New Sonos Connect?

  • 14 November 2017
  • 47 replies
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Userlevel 1
I have been wondering for a few years now. Will there ever be a new Sonos Connect? Something comparable to the Bluesound Node 2 in sound quality and design. The Connect seems so hopelesly outdated.

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47 replies

And by the way, this isn't just me being a Connect/Sonos fan; I also find the DAC in the Chromecast audio puck that sells for about 10% of the price of the Connect to be just as good in sound quality as a source as the Connect or any other DAC that may in turn cost in multiples of the Connect.

And with that you have completely qualified all your previous responses..... You really believe a chrome cast is of the same audio output quality as ..... never mind, enough said.


http://archimago.blogspot.com/2016/02/measurements-google-chromecast-audio.html

As for objective sound quality, honestly, I was impressed by what I'm seeing here. If much of this is the result of AKM's new generation of 44xx chips and the budget 4430 is of such high quality already, I'd imagine the AKM "Verita" AK4497EQ "flagship" should be objectively impressive! Of course the question is whether human ears would be able to appreciate the quality...
Userlevel 1
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And by the way, this isn't just me being a Connect/Sonos fan; I also find the DAC in the Chromecast audio puck that sells for about 10% of the price of the Connect to be just as good in sound quality as a source as the Connect or any other DAC that may in turn cost in multiples of the Connect.

And with that you have completely qualified all your previous responses..... You really believe a chrome cast is of the same audio output quality as ..... never mind, enough said.

I have a completely Sonos Outfitted home with 2 Amps, 2 Play 5s, a Play 3, a Connect and the New Connect Amp. I've got speakers everywhere. Pretty much every room and the deck is a zone. I LOVE my Sonos System and I really love my New Connect Amp - The thing is awesome and the sonic improvement over the 1st generation Amp is quite noticeable, yet I liked my original amp with the same speakers just fine, until I got the new one. As for the Connect, it's in my living room "connected" to a B&O System. When I installed it, I couldn't stand the sound of it on it's own; it was flat and lifeless. I added an Arcam rDac between the connect and the B&O, effectively by-passing the internal DAC and making the Connect nothing more than a transport, and now the B&O just sings with it. Even my wife, who could care less about the equipment, how it works or anything else came into the room and said "what have you done to the stereo, it sounds so much better". She had no idea I had installed another piece of gear so there was no possibility of a placebo effect ..... Subjective, Yes. Real, also Yes.

As for the possibility of a new Connect I'd love to see a new DAC inside like the new connect amp. I'd love to see an HDMI arc connection, a coax in and optical in.

My current living room set up looks like this: TV to Inday Toslink Switch, Connect to Inday Toslink Switch, BT Receiver to Inday Toslink Switch - Switch to DAC, DAC to B&O : TV + Connect + BT > Inday Switch > Arcam DAC > B&O A New Connect could help me eliminate the switch and the external DAC
Userlevel 7
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My thoughts exactly, Sonos is not in the business of selling other folks speakers and I'd guess they only offer the Connect / Connect Amp to lure other brand owners into the Sonos ecosystem. I know that worked for me, here I sit with two fairly high end home theater sound systems and well over 90% of the time I don't make an effort to listen to them (both have Sonos ZonePlayers) over my Play speakers.
Any more rumors about an updated Connect?

Honestly, the only problems I have with the current device are the dated design and the price. I can’t imagine why the Connect is so much more expensive than a One considering the Connect’s lack of a speaker and other features.


Yes and no. The Connect has a DAC which the One doesn't have, but that surely doesn't reference the full cost. I would imagine much of the cost difference has more to do with market than cost of materials and development. The Connect will effectively bring any analog source and any hi fi amp+speakers into the Sonos system. If the price is too low, the Connect could easily undercut the sales of Sonos other products.
Userlevel 7
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Sonos updated the Connect last year with a new wireless card (a Mini PCIe card rather than the larger Mini PCI card it used to have, according to pictures from the FCC). It was re-filed with the FCC in March of 2017 and granted at the end of April 2017, so I would imagine it's been in production and on store shelves for at least a few months. If there were any other material changes to the Connect, I think we would have heard about them by now.
Userlevel 1
Any more rumors about an updated Connect?

Honestly, the only problems I have with the current device are the dated design and the price. I can’t imagine why the Connect is so much more expensive than a One considering the Connect’s lack of a speaker and other features.


Yep it is independent, but given that this is a wish list for a new connect (and only impacts the connect and I guess amp if people are using it like a connect). It would be good if this issue could be addressed at the same time as any new hardware. Personally I have never found the sound quality lacking from the connect, that said if the sync issue was resolved the digital out from the connect could be connected to a different DAC with the appropriate input (using the digital out at the moment give even greater sync issues).


