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Introducing Sonos Port, Brilliant Sound Connected

  • 5 September 2019
  • 170 replies
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Introducing Sonos Port, Brilliant Sound Connected

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170 replies

Userlevel 5
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Sonos have not done so with the ZP80, ZP100 or more recently, the Play 3, so why would we expect them to do this with the Connect:AMP and Connect?
Userlevel 7
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There are of course inexpensive S/PDIF coax-to-optical converters available.

Indeed, but they shouldn't be required, plus it's yet another thing that requires a power supply. It's an inexplicable omission. Same goes for the removal of the controls: I have Connects on two of my desks, and I use the controls frequently, but that facility is gone with the Port.

Neither of these features would have been expensive to include relative to the £400 price tag, nor are they in any way an inconvenience if one doesn't want them. Hard to understand the choice ... perhaps the relevant product manager has an installer-only focus.
Can the 12V trigger be used to turn off the receiver, or just to turn it on? Any new options for volume control? It's nice to have the trigger, but it seems like unless I'm missing something the Works with Sonos, Sony Music Connect, or other software-based options are still best?
Userlevel 2
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I would like to know when are sonos going to turn round and say that the connect can no longer be used on this system as it is now outdated and will not support the new software....which with all these new speakers, amps and now the Port that have been introduced just lately, I don't think it will be that long down the road.
When that day comes I will be replaceing in my 5 connect for Bluesound Nodes. There in no comparison between this under achieving Sonos Port and the Bluesound Product.

I am very disappointed at Sonos attempt as a music server.

I can't understand how any designer can put in a 12V trigger to directly control an amplifier without the option of variable volume control buttons on the box. Crazy

Could you not have made these buttons non functioning when you pick fixed volume option as an option.

I am speechless as the lack of for thought Sonos has put into this product especially since users have been making suggestions for years on what a replacement to the connect should have.

No High res support even when using direct connect Ethernet.

Sonos may not see the requirement for High Res support but 95% of the industry are building there product to at least make this an option its customers.

Again I cant believe Sonos released this product.

Ah the slow migration away from Sonos Product for me is inevitable.
Looks great, love the 12V switch. Is there any addition of a delay feature for other Sonos speakers to go along with the Port? That is to account for the delay that is caused when using a DSP on an A/V Receiver that is a common problem when not playing in 'direct' mode.

My guess on the removal of the optical output is because this is more of an installer product first and consumer second - and optical cables are not very robust over long distances
Userlevel 3
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The removed optical-out is really an issue for me if I need/want to replace my current Connect. I'm using optical to overcome the long distance between the Connect and my DAC (part of my active speakers).
Userlevel 7
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There aren't any new announcements on updated supported codecs, but I'll make sure the team's aware you're interested. The updated DAC along with the Coax connection has a great sound to it, but ultimately you'll have to hear it yourself to decide.
Userlevel 2
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So I received and installed my first Port today, replacing a several years old Connect. My motive for upgrading was to get AirPlay support. The upgrade forced me to switch from optical out to coax out, but no biggie as my AVR supports both as inputs.

It works fine, and is easy to set up as you’d expect from Sonos gear. As I’m using the DACs in my AVR and not in the Port I don’t have anything to say about the Port’s DACs. The colour and design matches my Sonos Amps (good) but doesn’t stack very well on or with them (bad).

Feedback for Ryan / the Sonos team: I was quite disappointed about one thing: The decision to use a wall wart (external power supply). This comes across as just cheap design and not worthy of Sonos. It’s also perplexing because the footprint and internal volume of the Port is still quite large (say compared to the Apple TV, which retails for half the price, and which uses an internal power supply).

So did anyone get a Port today? First impressions? Despite the issues raised, I’m thinking of getting one to have sonos on my Cambridge Audio amp (possibly through a DAC I already have) and speakers, and to get vinyl onto my sonos ones in other rooms. How is the Port? Any sync issues? CheersSonos online chat said that there should not be sync issues as long as Port and Ones are grouped. Would a DAC between Port and CA integrated amp introduce any delay?

