Sonos has long been the king of the wireless whole house music hill, but Play-Fi enabled devices may actually offer some decent competition to this well-established brand. One of the biggest things going for Play-Fi is that it uses a lossless transmission, unlike bluetooth which uses significant compression. So should you start looking at Sonos alternatives?
What is Play-Fi?
Play-Fi has actually been around for a little while. It was developed for a product call Phorus back in 2012. Then Phorus was purchased by the well known DTS. They have since moved to establish it as a rival technology to Sonos.
The biggest advantage, other than the uncompressed audio, is that it is a standard versus a product. This means that multiple companies will be able to license this format and incorporate it into their product lines. Names such as Polk, Paradigm, and Definitive Technologies are already bringing products to market that utilize the Play-Fi format.
And these are just the early adopters. Soon all of your favorite brands will be carrying this same technology. This will allow you to create an entire connected house where your favorite music can be streamed to devices and speakers anywhere.
Downside of Sonos
The major downside to Sonos of course is that it is only compatible with other Sonos products. This can be overcome somewhat by using some of their products in conjunction with your existing amplifier or speakers. But you certainly can’t stream directly to your favorite pair of speakers. And the audio WILL be highly compressed. This may not matter to a great number of current Sonos customers, but there is a significant share of the market to whom music quality is the most important factor when choosing a product.
For these folks the Play-Fi format may be just what they’re looking for. And with so many companies adopting the format, they might be able to expect it from their favorite brands in the not too distant future.