Using a Turntable with Sonos


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Thinking about getting a turntable setup with your Sonos system and wondering where to start? We've got you covered.

If you're looking for a quick overview before you dive into the details below, check out the info we have over on our blog and on our website here.
 

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Before getting started, we need to ask a simple question— Does my turntable need a phono preamp?

Although some turntables have a built-in phono preamp, most of them don’t. Turntables output their signal at phono level, which is a low, quiet signal rated in millivolts. A phono preamp converts the audio output to line level, which is a louder signal rated in volts. If your turntable does not have a built-in phono preamp, you’ll need to place one between the turntable and Sonos player.

We don’t recommend any phono preamp in particular, but we’ve heard great things about the Music Hall Mini, U-Turn Pluto, and Bellari Rolls VP 29.

Your audio receiver may have a phono input, which means you can wire the turntable directly to the receiver. To pass the analog signal along to Sonos the receiver should have a Tape/CD Out, Rec Out, or Zone 2 Out. (Note: additional configuration may be required to trigger the audio output on the receiver)

Which Sonos player do I need?

There are five Sonos players that have a line-in port— the Connect, Connect:Amp, Sonos Amp, Sonos Port, and Play:5. While all four can be used with a turntable, they each have a different application. The Connect is perfect if you already have an amplifier and a set of third-party speakers that you don't want to part with. You'll want to use a Connect:Amp or the new Sonos Amp when you already have a pair of third-party speakers but lack an amplifier. Our Play:5 is an all-in-one speaker with the amplifier and speakers all housed in a compact, solid enclosure. Now, no matter which player you plan on using, you'll have the ability to send the music to all of the other Sonos speakers around your house and at the same time. We get it, just because your collection sits in one room, that doesn't mean you have to.

For those just getting into vinyl or looking to upgrade, we now carry the Pro-Ject Essential III Phono in our online store for the US. This is a great turntable that includes a built-in phono preamp so it can be used out of the box with a Sonos Amp, Sonos Port, Play:5, Connect, or Connect:Amp right after the initial setup. We also have the newer Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Sonos Edition and some more options here. We know that Record Store Day is approaching so for those of you in the U.S. looking to upgrade your table, get a new Play:5, or both, we have a set that may interest you.

To connect the Play:5 to your turntable or phono preamp, you’ll need a 3.5mm male to RCA cable, which is more commonly referred to as an RCA y-cable. The y-cable will connect to the RCA Out on either the turntable with a built-in phono preamp (shown below) or the RCA Out of the standalone phono preamp. The 3.5mm end will then be connected to the Line-In port located on the back of the Play:5. Although they are not seen all that often, there are some phono preamps that include a 3.5mm out. In this scenario, you’ll want to use an aux cable, which is 3.5mm male to 3.5mm male.

 

 

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After the Play:5 has been set up, you’ll want to make sure to tweak the line-in settings. Trust me, I know the excitement of getting a new turntable setup and the first thing you want to do is drop that needle but reviewing the details below will help save time and answer a lot of questions you may find yourself asking. These settings are available for all of the Sonos players with a Line-In connection.

To make these adjustments, we’re going to use the Sonos app on a mobile device and head to More > Settings >  System > (Play:5 name) > Line-In.

To start, you can set the Line-In Source Name. This is used to specify what kind of device is connected to the Line-In port. By default, there isn’t an option for a turntable, so I recommend setting a custom name. The source name is then what’s displayed when selecting Line-In as an option under Browse > Line- In > Turntable: Den

The Line-In Source Level is extremely important, so make sure that if you’re skimming this thread just for info on settings, pay attention to this paragraph. There are two common reasons why music can be barely audible after getting a turntable setup with Sonos. One reason, the turntable doesn’t have a built-in phono preamp (covered above) and the other is because the line-in level is set too low. The line-in level is the voltage in which the signal is going to be detected and the higher it’s set; the louder audio will be. By default, Line-In is set to level two, which isn’t very loud for a turntable. Each class of audio equipment is different and therefore the output impedance will vary from device to device, so make sure to consult your product’s manual. Ideally, you’ll want to set the line-in level to match the output of your phono preamp according to the principle of gain staging. Since most phono preamps don’t have a very high output impedance, you should be able to set line-in all the way to ten if you don’t hear the audio clipping.

