Bluesound vs sonos

I kinda know the answer already but I still want a 2nd opinion.

I’m currently using a chromecast audio to stream. It is not as good as a regular streamer.

I’m hesitating between the new Bluesound Node and the Sonos Port. I won’t use the DAC in either one of them. It will be connecter to my Rotel via coax.

The question is simple, since it’s connected via coax, will the hardware impact the sound since I’m not using the DAC chip?

It’s not what you asked, so you may have already rejected this option. But you could use Ropiee running on a Pi with an Allo DigiOne or HiFi Berry Digi2 Pro.

Ropiee is very well supported here, and you’d be running Roon’s own streaming software.

There is a little DIY involved, but not very much, esp if you buy the Allo kit which includes everything.

I think the Node has more connectivity and more flexibility. There’s also the consideration of whether you might get any further into either brand’s products in the future.

I’m not asking about the connectivity or the software. I’m asking if there will be a difference if both of them are connected via coax to my Amp since in both cases I’ll use the Rotel DAC?

My suggestions would also connect via co-ax to your Rotel.

Some DACs are immune to jitter coming from the SPDIF coaxial link, many are not.

The Allo DigiOne in particular has a very high quality coax output.

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Thank you for the suggestion but again, this is not related to my question.

To try and be precise.

The quality of the SPDIF output on the Sonos/Bluesound could affect the sound quality of the Rotel via clock jitter. This is not a case of ‘it’s digital so it doesn’t matter’

There are reports of some Sonos devices having quite a bit of jitter on their outputs.

I couldn’t find jitter specs for the Bluesound - although there are lots of third party clock upgrades available

You may be able to do better than me and find the jitter specifications on the Sonos and Bluesound websites.

However if the Rotel Dac reclocks the input, then it is unlikely that input jitter will have much (or any) effect on the output. So it may be worth checking what chipset is in your Rotel.

This is pure speculation, but I’d guess that the Rotel doesn’t reclock the input, and that the Bluesound jitter is lower than the Sonos.

Thanks Gred. Your answer helps a lot.

I’ll try to be more precise in my question.

Without thinking about any other factors like jitter, electrical noise, connectors, etc. The signal coming out of the Sonos or Bluesound via coax should be identical right? The box should not influence the sound since the Rotel does the decoding job?

Am I right that technically, there should be no difference?

You’re correct, as long as the signal coming into the device is the same, the digital bits coming out will be the same (ignoring noise, jitter etc)

However the signal coming in isn’t necessarily exactly the same. The Bluesound is roon ready - and so will directly support the Roon RAAT protocol.

Roon streams to Sonus - but not using the RAAT protocol.

However as long as they are supporting the same bit depth and sample rate, then what comes out should be the same.

Thee have been recent support reports of people having trouble with Sonos devices connecting, although expect there are many Sonos users not having any trouble.

Again my 2c if you are mainly concerned with roon, then with RAAT you stay inside the world of roon - and so perhaps benefit from more robust support. On the other hand if you already have Sonos devices there may be usability benefits in buying more.

I’m partnered with someone who hates any other app that is not Sonos…. So I need to compromise…. Also Sonos supports Apple Music. So I’m just trying to find a happy middle.

If you go for Sonos for convenience, at some point in the future you could always buy an inexpensive (but better) DAC with SPDIF reclocking (most dedicated DACs now do this). This would replace the DAC in the Rotel and help you get an audiophile output from the Sonos.

Oliver I now have a foot in both camps as I have owned Sonos since 2006 and have just bought a PowerNode to replace the Sonos Amp in my living room (having been caught by the disappeared Sonos issues for a month)

If the partner uses Sonos and doesn’t want to use Roon, then it sort of answers itself, but I doubt you would see much difference into the Rotel

But the Bluesound devices use the RAAT protocol and for me that is why I replaced my Sonos amp. I still have Sonos everywhere else in the house, but now have 3 excellent RAAT endpoints that I am happy with.
But the power of the WAF is strong

Of course one doesn’t prevent the other. I was more concerned about the quality of the signal that comes out of the 2 boxes via coax. Both should be bit perfect (in theory). But I just wanted to be sure.

I’m sure not much difference, the Bluesound support’s 24/192 as opposed to Sonos which output’s up to 24/48. But not going to be much difference at that point (not sure if you’re DAC supports 24/96 or 24/192 over SPDIF)

Worth noting that there is some debate around the sonos port digital output. I cannot validate the results but there are suggestions that the digital out is not bit perfect. Whether this is audible or not I cannot say. I have owned various Bluesound units including the Node 2 and the newer Node 2i (the previous gen to the current iteration). I compared it to the sonos connect that I owned at the time, both feeding a Rega Dac via coaxial. Totally subjective and biased but … I felt the node 2 / 2i sounded a bit different than the sonos connect. I preferred the sonos at the time but kept the Bluesound due to RAAT.