Question

Recommended receivers that don't have a delay when used with a Sonos Connect

  • 5 September 2016
  • 21 replies
  • 2109 views

Hello. First post.

Basically, I'm after a list of receivers that are known to not have a delay when connected with a Sonos Connect.

Some background... I've just bought 2 Connects, a Connect:Amp and a Play 5. All is fine except I've run into the delay problem with my Onkyo tx-sr875. It's been discussed before, so I won't dwell on it, but basically I can't use any of the listening modes except Pure Audio or it'll be horribly out of sync with the other Sonos players when grouped. Ideally, Sonos would do all the clever shenanigans necessary to delay the group to match the lethargic output of my Onkyo when it's doing the tricky maths, but from reading here on the forums, that doesn't look likely.

So... is there anyone here who has a receiver equivalent to the Onkyo tx-sr875 that does the signal processing super quick? Pure audio (a mode on the Onkyo that just passes the signal through un-touched) is perfectly in sync, but it also is just 2.0, so I don't get any bass from my sub. I'd be happy with just 'All Stereo' or another mode that passes a signal to all of my (5.1) speakers.

Do Onkyo do a more recent receiver that doesn't add a delay when processing?
Are there other receivers that don't have this problem at all?
Is there a list? I couldn't find one... :-(

All help much appreciated...

Thanks

21 replies

As far as I know, DSP that runs fast enough to not be noticeably out of sync doesn't exist as yet and for now perfect sync needs 2.0 mode, by whatever name called. And if I am not mistaken, passing the sorted signals to all 5.1 or more speakers involves DSP activity.
Hmmm...

Has *anyone* got a 5.1 system connected to a Connect without a delay with the rest of their Sonos kit in a group? Or... am I totally screwed?

🙂
Or... am I totally screwed?

:-)

Not quite, and here is why: The overwhelming majority of music is recorded in 2.0 mode, not even 2.1, and running the receiver in 2.0 mode, for music to be in perfect sync across all speakers other than the ones connected to the Onkyo ought not to be a loss of "screwed" magnitude. 5.1 really comes into its own for movies, and when seeing one with the receiver in that mode, why do you want the sound to come from speakers beyond the 5.1?
It's a lack of bass without the sub that's the problem. I'm not after any swooshy effects that takes advantage of 5.1. I'd be totally happy with 2.1 just so I get some decent bass. My living room is where I have my best speakers connected to the Onkyo, and it's fab to listen to the Sonos Connect through the 'All Stereo' mode, but if I add, say, the kitchen into the group, then the delay is pretty unbearable.

So, is my only option to go Pure Audio with a 2.0 output from the Onkyo, but accept I'll have no depth of bass? Seems a bit sad.

Are there any secret tricks with clever wiring, switch boxes or something else? Or, a receiver that is known to do even basic stereo dsp really quickly? I don't want to buy a new receiver, but if there was one that allowed me to do 2.1 from the Connect, I'd certainly consider it...
I take your point about the bass; let's see if any one else here has any ideas that will address this issue.
Top of my head, I am thinking high level wiring to the Sub if it can take that input, but I don't know enough on this to give definitive advice.
Another option is to look at your 2.0 speakers. If floor standers, they may be quite adequate for rich audio, if still needing the Sub for dedicated .1 shaking of the earth effects.
If it helps, I'm connecting the Sonos Connect via RCA cables to the CD in connectors on the Onkyo TX-SR875
B&W 684 floor standers front bi-wired
B&W 686 rears
B&W ASW610 Sub
Some very good speakers there, and consider this: how many people with a 2 channel set up for just music that has the 684 floor stander pair in it would add the Sub to these? In terms of musical integration, doing so may even mar the sound quality for whatever bass is added to the very decent bass delivered by the 684 units already.

For movies, there is a case for still adding the Sub, because the effects that are meant for the .1 channel would not get delivered cleanly to the 684 pair if run in stereo mode. Run in 5.1 mode, they would not get delivered at all, and would need the Sub for them to be heard/felt.

Bottom line: I think you are far from being screwed!
I appreciate what you're saying, they are good speakers, but when listening in 'All Stereo' mode where it uses all of the speakers and the sub, the music is just richer and more enveloping. It's pretty sad to lose that extra richness when I want my music in more than one room at a time.

So... I'm wondering about using a Connect:Amp with a sub attached to it and sticking it nearby. Then I could have the Onkyo in Pure Audio mode and have the sub bass come from a Sonos that doesn't have the dsp lag. That seems stupidly expensive to fix it, and not even sure if it'll work.

In another thread, someone mentioned that the Onkyo tx-nr616 didn't have any dsp lag, can anyone confirm this? Or is there anyone with a workable 2.1 or 5.1 solution to this?

Thanks for the help btw! 🙂
listening in 'All Stereo' mode where it uses all of the speakers and the sub, the music is just richer and more enveloping.
In that mode, disconnect just the Sub and see if the music richness is affected. If it isn't, it tells you that what you are losing in 2.0 mode won't be made up by adding another Sub, or by running 2.1 in some fashion.
Yup, already done that test. The difference is very noticeable - so much so that it's why I'm posting here looking for a solution! :-)

It's not totally just the omission of the sub too, I lose the two rear speakers and all of the room balancing stuff. Just switching between Pure Audio and All Stereo perfectly recreates the situation I get if I want to use the Connect and have it be in sync with the other rooms.

