Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

User avatar
Trogladyte
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:13 pm
Location: Felpersham
Has thanked: 65 times
Been thanked: 74 times

Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Trogladyte »

I don't quite know what I need. I've got an Audiolab music streaming box running into sn Audiolab, which is driving a lovely set of B&Ws. This is all linked up with the Xbox & the TV. The music runs on Data Play-Fi.

Meanwhile in another part of the forest, my turntable, CD changer and tuner, all run into an old Cambridge Audio amp, driving a pair of Wharfedales and a pair of Tannoys together.

How do I link the second system with the first? Do I need a network amp? Will that allow me to use the Audiolab streaming box as a source?
User avatar
Trogladyte
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:13 pm
Location: Felpersham
Has thanked: 65 times
Been thanked: 74 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Trogladyte »

Blimey. That'll be a no" then.
Count Steer
Posts: 3711
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:59 pm
Location: Top o' the world Ma.
Has thanked: 2203 times
Been thanked: 1528 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Count Steer »

Soz. :(

I'm a 'route one to goal' sort of chap when it comes to technical solutions for hi-fi. Ditched the bits and bobs systems and bought things that work together pretty seamlessly. Wouldn't know where to start with your systems. Surprised no-one else doesn't though.
My spine is the bass line.
Mr Moofo
Posts: 2074
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:41 pm
Location: Brightonish
Has thanked: 783 times
Been thanked: 674 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Mr Moofo »

No idea - I just run two systems in different rooms separately
They are linked via the on computer library/ spotify - but if I want vinyl - I go into the room with the Technics...
User avatar
Slenver
Posts: 627
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm
Has thanked: 263 times
Been thanked: 311 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Slenver »

Not quite sure how you'd add the two existing halves together, but for reference, I have an Audiolab DAC and power amp and connect a Sonos Bridge into the DAC, then output to Quad speakers. I don't use any other sources (apart from TV/PS4) but could do. Can't remember offhand if the DAC has a phono stage – think from memory that it was an option.

Point being, you can certainly do everything you need with updated hardware – in my case, the same brand even – but not sure about combining your current stuff.
Felix
Posts: 1522
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:34 am
Has thanked: 160 times
Been thanked: 461 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Felix »

Dig deep and get a new system. Sonos or the likes.
Mussels
Posts: 2343
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:02 pm
Has thanked: 406 times
Been thanked: 637 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Mussels »

Trogladyte wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:30 am Blimey. That'll be a no" then.
Nope, not a clue here.
User avatar
wheelnut
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:36 pm
Has thanked: 561 times
Been thanked: 668 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by wheelnut »

Trogladyte wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 11:22 pm I don't quite know what I need. I've got an Audiolab music streaming box running into sn Audiolab, which is driving a lovely set of B&Ws. This is all linked up with the Xbox & the TV. The music runs on Data Play-Fi.

Meanwhile in another part of the forest, my turntable, CD changer and tuner, all run into an old Cambridge Audio amp, driving a pair of Wharfedales and a pair of Tannoys together.

How do I link the second system with the first? Do I need a network amp? Will that allow me to use the Audiolab streaming box as a source?
I suspect anything you try and cobble together with that lot will be a bodge and just not work as you want it to.

Your turntable and Cambridge kit are for listening to. Use them for that and keep them separate. A multi room setup is music for convenience, not for listening to. Alexa is as good as anything else.
User avatar
MrLongbeard
Posts: 2026
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:06 pm
Has thanked: 240 times
Been thanked: 985 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by MrLongbeard »

Download BBC sounds on to your phone (other steaming services are available)
Open said streaming service
Put phone in pocket
Et voila you now have a multi room audio in whatever room your pocket is in
Felix
Posts: 1522
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:34 am
Has thanked: 160 times
Been thanked: 461 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Felix »

Kneerly Down
Posts: 486
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:30 am
Has thanked: 121 times
Been thanked: 209 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Kneerly Down »

wheelnut wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:29 pmI suspect anything you try and cobble together with that lot will be a bodge and just not work as you want it to.
That^ is what I'd suspect also.
I'm just getting round to setting up (after many years of being in the storeroom) my Arcam amp and Monitor Audio speakers in the study, as I'm working full-time from there now.
In recent years I've been pretty much solely listening to audio either on BT headphones or the full-size Amazon Echo devices. Really looking forward to having some proper sound filling the room once again! :)

I'll still keep the Amazon devices for wandering about the house though.
User avatar
Slenver
Posts: 627
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm
Has thanked: 263 times
Been thanked: 311 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Slenver »

wheelnut wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:29 pm I suspect anything you try and cobble together with that lot will be a bodge and just not work as you want it to.

