Line-In Latency/Delay Disable PLAY:5

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Adding my support for no latency option on the 5's. However this could be possible, I was so surprised to hear there was a delay when using the line in. I had incorrectly assumed sync wouldn't be an option when using line in, but that they would be just bypassing the sync software.


If this feature removes the ability to sync that's the price you pay for no latency, fine by me or if there is a delay on other speakers also fine by me, or if it's advised against due to stuttering then let users decide, but do allow the speaker to be a simple speaker in line in mode if... possible.


The option to use the 5's as standalone speakers will appeal to more than just those willing to post here, many musicians for instance.


For now I've got two 5's as my surround speakers, and two other brand simple monitor speakers on top for my decks, piano and computer sequencing!


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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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and it’s 2020 you thought they would solve this simple problem by now. they just don’t give a damn about the live music producers. 


i love your speakers sonos but this delay thing sucks.

your engineers can’t handle local mode?

we can just have both speakers setup in local modes and hook it up with left and right channel as stereo, i don’t think this is too much to ask

exactly what evidence

uhm.  how about the settings screen in their own app….  where the Sonos gods graciously let us choose which delay of four choices they personally excreted, which happen to all be round numbers.



So because you have the option to modify the delay within a range, you assume that the delay can be modified to less delay than in your provided range?  That’s your evidence?  Could it possibly be the range is limited for technical reasons rather than arbitrary?



This thread has little to do with the reasons why Sonos has not done this before. There are plenty. Otherwise they would’ve done so years ago. It’s a feature request, to persuade Sonos to add the functionality.

So, Sonos supports no-delay with HDMI ARC & optical audio. Why not provide this same functionality in the RCA / mini-jack line-in where available?



That’s the question I addressed in my post.  Not sure why you are asking again.

Group-wise: the Playbar, Beam & Arc have an implementation, you can set the group delay, expand the feature in a consistent way.

The request is not for just the Five. You forget the RCA line-ins on the AMP & Port. My example provides the exact usecase for those devices. It’s not feasible to run a computer speaker, dj controller or similar gear through HDMI.



I did address those.  The Amp has the ARC/optical port, which covers TVs, the majority of users.  If you want to use it as a computer speaker or DJ, you can get an analog to optical convertor.  This would be rather overkill though, as there are better devices built for this purpose.  

For the Port, it has no use except if connected to a 3rd party amp or to group with another room.  If grouping to another room, the delay is needed for multiroom audio, no point in removing it.  If connected to a 3rd party amp, then connect your computer/DJ equipment directly to the third party amp.




The amount of replies & votes does not imply this should be implemented. What I tried to say: Maybe over time, there will be enough for Sonos to listen.


Again, it’s been 4 years.  More time isn’t going to increase the level of interest.  Not unless there is a dramatic change in how people listen to music.  I kind of doubt people are going to start using more computer speakers and DJ their multiroom audio system.

Another DJ use case here. Gutted to find I couldn't use with my set up. I had the Sonos 5 (gen 1) and it didn't have any delay. I used DJ with the Gen 1 regularly, in a group with no delay. It's the reason I went out an bought the newer version.

So lame. Come on Sonos. 4 years 150 comments. 




I too had purchased Sonos products with the specific intent of playing records and making music assuming it would be in real time or at least in a way that would not obstruct performance.

After discovering the latency I realized that going forward I couldn’t scratch, mix records or make beats.

While we may not be a large enough contingent to approve a feature implementation it should be noted that there are multiple threads regarding this issue and many of us are professional DJs, producers and audiophiles who are simply looking to monitor music the old fashioned way (I for one am willing to have a dedicated, hard-lined input if necessary) forgoing the internet and it’s networks to do so.

We will still use the Sonos system to stream the ever growing sources of online services, it would be ideal if the controller software also allowed for certain products to be a standalone amp or powered speaker if offered as an option.

