Squeezebox Touch or Sonos ZonePlayer

I'm looking at streaming my digital music (FLAC audio files) from my HP EX490 server running Windows Home Server (WHS) to various sections of my home.

I was very close to getting the Sonos solution when I came across an article on the Squeezebox Touch in Stereophile magazine.

Unlike the Sonos ZonePlayers, the Squeezebox Touch also plays hi-rez FLAC downloads.

In terms of sound quality, would anyone know which of the two sounds better?

I'm looking at connecting the media player via digital coax to an external DAC in my living room to my dedicated stereo music system while for the other rooms the media player would connect to various "portable" boomboxes/radios via analog RCA cabling.
I have not heard the squeezebox touch. I have the sonos in the exact manner you propose, in my high end systems (2) and throughout the house and porch in various forms ( as an amplifier to ceiling speakers, as a source to a family room system, as a source to a Peachtree Nova in a screened porch, and two s5 boom boxes used as a stereo pair in a sun room.). I love the Sonos sound ( in one high end system the sonos goes to a emmlab dac and in the other to a Meridian 861 preamp/dac and in both systems I no longer play any CDs) and the great convenience. I can get music from my computer, play Pandora, or Rhapsody ( my favorite.). In addition, the ipone app is better than the Sonos controller, and I saw
a demo of the iPad app which is even more advanced (all three components of the music are seen at the same time, rather than switch
ing screens.)

My less than 2 cents. Good luck.

I think that Sonos is a better solution all around. More reliable, easier, sounds better and more flexible control options.
I had my sonos modified by Cullin Circuits to be clocked by my Apogee Big Ben clock. Big improvement but regular Sonos is pretty good. Also the high def files are downgraded by the squeezebox in order to play. Therefore no longer high def anyway.
My experience completely echos Reg's - right down to the kinds of systems we're using. Concur with Ballan's opinion, too.
The touch is reliable, sounds good without a dac, sounds better with a good dac, plays 24/96 files without downsampling and is quite a bit less expensive compared to Sonos. No brainer if you ask me.
I have no experience with the Sonos but the Touch does NOT downsample anything 24/96 or lower. I would imagine that the use of an external DAC would pretty much negate MOST of the sound quality differences between the two.
Johsti said: ....plays 24/96 files without downsampling.
Djohnson said: ...the Touch does NOT downsample anything 24/96 or lower."

I think they agree. Touch will play 24/96 or lower rates unchanged. It will downsample 24/176.4 and 24/192 to 24/96.


Yes we agree. Sometimes previous posts haven't been "approved" yet. Actually I think 24/176.4 is downsampled to 24/88.2.

Nice review BTW. I am also thrilled with mine. I am open to the fact that it might not be the best solution for everyone though.

I have the older squeezebox units. They work great, when they work. Definitely need external DAC though. (i have been told this about the sonos as well). Just doesn't sound right without it. I run it through my Cambridge 840C.
Friends with Sonos spend much less time messing around with network issues. So, if you are slightly geek inclined and want to save money, I would go for the squeezebox. If not, Sonos.
The Sonos units benefit from a good external DAC, too.


I bought a Sonos last night. Nice quality, easy to setup.

2 major problems though:

There is a 65,000 track limit on any 1 share. Mine has over 100k tracks. The only way around it is to segment the music on 2 shares.

Next, 24 bit is not supported... what a letdown. I am also seeing file play problems. In Tag and Rename a classical music file shows up as

Bitrate: 1221 kbps
Channels: stereo
Samplerate: 44100

This is odd. By definition the maximum bitrate for the Redbook standard is:

2 channels x 44,100 samples per second per channel × 16 bits per sample = 1,411,200 bit/s = 1,411.2 kbit/s.

At 1221, this file should play!