Sonos Connect improvement wish list


The Connect has been around a few years, and depending on SPDIF and thus the internal clock of the Connect is not a high-end option anymore. I'd like to see an USB-A digital output on the Connect. With this, external higher-precision clocks can be used (on the DAC, on other USB to SPDIF/I2S interfaces etc).

I wouldn't mind if Connect also would support high-resolution services from e.g. Tidal, but that would just be icing on the cake. I love Sonos Connect as the most versatile streamer in terms of easy to use and supporting many streaming services, but the lack of an USB interface puts me off. Add it, and I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

I know that there are companies modding the Connect, and that there are plenty of SPDIF decrapifiers, but those are just half-baked solutions.

13 replies

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Hi there, Zranie. Thanks for posting and welcome to the Community. I am happy to forward this topic along to the team for consideration and visibility regarding digital outputs on the Connect.

With regards to Tidal support, that is already here! Enjoy.
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We have three connects and one connect amp. It is the most versatile system out there, but I if I could influence the next-gen project, I would add:

1. A true stand-by mode, with less than 0.5W power drawn. Most modern audio components meet this spec.

2. 12V trigger signals - let the connect fire up the rest of the system and/or be put into standby mode (e.g. by a preamp)

3. Far more on-board memory - cache more streamed music to avoid drop-outs and store album artwork locally. Speed up the browsing and refresh rates. It is pretty much IBM 386 in this regard.

4. (maybe) add a USB output for more versatility with outboard DACs

5. (maybe) upgrade the internal DAC, but no real need for the various other digital formats out there. Perhaps just a high-res PCM format (24/96 or 24/192) to attract a few more folks. Hi-res is low priority in my opinion.
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Keith N wrote:

Hi there, Zranie. Thanks for posting and welcome to the Community. I am happy to forward this topic along to the team for consideration and visibility regarding digital outputs on the Connect.

With regards to Tidal support, that is already here! Enjoy.

His ask was for :support high-resolution services from e.g. Tidal
A Connect with built in AirPlay 2 support would prompt me to purchase a new one in a heartbeat. (My system has one Connect and several Connect:Amps). Please add this to the wish list.
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BSD Kurt, have you considered getting a Sonos One to support AirPlay and just grouping it with your Connects?
Sonos has said that it sees no benefit in HiRes. Tidal's lossless CD quality offering is already supported, as I understand it.
Stanley_4 wrote:

BSD Kurt, have you considered getting a Sonos One to support AirPlay and just grouping it with your Connects?


I don't want to bring this thread off topic. Forgot to mention that I have a gen 2 Play 5 so I have it already, however if the next gen Connect had AirPlay 2, I would purchase one for my system and another for my mother-in-laws house as well.

For my system with the Play 5 it appears that I need to be playing the AirPlay 2 source on the Play 5 to use it, but that's not ideal since it is located in a room that I may not want it playing (yes, I know I can mute the Play 5, but I still don't like this arrangement). For my mother-in-laws house which doesn't have Sonos now, I would add it as another input into an existing system.

After further thought about this, I would love to see a Connect Preamp as the next gen product that would compete in the audiophile market. I think BlueSound is taking some of Sono's market due to their 32-Bit, 192kHz DAC, MQA and high res audio focus. Imagine a Connect Preapm with those features and if you include a few individually selectable inputs both digital and analog then a Connect Preamp could be connected to an audiophile amplifier and speakers and sound fantastic. I'd be willing to fork up about a grand for that combo.
clpetersen wrote:

We have three connects and one connect amp. It is the most versatile system out there, but I if I could influence the next-gen project, I would add:

1. A true stand-by mode, with less than 0.5W power drawn. Most modern audio components meet this spec.

2. 12V trigger signals - let the connect fire up the rest of the system and/or be put into standby mode (e.g. by a preamp)

3. Far more on-board memory - cache more streamed music to avoid drop-outs and store album artwork locally. Speed up the browsing and refresh rates. It is pretty much IBM 386 in this regard.

4. (maybe) add a USB output for more versatility with outboard DACs

5. (maybe) upgrade the internal DAC, but no real need for the various other digital formats out there. Perhaps just a high-res PCM format (24/96 or 24/192) to attract a few more folks. Hi-res is low priority in my opinion.



Forget what I said about a better DAC. After digging into it and understanding that current DAC capabilities can already go up to CD quality rates and FLAC I don't see a need to go beyond that. I got caught up in some audiophile sales hype.

For me an ideal Connect update would have the following:

1. Capable of solid AirPlay2 - Why? Convenience and quality. Also improving the capabilities up to AirPlay2 level will likely cover your number 3.

2. 12V Trigger Out - wake up apm/pre-amp when music is started on the Sonos. I don't see a need for Trigger In as Sonos always ready to be controlled by the app and line-in can be set to Autoplay.

That's it from me.
BSD Kurt wrote:

[
For me an ideal Connect update would have the following:

1. Capable of solid AirPlay2 - Why? Convenience and quality. Also improving the capabilities up to AirPlay2 level will likely cover your number 3.

2. 12V Trigger Out - wake up apm/pre-amp when music is started on the Sonos. I don't see a need for Trigger In as Sonos always ready to be controlled by the app and line-in can be set to Autoplay.

That's it from me.



After experimenting with my son with various configurations I realized there is one more key item missing that would make an updated Connect more versatile and useful - A sub-woofer out with adjustable crossover and variable output. This allows for the Connect to be a streaming pre-amp in a 2.1 system that has an external amp and powered subwoofer. This is one place where the Bluesound Node 2 has an advantage over the current Connect and its addition would make it more competitive.

It would be important to also maintain the line out w/optional variable volume and digital outs so that the Connect could be added to an existing stereo system that has a DAC or traditional line-in.

-Kurt
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I own three Connects. I too would welcome it being brought up to date.

For me the two killer upgrade features would be (1) Airplay 2 support, as someone else mentioned, (2) a smaller, sleeker form factor, it's way larger than it needs to be, it should be comparable in physical size to an Apple TV.
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I've been trying to find the right Sonos product for my brother's setup for a while, nothing really fits what he kinda needs. I'd be kinda happy with a new Connect that was the same thing the current one is but with HDMI ARC. I don't really care if it meets this standard or that for whatever the newest digital audio thing is. He just needs something that can push a low-delay surround signal from his TV and connected devices to his existing 5.1 AMP.

Nothing in Sonos' current lineup does this, to get what he wants properly integrated with Sonos would basically require buying an entirely new setup. A revised Connect could be perfect.
@skywake. I am puzzled, I'm afraid. If he has a non-Sonos AV receiver (is that what you are saying?) then what role do you want the Connect to play as far as TV sound is concerned? The HDMI goes straight to the amp if ARC or use optical from TV to amp.

For music, no such connection is needed. One of the Connect's outputs would go to an amp input.

What else do you want the Connect to do? What am I missing?
Room correction at the level of the Anthem ARC.

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