The line-in voltage levels are below:

2.2V - Level 1
2.0V - Level 2
1.8V - Level 3
1.6V - Level 4
1.4V - Level 5
1.2V - Level 6
1.1V - Level 7
1.0V - Level 8
0.8V - Level 9
0.6V - Level 10

These adjustments can be made under More > Settings > System > (Play:5 name) > Line-In > Line-In Level.

The Autoplay Room setting, which is turned off by default, automatically triggers Line-In as the preferred source for audio playback in a designated room. This means that whether music is already playing or you’re just getting ready to kick back and sink into an album that, once the needle meets the groove, autoplay will take care of the rest. Additionally, when autoplay is enabled, the designated speaker will drop out of a group it may be part of unless Include Grouped Rooms is enabled.

While the autoplay feature is great, it won't be ideal if you’re dealing with a cartridge that is a bit noisy, there is trouble getting a solid ground connection, or if there are power fluctuations from the outlet being used. This can cause music to abruptly stop when streaming from an online music service or local source.

 

 

 

 

General Troubleshooting

 


Audio Dropouts

 

 

 


A simple but often-overlooked reason you may hear audio dropping or skipping is due to the turntable and speaker(s) being on the same surface. While it may be aesthetically pleasing or the only option in a tiny room, a turntable is designed to measure vibrations, so any other external vibrations may induce skipping or distort the music. Again, if keeping them on the same surface is the only option, you can use foam or other absorptive material under the turntable or speakers to help.

One of the main causes for audio dropping during playback is wireless interference. Before following the steps below, try to clean up the wireless in the area as much as possible.

Audio drops may also occur on larger systems when there are multiple rooms grouped together. When there is a large group with multiple speakers, there will be a greater strain on the wireless communication. To help mitigate that strain, there are two options:

 

 

  • Set the line-in level to 4. Using level 4 will increase the buffer size from 75ms to 500ms.
  • Adjust the audio compression. Use compressed rather than uncompressed or auto as it will increase the buffer size to 2000ms. This is found in a slightly different location, More > Settings > System > Audio Compression

 

 


No Audio

 


Check the connections. I know this sounds silly, but we’ve all been there. Connecting an In to an Out or just plain forgetting a connection altogether.

Use a different device. After making sure all cables are connected and seated properly, grab a device that can be used with a y or aux cable. Can you hear sound now? If yes, then there may be a setting on the turntable or phono preamp that needs to be adjusted or checked.

 

Speaker Placement

 


The subject of speaker placement is a very expansive topic, so I'm not going to go into too much of the nitty-gritty, but I still believe it's important to cover some of the basics. These are some of the best practices to make sure you'll get a great soundstage and imaging. This will also change from one Sonos speaker to another, or if you're using your own speakers with a Sonos Amp.

 

 

 

  • Make sure the speakers are away from the walls. Specific to Sonos, this will also help to reduce potential wireless signal loss.
  • You've gotta keep'em separated. As a general rule of thumb, place the speakers as far away from each other as the distance they'll be from where you'll be listening.
  • Keep them at ear level.

 

 


237 replies

So I have turntable wired to a stereo receiver acting as a preamp, and a line out connection to the analog input on a Sonos connect, which allows me to play the turntable audio wirelessly on my Playbar. In both "fixed" and "variable" settings I can only control the audio volume in the Sonos app and on the volume rocker on the Playbar, but not the connect or the receiver.

Is there a way to control the volume from the receiver, or at least the Connect? I'm guessing that because I'm only using the preamp in the receiver that the volume knob won't work... Also, in this setup, what exactly is the difference between the "fixed" and "variable" setting?


Noob Question here. I'm assuming you have your TT routed to the phono input. Where are you running the connect through? Sp when you want to listen to your records what input do you select on your receiver, and can you listen to your music on the speakers you have connected to your receiver and say a playbar at the same time? Is there a lag?
Good afternoon all. I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some advice/assistance. Currently I have a playbar, sub and two play:1 (all in my living room). My girlfriend is moving into my flat and is bringing her record collection with her. She doesn't have a turntable or anything. We would like to be able to play her records through Sonos but I know at present I haven't got any input that allows it. I know a Play:5 would plug into a turntable but to be honest I am not sure where this would fit in my living room. Would it be possible/a good idea to have a connect or a connect amp and a half decent turntable hooked up to the existing setup? I really do not have a clue about these sorts of things. I bought a Sonos system without really thinking I would ever have an extensive record collection! Thanks in advance all.
A Connect would be sufficient. You will need a phono preamp, either built into the turntable, or a separate unit.
Good afternoon all. I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some advice/assistance. Currently I have a playbar, sub and two play:1 (all in my living room). My girlfriend is moving into my flat and is bringing her record collection with her. She doesn't have a turntable or anything. We would like to be able to play her records through Sonos but I know at present I haven't got any input that allows it. I know a Play:5 would plug into a turntable but to be honest I am not sure where this would fit in my living room. Would it be possible/a good idea to have a connect or a connect amp and a half decent turntable hooked up to the existing setup? I really do not have a clue about these sorts of things. I bought a Sonos system without really thinking I would ever have an extensive record collection! Thanks in advance all.

