Audiophiles?? Need Help with Audio Set up for condo Please?/!!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SD-B, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. SD-B macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    I am setting up a sound system for a friend/client.
    Below are his needs. I however need help in order to know what to buy and set up.

    Condo Dweller 1700 square feet or so
    Big on Design, style and although money is not an object of great concern, he will look for the best deals possible, nor will he throw money away needlessly.

    He has a Mac and keeps all of his music on it but no iPods.
    He'd want to be able to run music though it so the music would play in the living room. I need a good one. I dont want a desktop speaker so that if he played music at a reasonable volume level it would sound cheap, but neither do I need the top system for him.
    Something that will give him good clear sound without breaking the bank.

    Hopefully it will be good enough that he will still be able to hear the music if he moves around his bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc.

    I am not an expert on sound so I do need help here.
    I am guessing that one speaker wont be enough but if I need to put more speakers in the living room i will do so but its also important that they look good. I am going wireless to avoid unnecessary wires and so on.

    He also needs something fairly simple as he is not a "computer "geek at all.

    Naturally it must be a system that works easily with Mac.

    Any audiophiles here that can please help me towards making the right choice of a system or speakers, whatever it is I must do to accomplish the above?

    So far I was wondering about Bose and if there were something in their product line that would fit the needs I have described above

    TIA :)
  2. SeaDude macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2012
    Texas, USA
    Sonos fits the bill

    Specifically, multiple "Play5" models ($399 each) placed in various rooms as desired. The system can access music stored on a computer, as well as stream from SiriusXM, Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify etc.

    Once the first "wireless bridge" is connected to a physical ethernet cable going to the home router, the rest of the system operates wirelessly (in a rather robust mesh network) to provide whole-house audio. Also, there are free controller apps available for the iPhone, iPod, and Android platforms.

    Granted, this isn't true audiophile gear, but you'd be amazed how well lossless rips sound, considering the relatively small size of the unit.
  3. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    Is the friend an audiophile, or you just want them to answer?

    Not audiophile: Sonos
    Audiophile: Do you know how to run wire?

    Also, you really need to define "breaking the bank". And Bose does not fit the definition of good sound, or good value.
  4. TwoBytes macrumors 68030


    Jun 2, 2008
    Airport express and get him to walk into a store and LISTEN to speakers and pick out what he likes. That's what it's all about, right?

    He could also use his iPhone/iPad to control music.
  5. SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    If thats the case, proof the that neither one of us is an audiophile
    I have frieds that are, that have had me listen to one recording over another and when I cant make out the differences, I have seen them get awfully excited about the ones they can make out-hence, I feel it is best to ask others that are

    I was looking for more info than just a brand name speaker. I am clueless about what is out there all together now. The last time I had a stereo it was a Technics I think :rolleyes:


    Will check this out. Thank you!
  6. SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009

    That looks really nice but I think it might be beyond his technical ability.....but even if it isnt, I didn't see a store that sells it. I doubt hed buy online......

    hmm still looking
  7. basesloaded190, Jan 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012

    basesloaded190 macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    If i were you guys, I would get a decent receiver and two bookshelf speakers for stereo sound. Possibly add a subwoofer if looking to gather some low end sound. Get the music to this set-up with an Apple TV.

    If you give a range in the max amount that he is willing to spend, i can show you a good selection of reveivers and speakers. This will give you the best sound for the money BY FAR.

    Edit- I receiver with built in Airplay would be a great idea as well.
  8. amanpatel macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2011
    I would throw my vote for SONOS.

    If this is all about music and audio quality, SONOS will not let you down. The system will be very, very easy to use because it was designed with one thing in mind: Music.

    As a previous poster suggested, all you really need is multiple Play5 speakers (in the same room or various rooms), and a sonos bridge ($50) connected to your router. Once you set this up, you can use your iphone or ipad (or various other controllers) to play music through the speakers. You can link speakers up in the same room (so each speaker acts as a discrete left or right channel), or you can assign each speaker a different music track to play (for you might have jazz in your kitchen, but something else for the kids in their bedroom).

    Multiple iPhones or iPod touches can be used to view and change the playing music.

