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Sonos Hi-Res Audio Message


Does Sonos display any message when playing a Hi-Res audio track (e.g. 192 kHz) similar to displaying ‘Dolby Atmos’ etc.  I have just signed up to Qobuz and it would be useful to see such a message.

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Best answer by ratty 27 March 2021, 12:49

Sonos doesn’t support sampling rates above 48kHz, so the only message it could present would be an error message. 

Fortunately Qobuz will send a sensible sampling rate instead: 

 

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1782

On Sonos you can stream up to 24-bit/48 kHz Hi-Res FLAC from Qobuz on your S2 compatible hardware. Tracks with a sampling rate above 48 kHz will be delivered to your Sonos hardware as 16-bit/44.1 kHz FLAC (CD lossless quality).

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Sonos doesn’t support sampling rates above 48kHz, so the only message it could present would be an error message. 

Fortunately Qobuz will send a sensible sampling rate instead: 

 

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1782

On Sonos you can stream up to 24-bit/48 kHz Hi-Res FLAC from Qobuz on your S2 compatible hardware. Tracks with a sampling rate above 48 kHz will be delivered to your Sonos hardware as 16-bit/44.1 kHz FLAC (CD lossless quality).

Thanks for that information.

Hi.  It’s a shame that Sonos doesn’t display the bit rate and kHz for each track.

The sampling rate is a bit academic, as all mainstream content which Sonos plays is at 44.1kHz or 48kHz. 

Display of the encoding is available, depending on the service. Deezer HiFi for example displays ‘FLAC’, except for selected -- usually older, and mercifully infrequent -- content where only ‘MP3’ (320k) is available. 

Thanks again for the information. I have just signed up to Qubuz so I can receive 24 bit. It would be useful for Sonos to display a message when playing 24 bit tracks. 

It would be especially useful to indicate whether the ‘24-bit’ track actually contained anything more than 16 bits of information.

There are umpteen cases of 16-bit content being repackaged into ‘Hi-Res’ containers, with nothing in the lowest byte and nothing above 22kHz. Any older recorded material could potentially fit into this category.

So, is this actually true, I wonder?

"While I generally dismiss anything the John Darko says, at least he acknowledged that virtually all of the so-called “hi-res” content on Qobuz, Spotify, and the other services isn’t really high-resolution. He claimed 90% of the 70 million tracks available are limited to CD-quality. And he’s right."

See LINK

That seems like rather a high percentage… or is CD-quality audio, when repackaged, being called ‘hi-res’ these days.

is CD-quality audio, when repackaged, being called ‘hi-res’ these days.

Well, maybe not “hi-res”, but definitely “HD” has entered the lexicon of marketing-speak..

Thanks for all your comments, it’s appreciated.  It would still be helpful though if Sonos could display a bit rate and hKz irrespective of our views of streaming service providers.

I was under the impression that, for Qobuz,  each track would come across at different audio quality (bit rate, etc)  as is available, rather than 24-bit/48 kHz Hi-Res FLAC for everything with much of the tracks just 16-bit in a 24-bit container.   This is the sort of thing you see with other services, or at least with Tidal and Amazon, and Sonos is definitely capable of playing separate tracks at different resolution.

But to the original point, it does seem like it would be a very useful feature to easily see what the audio quality is for streaming sources, as well as TV and aux sources, particularly now since it varies quite a bit these days, and the same audio can be played from multiple sources.  For example if I want to play a track on Amazon music, I could play it directly on Sonos, I could cast from an Amazon app, I could use bluetooth (via the Roam), I could use Airplay, I could use an app through the TV, or I could use an aux source...which option results in the best audio?  I have a good idea which way to go, but I can’t always hear the difference, and would like a visual confirmation of what I’m hearing.

I agree that some indication of the format would be helpful and as noted Deezer HiFi already provides this as part of its service within Sonos, though you have to dig for it. On its native app it superimposes a ‘HiFi'/’HQ’/etc label on the artwork.

Clearly this would only be valid if the Sonos player was the primary destination for the incoming stream. Labelling the Line-In, Bluetooth or Airplay input from a third party device which had already decoded the audio would be pretty meaningless.

I was under the impression that, for Qobuz,  each track would come across at different audio quality (bit rate, etc)  as is available, rather than 24-bit/48 kHz Hi-Res FLAC for everything with much of the tracks just 16-bit in a 24-bit container.   This is the sort of thing you see with other services, or at least with Tidal and Amazon, and Sonos is definitely capable of playing separate tracks at different resolution.

But to the original point, it does seem like it would be a very useful feature to easily see what the audio quality is for streaming sources, as well as TV and aux sources, particularly now since it varies quite a bit these days, and the same audio can be played from multiple sources.  For example if I want to play a track on Amazon music, I could play it directly on Sonos, I could cast from an Amazon app, I could use bluetooth (via the Roam), I could use Airplay, I could use an app through the TV, or I could use an aux source...which option results in the best audio?  I have a good idea which way to go, but I can’t always hear the difference, and would like a visual confirmation of what I’m hearing.

I appreciate some say they can hear a difference with the much higher resolution audio and I can’t personally disprove that from where I’m sat. So let those folk have it, if they want it. Funny how many want to see the audio-quality somehow ‘confirmed in writing’ though.

However, let these things always be about ‘choice’ and give me 16/44kHz, or perhaps 24/44kHz ‘quality’ audio to stream and I will certainly remain happy with that.

I guess we will next see other MSP’s following Qobuz along this route. 

I’m quite happy to pay the price for what I am able to actually listen to. I just don’t want to be charged more, nor have to download lots more, for something I probably will not ever hear, or benefit from, that’s if it is actually there in the first place ...and I’m really not even sure now that it will be, particularly after reading the Mark Waldrep’s post.

I too would like to see the bit-depth and sample rate on the ‘now playing’ screen and the currently playing song-lyrics too, just to mirror them on my TV (or is that a step too far?)😁

I too would like to see the bit-depth and sample rate on the ‘now playing’ screen and the currently playing song-lyrics too, just to mirror them on my TV (or is that a step too far?)😁

 

This ties into to why I want to now the quality of the different sources.   Many times, I find using a TV streaming app with remote is easier to navigate and control than using the Sonos app, or even casting from a phone streaming app.  For example, I’d rather use plex on my TV and share that stream that the Sonos app.  That also gives me album art and lyrics.  But am I getting the same audio quality that way?

For example, I’d rather use plex on my TV and share that stream that the Sonos app.  That also gives me album art and lyrics.  But am I getting the same audio quality that way?

Possibly not everywhere. Your Plex app may be able to send PCM Stereo out the HDMI-ARC, but IIRC it was found a while back that the Sonos master HT player sends ‘TV’ audio to grouped players using a lightweight lossy compression.

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