New Sonos Connect?

  • 14 November 2017
  • 47 replies
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Userlevel 1
I have been wondering for a few years now. Will there ever be a new Sonos Connect? Something comparable to the Bluesound Node 2 in sound quality and design. The Connect seems so hopelesly outdated.

47 replies

Rumor has it there will be a Connect refresh. I highly doubt it will have High Resolution audio like the Bluesound. Sonos has stated in the past they think (as do many other audio experts) higher sample rates are not justified by the math and as such, are not necessary to support.
Might want to join this thread, too:

https://en.community.sonos.com/components-228996/time-for-a-refresh-sonos-6793981
Userlevel 1
Well, if that is true they obviosly have no intention to be a true Hi-Fi alternative. Such a shame. Does anyone have any idea when they might come with something with a design that doesn't force you to hide the ugly thing? ?
Well, if that is true they obviosly have no intention to be a true Hi-Fi alternative. Such a shame. Does anyone have any idea when they might come with something with a design that doesn't force you to hide the ugly thing? ?

Most objective audio experts agree that high resolution audio is snake oil. Including Monty Montgomery, who works for the company that created FLAC. See his explanation of why here:

https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
Userlevel 1
That might be. But why not integrate this when anyone else is? Sonos is right and everyone else is wrong?
And am i right that the Connect controls volume digitally? Wouldn't it be nice to have a little more headroom then?

And am i right that the Connect controls volume digitally? Wouldn't it be nice to have a little more headroom then?


There’s far more than enough headroom, given Sonos’ 24-bit internal buss. Volume control won’t drop a single bit across its range.
That might be. But why not integrate this when anyone else is? Sonos is right and everyone else is wrong?
And am i right that the Connect controls volume digitally? Wouldn't it be nice to have a little more headroom then?


I for one am glad Sonos doesn't waste time on snake oil nonsense in order to bilk fools out of their money. It's a brave stance they are taking to basically spit in the face of the charlatans of the high end audio business.
Userlevel 1
''There’s far more than enough headroom, given Sonos’ 24-bit internal buss. Volume control won’t drop a single bit across its range.''

I did not know that! Well, then i don't care as much. I still however would really like a trigger out and a much needed design upgrade ?
If the Connect needs anything it is features - more inputs for example. And perhaps a price reduction, but that goes to policy. As to ugly, it is easily hidden.
And Sonos isn't the only one right - it just happens to be one of the many that have sussed out the red herring in Hi Res. Those who offer the capability do so to exploit consumers who fall for it, because the electronics needed to do so is cheap now. And these makes do not care about backward compatibility.
Userlevel 1
I don't need any more indputs. Why would you? You only need audio out?
It is however pretty useless without trigger out. Who the hell makes a non powered unit that can't wake up an amp? That really is completely moronic.
And yes one really have to hide the hideous thing. But it would be nice if that wasn't necessary.
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
i have my connect hooked to a very nice 2 channel stereo system. i finally got my self a set of my favorite speaker manufacturers best bookshelf speakers and i have a nice integrated amp.. i find the sonos playing FLAC files sounds just as good as playing a CD on my CD player. to my amazement i cant really hear a difference and i can usually hear a difference in any minor change to my stereo system.. i think the sonos sounds just fine. if i close my eyes i can almost imagine i am in the room with the band if its a good recording.. this set up sounds extremely natural.. what i would like to see is a nice 10 band EQ. i always like to bump up the low mids and add a little more warmth to my music. too bad you really cant get a good home stereo EQ these days so it would be ncie if sonos would add one. but over all i am very happy with the connect and i am one of those people who is rarely happy with audio equipment.
I’m also really happy with my Connect. I located it in an outdoor kitchen/dining/barbecue area and have the analog output going to a pair of old, but effective 40 watt speakers and the optical digital output running through a digital to analog converter to another set of powered speakers. I plan to get another d/a converter and connect another set of powered speakers.

