We need Audiophile Edition version of Port

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It is ok as a digital source for my ok hifi speakers so not an issue. For whatever reason it really doesn’t work with my headphones. Using a USB cable sounds good so problem solved with limited additional expense as far as I’m concerned.

It does mean I’m tethered and reliant on source battery so I will buy another hifi. streamer transport at some point. Ideally that would be Sonos if they produced a product as the OP suggested otherwise I will just buy something else. Not an issue now that I have finally solved the problem. But the suggestions on here that there couldn’t ever possibly be anything better than Sonos didn’t help me solve the problem which is why I want to highlight that Sonos might not be the best option for everyone in every situation. That is all. 

There was never a suggestion that Sonos was the be-all and end-all, but the notion that it could be “painful” was repetitive and tiresome hyperbole unless, as buzz suggests, there was some kind of gross fault or mismatch in the signal path.

I know very little about jitter. Virtually nothing in fact. What I do know is that if I am using digital coaxial out from a Connect, I must have an external DAC, and be bypassing the DAC in the Connect. 

So how can my Connect be introducing jitter that is not, as @jgatie says, sorted out by the external DAC?

What is the Connect doing to degrade the sound please, @Ivan Jeremic ?  What is it doing other than forward packets of 0s and 1s?

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Oh come on. There is regular negative attacks on hifi and the word audiophile tends to induce frothing at the mouth from some!

I don’t know why. I would put the headphones on and it would sound ok but i was disappointed if i was honest and then after a couple of songs I would have to take the headphones off because my ears hurt. It does sound like the “jitter” issue that someone mentioned above where it does sound ok but you can’t listen for long. Maybe it is to do with the coax versus USB path. Whatever the components did not work together.

My hifi DAC also didn’t work as it simply wasn’t powerful enough to match the impedance requirements of the headphones so getting an appropriate matching headphone DAC/Amp solved that problem and then the USB cable completed the picture. I didn’t pay enough attention to the needs a good source and amp in the reviews. But now with a good recording and the chain sorted it has that wow factor which I was hoping for and didn’t have before. Now I am regularly enjoying long listening sessions which I wasn’t doing with Sonos as the source. Typically when I’m thinking a recording sounds really good it is 24 bit but that could just be a better original recording. My take away is that the components need to be “matching” and for some systems Sonos may well be fine for but for others not so I would agree with the OP in my experience. . 

Delusional audiophiles are SO much fun, lol. :D

Any self-proclaimed “audiophile” would use an external DAC which will reclock the signal, thus eliminating any jitter.  So exactly what’s the problem (besides not being expensive enough for bragging rights?)

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@Antifon gave a very good explanation of most of the problems.

Another problem I am aware of is also that 0 or 1 is level of voltage. It looks something like this __-_-___----__ where low is 0 and high is 1. Change from 0 voltage to 1 voltage levels does not happens in no time. You have time needed to change voltage from 0 to 1 and vice versa so you have some “in between time” lets say not 0 not 1 but if you catch signal in a bad time then it is “0.2” or “0.332” times. Also you can see that if you have several zeroes in a row there is no change in voltage.. If signal is not clocked correctly then these get misinterpreted.  You have electrical pollution from WiFi and home appliances etc which can cause “buzz” in audio circuits. You have definitely hear those sometime when being extremely strong but they occur all the time. Signal is passed through the cable which can be faster at transferring this voltage level changes or slower… When you have 44kHz/16bit signal that mean DAC is taking 16 bit of signal 44000 times per second… Plenty of chances to make an error.

Coming from IT background in the first I did not believe in any of this stuff. Sure good DAC will interpret digital signal in more musical matter but that is it. 1 is 1. 0 is 0. Nothing could change that until I heard noticeable differences when using different digital sources even different digital cables.

