Lack of Bluetooth - one reason to leave Sonos switched off.

  • 30 August 2022
  • 11 replies
  • 138 views

Userlevel 6
Badge +14

Recently I've found myself using Bluetooth speakers and more especially Bluetooth headphones to listen to a variety of media sources (particularly Audible).   A relatively simple and flexible process where I can listen on a headset without inflicting the sound on others.

Achieving this for Sonos requires an expensive Amp or Connect plus a Bluetooth transmitter - crazy. 

I guess this rather cumbersome setup could be avoided with the advent of Sonos headphones, but probably only at some exorbitant cost.   Once upon a time, I probably would have stumped up the necessary cash, but if any headphones work only exclusively with Sonos and can't also be used as normal bt headphones, then I'll pass. 


This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

11 replies

Recently I've found myself using Bluetooth speakers and more especially Bluetooth headphones to listen to a variety of media sources (particularly Audible).   A relatively simple and flexible process where I can listen on a headset without inflicting the sound on others.

Achieving this for Sonos requires an expensive Amp or Connect plus a Bluetooth transmitter - crazy. 

I guess this rather cumbersome setup could be avoided with the advent of Sonos headphones, but probably only at some exorbitant cost.   Once upon a time, I probably would have stumped up the necessary cash, but if any headphones work only exclusively with Sonos and can't also be used as normal bt headphones, then I'll pass. 

 

Not sure what you’re getting at, other than stating the obvious.  Sonos was created for multiroom audio originally, and then later added home theatre, and then to some portable speakers. Never have they claimed to be the only speakers you’ll ever need for all situations.  They also make a horrible PA system and car speaker system (with one exception). 

I would agree that getting a Port + bluetooth transmitter to feed bluetooth headphones is a bad idea...unless you’re a huge fan of Sonos radio or something.  As far as rumored headphones,  quite obvious that it would be a massive failure if they only work via WiFi, and not BT.  But there is little reason to think that to be the case, since Sonos already has 2 products that work via WiFi and BT.

So you have established that if all you want to do is listen to audio through headphones, it is a bad idea to buy a multiroom networked speaker system.

Thanks for that insight. 

I guess this rather cumbersome setup could be avoided with the advent of Sonos headphones, but probably only at some exorbitant cost.   Once upon a time, I probably would have stumped up the necessary cash, but if any headphones work only exclusively with Sonos and can't also be used as normal bt headphones, then I'll pass. 

Always good to know what one will do if a hypothetical product comes out with hypothetical features one doesn’t like at a hypothetical price one judges to be exorbitant.

Userlevel 6
Badge +14

I bought into the Sonos system more for its sound quality and breadth of media sources than anything to do with multiroom sound (which always makes me wonder how can I be in more than one room at the same time?).   As time passes I find that private listening is becoming more important to me.

Being technically illiterate, I also wonder whether a firmware update couldn't add Bluetooth to existing devices? 

I bought into the Sonos system more for its sound quality and breadth of media sources than anything to do with multiroom sound (which always makes me wonder how can I be in more than one room at the same time?). 

 

 

Sound quality I get, but not breadth of media sources.  Outside of Sonos radio, there isn’t any source your phone or PC/mac could not get.   If it’s wireless control, that would be something.

And no, I’m never in more than one room at a time, but I am not always the only person in my home, nor do I stay in one room while wanting to listen to music.  Since multiroom audio is growing in popularity, you seem to be in the minority in that point of view.

 

 As time passes I find that private listening is becoming more important to me.

Being technically illiterate, I also wonder whether a firmware update couldn't add Bluetooth to existing devices? 

 

BT is a different frequency range, so you would need a radio that can pick up that range.  Not sure if the WiFi radios in Sonos hardware can be modified for that via firmware, but I highly doubt it.

Userlevel 5
Badge +9

 As time passes I find that private listening is becoming more important to me.

 

Same, definitely spending more and more time with headphones. Convenience and not disturbing everyone in my house. Perhaps a product of working from home since Covid hit.

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +14

I bought into the Sonos system more for its sound quality and breadth of media sources than anything to do with multiroom sound (which always makes me wonder how can I be in more than one room at the same time?). 

 

 

Sound quality I get, but not breadth of media sources.  Outside of Sonos radio, there isn’t any source your phone or PC/mac could not get.   If it’s wireless control, that would be something.

And no, I’m never in more than one room at a time, but I am not always the only person in my home, nor do I stay in one room while wanting to listen to music.  Since multiroom audio is growing in popularity, you seem to be in the minority in that point of view.

 

 As time passes I find that private listening is becoming more important to me.

Being technically illiterate, I also wonder whether a firmware update couldn't add Bluetooth to existing devices? 

 

BT is a different frequency range, so you would need a radio that can pick up that range.  Not sure if the WiFi radios in Sonos hardware can be modified for that via firmware, but I highly doubt it.

Media sources:  true, most are available via those fiddly eye-squinting smartphones or tablets which spend hours on charge! 

I much prefer always on systems like Sonos and LMS with clear control interfaces. 

I have recently added some apps to my android tv setup as this is always on (and handles Bluetooth easily) - the downside is that the TV box interfaces are a bit awkward to use if the app isn't specifically for android/Google tv (eg Audible).   I'm pondering whether to get a cheap mini pc and install one of the newer android OS such as Bliss.

Bluetooth:  don't sonos devices already have some form of Bluetooth, used for setup? 

Setup procedures on newer Sonos devices use BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), which isn’t quite the same thing as Bluetooth. Similar, certainly, but not capable of carrying a music stream. 

 

Edit: Added link to explanation:

https://www.link-labs.com/blog/bluetooth-vs-bluetooth-low-energy#:~:text=The%20difference%20lies%20in%20how,years%20at%20a%20cheaper%20cost.

Userlevel 6
Badge +14

Setup procedures on newer Sonos devices use BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), which isn’t quite the same thing as Bluetooth. Similar, certainly, but not capable of carrying a music stream. 

 

Edit: Added link to explanation:

https://www.link-labs.com/blog/bluetooth-vs-bluetooth-low-energy#:~:text=The%20difference%20lies%20in%20how,years%20at%20a%20cheaper%20cost.

Thanks for this info. 

Userlevel 5
Badge +9

Setup procedures on newer Sonos devices use BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), which isn’t quite the same thing as Bluetooth. Similar, certainly, but not capable of carrying a music stream. 

 

Edit: Added link to explanation:

https://www.link-labs.com/blog/bluetooth-vs-bluetooth-low-energy#:~:text=The%20difference%20lies%20in%20how,years%20at%20a%20cheaper%20cost.

Thanks for this info. 

Bluetooth Low Energy audio is actually a thing that is coming this year. Devices will start supporting this very soon. IIRC some devices that support BTLE could be updated to support BTLE audio, no idea about Sonos speakers though, seems unlikely. Bu my you never know if the actually do release headphones which I really hope they will. 

Agreed, @Bumper , but I didn’t want to muddy the waters with that, as true as it is. We just don’t know if Sonos would/will/can support that yet.