I few of my friends (including Om) are crazy about the Sonos, but I’ve been a Squeezebox user for 6+ years now and have stuck with them through a few upgrades and the acquisition by Logitech. Some of their new products like the Squeezebox Radio are super-handy, I like that the whole thing works over my Wifi network, and it runs Open Source server software. (I used to run it on a Linux box, now on a Mac.) That said, the software has always felt clunky to me, the lack of a good iPhone client is annoying, and the multi-room sync is temperamental. They also seem to have stagnated under Logitech, for example the Radio is cool but the battery for it (which is half the sell) doesn’t come out until April, and costs another $50 — lame. Has anyone used both Squeeze devices and Sonos and have a preference?
80 thoughts on “Sonos vs Squeezebox”
Not used both but I am wedded to my Squeezebox – did run the server software on a Linux box at one point and in the process of re-purposing a Mac Mini to be the server.
Also ordered a Squeezebox Radio yesterday and a battery pack direct from Logitech – they are available although in short supply!
Can’t comment on Sonos, but my Squeezebox Boom has been sitting in the box since I bought it only to discover that it wasn’t UPnP and DLNA compatible and that I therefore needed to have a PC always on. So until Western Digital add the server software to my NAS, I’m sticking with Philips Streamium.
I agree that Squeezebox is a better product in every way. Have you checked out the iPhone app iPeng? It meets all my needs very well. More info here: http://penguinlovesmusic.de/2008/11/25/ipeng-application-now-on-app-store/
Take a look at this post by Tim Ferriss:
“#8 – Logitech Squeezebox Boom – $275.37. The Logitech Squeezebox Boom was my introduction to Internet radio streaming at home. Though I now use Sonos for higher-end playing, Sonos costs 4-6x as much as this simple and compact device. The Boom allowed me to listen to Pandora (here is my channel) and Rhapsody, the only two places where I now find and listen to music, while jamming on whatever needed jamming. I haven’t seen anything better for the price.”
I am also a Squeezebox owner (Duet).
I use iPeng on my iPhone. It runs very nice, and is the best gift I ever gave my Squeezebox.
I’m another Squeezebox fan; it works so well for me that I’m unlikely to shift (the multi-room is fantastic).
I’m not sure it has stagnated, though I think Logitech is more focused on usability than anything else; and to be honest the setup is fairly techy and must hold it back in the mass market. The next update (hardware and software) is meant to be much easier in that respect.
I am still on SB “classic” though, which suits me well.
I opted out of Squeezebox for the same reason and instead went all in on itunes talking to multiple airport express base stations hooked up to multiple mini amps.
iTunes allows you to stream to multiple airports at once allowing you to do whole house audio or just play the stream across airports that you choose.
Mobile control is done via iPhone’s Remote app and I am eagerly awaiting the iPad version….
I use 3 Squeezebox models.
I am happy with them all. I am on my second battery for Duet controller in three years and use controller all the time
Have never used Squeezebox but would swear by my Sonos. It’s a breeze to use, has seamless syncronisation of sound between rooms and the integration with local radio steams, last.fm and my LAN shared music library is spot on.
Being a long time Squeezebox user and with a Netgear NV+ raid which works great, I would not hesitate to suggest buying the Sonos instead. The Squeezebox setup works – but require a lot more tweaking and small issues creep in here and there, but the Sonos setup is a breeze. It just works.
Never had any trouble getting the music from a standard NAS, the built in radio streaming is great, the remote has a great user interface and a large screen, the iPod and iPhone app replicates most of the functionality for free and you can also use the remote program at your computer if you want to control your system from there.
Syncing zones, grouping zones and adding new zones works great. The active unit (with a small amplifier) works great with just a couple of good speakers (which also can be used with in-wall speakers). I’m also quite impressed by the recently released S5 unit.
I’m currently a Squeezebox shop at home, but although the Sonos solution is a bit more pricey, I’ll switch to the Sonos next time around. The squeezebox setup works, but it has grown old – and not supporting DLNA or regular shares are just a deal breaker today. I want to use the same setup for my music as for my movies (with a popcorn hour).
I am in the same Squeezebox vs Sonos dilema and your comment was really very very helpful. Thanks!!!
Matt, awesome input, thanks!
I’ve used both. Sonos is superior for whole home audio. Simple set and forget setup with iPhone control. The Logitech’s do have a screen, which can be nice though. Continual delays on their latest product (Squeezebox Touch) makes me wonder what’s going on over there.
My Squeezebox boom is my favourite kitchen gadget. Like you say the server software is a little clunky, but if all you need to do is run a little update library scan every now and then, it’s not so bad.
The sound quality and the loudness of the Boom, despite it’s size, is amazing.
Sonos is by far a superior product. The user experience is night and day. My parents run a Sonos system hooked up to a NAS and it works seamlessly.
