Need Help, Clunky utilization of New Sonos AMP :(


Hello all - I know the AMP is new, so I'm hoping someone can help here. I don't know if I have things set up optimally, so please bare with me as I describe my setup and issues.

Current Room Setups - multiple Sonos One's thoughout the house (dining, kitchen, bathroom, and Beam+Sub in bedroom.
Room in Question - Living Room
- 2 Play 5's functioning as L/R channel pair, plus 1 Sub
- 1 New AMP as Line In Selector for:
- 1 ARC from TV
- 1 Line input from Record player (not yet connected)
- Note* I'm not using the AMP for any traditional speakers, so nothing is hooked up to the banana plugs

Configuration:
- I created a "room" for the Play 5's and the Sub, and a separate room for the AMP. I did not find anyway to add to Play 5's as Stereo mains in the AMP setup, only configurable as surrounds or a sub. Due to this, I'm playing the AMP room, and the Play 5's room grouped together.

Here are my questions:
- TV Volume control: When I use the remote on the TV to toggle the volume coming from the system, nothing happens. I can see on the app that the volume control of the AMP is going up or down, but it's not syncing with the grouped room of Play 5's. Essentially, if I had wired speakers to the amp, the volume would work as intended. But because I have a separate room created for the Play 5's, I have to use the Sonos App to modulate the volume going through the system.
- Possible solution: Should I attempt to hook up the Play 5's as "surrounds" to the AMP, as well as the sub? Will I still get stereo sound, or will it be discreet channels intended for decoded surround audio only?

- Input switching: This one is rather annoying. When I turn on my TV, the AMP automatically switches to that input. However, if I switch the speakers to music for a while, and then want to go back to the TV (for example, pausing a TV show for dinner and wanting to turn on music then, and then after dinner return and resume watching TV show), I have to turn the TV off and then on again for the AMP to recognize the need to switch sources.
- Is there no manual way to select which input?
- Does this problem get compounded when I add the record player (just not set up yet) and need to switch to the analog line in? I can see this becoming a major pain, do I have this setup configured wrong?

Thanks in advance for your help/input/opinions!

24 replies

Without going into all the detail, what have you bought the new Amp for, if you have no passive speakers? Surely not just for the line in, when you already have a line in on each of the 5s?
You won’t be able to control the Play 5’s with the TV remote .. even if they’re grouped with the AMP ... the remote will only work with the AMP and it’s bonded surrounds. Group volume control is only available through the Sonos App at this time.

TV autoplay and line-in 'autoplay' can be turned on/off in the room settings of the AMP.
If the aim is to use the P:5s as TV speakers (a questionable aim in the first place) then you could achieve this with the optical out from the TV via a DAC into one P:5. Turntable, with pre amp if not integrated, into other P:5. Cost a small fraction of an Amp.

What you are doing seems not so much clunky as a bit bonkers, unless I have totally misunderstood.
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The Play:5s will have a slight lip sync delay when used through the analog input. That's primarily the negative.
What you are doing seems not so much clunky as a bit bonkers, unless I have totally misunderstood.
I'm also sitting here scratching my head.
The Play:5s will have a slight lip sync delay when used through the analog input. That's primarily the negative.Surely the biggest negative is spending $600 completely unnecessarily?
@ken_griffiths - any thoughts about the "surround" use on the AMP. Will that just be stereo left/right sound for "rear" speakers, but same as what the fronts would play, or are they actual surround audio channels?

@John B - my ideal setup would have been Sonos Beam + Sub for movies/tv, and Play 5's + Sub for my records. I didn't want to have duplicate speakers for discreet listening purposes, and from my research you can't create different groupings in the same room. I also didn't want to use the Beam for vinyl, as I'm not all that impressed with the sound bar in general. Due to the challenges with that setup, I landed on the Play 5's pulling double duty (records and TV) as the sound quality was more important that having true L/c/R sound for movies.

As for why I went this way - a little bit of impulse, assumptions, and just not a lot of knowledge on the new amp, plus future extensability of my setup. I wanted to have digital input from TV (connect or connect AMP is just analog), plus I assume the DAC in the NEW AMP is better and more updated than the DAC's in the Play5's or old Connects. I do have analog speakers I could end up using at some point (in storage right now), so I felt like the AMP would provide me with future options should my needs change.

