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

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.

At increased cost it is possible to incorporate very low power technology, similar to that used in remote power switches, to wake the larger functions. Unfortunately, there is usually a delay while the unit starts. For the ‘Instant ON” group, this is impossible to live with technology. For the cheap crew, even a small increase in cost is a deal breaker -- even if it will save money in the long run. EU laws are forcing manufacturers to rethink their standby power requirements.

The instant of power-up is one of the most stressful events in a unit’s life. After a certain number of cycles the unit will fail. Implied with the power-up is a temperature cycle, starting at ambient, rising to operating temperature, then back down to ambient after power-down. Deeper temperature cycles are more stressful. Power-up for months or years is a single cycle.

Don't expect a manufacturer to publish any data about this. My strategy for all electronics has been to power-up when needed and keep the unit powered for the remainder of the day, rather than cycling as I move from room to room. This minimizes the number of cycles. Over the years this has served me well.

Userlevel 7
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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?

 

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.

My very first Play 5 is 12 years old. Still works. So I'm rather concerned that it's no longer supported by S2. Before devices die of temperature issues, Sonos will probably retire the hardware.

 

Technology marches forward. Functions that were at the edge of imagination a few years ago are now a given.

Consider the original IBM PC with it’s 4.77 MHz processor, 160K floppy drive, 64KB RAM, and simple serial port -- costing a few thousand dollars. Compare this to a $15.00 Raspberry Pi Zero. True, you need to add a cheap power supply for the Pi and the PC was bundled with a case, monitor and keyboard, but many of us now have these things in our junk box. 

But, that expensive PC is virtually useless at this point. Sadly, that PLAY:5 will fade into memory at some point. Yes, I know that a few audio systems from the 70’s and maybe older have survived (the units that have not survived are cluttering our landfills), but where is their HDMI port and network connection? Do they have a remote control?

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 7
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We have put switches on some Sonos and power down any that aren’t going to be used for a week or more.

We used a dumb switch that uses no power and needs no outside connectivity to work. We plug our surge suppressors into the switch then the switch to the wall.

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
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The CR-100 was dropped from support many years ago and Sonos gave some users a credit.

A few users blocked updates to their Sonos so they could stay onb the last version of the firmware that supported them.

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’ll admit I never felt the need to own one, it was always more convenient to use my iPhone. 

At inception in 2005 the CR-100 was the only choice and phones were not as universal as they are now. CR-200 replaced the CR-100 and had a touch screen. By then touch screen phones were rapidly replacing older phones and customers were asking: “Why am I purchasing a single purpose touch screen device for about the same cost as a phone?”. Further, users were asking why they had to carry two devices around the house when they believed that their phone could do everything. The writing was on the wall for the CR-200 and many other controller devices that have been squeezed out of the market.  Since production runs of CR-200’s were in the 10’s of thousands and phones were in the 100’s of thousands, soon to be millions and 10’s of millions, CR-200’s were not a very good value. Eventually a large number of CR-200 screens failed and the screen manufacturer had stopped production. It was not possible to repair the CR-200’s. As the CR-200’s had begun to fail, SONOS had developed their phone/pad Apps and customers simply downloaded a free controller App, rather than attempting to have their CR-200’s repaired. At one point SONOS purchased the remaining display inventory to be used in repairs, but it didn’t take long to blow through these. 

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 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.

 

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.  

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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@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.

@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.

@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 7
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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.

Userlevel 6
Badge +11

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
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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.

I suspect there is a constant frisson in the engineering department and other parts of Sonos with regards to how ‘robust’ parts need to be. In order to make sales, the pressure would be to keep prices down, and use less expensive components. Pennies matter when you’re dealing with volume production.
 

Engineering, of course, wants the best, so the device stands up to the rigors of time, power cycles, etc. And I suspect there’s always learning to be done. I wouldn’t have thought that the BRIDGE’s power supply to have been as significant source of failure, for instance. Or the lack of memory in the CR100/200 remotes…

Userlevel 7
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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.

 

Userlevel 2
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@Airgetlam, I had to google CR100/100. I was not aware of any remotes all those years. :) I use phone and Ipad. Has it been discarded, not available in the store?

Other then a couple of setup issues, I’ve never experienced serious problems with sonos itself. More Issues with IFTTT for Sonos recently. Not very stable. My perception of Sonos always has been high end quality, for a serious price though. I’d support the engeneers. I’d rather pay more for the best quality, including low power technology. Saves money anyway in the long run.

Userlevel 7
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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

 

 

I think there were several issues with the CRx00 line of remotes. Battery issues, screen (LCD) issues, memory size and CPU speed issues, such that any that still remain are stuck on S1. They certainly haven’t been sold by Sonos for a long time. 

I’ll admit I never felt the need to own one, it was always more convenient to use my iPhone.