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Introducing Sonos Port, Brilliant Sound Connected

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

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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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OK. I just replaced a connect with a port. It was painless. I thought I’d have to change its name, but since I had unplugged the connect, “living room” was still available.

I actually connect it via an external multibit ladder DAC via coax. That type of DAC is the only one I’ve ever really noticed a difference in sound from...better imaging and such, but for those who don’t want to go that route, I’m sure the port sounds quite good fed directly into their integrated/preamp of choice.

I was a bit concerned about the coax output before trying it, because the old connect had reputedly some issues with noise on the coax. As a result, I had been using toslink.

The current port’s coax seems to work really well, so no worries for those who follow such things. it all sounds great.
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).
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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.

 


Given that's it's predecessor, the ZP80 I believe it was, is still supported, I think we're at least a few years away before the Connect is no longer supported.

 


I rest my case……4 months.

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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.
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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.
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Disappointing.

Airplay2 is nice. My amps already have auto power detection based on signal that works great.

If you plan on targeting the whole house installers then you shouldn’t remove ports. I have 8 optical lines from 20-80’ wired through my attic that I’m not planning on swapping out for coax anytime soon. At least include some optical to coax adapter if you plan on removing functionality.
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 🙂
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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.

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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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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.

 


Given that's it's predecessor, the ZP80 I believe it was, is still supported, I think we're at least a few years away before the Connect is no longer supported.

 


I rest my case……4 months.

 

That’s actually not 100% true.  What you (I assume) and I did not know was there was a change in hardware for the Connect back in 2015, which is now the dividing point for what is and is not supported.  A Connect that was bought within the past few years is still supported, and I still say is a least a few years away. Sonos probably does not want to have a repeat of the current event any time soon.

 

That said, had I known there were 2 hardware versions of the Connect out there, not sure I would have changed my statement/prediction, still expecting the ZP80 to go first, then the first version of Connect, and so on.  So I probably would have been wrong on that point.  

The Port is an updated Connect. It tells us that Sonos is still interested in customers with conventional hifis. It continues the Connect tradition of not being intended for AV use. I cannot see that any conclusion can be drawn about Sonos" plans for its AV range.
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@Tejs Dyrvig Ernst, thanks for sharing your story. I'm pleased to confirm that we're in no way "throwing in the towel" on home theater devices. We've announced 3 new products this month, none of them happen to be specifically for home theater, though the Sonos One SL is a much needed update to the position that the Play:1 filled, as the most common surround Sonos speaker for home theater. The Beam and Amp are fairly new to our product lineup, both of them with home theater capabilities. Over HDMI, those devices will tell the TV they're connected with that they want Dolby Digital 5.1, and if there's a Dolby Digital Plus signal, it'll automatically be converted.

As to what to read into with the Port, it's a much needed update to an older product that holds an important position in our lineup. It's for people with existing audio systems that they want to be able to bring the Sonos convenience to. It also has line-in, to bring new sources of audio into the Sonos speakers you have. It's about bringing Sonos to new places, to connect.


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!)I was disappointed when I found out that the Amp did not have Trueplay, and now here we are again. It's a killer feature that would make either of these products a must-have. As it stands, I see no reason to upgrade from my current streaming setup.

To be clear, the Amp does have Trueplay when you're using it with the in-wall or in-ceiling Sonos Architectural speakers we built with Sonance. To use Trueplay, we need to have the acoustic pattern of the speakers that are being tuned. These speakers have a signature that we're able to detect and tune to the room.
The Port takes a line level input. Basically what you would get out of any RCA jack on a receiver. The only time you would need a pre-amp would be if you were plugging a phono turntable into it.
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@Tejs Dyrvig Ernst, thanks for sharing your story. I'm pleased to confirm that we're in no way "throwing in the towel" on home theater devices. We've announced 3 new products this month, none of them happen to be specifically for home theater, though the Sonos One SL is a much needed update to the position that the Play:1 filled, as the most common surround Sonos speaker for home theater. The Beam and Amp are fairly new to our product lineup, both of them with home theater capabilities. Over HDMI, those devices will tell the TV they're connected with that they want Dolby Digital 5.1, and if there's a Dolby Digital Plus signal, it'll automatically be converted.