Antifon is right when saying that this is not a big problem in a real world. Most of the people will not recognise it because they do not have gear which can reproduce this errors in processing in a way you can actually hear them. I describe it as a coarse sound. Its like you have a distortion in a sound similar to what you get when you crank volume up too much but in a more subtle manner. You can recognise it when it is gone. Music appears softer, cleaner, more relaxed. There are no sharp edges. You can listen to music longer even on higher leves.

How Sonos can deal with that I do not know. Probably just by removing complexity from device (no audio processing etc) and try to get rid of interferences from electric network I suppose… Maybe using better components since this part was left as appendix which no one cares about. I am not an expert on this.. Just my thoughts.


My point is that you have to have music lovers on your side.



And by the way, the last thing I would call audiophiles is music lovers.  Music lovers listen to music.  Audiophiles listen to gear. 

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Delusional audiophiles are SO much fun, lol. :D

And there it is...

If a USD 25 Chromecast, a USD 350 Port and a USD 1000 external DAC can’t be picked apart in a blind listening test, what’s the point of such a Port?

Audiophiles will never love Sonos, a mass market brand, even where it sells at a higher price point than many such. As soon as mass market is the target, audiophiles exit. It has nothing to do with sound quality, but with human psychology.

The Bluesound Node 2i actually has a lot of performance issues, far more than the Port. 

I haven't read the link, so bear with me - are these issues OTHER than ones relating to unstable wireless music play of dense HD streams?

Thanks. I think my issue is relevant, but off topic for this thread, maybe someone could suggest another thread for using an existing 2-ch Sonos system as rear channels for a surround system without degrading the existing 2-ch system


Yes it is off topic because the only way to make a valid comparison of two alternatives is to have every other variable stay the exact same. And if you are comparing a stereo 2 channel set up with the sound from a surround set up even if the latter is on full music mode, there are far too many variables that will make a nonsense of any comparison because they will sound so different. And I can't see any way to have any existing 2 channel system set up for full time music play with front located speakers to also do rear surround - unless you are willing to give yourself the time of a few weeks to get used to how the latter sounds for music in full music mode with speakers at the rear. In that time, as it does in all cases to varying degrees, the brain will adapt itself to the new sound, and you may probably find it far more acceptable for full music listening than it does now. 

As to Port pricing it has little do with cost, but with a Sonos perceived value to users, with the price set accordingly by Sonos as a price policy. Those users that agree with that perceived value will find the present price acceptable. The same Port could be priced a lot lower if costs were the only consideration, but that may not give Sonos an equally good result where total profit is concerned, which is a fair way of assessing such policy decisions in any profit funded organisation.

I don’t know why. I would put the headphones on and it would sound ok but i was disappointed if i was honest and then after a couple of songs I would have to take the headphones off because my ears hurt.

The point that people are making is that unless there was some mismatch or fault then it’s very unlikely that the sound would be ‘painful’. Whilst I have expressed concerns over the years about relative sound quality, I have never had cause to call sound from a Sonos unit ‘painful’.

The fact that this is only being seen in one specific  case - i.e. your particular headphones with your particular kit/usage/musical taste implies that there was a problem of some sort - we have no way of knowing what that may have been.

I share your dislike of the general mocking of ‘audiophiles’, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

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Im not saying that Sonos is painful to listen to on speakers just on my notoriously revealing headphone as I had to take my headphones off after a short period because my ears were hurting as some others have suggested. USB cable sounds a lot better and can listen as long as I want. I don’t know why just that Sonos doesn’t work as a source for my headphones. That is just my experience on my equipment.

I can completely accept that other people don’t feel the need for anything other than Sonos but clearly some people can’t  accept that someone else may prefer something other than Sonos as a hifi source. Unless they have heard my system then I don’t see how they can judge and even then it would only be a personal experience as mine is. . I am only saying I find Sonos painful to listen to on my headphones hence Sonos may not be the best option for everyone in every circumstance. It is hardly blasphemy but clearly.it is for some.

