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Introducing Sonos Amp



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Got the new amp this week. I have to say, I am a little disappointed with the sound. It sounds quite harsh and thin, compared with my old amp (which was nothing special, cost £200)


Different technologies used between the two, one sound fantastic on initial listening, the other cost £200!
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If a drop in replacement to a Connect Amp is giving these results, it is very surprising and something that Sonos should respond to you directly/here.
I agree. I replaced a Connect:Amp with a new Amp yesterday, driving a pair of Q Acoustics 3050 floorstanders. The new Amp sounds just as good as the old, and with more power obviously in reserve (in fact, the new Amp is over-specified for these speakers).

So, something is not right. I assume there’s no chance the speakers are mistakenly connected in opposite phase?
You swapped a digital amp for a digital amp abiet with more power.
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You swapped a digital amp for a digital amp abiet with more power.

So the online reviews and others comments on the same issue are all hearing things? Could this amp not have default settings of some sort that are boosting the high end too much?
My experience has been that AMP sounds better (to me) than CONNECT:AMP. I have seen a few reports of disappointing initial results from AMP that were resolved after rebooting. Make sure that the speakers are wired in phase. In my opinion it is too easy to connect the speakers out of phase.

So the online reviews and others comments on the same issue are all hearing things? Could this amp not have default settings of some sort that are boosting the high end too much?

Other than defective units and/or out of phase wiring, there is no reason or excuse for this kind of behaviour, assuming also that the default position of all the EQ settings is flat, ie, in the centre positions.
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So the online reviews and others comments on the same issue are all hearing things? Could this amp not have default settings of some sort that are boosting the high end too much?

Other than defective units and/or out of phase wiring, there is no reason or excuse for this kind of behaviour, assuming also that the default position of all the EQ settings is flat, ie, in the centre positions.

I can report that I'm hearing no difference in tonality of the Sonos Amp versus the Connect:Amp. Note that I'm not using a subwoofer in either case, however. Certainly no hint of it being 'bright'.
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My experience has been that AMP sounds better (to me) than CONNECT:AMP. I have seen a few reports of disappointing initial results from AMP that were resolved after rebooting. Make sure that the speakers are wired in phase. In my opinion it is too easy to connect the speakers out of phase.

I'm not sure what out of phase means. I took banana plugs straight out old amp and into the sonos amp. This should be okay?

I'll try rebooting just in case.
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I'm not sure what out of phase means. I took banana plugs straight out old amp and into the sonos amp. This should be okay?
It just means that the ‘red/black’ connections are reversed to one of the speakers compared to the other. This means that the left and right speakers will cancel each other out to some extent, instead of reinforcing the sound.
“Phase” involves the +/- markings on the speaker. At the instant one connects a battery to the speaker’s terminals, the cone will jump towards or away from the basket (the metal part). By convention, when the cone jumps out, the (+) terminal of the battery is connected to the speaker terminal that should be marked (+) and is often marked with a red band. The (+) terminal of the speaker should be connected to the (+) terminal of the amplifier.

A speaker is “out of phase” when it’s +/- connections do not match other speaker connections in the system.

In my battery test above, you can think of a positive pressure wave created as the speaker cone jumps out and a negative pressure wave created when the battery is connected backwards. When connected to an amplifier, a speaker cone will follow the signal, creating positive and negative pressure — sound waves. If one of the speaker connections in a system is reversed (out of phase), its positive pressure wave tends to be cancelled by the negative pressure wave generated by the other speaker(s). This cancellation is not perfect and some sound will still be emitted, but cancellation is more complete for the bass notes. If cancellation was perfect, no sound would be delivered into the room. Hence, our suggestion to check speaker phasing when bass suffers after changing connections or amplifiers.

I can report that I'm hearing no difference in tonality of the Sonos Amp versus the Connect:Amp. Note that I'm not using a subwoofer in either case, however. Certainly no hint of it being 'bright'.

That is what I would expect from a company of Sonos caliber.
I too read some reviews that spoke about sound changes when using a Sonos Amp, but I passed those off as the usual reviewer thing of finding something to say when there actually is little to say, as there ought to be for a product that only does what a Connect Amp does other than providing more signal gain. Since my Connect Amps have adequate grunt to drive my speakers/sound level needs, I see no reason to try the Sonos Amp when it becomes available, and will not be able to say anything from actual use of one, but I see no reason to so test the above quote. From the published spec, it seems like this is another fine product from Sonos. And the "digital" amp thing is a red herring; there is no reason why these cannot be engineered to have no sound signature other than gain.
Now that Amp is released to the general public does anyone know when the optical to HDMI-ARC adapter will be available in the Australian store.

Support sent me one when I contacted them. I'd recommend calling because the online chat rep said all I could do was sign up for the newsletter and wait. Did't get directed to the phone support until I had posted a grizzle about that on Sonos' Facebook page.

Now I'm trying to resolve my next issue: the IR remote sensor only works when the remote is within 20cm of the Amp. There is at least one other person with this issue in another thread. Hopefully it isn't a common defect.
Can the Sonos Amp be used as a "single-mono" amp rather than a "dual-mono" amp by connecting one mono speaker to only the left channel terminals and leaving the right channel speaker terminals open? Will this setup cause any damage to the Amp?
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@GuitarSuperstar, that shouldn't be a problem. The Amp won't be damaged by not outputting to one of the channels. The setting is the same, "dual-mono", as that just applies to the audio output, and doesn't necessarily know what's connected to either port.
Can it be bonded with a Sonos sub? I see that you can connect a non-Sonos sub, but haven't seen anything about the normal bonding of a Sonos sub.

