So you are looking for a home audio system for multiple rooms at home, one that you can roll out in an afternoon and link with your iTunes library. In my opinion Sonos Audio System is a must check out product.
There are few home audio systems that have the functionality and easy(ish) set up as Sonos. With a little home networking knowledge and time, Sonos can be a DIY set up for you, but there are a couple of things you need to watch out for.
iTunes synchronising can be a little tricky especially if you want to keep your library is located on an external drive. I’ve had issues here setting up for myself and customers in the past so tread carefully. My advice is to get a Sonos Installer/ AV guy to install, that way you have the support if something goes wrong. However, after installation saving files and updating playlists will be the users responsibility so if you are not very clear on how this works some of your playlists may go missing or not play at all. Having readable file types that Sonos can work with is important also, i.e. beware of torrent files as they may not play if you do not convert them properly.
Setting up your network so that Sonos can find and play your files is critical. If you have not got at least some basic knowledge of WiFi set up then forget it, hire a professional AV guy or get a friend who does to help you. Some routers don’t work well with Sonos. We’ve found the Cisco UPC router to be problematic. In this case you will need to turn off the wireless on the Cisco router and add a wireless access point to serve as your WiFi device. These will generally cost about €100.00. Don’t waste your time with anything cheaper as you will encounter issues.
For storing iTunes media we recommend a Mac Mini if you are a mac user, or a Western Digital MyBookLive NAS Drive. If you are going to store your music on your laptop or desktop PC then understand that Sonos will not find and play your music unless that machine is turned on and you are logged in. iTunes tends to revert to the default iTunes location on your machine every time you reboot which can be frustrating so also bear this in mind. If you don’t use iTunes for media management then things might just be easier for you in the set up. If you do manage to get iTunes synched with Sonos correctly then it becomes a very good addition.
Once Sonos Home Audio System has been set up its really nice to use and offers loads of additional functionality such as streaming from internet radio station around the world. If you have Spotify account you can access millions of songs and create playlists. The control of your system is done via iPhone or Android so you will need one of these. If you dont have an iPhone or Android device then all is not lost, you can use your PC or Mac to control your system. Sonos discontinued their CR200 about a year ago due to lack of popularity but you may still be able to get your hands on one from eBay.
Overall, despite the few drawbacks mentioned above I would recommend Sonos as a Home Audio System and it would be the first choice for an stand alone audio solution for my clients due to it’s ease of operation.