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Using Sonos Play speakers & 'high end' streamers (Aries)

Discussion in 'audio' started by josh, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. josh

    josh Active Member


    I was wondering whether if I were to get, say, an Auralic Mini, or Lumin streamer (where I'd have FLACs going in via a plug-in drive) a Sonos Play speaker would be able to pick up the streamed content from it, or would I need a Sonos Connect streamer to do that?

    For my main system, I'm debating whether to go for a Connect (which has easy Spotify & Android compatibility - quite important) and run through a better DAC to improve the SQ if needs be, or to go for a higher end streamer. However I'd like to be able to stream to Play speakers around the house so there's no point going the higher-end route if they're not compatible.

    On a separate note, what's the difference between the Aries and Aries Mini? It sounds like the Mini is pretty close performance-wise.


  2. rallye666

    rallye666 Active Member

    Sonos is pretty much a closed system I think.

    You could look at Bluesound as an alternative. They do wireless speakers to dot around the house, and a node2 (aries mini equivalent) could be in your main hifi feeding your DAC. Most importantly they are all Roon ready, so if you don't like the Bluseound app, there is an alternative.
  3. Michael P

    Michael P pfm Member

    Not sure if you can directly stream from one streamer to a Play:X component, but Sonos:Connect has an analog input and you can connect anything to that, then on other Sonos components choose "Line In" as the source. If your amplifier has an analog output (e.g. tape loop), you can connect it to this and play back whatever you have active on the amp in the rest of the house - vinyl etc. You can run the digital out from the Sonos simultaneously with analog out (for tape loop) too, so can put a DAC between Sonos and amplifier should you feel it worthwhile, while still using the analog in for repeating it around the house.
  4. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo

    I have not actually tried it, but I am pretty sure that the Auralic products can do this via UPnP.

    The Aries comes with a funky case, a built-in display, higher quality internals (most notably the clocks), an AES/EBU output and a linear power supply (available as an option with the Mini). It also includes Roon endpoint capability. It lacks the built-in DAC and storage bay found on the Aries Mini.
  5. josh

    josh Active Member

    Thanks all.

    So you're saying I'd need both streamers - the Connect to go to the Play speakers and the 'high end' one for my main system?

    Thanks - so I'd connect them to the Sonos Play via UPnP? Would that mean I'd need a different control interface than the Sonos software?
  6. dubblebubble

    dubblebubble pfm Member

    The recent update to Roon 1.3 allows you to stream to Sonos endpoints from Roon Core. I bought a Play:1 to try and it works (bit) perfectly!
  7. Michael P

    Michael P pfm Member

    No, you could use the Sonos Connect on its own (as I do), I was only pointing out how it could be used in tandem (for multi-room) in case you were drawn to something more expensive.
  8. Mark F

    Mark F Member

    They're definitely compatible.

    I have an Auralic Aries in my main system and also have a four zone Sonos system around the rest of the house. The Aries and the Sonos components both access the same music library on my NAS drive.

    As for whether to go Aries or Sonos Connect in your main system, I recently did this upgrade. The Aries sounds better compared to the Connect through the same outboard DAC but the upgrade is subtle. And that's through a fairly high end system (Chord Hugo TT DAC, Rega Osiris amp and Totem Mani-2 Signature speakers). I'm happy with the upgrade but only because I got a stonking second hand deal on the Aries. Had I bought new, my conclusion may have been different. What's clear is that the Connect's fantastic value.

    Where the Sonos wins hands down is the phone/tablet app. The Aries app is decent and works but it's still not a patch on the Sonos app.

    If I were you, I'd try a second hand Connect in your main system. You should be able to pick up one for around £150. You could then get a home demo of an Aries to see if the £1k+ extra is money well spent.

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