As the poster stated, the solution would not be handled by the Connect, the solution would require a delay in everything but the Connect. Bottom line is, if Sonos were going to address this, they could have done it a long time ago. So either it is not possible due to a tech issue, or they don't feel it is worth the effort, and most likely a new Connect will not change either of those.
Userlevel 2
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Duncan totally agree with you and here's hoping that the new sonos connect will include this feature. I am honestly not very hopeful considering the overall sonos approach to sticking with a limited set of features. We don't even know for sure that a new sonos connect is about to be released. I hope it is but...
Just to note that this feature -- introducing a configurable, variable delay for selected Sonos devices -- is completely independent of a new CONNECT device, especially as the delay would likely apply to devices other than the CONNECT itself.


Yep it is independent, but given that this is a wish list for a new connect (and only impacts the connect and I guess amp if people are using it like a connect). It would be good if this issue could be addressed at the same time as any new hardware. Personally I have never found the sound quality lacking from the connect, that said if the sync issue was resolved the digital out from the connect could be connected to a different DAC with the appropriate input (using the digital out at the moment give even greater sync issues).


Sonos is wrong but they also don't want to put in the effort and $$$ to put a decent dac and amp on the Connect. It is ridiculously overpriced and the Node 2 walks all over it easily.


If "Sonos is wrong", then so is the entire history of physics, biology, and math.
The Connect is without an amp by design, so it means nothing to say that a better amp is needed. The Connect DAC has never been beaten in a controlled double blind test anywhere in the world till now at any price point, inspite of many subjective statements made about it.
Rumor has it there will be a Connect refresh. I highly doubt it will have High Resolution audio like the Bluesound. Sonos has stated in the past they think (as do many other audio experts) higher sample rates are not justified by the math and as such, are not necessary to support.

Sonos is wrong but they also don't want to put in the effort and $$$ to put a decent dac and amp on the Connect. It is ridiculously overpriced and the Node 2 walks all over it easily.
Userlevel 7
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Duncan totally agree with you and here's hoping that the new sonos connect will include this feature. I am honestly not very hopeful considering the overall sonos approach to sticking with a limited set of features. We don't even know for sure that a new sonos connect is about to be released. I hope it is but...
Just to note that this feature -- introducing a configurable, variable delay for selected Sonos devices -- is completely independent of a new CONNECT device, especially as the delay would likely apply to devices other than the CONNECT itself.
Although I could agree on this subject, delay is possible, but not the opposite; maybe they could improve the sync algorithm between speakers to allow less delay than 70msecs.
In effect what's being requested is the ability to retard the sound coming out of the Sonos devices not connected to the receiver, to allow for the additional delay introduced by the receiver. While I imagine this is technically possible to achieve, I doubt it's a priority for Sonos.

As you probably know, 'improving the sync algorithm' is not really relevant here. Whatever delay Sonos introduces to allow for sync and reliability, the receiver will still be just as out of sync as before.


Exactly that. It is certainly technically possible to adjust the 'relative' sync of the connect in relation to other speakers. This would essentially mean adding a sync delay to the rest of the sonos speakers to allow the Connect + AV Receiver to be in sync. Unfortunately I also think this is not a priority for Sonos.


Given that this has been in the development request queue for 5 years I would agree that it isn't a priority, however sonos are going to release a new connect and given that there isn't a single AV receiver on the market that can put out 2.1 sound without there being a sync issue. The sonos element is called a connect, you would hope it would connect to and work with pretty much everything.



Duncan totally agree with you and here's hoping that the new sonos connect will include this feature. I am honestly not very hopeful considering the overall sonos approach to sticking with a limited set of features. We don't even know for sure that a new sonos connect is about to be released. I hope it is but...

Having said that, not many streamers offer this syncing feature. Even the more expensive Bluesound Node 2 does not offer syncing adjustments. Google chrome cast does however and they call it 'group delay correction'.

Still hoping though 🙂
Userlevel 2
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Although I could agree on this subject, delay is possible, but not the opposite; maybe they could improve the sync algorithm between speakers to allow less delay than 70msecs.
In effect what's being requested is the ability to retard the sound coming out of the Sonos devices not connected to the receiver, to allow for the additional delay introduced by the receiver. While I imagine this is technically possible to achieve, I doubt it's a priority for Sonos.

As you probably know, 'improving the sync algorithm' is not really relevant here. Whatever delay Sonos introduces to allow for sync and reliability, the receiver will still be just as out of sync as before.


Exactly that. It is certainly technically possible to adjust the 'relative' sync of the connect in relation to other speakers. This would essentially mean adding a sync delay to the rest of the sonos speakers to allow the Connect + AV Receiver to be in sync. Unfortunately I also think this is not a priority for Sonos.


Given that this has been in the development request queue for 5 years I would agree that it isn't a priority, however sonos are going to release a new connect and given that there isn't a single AV receiver on the market that can put out 2.1 sound without there being a sync issue. The sonos element is called a connect, you would hope it would connect to and work with pretty much everything.
Although I could agree on this subject, delay is possible, but not the opposite; maybe they could improve the sync algorithm between speakers to allow less delay than 70msecs.
In effect what's being requested is the ability to retard the sound coming out of the Sonos devices not connected to the receiver, to allow for the additional delay introduced by the receiver. While I imagine this is technically possible to achieve, I doubt it's a priority for Sonos.

