Hi-resolution support required (eg: AIFF 96kHz/24bit)
PLEASE add hi-resolution file support (eg. AIFF 96kHz/24bits) In a world where CDs are becoming obsolete, I believe a good share of Sonos customers are still looking for hi-fi quality, not only the mediocre (format) quality provided by most digital music services/stores. It is rather purpose less to invest in the acquisition and maintenance of such a high quality product as a Sonos system and, not being able to play the best sound quality available with it! Thanks for kindly prioritizing such improvement :o)
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So the Hi-Res for us would not present an issue for Sonos.
They are looking for it to work and have not real need to justify the risk of that feature.
Guess I need to down covert the files
At this point the only real issue left is the bit depth which does make a difference in dynamic range. More accurate than 16 bit and a difference many audiophiles can hear. The issue with applying it to Sonos is: A) do their DAC's support 24 bit playback in the first place. Not sure they wouldn't but I'm not aware of what DAC's they're using. 😎 Adding support to the firmware ($$$) C) Adding support to down sample media to the hardware specs. To point C the big issue here is where the down sampling occurs and is a major software rewrite. Is the feature only supported on desktops or do mobile devices with minimal hardware resources need the feature too? Down-sampling in its own right introduces noise and the methods to minimize that noise (called anti-aliasing) is an art left to a professional sound engineer not automated software on consumer speakers. I'm pretty sure there would be an uproar on the forums if such a system was put in place and everyone would have an opinion on the best solution to that.
I don't think Sonos ever billed itself as a hi-fi platform. They certainly don't compete with the high end audio market. I think for the sake of play-ability it would be wise for them to support 24-96khz as these files are used more often. But to be honest if you're looking for a hi-fi experience with these files you should have a better hi-fi set-up than Sonos.
CLAIM to hear...
The dynamic range of 16-bit is 96dB. This is WAY more range than any recording actually uses, especially when you consider the current mastering practices that massively over-compress the dynamic range of the music. Even non-overtly compressed music is still typically under 40-50dB of dynamnic range. Greater than 16-bit makes sense in the recording/mastering pipeline, but 16-but is perfectly fine for the final delivery.
Here is something else to consider... I DJ and most high end DAC's have dynamic range of 105db and up. 24 Bit files sound great especially on pro sound rigs and where they really help is in the high end. Things like high-hats, strings, vocals sound clearer, smoother and closer to how they sound on good vinyl recordings. I do believe there is a place for 24bit... Higher sampling I could live without, but since its here and most DAC's already support it, Sonos could easily add support for the file formats in a newer generation of products. Again not for the sake of appeasing audiophiles since its a consumer speaker, but for the sake of convenience.
Nonsense. Any differences in quality heard (even the highly subjective, audiophile-speak ones like "smoother"; you might as well say things like "syrupy" or "orange peel" :rolleyes) have been proven to be purely due to mastering differences. And the ability to hear a difference in the dynamic range between 16-bit and 24-bit is equal to the ability to detect a pin drop over a jackhammer in the same room.
So a higher dynamic range makes it sound like a format with a much, much lower dynamic range? Are you sure this is what you want to say?
For me I enjoy the sound of 24 bit recordings. You don't have to believe me I don't really care. When I play festivals and put on older recordings that have been remastered to HD and are amplified with tens of thousands of watts it sounds amazing. You can believe what you want, I know what I hear. Could it be the mastering, or is it the DAC sounding better because it was designed too, or is it the format. IDK I don't care. The why doesn't concern me anymore, if a 24 bit file sounds better to me I'm going to play it.
I'm also not trying to take the fact away that mastering doesn't play a part. I've listened to digital recordings and vinyl and even though digital is far superior on paper I've heard vinyl releases that have sounded amazing vs their digital counterparts and vice versa. There are many variables as to why... and I've spent countless hours recording these things and listening on various DAC's and analyzing the difference... it is a rabbit hole. I don't suggest becoming an audiophile to anyone.
On this we agree. The rest is subjective, except when you make definitive objective statements on the superiority of hires like "24 bit isn't just about dynamic range... its dynamic accuracy too" or "More accurate than 16 bit and a difference many audiophiles can hear." No, 24-bit is about dynamic range and dynamic range ONLY. There is nothing about 24-bit which increases "dynamic accuracy". And no, 16-bit vs. 24-bit, when made from the very same masters is not "a difference many audiophiles can hear." It's simply not so.
As to the noise and aliasing, nobody here is saying there is no use for 24-bit/96KHz in the mastering and recording process. Matter of fact, everyone with any knowledge knows the only use for higher frequency sampling was in the early days of the digital mastering process because it allowed extra padding above the audible spectrum for the anti-aliasing filters to do a more efficient job . This has less than zero to do with playback, and only confused** audiophiles who equate benefits for recording and mastering to be equally beneficial to playback would ever say differently.