My squeeze box is awesome but I do find it freezing every once in a while. Additionally I feel a little power hungry leaving a server on all day for it.
If i had the choice (and additional $) I would jump on the Sonos bandwagon.
Here’s a review of a nice iPhone client for your Squeezeboxes
Matt I heart Sonos but I love Squeezebox as well. Actually if you remember I wrote about them for Business 2.0 and that helped you make your decision.
I have one Squeezebox except I lost the damn power adapter and have been lazy to not get a new one. Maybe when I move, I will use Squeezebox. You can loan me an adapter 😉
I lost some of my adapters too! I feel like there’s a stash somewhere in my house.
Oh by the way — since according to Mashable you are the shieet!! how about writing an app for Squeezebox and the iPhone or even the Android. I know you can do it. Actually if someone agrees with me, please leave comment here asking Ma.tt to do his programming thing 😉
That would be well cool!
Maybe some code can be re-factored from the beta OS X SoftSqueeze equivalent
There’s already a few apps on Android for Squeezebox. The best one I’ve found is SqueezeCommander, which costs about $4. I really like it a lot, as it handles the 5 zones I’m running in my house. Of the free ones, SqueezeDroid is the best so far.
Used both — prefer Sonos — it just has better multi-room compatibility and the iPhone remote option is far superior to even the best Squeezebox offering.
There’s a Squeezebox Android controller that I know of, that works OK — but again, the Sonos app for iPhone basically makes your iPhone or iPod touch a Sonos remote. Freaking awesome.
I’ve had a Squeezebox for years… nothing but problems 🙁
Matt – any chance of you fixing the weird horizontal scrolling issue that’s been on this site for ages? 🙂
I still have a first-gen Slimp3 on my stereo system (running against the new Squeezebox server software on a WHS box). Works fine, but nobody in the house uses it. We also have a Sonos S5 (eval unit) in the kitchen that gets used a lot. I have the controller on my iPhone and my wife uses it from her Macbook. If starting from scratch and had the money, would probably go Sonos, as it’s passed the Spouse Approval Test and the Squeezebox never did. But I haven’t tried the new Logitech gear.
I balked at the Sonos due to price, and the fact that it seems very Apple/iTunes-centric. I went with multiple Squeezeboxes (1 Boom, 1 Radio, 1 SB Classic, & 2 SB Receivers) all served from a WHS box. I had a server anyway, so DLNA/uPNP don’t really matter to me. I really like that the SB Classic has the programmable IR output, which allows me to shut off the power-hungry and hot-running amp in my bedroom/bath simply by shutting off the Squeezebox (I’m really disappointed that none of the new offerings have IR out). If I left home without remembering to turn it off, then no problem, because the WHS gives me an internet presence for controlling it from my Android phone wherever I go.
My wife is in love with the setup, and finds it really easy to use. Most of the issues I’ve had so far are related to my router or Comcast.
Sonos looks pretty cool, and I have no doubt that it’s user-friendly. I won’t be finding out, though, because I’m quite happy with the Squeezeboxes so far. It’s probably only for the tech-savvy, though, and not for mass-market. Just go into your local Best Buy and look at the product placement that the Squeezeboxes get compared to Sonos.
What is a WHS Box? I have a couple Squeezeboxen, I have an original Slimp3 that is still in the box they shipped it in, never got around to installing it, A couple 2nd gen, a Transporter, and a Boom. My wife likes the boom, but doesn’t understand when the server is down or their is a software update where the units are out of sync. Probably will migrate the server portion to a Mac Mini which will also serve as my Apple TV replacement. I like the high build quality of the Transporter, but wish the remotes were better. Use ipeng on my itouch and it works well most of the time.
Logitech should do a better job of organizing plug-ins and update their on-line tech support database.
WHS = Windows Home Server
I’ve used both. In the past I probably would have said I like Squeezebox better but now I’m going to say Sonos.
Why? I have a new life charter. If you have to tinker with something to get it working, it’s not worth it. I want to spend my time doing what I need/want to do not wasted tinkering. I love Sonos because it just works. If I want to hear music I know I can always count on it. It’s simple to use, and I know it will always work.
Kind of like the lights in my kitchen. Flip the switch and I have power. Flip open my iPhone and turn on Sonos and I have music.
Great comment! I couldn’t agree more.
Having used Apple and Logitech products for home audio in the past, I agree that the Sonos experience is like night and day.
At first glance these systems all do the same thing—pump your digital music into multiple rooms. But the fact that my Sonos system has worked so well, and is so quick and easy to use, puts it in a league of it’s own. The fact that works with my NAS is also fantastic; It’s so nice not to have to have a computer on just to listen to music again!
It certainly took more time to save enough pennies for the Sonos (and NAS), but man was it ever worth it!
I use Squeezebox ( duet and classic downstairs and boom upstairs ) whereas a friend has a Sonos system ( 3 zones ).
