Support for Playback of High Resolution Audio Files

  • 4 September 2022
  • 7 replies

Badge +2

I have two Sonos Play 5 units paired in stereo and the Sonos Sub.  My primary use for this is playback of my personal music files.  I have been very happy with Sonos except I am very interested in being able to play my personal high resolution files (24/48, 24/96 and 24/192).  I know Sonos supports 24/48 streaming but I want to use my own files.  


What is on the horizon to catch up technology wise.  I would love to continue with Sonos but that may become an insurmountable issue without that support.  Speaking of on the horizon is there any upgrades or new models in the works to add another level of speaker above the Play 5 or its current iteration the Sonos Five?

7 replies

Sonos never discusses future hardware releases.

You do realise that your Sonos speakers are incapable of reproducing ultrasonic frequencies, even for the entertainment of your household pets? Never mind the total waste of local network bandwidth that sampling rates over 48kHz would imply.

Do a one-time batch conversion of such ‘hi res’ files to a copy that Sonos can play, then sit back and enjoy your music. You’ll never notice the missing inaudible frequencies.

To make an "insurmountable issue" out of something that would bring you absolutely no benefit would be..... unwise

Userlevel 5
Badge +9

  Speaking of on the horizon is there any upgrades or new models in the works to add another level of speaker above the Play 5 or its current iteration the Sonos Five?


There was a leak of a potential new speaker last week. This is unconfirmed by Sonos. However, someone with inside info has been leaking info to the Verge on what seems like every Sonos move for the past few years.



There have been no peer reviewed studies proving that sample rates beyond 48K offer any benefit for the human auditory system. For technical reasons it is handy to record at higher rates in the studio, but there is no proven reason to distribute higher resolution files to the listener. As others have recommended, I recommend a good quality batch conversion to 24/48 and move on. Now days disk space is cheap.


Why all the fuss about “hi-res? Over the decades music producers have learned that highly “processed” music sells more copies. This processed music sounds better out on the street when played in noisy environments and low end equipment. In a quiet home environment on good equipment these files sound poor. Some of the “hi-res” releases go back a couple steps and skip the “processing”. These releases sound better at home, regardless of the bit rate. Unfortunately, some of these “hi-res” files are simply re-sampled commercial releases and don’t sound any better than the commercial release, but they cost more than the commercial release. The only benefits are profits for the producer and the warm and fuzzy feeling when the customer sees the “hi-res” light flash.

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

One reason vinyl sounds so good to many folks is that the limitations of pressing the records restricted the damage the studio engineers could do to the original sound. They still mucked it up a good bit but not as bad as we saw coming from the CD releases.

Older vinyl releases predate the modern draconian “processing”.