Question

What happens when maximum bitrate is exceeded?

  • 28 November 2019
  • 8 replies
  • 112 views

Hi there,

I have a rather dated Sonos system (the original ZP80’s!), which I decommissioned years ago, after they output full-volume “digital noise” when I inadvertently played a higher-than-supported bitrate, and which blew up my very expensive Wilson Audio tweeters.

I have a large collection of high-bitrate files, and while I don’t expect them to play on Sonos, it obviously would have been a lot better if the Sonos gear muted the high-bitrate audio, rather than outputting the incredibly harsh/shrill/loud tweeter-destroying signal that it did.

I know I could always set up a second audio library - deleting all high-bitrate material - but that seems like a less-then-ideal solution.

Does Sonos gear still behave in this fashion? I am interested in upgrading to the new Sonos Ports, but I’m not willing to risk further damage to my high-end system.

Thanks for any insights ...

 

 


8 replies

Sonos does not play any bit rates higher than 44 KHz and it never did.  Whatever happened to your system was not caused by playing a higher bitrate file. 

Hmm, well the units I have certainly do!

I had a Sonos ZP80, connected via Coax digital to a DAC, and preamp/amplifier.

All worked fine, until I inadvertently played a higher-bitrate file than the Sonos system supported  (24/192).

Instead of muting the output - or better yet, downsampling the audio - the Sonos sent what I can only describe as random digital noise to the DAC, at maximum volume. It was not like white noise, but extremely harsh and shrill, and blew up my very expensive tweeters before I could get to my preamp to turn it down.

I have replicated this on more than on ZP80, and more than one DAC (at low volumes, so as not to blow more tweeters!).

Perhaps the more modern units behave differently? I’d happily upgrade if this is the case; the ZP80 is very old now.

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I don’t think Sonos supports the use of an external DAC, you could contact them directly to see. That DAC may be the source of your problems.

I have often sent high bit rate FLAC files to my ZP-80s (probably other Sonos too) and they are perfectly happy to ignore them and sit there sending nothing to my AVR and speakers.

I don’t think Sonos supports the use of an external DAC, you could contact them directly to see. That DAC may be the source of your problems.

I have often sent high bit rate FLAC files to my ZP-80s (probably other Sonos too) and they are perfectly happy to ignore them and sit there sending nothing to my AVR and speakers.


Perhaps you meant something else but Sonos (on the right hardware) does indeed support an external DAC.

 

@hotjacket 

I had a ZP80, ZP90 and Connect all via an external DAC but met with silence when trying to play unsupported higher resolutions, so unsure what was happening in your system.

 

More recently instead of having multiple music libraries I bought a Bluesound Node 2i, not a case of high res is better brigade but one of convenience and able to play anything without converting.

Is it me, or is the term ‘bit rate’ being used on this thread to mean almost anything but bit rate?  Are we concerned about bit rate, sample rate, bit depth?

Actually I am not really concerned about any of these, because as others have stated I have never heard of Sonos doing anything other than refusing to play an incompatible file.  (Although I think it will now play 24-bit FLAC files, but truncated to 16 bit.)

If the ZP80 was in any way implicated in blowing up @hotjacket’s speakers then i can only think it was as a result of some weird and rare (unique?) incompatibility of file, ZP80, external DAC and amplifier

I agree with John. I have absolutely no idea of how what the OP says is coherent in the context of usage of Sonos kit.

So those incredibly overpriced Wilson Audio speakers don’t even have built in protection for the tweeters!?  Unbelievable. It definitely wasn’t your Sonos unit that blew them...

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

I don’t think Sonos supports the use of an external DAC, you could contact them directly to see. That DAC may be the source of your problems.

I have often sent high bit rate FLAC files to my ZP-80s (probably other Sonos too) and they are perfectly happy to ignore them and sit there sending nothing to my AVR and speakers.


Perhaps you meant something else but Sonos (on the right hardware) does indeed support an external DAC.

 

 

What you plug into your Sonos and get to work is one thing, what Sonos as a company offers support for is a different thing. An example is power-line extenders, some folks get them to work but every question to Sonos gets the answer ‘We don’t support them.”

 

John B, what I was thinking of was 24/96 FLACs I got from the Goldberg Variations site, not there today.

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