Computing technology has always developed at an accelerating rate since its inception. But with the new advent of technologies like the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence, the rules of the game are being changed almost every day by elements that way out of our ability to keep track of.
The recent advent of the usage of servers to transfer data between devices has led to a lot of new technologies becoming easily accessible. One such technology is the Network-Attached Storage drive or the NAS drive. The facilities it provides has increased its popularity in the recent past.
NAS drives provide easy access to stored data over a network for multiple users of the network. It is also very convenient to merge additional data storage to the existing data storage whenever you need to upgrade it. It can be used to couple with various devices over a network, including multimedia outputs like displays and sound systems.
Sonos is one of the most popular sound system providers out there. It has made a significant name for itself in recent years as a leader of wireless sound systems. The range of wireless sound systems that Sonos manufactures is top-notch yet efficient and cost-effective. It provides a lot of options at varied price ranges and has a lot of models to choose from.
Some of the popular wireless speakers from Sonos in the smaller price range include ‘Move’, which is a battery-powered option, ‘One’, a smart speaker with built-in voice control features, and a variant of ‘One’ called ‘One SL’ which is microphone-free. In the mid-range, some of the popular speakers include ‘Five’ which is a High Fidelity sound system, and ‘Sub’ which is characterized as a wireless subwoofer with a specialized bass.
Sonos is also known for its Two Room sets, Indoor – Outdoor sets, and a wide range of surround sound sets that cater to the premium sound requirements of specialized tracks. This range is actively one of the most interesting, especially since it uses cutting-edge acoustic technology to achieve the finesse and durability it claims of its products.
In this article, we’re going to look at the different NAS drives that are most suitable for and compatible with Sonos wireless sound systems. Using an NAS drive would be a great addition to the completely wireless Sonos sound system you design for your house.
What to Look for When Choosing an NAS Drive for Sonos
One of the best advantages of using an NAS drive for Sonos sound systems is that this ensures that you do not need a separate computer to be powered on just to listen to music. The process of listening to music with an NAS coupled Sonos device is instantaneous and stress-free. You can access a mammoth amount of music thanks to the extraordinary capacity of an NAS drive.
There are certain important requirements that must be seen through for both the devices to function together. Firstly, in order to use Sonos with an NAS drive, it must support the file-sharing protocol called SMB(v1)/CIFS. After that, you must make sure that you have the network path to the music folder on your drive. The network path can use either the NAS drive’s hostname or the IP address assigned to it. If there is any ambiguity in the NAS drive’s pathname, it is best to consult with the NAS drive’s user manual. You can even look this up in its support documentation.
You have to then enter the username and password you’ve already given for your shared music folder and do it during setup.
Finally, you must download and install the Sonos application. The Sonos app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows. You can then go on to set up your NAS drive within the app. The settings are slightly different depending on the OS. The settings are as follows:
For Android or iOS.
First, start with opening the Sonos app specifically designed for iOS or Android. From the Settings tab, tap on ‘System > Music Library > Music Library Setup’ and tap the ‘+’ (plus) sign. Once a new room is established for a music library, type the previously named path to the NAS drive. Also, enter the username and password. If the username and password were not set by you previously, you could choose to leave these fields blank. Click on ‘Next.’
For Windows or MacOS.
Run the Sonos software for macOS or Windows. Go to the Manage menu, and then tap on Music Library Settings. Choose the ‘Add’ option if it’s Windows or tap on the ‘+’ sign (plus) if you are using the macOS. Click on Networked device (for example, a NAS drive). Type the pathname to your NAS drive and choose ‘Next’. Type the username and password for the folder on your NAS drive. Like for Android or iOS, if there is no set username and password, you can keep these fields empty. Finally, tap on Next.
Once the setup process is complete, you are ready to listen to music from the NAS drive library with your Sonos device.
Best NAS drives for Sonos
While there are several NAS drives out there to choose from, some of them far outmatch the others in terms of compatibility with Sonos and other specific features. It is to be noted that a NAS device is a very efficient means to connect to a music library through a network.
Skipping the step of using a desktop or a mobile phone can add a lot of accessibility to a sound system as excellent as Sonos. Connecting it to a NAS drive creates an independent interface to play music without worrying about phone calls or anything to do with the computer.
Here are some of the best NAS drives to buy for a great Sonos experience.
BUFFALO LinkStation 220 4TB NAS
The BUFFALO LinkStation 220 4TB NAS is one of the best drives available in the market and an ideal gadget to couple with your Sonos sound system. It comes with the hard drives, that way, you don’t have to worry about buying hard drives separately, and there are several options to choose from, including drives with one drive bay or two drive bays.
The standing screen display size is 8.1 inches, and it weighs about 5.5 pounds. Its product dimensions are 5.04 x 10 x 8.82 inches. It uses an AC power source.
Other than the fact that it serves as an ideal backup device for your computers, it is very convenient to connect to a Sonos sound system. It is accessible through both DLNA and UPnP-connected devices. It also comes with a BitTorrent client for easier file management and downloads.
Another essential advantage of this drive is the RAID 1 data protection. One of the major scares when it comes to hard drives of any kind is the possibility of damage and data loss. But with the RAID 1 data protection, one can replace the failed drive and restructure the data that it possessed.
