Sonos Connect is missing digital audio input

  • 25 November 2012
  • 63 replies

Why doesn't the Sonos Connect support digital input so that you can use it to attach e.g. Play-3 speakers and the SUB to a TV? Every modern TV utilizes HDMI and Optical Output and you can find less and less dual RCA cable output. Yes, the Sonos Connect has a simple mini jack to dual RCA which I could use but I really don't want to try to watch movies that way. I am willing put put the money down for a good solution but it appears that there is none. I fear I have to take back the SUB and the connect. Do you know of any solution to this? Thanks!

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63 replies

Actually, they expect you to buy the Sonos units designed for TV.
I would like this as well, my whole house is wired for optical connections to my TVs and home theater systems, we need a way to connect an optical input to Sonos. It appears this is all that is missing for me to go "all in" to Sonos.
Would there be a device that could add a delay to the video sent by, let's say, a DVD player to a TV set? (that would solve the problem. 😉 )
I think you'll find they're professional devices, costing thousands of dollars.
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I guess my posts here might seem as if I'm a 'dreamer', but you see, I had some basic electronics school classes back on my youth, and was taught there that every single electronic device made by man has the most basic capabilities for one to (simply put) 'hack it'...

The question here is: Would one get a professional level result or an amateur result?

That would matter, of course, but as we all are Sonos loving users, I believe that every single one of us here would love to have the Connect units to be able to be used with living room TVs and/or LCD projectors... Yes I do!

(please, excuse my English, as I'm a foreign English speaker. 😉 )
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Amusingly, a 100% predictable answer.

I commend you on your unerring focus on history, endless justification for its deficiencies, and what could be seen to be continuous blindness to other people's use cases.

Streaming media players are an increasingly commonplace commodity. Multi-room audio products are not unique to Sonos. My fear is that Sonos could do a Nokia if it doesn't evolve the way that people want.

I think that Sonos is rather like Apple: it has polished, desirable, simple products - but irritatingly deficient.

Be under no illusion, Sonos made a TV product to make more money. AV equipment has digital outputs (for good reason), so they had to make digital inputs. Their hand was forced, pure and simple.

CD Players - your stated reason for the inclusion of the analogue input - have had digital outputs for as many years as they have existed (leastwise as far as I can recall). It was a very poor decision not to provide a premium commonplace input technology into what Sonos would want us to perceive to be a premium audio ecosystem.

Sonos - by not providing adequate connectivity - have not taken money from me for at least three more systems. It is a loss for them, and a loss for me ... as I do really like their products because they are easy to use, sound good and look good.

The solution to my needs - sigh again - is to go elsewhere. I'll get a nice dandy little USB-DAC + optical + analogue amp and then plug the digital-out from the Sonos Connect in the next room, into the digital-in on the little amp. Hopefully mentioning other companies' names is not forbidden, but have a look at the connectivity of the stylish Denon PMA-60 or the slightly natty-looking Cambridge Audio One ... both of which are in a comparable price bracket.

There is a world outside of Sonos - please stop forcing me to look elsewhere for what I, and clearly many others, would like.

Can anyone from Sonos stand up and stick their oar into this unholy mess of a debate?

P.S. I never described the lack of a digital input on the Sonos as 'bananas'. Going D to A, then A to D is 'bananas'.
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This is interesting A wireless system in an age of internet streaming has to evolve by adding more physical wired connections?
Ha "wireless" - that's a joke in my case. I have to have them wired together to get stability.

10 foot of single-skin internal brick wall at an extremely acute angle, plus Wii controllers in the vicinity, break the wireless mesh. Been wired for years and utterly stable - and thus no need to change.

And another thing: Sonos has evolved - the Playbar is wired and stuck under your telly - and in this instance has nothing to do with "wireless" nor "streaming".