So based on my personal experience with my equipment I can see where the OP is coming from. I would buy a Sonos digital only out hifi component which can play all files and has a full range of inputs and outputs with a comparable spec to various other hif streamers on the market as I appreciate the class leading convenience of Sonos. I suspect it won’t happen as it is not the Sonos market focus and will have to look elsewhere.  

Were your headphones using a wireless link when connecting through PORT?

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Good thought but I don’t have a problem with my wireless headphones with Sonos  other than were not sound quality looking for so switched to wired headphones which much better. The wired headphones are so transparent and revealing that I can hear detail in songs I’ve know since a child that never heard before. They need a matching amp and source and that for me and these headphones  isn’t  Sonos so I agree with Sonos. 

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with wireless links, however, many of them are not appropriate for the audio quality you are seeking.

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Personally never found a wireless headphone/earbuds that sound as good or as comfortably as the reasonably priced wired earbuds I used until they were discontinued after the removal of phone headphone inputs.   Sure losing the wires is good but for menot worth loss is sound quality and inconvenience of having to charge another device. Ok when on the move with background noise. It was how the quest started. 

Went to Sevenoaks today. Walked out with the Bluesound Node. Very happy indeed. Apart from no SoundCloud support I am very happy. For a little more money the Node offers much more than the Port.

One third more money, but if you’ve no desire to integrate with the Sonos world then Bluesound may suit. Hopefully the software is better these days. Just steer clear of the MQA stuff.

I would of loved to integrate with the Sonos Eco-system more but......I was sold on the Bluesound. HDMI, Bluetooth, Optical to name a few features which is well worth a third more IMO, YMMV of course.


I can't fault the BlueOS yet. So happy I can add my own radio stations via custom links. I couldn't find a definitive answer online but I'm happy to say you can.


I'll always love you Sonos but this time you were outdone by the competition.


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I wonder how the Bluesound will hold up over time, both in hardware lifetime and in software support. 2006 era Sonos gear (minus the CRs) is still usable.

I would of loved to integrate with the Sonos Eco-system more but......I was sold on the Bluesound. HDMI, Bluetooth, Optical to name a few features which is well worth a third more IMO, YMMV of course.


All this is useful if the wireless in sync grouped play mode is stable and does not suffer stuttering and drops as Bluesound is sometimes said to suffer from. Of course if this is not your use case, it does not matter.

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Could you give us a analysis result which shows the power supply on the Port puts out “so much electrical noise” along with an ABX test which shows that “so much electrical noise” is audible to the listener?


The current from the power supply is what’s moving the magnets in the woofers and tweeters that creates the sound you hear. The first commercial DACs built into CD players had tons of issues, such as voltage changes based on how many bits were 0s and how many were 1s. They’d output a significant difference between 01111111 and 10000000, when that should be the smallest difference possible. It doesn’t take “golden ears” to hear the difference between a mass market 1980’s CD player and a high quality one from 2022. It also doesn’t “golden ears” to hear the difference between components with cheap switching power supplies and ones with good power supplies.

Sonos power supplies aren’t crap, but to simply dismiss the impact of the electrical engineering that goes into making different audio components as inaudible because they’re “digital” is as foolhardy as the claims of any audiophool.

Sorry to pick on you. You’re post is just at the end of a frustrating thread in which I’m trying to find some answers as to why my 2-ch system w/ a Sonos Connect into a Pro-ject Pre Box S2 into a Bryson 4B sounded so much better before I replaced all that with an Amp so I could use the 2-channels as rear speakers with an Arc and Sub. Even when I set the surrounds to max for music playback, the music just isn’t as enjoyable as it was before. Probably has more to do with impedance matching with the speakers (B+Ws) than anything else.  




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Any self-proclaimed “audiophile” would use an external DAC which will reclock the signal, thus eliminating any jitter.  So exactly what’s the problem (besides not being expensive enough for bragging rights?)

I have Naim DAC-v1 and Hegel H190. On both cheep Raspberry Pie HAT sounds better. I do not know if it jitter or something else. Everyone says it is a jitter.

What DAC do you listen to and do not hear a difference?