Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




4130 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

# 257258 22-Sep-2019 23:01
Send private message quote this post

I'm interested in getting a wifi-enabled speaker for our bedroom; my preference would have been for a pair of small active speakers, but given my other requirements (and budget constraints - say under $500), I can't find anything suitable that's not a single box.

 

General requirements are:

 

* wired (ie, not battery-powered)

 

* Chromecast support (preferable for sure)

 

* Google Assistant support (of at least some kind)

 

* needs to fill a moderately-sized bedroom, but I'd prioritise audio quality over sheer volume

 

Three possibles I've identified are:

 

* Yamaha MusicCast 20

 

* Sonos One (no surprises there, I'm sure!)

 

* Riva Arena

 

I'm swaying towards the Arena, partly based on the price given it's only $290 including shipping from Amazon at the moment. But it's also because of its much wider support than the very closed-down Sonos (Chromecast, Bluetooth, external input...). It's also potentially a bonus for WAF (given it's for a bedroom) that the Arena doesn't have built-in mics (ie, its GA support is via another GA device including a phone). One problem is I'd not be able to hear it before ordering, so particularly interested in hearing others' views if they've had any experience with this.

 

Anyway, I'd welcome any advice on these options, or recommendations on other speakers that may fit the bill. Especially if there are any active stereo speakers with the above features (I'd potentially pay a bit more if I could find the right pair).

 

Thanks in advance.


View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2
5168 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Microsoft

  # 2323038 23-Sep-2019 03:39
Send private message quote this post

I love my Sonos gear, but as you point out its a very closed ecosystem with no support for modern file audio formats etc

One thing I find weird about the Sonos One with the smartspeaker feature, is you can only pair them with other Sonos One, not the cheaper Play One

Why you'd want 2 voice activated speakers in the same room is beyond me.



4130 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 2323043 23-Sep-2019 05:46
Send private message quote this post

Yeah, I read of the inability to pair across the two Sonos models, and given they’re otherwise such similar devices that does seem stupid.

I have contemplated that route - of purchasing a single model initially then a second to pair in stereo - but that does double the price! The Riva has three sets of speakers so does apparently produce a wider soundstage than most, but whether that and its ‘stereo’ effect sounds effective... the reviews appear mixed on this.

 
 
 
 


599 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2323065 23-Sep-2019 07:03
Send private message quote this post

I love my sonos one perfect for a bedroom great sound and looks good and doesn't take up much room.Works great on Spotify and great for radio apps as well

288 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2323155 23-Sep-2019 08:52
Send private message quote this post

Have a look at the Bose Soundtouch, great device and fits in your price range.




4130 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 2323158 23-Sep-2019 08:54
Send private message quote this post

I had a feeling the Sonos would be the popular choice!

 

Sonos users - in a real-world setting (I've only heard them in JB etc) is the One very much a mono speaker, ie does it have a narrow and directional soundstage? I'm still a fan of the increasingly old fashioned stereo speakers (and similarly, a full surround speaker array rather than a soundbar), so am keen on something that is room-filling (but not just volume), if that makes sense.

 

Are there any recommendations for other models I've not considered, or experience with the Riva?

 

@Dunnersfella - anything you're able to add, given your extensive knowledge of things audio?

 

Thanks again.

 

 




4130 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 2323161 23-Sep-2019 08:56
Send private message quote this post

CB_24:

 

Have a look at the Bose Soundtouch, great device and fits in your price range.

 

 

Thanks; sorry, missed this post while I was writing my reply above. Will take a look into this model as well.


194 posts

Master Geek


  # 2323214 23-Sep-2019 10:26
Send private message quote this post

I have a Denon Heos device in our bedroom, works great if your set up for HEOS.  Good sound for what i need and links with my Marantz. 

 

 

 

https://www.avworld.co.nz/shop/product/heos-by-denon-heos-1/overview

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 




4130 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 2323258 23-Sep-2019 11:19
Send private message quote this post

Thanks for the suggestions. It looks like both the Denons and Bose Soundtouches have limited (if any) GA compatibility, nor built-in Chromecast, which is a pity; I read that the new series of Bose speakers (Home Speaker) does have full GA (and Alexa) support.

 

One speaker that I'm wondering about is the Google Home Max - I had assumed that this wouldn't have particularly good sound, but reviews seem to indicate it's pretty good. Under $500 at PB Tech at the moment. At least I'd be sure of full GA/Chromecast support! Does anyone have experience with these? 


3594 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2323477 23-Sep-2019 17:11
Send private message quote this post

If you're after Googlecast audio - drop the Heos / MusicCast options.

 

The Riva's have been a flop to my knowledge, a lot of hype due to one of the founders being tied up in concert / festival promotion from the 1960's onwards... but as it turns out, those are also the people famed for ripping off artists and generally prop'ing up one of the most anti-creative industries out there - the music industry!

