March 2015 Newsletter: Wireless Speakers for the Whole House
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Welcome to the March 2015 newsletter from the Electric Playground, the home technology specialists.
This month we wanted to give you a few suggestions on brands of wireless speaker systems for the whole house.
What do we mean by a whole house wireless speaker system?
Simply, it's the ability to stream music or a radio station over your WiFi network into any room in your home.
This can be done using your existing phone, tablet or computer via a simple easy to use app. It should also allow you to play different (or even the same) music throughout multiple rooms of your home.
Sonos is the major player in this market and we're a big supporter. Firstly we'll guide you through their range so you can see what's possible. Then we'll have a look at a few alternatives that come close to the abilities of Sonos. Lastly a few notable mentions.
Sonos is a smart system of HiFi wireless speakers and audio components that can be combined in various setups to achieve a great listening experience. It easily unites your digital music collection in one app that then allows you to control it from any device.
Listen to your music collection, your play lists, internet radio stations or stream music from services like Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Napster and many more.
So what are the main components?
A simple speaker design that can be positioned anywhere and produces a rich , powerful, HiFi sound that's crystal clear at any volume.
Also comes in white.
Slightly larger than a PLAY:1 for a more immersive HiFi sound, deeper bass and serious room-filling power.
Again also comes in White
The largest Sonos wireless speaker, delivering the ultimate all-in-one listening experience with the deepest, richest HiFi sound.
Again also comes in white.
PLAYBAR’s nine speaker design floods your home with huge waves of epic, full-theatre sound for TV, movies, music and video games.
Fills an entire room with thick layers of deep, bottomless sound that lets you hear and feel every sound.
Also it's wireless so no annoying cables to trip over.
Already have speakers or an amp in your home?
Simply connect straight to your speakers to get the Sonos experience.
Simply connect to your amplifier to get the Sonos experience.
So what combinations can I do?
By combining some of the above you can have:
By having two PLAY:1's combined you can turn them into left and right channels to create a wider, bigger and deeper sound.
Wireless Discrete solutions
As PLAY:1's are quite portable we recently installed a pair high up on top of kitchen cupboards for a discrete out of the way solution when we couldn't retrofit cables into the room.
To create a wireless 5.1 home cinema sound simply combine two PLAY:1 speakers with a PLAYBAR and a SUB for a true surround sound experience.
Ok thats the hard sell of Sonos but what alternatives do I have?
Well from our experience there are other choices but nothing comes close to what Sonos has to offer.
This is for the audiophiles out there that want to listen to higher quality (high-resolution) audio.
The range consists of a single speaker, a Sub (and two small speakers) for a 2.1 sound system and connectors to existing speakers or amplifier.
Also available is a CD ripper so you can easily rip your currently collection into hi-res audio files.
A good range of file formats are supported especially at the higher quality end. There is however a limited number of streaming services available but that's to be expected given its position towards the hi-res market.
Be warned this system is pricey.
From Bose. Only consists of three speakers: Portable, 20 Series and 30 Series. Not home cinema enabled or able to connect to existing speakers or HiFi system.
Limited streaming services and audio formats supported. One of the few to have an optional battery powered so truly portable.
By Denon. Consists of three speakers HEOS3, HEOS5 and HEOS7. Also includes an Amp and a Link to connect to your existing music system.
Not home cinema enabled but can do stereo pairing. Limited streaming services and audio formats supported.
Basically what you would expect from a electronics giant. Three different sized speakers, a Soundbar and a connector to your existing system.
Limited streaming services but will play a lot of different services.
Bright and sparkly but cheap. Three speaker options plus a portable one and a connector to your current system.
Lovely looking and sounding Scandinavian speakers with cool names like Asgard and Odin. Limited range consisting of a small portable speaker and a much larger one (called Odin!)
From a personal design point of view I really like these. Hand-made from porcelain to ensure a great sound they don't even need a WiFi network to work, it simply uses Apple Airplay. It's quite a limited system but hey it looks great.
I hope you found some of this useful. Why not sign up to our full mailing list for all future monthly newsletters and back issues.
Lastly if we can be of any help or you would just like to have a chat about any of the above please feel free to call on 07971255567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Electric Playground