On my wishlist: A modern Connect


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I realize Connect is probably a bit oldschool since most younger people might not own traditional stereosystem but I personally believe it's time for an updated version of the Connect anyhow.

I've used Sonos for two years using two Play:1 and three Connect ZP90 and since there's quite a lot of wifi traffic around (kids in the house wathing Youtube, playing online games e.t.c.) and my experience is that the Play:1 are much more resistant to busy wifi traffic than the older ZP90 which from occasionally fall out or have drop outs. So I'm sure there's rome for improvement here.

Featurewise I'd like a headphone output on the front and I would like some kind of "extra buffer" option where the risk of dropouts are reduced on the expense of responsiveness being a bit slower.

Any one else who feel it's time for an updated version of Connect?

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13 replies

On your WiFi congestion issues, why don't you simply wire a Sonos component and put the system into SonosNet mode (aka 'BOOST Setup'). That will take all audio traffic off the WiFi onto a different channel. I dare say this will also address the buffering/dropout problem.

The headphone outlet was actually removed from the PLAY:5 when it went from Gen1 to Gen2, so I very much doubt that Sonos would contemplate adding one. Besides, if you have a CONNECT already why not just add a headphone amplifier. Either use the RCA outputs or go digital into a combined DAC/amp for the headphones. They needn't be that expensive.
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Hello Ratty.

Wifi traffic is a complicated business. Going to Wifi mode improved my Sonos performance considerably. I started up using Sonos in Boost mode (even using a Boost) and then I spend at least half a year with the very helpful Sonos Support trying to track down severe interference problems. We never actually found the exact reason for some of the problems (even got units replaced) but switching to Wifi mode was the one thing that made my system perform a whole lot better. So although I now seldom have any major issues there are times with dropouts, slow performance and things like that and almost only in when ZP90:s are involved.

I definitely believe Sonos could use their latest technologies to produce an improved Connect.
There was evidently a hardware change to CONNECT in 2011, which might conceivably have added more buffer memory. If yours are really ZP90 they'd obviously pre-date this. Later units such as PLAY:1 definitely have more memory than the earliest ZPx0 models.

I see you've well and truly considered the WiFi issue. I confess I'm a bit surprised that Sonos Support couldn't get to the bottom of why SonosNet wasn't performing. The players are stuffed with internal diagnostics.

Is there no way you could shunt some of your heavier WiFi traffic onto 5GHz?
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Do you know how I can check if a ZP90 is pre or post the change you mention?
Mine are from 2014-2015, however one was not new upon purchase.
The comment from Sonos (Ryan S) was that the internals of CONNECT changed from hardware version 1.16.5.

If your units are actually labelled 'ZP90' they'd not be of 2014 vintage. Considerably earlier.
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Sigh, that makes my Zone Player 80 boxes sound really old. I do use them in wired mode though so any shortcomings in the radios aren't an issue for me.

Selling the old gear on ebay and buying newer stuff might be an option if there are issues you know the new version will solve though. I haven't run across a good listing of what changed when for Sonos gear but I haven't looked very hard either.
I doubt the market size will justify the development expense for a gadget that will do more than what a Connect does today, but less than what play units do.
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I doubt the market size will justify the development expense for a gadget that will do more than what a Connect does today, but less than what play units do.

You are probably right. I find it a pity though since all that's needed almost already exists. Remove the speaker and add line in/out to a Play:1, done! I guess it could the size of a Boost.
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The comment from Sonos (Ryan S) was that the internals of CONNECT changed from hardware version 1.16.5.

If your units are actually labelled 'ZP90' they'd not be of 2014 vintage. Considerably earlier.


Yes, they are all ZP90 so they are all of the new version then.
they are all ZP90 so they are all of the new version then.
No. ZP90 preceded CONNECT.
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Now I feel a bit stupid. I was lazy and only consulted on old reciept where it read "ZP90 Connect", then I had a look at another reciept saying only "Connect" but when I look at the bottom of the units they all read "CONNECT" so they are in fact the latest model anyway...

So the hardware versions are:
ZP80
ZP90
CONNECT

I always thought Connect was both ZP80, ZP90 and I always called my players ZP90 when I was talking to Sonos, I can't recall they corrected me.

Sorry for the confusion.
:?
ZP80 was the second ever ZonePlayer, providing a more economical means of driving an existing HiFi at line level than ZP100's Line-Outs. It also added digital outs.

ZP90 was an update to ZP80, mainly introducing SonosNet 2.0 (based on WiFi 'n') to replace SonosNet 1.0 (based on 'g').

CONNECT was, at least initially, just a re-branding of ZP90. Later on (in 2011 evidently) there was a hardware change.

Don't ask me for precise dates. 🆒
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Nice to know and I'm happy I'm at the latest model available. Probably what keeps my troubles at a minimum.