Volume normalization


Userlevel 4
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Sonos needs volume normalization. Even services that have it such as Spotify pandora and Apple Music are not normalized when playing on Sonos.

138 replies

it's something to consider in the next buying decision.

But is there any option that does this well?

That’s exactly what I will try to find out. Plus honestly, there is not much to lose in that aspect - even in case a replacement option is not doing it well, it will hardly carry out volume normalization worse.

I now use Sonos as dumb kit having largely moved my interface to Echo front end devices that are wired to Sonos line in jacks. But even Echo does not offer this feature which is disappointing, and I suspect that there isn't anyone else that does. If you come across any that do, post the details here!

I have found that it is better to listen to albums as opposed to shuffled playlists just to do away with the large swings in sound levels that seem to be inevitable when using the latter.

I’m surprised there are not more people complaining about this topic. I have been annoyed with this so much. I cannot mixed playlists as one songs are on different levels of loudness. I often have to change the volume manually multiple times. I would expect such as premium product to have solved this issue. For me this is something to look for alternatives. Especially if one looks how long this topic has been discussed here. Sonos product management must be sleeping. 

I’m surprised there are not more people complaining about this topic. I have been annoyed with this so much. I cannot mixed playlists as one songs are on different levels of loudness. I often have to change the volume manually multiple times. I would expect such as premium product to have solved this issue. For me this is something to look for alternatives. Especially if one looks how long this topic has been discussed here. Sonos product management must be sleeping. 

 

It’s a long thread, but take a moment to read through the first page to get an idea of some of the possible complications/reasons with volume normalization through Sonos.  And honestly, 129 replies over 4 years is really not a ton of complaints, particularly considering that many are duplicate posters and some people aren’t really complaining about it, just commenting.

I’m not at all against the feature, whatever way it would need to happen, but I just don’t see how it’s it’s terribly surprised given a little background history.  Also think it’s understandable to want to look elsewhere if the feature is that important to you, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the feature is hard to fine in other multiroom audio systems.

Have you look at using airplay or casting directly from streaming apps?

That you mention that there are only 129 replies in 4 year's is unbelievable for me.

 

I have this installation for a year and from the first week I mentioned this problem. Never a response from sonos. At that time I searched the internet for a solution. At that moment it was clear that a lot of users had the same problem and that this problem was already known for several years but that there was still no solution from Sonos.

From this last response that only 129 people have this problem means that Sonos is not recognizes the problem. So I regret that I spent more than 2000€ to a system that has no stable volume. 

 

Is it a Sonos issue, or should it be the source-material/sending-devices that need to resolve these volume-level issues?.. I see my products as speakers that play what they’re asked to play - I don’t want them tampering with the source material. It seems to me to be a case for the sound engineers and OEM’s to sort this - there should be some kind of acceptable standards perhaps, but that said, I’m not one for limiting things, particularly if it affects creativity. I’m not convinced it’s a job that Sonos need to resolve, or indeed if the required volume-levelling data is even held in the various files being played in some cases🤔?

That you mention that there are only 129 replies in 4 year's is unbelievable for me.

 

 

In this thread, there were 129 replies in 4 years.  It’s reality, why is it unbelievable to mention things that are true?

 

 

I have this installation for a year and from the first week I mentioned this problem. Never a response from sonos. At that time I searched the internet for a solution. At that moment it was clear that a lot of users had the same problem and that this problem was already known for several years but that there was still no solution from Sonos.

 

 

Sonos replied twice on the first page.  I didn’t look further.  Sonos doesn’t usually reply back to each person in a thread, particularly to say the same thing they’ve already said.  And yes, there are many more places for people to request a feature on the internet than this forum, but it seems fair to judge how big an issue is compared to other issues complained about on this forum.  That doesn’t mean the issue shouldn’t be important to you.

What streaming service do you use, and have you asked them to offer volume normalization through their Sonos streams?

 

From this last response that only 129 people have this problem means that Sonos is not recognizes the problem. So I regret that I spent more than 2000€ to a system that has no stable volume. 

 

I don’t work for Sonos, so my statements shouldn’t be interpreted to be what Sonos thinks about the topic.

I use Youtube music for streaming. 

 

My previous installation had this feature so I never had this problem before. 

If you know about a setting in the Youtube music app for volume normalization , let us know.

I don’t think that true Volume Normalization that will satisfy everyone is practical. There is a lot of popular music that has a very limited dynamic range and this could easily be normalized, but this would require industry wide standards that don’t exist. True normalization would require analyzing every existing track in advance and assigning a parameter that players could use to normalize playback.

However, normalization is not the whole issue. Room background noise and music dynamics require a different approach. For wide dynamic range (very quiet to very loud) material, the quieter passages will be lost in room noise while the louder passages could be painful. “Compression” can deal with this and this could be included in the playback system independently of any normalization. Unfortunately, industry and consumers don’t seem to understand the benefits of compression. In past decades adding compression would increase the cost somewhat. Now days almost everything is processed in the digital domain and compression would be a zero additional hardware cost option.

Regardless of the huge (in my opinion) benefits of adding compression to the playback systems, “high end” and “’reviewer” types dump on compression as being very bad. This is a shame because the end user is not required to enable compression and the amount of compression can be adjusted for current conditions. The music industry is very aware of the value of compression. Modern popular tracks are highly compressed prior to release because it can easily be shown the this increases sales. Listeners using phones in noisy environments are more likely to “like” compressed tracks. Unfortunately, listeners in quiet, home environments don’t always think that these tracks sound so good, Including a variable compression option in players could resolve this dilemma.

Userlevel 4
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iTunes was doing this 20 years ago. Unbelievable with all the tech to tune my speakers and stream services that Sonos can’t crack a simple volume normalization on a playlist. Pathetic. 

Userlevel 7
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In the decade+ of using Sonos, I have never once thought I needed my music normalized. You can’t please all the people all the time, I guess.

So, I don’t think actual normalization is needed so much as a gain setting for each input.  Is this an option that I’m missing?  It’d be simple to implement.  Plex plays MUCH quieter than Spotify.  If I could adjust the gain of either, it would at least solve that problem.

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