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Introducing Sonos Port, Brilliant Sound Connected

  • 5 September 2019
  • 97 replies
  • 7308 views
Introducing Sonos Port, Brilliant Sound Connected

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97 replies

Userlevel 4
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Well, it looks nice... I currently have two Connects, one married to the Arcam SonLink DAC (stacks perfectly under the Connect) which feeds my otherwise clunky Logitech 2.1 office speakers, the other Toslinks to a Cambridge Audio DacMagic then on to my Exposure amp etc. It took me ages and several different DAC choices to be happy with the sound of my main system (the Arcam started off there), since I never liked the DAC built into the Connect.

Lack of Toslink output has been criticised by others here, so I really hope my Connects never fail, or I may end up going through the whole DAC trial process all over again!

Does look nice though.
Too expensive for me. More than 400 euros to have my Home cinéma AMP connected to sonos is not cheap...
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Is the streamer bit perfect?
A new an "updated" Connect! Easy choice...

...I'll just stick with my Chromecast Audio or get a 2nd hand Connect.

I cant phatom how you can update a product without really updating anything - and still demand a higher price.
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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?Well, AFAIA the Connects weren't bit perfect any more, so maybe this one is...

Fortunately the one I have is old enough so presumably is bit perfect without variable audio out turned on. Baffled by the decision to drop optical out for co axial. Surely would have made more sense to have HDMI audio out for modern amps/surround systems. I run my Connect into a NAIM Muso using Toslink - works very well and syncs with all my other Sonos products. There is no coaxial digital input on the NAIM.
No information on DAC and no support for high-resolution audio.

I don't see a reason to upgrade my fleet of current Connects. I only see a use if I need to expand my audio zones or replace any current Connect.

I wish if Port can be firmware upgraded in the future to support at least 96kHz or higher (over LAN if its Wi-Fi mesh network cannot support high-resolution audio). Maybe it can but Sonos is not spilling the beans yet.

>> Baffled by the decision to drop optical out for co axial. Surely would have made more sense to >> have HDMI audio out for modern amps/surround systems.

IMHO, for that sort of price I'd expect every connectivity option under the sun....

PS - sorry, can't seem to get the quoting to work properly any more...
Userlevel 1
I’m puzzled...
I was expecting the same functionality and connections as the AMP. Must say I’m so disappointed.

Then we have the price for the Port which is on par with the Beam!!! which has 5 drivers, 5 amps, 3 passive drivers, home cinema processing power etc. The price of the port should have been the same as a Play 1 or less to be honest.
Back to the 12V connection.
Does this require a wire between the Port and a receiver?
My receiver is connected to an AppleTV via HDMI. When I use my AppleTV my receiver turns on. Will the Port also turn on this receiver when connected via standard RCA output?

And what is the 12V connection I see on the image of the back of the Port for?
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My receiver is connected to an AppleTV via HDMI. When I use my AppleTV my receiver turns on. Will the Port also turn on this receiver when connected via standard RCA output?

And what is the 12V connection I see on the image of the back of the Port for?


Since Sonos dropped the HDMI you won’t have auto on or input selection or volume control via tv or receiver’s remote like you have with the AMP or an Apple TV.
The 12 v is a trigger that can be used only to switch a power amp/amp/receiver on IF it has a trigger INPUT. Most have nothing, higher end receivers/amps have an trigger OUTPUT and sometimes an input. Power amps often have an input
Thank you
Why does my appleTV (connected via HDMI) turn on my receiver? Does that mean my receiver is 12V sensitive?
Just wondered whether the Port will turn the same receiver on?
Do some receivers have 12V inputs - seems strange for Sonos to support such an (small) audience....?

r
Userlevel 7
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Do some receivers have 12V inputs - seems strange for Sonos to support such an (small) audience....?

A 12V trigger input is generally something more commonly found on power amplifiers. Sonos is targeting the installer market with the Port, while dropping vital features that apply in non-installer contexts.
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From all of these posts, it is clear that the new Port is a great disappointment. To all intents and purposes, this new Sonos component, which (presumably) is intended to be in service for some years to come (if the life of the ZP80 / 90 / Connect is a guide), appears to be a re-packaging of the older devices plus some changes to address (probably) chipset obsolescence and a bit of re-voicing to give the 'richer' sound.

The Connect appears to be unable, because of circuitry and components, to handle above 48/16 (see thoughts at Qobuz). Let's hope that Sonos have planned ahead with the Port and made it ready for later upgrades by including latent capability it can exploit when it judges it is worthwhile in the marketplace. Shame that is not now.

Meanwhile (for me) it's ZP80 (and I have a spare) and version 7.3 software all round (plus a Chord Mojo for 'richer sound')...
Why does my appleTV (connected via HDMI) turn on my receiver? Does that mean my receiver is 12V sensitive?
Just wondered whether the Port will turn the same receiver on?
Do some receivers have 12V inputs - seems strange for Sonos to support such an (small) audience....?