 

 

 

If you're into the Google eco-system, then a genuine Google product would be hard to go past BUT I would never, ever, never, ever have a Google or Amazon voice controlled speaker in the bedroom - let alone in my home (your preferences will vary).

 

Pairing 2 x Sonos / Heos / MusicCast speakers will work well for you.

 

But again, Chromecast comes in again and bares its ugly head.

 

Maybe look at something from JBL? They're heavily invested in that area, right?


1469 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 2323485 23-Sep-2019 18:08
Send private message quote this post

Yup +1 for the Sonos, great for the bow chicka wow wow 😜





Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding : Ice cream man , Ice cream man




4130 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 2323490 23-Sep-2019 18:22
Send private message quote this post

Thanks for the advice, @Dunnersfella. Interesting to hear of the Rivas flopping. Do you think their lack of uptake may affect their longevity/useful life? Have you experienced/heard them in the flesh, though?

Ok, putting aside either built in Chromecast or GA support, what would your recommendations be in relation to sound quality? TBH, I’m not that worried about “smarts” over sound quality, provided it has an input for a Chromecast Audio and BT. If Sonos is the best here, I’m sure its limitations are manageable...

With Sonos etc, by the time I’ve purchased two for a stereo pair the cost is around $700 - are there any active stereo speakers (ideally also with Bluetooth as well as a physical input) at or below this that would offer better performance? I’m wondering about something like Audioengine, but am not sure how these perform in a whole room setting, as opposed to a near field environment. I’m really not a fan of audio from a single point, and would rather have it right from day one than rely on purchasing a second device later.

Thanks again.

572 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2323494 23-Sep-2019 18:30
Send private message quote this post

Genuine question here as I'm not up on all of this. What is it about chromecast audio that makes it a must have? With all the other options to stream to a wifi speaker, why CC Audio? I thought the CC Audio was targeted towards taking an existing non-wifi stereo system and giving it some "smarts".


1469 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 2323496 23-Sep-2019 18:39
Send private message quote this post

If you are in the apple eco system you could always get a home pod the sound quality is bloody amazing.





Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding : Ice cream man , Ice cream man


2874 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 2323497 23-Sep-2019 18:55
Send private message quote this post

nathan: I love my Sonos gear, but as you point out its a very closed ecosystem with no support for modern file audio formats etc

One thing I find weird about the Sonos One with the smartspeaker feature, is you can only pair them with other Sonos One, not the cheaper Play One

Why you'd want 2 voice activated speakers in the same room is beyond me.

 

I also love my Sonos gear, but agree that the closed system can be frustrating. For me, the biggest shortcoming is not being able to cast audio from apps that support casting (eg. pocketcasts)

 

And why you'd want any live corporate microphones in any room is beyond me. Sadly it looks like most smart speakers are heading this way, so it's likely I might have to resort to putting superglue into the microphones of future purchases (-;




4130 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 2323505 23-Sep-2019 19:24
Send private message quote this post

We have Chromecast Audios for a number of stereos plus a few Google Home devices, so well-wedded to this ecosystem. That’s also why I’m ok with relatively dumb active speakers to which I add another Chromecast Audio.

Chromecast works well for us to distribute audio wherever want across the house, it’s supported in all the Android audio apps we use, it is easily controlled via GA including the Home devices... I’m sure it’s not the answer for many (especially those using iOS!) but in our case...

 1 | 2
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic



Twitter and LinkedIn »



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Microsoft New Zealand Partner Awards results
Posted 18-Oct-2019 10:18


Logitech introduces new Made for Google keyboard and mouse devices
Posted 16-Oct-2019 13:36


MATTR launches to accelerate decentralised identity
Posted 16-Oct-2019 10:28


Vodafone X-Squad powers up for customers
Posted 16-Oct-2019 08:15


D Link ANZ launches EXO Smart Mesh Wi Fi Routers with McAfee protection
Posted 15-Oct-2019 11:31


Major Japanese retailer partners with smart New Zealand technology IMAGR
Posted 14-Oct-2019 10:29


Ola pioneers one-time passcode feature to fight rideshare fraud
Posted 14-Oct-2019 10:24


Spark Sport new home of NZC matches from 2020
Posted 10-Oct-2019 09:59


Meet Nola, Noel Leeming's new digital employee
Posted 4-Oct-2019 08:07


Registrations for Sprout Accelerator open for 2020 season
Posted 4-Oct-2019 08:02


Teletrac Navman welcomes AI tech leader Jens Meggers as new President
Posted 4-Oct-2019 07:41


Vodafone makes voice of 4G (VoLTE) official
Posted 4-Oct-2019 07:36


2degrees Reaches Milestone of 100,000 Broadband Customers
Posted 1-Oct-2019 09:17


Nokia 1 Plus available in New Zealand from 2nd October
Posted 30-Sep-2019 17:46


Ola integrates Apple Pay as payment method in New Zealand
Posted 25-Sep-2019 09:51



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.