**Actually, confusion is being polite. In my experience, most "audiophiles", even after being repeatedly corrected on things like "it's good for recording and mastering so it must be good for playback" or "the higher frequency samples fill in the jaggies in the sine wave" BS continue to repeat it long after they know better. This is not a mistake, it is a willful dismissal of facts. Sony got sued and lost for the same willful dismissal of facts when they used a "fills in the jaggies" diagram in an advertisement. If only there was a way to sue "audiophiles" for the same.
Yes it is because of the noise that was introduced in the digital format. You can't compare things on spec alone. Even though vinyl has less dynamic range, when compared to a particular DAC I was sampling didn't suffer from the noise that the DAC or circuit introduced and sounded clearer than the digital recording...
Yes it is because of the noise that was introduced in the digital format. You can't compare things on spec alone. Even though vinyl has less dynamic range, when compared to a particular DAC I was sampling had less noise and sounded clearer than the digital recording...
Nonsense. This is audiophile drivel. The "noise that was introduced in the digital format" hasn't been a problem since the early days of the format, when analog engineers were trying to transition to digital and used their old techniques which didn't translate well. You are about 30 years too late with your statements, which is typical of "audiophiles" who keep cutting and pasting the same things for years with absolutely no knowledge about the actual science, or any advances which may have occurred with it.
To quote Monty:
Don't hold my descriptions on what I hear to some high and holy white paper on the theory of how things should be.
Theories are accepted explanations of a phenomena that are proven by rigorous observation, experimentation, and duplication, The question "In theory, it should work" opens up said observations (i.e, the theory is not working) to further rigorous observation, experimentation, and duplication. So far, the theory that 24/96 hi-resolution audio can be distinguished as superior to 12/44.1 has not held up to these rigorous observations, experimentations, and reproductions. Until someone does a rigorous experiment that is reproducible which proves differently, then the current theory stands, regardless of your own less that rigorously attained "theories" to the contrary.
Freudian slip? 😃
I wanted to jump in here and remind everyone to be friendly and on topic. Please refrain from personal attacks or profanity. If you have any questions, please send me a private message.
I don't think Sonos ever billed itself as a hi-fi platform. They certainly don't compete with the high end audio market
This is one of the few things that I agree with in all your pronouncements. Sonos did not need to do so, and chose - wisely IMO - not to go down that rabbit hole. Instead they chose the market of people that like music and would like to have more of it, in more parts of their home, easily and relatively cheaply with a system that can be built upon and extended over time.
That said, Sonos is still as hifi as any audiophile system out there. I know - I have used many, including vinyl and DACs, the latter with and without tube driven op amps. A simple play 1 pair + Sub that will cost about USD 1000 can hold its own against audiophile set ups that cost up to USD 3000 and I have yet to be told about any set up that offers all that Sonos offers but sounds better at price points up to there. Spend more on either side and you will get more if you must have it, and with the Connect, Sonos can stay in the ring with any audiophile set up in the world, price not a consideration.
But here's the thing - does this really matter to a music lover? Just yesterday I was listening to a mixed playlist that had Charlie Parker/Louis Armstrong/Dizzy Gillespie as well as contemporary recordings of folk like Houston Person, Chris Potter, Bennie Wallace recorded with a lot of care by shops like ECM and HighNote that are very careful about recording quality. In some cases the older and understandably less well recorded tracks offered more enjoyment. The same applies to classical music as well; many still think that a 1938 Bruno Walter recording of Mahler's 9th hasn't been surpassed yet for musical excellence.
My conclusion is that this Hi res thing is just smoke and mirrors to sell more of the same music, and make you buy new kit because what you have won't play it.
Now on a Sonos platform over 4 zones, I am listening to much more - many times more actually - music than before with no diminution in the enjoyment of it. Isn't that the bottom line? Oh, and I should add - at lot less cost and lot less domestic friction over cables, racks and kit than in my audiophile days. No small matter that, if one isn't a hermit or a recluse.
I read with interest the claim for A/B testing - this forum isn't really a place to debate that subject. We could do this over at Hydrogen Audio where I am a member, if you are interested in having the validity of your testing claims defended. I somehow doubt you will want that though, few have it in them to do so.
I hesitate to recommend this as the top choice for anyone looking for their first Mahler 9. If you have not heard the Ninth at all before, this recording by Walter is not the one for you. Barbirolli's and Haitink's (with Amsterdam) Ninth combines good sound with excellent playing. And Karajan's ninth with the BPO is also a good place to start, although there are those who argue that Karajan did not produce the Mahlerian sound with the BPO.