Unless you decide to set the turntable up in another room (where a Play:5 would compliment it nicely), sounds like the Connect would be the most affordable option here. Just make sure you purchase a turntable with a built in pre-amp.
Thanks both. Am I right in thinking that a separate phono pre-amp would be the more expensive option than a turntable with a built in pre-amp?
That depends. There are certainly cheap turntables without pre-amps, expensive turntables with pre-amps, and separate pre-amps priced from under $20 to hundreds of dollars (and boutique "audiophile" mostly snake oil ones for many thousands).

With a mechanical element like a turntable, I would concentrate more on the mechanicals - the stylus and an accurate, wobble free table - than I would on the electronics. Phono pre-amps are pretty simple pieces of circuitry, and finding a $100+ unit that can outperform a $20 or built-in unit in a level matched double blind test would likely be impossible, given the electronics used are basically commodity items.
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Ok i have an onkyo 9050 intergrated amp... i use it for my turn table and cd player and have bose speakers which are wired to the amp. If i use the sonos connect by using the non volume controlled audio out on the amp to the sonos connect and then the sonos connect to two sonos play 1s... how do i ensure that the bose speakers and the play ones have no delay when i use the turn table or the cd player.
You cannot. The Sonos speakers will have a small delay that is there to ensure they are all in perfect sync with each other. This will matter only if they are in the same room.
Also, the amount of the delay will increase if you use compressed mode on the line in of the Connect.
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The bottom floor is a somewhat open concept... picture 3 squares in a row ...1st square is a living room.. 2nd square is the dining room...3rd is the kitchen..
. In the very center square, the dining room is the onkyo system.... in the kitchen is a play one and the living room is a play one...each one is 20 feet from The main onkyo system which has the bose speakers wired to the onkyo amp and the connect....my goal is to have a soft sound through out so im not shouting cause middle square pis loud...will i notice that delay when using the bose with the play ones... should i go directly to the connect from the turn table then back in from the connect to the onkyo....to remove delay? Maybe put in a sync delay adjuster ?
If i buy the Sonos PLAY:5 to play my Vinyl player via the line-in, can I connect other Sono speakers and the sonos sub to the network so the Vinyl player can play through more than one speaker at once? And additionally how would I then also connect the TV to this setup. The Vinyl player and Sonos PLAY:5 will be on my work desk, whereas all the other speaks will be in the sitting room, hope this isn't too convoluted. thanks
should i go directly to the connect from the turn table then back in from the connect to the onkyo....to remove delay?
That should work just fine, if the Onkyo is a 2 channel amp. On AV receivers this can cause delay in the reverse direction because of their internal processing that can be defeated by using stereo or direct mode on them. But this is almost never an issue with stereo amps.
If i buy the Sonos PLAY:5 to play my Vinyl player via the line-in, can I connect other Sono speakers and the sonos sub to the network so the Vinyl player can play through more than one speaker at once? And additionally how would I then also connect the TV to this setup. The Vinyl player and Sonos PLAY:5 will be on my work desk, whereas all the other speaks will be in the sitting room, hope this isn't too convoluted. thanks
To the first, yes, even if the 5 itself is left silent. See the first few posts on this thread on how to use the Line In feature. You will need a phono pre amp between the record player and the 5 though, and some players have one built in.

The TV would need to use the same line in jack on the 5, so you will have to plug/unplug the two incoming wires or get a switcher that allows both to be connected to one jack.
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Kumar...
I am gonna hook it up just the audio out to see if the delay is bad... its only an intergrated amp for music only.... some threads on hete say thst type wont have a delay as long as i run it direct which is an option it has for turntables.... if not i will hook the turntable right to the connect... but now my cd play wont be able to be used due to the connect only has one input.
If you are going to wire the audio out on the amp to the Connect Line in, there will be a delay compared to the speakers wired to the amp. Set the Line In on Connect to uncompressed mode and if your network can sustain that without drops, the delay is in milliseconds and may be acceptable. But if you are forced to run compressed mode for the Line In, then it will all sound very out of sync.

