Multizone Audio Help needed - Recommendations

annunaki

annunaki

Moderator
Hey fellow Audioholics, I have been out of the custom integration game for a bit too long now. I currently have a multizone amplifier that operates independent of my HT systems, and I want to keep it that way. I currently use the Dayton HiFly systems for each of the zones. It is nice having the app control and independent zone sourcing/control. MY problem with these systems is they need frequent resets as they don't show up as available sources on Spotify (We have a spotify family account for at least 5 independent users). I would also like to run a Google home as its own input for our kitchen, but that is separate and can handle that on my own.

What I am asking for is what other systems operate similarly to the Dayton Hi-Fly system that are reasonable cost that hopefully work a bit better functionally. Thanks in advance!
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
This system never even hit my radar at all. I'm a Parts Express fan, and the short lived nature of this product indicates that it was underfunded and didn't earn enough profit, or generate enough interest to matter. This is problematic, because in reality, the most important aspect of all of these systems isn't the hardware anymore, it is the software.

There are some whole house solutions from Yamaha, and Denon, but really, it is the Sonos products and maybe the Bluesound products which take center stage IMO. Sonos is relatively cheap comparatively, but still likely cost a good deal more than what Dayton was selling. I have no idea since there is no pricing available on that stuff and not a single product on eBay (how is that possible?).

I'm not sure what amplifier you are using for your audio, but Sonos zone players, the Sonos Port, or the Sonos Amp, can get you individual room playback with a LONG list of streaming services available. Not sure if you have multiple users and need a bunch of separate units, or if you have a multi-channel amp with a proper source selector available for those different zones.

My system, by example, only has a single Sonos Port, then I have a ton of other sources available to my rooms. I have 20+ zones of audio and up to 16 sources available. I use an app and pick a room, and a source for that room, and can adjust volume for that room. If I pick Sonos, I jump into the Sonos app to control the device itself. I don't have 2 or 3 players, just one, so I listen to the same thing on it everywhere I listen to it, but it works well in my home. I also can choose to use Airplay and stream straight from my phone if I want, or I can listen to one of my other audio sources. It works just fine for MY needs.

So, what comes after your Dayton pieces matters. Do you have individual amps for each room? Do you need amplification? Was volume control for the rooms a part of the app you used?

I think you likely are going to have to pay more to get a solid solution. Certainly it is clear that what you had never quite worked right. I can say that I NEVER reset my Sonos or my Crestron systems and they work 100% for me. Always work. Every time. Anything short of that is, IMO, unacceptable. I could maybe deal with resetting things once every few months, but that's never been my experience. I press play on my Sonos and it plays back. I know there are some that used to swear by Chromecast Audio devices, but then they also said they had to reset things from time to time. Some do use Amazon Echo products as well. Not something I've integrated directly into my system (though I could add it). So, you have some options, but it depends on what your complete system is and what you need to have happen.
 
annunaki

annunaki

Moderator
This system never even hit my radar at all. I'm a Parts Express fan, and the short lived nature of this product indicates that it was underfunded and didn't earn enough profit, or generate enough interest to matter. This is problematic, because in reality, the most important aspect of all of these systems isn't the hardware anymore, it is the software.

There are some whole house solutions from Yamaha, and Denon, but really, it is the Sonos products and maybe the Bluesound products which take center stage IMO. Sonos is relatively cheap comparatively, but still likely cost a good deal more than what Dayton was selling. I have no idea since there is no pricing available on that stuff and not a single product on eBay (how is that possible?).

I'm not sure what amplifier you are using for your audio, but Sonos zone players, the Sonos Port, or the Sonos Amp, can get you individual room playback with a LONG list of streaming services available. Not sure if you have multiple users and need a bunch of separate units, or if you have a multi-channel amp with a proper source selector available for those different zones.

My system, by example, only has a single Sonos Port, then I have a ton of other sources available to my rooms. I have 20+ zones of audio and up to 16 sources available. I use an app and pick a room, and a source for that room, and can adjust volume for that room. If I pick Sonos, I jump into the Sonos app to control the device itself. I don't have 2 or 3 players, just one, so I listen to the same thing on it everywhere I listen to it, but it works well in my home. I also can choose to use Airplay and stream straight from my phone if I want, or I can listen to one of my other audio sources. It works just fine for MY needs.

So, what comes after your Dayton pieces matters. Do you have individual amps for each room? Do you need amplification? Was volume control for the rooms a part of the app you used?

