Sonance cutting out when volume increased

Hi.  I recently got a Sonance 6.0 system to add to the other Sonos systems in the house.  I had no problem setting the Sonance up and it seems to be working fine on the wifi.  When I try and take the volume above about 60% it always cuts out.  Works fine up to that volume but always cuts out above that.  Any suggestions?  Thank you

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As a guess, you’re overloading the amplifier. What amp do you have these speakers connected to? Have you contacted Sonance, rather that Sonos? Have you checked to ensure that there’s no potential shorting out of the speaker wire with greater volume (amperage)?

I see you’ve added the Sonos Amp #tag, so that answers that question. But I’m still concerned that they’re having issues with being over-driven, either by some sort of potential wiring fault (which could just be exposed wire in wet dirt….) or something else. Are all 6 devices connected to a single Sonos Amp? I’m not familiar with this setup, unfortunately. 

Thanks for the reply.  Yes, all 6 outside speakers are connected to the sonos amp.  The way that the volume is so low and how it cuts out at the same volume point (about 63%) every time also makes me think it is hopefully wiring.  Thanks again


I have 3 Amps. The first is hooked up to a pair of Dayton Audio outdoor speakers. The second to a pair of Sonos/Sonance in-ceiling speakers. And the third (and most recent addition) is wired to a pair of Sonos/Sonance outdoor speakers.

The third setup consistently cuts out/overloads at ~60% volume. The wires are a 14 gauge, 99.9% oxygen-free copper, with an exterior jacket. The wire runs are ~90’ each, so everything should be w/in spec. I’ve double checked that there’s no shorts at the connection points.

Is this potentially a problem with the speakers? The Amp itself? Has anyone had luck diagnosing these cut-out issues?


UPDATE: I swapped the Amp hooked to the Dayton Audio outdoor speakers with the one hooked to the Sonos/Sonance Outdoor speakers. I think it’s either the Sonance speakers or the wiring b/c both amps clip out on the Sonance, but drive the Dayton Audio’s so hard I could only take them to 95% before I couldn’t handle the volume.

If you can measure resistance, disconnect the speakers and measure resistance between the wires and each wire to building ground. Squirrels will sometimes “modify” wire insulation. I know a fellow who’s plastic plumbing was modified by a squirrel while he was on vacation.


I did test the resistance. Unhooked both speakers at both ends, then put probes on the positive and negative of the Amp end. Nothing. So there was no short. That’s good!

I then twisted the speaker ends of each line together, closing the circuit. Put the probes back on the Amp end and saw 0.6Ω on both the L and R lines. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad for the length run and gauge of wire. I then wired the speaker end back up and tested the resistance again, and saw 7.6Ω for both L and R. These speakers are supposed to be 8Ω nominal, so I suppose that’s fine too.

Then, on a lark, I only hooked the R channel back up to the Amp. I was able to take the volume all the way to 100. The sound was distorted at that volume, but the Amp did not clip out! I had hopes that maybe that meant it was a bad L speaker. So I repeated that test for the L channel - hooked it up, unhooked the R. I was again able to turn the volume up to 100 w/o clipping out.

Thinking maybe it had been a bad connection the whole time, I hooked the R back up and tested the volume. It clipped out at like 48%.

So now I have no idea.

8-Ohms is the “nominal” AC impedance. A simple DC meter cannot measure impedance. The 7.6-Ohm DC reading is very slightly higher than I expected, but within reason. Did you measure between each conductor and building ground? (with the speakers connected)

I had no expectation that you could run both channels to 100%. Being able to run one channel to 100% surprised me slightly. Evidently you exceeded AMP’s current limit with two speakers connected. The amplifier’s protection circuit is monitoring the amplifier output current, With a low input voltage a 100%  Volume control setting could be barely audible. With a high input voltage 25% could trip and cause neighbors to throw water over the fence.

You could play a test tone and measure the speaker terminal voltage. This is only an approximate test because your meter likely has a questionable frequency response and the magnitude of the speaker impedance varies with frequency. Amplifier measurements are made with specialized meters and a resistive dummy load. Avoid playing high power, high frequency tones for more than a few seconds or you’ll damage the tweeter.


Being able to run one at 100% also surprised me. I only did it for a second. But I was able to ramp up each individual channel well above the 48%-60% (depending on the song) where it’s cutting off for both channels.

Your comments about input voltage make sense, though in these cases the input is using the Sonos app to stream music directly from Apple Music. And yes, songs can be mixed at different levels, but I don’t think you’d see the wild variation in input that you’d potentially get off a Line In or something.

The speakers are on a 13’ x 14’ screened porch. So yes, it’s outdoors, but it’s a small space. When the sound is cutting out at 48-60%, it’s not _that_ loud. Certainly no where near as loud as when the Dayton Audio speakers, driven by the same Amp, are running >90%! I suppose what’s most frustrating is that these Sonance speakers are supposed to be built explicitly to work with the Amp. And yet, I can’t even reliably run them at 50% volume.

BTW I’m not ruling out a hardware issue with AMP, but it’s not the highest item on my list.

We humans are not well conditioned to judge “loud”. We’ve been trained to equate “loud” with distorted. We increase the Volume until there is obvious distortion and that is accepted as “loud”. In my college apartment we could run at levels that made verbal communication very, very difficult yet the sound was clean -- it didn’t seem “loud”. Guests would approach, hands cupped beside their mouth, yelling in our ear: “turn it up”. This same crew out in another apartment, playing some awful little compact unit that was struggling beyond its capacity, with obvious distortion, and no one was demanding “turn it up” because it was “loud”. Conversation was easy.

In this context, SONOS will never sound “loud” because it is well protected. SONOS will shut down before entering the “loud” mode.

That “room” outside is rather large and the same acoustic output does not have a similar human effect outside compared to a smaller inside room.

I don’t think that you are equipped with proper instrumentation to make a valid measurement, but you could try some relative stuff. Find a mid frequency single tone track and play it “loud” on each amplifier while measuring the output with your meter. Don’t attempt to make any sort of absolute statement unless the meter has proven audio pedigree. You only need to play the track long enough to observe the measurement. If the two amplifiers have a similar power rating and the “loud” measurement is grossly different, then there could be a hardware issue, otherwise we are confirming the human conditioning. Since there is a human in the loop, interpreting the results is very hard. Voltage readings that are twice as high are barely significant to untrained human observers. The frequency response of most meters is poor because they are designed to measure 50, 60, or 400Hz power. Even 1000Hz is slipping out of their range. If you use a 50-100Hz test tone, the magnitude of the speaker impedance usually approaches the rated spec. and your observation becomes (a little) more valid on an absolute basis. A problem with this technique is the human because AMP will shut down as the limit has been reached (without significant distortion), but the distortion on the other amplifier has not yet reached the threshold where the human claims obvious distortion. As a result the less stringently protected amplifier will likely measure higher maximum output when both are rated for the same power.

One of the lessons from my college era occurred at a “showdown” where we had a bunch of speakers and amplifiers, trying to determine “best”. One test was rather perplexing at the time. We were running a very respected amplifier, playing “loud” (of  course). After we replaced this amplifier with another, also running “loud”, we started blowing speaker fuses -- indicating that we had breached the power limit. The lesson learned was that the second amplifier was much cleaner and “loud” was at a much higher level.