So this is my system:
- Main 5.1 system
- Zone 2: Stereo Front Room
RX-A2060 Pre-Out w/ External Amp
- Zone 3: x2 stereo pair for outside
WX-030 Driveway speaker
WX-030 Floater speaker (Dining Room currently)
The audio syncing is perfect in my limited testing. That being said I have not done scientific testing nor have I done a lot of trials, but so far so good. Combined Main Zone + Front Room + Dining Room with standard, audio sync, and uncompressed settings. Also tried with Outside + Driveway with stable, audio sync, and compressed settings and it was perfect as well. But I imagine the moment you introduce zone video this gets a lot more complicated.
FYI, my WiFi signal strengths for my WX-030’s are 68(0.028) for the driveway and 98(0.034) for the floater/dining room as described by the MusicCast app.
My main problem with the platform is the fact that they have effectively adopted the Apple model of a tech company. I hate that they have closed everything down to the point of at the flick of a switch, they can make all of your products obsolete, as shown last year. And yes, they do have the Port and the Amp which allow you to connect your receiver or passive stereo speakers/sub to their system, but for that privilege, you have to pay the price of a budget home theater receiver.
Take for instance their latest release of the subwoofer, this is a direct quote from the product page:
How is Sub (Gen 3) different from the previous generations?
- Sub (Gen 3) features updated internal technology, including increased memory and a more powerful CPU, and finishes, including a new join button.
If that does not sound like them updating something just to update it, so that down the road they can arbitrarily discontinue and stop support for your perfectly functional “old” sub because they said so I am not sure what is. Bundle that with it being more significantly more expensive than subs that sound significantly better, e.g. low-end SVS or HSU subs, and my frustration emerges.
IMO if you want to the worst actors in the entire Sonos ecosystem look no further than the Port, Amp, and Sub, and without those products, the ecosystem is really no different from a smart speaker ecosystem that can do multiroom since imo you cannot have a home theater speaker system without a subwoofer, especially at the prices Sonos is charging.
I also am not even going to get into the whole Lossless/Hifi audio debate because one, iirc Sonos recently is trying to cater to that crowd, and two, it is an innately subjective topic, so no need to get bogged down in the weeds when there are a lot easier arguments to make imo.
Don’t get me wrong, Sonos is exceptionally good at UX and their reliability in my experience is tied for if not THE best, but you pay for it in multiple ways.
Also one minor annoyance, definitely a nitpick, is how their speakers populate my network and the difficulty to track down which speaker is which due to the mesh. Netgear Orbi is pretty good at naming devices based on the MAC addresses, but all of the speakers are just generic SONOSNET on my network. This matters less because their reliability is solid so troubleshooting is minimal, but it is still annoying.
Don’t even get me started on that, the fact that they are forcing people to use their TV as their receiver sounds like a train wreck in slow motion. IMO, it is creating so many bad habits for people that they will not see the effect of until it is too late, and as a business, it is genius if they can get away with it, but as a consumer, I hate it. It reminds me of the whole situation with VR. VR is great, the issue is, the general population does not understand what it is because the market was flooded with folded cardboard “headsets” that advertised themselves as being VR, so to a certain subset of people that is all it will ever be, first impressions matter, especially in the tech field. It muddied the waters and made it more difficult for every other product to actually be seen.
On another note, I am curious what people’s experiences are with Alexa, because out of the smart speakers it seems the most well equipped: it has products at all price points, it supports basically all music services, and it has analog audio out so theoretically supports any speaker system. The issue is I have never tried their multi-room stuff. I had nothing but issues with stereo pairing echo dots together though, to the point that I just picked up a pair of Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers from Costco and just linked that into a single dot, which has been excellent I will say. But I would love to hear from someone that has more extensively used Alexa for a sound system, because I only use it as an assistant, except in one-off external speaker cases, which usually has bedroom duty.
Side note on that last point: The echo flex is a great little all-in-one device for someone trying to make their bedroom smart on the cheap. Before Hubitat, I had the motion sensor attachment on it and some old computer speakers on the 3.5mm out and paired with some cheap Yeelight bulbs, you have a smart bedroom for under $50. The only thing that would make it better is if it had a passthrough for the outlet that was smart as well.