I think you likely are going to have to pay more to get a solid solution. Certainly it is clear that what you had never quite worked right. I can say that I NEVER reset my Sonos or my Crestron systems and they work 100% for me. Always work. Every time. Anything short of that is, IMO, unacceptable. I could maybe deal with resetting things once every few months, but that's never been my experience. I press play on my Sonos and it plays back. I know there are some that used to swear by Chromecast Audio devices, but then they also said they had to reset things from time to time. Some do use Amazon Echo products as well. Not something I've integrated directly into my system (though I could add it). So, you have some options, but it depends on what your complete system is and what you need to have happen.
Thanks for the detailed response here!

I have amplifier channels for each zone I want to control, (Phast PLB-Amp8) that is not an issue. When I looked at the Sonos Port it only showed one output which to me indicated a single zone of control? I thought, "no way am I paying $449 per zone with no amplifier."

Dayton still makes these products, here is the most recent model for example: https://www.parts-express.com/Dayton-Audio-WBA51-Bluetooth-and-Network-Audio-Receiver-with-IR-Remote-300-598

Essentially the way my system is set up is having a single Dayton unit per zone in which the Dayton acts as the "source". I can stream multiple options through them as well as access them via apple airplay. (Whole family has an apple device.)

Some of the units seem to work decently, others need a periodic reset every so often, the more problematic ones seems to need a reset like every 48 hours if they have not been used accessed recently.

I plan to troubleshoot them a bit further and found a backdoor way to insure they are linked to my wifi I will attempt also. I am open to other solutions so long as they don't break the bank.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
I am agreed with BMX. Sonos, while not the cheapest, it's the most polished multi-room audio system I know of. Yamaha and Denon's efforts are much newer and likely not as stable. If you want it "just work," go with the Sonos system.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
Thanks for the detailed response here!

I have amplifier channels for each zone I want to control, (Phast PLB-Amp8) that is not an issue. When I looked at the Sonos Port it only showed one output which to me indicated a single zone of control? I thought, "no way am I paying $449 per zone with no amplifier."

Dayton still makes these products, here is the most recent model for example: https://www.parts-express.com/Dayton-Audio-WBA51-Bluetooth-and-Network-Audio-Receiver-with-IR-Remote-300-598

Essentially the way my system is set up is having a single Dayton unit per zone in which the Dayton acts as the "source". I can stream multiple options through them as well as access them via apple airplay. (Whole family has an apple device.)

Some of the units seem to work decently, others need a periodic reset every so often, the more problematic ones seems to need a reset like every 48 hours if they have not been used accessed recently.

I plan to troubleshoot them a bit further and found a backdoor way to insure they are linked to my wifi I will attempt also. I am open to other solutions so long as they don't break the bank.
Seems to me you don't really need a new system at all, but want a solution to your existing problem. Which will be to continue to live with your existing problem.

This isn't wrong, but it isn't solvable.

RELIABILITY COSTS MONEY - it's a no crap scenario. Sonos is pricey. It also works incredibly well and has extremely high reliability. What's the option? Go cheap and have reliability issues and live with them. If there was a $50 solution which worked better than Sonos, it would be really REALLY popular. But, here you are. Dealing with an unreliable system.

Bluesound is a good deal more than Sonos, so there's that.

The bottom line is that quality hardware with reliable software doesn't just cost money up front, it requires constant maintenance and firmware upgrades to stay useful and relavant. You don't do that work, someone else does. It turns out that you have to sell tons of product to make this happen and you have to charge enough to make it all profitable, or you have to use plugins from manufacturers and just hope they work.... they don't. At least not reliably. And I will say, that's just been my experience.

If you are looking for another unreliable system, I have no idea. I can't and wouldn't recommend such a solution. It wouldn't make sense.

There are smart speakers which are way less money, including the Sonos built speaker from Ikea, but that's a replacement, not an integrated solution...

If you think it sucks that the Sonos Port costs so much money and doesn't even have a speaker or amp built in, then I agree. It would potentially change the way people bought their stuff if that product was $100 instead of over $400. Silly. Yes. Which is why I only own one, and why I bought it used on eBay.
 
annunaki

annunaki

Moderator
Thanks again for all the input. I have ceiling speakers, amplifiers that I want to take advantage of otherwise I probably would have gone the Sonos route from the beginning. I will contact Dayton's tech support and see if there are any other solutions. If I was starting fresh or didn't mind everything on one source/same volume, I would go the Sonos port route.

I do understand the reliability/cost factors. Engineering, be it software, speakers, automobiles, always has trade offs/compromises.

Thanks again for the help.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Sonos "Port" (one for each zone) should be able to use your existing built-in speakers and amps, but if you want to control the amp as well, you'd have to go with a more expensive Sonos Amp.
 

Latest posts

newsletter

  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top