Like losing an old friend


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Finally pulled the trigger on replacing the remaining Legacy components in my set up, at least the critical ones. This was a tough and close decision for me. The Legacy decision almost forced me to walk away from Sonos. This purchase consisted of just south of $3000.00 for 6 new amps (after discounts). The extended Plan was to just junk the remaining residuals of my stuff for now, and add and restructure with some other options as we go. This purchase would keep the party going so to speak.

Shipping and packaging was awesome, got me pretty excited before I even opened the boxes. Install and connection was an absolute nightmare. Every unit couldn't be discovered for multiple attempts, the controller app would freeze and lock up on numerous occasions, Reboots, resets, and reattempts galore.  And I am not talking once or twice here either. So after multiple HOURS - yes multiple HOURS, to get 6 new amps swapped out and recognized, still nothing wanted to communicate properly. Grouping is painfully slow, as is volume adjustment and loading a file or station to a play que, group, or zone. I have 1 gig internet on a large wifi mesh format and have zero issues with connections of any other devices or systems in use.  (Please don’t insult me with the wifi signal/ interference troubleshooting replies) The old components were very responsive and virtually issue free for months and/or even years at a time, aside from the minor issues that present in all tech.

NOW: Put everything I have mentioned aside and My biggest complaint of all is the poor volume levels of these new amps. my previous amps had much more punch…. MUCH!  The sound quality is good, don’t get me wrong, but where 40 or 50% volume sufficed previously, now we need 70 or 80% to achieve the same volume. I am hoping this is app or controller related as I have noticed this is across the board for all my gear, as even my existing Play 5’s now play at a much lower volume level since adding these new Amps.

I added these components only today, and finished up with some serious agitation, so maybe a brighter future will present, however currently I find myself full of regrets for my decision. As I mentioned, I almost walked away from Sonos when the “Legacy / forced update” announcement rolled out. You Know, When us long time, large system customers, got the middle finger. So I won’t sugar coat it, At this very moment I wish I had moved on. $3000 for a system that works inferior to the original at least at first impression, seems like a pretty solid kick in the nards. Maybe Sonos can smooth this crap out and bring me back some faith, but they have a long way to go.

My attempt here was not to rant but to simply express my input and my experiences - Y’all need to hear this stuff. 

Sadly,

David Smith


15 replies

I am not going to speculate as to the cause of your problems, but if even 0.01% of Sonos users worldwide were having experiences this bad then the forum would be awash with hundreds of posts like yours.  So I think a much better experience is possible for you.  I suspect that given the multiple issues we could all (especially you) spend a lot of time troubleshooting this without getting very far.

So my advice - take it or leave it - would be to call Sonos Support next week and initially just focus on getting the system as a whole and one of the new Amps working properly, and take it from there.

Just one comment on the volume levels.  Position on the slider is pretty close to meaningless as a basis for comparison.  More recent Sonos products seem to have had a more ‘exponential’ volume scale, rather than the more linear scale on earlier products, possibly to give greater control in the ‘normal’ listening range.  Assuming that your speakers are able to handle the output from the Amp, the only test that matters is that if you edge the volume up towards max, do you get to a point where it is too loud for you to listen to comfortably?  If so, you don’t really have a problem.   If not, maybe you do.

@IronGandalf just want to share my symathy for the big disappointment after such a big investment - as indicated you run a stable network but maybe these ‘bulk’ changes were too much to handle at the same time and has frozen the setup - the loss in volume is worrying me, since I am considering an uprgrade for my Connect:Amp

@IronGandalfjust want to share my symathy for the big disappointment after such a big investment - as indicated you run a stable network but maybe these ‘bulk’ changes were too much to handle at the same time and has frozen the setup - the loss in volume is worrying me, since I am considering an uprgrade for my Connect:Amp

This really is absolute nonsense.

I’ll echo John B’s comments about Volume control settings. I will note, however, a common drama that I see while walking through the Big Box Stores is that visitors will often comment that a unit seems “powerful” when it becomes loud at a very low (by the numbers) setting of the Volume control. To me this is similar to an automobile with an aggressive accelerator. While the car seems to jump away at an intersection and this might be very appealing to some, for me this sort of control characteristic makes parking difficult.

As a generality I notice that high end equipment tends to have a Volume control characteristic similar to your current experience. Low end equipment tends to have an aggressive characteristic at the lower end. Even though the low end end equipment is “loud” by 9 o’clock, it does not get much louder above. High end equipment does not get “loud” until higher control setting and is much easier to control at low levels.

Over the years there were numerous comments that SONOS units were difficult to control at low levels. It seems that SONOS has responded to these comments.

Clearly Sonos needs to go up to eleven. 

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I appreciate all the expeditious replies folks,

So I have slept on this now and a new day is upon us. I would like to take a moment and extend my comments with another brief post. System component integration and response times appear much better today. The volume scale is the same as at first install however the sound quality is very good. So aside from me having to reset any volume restrictions I had in place on certain zones, I can accept this as the new normal.

My Play 5’s still do not reach their prior potential and This is very disappointing as the sound quality and power of the 5’s has always been truly amazing. The Play 5’s have held top spot in my system for years and these have been my go to for cranking up the thunder in many times passed. 

