Music to Our Ears

Listening to music is a really important part of our boat life. On our old boat we used to download music to our phones or tablets using Google Play Music so that we could access it offline …internet or no internet. We also had an old iPod with music downloaded on it that was connected to our Fusion Stereo. But most of the time we would connect up our phones or tablets and play the downloaded Google Play music.

The biggest problem with this was bluetooth’s short range and one user at a time restriction. Quite often we would sit out the back and suffer poor or no bluetooth connectivity. With the Saba being a lot bigger this was going to be even more of a problem.

Enter Sonos with its capacity to play music over a much better (than bluetooth) Wifi connection (provided by our Pepwave router). Our Saba comes with the same Fusion Marine Stereo as before and our plan is to hook up a Sonos Port unit to the Fusion and voila…we can use Sonos to play all our Google Youtube music over Wifi from ANYWHERE on the boat. Likewise our guests will also be able to download the Sonos app and hook into our system so we can listen to their music as well. And finally, we can download all our music that sits on our hard drives (and in Google Play Music) to our DS118 NAS that sits on our boat network so we can access this from Sonos as well.

I loved my previous Sonos system from my time as a dirt dweller, and I’m keen to use it once again.

The Sonos Port is an upgrade from the Sonos Connect and I should now be able to turn the Fusion Stereo on and off from the Sonos system – how cool is that. And it will also control the volume of the Fusion as a whole, but I don’t think it will control the volumes of the individual Fusion Zones.

The other purchase will be a Sonos Move, the new Sonos outdoor battery powered speaker, that has got rave reviews. We have gone ahead and purchased one Move (we plan to get a second in France) and are loving it. The Fusion System that comes with the boat only comes with speakers in the saloon and the cockpit and the Sonos Moves will fill in the sound gaps – the upstairs lounge and the front deck in particular. And we won’t have to drill holes in the boat to provide for additional wired speakers. As the Sonos Move uses both Wifi and Bluetooth we can also take it to the beach where there is usually no Wifi.

The final piece of the puzzle is a Sonos soundbar for the TV downstairs. Upstairs in the saloon, we will have a Bose system (same as before) and I need to think about whether I hook this into the Sonos system via another Sonos Port or just leave the Bose as a standalone movie and TV system. Kim suggested that Music sounds so much better with a subwoofer, which the Bose system has, or is our money better spent just buying a Sonos Sub? And do I need a Sonos Playbar upstairs with the Bose system for watching movies? Ummm. A little bit more to think about. Especially since I need to consider battery draw in the equation.

Even with the Bose System upstairs, TV sound was always a problem downstairs and a good soundbar will make movies much more enjoyable. Plus we can use Google Assistant or Alexa for voice controls.

The beauty of using an all Sonos solution is that we can play the same music throughout the boat across both the Fusion stereo, the Sonos Playbar and Sonos Moves.

I’ve just ordered a Sonos Move to use at home so it will be interesting to see how the first piece of the puzzle goes. The rest of the Sonos components will be sourced from the Sonos dealer in La Rochelle.

6 thoughts on “Music to Our Ears

  1. Dirt dweller from Sydney here😀.
    Maybe look at a Sub as well? Made a huge difference to our music quality. We’re also upgrading to play 5s replacing a couple of play 3s with our sub. Thinking about a Move as well but thought its probably too heavy for it to be really portable. Not sure. Be interested to hear your experience.
    We have different spaces/requirements of course.

    1. Got me thinking. Need to add something about the Bose system I have onboard (which has a subwoofer. Do I need another Sonos Port to connect up this as well so we get to use the Bose subwoofer??? Or is my money better spent just buying a Sonos Sub? And do I need a Sonos Playbar upstairs with the Bose system for watching movies??? Thanks for getting me thinking? Any further suggestions welcome

      1. Sonos has just announced new generation kit, including the new Arcbar which replaces their playbar. New Play 5s and new Sub as well. I’m waiting for it all to be released before ordering. Quite fancy getting voice control as well. One of the speakers that replaces the Play:1 has it, forget which. The controller is easy to use though.

      2. Your setup sounds way too complicated Steve. 3 different systems? Think you need to simplify if you can. Can you replace everything with Sonos? Wake up in the morning, tell it to turn on the radio, walk upstairs to the galley for coffee, telling it to turn off downstairs and turn on in the galley. Crank up the Pink Floyd on the outside speakers for drinks (rum obviously) on the foredeck at sunset! Heaven!

      3. Agree its complicated having three systems. An all Sonos solution would kill the batteries in no time. The beauty of the Fusion is that its a marine 12V system so no need to run the Inverter. The Sonos Port Output is 12.0VDC, 1.0A, 12.0W – so quite low power consumption. The Sonos Move runs on its own batteries so that’s not necessarily an issue (we can charge during the day using the solar panels). The Bose will be power hungry as will be the TVs (and the Sonos Arc) but we typically use them for movie night only for a couple of hours at a time.

  2. Interesting Steve, all new to me , but what isn’t , I’m not much of a Techi guy !
    Did you watch Chasing Bubbles yet ? On U Tube.
    Cheers 🍻

    Sent from my iPhone

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