The strange thing is we’re both envious of each others system. He is distressed that his system does virtually the same as mine despite costing over twice as much, whereas I know that he doesn’t suffer the occasional irritation that I do with my Squeezebox -after a period of inactivity It occasionally needs more than just switching on!!
The sound quality of both systems through our respective hifi is excellent, and contrary to what you may read on some forums, multi room synching is perfect on squeezeboxes providing the server is on.
We both use iphone apps as well as the controllers, and both the Sonos versions are slicker, although IMHO the Sonos controller is too big.
In summary – pay your monney and make your choice. They’re both damn fine systems. The Sonos costs a lot more but is more refined, and as stated elsewhere, just works. The Squeezebox system will occasionally test your patience, but is good fun to customise with various 3rd party plugins if that floats your boat. Both systems have that wow factor at parties, particularly with Napster/Rhapsody for those ” requests”
Using Sonos in half the house, Sqeezebox in other half. Squeezebox needs a pc running and is glitchy, Sonos runs directly from nas (time capsule in my case) and works flawlessly. The cost of a simple nas for Sonos vs pc or nas supporting SqueezeServer for Squeezeboxes makes the solutions much closer in price. iPeng is fine bur I prefer Sonos app. Both solutions are very good in their own right but for me Sonos provides the more polished lower maintenance experience.
When listening to music services and internet radio, a running PC is not necessary. A running PC is only needed when one listens to music stored on the PC.
Well, with SB you can’t effortlessly use locally stored music unless the PC is always on. Switching between PC and internet only requires me to click thru the network setup process on my SqueezeBox Boom, and then it does some uncalled-for software update (every time!) and restarts. So if you’re like me, and think it shouldn’t take 60 secs to turn on a radio, you’ll need the PC/NAS running every time – no internet radio listening in between.
Do you think my girlfried uses the Boom under these circumstances? Logitech should take usability seriously, and fix such design flaws. They’re loosing a lot of money not doing so; just look at me, I use the system a lot, want to love it, but most of the time won’t recommend it.
There are also NAS with Squeezebox server software available, like the QNAP NAS.
I have multiple squeezebox products (2X Boom, Duet, and Classic). I run squeezeserver direct from my Netgear Duo NAS (there is a squeezeserver client that runs on Netgear NAS). I also use the iPeng iPhone Ap (great Ap and the creater, Jorg Schwider, is very responsive.
They also have an NAS client but that requires some programming. However, squeezebox server is only needed for listening to your music. All the internet content is avalaible w/o the server. That includes mp3tunes (www.mp3tunes.com). With an account you can stream all of your music via the internet w/o a computer…
All in all I love my squeezebox. I admit having no expierience with Sonos and understand they have a great product, but I love my squeezebox.
Looking at the two products. Sonos appears to win on set up ease and usability but Squeezebox wins on Price and Apps. One of the Apps unique to squeezebox is Mp3tunes (metioned abaove) but others include Slacker (far superior to Pandora or Rhapsody), Live365 (internet radio with Live DJ’s), numerous radio sites (lastfm, Radiotime, Sky.FM, Shoutcast, etc..)
My only wish for squeezebox is a product like Sonos 120 (built in Amplifier) to allow creation of multiple amplified zones.
You can replicate the effect of the Sonos 120 by going with good powered speakers (ex. Audioengine A2s/A5s, M-Audio M40s) and a Squeezebox Receiver. M40s and a receiver will run you about $325.
If ease of use and comfort is more important for you, go for Sonos. But if sound quality is the most important, go for Squeezebox. SB Touch sound is better than all products from Sonos (both analogical and digital outputs – in that last case with separate DAC converter). Sonos can’t play 24/96 high-res formats. I wanted to buy Sonos for all the convenience, but I prefer the Squeezebox system with all its problems (many) but with its better sound. Of course, all my files are Flac loosless. For MP3 or internet radios, go for Sonos, it’s more than good enough and it’s easier to use.
I recently purchased a Squeezebox Duet and love it. I must admit that the setup could be a lot more user friendly. I’m an IT professional with 15 years of expereience so the savings vs. purchasing a Sonos system was worth the trouble. I couldn’t figure out how to change from playing the music served by my server to Internet radio and Pandora. A call to Crutchfield and a second call to Logitech support resolved my issue. Now that it’s up an running I think the sound quality is excellent. I’m connected via the standard analog cable that came with it to my older HK receiver and listening to Mirage Omni 150 3 channels. One think I would recommend is a high speed internet connection. As fast as you can get residential. I’m impressed by the fact that there is minimal delay between songs. One final thing that I’ll point out that IMHO sets the squeezebox ahead of Sonos is that it doesn’t require a wired connection. The first Sonos device “MUST BE WIRED”. This is an issue if you don’t have an internet connection in the room where your receiever is located in which case you’ll need two Sonos devices to get going. If you can afford it go with the Sonos but if you’re stretching your dollars in a tough economy go with the Squeezebox Duet, you won’t be disappointed.