I was a Sonos reseller for several years and not one potential customer asked about line in or ever returned an item for any reason... certainly not for lack of physical connections.
Probably because most people don't realise the limitations until they get home and either put up or sell it. Have a look on the web at the number being sold because the product (sadly) wasn't right for them. Why can I not (the last time I looked) "stream" any and all audio from a mobile phone to the Sonos? [That could have changed recently, I guess, but that's not how I use it.]

This forum is a place for people with grievances to congregate, and is entirely unrepresentative of the user population as a whole.
And you know this - how? Everyone has a limited view. If everyone comes here that has grievances THEN there are people who DO have issues with Sonos and are NOT happy with it - so guess what ... it doesn't suit their needs. And the people to fix it are Sonos.

I shan't waste time reading any further replies on this thread.
Your choice, not mine. I thought that perhaps with a little clear explanation you might be able to appreciate other people's needs - but it turns out not. The Sonos ecosystem is damned good, but not perfect.

Oh, just noticed: 13469 views on this thread - a lot of people are interested in a topic named "Sonos Connect is missing digital audio input". I wonder - is that an important feature missing from Sonos, or are most of them simply misguided...
Yep - I had the same problem. My old amp had a toslink digital optical out. I used Gefen TV Digital Audio Decoder. This will take one input of toslink digital optical or a digital coax and outputs 2 RCA analog outputs which went to a sonos audio input.
Michael - It is obvious that adapters to convert from optical to RCA are widely available. This issue is audio latency and if a device inserted in between the video/audio device and the Sonos will add a measurably significant latency as to be detected by most people. I have two sources of video/audio that I would like to use the Sonos system to play the audio while the video is displayed on the LCD. I will most likely get an optical to RCA adapter, but why is it not easier for Sonos to add a optical input to the system?
I also would like to have a digital audio-in option on the connect.
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I would suggest Sonos to design a I/O unit with digital toslink and HDMI, to be used Eg. For input from TV sound to Sonos, or as digital output from Sonos to larger high Quality HiFi units ( no offence Sonos - i use all your units with pleasure ). I use Play5 as Soundbar for a Samsung TV that only support HeadphoneJack and Digital out.
Seems that today's introduced Playbar does support digital line in. Would be good to also consider this for the connect.
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+1 for a digital input for the next generation Connect.
Yes, the connect is missing a digital input. Take my money! If I am not mistaken, Sonos wants to provide simple solutions. Then, why do you make it so hard to get digital sources playing on Sonos speakers?
please merge with
I agree. I like to watch the news on my television but cannot hear it when I have to go into my kitchen. I purchased a PLAY5 (and a bridge) for my kitchen without doing my homework as I naively thought Sonos would have considered it a no brainer to supply a digital input. Now I am stuck without the functionality I had wished for and I am facing having to buy a Connect with no digital input so its a dilemma. I suppose its impossible to put a digital input in the bridge.
I agree its a lack of foresight. I want to stream home theater to my Play5 in the kitchen. I wonder about Digital Input for the Bridge also.
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Think this feature has been under consideration for too long!? Vote for this:
Yes please for the optical in. Bluray movies on ps3 connected to sonos wont play in 2.0 sound.
It's completely stupid.  I want ONE item to play my iPod and my television on. NOT three... which is probably what SONOS wants to sell you rather than add 50 cents worth of hardware to their devices.
I would love to buy one but I am just not going to do it if it isn't a single solution. 
I don't want an ugly black sound bar in my living room. I just want to connect my Apple TV to some decent audio output, and Connect and a pair of Play 3's would seem ideal, if it wasn't for this one little thing. And while at it, why not add two digital audio inputs?

Now I'm forced to look for options like Onkyo Envision Cinem LS3100.
+1 for a digital input for the next generation Connect and Connect Amp
+1 for a digital input for the next generation Connect and Connect Amp
+1 for hdmi on a new bridge or connect
+1 for HDMI in/out on Sonos Bridge and Connect.  I would love to be able to control the volume on my AV receiver directly (after DAC conversion!).  Please include CEC control.