Sonos Connect Amp and Speaker Volume


I just got a connect amp and wired it up with a pair of outdoor Polk Atrium 4 speakers. After I got everything installed I went to play some tunes... I had to have to volume to about 50% on the slide bar on the app before I really heard any music out of the speakers, and even then it wasn’t very loud and I was standing right next to the speakers. If I had the volume up to 80% or higher it got closer to a normal listening level, but didn’t leave much room for advancement. I typically listen to my play 1 or sound bar between 30-50% unless we are having a party.

I’ve read other reviews where the Sonos amp and a pair of outdoor speakers is blowing their neighbors away, I don’t feel like mine are getting that loud. Do I need better speakers or is it the amp?? I bought the amp open box excellent condition from Best Buy, I just want to make sure something isn’t wrong with it before my 15 day return window is up.

Any feedback would be appreciated!

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39 replies

 With slider halfway the volume is about where I like to listen. Then there is a lot left on the slider control to go louder in a very controlled way.

The last bit is the not usually appreciated benefit of how the volume control on the Connect Amp has been architected, as opposed to that on most modern amps, where the max undistorted sound levels are delivered at about 50-60% of the volume control position. Effectively, the usable motion of their volume control slider is halved by doing this; and this is done to give a false sense of the power by having the amp go loud very early in the volume control movement.

As compared to any other amp with the same power delivery spec, at 100% of the volume control level, the Connect Amp will deliver the same sound levels as the other amp will, all other things like speaker/speaker placement being the same. But the other amp may do this at just 60% of it’s volume control max position, and do nothing more with further advancing the volume control except perhaps add distortion. On the other hand, at 100% the Connect Amp does not add any distortion to the sound being delivered.

But the outcome of this, to those that are used to the “more powerful” amps, is misleading them into thinking that there is something wrong with the Connect Amp up to its 50% volume slider mark. In a very few cases there may be something defective as the cause for this, but this is a rare event.

The solution is to not be shy in running the Connect Amp at any level above 50%; as long at it is kept in a ventilated place, and there are no speaker impedance drops to below 4 ohms on a sustained basis, the Connect Amp will run without engaging its protection circuitry.

Have you attempted to contact Sonos Support directly to discuss it? I’d certainly do that before returning it. Less effort than uninstalling, and you may get an answer to your issue  

I usually suggest the phone folks, they have more tools available because they're on the phone with you, but they are only available Monday through Friday during business hours. Both the Twitter and Facebook support folks are available 24/7.

I’m having the same issue with the low sound output while at 50% or less. Did anyone figure out the fix for this issue? I paid good money for the sonance mag 4.1 system. First time using a Sonos product and it’s been a bad experience.  I’m thinking about returning it.  

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I've been having this exact issue for months with the new sonos amp. New sonos amp, sonance outdoor speakers, short speaker wire runs (14-4 cable, about 20 feet). No line in. No grouping. And volume needs to be at about 50% before I can hear anything. Android, Apple, and PC apps are all suffering the same thing. Very odd. Sound quality is perfect, just VERY low compared to what I have the volume set to.
Maybe this can be attributed to indoor vs outdoor, but I find the volume control on the new amp exactly how I would like it to be (for indoors in a fairly small room). I am using low sensitivity (83dB) 8 ohm speakers, and still I can easily hear the music with the slider very low, less than about 5%. With slider halfway the volume is about where I like to listen. Then there is a lot left on the slider control to go louder in a very controlled way.
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I've been having this exact issue for months with the new sonos amp. New sonos amp, sonance outdoor speakers, short speaker wire runs (14-4 cable, about 20 feet). No line in. No grouping. And volume needs to be at about 50% before I can hear anything. Android, Apple, and PC apps are all suffering the same thing. Very odd. Sound quality is perfect, just VERY low compared to what I have the volume set to.
Bruce, understood! Thank you!
georgehuerta, our posts crossed in the ether.

Sorry, I don't have answers for you. I don't work for Sonos, nor do I have access to their engineering group in order to get the data you seek.

To my knowledge, based on the number of posts I've read here in this forum over the last several years, I wouldn't take the assumption that it is a common issue.