Squeezeboxes are awesome, I have 2 booms and a receiver and use an android app to control them. Duet is a waste of money if you have a smart phone with a remote app as you can buy receiver on its own for a third of the price as buying it with the logitec remote
Thats an interesting remark. I´m right now trying to decide which system to buy. Choice is between squeezebox touch and squeezebox duo, but I noticed that there are programs out there that enables you to control a squeezebox reciever through your android phone (in my case a legend).
I was wondering whether the phone would just be a supplement to the actual reciever or if it could replace the controler all together. If the later is the case, then the difference on the price tag, between and a SBT and a mere SBR (not to mention something out of a sonos box) would seem to make the choice very simple.
Which app are you using ?
This one http://www.squeezecommander.com/ ?
I’m using SqueezeCommander on my Android phone(s).
There seems to be a shortage of SB Receivers for sale as standalone units, and Logitech is definitely not encouraging their separate purchase. Still, I bought two Duet systems and then just sold the Remotes on eBay. I got about $150 for each remote a few months ago. I’m sure they will command less and less money as Android phones (and iPhones) become more prevalent.
You don’t need the SB Remote if you have an Android phone. It’s simply a dedicated WiFi device that runs the SB control software. Your Android phone can do the same, except it won’t be dedicated. I’ve heard others say that the SqueezeCommander UI is better than the SB Remote UI, plus it’s constantly being improved.
I started with 1, but have now expanded to 7 Squeezebox devices. 6 Booms – 4 that I’ve paired with sub-woofers, and 1 Duet, attached to my main stereo system. I do run a Squeezebox Server on a PC. Planning to move that to an Intel Atom system in the next month. I use wireless to sync various multiple players around my house practically every day. No problems. I typically sync 3 units at a time, but occasionally up to 5, and it just works.
The flexibility of the Squeeze products is extreme. I love that they’re based on Linux (GPL), and constantly being updated to support new features, streaming protocols, displays.
If you have no knowledge of computers and have to call someone to plug in your new keyboard, you might want to spend far more and buy Sonos.
Otherwise buy Squeezebox; hugely more bang for your buck.
Completely agree with Eric, I have squeezecenter running on an old linux pIII 500Mhz laptop with external HHD. Rock solid. Have ipeng on ipod touch, spotify streaming, synching is glitch free. Yes not for mr and mrs bestbuy but love the openess of it and bang for buck
I have used both, the my neighbours sonos was originally easier to setup, but i thought the sonos was so much more money!
but now I run the squeezeboxes and napster, I have no need to run the squeeze server at home, and stream everything from napster.
And so setting up on the squeezebox is easy too if you just stream everything.
I, too, only stream and have had the same experience as Paul.
Interesting comments from all. I guess it seems to come down to price. Both systems have ups and downs. So if you can afford it go for sonos and if you cant go for SB. 🙂
I’ve had a Squeezebox setup over Wi-Fi for almost a year now with no issues whatsoever. I have a SB Touch in my main rig feeding an external DAC. The SB Touch supports 24bit/96khz (I believe Sonos doesn’t). I run the Squeezebox Server on a always-on Netgear ReadyNAS Duo – this is pretty convenient. And with a standby power consumption of about 12W the Duo is pretty green too.
Both are fine products. The Sonos is more self contained and can appeal to the owner who is less technical. The SB is much less expensive and you might need more experience to get the most out of it. A number of people incorrectly state that you need a PC always on. This is not so. Any independent Squeezebox product just needs a WiFi connection and can play any almost Internet Radio station. However, a PC or server is necessary to play your music collection and to sync two or more devices for a “whole house” experience. More complex than a Sonos but much less money. You decide what works best for you. I still have to help my friends set up their Sonos.
I’m throwing my 2c in as a Sonos only user since there are so many Squeezebox only users.
I’m not a techno-virgin and have been building my own PCs for nearly 20 years. That being said, I have to say the plug and play ability of the Sonos is just amazing. It plugs in, and it works. I have my NAS with my huge collection of MP3s, but honestly I spend all my time listening to the catalog of Pandora stations I’ve built up over a few years. The sound quality is as good as my Bose Sounddock for my iPhone.
When I was deciding what to buy, I read the reviews on Amazon and Best buy. The nearly perfect rating is what sold me on Sonos. It’s pricey, but the ease of use both in set up and in daily use makes it worth it for me.
I used to have a pre-Logitech squeezebox and loved, but it was quirky at times. I now have several Sonos zones in my house. The only one that sometimes is a bit slow is one that’s at the end of a 3-sonos unit chain (using them each as a switch). A couple of limitations with the Sonos:
1. like Gautam pointed out, it doesn’t support 24bit/96khz files.