Not as a general rule. DA or AD conversion is virtually instantaneous.
Userlevel 2
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I’d actually think removing the power supply and putting it at the end of fate plug would be useful to reduce the auto noise floor of the port....
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  • Bummed about:

    - the wall-wart - ugh!
    - the omission of the TOS output - I have have my main Connect connected to two systems and prefer to use their DACs - it’s nice to have two digital outs.  And yes, I know I can buy a splitter - and voila! Yet another wall-wart. :( 

    So, sound quality is not a lure for me.  Reliability - not sure what this means. I have some really old Sonos components and even an original remote that still works!  I have only had one of several components fail and replaced (under warranty). What else - Air Play - would love to try this, but not sure the other issues make it worth it.  Looks-wise, very nice - now I don’t need to buy those black-vinyl cover kits. :)

    More capacity and more audio format support would have been nice - that would be a real upgrade.  A way to search and sort the Queue would be awesome!  Surround FLAC would be nice.  So for $300 “discounted”, I’m not feeling it.

    I was about to pull the trigger on at least one of my several units, but after taking a closer look, I’ve lost my enthusiasm.
Userlevel 7
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Can you add speakers in a surround configuration with the Port the way that you can with the Amp?Port is a standalone unit, it can't bond with surrounds, a home theater device, or have a Sonos Sub attached to it.
Thanks. So if I have a Playbase, I can’t add two speakers that have their own amplifier already to the Playbase in surround mode using this - I’d need the Amp, right?

That's correct. The Sonos Amp would replace your amplifier.


Do we have the Sonos understanding of 'richer sound' or is this just marketing guff? More interestingly, can the new box pass through to the Coax Out files sampled above 48/16? Not asking for Sonos-wide, 32-component synchronised distribution of such bitrates but the ability to hand these files on to an external DAC would be good in a device set for some years of service in this fast-moving tech market.

Perhaps the 'updated DAC' and updated circuitry will allow greater things in the future.
This is the most important question for me too. Does this still only support up to 16bit, or does it add hi-res?


I didn't include Brian's post in mine, but I think this'll answer your question too.
There aren't any new announcements on updated supported codecs, but I'll make sure the team's aware you're interested. The updated DAC along with the Coax connection has a great sound to it, but ultimately you'll have to hear it yourself to decide.
Userlevel 7
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That is probably the way it'd have to be done. It's wouldn't be a delay on Port itself, but instead on any speakers grouped with it. I'll forward the request up to the team, but I don't have any news on the request itself.
From the first post in this thread:

Sonos Port is the versatile streaming component for your stereo or receiver. Port is available in limited quantities on Sonos.com and select partner retailers from September 12th, with full availability coming January 2020.
An update to the Connect has been a long time coming! Airplay2 is a nice upgrade. The 12V trigger output is also pretty cool but there was already a solution for that. A device called "Bobwire DAT1" which will add a 12V trigger output to the Connect. But Sonos says it will "turn on your stereo receiver" using the 12V output. That doesn't make sense because stereo receivers don't have trigger inputs. A 12V trigger is used to turn on your stand alone power amp (not an AVR).
Really disappointing that Sonos did not include the ability to play back hi res sources. It is a very simple thing to do, the chipset likely already supports up to 192khz/24 bit, as there are virtually no dac chips made now that don't. Similarly (and without wading to the MQA arguements), it would be very easy for Sonos to include native MQA support (Audioquest can do it with their $99 Dragonfly Black).

Regardless of whether there is a benefit to hi res over redbook (16/44.1) support is still important as people may have albums in their own library that are at a higher resolution than 48/16.1. It is incredibly frustrating when you go to play and album and it won't play because it is "unsupported".