It is probably fair to note that I have a large home with many smart features integrated over the years, Lighting, Cameras, monitoring, security,  etc… automation abound. Sonos has been a staple part of my home for me since the beginning - probably 15 years or better now - truly an “Old Friend”. I have 12 zones and multiple TV’s set up, containing Amps, 1’s, 3’s; 5’s, subs, base’s, bar’s, etc. (No Legacy items remain in this system). I wont say I haven’t had my share of issues over the years with most if not all the systems I utilize, but generally a brief interlude of trouble shooting or a simple system reset, can source the issue or conflict quickly. I will say that the last 2 years or more have presented virtually no issues I can recollect, seamless existence, so that in mind, perhaps this insane upgrade/ integration yesterday amplified my agitation some. 

For years I have Loved Sonos completely, it has been a proven source of relaxation, stress relief, and pure enjoyment daily, not to mention the absolute best system that has been available to us all, even today. I do feel I can get to a point of acceptance and possible beyond satisfaction again - But take serious heed in the fact that In NO way have you blown my hair back this past year as you have so many times in the past.

I do fear you have begun to fall out of touch with your base of late.

To  the Sonos Community I simply say thank you for your acknowledgements and replies. Keep them coming the only way great companies stay on top is by constant assessment of the products and the consumers that use them.

To Sonos I would say the following are my top suggestions - in no particular order and simply a consumer’s opinion, so take it for what you think its worth - except #3 take that one very seriously lol.

  1. Before you make a monumental decision (like this most recent roll-out) spend MUCH more time talking to your base. Get some feed back. 
  2. Slow down your upgrade matrix and announce new products further in advance. 
  3. Please…. Design, build, and market a set of very high quality Sonos headphones. The practicality of these would be vast. From non-invasive TV viewing to private audio enjoyment on many occasions……..and everything in between.
  4. I suggest all components come as a 2 version option. Both with or without the privacy invasion of a microphone for voice commands. Personally I will never install a component in my home with a microphone. The convenience of voice command will never be worth the privacy risks. 

Cheers to y’all and have a Stellar weekend.

Less dissatisfied,

David Smith

 

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Clearly Sonos needs to go up to eleven. 

Are you implying upgrading to Version 11?   I am currently running 11.1 

Clearly Sonos needs to go up to eleven. 

Are you implying upgrading to Version 11?   I am currently running 11.1 

Sorry. Tongue in cheek. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_to_eleven

Just to respond to your original woes, do you happen to reserve fixed IP addresses for all your Sonos units (and control devices too) in your router? It should avoid the possibility of IP conflicts, of which many of the observations in your original post are symptomatic.

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Just to respond to your original woes, do you happen to reserve fixed IP addresses for all your Sonos units (and control devices too) in your router? It should avoid the possibility of IP conflicts, of which many of the observations in your original post are symptomatic.

Yes sir, every device in my home is given a fix IP address and then documented on an spreadsheet for trouble shooting purposes.

Just to respond to your original woes, do you happen to reserve fixed IP addresses for all your Sonos units (and control devices too) in your router? It should avoid the possibility of IP conflicts, of which many of the observations in your original post are symptomatic.

Yes sir, every device in my home is given a fix IP address and then documented on an spreadsheet for trouble shooting purposes.

Okay, well, that’s not the cause then. It was the remark that things seemed much better today which prompted my query.

Routers typically apply a 24-hour lease time, so from yesterday to today all IPs should have been routinely refreshed. If there had been a conflict it would have been expected to have worked its way out.

@IronGandalf  may I ask: did you assign new IP addresses or re-used the addresses from the old devices?

IronGandalf,

A dirty little secret: Humans have been conditioned to equate loud with distorted. In many circles, it is not "loud" until it is distorted.

A very important data point for me was a college party in a relatively small room. We had two stereo systems and the combination could play loud enough to interfere with verbal communication, but it was clean. Numerous patrons approached us, hands cupped around their mouth, yelling into our ear, "Turn it up, it's not loud enough." Believe me, it was really loud. OSHA would have closed us down and I'd still be in jail. That same crew, in a different venue with some sort of maxed out compact system struggling to stay alive, no one asked, "Turn it up," because it seemed officially "loud” and we had no problem communicating verbally.

In another setting we were having a “my dog is better than your dog” equipment confrontation. We had an assemblage electronics and speakers. We would try out different combinations and we were listening “loud”. One comparison was a bit vexing. The first amplifier was a widely respected unit and we were pleased with the results. The next amplifier we used resulted in repeatedly blown speaker fuses. I had not yet fully internalized the above observation. After a few days reflection I realized that the second amplifier was much cleaner and as a result we were running at much higher levels, but had not yet reached “loud” before the speaker fuses blew. Years later with some measurement equipment available, I could confirm that amplifier one had somewhat high distortion of a sort that annoys humans. While i didn’t have an amplifier two sample for direct comparison, amplifier one was not particularly pleasant sounding compared to then current stuff.

Bottom line: the newer SONOS amplifiers are cleaner than the originals and this is could be why you are having trouble achieving “loud”.

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@buzz my interpretation of that story is no one wanted to make the second system louder because it was clear it was struggling and would only sound worse

That’s a reasonable observation.

In yet another situation the users were complaining that “see … that’s all the louder it gets” (it was ‘loud’ by most metrics, but clean). No one seemed to notice that everyone’s speaking voice was hoarse for some reason.

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