If this does not work, there may be a way to connect the CDP and the TT to the Connect with a switching device to which the two sources are connected and can be switched via the device to its single output that will feed the Connect.
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I read that....thanks for your help... i will hate to get another switch...its like why have the onkyo...if i choose cd will there be a delay... the data is already digital... wouldnt the connect sence that and not take time to convert it?
No, and although this isn't relevant to why there is a delay, the CDP is also analog in the outputs it delivers via wire to the analog inputs on the Connect.

And the switch I referred to would be just a little more than a Y cable splitter; nothing like the Onkyo which you still need for its amplification for feeding the Bose speakers wired to it.
I have a playbar with a 1990s Onkyo record player. I connected the record player by going through a preamp, then a analog to digital converter, and finally an optical splitter so I can connect both my TV and record player. Worked perfectly.
Hello! I was gifted a Pro-Ject Essential III TT and a CONNECT. According to the SONOS website I should be able to plug this TT directly into the CONNECT. I did so and the record sound is still extremely muffled - even after I adjusted the line-in all the way up to ten, I have to turn the volume on the sonos app all the way up to hear what's playing on the TT, and it's still very quiet.
The SONOS instructions indicate to use the included SONOS cords to plug the TT into the CONNECT via the headphone jack on the TT. But the TT does not have a headphone jack - it has its own RCA cables coming out of the back, which are what I used to plug into the CONNECT. I'm wondering if this is the root of the problem...but I'm not entirely sure how I would fix that.
I also used the included SONOS cords and plugged my phone in to the CONNECT and it played on regular volume so I do believe the issue originates with the record player.
Thanks for any input (HAHA) you may have!
Cheers,
Alison
Classic symptoms of no phono preamp. It looks like that turntable has several models, some with and some without a preamp. If yours has a preamp, you need to switch it on, if not, you will need to purchase an external one to go between the phono output and the Sonos input.
ok I hooked my turntable into a preamp using the MC input, I then hooked the preamp into my Sono Connect which is streaming to my playbase...still VERY low sound coming from my turntable. Any suggestions? Have changed my room settings from 2 to 9
Realllllly hoping someone can help me here.

Just set up a new TEAC TN 400s turntable with preamp: https://www.amazon.com/Teac-TN-400S-WA-TEAC-TN-400S-Turntable/dp/B01MROT166

to a Sonos connect. The issue is: the sound quality is terrible. I do not even know how to describe it. I've uploaded a video that I am hoping someone can identify an issue with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlnRUo_egoE&feature=youtu.be

Any help would be tremendous.
See my post in the other thread; though the sound in the video also sounds like it is breaking up and that isn't going to be addressed by increasing line in levels, I imagine. If so, trying the same TT into another amp will let you know if the TT is defective, or more likely, the cartridge is not properly installed. And/or, poor quality records.
ok I hooked my turntable into a preamp using the MC input, I then hooked the preamp into my Sono Connect which is streaming to my playbase...still VERY low sound coming from my turntable. Any suggestions? Have changed my room settings from 2 to 9

That turntable has a moving magnet cartridge, so preamp should be set to MM, not MC. The very low input impedance of the MC input is likely swamping the cartridge's output, which is normally around 47K ohms.
I tried that as well....I took my turntable in and they said my cartridge was damaged but I'm not sure that is truly the problem. They replaced it (with a cheaper cartridge) so I am very interested to get it plugged in and see what it sounds like : (
Hello all, hope I'm in the right place. New to Sonos and trying to build a theatre project piece. Have received a Connect and a One (which just happens to be the speaker I received from another source.) Everything is working fine in terms of network - Connect sees my Spotify account, or what's on the controlling iPad, etc. and sends the signal to the One in another room. However, need to connect an analog source, and the Line In on the Connect just doesn't seem to hear anything I put on it. Wireless mic, pre-amped or not, turntable, preempted or not, a CD player, a digital audio recorder, my phone. nothing. Every analog source checked on a mixer and output is fine, but when connected to the line in on the Connect, nothing - not at any input level setting. Even tried different cables.

Have I somehow missed a crucial step some where?

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