Quality of Sonos internal DAC?

mikey1987mikey1987 Posts: 68
edited August 2014 in Going Digital
Anyone have experience with Sonos box's and can provide input on the internal DACs?

I have some extra gift cards that my fiancee got at her bridal show that she's willing to let me spend on whatever I want. We have enough kitchen utensils and linens to last 4 lifetimes at this point!

Always wanted a Sonos and the more I read the more I likey. My one concern is the internal DAC. Is it worth a damn or should I start budgeting for a real DAC soon after?
Speakers: Polk RTi10
Preamp: Parasound PL/D-1100
Amplifier: Parasound HCA-1500A
Neighbors: pissed off
Post edited by mikey1987 on

Comments

  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 16,753
    edited August 2014
    PM Tonyb. He had his upgraded as well...
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,195
    edited August 2014
    Eh....just ok, nothing to write home about. I'd suggest starting to budget for a dac pronto. You can use the dac if it's a decent one in any of your better receivers for the time being until you score a dac. Budget dacs to look at....Cambridge DacMagic, Audio GD, Cary xciter, PS Audio DL3 just to name a few. Don't forget the digital coax cable too. I'd suggest the Blackcat, excellent sounding cable.

    Just want to make sure you understand.....The Sonos box does NOT play hi-rez files. You can play anything cd quality 16/44, and let the dac you add to it upconvert.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • mikey1987mikey1987 Posts: 68
    edited August 2014
    tonyb wrote: »
    Eh....just ok, nothing to write home about. I'd suggest starting to budget for a dac pronto. You can use the dac if it's a decent one in any of your better receivers for the time being until you score a dac. Budget dacs to look at....Cambridge DacMagic, Audio GD, Cary xciter, PS Audio DL3 just to name a few. Don't forget the digital coax cable too. I'd suggest the Blackcat, excellent sounding cable.

    Just want to make sure you understand.....The Sonos box does NOT play hi-rez files. You can play anything cd quality 16/44, and let the dac you add to it upconvert.

    Was gonna go with the DacMagic eventually.

    I have a cheap Logitech bluetooth streamer, but the stream is definitely lossy and gets choppy whenever the music gets super detailed. It's worse with MP3 files too (vs. FLAC which sounds much better). It works fine for a couple weeks, and then I find myself reinstalling the driver in Windows to get it to work again. GRRR!!! So fed up I'd rather get the Sonos ASAP and worry about DAC later.

    None of my files are higher than 16/44.1 anyway. In fact prefer it not be upsampled but just kept as is. My OCD doesn't permit me to use more than two standards for digital audio, and I hope to have everything in FLAC format soon. :D

    Thanks tonyb.
    Speakers: Polk RTi10
    Preamp: Parasound PL/D-1100
    Amplifier: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Neighbors: pissed off
  • coolsaxcoolsax Posts: 1,754
    edited August 2014
    you might also want to look at Bluesound from the makers of NAD and PSB.. its a lot like Sonos but allows for High Res playback as well. www.bluesound.com audiostream.com have done writeups on a few of their products.
    2ch -
    BlueSound Node or Onkyo CP1050 TT->Ethereal optical cable->Peachtree Audio Nova 150->GoldenEar Triton 2+
  • finally ordered my Sonos. will keep you all posted!
    Speakers: Polk RTi10
    Preamp: Parasound PL/D-1100
    Amplifier: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Neighbors: pissed off
  • Sonos arrived today - all I can say is WOW! I can't believe I was streaming via Bluetooth and plugging my iPhone in.

    Another night and day improvement. The biggest change is definitely the high end vocals and instrumentals. They sound crystal clear with no more choppiness.

    Definitely a good investment and can't wait to add an external DAC at some point, maybe around Xmas.

    I am also really loving the radio stations. Pretty much anything and everything is on there, even all local radio where I live. I know Sonos isn't hosting it all but just hotlinking to backend streams run by those stations, but to have it all working out of the box with little to no interact from me is superb.
    Speakers: Polk RTi10
    Preamp: Parasound PL/D-1100
    Amplifier: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Neighbors: pissed off
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,195
    If you don't find a radio station you like, which is hard to believe, you can add the url to the list. They also have takes from comedy albums which is cool too. Subscribe to a music service like Deezer or Rhapsody or Spotify and you may never buy another cd again.

