Sonos needs to supply headphones or ways to hook up wireless headphones

  • 12 September 2015
  • 38 replies
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headphones

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38 replies

I think the original problem was trying to connect headphones to the Sonos system because, if you contact Sonos, the "official" position of the company is that their equipment does not support headphones. The use of headphones with the TV is one potential application for headphones, but your use of Tidal or Spotify is another potential reason to have your headphones connected to Sonos. As you point out with the detailed description of how you hooked up your system, there is a less expensive way to use headphones with your TV, even if your TV optical output is plugged into a Playbar - you don't need to go through the Sonos system with the Playbar.
As someone else pointed out (and the Sonos folks told me when I contacted them), it's possible that certain headphones may work with the Sonos Connect, but other headphones may not due to interference or some other reason. It appears that a few folks in this community have gotten their Sennheiser RS 175 RF headphones to work with the Sonos Connect, so at least that's an option that has been shown to function correctly, and easily. All it takes is money. 8^)
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I'm sorry, yes, you guys are correct. I posted that because I thought folks were looking for ways to output source material to headphones being as the playbar lacks headphone jacks or audio out. I wasn't aware the actual problem was getting Sonos app material headphone support. I am a Tidal user. When listening to Tidal with phones I always use the standalone Tidal app. Are you saying people are wanting to access services like Tidal and Spotify thru the Sonos app with headphones rather than their individual standalone apps? I am kind of confused now.
I had the same observation. I think you have described a simple and effective way to use headphones to listen to your TV while your Playbar and other speakers are still connected to your TV (although they may be muted), but it doesn't sound like you would be able to listen to music, podcasts, radio stations, etc. that can play through your Sonos system.....unless there is something I am overlooking.
I am sure it will be helpful. But unless I misunderstand (perfectly possible) you are using the headphones "with" your Sonos system in the sense of "alongside" your Sonos system. You aren't actually listening to any Sonos music sources through the headphones are you?
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This is how I am using wireless headphones with my Sonos...

My system consists of a Playbar, a Sub and two Play 1s. I don't need a $350 Connect, just a $20 splitter.

I have a Tivo Roamio, Xbox, Apple TV and BluRay player all hooked up via digital optical into 4:2 Toslink switcher.

A single digital optical out goes to the playbar. This switcher configuration allows 5.1 from the playbar. I have used this setup without issue for the last year. I recently had a need for headphone support. So I added a 1:3 Toslink splitter.

Instead of the playbar, the single output from the switcher now is the input for the 1:3 splitter and one output goes digital audio to the playbar and a second output goes digital audio into the Sennheiser RS 175 RF wireless headphone. When I want to use the headphones I simply mute or volume down the Sonos and put on the headphones. (The Sennheisers don't like the Dolby Digital output from the Roamio so I have to change the Roamio's output to PCM then all is golden) Hope this is helpful.
I'm really not sure why Sonos told me that their equipment doesn't support wireless headphones, but perhaps not all brands/models will work with the Connect setup for some reason.
If 'supporting' wireless headphones meant sorting out their problems -- and potential interaction with the Sonos system -- then I'm not surprised that Sonos won't officially do so. There are some makes of wireless headphone which can be unruly cohabitants of the 2.4GHz band, spraying noise everywhere and comprehensively hosing the Sonos system.

If the Sennheisers work for you, all well and good. They do raise the ambient RF noise level somewhat for nearby Sonos players but so long as yours are coping you'll be fine.
I chatted with Sonos regarding the use of wireless headphones, but their official answer is that Sonos doesn't support them. However, thanks to my son's suggestion and this support community, I purchased a Sonos Connect and Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Headphone System, and they work perfectly when connected to each other with the optical cable that comes with the headphones. The amazing thing is how the TV mute works. I Group the Connect and the Playbar so that the headphones AND the Playbar are playing the sound from the TV. I then hit the Mute button on the TV remote and the Playbar goes silent......but the headphones still work and I can adjust the volume using the Sonos app on my iPhone. The Playbar is connected via optical cable to my TV, while the Connect is plugged into the wall on the other side of the room connected to the headphones that sit on a base next to the Connect. That's the perfect solution for letting me listen to the TV when my wife goes to bed and needs silence to go to sleep. I'm really not sure why Sonos told me that their equipment doesn't support wireless headphones, but perhaps not all brands/models will work with the Connect setup for some reason.
Some customers use headphones, and the obvious solution is to connect one's choice of wireless headphone transmitter to a CONNECT (or ZP90/ZP80). For small wired headphones/earphones one might be able to get away with connecting direct to the CONNECT's Line Outs, but any serious 'phones would require a headphone amp to provide sufficient power.

Sonos' marketing message is all about listening 'out loud', so I somehow doubt they'd consider doing their own headphones. It would require a rather different skill set than for a speaker, and the potential market opportunity could be small compared with that for, say, a new model of speaker.
I don't get it. It's clearly the missing link in the Sonossystem. To be clear: I'm a huge fan of Sonos. The only thing I'm missing is a sub (still saving...:( ) and... a wireless headphone solution. (doesn't need to be a Sonos headphone altough it would be nice.)
Hi, I am missing feedback from Sonos on this topic.
What is THEIR solution to use a headphone through the Sonossystem?

You won't get any feedback, other than a "we'll pass on the request". Sonos never comment on future plans.

