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Thread: Did you ever want a "whole house music system"? I put mine together for <$300

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Did you ever want a "whole house music system"? I put mine together for <$300

    If you're going to live a Dappered life, you'll want to have a Dappered place. I think music helps with that.

    For years I've wanted a whole house wireless music system, but the prices on things like Sonos put me off and also their closed universe. Yamaha Music Cast might have worked with my current Yamaha receiver, which has network capabilities--but it's not wireless, even though the speakers might not need to be wired, the receiver would be tethered to a wire. And it's another proprietary system. And the speakers start at about $250, each I think.

    I had heard of DTS's Play-Fi, but didn't pay much attention. Then I noticed Pioneer had some Play-Fi speakers for a heavily discounted price under $100, I think. I started doing some research and discovered that a bunch of equipment makers were selling Play-Fi compatible equipment. And that Klipsch made a device you could use to convert your non-Play-Fi speakers to Play-Fi. And that Phorus made a device to hook up a receiver to your wi-fi network. Both of these devices were about $30.

    And I picked up a few speakers made by Phorus for only $50 each on Amazon--regular $200. I think Phorus is a DTS subsidiary.

    As long as you have a good wi-fi signal throughout your house, set up is a breeze. It works with all the major music services and most NAS media servers. You can even set up the speakers to pair as stereo speakers in the same room.

    Results? I am so impressed. Now when we have a party, we can have the same background music playing throughout the house at low volume. Or we can blast it in one room and turn it down in others. Different people can even listen to different things in different rooms. The speakers are amazing great for $50.

    Audiophiles--you're probably covered too--but you'll need to decide for yourself. I know at least one high-end amp maker, McIntosh, makes compatible products. And for a one-time $15 fee, you can install the Play-Fi HD app on your Windows computer. It allows for loss-less music files to play over your wi-fi.

    Caveats:

    1) You'd better have a strong wi-fi signal near where you want the speakers to play. Otherwise, you'll experience drops in the sound. That's not a problem for me. I installed a Google Wi-Fi system a few months back and it works like a charm.

    2) I think Play-Fi never really caught on. I think very few new products are coming out. And I think that's why so many of the gear companies are selling the equipment so cheaply. But DTS is an establish company and they seem committed to supporting the system, even if nobody else makes new products. Once you have all the equipment you need, I don't think it's an issue if it's not being made anymore.

    Anybody else try Play-Fi? Other systems? What are your thoughts?
    Intentionally overdressed for almost every occasion.

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    My buddy has Sonos and the software is what makes it awesome. If the company went under I dont think you would have much of a product left. I am going to look into this though. I feel like Sonos is really missing the boat on 2 points. First, no outdoor speakers. Second, leaving bluetooth off. If the Sonos speakers had a basic BT receiver int hem you could use them as double duty home and away and I could stomach that price a lot more. Plus they would still function if your wifi was down or, heaven forbid, Sonos went out of business. For the money they ask, it should be in there.

    Thanks for the tip. I am going to look into this and see how I could incorporate it with what I have. I would love to be able to use a combination of my receiver, some standalone speakers, and some BT speakers with aux in to create a multi functioning music mesh.

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idvsego View Post
    My buddy has Sonos and the software is what makes it awesome. If the company went under I dont think you would have much of a product left. I am going to look into this though. I feel like Sonos is really missing the boat on 2 points. First, no outdoor speakers. Second, leaving bluetooth off. If the Sonos speakers had a basic BT receiver int hem you could use them as double duty home and away and I could stomach that price a lot more. Plus they would still function if your wifi was down or, heaven forbid, Sonos went out of business. For the money they ask, it should be in there.

    Thanks for the tip. I am going to look into this and see how I could incorporate it with what I have. I would love to be able to use a combination of my receiver, some standalone speakers, and some BT speakers with aux in to create a multi functioning music mesh.
    Yes you can do that for sure.

    Over the weekend, I hooked up the below $30 box to my Yamaha receiver with PSB speakers and a Polk subwoofer. When we had a party Saturday night, I was able to have the same Pandora music channel playing softly in the background in our living room, sitting room, backyard, upstairs hallway and a bedroom.

    It gave seamless ambiance to the entire house and several people noticed it. The entire investment (not counting the stand-alone equipment I already owned) was about $275.

    Very happy.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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    Super Moderator DocDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idvsego View Post
    My buddy has Sonos and the software is what makes it awesome. If the company went under I dont think you would have much of a product left. I am going to look into this though. I feel like Sonos is really missing the boat on 2 points. First, no outdoor speakers. Second, leaving bluetooth off. If the Sonos speakers had a basic BT receiver int hem you could use them as double duty home and away and I could stomach that price a lot more. Plus they would still function if your wifi was down or, heaven forbid, Sonos went out of business. For the money they ask, it should be in there.
    You pretty much hit the nail on the head with all your points. I have sonos setup in our house. Two speakers in the kitchen, two speakers in the living room and one speaker in the bedroom. When the system works, it is brilliant. But when it doesn't work, it's a pain in the ass to figure out. What do I mean by 'when it works'?

    I'd say 95% of the time, no issues. But for that 5%, I have issues with speakers being dropped for no reason. I'll be listening to the speakers then boom! Three of the four will drop out for no reason. The app doesn't recognize them and I am stuck trying to figure out what's wrong. In most cases if I have a bit of patience, the speakers come back online in 5-10 mins. If not, then I have to unplug the router and get the speakers to recognize the network again. A real pain.

    Also, sonos pushes out system updates. If you ignore them long enough, eventually sonos will prevent you from using your speakers UNLESS you accept their update. This annoys me as I figure I bought the speakers, I own them, and it should be up to me to decide what updates I want to accept and which ones i don't. But this is not the case.

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