Line-In Latency/Delay Disable PLAY:5



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Hey Sonos Engineers!

I know this has been touched upon. I previously submitted this request to support and they encouraged me to share here to keep the conversation going.

Is there any chance we could implement a soft switch for line-in audio to bypass the computer for "delay disable" functionality.

I understand and appreciate the reason for the delay.

However, I'm running turntables through a mixer and into the line-in of the PLAY:5. Can't teach my son to mix records with that delay, and since we're set-up in a communal space, my wife is not too keen on bringing out the old mix monitors. Can you dig it?

Can we figure out a way to manually disable the delay on an individual speaker basis?

Otherwise love the gear!

Thanks!

Here's quote from customer support. Hope it isn't too heavy handed or out of school to post:

"I'm not on the development team, but I personally think that it wouldn't be too hard to implement some kind of soft switch to bypass the computer altogether and pipe line-in audio directly to the amplifiers (something like a computer-controlled solid state IC relay network)."


Yes! The bypass is really needed when you want to use the system for beat mixing records or watching movies. At that point any speaker connected should play audio directly! I don’t care at any sync issue of others speakers, as I need to sync my record to the beat or watch an movie in lipsync… strange that this is not implemented. Feels broken now, and can’t recommend Sonos to anyone that uses it for these setups...

please fix this

 

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I did not mean to be condescending. I’m just very surprised when people do not read up on stuff before they buy.

Thanks for acknowledging that. Most persons lives are busy enough that they tend not to read every detail about a product, particularly a feature of a product that works in a particular manner in their experience. When someone views a line-in, they do not necessarily ask themselves “does it work like other line-ins” because in their experience, there is a specific pattern for line inputs. They rarely have delays. Clearly Sonos wants to do the right thing, clearly they want as much marketshare and customers as possible. They can either add functionality such that when there is a line input and there are not other Sonos speakers in the network, the delay is 0. Or they can adjust their marketing materials to simply note the delay more upfront and then customers like myself won’t be surprised or caught off guard with what is otherwise a first class experience.

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I did not mean to be condescending. I’m just very surprised when people do not read up on stuff before they buy.

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One would also think that buyers of an expensive multiroom speakers system would invest in a little more research than the pictures on the Sonos website (that show turntables but should not show DJ set ups) but or acting on what one would think when seeing a line input. Yes, the 70ms delay is a disadvantage in some use cases, but it is not a hidden fact and plausible seeing the multiroom system.

Thanks for your condescending reply; does that line of response net you many friends? When 99% of consumers see a line input on a device, they don’t immediately run for the FAQ to find out if there is or isn’t a delay on said line input. They just expect it to work like any other line input. Sonos doesn’t advertise that fact on the product box or anywhere obvious, so we all get to “discover” this in real time after buying it. I found a great solution though by putting my Sonos device on Craigslist. 

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One would also think that buyers of an expensive multiroom speakers system would invest in a little more research than the pictures on the Sonos website (that show turntables but should not show DJ set ups) but or acting on what one would think when seeing a line input. Yes, the 70ms delay is a disadvantage in some use cases, but it is not a hidden fact and plausible seeing the multiroom system.

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Having this same issue and am confounded by the response. I DJ and discovered the latency issue across the entire Sonos range. Sonos Amp, Sonos Play Five. The latency completely throws off my mixing. Fast cuts? Forget about it. 

I understand the need for the delay if we are synchronizing multiple Sonos devices wirelessly. But for basic single line in on the Sonos Amp or Play Five? That is completely unnecessary, unexpected and had I know, I would never have bought these devices. 

Sonos seems to be ignoring this.


Sonos has never been suitable for DJ use, or PA use, or other “live” analog sources, and that is not likely to change.

That’s a real shame. They are missing a large pain point and market expansion opportunity. Additionally, the website advertising which has pictures of turntables everywhere in the marketing makes people believe otherwise about the use for DJs. One would think seeing a line input on the Amp or Sonos Five that it would behave just like any other line input without a delay. 

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Having this same issue and am confounded by the response. I DJ and discovered the latency issue across the entire Sonos range. Sonos Amp, Sonos Play Five. The latency completely throws off my mixing. Fast cuts? Forget about it. 

I understand the need for the delay if we are synchronizing multiple Sonos devices wirelessly. But for basic single line in on the Sonos Amp or Play Five? That is completely unnecessary, unexpected and had I know, I would never have bought these devices. 

Sonos seems to be ignoring this.


Sonos has never been suitable for DJ use, or PA use, or other “live” analog sources, and that is not likely to change.

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Having this same issue and am confounded by the response. I DJ and discovered the latency issue across the entire Sonos range. Sonos Amp, Sonos Play Five. The latency completely throws off my mixing. Fast cuts? Forget about it. 

I understand the need for the delay if we are synchronizing multiple Sonos devices wirelessly. But for basic single line in on the Sonos Amp or Play Five? That is completely unnecessary, unexpected and had I know, I would never have bought these devices. 

Sonos seems to be ignoring this.