AppleTV sends a digital command over the HDMI connection to the receiver. Many modern receivers will respond to this command by turning ON and switching to the AppleTV input. Ancient units will not respond to these commands.

A 12V trigger is an analog signal sent over a separate wire. The trigger remains at zero while PORT is in standby. When PORT begins to send audio, the trigger switches to 12V. While I cannot speak for the entire universe of receivers, reacting to a 12V trigger input is not a standard receiver feature. Many power amplifiers support 12V trigger input. Some receivers incorporate 12V trigger output that can be used to control external devices capable of responding to 12V triggers. For example, (depending on the receiver model) the receiver's 12V trigger could be configured to activate a 12V trigger when the cable box input is selected or Zone2 is active, etc.
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There are also receivers/amps (and Sonos products) that will sense when is audio is coming through an input and automatically come off stand by and switch to the correct input. Of course, modern smart control routines can also get devices working in sync as needed.

It's just my opinion, but I doubt Sonos really feels like 12V trigger is a necessary and useful feature. I would guess because professional installers told them it would be a feature they'd like to see. If I'm an installer, maybe I can put these in homes that had whole home systems added over 10+ years ago or something.
12V trigger is very important to installers. Without the trigger is it very difficult to control large systems. A nightmare track for systems that sense audio rather than providing a trigger is Speak to Me / Breathe by Pink Floyd.

A control system can sense the 12V trigger and send a command to turn ON and select the SONOS input for a receiver that does not support trigger input.
Thanx again for all the replies.
R
The 12v trigger will be a huge improvement over the "Works With Sonos" feature on select receivers. I have had so many times I sent music to my upstairs theater's connect to put it in sync with the rest of my house for parties only to later venture up there and realize it didn't kick on(I have an SC-LX801 and didn't consider Marantz or Denon due to the "Works With Sonos" feature although Audessy is a better tuning software than MCACC Pro).

Losing the toslink output is kind of a blessing, the potential for jitter on toslink is higher than if someone uses a good coaxial. Most people will just use the internal DAC and analog out; I haven't been able to find good information about the DAC Sonos is using in the Port other than it is "improved". Being reasonable, because of the lack of higher res support, most people that care enough about jitter and bit perfect already use other streamers that cost considerably more money such as a Brooklyn Bridge by Mytek.

In short this is great for a Home Theater setup to integrate with the rest of a multi-zone house, it is great for a custom install that has a multiple zone amp, and it is even good for putting an middle of the road turntable on the sonos ecosystem. I wouldn't want it as the primary streamer on a dedicated two channel audio system that has thousands of dollars put into it without improved streaming rates.
I'm curious as to how a digital signal can be subject to "jitter". Can you point me to some resources that explain this?
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One benefit to the Port that hasn't been mentioned yet is it's form factor would allow it to be wall mounted behind a TV. I can see this being useful from someone using a non-Sonos soundbar that has multiple inputs.
I'm curious as to how a digital signal can be subject to "jitter". Can you point me to some resources that explain this?

Jitter is basically timing inaccuracies. Here's a link to the Wiki on jitter in regards to sampling and ADC/DAC conversion:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jitter#Sampling_jitter

Note, modern implementations of digital audio with jitter far below the level of audibility can be achieved with commodity level parts. Audiophiles will say differently, but that's why they are audiophiles.
So it's an issue with the endpoints, and not the actual digital signal. That makes more sense to me.
So it's an issue with the endpoints, and not the actual digital signal. That makes more sense to me.

Endpoints and pathway. The big audiophile complaint is "TOSLINK doesn't do timing", which is irrelevant if the DAC reclocks the signal. Like almost all audiophile myths, this one is just to sell you more expensive gear.
Just some good info on jitter and toslink:

This video is what made me realize how toslink isn't really that special (although its really a cool philosophy).

https://youtu.be/ICcEOXVZ3F0

It goes in easy to understand detail how toslink works and also how things like gold plated toslink cables are an absolute joke.

These are some audiophile reasonings (ramblings) about toslink and jitter. Some of this is over my head, but when summarized they conclude that coaxial beats toslink.

www.stereophile.com/features/396bits
https://www.stereophile.com/reference/1290jitter
www.stereophile.com/reference/1093jitter

Based on this information:
A moderately priced coaxial with shielding (such as a $13 monolith by monoprice) run at a short distance should provide more than enough fidelity and reduce chances for jitter that some claim shows up. That doesn't seem overpriced and I'm all for following myths within reason.

Also in line with this type of audiophile snake oil stuff that I find interesting is that most "24 bit" music is really only 19.5 bit according to Schiit audio's Mike Moffat. This product FAQ talks about it https://www.schiit.com/products/yggdrasil

Sonos would legit be offering audiophile streaming by allowing 24bit/192khz streaming even if they limit it to the Port and you need an external DAC to get the most out of it. 24bit is more of a standard even if the 19.5 is what you truly get.

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