I'm totally open to suggestions if there is a better way to achieve my desired end state.
DAC technology, at least for sensible content (i.e. 24-bit and 48kHz max), hasn't advanced significantly in years. If you want to keep the Amp for future use, all well and good, but I'd go with John B's suggestion of twin Line-Ins on the P:5s for convenience. Pop a cheap DAC on the TV's optical out and tell the TV to downmix to stereo.

Configuring the P:5s as surrounds might work for music but would be useless with a TV input to the Amp as they'd just carry the back channels (actual for 5.1, synthesised for PCM).

If you really really want to group with the Amp, get an iPort xPRESS keypad for volume control. It can be configured to control the group master volume.
The digital vs analog issue is a complete red herring as far as I am concerned, and much nonsense is talked about DAC quality. As things stand you have paid $600 for a line in, when you already had one available.

Using the P:5s for TV is sub-optimal anyway, because of the lag. I would either return the Amp for a refund or get out those passive speakers so that you can use the Amp as intended. The P:5s could be used as surrounds or sold.
@ken_griffiths - any thoughts about the "surround" use on the AMP. Will that just be stereo left/right sound for "rear" speakers, but same as what the fronts would play, or are they actual surround audio It’s not the same, as the Play 5’s (if set on their own just as surrounds) will play the rear left/right audio channels in the 5.0 setup... and would be hopeless for TV audio and also for music at the default Ambient setting. I get the impression you (perhaps mistakenly) thought you could use your Play 5's for the front left/right and phantom center via the AMP? .. it’s not the case.

Suggestion from me would be to either swap the Amp and get PlayBar/PlayBase/Beam ..or keep Amp and add a decent pair of passive speakers to it and connect it to the TV using HDMI ARC ... that will give you various choices of 3.0/5.0 Home Theatre setup for the Living Room.
Using the P:5s for TV is sub-optimal anyway, because of the lag.
This can in fact be mitigated to a degree with some TVs, by pulling the optical output a few 10s of ms ahead of the picture.
Using the P:5s for TV is sub-optimal anyway, because of the lag.
This can in fact be mitigated to a degree with some TVs, by pulling the optical output a few 10s of ms ahead of the picture.
Yes, I can vouch for this working, as I have that setup in my living room with a 30ms lip-sync delay (set in my Home Theatre Receiver) It works a treat and lip-sync is fine.. so much so it’s really not noticeable. I will add the line in audio is set to 'uncompressed' (obviously) and not a hint of any echo.
Ok, let me make sure I have this right. One room, with 2 P5's and Sub. TV Optical out into a DAC (will have to learn about these and what's good/not good) and into one P5 input. Record player to phono amp, and then line level into the other P5. With this config, the TV will be able to control volume of the speakers, and I'll be able to switch between either line-in or audio, without any funky needing to turn TV off, then on again type stuff?

Is this correct?

edit: Also need to check on the TV (new LGUK6500 series) to see if the audio delay can be adjusted. This seems to be the linchpin to this whole idea.
Ok, let me make sure I have this right. One room, with 2 P5's and Sub. TV Optical out into a DAC (will have to learn about these and what's good/not good) and into one P5 input. Record player to phono amp, and then line level into the other P5. With this config, the TV will be able to control volume of the speakers, and I'll be able to switch between either line-in or audio, without any funky needing to turn TV off, then on again type stuff?

Is this correct?

edit: Also need to check on the TV (new LGUK6500 series) to see if the audio delay can be adjusted. This seems to be the linchpin to this whole idea.
I will say that such things are not really ideal and I’m perhaps lucky that my TV setup works for me. However, all it really does is to fill the Living room, mostly with mixed TV sound from both the HT speakers and 4 Sonos speakers (two stereo pairs grouped).

