I’m thinking of replacing my malfunctioning Arcam hifi. Technology has moved on in the fifteen years or so since I bought it, with new features like streaming & multi-room capability coming into play. And this is where I would like some advice before I start getting bamboozled in hifi shops. I guess the key question is what is hi-fi these days? With wireless speakers and Sonos-type multi-room systems, is there still a need for the combination of various boxes of tricks and two carefully placed speakers to get what would be traditionally required as high fidelity sound quality? How does the sound quality of these newer types of system stack-up against the more traditional ‘hi-fi’ set-up? To what extent have improvements in technology ‘improved’ the sound quality of traditional systems since I bought my current black boxes? I know a lot of this is subjective but I’d value the opinions of a bunch of music fans above the reviews of magazines that are a little too dependent on advertising, so over to you folks for any views or advice you can offer.
I’ve got a big birthday coming up soon, and Mrs thep, who is a woman of great empathy as well as taste, has hinted that she’s thinking of buying me another Sonos Play:5 so that we’ll have a stereo pair. (She loves the one we’ve already got so much that I suspect this embarrassingly generous gesture is not entirely disinterested, but never mind.)
Has anybody got experience of what happens when you put two Sonoses (Sonoi?) together? Is it aural heaven, or is the difference not particularly obvious? The one we’ve got sounds so impressive that I find it hard to believe that it isn’t already pumping it out in stereo, and they cost an awful lot…
But in anticipation of all this hifi goodness I’ve been fooling around with a month’s free trial of Tidal’s hifi streaming, which claims to be CD quality, but costs twice as much as Spotify. Certainly the remastered Sgt Pepper sounds very impressive, with Sir Thumbsaloft’s bass positively leaping out, but then I thought it sounded pretty good on Spotify too. If you try direct track-for-track comparison Tidal often sounds subjectively ‘better’, but not always, and I was always perfectly happy when I listened » Continue Reading.
After months of deliberation, review reading (including posts on this very site) and procrastination I have finally taken the plunge. I am walking around my house in wonder – 3 speakers perfectly synchronized. Push of a couple of buttons – my library, Apple music, Pandora, an incredible and perhaps unnecessary quantity of radio stations. No screwing about with the damn Bluetooth. They even look good. Music listening rejuvenated etc etc.
I am a fan!
Calling all Sonos users. Has anyone noticed any marked differences when streaming music from different sources? Last night I experimented by streaming the same three songs using Spotify, Apple Music, and then from Apple Lossless files via hard drive. Barely any noticeable difference I’d say. If anything Apple Music sounded slightly brighter, but I think I was struggling to convince myself that I could detect it. Also playing from a CD (plugged into the rear of a play 5) to my ears, is no better than streaming. I have also played Vinyl through Sonos, but in this case the quality is noticeably poorer and I need to have the volume up much louder to compensate.
Does anyone here understands the technology enough to explain what is going on? Sonos seems to act as a leveller of all these different sources.
I’m quite impressed with the new software release that introduces Trueplay. It’s made a noticeable difference to my play 5 speakers. Anyone tried it?