web site that the bes5 way to stream to them was with an AppleTv. I am kind of surprised they haven’t added Airplay since the ATV no longer has a means to connect other than HDMI. I’ll keep my Gen3 around for the foreseeable future.

    Love, love, love my Nova150. I only liked my Decco65... :)
     
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  11. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    Anyone who thinks Sonos is high end has never heard high end.
     
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  12. Dougr33

    Dougr33 Forum Resident

    Interestingly, they seem to be having issues lately. I had the Nova150 (twice actually), and they both had powerboard issues. But more annoyingly, when they first came out (was that 2 years ago?) they were supposed to have a wireless module to add to the 150 and 300, and it never materialized. I don't think they even mention it anymore. When I called a year ago asking when it would be available, I was told that they were "going to do it after finishing the Nova 500." Still no Nova 500. I do wish them luck.. the Nova 15o was a nice sounding, complete solution when it was working.
    Edit.. I just checked their site out of curiosity.. they mention the 500 should be out 'this summer', and the wifi module 'later this year.' Oh well, I've moved on. Still, nice equipment.
     
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  13. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Burnout from the smoke pit

    Location:
    Ohio
    That’s a fair point. And most people haven’t.
     
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  14. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    The Sonos connected to the Peachtree Nova is a nice sounding combination. The Sonos is merely a transport and the information is conveyed digitally into the ESS Saber DAC in the Nova, which is a nice DAC, for decoding into analog.

    Keep in mind, that the Sonos Peachtree thing dates back to 2010, in terms of technology, eight years is a long time for things to improve.

    I don't personally use or have ever owned a Sonos, I never considered them to be "high end", not that I cared, because I never had a use for one.

    But today, I stream subscription Pandora from a Sony streaming box that I paid $49 for at clearance and I have it go into the iNova that I use now, from there it goes into a tube preamp made by a division of Cary Audio, then into a Line Magnetic 518iA, and on to the custom modded A7's.

    I have decent Oppo CD player, that I only use as a transport into the iNova. I have two nice turntables, one modern and one vintage. Depending on the quality engineering, mastering and quality control that went into individual source material, all of these can sound very good.

    Since that's all that concerns me, I don't worry about the music, I just play what I like to listen to and what sounds good to me.

    Sonos is fine for what most people use it for. Am I enamored with the Sonos system, no, but with a add on solution like the Peachtree Nova, iNova or their more recent products and the proper associated equipment, it can sound surprisingly good. I don't require multi-room streaming, so my $49 box, works for my needs.
     
  15. M.R.Collins

    M.R.Collins Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I have the Nova as well and have a Sonos system packed inside it. It is a nice convenient system that allows you to stream ripped music from your network and control it on your smart phone or with Alexa now. Not sure how it compares to other home streamers but it is not bad. I really don't think an audiophile would confuse this with high end but, it's a nice clean sounding system. Was it worth the money for a Sonos box and bridge? Probably not. But, it's not bad and gets the job done well the way it was intended. It is nice to see a company stay relevant with all the choices available today. I hope they continue to innovate as competition is good for us end users.
     
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  16. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    My iNova is still the central point of control for all three active systems in this room, still very pleased.

    I was very curious about the new Peachtree class "D" power amp sections. With both the Nova and the iNova, I would only use it for source selection, the ESS Saber DAC and the class "A" power amp section. I use all outboard power amplifier's on each active system in the room, which can play individually or all at the same time, with the same selected source.

    One day a little while back, I came across a Decco65 for sale on eBay for about $400. I set it on the guest amp table and had it playing with the A7's, but it was not that wonderful of a match, considering that I use tube amplification for the A7's and have been doing so since 2013, with excellent results.

    Still, I realized that it didn't sound bad, just not the right match for the A7's. I also realized that the Decco65, was their first entry into class "D" amplification. Today, they are a few generation's farther ahead of where they were with the Decco65.

    Even though the A7's are powered by a tube phono-pre, a tube preamp and a tube power amp, all digital sources are routed through the DAC on the Peachtree integrated before going out its line level output and into one channel of the tube phono preamp.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. stanley00

    stanley00 Well-Known Member

    What’s your definition of a high end, lossless internet based streaming speaker system capable of wireless lossless audio?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018 at 12:25 AM
  18. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    It doesn’t exist, IMO.
     