As to what to read into with the Port, it's a much needed update to an older product that holds an important position in our lineup. It's for people with existing audio systems that they want to be able to bring the Sonos convenience to. It also has line-in, to bring new sources of audio into the Sonos speakers you have. It's about bringing Sonos to new places, to connect.



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!)I was disappointed when I found out that the Amp did not have Trueplay, and now here we are again. It's a killer feature that would make either of these products a must-have. As it stands, I see no reason to upgrade from my current streaming setup.
To be clear, the Amp does have Trueplay when you're using it with the in-wall or in-ceiling Sonos Architectural speakers we built with Sonance. To use Trueplay, we need to have the acoustic pattern of the speakers that are being tuned. These speakers have a signature that we're able to detect and tune to the room.


First of all; thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. Much appreciated.

Owning the Beam I can unfortunately not confirm that Dolby Digital Plus will automatically be converted to Dolby Digital. The Beam will request Dolby Digital and receive it if available. Streaming Netflix from Chromecast for instance will however give you stereo as no Dolby Digital track is available - only PCM and Dolby Digitial Plus.

With all these new products, including several for the home theater with HDMI, I and many others were hoping for some more modern codecs. As stated, I am however no longer expecting this to happen and fail to understand the reasoning behind this decision.

But at least now we can buy a third-party system with better sound format support for our living rooms and then add the Port on top of that to include the new system in our Sonos-setup.
Or, perhaps a better answer, no, there is no need to have a pre-amp in between the Port and a normal input on your amp. Just do not use the phono input.
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This also mean that any unsupported fileformats, such as DTS and DD Plus will be passed through.

That is completely different from a TV actually converting a received audio signal to DD. I have not seen a TV that can do this.

It doesn't matter that DD Plus supports supports DD - no Sonos products supports DD Plus. So when DD Plus is passed on by the TV to a Sonos-product, no sound will go through. The handshake feature will ensure that the Beam and AMP in this case receive a stereo-signal, which it supports.
This bit is incorrect. If the TV is sent DD+ and it's capable of outputting DD5.1 (as many are), it'll convert the DD+ over to DD5.1 to output. The TV won't take stereo and convert it into DD5.1, but it may have some upmix processing. The Sonos home theater devices will upmix stereo signals, so you will get audio out of the Sub and surrounds even if you're only sending it stereo audio.


The part about conversion is simply not true. And stereo upmixed to play on all speakers is nothing close to actual surround sound and not something anyone should ever pay for.

I have a fairly new LG Oled. It does indeed support both Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital 5.1.

It will send Dolby Digital 5.1 from it's build-in apps.

It will pass on Dolby Digital 5.1 when received from my Apple TV (the Apple TV having converted any audio to Dolby Digital Plus).

But if my TV receives Dolby Digital Plus from any input, it will only pass on a stereo signal to the Beam. Because the Beam does not support Dolby Digital Plus. The same will happen for Dolby Atmos, DTS and any other format which is not either Dolby Digital or stereo.

No TVs I have come across are capable of converting audio. They can request and pass on various formats, but they will not convert it. Again, please show me a TV that can do this as this would save me and slot of other users in the forums a lot after hassle.

In any cases where an unsupported format is apparently being converted before being send to a Sonos produkt, this is likely being done by an external device; an Apple TV, Playstaion or similar.

However, and I understand that you avoid admitting to this in public, this does not change the fact that Sonos only supports one single, aging surround-sound format (Dolby Digital) and is fully depending on customers buying third-party devices and on such devices continuing supporting conversion to this almost obsolete format. A puclic secret that should be listed with capital letters on expensive systems being marketed for the home theater.

The problem is not the customers@ TVs. Or their Chromecasts. Or the bluray-players. The only reason we are having this discussion, is Sonos' extremely limited sound-support.

Most other major players in the industry have adopted a vast selection of formats, including Denon, Sony, LG, Yamaha, Samsung, B&O and the list goes on. I simply cannot understand Sonos' decision in this respect.

The power cord now has a voltage regulator at the point where it plugs into the mains (2 prong in the US).Can you see if there are power specs noted on the voltage regulator? If so, would be much appreciated if you can post them here. Thanks.

Why on earth does it matter? It plainly delivers sufficient power for what is manifestly an undemanding network appliance (it contains no power amplification). Are you contemplating replacing the PSU with a third party, unapproved, alternative? How would you assess whether the stock PSU was, or was not, up to scratch anyhow?

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