DJing with Sonos: a potential hack AKA solution

  • 16 January 2019
  • 11 replies
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So I was interested in getting a connect/amp so I could link the master out of my DJ mixer to my Sonos setup in the living room which consists of a pair of Ones and a Beam. Browsing the community it appears that there is a delay on the Sonos playback which means the sound played back in headphones attached to mixer, whilst cueing and mixing, would be out of sync. For anyone who DJs, not what you want eh. So what we really need to get around this problem is for the headphone output of the mixer, to be delayed by the same amount as the Sonos setup. Now then. After a bit of googling I discovered this (below). Have a look and feedback comments. Essentially, using some phono and jack adapters from any hifi store or similar, I see no reason why you couldn’t insert this device in between the DJ mixer and the headphones. You could then adjust the delay (latency) and hey presto. It’s just an idea so why do you lot think?

LINDY Lip Sync Corrector https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005ZRWWJ0/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_c_api_i_etNpCbDCJAYRE

Unless I missed something, this could be what everyone has been after.

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11 replies

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Interesting idea, Jonpaul31. I'm curious how this would effect mixing, specifically for the DJ. It would sound in sync between the headphones and the speakers, but the delay would essentially move from between the listener and the DJ to the DJ and their physical actions on the mixer. It would be quite challenging to have that kind of input lag between pushing a button or sliding a fader in time to the beat you're hearing 100ms-200ms after the action. It seems you would need to physically act before the beat you hear, and perfectly anticipate the delay.

I recently had the outs of my mixer going to a Connect and discovered the delay problem that you are describing, and I've racked my brain trying to get this one pinned down. The only way I've figured how to DJ on Sonos would be to create separation between the DJ and Sonos. In this case, Sonos is used to extend the mix to locations that my booth speakers couldn't reach.

My mixer (Pioneer DJM850) has master out, booth out and cue/headphones. I hooked up the master outs to the Connect, the booth outs to a pair of KRK Rokits and my standard Sennheiser HD-25's to my cue/headphone. When I had friends over to hang out and mix, the booth speakers (KRK's) acted as my main speakers while I used my headphones to cue up the upcoming tracks. The master outs fed the Connect and the rest of Sonos. The Connect was then grouped with other rooms where you could not hear the main speakers (KRK's). In my case, it was the Bathroom with the door closed.

While there is a delay between what they hear and what is being played on the main speakers, it's in another room altogether and cannot be heard anyway. Additionally, once it hits the Connect, Sonos could keep the other speakers synced to one another and playing together. So if I had another more removed room, I could group them with the Connect to "spread the mix".

However, with this ability to "spread the mix", an even larger challenge comes up. The wireless transmission of lossless audio over longer distances (for the previously discussed separation). Problems like wireless interference usually lead to audio dropouts, stutters and interruptions.

This could be remedied if I had ethernet drops in every room of the house, then they would all have dedicated physical connections for lossless audio to be transferred without having to worry about wireless interference. If I had a basement, I'd probably DJ in the basement and pipe it through Sonos as a finished (albeit slightly delayed) mix to the rest of the house.

But, I rent my one bedroom apartment. So instead, I just crank the booths and play a few disco tunes for my neighbors, making sure to end the "party" by 9p (during the week) 😛
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Hi Keith- good point!! You are bang on actually regarding the delay between hand movements and headphones/master. This would be prticularly annoying with the turntables, but maybe not so bad with the mixer (?) if you simply beat match. If somebody is a DJ who uses controllers with e.g. Traktor, and likes to (cheat :D) using the Sync function, I guess my suggestion could be a slight work around to the problem as there would be no need to touch anything apart from mixer faders. And also depends on style of music/mixing e.g. quick, sharp cuts VS long, slow, smooth mixes.

Ah well, thought I'd found a potential solution for all those people that have asked the question before. 10/10 for effort though 😃
First off while I really like the Sonos Amp, I was extremely unhappy with Sonos for not making it clear in their literature that DJ-ing is impossible given the delay. They know full well when they advertise these units as having line in and being suitable for aux in for your record collection, that many dj's would be buying it for this purpose. I had the unit for awhile before getting my decks set up so was stuck with it. Luckily I figured out a solution. I still had the old amp I was using to run my power speakers before getting the Sonos Amp. I found this 2 amp into 1 speaker pair specialty switch which works perfectly for this purpose. I cant dj to more rooms than where my turntables are but thats fine with me. Sonos should have given the option to kill the delay when only playing to one room, that would have solved the problem without external gear. Anyways, there's a solution. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0796KGVXT/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza
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First off while I really like the Sonos Amp, I was extremely unhappy with Sonos for not making it clear in their literature that DJ-ing is impossible given the delay. They know full well when they advertise these units as having line in and being suitable for aux in for your record collection, that many dj's would be buying it for this purpose. I had the unit for awhile before getting my decks set up so was stuck with it. Luckily I figured out a solution. I still had the old amp I was using to run my power speakers before getting the Sonos Amp. I found this 2 amp into 1 speaker pair specialty switch which works perfectly for this purpose. I cant dj to more rooms than where my turntables are but thats fine with me. Sonos should have given the option to kill the delay when only playing to one room, that would have solved the problem without external gear. Anyways, there's a solution. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0796KGVXT/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza

Interesting but I am unsure of how this setup works to eliminate delay. I’m just being stupid I am sure. Please could you describe the setup and where you place this and peripheral items on the audio chain, etc. Would really appreciate it.
Its a switch that allows you to hook up 2 different amplifiers to one pair of speakers. One amplifier is your new Sonos AMP or CONNECT which you'll use to listen to music wirelessly, the other is your old amplifier that you originally had to push those tower speakers, to which you've now routed the line in from your DJ Mixer. When you want to DJ you switch over to your old amplifier. There will be no delay so you can DJ, though obviously you now cant send that sound to other Sonos speakers in the house. When you want to listen to Spotify, Soundcloud, or music on your phone, then just switch back over to the Sonos Amp or connect. Sorted.
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Its a switch that allows you to hook up 2 different amplifiers to one pair of speakers. One amplifier is your new Sonos AMP or CONNECT which you'll use to listen to music wirelessly, the other is your old amplifier that you originally had to push those tower speakers, to which you've now routed the line in from your DJ Mixer. When you want to DJ you switch over to your old amplifier. There will be no delay so you can DJ, though obviously you now cant send that sound to other Sonos speakers in the house. When you want to listen to Spotify, Soundcloud, or music on your phone, then just switch back over to the Sonos Amp or connect. Sorted.

Oh I seeeeeeeeeee. I thought you managed to find a way to mitigate the delay issue if DJing on Sonos.

Would be good, as you say, to have something to bypass the delay in the app settings when DJing. However, pragmatically, the app doesn't care where the speakers are located e.g. if you have a stereo pair of ones, they still need to be synced. Unless of course, the pairing process negates that and therefore treats the pair as a single output. Now that would be useful feature.

I might just take a punt on the device I found and see what its like. It will eliminate the headphone sync issue but as Keith said, there would still be latency on faders and turntable i.e. physical movements to sound responce. Whilst the delay (70ms wasn't it) in headphones would be annoying (played in many clubs and bars like that), between faders and platter might not be that bad given I mix house and don't rely on cutting so much.
That solution won't work. Your headphone audio will be in time with the room sound but all your actions on the mixer will be out of time. Trust me and save yourself the hassle. I didnt really understand what you were saying about the solution I found, but in summary it works 100% , the only downside is you cannot play the audio to other rooms as you normally can with your Sonos setup.
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That solution won't work. Your headphone audio will be in time with the room sound but all your actions on the mixer will be out of time. Trust me and save yourself the hassle. I didnt really understand what you were saying about the solution I found, but in summary it works 100% , the only downside is you cannot play the audio to other rooms as you normally can with your Sonos setup.

I must be really stupid here and I sincerely apologise for that. In your post before your last one, I thought you were switching to old amp to output to speakers other than Sonos speakers. I guess that’s what I am struggling to visualise: how the mixer signal outputs to the Sonos speakers without the delay. In your description, the master of mixer goes to the box, and switches to old amp right? So how does the amp then output/connect to the Sonos speakers and avoid the delay issues. Thanks for your perseverance.
I must not be explaining it well. Here goes again: One audio path is from your DJ Mixer, which sends a signal via RCA cables to your old traditional amplifier, which then outputs via speaker wire to input channel A on the switch I linked to on Amazon above. The second path is from your Sonos Amp or Connect, which outputs a signal via speaker wire to input channel B on the box. You can toggle between input channels, and whichever one you switch to will then send signal to the single output channel which connects to your tower speakers through speaker wire. The Dj mixer signal will never play on your other Sonos devices, but it will play on the speakers which can alternately be powered by your old traditional amp, or your new Sonos Amp or Connect. Use the old amp to dj in that room only on input channel A. Use your new Sonos Amp or Connect to play digital music from phone. Clearer now?
Lucky for you im an amazing artiste
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Lucky for you im an amazing artiste

Yeah this is what I thought you meant originally so I have come full circle. 😃

I have active monitors in my studio for which decks are attached too so I think this setup would be unnecessary. I was thinking about just bringing them into living room on the beam and Sonos Ones (pair) and avoid two sets of speakers. Thanks for your help and patience- I think I’ll just leave in the studio for now.

Not sure what you do for living but you should defo be an artist. 😃