2. It has a limitation of around 40,000 files. The exact number seems to vary, but around there.
Neither one of these is an issue for most people, but just in case someone out there falls into one of those categories, you should know.
BTW, I’m reading this forum because I’m curious about the Squeezebox. I definitely like the Sonos, but I’m not married to it.
Interesting comments! I am struggling to choose. I think Squeezebox wins if you are after hifi sound – it will serve all my old CDs so this is important to me. Couple it with a quality external DAC and I am told it even starts to give vinyl a run for it’s money (I have yet to be convinced on this but a number of forums reckon it’s only matched by cd players in the 000’s). Can anyone comment on sound quality? I think it works ok from a NAS server – again anyone confirm this? Sonos sounds like a slicker product but is the sound quality there? Being an iPhone junky Sonos seems a nice fit….. As to cost, I expect to use for 10 years if it’s the right product. Key for me is to be able to have a platform for high quality digital music. I get the feeling Sonos not as future proof as it could be?
Decisions, decisions: it’s a tough one.
Perhaps time and development is rapidly making this thread irrelevant. I spend at lot of time pondering what to buy a couple of months ago, and in the mean time i bought a WD tv live hub (http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=570) to be able put all my DVDs on a server.
To my pleasant surprise i discovered that a host of apps for my android phone (legend) makes it possible for me to control the music play-back on the device with out having to turn on the TV and use the WDs own GUI (which by the way is quite nice).
Twonky, UPnPlayer and Plugplayer will all do the job. None off them handles internetradio (yet).For that (or Pandora, or spotify or netflix or…)you have to turn on the telly and use the GUI.
I can also control the device remotely from my W7 laptop – either through windows mediaplayer or the Twonky manager.
As still more mainstream products become UPNP compliant (Sony and Samsungs new TV lines already are) and come with built in networking capabilities its is in my mind a question off months rather than years before niche products as Sonos and Squeezebox loses their relevance in the market.
I agree that eventually this stuff will come from many vendors and will be based on standards. However, the thing that all the others currently lack is seamless support for multiple zones. The WD and other UPnP/DLNA stuff can’t touch Sonos and Squeezebox in this arena. In my opinion, it’s quite a waste of money to buy a Squeezebox or Sonos if you intend to only have one of them.
And here they come….
I´ve missed it until now but same month as we shared the comments above, the main stream hi-fi company Marantz released this tasty little stereo
Its a complete standard bookshelf stereo and it comes with networking and UPNP/DLNA enabled 🙂
One thing that has rarely been mentioned here as yet is the Squeezebox Touch. I am seriously considering getting out the credit card for this. Wire it up to a hifi or powered speakers, plug in an external hard drive or flash drive and you’re good to go. No computer or NAS needed as Squeezecentre is already installed. Add to this that it plays 24bit/96 khz files then for the price nothing appears to come close.
The only drawback is after hearing music at 24bit/96khz, it is almost painful to listen to music via Napster afterwards
I set up a Sonos system (2 S5 and 1 ZP90) in 25 minutes last night, this included unpacking the boxes, downloading the software, and having them connected and running.
It then took an hour to get the iTouch app as the software was out of date, and I’m not that great at computers.
I’m amazed by the Sonos, but can’t compare the the Squeezebox as no experience there. Either way, I can tell the Sonos is going to be taking me back to the days when listening to music/finding new bands, etc was a passion. And it is amazing easy to set up and control. So far, I’m only 1 day in, but already love it.
I would highly recommend the Sonos, but if the Squeezebox can do the same for less money, I wish I would have researched more. I have a feeling I will never know for sure at this point.
I’m about to get a SB Receiver. I read and read and read still cannot understand how you use such a device in many rooms.. or there should be one for each room?
Secondly I saw on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEs4GFqdBx4) that SB Receiver has an interface accessible via a http browser at let’s say http://192.168.1.xxx. Is it true? If yes, what can be controlled via this GUI?
Also, I’m not sure I can manually add a radio url. Can this be done?
Can you point a manual for me to download, or a site that explains all these?
I just happened to stumble upon this thread. Nine months later I’m not sure how pertinent it may be. I’l still chip in my two cents because my sample size is alot larger than the other commenters. I’m an AV retailer and sell them both, install them, support them and provide cash refunds for their return. We have hundreds of systems in the field.
My advice boils down to this: if you are looking for a hobby feel free to buy a Squeezebox, if you just want to enjoy music buy Sonos, if you value sound quality… none of the above.
Our return rate on Sonos is essentially nil, Squeezebox is in the double digits. We never have to point fingers at the PC, router, switch with Sonos because once a single component is hardwired to your switch it is all Sonos hardware responsible for communications. The system is auto-updated, they provide the best tech support in the business and the hardware VERY rarely fails. (and if it does they will exchange it)
Squeeze box is cheap, sounds fine, it’s practical and it’s aggravating. If you have the means to buy Sonos, just do it. You might be clever enough (or lucky enough) to keep your Squeezebox humming without ever failing, but you’ll be in the minority. I’m the guy that answers the phone when the irate customer calls the day of their big party and they just cant get the music to work. I get to see the bigger picture.
