Sonos or Mac Mini?

Hello all,

Fed up with the controller Kinsky, I've decided to sell my Linn Majik DSI. I want a stable and reactive control software. Sonos with reclocker and good DAC seems the way to go but is is possible to get better sound from a Mac Mini without losing on the ergonomics? I don't want to wait everytime I want to change the music that the system scans the network or whatever. Is is also possible to embed services like Spotify as with Sonos?
Thank you for your inputs!
I got both and like them .
The Sonos is reliable sounds very good and is easy to use.I got the Sonos CR-200 controller,and I sit down with it and choose what to play ,it responds in an instant.Of cource when you add new music you need to update the library which takes about 5-10 minutes depending on the size.
Sometimes for reasons unknown to me some albums appear in the Sonos as jiberish and not proper names so I have to rename the files .Also with large files it gets harder to scroll down and find what your are looking for.
So I just set up a mac mini ans it sounds real good.
USB out to M2Tech Hiface out to my DAC with JRiver music player.
Now I can see my entire library on the big screen and find songs easier.
But I love both systems.
If the UI matters to you more than sound quality then Sonos is certainly a viable alternative.

I own a Sonos, and am saving up for a Linn DSI. I use the Phonos UI to control it. The sound is okay but nothing special. Sound-wise, the Linn DSIs are superior, but the UIs are clunky.

Before you bail on the Linn, have you tried an alternative to Kinsky? I've heard Twonky and it is a pretty good alternative.
A Sonos Connect with a re-clocker can provide very good sound. I’ve compared the standard and Wyred4Sound modified units using a good $1,300 Dac, and the W4S Connect is much better. Another option is using the standard Connect with an Empirical Audio Synchro-Mesh re-clocker. As you probably know, the Sonos interface is excellent and streaming glitches are rare. Access to Spotify, Mog/Beats, and Pandora is easy and quick. Qoboz CD bit rate streaming may be added soon in the U.S. So the Sonos with re-clocker is an excellent choice for ease of use and sound quality.

That said, a Mac Mini can provide better quality sound when using a very good USB converter, high-resolution sources, and better playback software (e.g., Pure Music). But this also brings added complexity. The Apple Remote IPad application is excellent for controlling stored music. But I’ve yet to find a good solution for controlling Pandora, Spotify or other browser-based internet radio stations. Are there any? Second party apps for Spotify are rather poor, IMO. VNC solutions work but are really awkward, with really small text. As for sound quality, CD quality sources on a Mac Mini should sound better than Sonos. High resolution files sound better yet. With 320K sources like internet radio, I doubt there will be much difference in sound quality with the low bit rate and better playback software cannot be used, but I have no personal experience in this area.

You might want to tryout some of the applications to control Spotify, Pandora, including the VNC apps, before buying a Mac Mini. I did and was convinced to stay with the W4S Sonos for the time being.
I have been very satisfied going the mac mini route last summer and having Ben at Mojo Audio do his thing has bumped it up to a very, very good sounding source, IMO.

Mojo removed the internal SMPS, added their internal filter, an outboard linear power supply and a separate external 2TB AV drive to store music, also powered by the external power supply. The internal drive for processing is a SSD. The mini is connected to the AV drive with a special Mojo powerless Firewire 800 cable. They also performed their optimization on the mini, since its sole use is as a music server. The unit is absolutely quiet, dynamic and has excellent tone density. It compares favorably to my $7K disc player.
Mac Mini user, here. Love it, and I am still boosting performance where I can.

Like mitch2, above, I went for the Mojo upgrade. Just received it yesterday, in fact, and even at this early stage, it was a vast improvement. I expect it will get even better after 200 hours.

Mac Mojo Mini with 4TB AV drive external, SSD internal, USB out to Emperical Audio Off Ramp 5 with Short Block filter, I2S out to PS Audio Perfectwave DAC II, XLR out straight to a Spectron Musician III MK2 amp, driving Magnepan 3.7 speakers.

I run the Mini headless, and use Screen Sharing from any Mac in the house to control the Mini. Remote app works on iPad, too.

Yeah... I could recommend this setup.
I also have both and compared them frequently. Apple Mac Mini music SSD server with Asyn Dac to Amarra and Sonos to Asyn Zdac with MOG (Beats). I found that Sonos sounds in between my VPI turntable and Apple music server.
"But I’ve yet to find a good solution for controlling Pandora, Spotify or other browser-based internet radio stations. Are there any?"

Yes, you can pay $9.90/month to any streaming station and you can fully control your music with Sonos on ipad.

I highly recommend both system to enjoy world class music going forward with less than $2,000 invested.
There is a new kid on the block that I believe is better than whats mentioned here for the use at hand, The nexus 7 google tablet will astound you for all your needs, it has better specs than all the tablets here,I just bought one, I am very pleased of the speed and specs to use for High-end audio.
Reclocking a Sonos with Synchro-Mesh is excellent(particularly with Dynamo power supply and my BNC-BNC cable), but it is edged-out by the Off-Ramp 5 driven from a Mac Mini with good playback software on it.

The Mac approach is a lot more work however. You must invest more time and money, but the payoff is big.

If you want the same or even better result than the Mac Mini and your budget can withstand it, the Antipodes server driving an Off-Ramp 5 is easy and killer SQ.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Intel NUC anybody? I don't expect too many Raspberry Pi users here..