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Hi @sjh.

Welcome, thank you for reaching out to Sonos Community.

You can try to check this link for Use Line-In on Sonos

Let us know if it works. If you need help with any other information, please be sure to let us know.

 

 

I LOVE my sonos, but +1 on this being an issue I’d not anticipated and is stopping me buying further into the ecosystem.

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I would love to hear from Sonos on this.

Do they reply to these feeds?

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The input delay was rather peculiar to me when I first learnt about it, while of course I understand the reason for its existence.  Sonos is the only product I am aware of that has this delay for a locally connected device, as pretty much every other device on earth has a line-in connected directly to the preamps. In the Sonos case of course the line-in is fed to the audio processing circuitry, so they can generalize the case and allow cross-device connections without altering the latency. If you are listening locally, the signal is simply looped back to the local device. So it's both a smart and a dumb move. I'm sensing that they had a really strong architecture guy holding his hands over this, and nobody was allowed to mess with his beautiful simple design. :-) 

It does makes Sonos a bit of a show stopper when it comes to use for certain AV applications, live instruments, karaoke or some computer applications.  Nobody in their right minds would buy Sonos for Audio/Video applications unless they have the ability to delay the video stream the required 70ms. If you can do that (which most high end TVs can do), then there is absolutely no problem whatsoever. If you can't delay the video, then just don't buy Sonos for this application. 

But congrats to the Sonos team for putting together a solid architecture that has really stood the test of time. If I feel daring I might take one of my out-of-warranty devices and examine the signal path.  I suspect it has an all digital connection to the class D amp, which makes it non-feasible to wire a line-in to the audio amplifier directly. I do have an application where direct connection would be beneficial, and I see no reason to introduce new competitors into the food chain.
 

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I was very impressed with the sound of Play 5 and Sub when I auditioned them last year.

In December I bought Play 5, Sub and One and just used them for playing music on my phone or laptop. 

I am a Dj but have not really had the opportunity to dj at home using the Sonos speaker until this weekend.

As a DJ, I discovered the latency issues which has really disappointed me, due to its impact on mixing songs.  If I had known the issue present, it would have been a deal breaker.

 

I truly hope Sonos can address this issue, even if a 0ms latency could be had for Line-in use only,  which will open up these fantastic speakers to a potentially larger market.  

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The 75ms delay when using line in has just stopped me from buying a pair of Play5’s. Absolutely gutted :(

We purchased a Sonos Beam and Sub (which we love) towards the end of last year with intention of adding the Play5’s for a bit more versatility around the house, including mixing records from my DJ setup when the mood strikes. 
 

Ive been fiddling with hi-fi and audio products for a good part of 25 years and this is the first time I’ve come across a product with a direct line in which suffers from this type of lag (even the salesman who sold me our other SONOS products was surprised to hear this was true) Although highly disappointed, I am glad I discovered this before dropping another £1k on these speakers. In fact, it’s kind of hard to justify the rest of my SONOS setup now and will probably be spending the rest of weekend researching alternatives; THIS SUCKS! 😭

Oh man I’m exactly in the same situation. Beam and Sub for home theater, and now wanted to extend for the real musical experience and connection my DJ setup with two Play5. What did you come up with by searching for an alternative?

 

Btw even tried the monitor setup, but the delay is too much for a normal living room, this gives a huge sound mess.

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The 75ms delay when using line in has just stopped me from buying a pair of Play5’s. Absolutely gutted :(

We purchased a Sonos Beam and Sub (which we love) towards the end of last year with intention of adding the Play5’s for a bit more versatility around the house, including mixing records from my DJ setup when the mood strikes. 
 

Ive been fiddling with hi-fi and audio products for a good part of 25 years and this is the first time I’ve come across a product with a direct line in which suffers from this type of lag (even the salesman who sold me our other SONOS products was surprised to hear this was true) Although highly disappointed, I am glad I discovered this before dropping another £1k on these speakers. In fact, it’s kind of hard to justify the rest of my SONOS setup now and will probably be spending the rest of weekend researching alternatives; THIS SUCKS! 😭

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+1 for the direct line-in with 0 delay for isolated use. 

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Add me to those hoping for a low-latency line-in option!

My Setup:

  • PLAY:5 connected to computer (line-in)
  • Playing Piano on the computer via Keyboard (MIDI-Connection)
  • The delay of 75ms sucks hard when learning to play piano with a software

Please Sonos, this is a legit use-case!

Just had a marketing email from Sonos suggesting that I use a Sonos speaker in my home office as a “ home office assistant”. I’m confused - why would you introduce a Sonos [rather than, say, an Echo Dot] into a home office where the chances are you already have a computer with speakers … unless of course you could replace the computer speakers with the Sonos … but for many, the latency issue may be a barrier to doing so … ? 

+1 to add the simple feature ‘line-in without delay' to supplement ‘line-in for network streaming’. Can’t believe Sonos can’t see this as an opportunity, especially with the reaction to legacy product support - though I guess these are the same folks who one time thought bundling a bridge with every Play:5 had a value to customers wanting to buy multiple units ! 