😞
Badge +1
Yup, already done that test. The difference is very noticeable - so much so that it's why I'm posting here looking for a solution! :-)

It's not totally just the omission of the sub too, I lose the two rear speakers and all of the room balancing stuff. Just switching between Pure Audio and All Stereo perfectly recreates the situation I get if I want to use the Connect and have it be in sync with the other rooms.

:-(

I agree with you Flibble, rather than adjusting your system maybe this could be done in Sonos. Perhaps if Sonos could add a user adjustable delay to the wireless speakers in a group when the Connect line-out. is in use. This would be useful when the grouped speakers are within ear shot of each other.

I want to add a Connect to my AV system and like to sync speakers in another room that is close. Fortunately I can use Zone B from the receiver for that room which would keep the sync perfect.
Badge +1
It's a lack of bass without the sub that's the problem. I'm not after any swooshy effects that takes advantage of 5.1. I'd be totally happy with 2.1 just so I get some decent bass. My living room is where I have my best speakers connected to the Onkyo, and it's fab to listen to the Sonos Connect through the 'All Stereo' mode, but if I add, say, the kitchen into the group, then the delay is pretty unbearable.t...

I was able to get the sync to work nicely by using the analog outputs from the Connect directly into my receiver. I have a play 1 within ear shot and the sync works fine. If I switch to the digital on the connect I can hear the delay clearly as you have experienced. My receiver applies bass management to the analog so I can use a sub in Stereo 2.1 mode when grouping. Hope this helps,
Hope this helps,
It will help if you specify:
1. Receiver name and model
2. What music modes are there on it
3. Receiver modes in which you don't hear a delay
4. Receiver modes in which you hear a delay
and ideally 3/4 in both modes on the Connect - analog as well as digital outputs.
Badge +1
Hope this helps,
It will help if you specify:
1. Receiver name and model
2. What music modes are there on it
3. Receiver modes in which you don't hear a delay
4. Receiver modes in which you hear a delay
and ideally 3/4 in both modes on the Connect - analog as well as digital outputs.


Hi,

I am using a Yamaha RX-A700 receiver. Yamaha has a bunch of DSP modes but I don’t really use any of them. For music or any other source coming from the Connect I will use 2-Channel Stereo playback which does include bass management for 2.1. My front speakers are set to small. If I use the pure direct mode I lose the bass management as the original poster encountered.

I have not tested any other mode with the Connect besides the 2-Channel Stereo but I can easily switch between the analog inputs and the digital using the remote. So basically I select 2-channel Stereo and toggle back and forth on the RX-A700 between analog and digital input and can clearly identify the delay with the digital input between the main speakers and the Play 1. Fortunately the analog inputs work great which allowed me to remove the zone 2 from a nearby room and replace with the Play 1. This simplifies the operation for family members. That zone 2 was always a pain for them to turn on, much easier now with the Play 1 for our use. I am curious why there is a delay present with the digital connection in Stereo mode but I bet everything coming in via digital Yamaha runs through its DSP chip which causes extra processing and delay but that is just a guess for me.

Bob
Hi Bob,

Not quite. I feed the Connect into the CD input of my Onkyo, ie, it's a direct connection into the Onkyo, I just happen to be using the input labelled CD.

At the moment I'm still having to use the Pure Audio mode of the Onkyo and live without the sub providing bass and losing the two rear speakers.

My current plan, which might be nuts, is to position a sub between the living room where I have the Connect, and the kitchen where I'm having a Connect:Amp and ceiling speakers. I'm going to connect the Sub to the Kitchen's Connect:Amp and hope that it will provide bass enough for the two adjacent rooms when they're playing as a group.

Still feels like a dirty hack.
Badge +1
Hi Bob,

Not quite. I feed the Connect into the CD input of my Onkyo, ie, it's a direct connection into the Onkyo, I just happen to be using the input labelled CD.

At the moment I'm still having to use the Pure Audio mode of the Onkyo and live without the sub providing bass and losing the two rear speakers.

My current plan, which might be nuts, is to position a sub between the living room where I have the Connect, and the kitchen where I'm having a Connect:Amp and ceiling speakers. I'm going to connect the Sub to the Kitchen's Connect:Amp and hope that it will provide bass enough for the two adjacent rooms when they're playing as a group.

Still feels like a dirty hack.


I agree a dirty hack and what a pain for you. I just noticed many users here have this problem going back about 3 years or more. Too bad Sonos has not added a delay feature of some sort. I guess I am fortunate not to have this problem with the analog inputs on my Yamaha. Before you add another sub, do you have another AVR around that you could test?
Before you add another sub, do you have another AVR around that you could test?

Sadly not. 😞
I will use 2-Channel Stereo playback which does include bass management for 2.1. My front speakers are set to small.
To summarise, you don't get a delay, only in this 2.1 mode and in the pure stereo one, but only when you use the analog inputs from the Connect, is that right? I assume that even with analog outs, the all speakers singing and dancing mode will cause a delay.

@Flibble: I haven't heard of the 2.1 mode the Yamaha seems to have. But isn't this a better solution for you?
@Kumar, I'd prefer not to swap out my receiver. I'm going to give the sub a go, given I'm suspicious that when we fit the ceiling speakers in the kitchen (currently under construction) that it'll need the sub anyway.

Still wish Sonos would add in a delay though.
I'd be totally happy with 2.1 just so I get some decent bass.

I don't want to buy a new receiver, but if there was one that allowed me to do 2.1 from the Connect, I'd certainly consider it...

As I recall:-)
Your call, of course.

Reply