Considering the location I’m really not going to sweat the sound quality. It’s perfect for where it is.
Once I got over my OCD about audio kit, Connect sound quality was found to be perfectly adequate, regardless of location.
Userlevel 5
Badge +13
So, is there anything more than educated guesses on a new Connect? The thread on FCC ID S15 seemed to indicate a March release - anything official come out on what it entails or if it's even a meaningful update? I'm waiting for a new amplifier to arrive, and I'll need a new connect to go with it when it does, so I'm trying to decide whether to look for deals now, or wait.
Userlevel 6
Badge +19
There is rarely anything concrete form Sonos with regards to dates. And very little info on new products till they arrive so i doubt you will get much more in the way of info. Why are you waiting for a new connect, and what new features would you like to see/need?
Userlevel 5
Badge +13
Better DAC is the main thing, Airplay 2 compatibility is secondary. I don't see any reason why I wouldn't get a Connect, just wondering if I should delay so I don't miss some possible new features.
A new model Connect may have more connectivity options, lower footprint, lower price and more in the features list; but audible improvement in sound quality is extremely unlikely to the extent that will stand up in a controlled blind test. No one anywhere has proved lower sound quality till now with the existing Connect with ANY dac extant in such a test. Subjective claims to this effect exist in multitudes of course.
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You keep saying that Kumar, yet I've read dozens of reviews where qualified reviewers have demonstrated the opposite - that an improved DAC provides better sound. Perhaps you could be ... wrong? Or perhaps other people's opinions on the matter are OK.
I too have read many reviews, but not one that is supported by a controlled level matched DBT. Not one. In the absence of that, these are just subjective opinions that I don't have to subscribe to.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
You keep saying that Kumar, yet I've read dozens of reviews where qualified reviewers have demonstrated the opposite - that an improved DAC provides better sound. Perhaps you could be ... wrong? Or perhaps other people's opinions on the matter are OK.
Point us to a review where the comparison was done under properly controlled conditions. 'Qualified reviewers' don't like to do this because it spoils all the fun.
And by the way, this isn't just me being a Connect/Sonos fan; I also find the DAC in the Chromecast audio puck that sells for about 10% of the price of the Connect to be just as good in sound quality as a source as the Connect or any other DAC that may in turn cost in multiples of the Connect. Again, something that no one has taken the trouble to disprove under controlled conditions, because as pwt says, that would be spoiling all the fun.

For the Chromecast audio I believe that there are supporting measurements somewhere on the archimago blog, for anyone interested in dry analysis.

From the time the CCA was launched by Google it has been obvious that the Connect is ridiculously overpriced, but Sonos with its focus on play units and voice control does not seem to be worried too much about low Connect sales. Perhaps that will change, time will tell.
Userlevel 5
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Well, I guess when I get my system set up I'll do the blind comparison myself. I have a ZP80, running optically into a Yamaha receiver now in the living room. I'm waiting on delivery of the Billie Amp from Heaven11 (Kickstarter project gone way over original delivery date 😞 ), for which I'll buy a new Connect to set up for my bedroom. I'll be able to ABC compare output from the Connect into the DAC on the Billie Amp, from the optical output into an Arcam rLink DAC, and then analogue from the Connect direct to the amplifier. If there's new chips in the new Connect, I can repeat the process with the ZP80 into the same channels.

Anyone know of a reliable SPL meter for a smartphone or tablet, so I don't have to waste money on a hw meter?

And truthfully, I'm almost 50, so the differences might be imperceptible to me long term. I'll probably bribe my 20 year classical pianist progeny into the experiment as well.
These tests are close to impossible to set up at home. For one thing, making sure that there is one and only one variable in play is not easy to accomplish, and level matching of sound levels needs to be done to within 0.1 dB; a smartphone hosted meter is almost certainly not going to be good enough. Then there has to be a way to do an instantaneous switch over to compare A v B, because human audio memory gets rapidly unreliable as seconds pass between one listening experience and the next.

I only attempted this once, imperfectly. It was possible to make a reasonable job of it because all I was doing was switching sources in a SACD player that had a Connect wired to it.

I don't mean to discourage you from the attempt, but some research on all that needs to be addressed in the test set up for the outcome to be valid may be a good idea.

Obviously this can be done in a lab or studio environment, but no one except the serious manufacturers does this because then there would be little to write every month in the latest issue of the magazine or wherever else the reviews are to be published for all the kit out there, with the exception of speakers.
Userlevel 5
Badge +11
Maybe the same Sonos Connect today could be engineered to be smaller and cheaper.
It easily could, but if Sonos were to do that I think they would also add features like more input options as one example. How large is the market for the outcome will be the critical question though. The Connect is from an era before play units, streaming services and voice control and has become a very niche solution. Also, making it a lot cheaper would allow its use for a wide range of non Sonos speakers, adversely affecting Sonos speaker sales.

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