As a former 70s disco DJ  I too would love to live mix using Sonos wi fi system. The delay makes that impossible. I believe the answer simply is for Sonos to update it’s software to incorporate Bluetooth  (in addition to the wi fi and  hired wired options). Alternatively, a streaming app, such as DJ Algorridm could possibly explore a software update as well to be compatible with So is). I think the better answer is for Sonos to take the step to enable Bluetooth as does Bose and practically every one of Sonos wireless audio competitors. 
Kudos  otherwise to Sonos for great audio performance 

As a former 70s disco DJ  I too would love to live mix using Sonos wi fi system. The delay makes that impossible. I believe the answer simply is for Sonos to update it’s software to incorporate Bluetooth  (in addition to the wi fi and  hired wired options). Alternatively, a streaming app, such as DJ Algorridm could possibly explore a software update as well to be compatible with So is). I think the better answer is for Sonos to take the step to enable Bluetooth as does Bose and practically every one of Sonos wireless audio competitors. 
Kudos  otherwise to Sonos for great audio performance 

Sonos does support Bluetooth, on the Move. One does actually need to have the requisite hardware, which the other players lack.

But regular Bluetooth wouldn’t help your use case. The default SBC codec typically has 100+ms of latency. 

Sonos simply isn’t designed for DJing.

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Hey @Ken_Griffiths, you don’t need to go against this (yet) again. It has been said and countered multiple times. Using development costs as a reason not to build something is just a fallacy. The more so if the functionality already exists in the platform. It’s a matter of priority.


Yes, Sonos is a multi-room wireless home audio speaker system. Yet they’ve gone into homecinema, added a mobile speaker with bluetooth, added line-in and added the no-delay functionality. Because they apparently thought it was worth the effort, it’s not up to us to decide that for them.


This is a feature request to expand the no-delay functionality to the analog inputs.

and it’s 2020 you thought they would solve this simple problem by now. they just don’t give a damn about the live music producers. 


i love your speakers sonos but this delay thing sucks.

your engineers can’t handle local mode?

we can just have both speakers setup in local modes and hook it up with left and right channel as stereo, i don’t think this is too much to ask



You are correct.  They don't care about live music producers because their speakers simply were not designed for live music producers.  There are plenty of other purpose specific speakers, amps and/or PAs out there designed for live performance, why would one waste their time on one that is not even designed for that purpose?


@by7 - I have read some insane suggestions and conspiracy theories on this forum, but I don’t think your contributions will ever be beaten for sheer, jaw-dropping craziness.

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

dude. local mode. 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. 


Userlevel 1

after reading through this whole thread it’s surprising seeing the dismissal from other users that no latency line-in is some far fetched idea.

for decades on almost any speaker purchased there has been no (noticeable) latency on a physical line-in.

it’s logical to assume there won’t be latency when using line-in on speakers.

it’s illogical to assume there will be latency on a line-in no matter what your use case, in general.

i do not think Sonos is going to do a thing about this, but i think the solution is simple … no need for a toggle (although i’d prefer one for quick switching if needed).  but for simplicities sake (since some of you think people will be confused with the option to do this) any UNGROUPed speaker using a physical input (HDMI/Optical/Line-In) it defaults to no latency mode.  the moment it’s grouped or used wirelessly, then the latency is introduced.

why does a physically connected single speaker need to introduce a buffer to sync up audio if it’s not grouped with any other speakers? it makes no sense.

i think if a user was reading about audio latency issues they were having with their speakers, it would make complete sense that a delay is introduced when being used wirelessly or in a group so the system could be in sync.

JACKPOT!  You hit the nail on the head @essential.  The only conclusion I can draw from the dismissal seen is that the individuals involved are not genuine sonos users, but instead on the payroll at Sonos corp, and their purpose is to sweep this product failure under the rug as part of a whitewashing effort.

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@by7 .At least everybody else proposing this change has put forward a rational case. Please can we avoid stupid conspiracy theories?

That’s exactly how I’d expect someone on Sonos’s payroll long enough to make 15k replies to respond.