  19. stanley00

    stanley00 Well-Known Member

    It does, and it’s not a matter of opinion.
     
  20. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    Ok, name it.
     
  21. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    I thought the Decco65 sounded pretty nice, but found that I got fatigued after an hour or so listening to it. Not sure if it was the amp or ESS dac or more likely the combination. I’ve found similar fatigue listening to some other ESS based DACs (like my Oppo 95).

    I do not tire of listening to the Nova150 at all. I think their ICE implementation has come a long way.

    Back to Sonos. For awhile I used a Sonos Connect as a preamp with a nice power amp. I think that, for a lot of folks, a Sonos Amp with a little Phono Stage into the Aux input and a pair of speakers makes for a very decent entry system. A connect and decent separate power amp, even better.
     
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  22. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I thought the Decco65 was very fatiguing, but then I was using it on the articulate and accurate A7's.

    The ESS Saber DAC in the Oppo 95, is the same DAC that I have in the iNova, from that same period. For that reason, I bought a 93, rather than spend twice the money on the '95. Why bother, the main use for the player is for HT, which goes through the separate processor?

    When I want to play a CD, I just use the 93 as a transport into the Saber DAC in the iNova.

    I don't believe that the Saber DAC was the cause of the listening fatigue. I believe that it is more associated by badly recorded/mastered source material CD's.

    I can play well recorded CD's and they sound perfect, others make me grind my teeth. :realmad:

    When I first purchased my Nova, back in 2011, it was purchased specifically to listen to digital music that I had on my Samsung MP3 player. I would hear artists that I liked and then I would buy the CD and rip it to an MP3 file and put the file on the player. Probably had about 100 albums on a 32 GB memory card in the player.

    When I wanted to listen to something, I would plug the headphone jack into the player and play it through the analog input of the Nova.

    At the time, I had a pair of Polk Monitor 70's, series II, which are not at all harsh. I would play music through the player and it wouldn't be harsh either. Later I bought the Sony streaming box on sale and have had it in the system ever since.

    If you stop to consider that the original Decco then the Nova and iNova, were conceived to make lower quality compressed music that people had on their iPods, sound as good as possible. Back in 2011, the Nova was $1,300 and the iNova was $1,800. Now that is a substantial amount of coin to shell out in order to get the best sound out of your iPod.

    At the time, the Peachtree/Era Design 5 speakers were $1,000/pr. So that brought the total to $2,800. Not cheap by any means. But, if you bought the speakers at the same time that you purchased a Nova or iNova, you received a $200 discount on the speakers, bringing the total to a more "reasonable" $2,600.

    Today, the outboard equipment has changed and is now vastly upgraded, but I still listen to subscription Pandora through the $49 streaming box and iNova before going into the rest of the external analog portions of the system.

    A friend of mine has been staying with us for a few years. I provided him with a Peacchtree iDAC, which is basically an iNova without the analog section and power amp. I gave him a compact 50-WPC Emotiva power amplifier and a pair of the Peachtre/Era D5 speakers to use in his room. The iDAC died earlier this year, so I took back the Emotiva power amplifier and the iDAC and gave him the Decco65.

    He really loves the combination! It sounded far better than the previous solution. I added a small 75-Watt Martin Logan Dynamo sub that I used to use in my bedroom and now he has a perfect combination!

    All is well and good in the world again. :)

    S&G
     
  23. stanley00

    stanley00 Well-Known Member

    I was pointing out that condemnatory, audiophile elitism does nothing to help the audio industry or hobby. “High-end” is a relative description, not fact or opinion. For example, compared to the sub $100 sound bars at Costco, Sonos is high-end. It can only help the industry if someone decides to purchase a Sonos product over a budget product.

    By the way, Sonos products can be purchased at dealers who also carry McIntosh and Simaudio products. Pretty good company for a “low-end” product line.
     
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  24. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    "High end" is not a relative description. When you experience it, you know it.


    At best it would be mid-fi and that's being generous, IMO.

    Most dealers will carry entry level gear as they need to make money to keep the doors open.
     
  25. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Yes! Thats why my 95 and 105 are both gone and replaced by a 203. I never used the multichannel audio outputs. I feed the digital out to either my Gumby or now my LS50W's. For that matter, it is extremely rare that I play digital from source media. Everything is on my server and I have way too many other methods of enjoying. (Roon about 95% of the time).
     
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