Amp waaayyyyy better than Connect:Amp sound quality. Is this expected?

  • 27 January 2021
  • 6 replies

I just upgraded from Connect:Amp to Amp. I notice a big difference in volume at the same setting, which I expected, but also a huge difference in sound quality. Bass is way fuller, mids and treble way clearer. Overall, much “punchier”. I did not expect that. My speakers are Martin Logan Motion 40s.

Anyone else’s experience of this upgrade?



6 replies

I wouldn’t normally expect significant difference, although the Amp does use newer electronic chips than the much older CONNECT:AMP.

On the other hand, the new Amp has substantially more power (or is that mohr power!), so it wouldn’t be overly surprising at the same ‘level’ in the controller, more watts are getting to the speakers.

Hmm, let me go look up power ratings.

CONNECT:AMP: 55 watts

Sonos Amp: 125 Watts

Even a 0.2dB increase in sound levels makes the sound quality seem better. The only way to say that SQ of one is better than the other is via a instrument level matched double blind test to rule out sound level differences and psychological bias.

As long as both amps are working within their specified operating ranges for power delivery, it is unlikely that any differences will be heard in the aforesaid test because both measure the same on SQ related parameters.

Also note that double the power translates to approximately a 20% increase in sound levels.

And for what its worth - some here think that the new Amp sounds worse than the old one! Not on the basis of any tests of the kind referred, of course.

PS: Of course, as far as the OP is concerned, if it sounds better, it is better, so relax and enjoy that better quality.

I could potentially see a jump in quality if the speakers were under powered by the 55 watts, and now appropriately powered at 125 watts.

I could potentially see a jump in quality if the speakers were under powered by the 55 watts, and now appropriately powered at 125 watts.

His speakers are quite efficient - 92dB in the spec - and what you are saying would apply if he was having to use the Connect Amp at close to max volume even so.

What is more likely is that at a similar volume level setting they go louder, and therefore sound better. If there was the motion available on the volume slider with the Connect Amp in use, the same effect would be achieved by moving its slider to the right. Actually if you see what he writes - big difference in volume at the same setting - that is an insight into what is happening.

That said, more power is always better up to a point, even if the result may not as dramatic except with music that demands a lot more power at its peaks to be played without distortion. Or, to drive inefficient speakers, which are not rare birds even today.

My read of the Sonos Amp is that it is just as good as the Connect Amp in SQ for upto moderately sized homes/rooms, but with better connectivity features. And with more use cases in the HT environment.

I’m a gonna plug my connect:amp back in with one speaker connected to each amp and see if it’s a real difference in quality or if I was fooled by the volume difference

Good experiment to do, just make sure you don’t short speaker wires while doing this.

Remember though that the 0.2dB that is enough to throw the experiment out of whack needs instruments for it to be to be eliminated. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to hear what you find once volume sliders are at places different enough for sound levels to be the same.