My rational case is when people want to have a single set of speakers for their Laptop, TV, and Music.  That’s pretty rational, and detectable latency is not OK on laptop and TV sources. 

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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.

You stated this “good article” has “knowledgeable input” on the latency of the line-in.  He got even the very basics of the line-in latency wrong.  I don’t call that “good” or “knowledgeable” at all.  

And we know what you are asking for.  People have been asking for it for 16 years, and it hasn’t come to pass.  TIme to move on. 

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I would love to hear from Sonos on this.

Do they reply to these feeds?

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Thanks for the reply ratty. This is great info.

Nice point about the importance of buffering in a multi network environment. Hadn't thought of that.

Your last sentence... yes. Exactly. That's why I'm foruming. Am I that rare of a case? Maybe. Is this a big deal in terms of tech, let alone potential implementation? You and Stewart_W's replies seem pretty convincing.

I would say however, that big picture, I think this feature request (realistic or not) is related to the mix app integration requests (djay etc.), which is also niche, but there are real numbers there. And like them, I would also like to mix my digital music through app integration.

The overall ask is - consideration of home mixing. Can SONOS make it possible to be able to live mix music (from apps, TTs, whatever) through their wireless speakers?

If the answer relating to SONOS products is ultimately no, while disappointing to me personally, it's all good of course. I understand that I am asking for more from a product that I already purchased, for a use for which it was not originally intended.

Still. The heart wants what the heart wants. And if some other company finds a way, they get my money.

Thanks again for the reply ratty. At the very least, I've got a better idea of how my SONOS system does... what it does.

+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.   

I will chime in as a customer who is interested. It seems likely to me that anyone using the product with a line-in could benefit from having a latency free option that doesn't distribute on the network. An obvious advantage is anyone using a playbar with a TV. If you don't have surround or a sub, why not kill the latency? I also want to use a Play 5 as part of my sonos network, and also use it to output the sound of an electronic drum kit where the latency makes that not a possibility.

There is no perceivable latency on a Playbar using a TV source, either with surround speakers and sub or not. That is why the Playbar uses 5 GHz tech for surrounds and sub, to curb the latency problem. This has nothing to do with the latency of the analog line-in on the Play:5 or Connect units.

Hi all,

I’ve just learnt the hard way about the line-in audio delay for the Sonos 5 and I’m surprised and more then a little annoyed with Sonos. I’ve just renovated my office and I’ve chosen the Play 5 (overkill for the room size) solely for the line-in so I can use it for online meetings with my computer.  I replaced a perfectly good Bose setup to standardise on Sonos and I’m regretting that decision now. I shelled out for the overpriced Flexson wall mount which I won’t be able to return. 

I’m leaving this here to add my voice to the group of people asking Sonos to listen and get the zero latency line-in option available!!!

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Thanks for the link - that explains it all in detail. Perhaps the lag I'm getting with my TV and computer are a combination of the 30ms delay and other delays coupled in. Still voting for the latency bypass for the Play 5.
I wanted to purchase a reasonable number of Sonos 5 speakers in a real time audio environment. The live music was strictly in a local environment and not dependent on the vagaries of internet and strictly hard wired with 1 gbps Layer 3 Ip switch ports on a private LAN environment. I am really not sure if the current code can still be maintained with an option to opt out for direct connect scenarios to reduce the delay from over 70 msec to around 5 msec. By Sonos being rigid in their approach, it is likely that Sonos will lose large chunk of business which may be up for grabs and it may go to other solution providers which are available in the market place which are as cost effective and give better audio experience. One of them is a Dante solution.
Sonos is not suitable for such situations, and is not designed for them. The 5ms latency you seek is of the order of the PING time in an uncongested network. Any kind of sustainable audio delivery will require a certain amount of buffering at the receiver end, to ride out variations in packet arrival times. 70ms is a sensible compromise, allowing for several wireless hops in what is, after all, intended to be a multi-room wireless home audio system.