But then again, it doesn't impact me personally, so perhaps my perspective is skewed. At the end of the day, I'll continue to suggest direct contact with Sonos. Community forums are rarely an ideal way to get the true answers that you seem to need directly from Sonos.
Frankly, it's always the best. They would have access to any diagnostic you submit, and the potential to remote into your system while you're on the phone. The rest of us are building mental models, and making educated guesses. Good, often enough, but Sonos has access to much better data.
Bruce, I read through the entire thread and other than speaker wire recommendations, it offers no real solutions other than sharing a diagnostic with Sonos. Not sure anyone has come back post diagnostic with a Sonos built solution. This is a VERY common issue that has no fix that I’m aware of.

I went to a different store that sells high end audio equipment. The guy was very familiar with the Sonos Connect Amp and suggested the volume at 50% before you hear sound issue was normal for that amp. He suggested it was the way Sonos digitizes the amp. The Sonance speakers sounded loud enough after I passed the 50% volume threshold. Won’t be able to install them outdoors until construction is finished. My question is, if this is a common issue why doesn’t SONOS just come out and say it’s within normal operating limits?

Btw, I was indoors using 10ft of 14 gauge wire.
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Yes I have. Nothing directly relevant to my issue and I was hoping for a resolution other than contacting support but that appears to be my only option at this point.
Have you read the entire thread? There's several suggestions along the way that might assist you. If they don't, perhaps you would submit a system diagnostic, and either post the number here, or contact Sonos to discuss it. There may be information included in the diagnostic that will help Sonos pinpoint the issue and help you find a solution.
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Anyone figure out this issue as I have the same bundle from Best Buy and are experiencing the same low volume issue?
Would you mind sharing the fix?
Thanks Jeff. I'm hold right now waiting for a phone team member...
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I tried that and even created fresh cuts on the speaker wire. I submitted another diagnostic 1347659854. Only Connect:Amp playing, local music (i.e. not Pandora or XM).

Thanks for trying that. I can't see anything specific in the diagnostic report which would explain the low volume. At this point it would be best to work with our phone team, you can find their contact information here.
I tried that and even created fresh cuts on the speaker wire. I submitted another diagnostic 1347659854. Only Connect:Amp playing, local music (i.e. not Pandora or XM).
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HI ericaeide and alicooks,

Please try removing the speaker cables and reconnecting them, making sure that they are fully connected and not touching the other cables. If the volume is still very low at that point it would be best to have our phone team take a look at this live. You can find our phone number and hours here.
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Well rats, that kills all the easy fixes.

Hopefully Sonos will see your diagnostic number in this topic and get back to you. If they miss it you could start a new topic and submit another one or try Twitter for a direct response 24x7 or the phone lines (likely a bit busy) on Monday.
Ok so I do not have a keypad or line-in. they are hard wired outdoor speakers. I am not grouped with my other
"zones" and still have the problem. The volume has to be set at above 50% in order to be heard and really cannot ever be loud. I have tried different music services with no difference in volume.
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alicooks, not sure which of the multiple problems above you are having...

This poor topic is so confusing with multiple folks posting different problems I can't keep it straight who has what problem and what they have tried. Even Jeff is confused at this point, one of the early posters had a keypad, others don't. Some are trying to use the line-in and others aren't.

Are you using a keypad controller? Is this a line-in or streaming problem?

If it is grouped and streaming is the Connect Amp grouped with the Beam or is it setup as the rear channels? If it is grouped have you expanded the volume controls and adjusted just the Connect Amp control?

If it is a line-in issue have you tried adjusting the line-in sensitivity?
I have the same problem with my Connect:amp i'm using for wired outdoor speakers. I submitted a diagnostic report 167150526. The sound is almost muffled and I need to have the volume over 50% to be decent listening. These are existing speakers that could really crank with my previous Denon home theater receiver. I need to purchase another Connect:Amp for in the ceiling speakers but wont unless this sound issue is resvoled. I'm using a Beam with subwoofer and surrounds in my main room and it's good!
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@jeffs, wanted to be sure you saw my last reply. Anything else to try?
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Sorry, I'm not following... what keypad? Audio isn't distorted, just very quiet. I can't hear anything from the speakers unless I turn up the volume on the amp or in the app to higher than 50% for my "patio" room. 50% inside is LOUD.
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Your confirmation number is: 499243009

Thanks for sending in the report. I'm not seeing any issues with the amp, or any volume clamping. Is there a volume setting on the keypad that you can adjust? Are you able to bypass the keypad and see if the audio is still distorted?
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Your confirmation number is: 499243009