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# 257258 22-Sep-2019 23:01
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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.


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  # 2323038 23-Sep-2019 03:39
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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.



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  # 2323043 23-Sep-2019 05:46
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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.

 
 
 
 


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  # 2323065 23-Sep-2019 07:03
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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

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  # 2323155 23-Sep-2019 08:52
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Have a look at the Bose Soundtouch, great device and fits in your price range.




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  # 2323158 23-Sep-2019 08:54
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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.

 

 




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  # 2323161 23-Sep-2019 08:56
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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.


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  # 2323214 23-Sep-2019 10:26
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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

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 




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  # 2323258 23-Sep-2019 11:19
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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? 


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  # 2323477 23-Sep-2019 17:11
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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?


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  # 2323485 23-Sep-2019 18:08
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Yup +1 for the Sonos, great for the bow chicka wow wow 😜





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  # 2323490 23-Sep-2019 18:22
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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.

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  # 2323494 23-Sep-2019 18:30
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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".


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  # 2323496 23-Sep-2019 18:39
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If you are in the apple eco system you could always get a home pod the sound quality is bloody amazing.





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  # 2323497 23-Sep-2019 18:55
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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 (-;




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  # 2323505 23-Sep-2019 19:24
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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...

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