For those who already have a Mahler 9 and wish to supplement their already valuable collection with historical recordings and alternative interpretations, well, what are you waiting for? Grab this CD. You can go no more historical than this. This was Walter's last performance with the VPO before he fled Austria to escape the Nazis. One hears in the music the tension of those last remaining days before the war, or so I imgaine.
The playing of the orchestras might draw different opinions from critics, the sound is admittedly of low quality ( though in view of the date - 1938, the engineers in charge of the remastering must have done wonders), but mix them all together, and the result is potent electrifying music! Listen to the first movement and feel your goose pimples rise, for this was what it did to me on the first listening, and still does.
Get this, in this remastering or any other. It is worth your while.
There is more to enjoying music than counting the bits, and keeping track of how many were counted and how many times they were so counted, beyond a reasonable and minimum level that was established over two decades ago. And Sonos kit is more than capable of causing the same effect with a ripped version of the referred CD.
Attached link from Sony for a turntable that will convert vinyl records to Hi Res music!!!
Maybe because their SACD (which uses DSD) was such a miserable failure in the market. They're trying to milk it, lol.
Of all the new music that has been released in the last couple of years, how much is solely in hi res formats? Perhaps not zero, but a fraction of a percent of the total, I'd say. How much is even in hi res AND CD/redbook formats? My guess - that still hasn't crossed 1%. Over 99% of new music released is in 16/44 and "worse" formats.
On the other hand, how much of the hi res music sold is of such music that has already been sold in the past in "low-res" formats? I'd say over 99%.
How come hi res audio hasn't done what DVDs did to VHS tapes, and Blu ray did to DVD?
But as some one said - you can fool some people all of the time.
Attached link from Sony for a turntable that will convert vinyl records to Hi Res music!!!
The purpose of ripping vinyl at a hi res bitrate/sampling and/or DSD is NOT to give the listener a hi res file that is superior to redbook CD. Not at all. The purpose is to copy vinyl in the most accurate way possible so as to preserve the analog vinyl sound as much as possible. I know, I rip a lot of vinyl with DSD at 128 x sampling rate of 44.1 kHz. I have a highly resolving TT to phono stage and computer setup and can definitely tell a difference between ripping in DSD and PCM. The DSD files sound virtually identical to the vinyl on playback. PCM files have a slight harshness (for lack of a batter term - digital bite, if you will) and I prefer the DSD rips. Granted, it's very very close, but it's there. This may be, in part, due to my PS Audio NuWave DAC, which is optimized for DSD. I'm not sure. All I know is that DSD files preserve the sound of the original vinyl in my setup. Now I can rip my vinyl and save the wear and tear inherent in repeated plays. And I have the convenience of digital. And i'm assured that all of the analog sound is included on the file.
Why would I do this, you might ask? First of all, I have a ton of vinyl. A lot of these records I have had for a very long time and are well preserved. And I want to keep them that way! And when I listen to them I want them to sound as I'm accustomed to. Plus, I have a lot of friends with vinyl and now I can record it and give it back quickly with little to no additional wear and tear. Ripping to PCM just isn't the exact same as I've said above. In addition, as has been well documented, the mastering on vinyl is usually different than on CD, often markedly so. Vinyl mastering usually has more dynamic range than their digital counterparts in anticipation of when and where it is listened to. I don't necessarily always like vinyl over digital, btw. I often am disappointed when I listen to vinyl and it is worse than the digital counterpart - usually streamed from Deezer via Sonos connect, BTW. In those instances I see no reason to rip the vinyl. And ripping it in hi res format won't make it any better! For example, I recently got a new vinyl copy of Zepplin's Houses of the Holy. It sounded terrible. No dynamics, too much "hiss". Distorted mids and highs. I trashed it. In the end, for me, it's not about the format, but the mastering. I'm fairly agnostic to format and will listen to whatever mastering is best. And when the vinyl sounds better, I want to preserve that copy.
In fact the whole reason that DSD was developed, in the first place, was to preserve Sony's master tapes so that the digital copy was as close to the original as possible. True, there is some controversy about DSD and whether or not it is superior to PCM. If it isn't' superior, then it's at least as good, IMO, and has a very pleasing sound, to my ears. In the setting of ripping vinyl, DSD is the perfect choice to record. Now I also think that buying DSD recordings when the source material has been recorded, and mastered, in PCM is foolish. If you record in DSD, there is no realistic way of mastering in that format. So stick with PCM. Now whether or not 24/96 hi res is an improvement is another discussion. But for my purposes recording vinyl in DSD is a great solution.
Lacking some music formats (e.g. also High Res FLAC) is one of the reasons why i will sell my Sonos products again...
Too expensive for the provided functionality!