As you probably know, 'improving the sync algorithm' is not really relevant here. Whatever delay Sonos introduces to allow for sync and reliability, the receiver will still be just as out of sync as before.


Exactly that. It is certainly technically possible to adjust the 'relative' sync of the connect in relation to other speakers. This would essentially mean adding a sync delay to the rest of the sonos speakers to allow the Connect + AV Receiver to be in sync. Unfortunately I also think this is not a priority for Sonos.
Userlevel 7
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Although I could agree on this subject, delay is possible, but not the opposite; maybe they could improve the sync algorithm between speakers to allow less delay than 70msecs.
In effect what's being requested is the ability to retard the sound coming out of the Sonos devices not connected to the receiver, to allow for the additional delay introduced by the receiver. While I imagine this is technically possible to achieve, I doubt it's a priority for Sonos.

As you probably know, 'improving the sync algorithm' is not really relevant here. Whatever delay Sonos introduces to allow for sync and reliability, the receiver will still be just as out of sync as before.
Userlevel 5
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More than anything the one thing I would like with a new connect is the ability to be able to speed up the signal relative the other sonos elements in a grouping. At the moment there is an issue where the signals are sent to AV receivers and due to processing the synchronization is being lost.
https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/audio-delay-between-connect-and-play-5-5256084
There are ways round it but the sound in direct mode on most AV receivers isn't very good. This issue has been known about for +5 years surely they could fix this one.


Totally agree about this. There are many wonderful sounding AV Receivers, Room Correction devices (preamps etc.) as well as DACs that add some processing to the input. This unfortunately means that when using the sonos connect, the sound will be out of sync with other sonos speakers.

A sync adjustment in the Sonos Connect allowing +/- ms tweaking would be fantastic


Although I could agree on this subject, delay is possible, but not the opposite; maybe they could improve the sync algorithm between speakers to allow less delay than 70msecs.
More than anything the one thing I would like with a new connect is the ability to be able to speed up the signal relative the other sonos elements in a grouping. At the moment there is an issue where the signals are sent to AV receivers and due to processing the synchronization is being lost.
https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/audio-delay-between-connect-and-play-5-5256084
There are ways round it but the sound in direct mode on most AV receivers isn't very good. This issue has been known about for +5 years surely they could fix this one.


Totally agree about this. There are many wonderful sounding AV Receivers, Room Correction devices (preamps etc.) as well as DACs that add some processing to the input. This unfortunately means that when using the sonos connect, the sound will be out of sync with other sonos speakers.

A sync adjustment in the Sonos Connect allowing +/- ms tweaking would be fantastic
Userlevel 2
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Well, they could start by making a black connnect! I’m not sure about the better DAC. I’ve actually found that they can mak a difference, but most of the folks who think so likely already have an external DAC. I’m using it as an input to my integrated amp, with a stop in a Schiit DAC on the way. I don’t know what I’d need more outputs for....
Userlevel 2
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More than anything the one thing I would like with a new connect is the ability to be able to speed up the signal relative the other sonos elements in a grouping. At the moment there is an issue where the signals are sent to AV receivers and due to processing the synchronization is being lost.
https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/audio-delay-between-connect-and-play-5-5256084
There are ways round it but the sound in direct mode on most AV receivers isn't very good. This issue has been known about for +5 years surely they could fix this one.
You mean Burr Brown is better than Wolfson?:-))

Anything fed into the line in of the Connect gets converted to digital and then back to analog inside the Connect...

Will Tidal not stream via Connect and eliminate a whole lot of components from the signal path that can only be good for it and neutral at worst?
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Have been using Sonos Connect amp into B&W floor standing speakers for 5 years now.For last 2 weeks have been streaming Tidal via a Yamaha WXAD 10 into the Connect line in and have no doubt audio quality is to my ear much improved.Surely the Burr Brown DAC in the Yamaha must be the reason.However the Musiccast app is not great.
It easily could, but if Sonos were to do that I think they would also add features like more input options as one example. How large is the market for the outcome will be the critical question though. The Connect is from an era before play units, streaming services and voice control and has become a very niche solution. Also, making it a lot cheaper would allow its use for a wide range of non Sonos speakers, adversely affecting Sonos speaker sales.
Userlevel 5
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Maybe the same Sonos Connect today could be engineered to be smaller and cheaper.
These tests are close to impossible to set up at home. For one thing, making sure that there is one and only one variable in play is not easy to accomplish, and level matching of sound levels needs to be done to within 0.1 dB; a smartphone hosted meter is almost certainly not going to be good enough. Then there has to be a way to do an instantaneous switch over to compare A v B, because human audio memory gets rapidly unreliable as seconds pass between one listening experience and the next.

I only attempted this once, imperfectly. It was possible to make a reasonable job of it because all I was doing was switching sources in a SACD player that had a Connect wired to it.

I don't mean to discourage you from the attempt, but some research on all that needs to be addressed in the test set up for the outcome to be valid may be a good idea.

Obviously this can be done in a lab or studio environment, but no one except the serious manufacturers does this because then there would be little to write every month in the latest issue of the magazine or wherever else the reviews are to be published for all the kit out there, with the exception of speakers.