    The sound quality on the Play5 is top notch. You can read the review of the Play3 (their budget speaker) in the Verge here:

    Even though its a smaller speaker than the Play5, the Verge praises the audio qualities (even the bass) coming out of the little Play3.

    They offer great customer service and a 45-day return policy. So I think you can audition the speakers at your home, and return them if you don't like them.
  9. jmhays macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2011
    +1 for Sonos

    Something that MAY not have been evident in the posts from others about Sonos is that the speakers (the play 3 or the play 5) are wireless! This makes them extremely easy to move from room to room if needed. Or, in your example of your friend moving from room to room, if s/he has a play 5 in each room, they can all play the same music, or different music depending on their need.

    Nothing has yet been stated about the music your friend has right now. Does s/he listen to music on the Mac or does s/he just have one? Are they planning on listening to music through iTunes? Is the music in the MP3 format or a lossless format like FLAC or Apple Lossless?

    The BEST improvement your friend can make is to trash all the .MP3 songs and replace them with the same song in FLAC or Apple Lossless. The MP3 format will let you place many songs on your iPod or iPhone and makes it easy to carry around a large song collection. But at home, you normally have different requirements. You normally have lots of space for songs but listen in an environment without all the background noise you encounter on the street. Therefore, you "normally" want a more dynamic range for your music, you want CD quality, not the compressed music you get with MP3.

    Have your friend re-rip their music collection into the Apple Lossless format and buy the Sonos system for the home. If they are REALLY into music, and already has a stereo, the Sonos system has Connect. The Connect will turn your existing stereo or home theater into a music streaming system.
  10. SeaDude macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2012
    Texas, USA
    Best Buy is not my retailer of choice, but they sell Sonos, and there are several stores in the Toronto area. The benefit of buying locally is the opportunity for a listen before handing over your cash.

    As for ease of use, it took me all of 10 minutes to set up the Zone Bridge and the first Play5. The controller app for the iPad and iPhone is very intuitive. If my technophobic wife can figure it out... ;)
  11. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Some thoughts:

    Complex systems with routers and all are ok for those who like to deal with that sort of thing and really can't ever, ever be without some music no matter where they go in the house. This often seems like a better idea than it is.

    If the place has a reasonably open design, a couple of speakers and a sub can be heard in the area people spend most of their waking time. However, if all the rooms are separated by walls, then you would have to turn up the sound too high and that would cause condo problems.

    It might be wise to incorporate a home theater system. It doesn't even have to be surround sound to be vastly more enjoyable than TV speakers. Just a receiver, two or three speakers (center) and a sub do wonders. Most every TV show has good sound these days, and bass! And of course one can play music through this system just fine.

    There is a vast array of fm stations available on AppleTV, for whatever kind of music you like, so HT opens that option up. I am finding that is a great feature.
  12. cwaddell2002 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    A Budget Please

    Really this is a hard conversation to have without some budget knowledge. Does your friend care how the system looks? I can suggest some components that would make a great stereo setup that sounds amazing, but you would spend about 10k. You can also find speakers that are good and a decent amp for $500. It's all about what you want to spend and how big the room is.
  13. SD-B, Jan 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012

    SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    Thanks for all of your answers.

    I think now that someone mentioned that Best Buy sells SONOS, I am going to go there and take a better peek at these.
    I think they sound as if they are possibly the answer.

    As for some other questions asked of me, I did mention earlier that looks WERE very important.
    As well I did say that money was not an object. What i meant by that and mistakenly assumed that people would understand me was that this person will spend money to get the best sound but at the same time, isnt going to lay out $5,000, but at the same time, isnt expecting to have the sound he wants for $500
    And yes, he already has the Mac and the music is in his computer but hes avoiding having all sorts of equipment and as hes not a geek, he doesnt want anything he cant figure out how to set up

    I will say that although I PERSONALLY believe in Lame encoded rips, or mpc and other formats, I am dealing with someone who likely just buys CDS and plays them through his computer.
    This is not someone that is going to get into ripping his own songs ;-)

    From all I can read, I believe SONOS may fit this bill

    Thank you everyone

Share This Page