[SlimDevices: Beginners] Squeezebox or Sonos?

TheLastMan TheLastMan.3r5fvz1240579801 at no-mx.forums.slimdevices.com
Fri Apr 24 06:27:15 PDT 2009

If you are hard wiring your players with ethernet then SqueezeBox is
probably the way to go - the Sonos offers little advantage in that kind
of configuration.  The Sonos gear is designed primarily to work using a
special proprietary wi-fi "mesh" network.

If you are going to be using the Duet and/or the Controller, you will
need a decent wi-fi network as well though, but a simple setup with a
single high powered access point is all you would need in a timber
framed structure.

Look at and hold the Duet controller as well as the Sonos one and
decide which you prefer.  The look and feel is very different.  Bear in
mind the SqueezeBox controller can be jazzed up with different fonts,
wallpapers and screensavers if you want. The SB controller can also be
used one-handed, so you can browse your collection with a glass of wine
in the other hand!

I have a friend who has just retroactively had a Sonos system installed
for him into an existing house and he is very pleased with it.  Mind you
he is no audiophile. He only uses it to stream Napster over wi-fi and
uses small ceiling mounted speakers.  His setup is more Muzak than

If you care about the sound quality, will be streaming WAV or FLAC
files over ethernet and you are reasonably competant with computers you
will get a much cheaper system, and probably have more fun, with a
SqueezeBox setup.

The Sonos system has a more robust and ingenious wi-fi setup and is
(arguably) more reliable, but ultimately - with its open source
community producing plugins galore - the SqueezeBox system is much more
capable and configurable.  If you know what you are doing, and have the
time, there is nothing the Sonos gear does that cannot be done better
with SqueezeBoxes,  and a lot cheaper too.

Answers to a couple of further questions would be helpful:
- Will the speakers be wall/shelf/stand mounted or will they be built
- Do you mmind if the players and amps are visible - or will you want
to hide them away in cabinets? This will determine whether you go with
the SqueezeBox Classic with Remote or the Receiver with Controller

If money were no object, my personal preferred setup would be to run
ethernet to each room, have stand or wall mounted speakers run from a
small amp hooked up to a SqueezeBox Classic.  I might hide the cables
and amp  but not the SqueezeBox.  I would also throw in a controller or
two for the living room and kitchen, mainly for visitors.  Guests tend
to find the Controller more intuitive than the Classic with Remote,
because with the latter you need to get familiar with the SqueezeCenter
menu structure before it is quick to use.  The Controller works much
more like an iPod, so they would probably be more familiar with the way
menus are navigated on it.

If you want to hide everything away, go with the Duet as the receivers
are cheaper because they do not have the display of the Classic - they
rely on the LCD of the Controller.

Good luck, and don't let the SqueezeBox "fan boys" sway your decision. 
There are genuinely good reasons for going with the Sonos equipment, and
there are plenty of people for whom it is the better solution -
particularly those with limited time and patience and no interest in



SB Duet (Controller + two receivers)
Synology Diskstation 107+ with FW 2.0-0731
SqueezeCenter 7.3.2 on Synology Package Manager
Naim 42/110 amp, B&W CM2 speakers in living room.
Denon DM37 mini-system, B&W 686 speakers in kitchen.
LPs ripped using Linn LP12, Naim 72/Hi-cap, Behringer UCA202.
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