Sonos Amp line-in latency for live music - is there any plan to achieve good-as-zero-latency on a completely wired set up?

  • 4 January 2020
  • 4 replies

I am building a multiroom set up through our house using 3 Sonos AMPs and existing wired passive ceiling speakers and bookshelf speakers. Using the Sonos Amp for what it was intended to be used for is working very well.


We also host live music gigs at home and it would be great to be able to connect our analogue wireless microphone system into the line-in on the Sonos AMP, to then amplify the sound out to our wired ceiling speakers. No streaming required.


I tried this last week and the latency made it unusable for live music, even with uncompressed line-in on the Sonos AMP.


I understand from other threads and the help pages that this is because the AMP uses buffering to help with reliable streaming to wireless speakers and causes a delay of around 75ms.


Last week I hooked up the wireless microphone system to the line-in on an old school HiFi A/V receiver / amplifier, connected to the same ceiling speakers and achieved undetectable latency. However as we are moving to a Sonos multiroom set up it would be nice to avoid the need to keep switching amps when doing live gigs.


Would it be possible to have a setting where buffering was disabled, specifically to for this purpose? Or does anyone else on here have a workaround for this problem? 

4 replies

Unfortunately, Sonos was not designed to be a straight pass through speaker. I would be terribly surprised if they were to go counter to the entire basis of the “whole home audio” concept that they have built their business on in order to make this sort of feature available.

If you’re looking for direct output speakers, I would look beyond the Sonos brand. There are quite a few PA style systems out there, which don’t have the need to buffer the signal in order to have it in sync amongst a group of networked speakers. 

Unfortunately, Sonos was not designed to be a straight pass through speaker.

I would not call this as unfortunate; it is just an unavoidable consequence of a very vital Sonos feature, of having all Sonos speakers play together in perfect sync when grouped. The Sonos target market is those that want this feature. It is likely that the demand for a switchable pass through mode for times when grouped play is not needed does not have a market large enough for Sonos to spend money to develop such a feature.


It is unfortunate for the OP. It is what Sonos is built on, so not so unfortunate for them.

I also have this need, so I can play my turntables through the wired system without delay. Making beatmatching and mixing a little more difficult!