Power consumption - Power off / Deep Standby Request

  • 14 January 2024
  • 39 replies
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Userlevel 2
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Hi, I saw year old threads, with this topic. All have been closed. I’d like to bring it up again with a couple of questions and requests for discussion.

I have two sites with Sonos speakers for serveral years. Extended over time, it’s a total of 24 speakers now. Given the rising energy prices (announcement from provider: 0,45 € cents with next increase), idle power consumption becomes more and more an issue. Play 1 consumes 3 W. Sub, Playbar and some older Play 5 considerably more. It sums up:

3W * 24h * 365days = 26,2 kWh * 24 speakers = 630 kWh * € 0.45 = € 280/year.

Just for keeping them in standby. I could buy a Play 1 per year for these totally unnecessary costs.

 

My workaround: I power them all off with Wifi-Plugs (0,5 W each). Power on/off with some smart home event. One plug controls several speakers in a room, so power consumption is considerably less. When powered on, an IFTTT applet sets volume, groups speakers and plays a favorite. (With a 2 min delay for booting).

Question: Any downsides for the hardware being powered on/off on a regular basis?

I suppose, this is a use case for many users. Why is it so hard for SONOS to provide some optional “Deep Standby” after all those years. No one really cares for a 2 minute booting delay, if it’s optional. SONOS MOVE, provides that anyway. It can be configured to power off in battery mode and idle state after a while.

This IFTTT-approach hasn’t been very reliable recently. I wish, SONOS could at least memorize the recent “power-on” state. When powerd off/on... it may just set volume/grouping/playlist by itself. Behaviour just like pausing, just allow some delay for booting. Would eliminate a lot of hassle.

Any comments on that? Thanks!

Andi

 

 

 

 

 


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39 replies

Userlevel 7
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I’ve not used WOL and from reading this I think I’ll pass on it.

Raspberry Pi are addictive little beasts, I have several, doing things that could well be combined but I like the simplicity of one PI, one function.

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +23

Please Sonos do not rely on wake-on-lan, its a terrible “protocol”. See how well it works on the Roam. See how well it works on Xboxes for remote play. etc.

Just curious: Isn’t it just a convention for a specific magic packet. What do you think is the problem?

 

There are multiple forms of “magic packet”. Whether some/any of these pass through gateways/routers/switches seems random. I have worked on WOL code in the real world, it is a terrible protocol, and when it fails to work (which is often) there’s no way to figure out why, and it’s success rate is heavily local topology specific.

Userlevel 2
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Please Sonos do not rely on wake-on-lan, its a terrible “protocol”. See how well it works on the Roam. See how well it works on Xboxes for remote play. etc.

Just curious: Isn’t it just a convention for a specific magic packet. What do you think is the problem?

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +23

I’d really like to see an option for deep-sleep and far lower power consumption paired with something like Wake On LAN tech to revive the Sonos to active operation.

That would need a hardware redesign though, the Ethernet port and minimum supporting hardware would have to be moved to a separately powered circuit to see big power reductions.

 

https://infogalactic.com/info/Wake-on-LAN#Hardware_requirements

Hardware requirements:
Wake-on-LAN support is implemented on the motherboard of a computer and the network interface (firmware), and is consequently not dependent on the operating system running on the hardware. Some operating systems can control Wake-on-LAN behaviour via NIC drivers. With older motherboards, if the network interface is a plug-in card rather than being integrated into the motherboard, the card may need to be connected to the motherboard by an additional cable. Motherboards with an embedded Ethernet controller which supports Wake-on-LAN do not need a cable. The power supply must meet ATX 2.01 specifications.

 

Please Sonos do not rely on wake-on-lan, its a terrible “protocol”. See how well it works on the Roam. See how well it works on Xboxes for remote play. etc.

Userlevel 2
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Interesting. 1 hour of video streaming makes 55 g CO2. Worldwide Internet requires a huge amount of energy and resources. Still a lot is fossil. But it’s actually less then I thought, 1 km with an average Diesel car makes 130 g. (Just the fuel)

 

Userlevel 2
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If you use the Pi Zero 2 you can see some amazingly low power numbers while still being quite functional.

https://blog.adafruit.com/2021/12/10/a-deep-dive-into-raspberry-pi-zero-2-ws-power-consumption-piday-raspberrypi-raspberry_pi/

Add a programmable controller board and cycling the PI’s power is possible too.

@buzz@Stanley_4 Thank you for your hints. Others have recommended this to me. I’m reluctant yet because of time & efforts for me to learn and set it up. Love my Sonos, but it’s still just home entertainment and some more convenience. I would be looking for other possible uses.

Userlevel 6
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Overall we need better environmental accounting data for everything. There are environmental costs for all products from mining the ore, manufacturing, distribution to the user, use during the product’s life, then final disposal. Currently, it is almost impossible to make intelligent choices.

Agree,  the ‘product’ is more than the physical device. A ‘smart’ interconnected device (eg Sonos speaker) will consume power when idle in the home, that can be measured and quoted in specification. But what about the power consumed on the home network infrastructure (routers, WiFi, etc) to support that device, and then the ISP/Mobile network, Internet, and data centres that are providing the ‘service(s)’ that device uses.