For those looking for the solution with the best sound quality turn your gaze towards the Linn DS line or Naim Uniti. But that’s a whole other discussion..
My set-up has my CD collection stored in WAV format on an always on ReadyNAS Duo which is linked to the house electical circuit using Powerline Homeplugs (great and cheap way to get fast connections throughout a large house).
Music is available in one room via a Squeezebox Touch and in another on a Naim Uniti. Both produce great sound. My Touch doesn’t suffer from the connectivity issues some mention maybe because in effect it has a wired connection.
I went down the Squeezebox route because it’s cheaper than alternatives and because I could store/play music stored in Flac or WAV – playback quality is so superior to MP3. Love internet radio too but quality there is patchy.
Set-up was relatively painless but based on the comments in this blog I’m sure it was a bit more laborious than for a Sonos system. My suggestion…compare music stored in MP3 and in lossless WAV or Flac on the amp/speakers to be used. If you can’t tell the difference and can afford Sonos, buy Sonos otherwise Squeezebox and/or the Uniti present a far better solution.
I think Rick’s comments are very good. If I had to sell and support these products, I’d go with Sonos. Being the Windows Home Server Hobbyist that I am on a budget, the Squeezebox appeals to me, but I’m an IT Manager and I can handle the networking issues. Most folks would return the product.
However, I’m just guessing that the price differential is multiple times the cost.
The more products, the better.
I am choosing between Sonos and Squeezebox. Initially I wanted to go with Squeezebox, but moving over to Sonos after a bit of research.
Essentially I wanted a NAS running Squeezeserver and Squeezebox Duet. The problem with this is that although you can install the Squeezeserver on the NAS, you can’t use Napster with it, even though you can add it is an app to the Squeezebox Server. The problem is with streaming WMA – NAS boxes don’t support the format due to the hardware required.
I think the main difference is that the Sonos has the hardware onboard, whereas the Squeezebox Duet products need a Squeezeserver running on a computer attached to the network.
I understand that this post is about Squeezebox as a whole (not just the Duet), and also I have specific requirements in using Napster.
I want to address some of the statements Jon posted yesterday. I am running Squeezeserver on an HP Media Smart Server 470. The majority of my library is WMA and WMA Lossless. My squeezeboxes around the house play the WMA just fine. I don’t know what hardware requirement he is referring to that won’t let him play wma files. However, there are many ways to rip CDs and perhaps Jon used something different than I did, which was Windows media player.
Jon doesn’t state what kind of Network Attached storage he has, but perhaps he can add some detail as that may be the weak link. I have no experience with Napster, but the Squeezebox is supposed to support it.
I came across these postings and at last know that I am not alone! I chose the Logitech path due to cost and had a full home setup with a Duet and Boom. I had nothing but problems: mysterious losing of all settings, numerous resets to factory settings and just way too much time spent fixing rather than listening. So I took the plunge with Sonos and have never regretted it. The Sonos just ‘works’ – always and flawlessly. I can’t believe Logitech still won’t address such a buggy product. I am a big fan of their Harmony remotes and have never had issues.
Using Sonos + RDIO is definitely worth looking into. While RDIO doesn’t have everything, it will cover 90% (maybe more) of whats out there for most people. No need for itunes, hard drives, storage etc etc. Sonos has a nice integration and paired with an iphone or ipad its the best home audio set up I’ve seen.
Not sure who is still reading this, but my thoughts are as follows:
I assisted setting up the home entertainment at my parents house. They had a serious budget, and for the music side of it we went with Sonos. They have got 29 zones in their house now (started off with 5 to see what it was like and kept growing it since), and 3 years on, I am still blown away at how perfectly the Sonos works. It simply works, and even with issues over the years such as internet going down, changing wireless routers, power blackouts etc, the thing just keeps going without any needed maintenance.
I wanted a similar setup for my apartment, and didnt have the same budget, so I opted for the Squeezebox. I started with one Duet, and ended up with 3 Duets and a Squeezebox Radio as my alarm clock. My comments on squeezebox are that I simply love it….WHEN IT WORKS!
My Squeezebox would have some sort of connectivity issue at least once a month, whereby it either cannot connect to my computer, the wireless router, or something else. It has gotten to the point where I go to use it, and question whether it is going to work or not! I purchased it thinking that there would be an update to allow the communication with NAS drives, but to no avail. I even purchased a Netgear ReadyNas Duo….and that thing was so slow that by the time the song started I didn’t want to hear it anymore.
I will be taking all of my Squeezebox stuff to my holiday house, because at the end of the day it is a good product, but it is just unreliable/needs a lot of continuous tweaking, and buying a SONOS system for my house now that it is so cheap from the USA.