I have 2 rooms in the house that have streaming music, computer AV/gaming, TV and electronic musical instruments. Guess what - they don’t all play at the same time. But if I follow the steer from Sonos, it seems they’d suggest that having separate amp/speaker systems for each of these - 8 speakers - hardly a credible, elegant solution in a small room. Opportunity missed, Sonos :(

Can you perhaps provide an ‘example’ of what audio source you are playing through the Sonos line-in and where you are playing it to, that it plays out of sync for you. There might be, in some cases, ways to resolve some of these things so they do play in sync, but it depends on what you are trying to do.


Hi Ken … many thanks for replying, I appreciate it. It’s easiest is just to imagine the Sonos having the ability to be used as an ‘ordinary’ [albeit very high quality] amp/ speaker. The biggest issue is where the Sonos latency [whose purpose I understand] causes a loss of sync with either video [games/movies] or input devices [digital piano/synth, drums or midi control surfaces]. Imagine trying to play piano through a Sonos together with a singer or acoustic guitarist. Ironically, although I have a Sonos in every room, they are almost always used ‘standalone’, with no multi-room playing, so I don’t enjoy the true benefit of the latency. For my ‘multimedia’ rooms, I’m planning to replace the Sonos with pairs of active studio monitors - that solution seems to meet 80 percent of my need, making Sonos redundant in those rooms … and likely across the rest of the house if it works well.   

+1 to add the simple feature ‘line-in without delay' to supplement ‘line-in for network streaming’. Can’t believe Sonos can’t see this as an opportunity, especially with the reaction to legacy product support - though I guess these are the same folks who one time thought bundling a bridge with every Play:5 had a value to customers wanting to buy multiple units ! 

I have 2 rooms in the house that have streaming music, computer AV/gaming, TV and electronic musical instruments. Guess what - they don’t all play at the same time. But if I follow the steer from Sonos, it seems they’d suggest that having separate amp/speaker systems for each of these - 8 speakers - hardly a credible, elegant solution in a small room. Opportunity missed, Sonos :(

Can you perhaps provide an ‘example’ of what audio source you are playing through the Sonos line-in and where you are playing it to, that it plays out of sync for you. There might be, in some cases, ways to resolve some of these things so they do play in sync, but it depends on what you are trying to do.

+1 to add the simple feature ‘line-in without delay' to supplement ‘line-in for network streaming’. Can’t believe Sonos can’t see this as an opportunity, especially with the reaction to legacy product support - though I guess these are the same folks who one time thought bundling a bridge with every Play:5 had a value to customers wanting to buy multiple units ! 

I have 2 rooms in the house that have streaming music, computer AV/gaming, TV and electronic musical instruments. Guess what - they don’t all play at the same time. But if I follow the steer from Sonos, it seems they’d suggest that having separate amp/speaker systems for each of these - 8 speakers - hardly a credible, elegant solution in a small room. Opportunity missed, Sonos :(

+1 to wanting this.   my setup:  I have my entire house using a sono network of speakers.    in my office , i have a play5.  sometimes i use this in the network.  and love the buffering and the delay is invisible.   other times, i just want it to be a speaker in my office.  not on the network.

i have a set of digital drum kits in my office.  it’s my man cave.  sometimes i just want to play the drums.  since *all* of the speakers in my house are sonos… i just want to use the play5 already there in my office.  via line in. with zero delay .

when you play the drums .. 75ms doesn’t work.  it needs to be zero delay .

sounds like i now need to buy 2 speakers.  one in the office for the “network play” .. and one in the office as a plane jane speaker.

as a sonos whole house customers.. sure would be nice to use that speaker in “stand alone” mode.  turn of all the fancy stacks.  just pipe the music from line in, to the single speaker.  don’t rewrite all the software.  just have a very simply mode of “ zero delay” that only works with one speaker, from it’s line in.

i would love that :) 

As to having a big sign, can you point to any company that openly advertises all the things their products cannot do?  Even so, Sonos clearly states the delay exists on their Line-In FAQ page.

i can see you are the type of person who likes to argue. 

yes i read their FAQ. yes i know theres a delay. and yes i love my sonos 5. are you happy?

the delay still sucks, and not just for me. it sucks for all their customers and potential customers. 

 

No, it does not suck "for all their customers and potential customers."   Matter of fact, the amount of customers seeking to use Sonos for live performances would quite logically be an exceedingly small section of their intended market.

"Solving the problem" with the current Sonos hardware requires ignoring the laws of physics. 

dude. local mode. nothing fancy.

 

Dude.  Use actual PA speakers built for your purpose.  Nothing fancy.

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As to having a big sign, can you point to any company that openly advertises all the things their products cannot do?  Even so, Sonos clearly states the delay exists on their Line-In FAQ page.

i can see you are the type of person who likes to argue. 

yes i read their FAQ. yes i know theres a delay. and yes i love my sonos 5. are you happy?

the delay still sucks, and not just for me. it sucks for all their customers and potential customers.