In my case, I ended up going to Roon, which requires much more work to set up for the end user and a much steeper learning curve. It is a bit daunting, even when you understand networking and have been a longtime audiophile. Frankly, I like the Sonos interface for accessing music much better than any other, it is easy to use, clean, and simple, but the lack of hi res support kills it. Had the Port included this, I would have abandon Roon. Instead, I won't be buying a port and my current two Connects will continue to play backup duty in other rooms and be run as Roon endpoints.
Userlevel 7
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Will the port still be able to play content from a local NAS, or is this streaming-only ?

If it is streaming only, is there a protocol translator I can add on my local NAS to export the content to the Port ?

It will absolutely be able to play all of the current Sonos sources. Nas drives and local computer libraries included. Plus, it has Apple AirPlay 2, which the old Connect didn't have.
Userlevel 7
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Hi Narciso, an Android or iOS device is required to set up all Sonos devices, and to configure most settings. If you don't have one in your home, you may want to look into getting an inexpensive tablet like the Amazon Fire, or maybe borrowing one from a friend for an hour to set up Sonos and maybe the settings you might need. You can find a list of all system requirements here.
That’s a software limit, it isn’t affected (currently) by the speaker itself.

OK, thanks, Ryan. I can borrow my neighbor's Amazon Fire for setup. After setup, I won't need the Fire tablet, will I? I can just operate everything from the desktop?

Also, for setting up Soros products, is a laptop considered a "mobile device"? (I'm thinking about getting one for use with music only.) Thanks so much for your help!


Correct, once it is set up, you can control your music playing from a desktop/laptop.

No, a laptop is not considered a mobile device. A tablet or phone are considered mobile devices. A laptop runs the same OS as a desktop 🙂
Userlevel 7
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That’s a software limit, it isn’t affected (currently) by the speaker itself.
It's a software limit that is created in part due to memory limitations on our oldest players. While the music library functions the way it currently does, the limit can't change due to all of our players storing the index. Though Port has a lot more memory than a Connect, or a ZP80, the player code for the music library is the same between the two players. And some of that memory is used for other things.

I'll let the team know you're asking for an increased limit @marke.
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OK, thanks, Ryan. I can borrow my neighbor's Amazon Fire for setup. After setup, I won't need the Fire tablet, will I? I can just operate everything from the desktop?

Also, for setting up Soros products, is a laptop considered a "mobile device"? (I'm thinking about getting one for use with music only.) Thanks so much for your help!
Correct, once it is set up, you can control your music playing from a desktop/laptop.

No, a laptop is not considered a mobile device. A tablet or phone are considered mobile devices. A laptop runs the same OS as a desktop :)
There are no speakers connected to a Sonos Port. How can it support TruePlay? Any speakers would be connected to the amp that the Sonos Port is connected to.

Really shouldn't matter. Room correction depends on a DSP (which the Port surely has - it's used by all modern amps/preamps for the tone controls), a calibrated mic (the iPhone's) and a tuning process. It shouldn't depend on the speakers at all, as it simply adjusts the levels through the system (via the DSP) at multiple frequencies based on how the bleeps and blurps during the tuning process interact with the room's nodes.

I'd love to see Sonos implement it in the Port and Amp, but they don't seem interested in doing so. Marketing reasons, I'm guessing, not technical. Or legal reasons (you idiots blew up my speakers!)

Here's an example of a streamer with DSP room correction. Comes with a Windows app/calibrated mic vs an iPhone app/mic, but can be used with any amp/speaker combo.

https://www.minidsp.com/products/shd-series/shd-detail

I’ve known even short coax cables to cause problems. Always worth trying a different cable.

Userlevel 7
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As the older Connects were "bit perfect" how is this going to produce a "richer sound" without messing up the sound?

'Richer sound' refers to the analog output via the DAC, not the digital output. (FWIW, the current Connect is thought not to be 'bit perfect', not that it makes an iota of difference under practical listening conditions.)

It is also about £200 too expensive for what it does in this day and age.


Absolutely, especially as useful features have been removed compared to the Connect, and the Ethernet ports haven't been upgraded to gigabit. Plenty of very cheap devices have gigabit networking.

An Amazon Link, a not dissimilar device, is under £200.

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