    Again, their software is a cut above the rest and they make it so easy even the wives will dig it. Add a dac when you get the chance, it certainly improves things. Congrats man and welcome to the Sonos club.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • Thanks tonyb. I have a ton of ripped music in FLAC and MP3-320. So much that the radio functionality totally skipped my mind.

    It took over an hour to index my music over the network so I listened to some sick funk stations and just fell in love. It's simple enough that my wife can use it, too, which is great, because she is generally intimidated by anything fancy and hi-tech.
    Speakers: Polk RTi10
    Preamp: Parasound PL/D-1100
    Amplifier: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Neighbors: pissed off
  • pearsall001pearsall001 Posts: 4,335
    Another happy Sonos owner...congrats & enjoy!!! Often imitated but never equaled. The internal DAC is more than adequate to start with but like everything else with this hobby one is always itching to move up a notch or two. The music at your fingertips is simply mind boggling & the ease of use as your wife experienced is a huge plus. Simple to set up & anyone can master it within minutes...including my wife. And that's saying something!
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    Crown XLS 1002 DriveCore 2 Series - center channel
    NAD Dac
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS Music System
    KEF Q300 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Extensive room treatments
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,195
    Yep, ease of use....something to be said for that. My wife took 2 years before she could switch watching a movie to playing music on the system.....but the Sonos she hooked up to it pronto. Even my 70 year old mother in-law got it inside 2 minutes. Now she'd trade me before the Sonos.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • ThortonThorton Posts: 1,241
    Tony and Pearsall pretty much summed it up. I love my Sonos unit. Simple to set-up, great reliability and easy to use. I do agree with both on adding the external DAC. Enjoy it, save some money and add an external DAC for further improvement.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Source: Roon via ethernet to DAC interface
    DAC: Bricasti M1SE
    Pre/Pro: Marantz AV8805
    Tube Preamp Buffer: Tortuga TPB.V1
    Amp1: W4S MC-5, AMP2: W4S MMC-7
    Front: Salk SoundScape 8's, Center: Salk SoundScape C7
    Surround: Polk FXIA6, Surround Back: Polk RTIA9, Atmos: Polk 70-RT
    Subs: 2 - Rythmik F25's
    IC & Speaker Cables: Acoustic Zen, Wireworld, Signal Cable
    Power Cables: Acoustic Zen, Wireworld, PS Audio
    Room Treatments: GIK Acoustics
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 16,753
    tonyb wrote: »
    Even my 70 year old mother in-law got it inside 2 minutes. Now she'd trade me before the Sonos.

    Tony, don't think thats a fair comparison.

    Is there anything she WOULDN"T trade you for? :smile:

    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,195
    tonyb wrote: »
    Even my 70 year old mother in-law got it inside 2 minutes. Now she'd trade me before the Sonos.

    Tony, don't think thats a fair comparison.

    Is there anything she WOULDN"T trade you for? :smile:

    Now Dan...my in-laws love me. Their Italian daughter found a nice Italian boy, whats not to like ?

    Now the wife may trade me....that's another story. lol
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • EndersShadowEndersShadow Posts: 16,753
    tonyb wrote: »
    tonyb wrote: »
    Even my 70 year old mother in-law got it inside 2 minutes. Now she'd trade me before the Sonos.

    Tony, don't think thats a fair comparison.

    Is there anything she WOULDN"T trade you for? :smile:

    Now Dan...my in-laws love me. Their Italian daughter found a nice Italian boy, whats not to like ?

    Now the wife may trade me....that's another story. lol

    LOL... good to know..... mine may say something similar....

    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • RamZetRamZet Posts: 776
    Sonos makes a nice unit. I use Murfie HiFi to play back my CD collection. ( you can buy or mail them CDs and they add them to your account in Flac. It plays back at CD quality on your Sonos. )
    B&W
    B&K
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,195
    RamZet wrote: »
    Sonos makes a nice unit. I use Murfie HiFi to play back my CD collection. ( you can buy or mail them CDs and they add them to your account in Flac. It plays back at CD quality on your Sonos. )

    It plays back even better if you use a quality dac with it.

    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
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