- For HT, Is there an option to have passive speakers as the front speakers and then bond with 2 Sonos speakers as rear sounds? Is the opposite setup also true (Sonos speakers in the front, passive in the back)?

- Is it possible to create a 4.1 setup using only Sonos speakers. Say play:5s in the front, play:1s in the back, and a Sonos sub? Would you possibly need 2 Amps to get that done? (I know you, you're not using the Amp at all in this configuration)

- For any configuration where you use 2 Amps, or the Amp + Beam/Playbar/Playbase...will you be able to use 2 Subs, either Sonos or non-Sonos?

- Will you be able to set it so the RCA line in and/or the HDMI/ARC input will automatically switch to that source?

- Will it come with an optical adapter as the Beam does?

- Will there be an option to turn off the simulated center channel when using HDMI-ARC as input?

Moderator edit: removed invalid link
kamilkonrad,

Yes, the Amp can be bonded with the Sonos Sub. The sub can be bonded with any Sonos Room.

There’s no option to swap the Sonos and Passive Speakers, but you could go with say a Sonos Beam at the front and the Amp setup for the rear surrounds instead... or even use two Amps front and rear.

There is no option to use Sonos standalone speakers, Play 1,3,5 etc as the two front speakers in a Sonos HT setup.

I pretty sure you can use a 3rd party powered sub and the Sonos sub at the same time if the Amp is used for the front channels, but you may need to just check that matter as I’m not entirely sure. I understand the sub port is only disabled when the Amp is used for the rear channels.

Yes there are ‘autoplay’ (switch) setting options (and room grouping options) for both the HDMI-ARC source and the line-in audio source.

i don’t think it comes with the HDMI to optical converter ... that is available to purchase separately.

There is no switch to turn off the phantom centre channel when playing a 5.1 Dolby Digital source... maybe switch the paying source to PCM stereo ...and of course it does not Apply to PCM audio, nor music audio.

Hope I’ve managed to cover all your points.
I'd like to use the Sonos Amp to power some old floor standing Cerwin Vega speakers which I have running at 4Ohms. Can I bridge the right and left channels to run mono at 4Ohms without causing damage to the amplifier of the Sonos Amp? Is it stable at 4Ohms?


Moderator edit: removed invalid link
I'd like to use the Sonos Amp to power some old floor standing Cerwin Vega speakers which I have running at 4Ohms. Can I bridge the right and left channels to run mono at 4Ohms without causing damage to the amplifier of the Sonos Amp? Is it stable at 4Ohms?I'd like to use the Sonos Amp to power some old floor standing Cerwin Vega speakers which I have running at 4Ohms. Can I bridge the right and left channels to run mono at 4Ohms without causing damage to the amplifier of the Sonos Amp? Is it stable at 4Ohms?

The guide for the Sonos Amp says ...The speakers’ power rating should be at least 125W for 8 ohm speakers, and at least 200W for 4 ohm speakers. Do not connect speakers that are rated at less than 4 ohm.

So my thoughts are you should be fine to connect those and there is a mono option too, if you prefer that.
Does setting the Amp to dual-mono mode in any way effect the line-in inputs? For example, if I plug a turntable into the line-in inputs on the Amp and the Amp is in dual-mono mode, will the sound played throughout the house on other Sonos speakers play in mono or stereo?
Does Amp support HDMI-eARC?
Does Amp support HDMI-eARC?
It’s an HDMI-ARC port, but any TV with HDMI-eARC is backward compatible with the HDMI-ARC standard.
Do not buy! I made the mistake and bought the amp with the external speakers only to find out that the Sonos app is designed to not emit any sound from the speakers until the volume slider is about 80% of the way up. Only then does sound start to trickle out from the speakers with very little room to increase the volume. When I submitted a ticket to support, they told me that this is the way Sonos designed the app with this exact sound curve. However, they were happy to hear from me. They can't be serious! Who would want to get NO SOUND from the amp and speakers combo until the volume was turned up 80%?
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@olympicref, that doesn't sound right. From most setups you can get audio at around 2% of the audio curve, for most players. Some of the Sonos players people have complained that the lowest volume setting is too loud.

What kind of speakers are you using and what kind of power draw/ratings do they have?

Make sure that in the Sonos app, you don't have the max volume set really low. This is under Settings > Room Settings > Room name.
i am using the Sonos Amp along with the Sonos External Speakers. I will check the volume setting later when I'm at home with my Sonos system. However, Sonos Support wrote the following to me:

"Hello Stephen.

The volume curve is currently set up this way to emphasize listening at regular levels with a substantial increase at louder volumes in the upper range of the curve.

This is by design and is not a defect or flaw. We always take user feedback on-board and we can submit a feature request to our Product Development team if you'd like to request a different volume curve.

We hope this answer your questions an please send us a reply if you need any further assistance."

They deliberately designed the app not to emit any volume until the slider reaches about 80%.
Seems like there's some sort of misunderstanding, to my knowledge, that's not the way it's supposed to work. As Ryan already indicated, it might be helpful to know exactly what brand and model of the speakers you're using, along with the size of the speaker wire, and the length involved.

Since Ryan has already suggested looking at the the controller route, I'd also be looking at the opposite side, and suggest the speakers don't match the impedance rating of the Sonos Amp.

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