So a smart device is quoted as using 1w when idle, that is just the energy consumed on the device itself, not the total energy consumed.

Edit: I found an interesting whitepaper, it discusses some of the above:

https://ctprodstorageaccountp.blob.core.windows.net/prod-drupal-files/documents/resource/public/Carbon-impact-of-video-streaming.pdf

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

If you use the Pi Zero 2 you can see some amazingly low power numbers while still being quite functional.

https://blog.adafruit.com/2021/12/10/a-deep-dive-into-raspberry-pi-zero-2-ws-power-consumption-piday-raspberrypi-raspberry_pi/

Add a programmable controller board and cycling the PI’s power is possible too.

Overall we need better environmental accounting data for everything. There are environmental costs for all products from mining the ore, manufacturing, distribution to the user, use during the product’s life, then final disposal. Currently, it is almost impossible to make intelligent choices.

@buzz. For sure it has implications, just looks easy from my simple user perspective. Maybe worthwhile a consideration. As said, I solved it for me with IFTTT which is not working too well unfortunately. I thought about a raspberry PI with home automation. Supposed to work well with Sonos, but It’s another “permanent-on” device while I’m trying to minimize consumption.

Sure, as you add more management devices that consume power, you need to consider the overall payback. Specifically with the PI, maybe it doesn’t need to be always ON. You might only need it to make configuration changes. It might require some physical work, but controlling power relays wired to a central point (the PI) would probably reduce total power requirements vs distributed smart switches. Lookup “latching relay’.

 

Userlevel 2
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Makes sense. Era 300 is probably considered a successor of old Play 3.

@106rallyethanks for the link. Below 2 Watts is an improvement. They are aware of that problem. obviously. I’d still consider to switch off a stereo pair e.g. in guest room or basement though, Certainly depends on frequency of use.

 

@craigskiEra 100/300 replace former ONE and FIVE. I have a bunch of ONEs, I’ll probably want the latest toy at some point. As of now I’m still super happy though. I suspect you also didn’t throw your P1s on the trash. That’s what happend to my P1s a few years ago, I upgraded the systems upstairs, and found a spot for the P1s elsewhere. Still perfect stereo sound - no complaints - e.g. in the sauna. It’s not often used, makes no sense to leave them on standby.

What usually happens with a dumb switch, you go downstairs in a bathrobe, switch it on. But phone is upstairs. Waiting for booting, get your phone, play around with app and set it up is annoying.

I guess this is pretty common szenario for the users: You power up, and want it to play with recent setup after ~90 seconds of booting. I’d think, technically this should be well feasible with existing hardware.

 

Era 300 is not really a replacement for the Five, as the Five is considered to be the superior speaker of stereo or mono sources. This is why Sonos no longer sells the Sonos One, but does still sell the Five.

Userlevel 2
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@buzz. For sure it has implications, just looks easy from my simple user perspective. Maybe worthwhile a consideration. As said, I solved it for me with IFTTT which is not working too well unfortunately. I thought about a raspberry PI with home automation. Supposed to work well with Sonos, but It’s another “permanent-on” device while I’m trying to minimize consumption.

If a unit, perhaps the guest room has been powered down for a while, it will likely need to be updated when powered up.

Userlevel 2
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@106rallye thanks for the link. Below 2 Watts is an improvement. They are aware of that problem. obviously. I’d still consider to switch off a stereo pair e.g. in guest room or basement though, Certainly depends on frequency of use.

 

@craigski Era 100/300 replace former ONE and FIVE. I have a bunch of ONEs, I’ll probably want the latest toy at some point. As of now I’m still super happy though. I suspect you also didn’t throw your P1s on the trash. That’s what happend to my P1s a few years ago, I upgraded the systems upstairs, and found a spot for the P1s elsewhere. Still perfect stereo sound - no complaints - e.g. in the sauna. It’s not often used, makes no sense to leave them on standby.

What usually happens with a dumb switch, you go downstairs in a bathrobe, switch it on. But phone is upstairs. Waiting for booting, get your phone, play around with app and set it up is annoying.

I guess this is pretty common szenario for the users: You power up, and want it to play with recent setup after ~90 seconds of booting. I’d think, technically this should be well feasible with existing hardware.

This could be hard to implement on older speakers, but Sonos does strive to cut down on stand by power consumption: https://sustainability.sonos.com/Product-Sustainability/default.aspx#:~:text=Increasing%20energy%20efficiency,devices%20to%20lower%20energy%20consumption.

Sonos does not seem to ignore this.

 

Thanks for this.  I’ll just say I was trying to conserve power by not looking this up myself, rather than laziness.  

Userlevel 6
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6.3 W is a lot. I have an older playbar, which consumes a little less. In most rooms we have pairs of ONEs or some older Play 1. 3W each, 6W per room. Far too much for doing nothing most of the time.