However, it is to be noted that RAID 1 lessens the usage capacity of this NAS drive. To explore its full usage capacity, one can easily set the drive to RAID 0, except it won’t be able to protect any data by mirroring. The three RAID levels available on this drive include RAID 0, RAID1, and JBOD.
Other features on the BUFFALO LinkStation include common ones like remote access, easy scheduled backup for both Personal Computers as well as MACs and an in-built BitTorrent client to manage file downloads easily. It also has a USB 2.0 port, which allows for addition in storage capacity should there be any need for further backup or storage.
The licenses that come with this drive are the 5 NovaStor NovaBACKUP licenses. With the help of this backup system, one can easily choose backup plans, install and set up the software and ensure efficient functioning of the drive with possible help and support in the event of a drive failure. It comes with 5 PC licenses.
This NAS drive can be an ideal companion for your Sonos sound system as it has all the essential features a NAS requires to couple with the Sonos wireless sound system. Also, it is equipped with Direct Stream Digital (DSD) Playback, which ensures a smooth listening experience for high-quality audio files with no loss whatsoever to the quality of the track.
Buffalo also makes sure that the LinkStation and network-capable AV receivers and streamers are compatible with each other. The LinkStation DSD playback utilizes DSD-over-PCM as well as DSD-owned devices to facilitate the Universal Plug-n-Play feature.
WD 8TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network Attached Storage – NAS – WDBVBZ0080JCH-NESN
Another efficient NAS drive that is compatible with the Sonos sound system is the WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network. With a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, this NAS drive is ideal for so many reasons. It also has a DDR3 memory of 1GB, which lets you do several tasks at a time.
The backup software it uses, the WD SmartWare Pro, is very useful for setting up a personalized backup system both in the case of PC and Mac users. Irrespective of the Operating Systems one uses, coupled with 256 AES volume encryption, this drive allows you to store any file securely over the entire network.
It weighs 5 pounds and has product dimensions of 6.1 x 3.9 x 6.75 inches. It comes with the two disk bays option and has two USB 3.0 ports. It also has several RAID settings, which make it a potential safeguard for situations like disk failures or physical damage.
Other than for use as a Sonos music library, it is also ideal for a surveillance backup system as it comes with the Milestone ARCUS surveillance software, which prioritizes the important feed. It also allows for intervention and remote access from any PC, tablet, or phone connected to its network. It has 3700 camera options, all of which are compatible with it and it also comes with two free camera licenses.
WD 4TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud – WDBVXC0040HWT-NESN
The WD My Cloud Home Personal Cloud is another variant from Western Digital that makes its place in this list. It weighs 3.52 ounces, and unlike the previous entries in this list, this NAS drive comes in a bright white color. Most of its features are comparable with other NAS drives. It comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s limited warranty and has an auto backup system for all photos and other files.
Its product dimensions are 5.51 x 2.09 x 6.91 inches. It has one USB 3.0 port behind it and an ethernet port as well, as does any other NAS drive. It has multiple features, including remote access, and with the My Cloud Home app, you can easily find any file that is present within a desktop, tablet, or smartphone that is connected to that network. It is recommended to use this NAS drive with the WD My Passport Storage devices for maximum efficiency and convenience.
Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation DS220j (Diskless), 2-bay; 512MB DDR4
The Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation DS220j (Diskless) is also a very good fit to include as an efficient storage unit for the Sonos sound system. Its product dimensions are 8.86 x 3.94 x6.5 inches. It weighs 3.3 pounds. It comes with a 512 MB DDR4 drive for maximum room to multitask, and although it comes with no disk, it allows for any drive of your choice to be utilized within.
It comes with the DiskStation Manager operating system of Synology, which facilitates easy access to files from any device attached to a network. It also has over 112 MBps encrypted reading and writing capabilities. The DiskStation is designed with security as the topmost priority and therefore has embedded Two Factor Authentication services. It also supports military-grade encryption for better safety options.
The DS220j has a raw capacity of 32 TB in which two hard drives of 16 TB capacity each can fit. However, depending on the RAID types, the capacity may be slightly reduced. The CPU is a 4-core 1.4 GHz processor with a DDR4 memory unit of 512 MB. It contains two USB 3.0 ports for further storage backup and transaction of files. Its RAID options include the Synology Hybrid RAID options of Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, and RAID 1.
Another major win for this drive comes with its storage management system dubbed as Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) technology. It is a fully automated RAID management system that ensures that you conveniently make and update volumes of storage and transfer RAID types with no need to fill in the RAID setup details. SHR also facilitates a 1-disk redundancy to make sure that the data is safe in case of drive failures.
In totality, while there are several good brands of NAS drives available in the market, for a good price and accessibility that benefits customers, these were some of the best possible choices. Another significant advantage these drives hold over many others is their very compatible relationship with Sonos speakers.
All in all, it is essential to keep in mind the importance of balance between the prices and features. Sometimes, the price is very high, and there are only one or two trivial features that constitute a product’s superiority. In such cases, it is better to go for the cheaper product instead of spending a lot of money on trivial features that may not even be of good use later.
Also, another significant consideration that one should take into account is whether or not you want to buy a NAS drive with included hard disks, or should you buy a NAS drive separately from its hard disks. There are several different advantages and disadvantages to taking into account there as well. Now it’s time to visit Amazon to choose the most suitable NAS drive. Wish you have the right choice