That is the final thing I will say. Playback Systems in Australia need to start adjusting their prices inline with the US dollar or they will go out of business. My local dealer quoted nearly twice the price as if I buy it from the USA, and said it would be 2 weeks! They probably take the order and then just order it online and keep the difference!!! The world is a small place now, they need to get with the times!
I cant even begin to tell you how much I hate squeezebox. It is totally a piece of crap. It does not switch between libraries or players. When it tried it crashes the whole squeezebox system and takes hours to reset. I absolutely HATE it. It is truely useless. Save up your money for Sono’s, our friends have it and it works flawlessly.
I am remodeling two bathrooms and thought wouldn’t it be nice to have music in these bad boys. I suspect that I’ll be carving out some depressions in the bathroom walls and accounting for some power outlets for the S5’s. “Must get S5’s dimensions….”(spoken with delay like Captain James T. Kirk)
It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating. For music quality, and 24/96 playback, get the Squeezebox Touch.
If you listen to mp3’s, don’t care about sound quality, can’t handle any hiccups and need convenience, get the Sonos.
I’ve been through ups and downs with the Squeezebox, it has required asking people in the Squeezebox user forums for help, and required a few hours of time here and there, but the sound quality is far beyond the Sonos.
Running Squeezebox server on a bigger Qnap and controlling everything with ipod/ipad/iphone and love it. Only bugy thing is the playback on the controller through the 3.5 Jack. Anything else works flawless – but it is essential that you have a working wireless and/or network. Sync is perfect and Audio quality can be superior to the Sonos. Depending on the Setup you can run cheaper with either the Sonos or the Squeezebox – since the Sonos has built in amps in some models that is a benefit. I am running receivers that connect to Amps and then have lower to higher end Speakers attached. Sweet thing about the Squeezeboxes is that you can make the setup disappear if you buy a high-end mini amp – the sonos player with the integrated amp is fairly large.
make your choice… 🙂
I’ve been using the SB Classic for about 5 years, and have been very happy with it.
One point about needing an always-on server to run the SqueezeServer: I’ve installed a standby app (available from the SlimDevices site) that puts the server into standby after a period of non-use; it can also put the server into standby at a predefined time. The SB support WOL, to allow it to wake up the server from standby.
I bought a Squeezebox Duet about a year ago, it appealed because my stereo is all housed in a cupboard and operated by IR sender. The Duet controller suits this set up beautifully – I just wish Logitech would make a single remote which would control both my IR devices (Amp, TV and DVD player) as well as the Squeezebox.
I found it pretty frustrating to start with however, once I got it and my Netgear ReadyNAS talking to each other it’s fantastic – I have listened to a CD since.
I’ve now bought a 2nd Duet for the Kitchen (it cost me £120 direct from Logitech) and at that price might as well get a 3rd for my daughter’s bedroom.
I’ll admit that it was mostly price that put me off the Sonos but the bulky controller didn’t appeal (I have Nokia phone so there’s no simple App for either device – I can control it with the phone but it’s not a pleasant experience, however my daughter seems to manage fine with her Android phone).
What surprised me when I looked was that I couldn’t find a Squeezebox on the high street (so couldn’t listen before i bought it) and Sonos wanted to sell me a device with an amp and speaker built into it (as I already have Linn speakers and pre/power amps i wasn’t impressed).
I did add an external Linn Numerik DAC (£200 off eBay) which I think improved the sound quality (I didn’t bother in the cheaper stereo in my kitchen and won’t for my daughter’s mini-system as it sounds excellent as is through those).
My reservation is, that as others say it was a hassle to get it working initially and I still experience occasional niggles. Some might be due to a weak wifi signal in certain parts of the house but sometimes the device just seems to hang – it usually restores itself if you wait or restart it but can be pretty irritating.
I also love it for BBC Radio including their podcasts but haven’t been overly impressed with the selection of online radio stations or Apps (but then I’m too mean to pay for Spotify premium – I’d rather buy the music on CD and rip it to FLAC format myself).
I’ve had a squeezebox setup for while but in house the wifi network was just too unreliable for wireless operation, so I ended up getting boosters which was only partly successful, losing connection sometimes.
I’ve just invested in a starter Sonos setup mainly because of its Mesh network and it really is a revelation. Like they all say it just works, but knowing the wifi issues I’m mightily impressed , and I haven’t even got multi rooms (yet) just a Bridge and a Play:5 but even so it works over the whole house without a glitch (I gather however that the earlier generation products did not have such a good wireless range, so if you buy second hand units on eBay your mileage may vary).
I won’t repeat all the ease of use stuff, but I’m delighted with my choice and shall be expanding despite the cost.