As soon as the next generation PlayBar emerges, I intend to swap my HT setup for that new Sonos setup immediately. Just wish I knew when that was going to be. I’m not sure your TV supports a lip-sync function, looking briefly through the online manual, so you will probably not achieve the success you’re hoping for here. I would perhaps look at the alternative suggestions mentioned.
That seems an accurate summary to me, except I have my doubts about the remote controlling volume.

For the avoidance of doubt, the lag on the P:5s that you would need to adjust for would be the same for your current setup and for the P:5 line in.
FWIW, once the Amp is available in the UK I shall be trying it out with my floorstanders. Plus Play:1s as surrounds. I hope that this will replace both my Connect + hifi set up and my Playbar.
Thank you all - I'm awaiting delivery of a optical converter and will try to P5's first. If that doesn't work, I'll think about the other solutions. Appreciate all your insight!
Badge +7
DAC technology, at least for sensible content (i.e. 24-bit and 48kHz max), hasn't advanced significantly in years. If you want to keep the Amp for future use, all well and good, but I'd go with John B's suggestion of twin Line-Ins on the P:5s for convenience. Pop a cheap DAC on the TV's optical out and tell the TV to downmix to stereo.
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Disagree. The Dac and amp were badly in need of an upgrade and it has been years..
That's why products like this exist.
https://wyred4sound.com/products/upgrades-and-mods/sonos-connect-modified
DAC technology, at least for sensible content (i.e. 24-bit and 48kHz max), hasn't advanced significantly in years. If you want to keep the Amp for future use, all well and good, but I'd go with John B's suggestion of twin Line-Ins on the P:5s for convenience. Pop a cheap DAC on the TV's optical out and tell the TV to downmix to stereo.
.


Disagree. The Dac and amp were badly in need of an upgrade and it has been years..
That's why products like this exist.
https://wyred4sound.com/products/upgrades-and-mods/sonos-connect-modified

https://numeralnine.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/a-brief-guide-to-audio-for-the-skeptical-consumer/
Item 2.
Badge +7
DAC technology, at least for sensible content (i.e. 24-bit and 48kHz max), hasn't advanced significantly in years. If you want to keep the Amp for future use, all well and good, but I'd go with John B's suggestion of twin Line-Ins on the P:5s for convenience. Pop a cheap DAC on the TV's optical out and tell the TV to downmix to stereo.
.


Disagree. The Dac and amp were badly in need of an upgrade and it has been years..
That's why products like this exist.
https://wyred4sound.com/products/upgrades-and-mods/sonos-connect-modified

https://numeralnine.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/a-brief-guide-to-audio-for-the-skeptical-consumer/
Item 2.


I can post 100 articles saying the opposite plus more importantly many complaints about sq with the old connect and how badly both the dac and amp need to be updated.

I can post 100 articles saying the opposite plus more importantly many complaints about sq with the old connect and how badly both the dac and amp need to be updated.


Pitting subjective opinion vs. scientific fact backed up by reproducible experiments is no way to win an argument.

A DAC is a commoditized item at this point. The very best of them cost well under $20, and all are manufactured to have inaudible differences. Unless they are purposefully coloring the sound (a task any DSP is able to do for cheap), even the least expensive DAC's are transparent to the original signal. The fact is, making a transparent DAC is not sophisticated engineering, nor is it something which justifies the expensive boutique DAC's touted by the audiophile press.

In short, like much of audiophilia, expensive DAC's are snake oil.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
I can post 100 articles saying the opposite plus more importantly many complaints about sq with the old connect and how badly both the dac and amp need to be updated.
Point me to just one where a properly controlled ABX test was conducted. (The majority of hi-fi reviews and opinions are good entertainment, but garbage from an empirical perspective.)
Badge +7
I'm not going to go round and round on the subject.
Especially when people are just saying what they want to believe like somehow all dacs are the same. That's just grossly uninformed. There have been many advances in dacs since the connect amp came out many years ago.
Obviously Sonos thought it was time for a new product and I would expect the old to go away once they run out.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Especially when people are just saying what they want to believe like somehow all dacs are the same. That's just grossly uninformed.
I choose to believe what’s been proven using valid methods of proof. I’d call that the opposite of uninformed, by definition. You’re entirely free to believe unproven things: lots of people do, but you should realise that it’s faith not science.

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