Your turntable and Cambridge kit are for listening to. Use them for that and keep them separate. A multi room setup is music for convenience, not for listening to. Alexa is as good as anything else.
No reason to think that. I have a good hi-fi connected into a multi-room Sons system as outlined above. Perfectly straightforward.
User avatar
wheelnut
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:36 pm
Has thanked: 561 times
Been thanked: 668 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by wheelnut »

Slenver wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:19 pm No reason to think that. I have a good hi-fi connected into a multi-room Sons system as outlined above. Perfectly straightforward.
True, you can make anything work if you put your mind to it, but what’s the point? Sonos isn’t Hifi. Streaming isn’t hifi. By the time Trog gets something that can stream into the Cambridge and back out to a multi room setup, he may as well have an independent multi room streaming setup (Sonos, Alexa, whatever) and keep the hifi for listening to.
User avatar
Slenver
Posts: 627
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm
Has thanked: 263 times
Been thanked: 311 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Slenver »

wheelnut wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:21 pm
Slenver wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:19 pm No reason to think that. I have a good hi-fi connected into a multi-room Sons system as outlined above. Perfectly straightforward.
True, you can make anything work if you put your mind to it, but what’s the point? Sonos isn’t Hifi. Streaming isn’t hifi. By the time Trog gets something that can stream into the Cambridge and back out to a multi room setup, he may as well have an independent multi room streaming setup (Sonos, Alexa, whatever) and keep the hifi for listening to.
Why isn't streaming or Sonos hi-fi? It's 2022 y'know, hi-fi isn't just record decks anymore.
User avatar
wheelnut
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:36 pm
Has thanked: 561 times
Been thanked: 668 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by wheelnut »

Slenver wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:26 pm
Why isn't streaming or Sonos hi-fi? It's 2022 y'know, hi-fi isn't just record decks anymore.
Sonos are great, they can deliver reasonable quality, convenient music, but they aren’t in any way comparable to a decent quality hifi setup, either turntable or CD.

The calendar has nothing to do with it. ;)
User avatar
Slenver
Posts: 627
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm
Has thanked: 263 times
Been thanked: 311 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Slenver »

wheelnut wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:47 pm
Slenver wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:26 pm
Why isn't streaming or Sonos hi-fi? It's 2022 y'know, hi-fi isn't just record decks anymore.
Sonos are great, they can deliver reasonable quality, convenient music, but they aren’t in any way comparable to a decent quality hifi setup, either turntable or CD.

The calendar has nothing to do with it. ;)
I disagree entirely. Sounds like you're just talking about their speakers.
User avatar
wheelnut
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:36 pm
Has thanked: 561 times
Been thanked: 668 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by wheelnut »

Slenver wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:50 pm I disagree entirely. Sounds like you're just talking about their speakers.
Speakers play a part certainly, but music separation and definition starts at the quality of the recording, then the source, the ampflier, the cables and then the speakers. All have to work together to suit the music choice, the listener and the room. Some people prefer the music quite lively and forward (KD’s arcam will be in that corner), and some will prefer it a bit more laid back.

My own setup, a rega planar 3, marantz CD transport, roksan attessa and B&W 603 S2 is a low to mid range setup but delivers a fairly bright sound without being harsh. I did demo a fair few options to arrive at the above combo though.

One thing that really does apply to hifi is the law of diminishing returns.
User avatar
Slenver
Posts: 627
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm
Has thanked: 263 times
Been thanked: 311 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Slenver »

wheelnut wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 8:04 pm
Slenver wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:50 pm I disagree entirely. Sounds like you're just talking about their speakers.
Speakers play a part certainly, but music separation and definition starts at the quality of the recording, then the source, the ampflier, the cables and then the speakers. All have to work together to suit the music choice, the listener and the room. Some people prefer the music quite lively and forward (KD’s arcam will be in that corner), and some will prefer it a bit more laid back.

My own setup, a rega planar 3, marantz CD transport, roksan attessa and B&W 603 S2 is a low to mid range setup but delivers a fairly bright sound without being harsh. I did demo a fair few options to arrive at the above combo though.

One thing that really does apply to hifi is the law of diminishing returns.
Yes, of course. But if the Sonos is doing nothing other than moving digital information from one place to another then you're relying on the quality of whatever components you choose.
User avatar
wheelnut
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:36 pm
Has thanked: 561 times
Been thanked: 668 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by wheelnut »

Slenver wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 8:21 pm Yes, of course. But if the Sonos is doing nothing other than moving digital information from one place to another then you're relying on the quality of whatever components you choose.
Yes and no. With Sonos you can choose your source, but the DAC and amplification happens within each Sonos member. Not to mention the loss in wireless transmission.

Dont get me wrong, I’m not saying Sonos are rubbish, they are great for what they are, but they really are a world away from a reasonable hifi setup. It’s horses for courses though, you get what suits your listening preferences.
User avatar
Slenver
Posts: 627
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm
Has thanked: 263 times
Been thanked: 311 times

Re: Does anyone have a good overview of multi room audio?

Post by Slenver »

wheelnut wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 8:53 pm
Slenver wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 8:21 pm Yes, of course. But if the Sonos is doing nothing other than moving digital information from one place to another then you're relying on the quality of whatever components you choose.
Yes and no. With Sonos you can choose your source, but the DAC and amplification happens within each Sonos member. Not to mention the loss in wireless transmission.
No it doesn't, not necessarily. That's what I'm trying to explain. In most cases this is true, but they make other products, including one that simply streams into your DAC and amp. As I explained above in my own setup.

And as for 'loss in wireless transmission', I'm not sure that's a thing. Do you find websites are lower quality on wi-fi than via an ethernet cable? :)