As for Sonos' current headphone solution, there isn't one as such. In fact the only explicit headphone outlet was withdrawn from the PLAY:5 at Gen2.
Hi, I am missing feedback from Sonos on this topic.
What is THEIR solution to use a headphone through the Sonossystem?
Since the playbar has its own amps, it should be an easy hack to wire one in. Anyone tried that?
1/ There are nine Class-D amplifiers, each EQ'd specifically for its driver. Care to pick two?
2/ Your warranty would be instantly invalidated.
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Getting a used Play:5 gen1 with headphone jack or a Connect are the only current options.

P.S. Not saying there shouldn't be better options that's just all we have as of now.
Sonos doesn't support Bluetooth -- for input or output -- and given that their general attitude is that Bluetooth audio quality (and range) is not in keeping with the brand I doubt they'd change their mind.

PLAYBAR does of course have a 'Night Sound' mode which reduces the dynamic range so as to avoid disturbing others.

Surely for the kids' purposes you could even have simply attached a Bluetooth audio transmitter to the TV itself?


I don't want bluetooth -- I want a wired headphone jack on the playar so I can connet my high end headphones and listed to the Metropolitan Opera streaming
I agree about the need for a way to use headphones with my Play:1s. I can't afford a Connect, and I don't want to be tethered to a Connect and headphones amp. I want to be able to use Sonos with I'm vacuuming, listening to music late at night when my partner is asleep, etc. The speakers and system are absolutely wonderful -- except for the inability to use headphones. C'mon, Sonos, step up!;

Exactly right. My family objects to the volume at which I want to listen. I have 2 Play1s and a Sub. I don't want or need a Connect -- I'd add a playbar -- but if I can't listen at night when everyone is asleep, it is a deal breaker. And I don't want Sonos to supply headphones. All I want is a headphone jack. Since the playbar has its own amps, it should be an easy hack to wire one in. Anyone tried that?
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note - this hooked to a Sonos output (Connect or old Play:5) would send to the Powerbeats

https://www.neweggbusiness.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIV0GS3CW3827&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleBizMKPL-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleBizMKPL-PC-_-pla-_-Headphones+and+Accessories-_-9SIV0GS3CW3827&gclid=CKClipy9o88CFQskhgodrI4GFQ
Sonos doesn't support Bluetooth -- for input or output -- and given that their general attitude is that Bluetooth audio quality (and range) is not in keeping with the brand I doubt they'd change their mind.

PLAYBAR does of course have a 'Night Sound' mode which reduces the dynamic range so as to avoid disturbing others.

Surely for the kids' purposes you could even have simply attached a Bluetooth audio transmitter to the TV itself?
Userlevel 2
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Perhaps this was discussed above, but I received a Playbar for Christmas. Loved it! Had to return it. You see, our kids use headphones on weekend mornings so that we can sleep in. No headphone access with the Soundbar means that we had to return it.
I'm sure the next hardware rev of the Soundbar could add bluetooth headphone capabilities and it would not erode your business. May even spur sales of Soundbars.
Thanks, My2¢.
Would love to have my Sonos music collection (playlists, and functionality, etc.) playable to the QC35s from the iPhone.
That would imply the Sonos controller app becoming a media player. This subject has been done to death on multiple threads over the years, and the words 'commercial suicide' often featured in such discussions:
1/ Sonos makes money from selling hardware players.
2/ The controller app is free.
3/ Turning a phone into a free software Sonos player therefore makes zero business sense.
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How about a Sonos Bridge or Boost puts out a Bluetooth signal that can be picked up by wireless headphones.
BRIDGE/BOOST is a pure networking component, transferring traffic between wired and wireless segments. To decode the audio payload and re-encode for Bluetooth would require most of the capabilities of a CONNECT, not to mention the Bluetooth hardware.

Thank you Ratty. My iPhone has iTunes/Apple Music and Sonos controller and Bluetooth. Bose QC35s work fine with iTunes/Apple music but not Sonos controller. Would love to have my Sonos music collection (playlists, and functionality, etc.) playable to the QC35s from the iPhone. I thought Bridge/Boost might be a way to do it simply but misunderstood its functionality. Cheers.
How about a Sonos Bridge or Boost puts out a Bluetooth signal that can be picked up by wireless headphones.
BRIDGE/BOOST is a pure networking component, transferring traffic between wired and wireless segments. To decode the audio payload and re-encode for Bluetooth would require most of the capabilities of a CONNECT, not to mention the Bluetooth hardware.
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My two cents-worth. How about a Sonos Bridge or Boost puts out a Bluetooth signal that can be picked up by wireless headphones. They pair with the Bridge/Boost and hey; you're off and away, untethered and walking around your house/office hearing your Sonos music through wireless head cans. I can imagine Bose Quiet Comfort 35 (QC35), the Bluetooth and noise cancelling headphones, being a great fit to to this set-up.
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I purchased a pair play1's for my three teenage daughters. 6 Play1's in total. Thought it was a great idea. Great sound -- library and internet access. They do nothing but collect dust in their rooms because they have no headphone capability. Very very sad -- just a waste of money.

This makes little sense. What are they playing the music from? A laptop? An iPhone? An Android tablet? Whatever the case, that device will have a headphone jack or support bluetooth. Sure, they cannot access the music from the Sonos app, but really, is that fact making it a "waste of money"???
The thing that puzzles me most is that if the speakers were going to be listened to through headphones, why did you buy each daughter TWO speakers?
I purchased a pair play1's for my three teenage daughters. 6 Play1's in total. Thought it was a great idea. Great sound -- library and internet access. They do nothing but collect dust in their rooms because they have no headphone capability. Very very sad -- just a waste of money.
You didn't check the spec for inputs/outputs prior to purchase? And having discovered on unboxing that they didn't have a headphone jack you still didn't simply return them for refund?