This is how I justified a purchase of an Era-100 to replace two P1s + Amazon Echo (9.5w total standby, according to vendors websites) vs Era-100 (1.86w). The electricity saved over expected life span will pay for the up front cost 😀

Sonos will officially say their products are designed (from a function point of view) to be left on all the time, but modern well designed electronic devices can go through 100’s or 1000’s of power cycles. If they fail, probability says they will fail in early life (in warranty) or end of life, I recall some bath tub graph.

Apply some common sense, if you have a room that is ‘in standby’ (doing nothing most of the time), eg guest room, power down unused equipment. A Soundbar that is used on the main TV daily, keep it on standby.

 

Userlevel 7
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This could be hard to implement on older speakers, but Sonos does strive to cut down on stand by power consumption: https://sustainability.sonos.com/Product-Sustainability/default.aspx#:~:text=Increasing%20energy%20efficiency,devices%20to%20lower%20energy%20consumption.

Sonos does not seem to ignore this.

Userlevel 2
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6.3 W is a lot. I have an older playbar, which consumes a little less. In most rooms we have pairs of ONEs or some older Play 1. 3W each, 6W per room. Far too much for doing nothing most of the time.

With rising energy prices here (€ 0.45), I roughly calculate 12 €/year for each 3 Watts-speaker. We have a collecion of 24. Everyone I talk to, powers-off with some kind of switch. If that’s not Sonos policy, they ignore reality of their users.

 

Userlevel 3
Badge +5

For example, the Beam 2 has a Power Consumption While Idle of 6.3 watts.
And it is a constant power consumption all year round, 24 hours a day.
I will let people calculate for themselves what it costs annually, just to have a Beam 2 connected.
It is an insanely high idle power consumption and that is the reason why I have not bought this product.

Userlevel 2
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Well, Sonos doesn’t support cutting the power to Sonos devices on a regular basis, so it’s hard to imagine that they would add a feature that encourages using the devices this way.  

I haven’t checked out the details recently, and could be misremembering, but Sonos has worked on lowering the standby power consumption in their more recent models.  I think this is how they chose to address the concern.

True. It may rather be a policy, not so much a technical issue. My guess, most users are not aware how much it costs them. Especially here with german energy prices. I think 1W idle consumption would make it unreasonable to power-off with some switch solution. Depends on particular use case of course.

I’d like to emphasize this one request again. Which may be feasible for existing hardware by some  minor changes in firmware architecture - idk:The use case of my parents:

Their sonos system is set up with grouped speakers and favorites for each room. To be operated with device’s pause-button. They (almost) never change it. When speakers are powered off (either on purpose by a switch to save energy, or by some kind of power outage), favorite channel and grouping is lost. You need the app in order to configure it again, which is annoying.

Why not save that setting and restore it after power up?

 

 

Well, Sonos doesn’t support cutting the power to Sonos devices on a regular basis, so it’s hard to imagine that they would add a feature that encourages using the devices this way.  

I haven’t checked out the details recently, and could be misremembering, but Sonos has worked on lowering the standby power consumption in their more recent models.  I think this is how they chose to address the concern.

Userlevel 2
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I’d like to emphasize this one request again. Which may be feasible for existing hardware by some  minor changes in firmware architecture - idk:The use case of my parents:

Their sonos system is set up with grouped speakers and favorites for each room. To be operated with device’s pause-button. They (almost) never change it. When speakers are powered off (either on purpose by a switch to save energy, or by some kind of power outage), favorite channel and grouping is lost. You need the app in order to configure it again, which is annoying.

Why not save that setting and restore it after power up?

 

Userlevel 2
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...

My spouse has refused to use our Sonos since her beloved CR-100s went away and has been quite resistant to me getting new Sonos toys ever since.

I can feel that. My parents have a smaller sonos due to Xmas presents and my recommendation. Especially my mom ist not touching the app. All she wants is pressing the button and her favorite radio channel in the kitchen and bathroom. Whenever there's some grouping or channel lost, one of the kids has to stop by and set it up. In fact, I think, there's room for improvement with usability. The app is not very intuitive for unexperienced users.

I have set up some IFTTT shortcuts on her phone, so she may at least switch channels without the app. It's not very satisfying, due to stability of the service. We can't even tech her Siri or Alexa. Parents couldn't handle additional hassle with smart plugs. It's permanently powered on.

 

To be fair: I think IFTTT is a great service for integrating all kind of things, even devices which are not directly amenable to home automation. Webhooks is fun and very flexible. Just the Sonos service has some glitches recently. Hope it’s a temporary issue. My impression is, that Sonos is not taking it very seriously, which is sad.

Userlevel 2
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It would work the same WiFi as wired, you have to have the receiving device, be it Ethernet or the radio, powered and listening for the magic packet.

Of course there is a minimum power draw, first from the required power supply to keep the necessary electronics awake, then the Ethernet port and radio receiver to acquire the packet and last the circuitry to recognize the packet and power up the rest of the electronics.

Looks to be working for folks other than Sonos.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000027615/intel-nuc.html

 

Makes sense, I would love that. But it won't redeem us veterans from the workaround with the smart/dumb plugs anyway. I don’t anticipate I will like to replace all my expensive sonos with new hardware anytime soon.