The support in terms of never making components obsolete means it really is the Rolls-Royce solution and I’m got that warm secure feeling that I’ve bought into a flexible system that will last a lifetime. You only have to look at the price used (even older generation) units fetch on eBay to realise how prized this system is, although watch out for the expensive CR200 controller which some have problems with the touch screen. I’m fine controlling it from my PCs, Android and iPhone apps which all play together perfectly at the same time. It’s clear to see this system has a first class pedigree.
I love my Sonos, but I’ve never used the Squeezebox. I have the Sonos hooked up through my Yamaha Receiver & home theater, as well as a Play:5 and Play:3 speaker systems that mostly stay in the offices of our home… but can carry either of them to the kitchen or back patio to listen to with perfect clarity. We use our laptops and android phones to control all three speaker systems. Super easy and the speakers sound phenomenal for being so small and light.
I posted a link to a review of iPeng above. Looks like I’ll have to abandon it as I’ve switched from iPhone to Android (HTC Sensation) and I haven’t yet got a replacement. Recommendations welcome.
1. My Squeezebox2 had to have a new case. The old had become STICKY (yuk!). Discovered when I moved house. Luckily I was able to find a source and I bought a spare power supply for good measure. This unit has been in continuous use since 2005.
2. One of my Squeezebox Duet receivers died.
3. My 5+ year old ReadyNAS NV has had new hard drives (now 4x 1.5Tb) and new OS updates and still runs perfectly as my music server. I’m a bit surprised by the reports of problems people have had with Squeezebox gear and assume that the problems may be a result of using
a) wireless connections. (I prefer wired links and would rather use Homeplug type adapters than wireless; wireless is great for web pages and email but streaming.. I’ve found it ok but less reliable. YMMV)
b) the wrong server software. If you read the squeezebox forum its apparent that some versions work better than others. Trying to stay up with the latest is a mug’s game. I stay well away from the bleeding edge and have only once used something other than the stock version provided by Netgear for my ReadNAS (it was Infrant when I bought it). I have a hunch I’ll get 10 years out of my NAS box.
I wouldn’t buy the Logitech Duets again. A phone/tablet app is a better solution to the handset. I’ve been told that a phone app cannot set up a receiver; am not sure if that’s still true.
I’d like to think that someone will make receiver units based on something like the RaspberryPi (see http://www.raspberrypi.org) one of these days.
Just thought I would add my two cents.
I have a bit of experience with Squeezeboxes. I have a Classic, two duets and a Boom.
As Mr Wombat eater stated some versions of Squeezebox Server just don’t work. I have currently settled on V7.5.6 and it is bullet proof.
Most of my issues have revolved around wireless issues. I have mostly used Netgear routers and that was fine with my classic, but when I bought the duets they were nothing but problems. I changed my wireless access point to a TPLink and they have not missed a beat since. As stated above somewhere having them hard wired would be a better solution if you are not running duets.
Someone commented about wma playback. If Squeezebox Server is running on a Windows PC then it can play wma format. Microsoft will not release the wma format to enable it to be used on other operating systems.
As for the RaspberryPi I already have my name on the waiting list. I see no reason it could not run Squeezeplay. Just be aware it may not sync well?
Just for the record – I just caved in and bought 2 Sonos Play 5 Units (and a bridge…). I have hooked them up in stereo mode which sounds great. Might not satisfy High Fi aficionados but more than adequate for my needs. The whole process from out of the box till up and running (stereo mode, Spotify acount log in, NAS music folder identified by the Sonos, Ipad and Razr coupled up as remotes)took less than 30 minutes.
The deciding matter ended up being the seamless Spotify integration, but now that the system is up an running I´m quite sorry I ever used time messing with anything else….
Looks like Sonos wins. Squeezebox is being phased out.
Because Squeezebox is going away, I decided to try a Sonos Connect to replace my Duet, all wired setups. I had a problem getting the Sonos to index my music library of my hard drive, so I called the. About an hour later I got to a live person. They spent 40 minutes trying to get it to work, and finally did by editing my registry on my win7 system. After indexing it all it seemed to work. The next day I wondered if it had got all my music indexed but couldn’t find a count of the tracks or albums anywhere. I called again, waited an hour and was told I’d have to email them a request to do diagnostics on my Sonos software on my PC. This turned out to be wrong, there is an easier way. The Sonos tech was simply ignorant.
Bottom line is that Squeezebox, where the phone gets answered in less than 2 minutes, and connects to someone who really knows their stuff, is far better at support than Sonos. Having the processing imbedded in the device like Sonos looks like a good idea and it is. The Squeezebox server software, on your computer rather than in the Squeezebox hardware is a good idea, because the server software can be problematic. But there are limitations to Sonos in terms of capacity for storing the indexes of the music. Sonos claims up to 65,000 tracks, but using tags reduces that considerably.
Some of the service apps available on Squeezebox are not available on the Sonos and vice versa. Some are free on one but not on the other. You need to really assess your needs and do your homework before leaping either way.