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SONOS speakers largely under-exploited.


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SONOS speakers largely under-exploited. Being an audiophile for a long time, I notice that the qualities of the Sonos speakers are of great precision and of great quality. On the other hand it is spoiled at the level of the system which manages them, in effect the application does not offer in ANY WAY to adjust the sound to the top level with an equalizer (10 bands and +). Since every style of music is NOT EQUALS AT ALL, a professional sound system such as SONOS should give us the choice by offering us a QUALITY EQUALIZER option. This has not been the case for many years god knows why. It seems to me that it is not necessary to be an expert in sound to understand that if you want to listen to classical music, hip hop or even pop or country, each style of music requires its own configuration to have sound quality AND UNFORTUNATELY Sonos is ignoring this problem. 
Will there be someone one day who will eventually make SONOS understand how does a quality sound system work?
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Best answer by Xander P 13 May 2021, 16:50

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I would also, and have on many occasions, suggest that the market being targeted by Sonos is not the so called “audiophile” market, but the larger “ease of use” market, so that more people can “just use it” rather than fiddle with all sorts of random settings.  This gives them a wider opportunity to make money, in smaller amounts, amongst a wider audience. The “audiophile” market seems to prey more on smaller numbers, and higher profit margins on each sale. 

Do you not think that the differences in sound needed by different genres might have been taken into account by the sound engineers in mastering the music?

An equaliser just gives you an almost infinite number of ways to screw up the sound.

It's not for me, but then I am not an audiophile.

Sonos turns a deaf ear to its customers, sad.

You aren’t the first person to make this request, but the request isn’t really made all that often.  Seems like you might be exaggerating the customer cry out for this feature a little bit here. 

The forum isn't exactly under siege from people demanding this feature. 99.9% of its customers would ignore it. As they probably do on other brands that have this feature.

In the world of hifi, Sonos is a mid to low priced mass market consumer product . As Bruce said, it isn't aimed at audiophiles. 

Userlevel 6
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Hi @Thewizard2000, thanks for raising this with the community!

While it’s not a particularly frequent request, further control via equalizer has been put forward as a feature request previously, and I can certainly understand that some users may want more granular control of the Sonos system.

(As an aside, part of the reason for jumping in late was indeed interest in where the conversation would go - rest assured we’ve noted your interest and have forwarded it to the development team :slight_smile: )

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Sonos don’t feature it, Bose don’t feature it; nor do Naim or Bluesound, as I understand it. Perhaps there’s a reason no one is offering it? 

Thanks i will try it but i am 100% sure it does not and will never replace a real equalizer that the user chooses to configure by HIMSELF and not one made by a robot. Sometimes you have to go back to the source of things that works and stop trying to reinvent the wheel.

Trust me, it will stick.  

 

BTW, every DSP Room correction system, from Anthem, etc, is automated, using a calibrated microphone and a tuning process.  Some of them cost a lot more than a Sonos speaker.  They do correct for room nodes that a yokel with a 10-band EQ will never correct for manually.

@Thewizard2000 . Development resource is finite, and the list of possible enhancements almost endless.  If Sonos believed that adding this feature would be the best use of resource - in terms of long term sales and profits -  then they would have done it.  They must believe that for the vast majority of their target market, this is irrelevant to their enjoyment of the system in practice and to their consequent purchasing decisions.

Whether Sonos are right or wrong, it’s fundamentally a commercial decision.  It is not primarily about whether or not a graphic equaliser could ‘improve’ the Sonos experience, if a user could be bothered with it..

I don’t recall seeing any review of the Sonos system or products that listed ‘lack of a graphic equaliser’ as a downside.  There may well be some out there, but I have missed them.  Interestingly. lack of ‘hires’ support is often cited as a downside in reviews, and I suspect that Sonos have begun to offer hires support purely because of perception and marketing, not because of any technical merit in favour of hires.

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Hi All

Although I don’t remember the exact figure (I was told once and it’s not written down anywhere that I have access to), TruePlay is (among other things) a frequency band equaliser containing a lot more than 10 frequency band distinctions. It might be over 100. You wouldn’t want all those in an app, and we wouldn’t want to present them!

Personally, I’m not interested in any more than Treble, Bass and Loudness being there, and I have never liked the EQ presets on any system (Pop, Rock, Classic, Concert etc). Variable Loudness - which I once had on a Yamaha Hi-Fi - is nice though.

Yep, DSP allows convolution filters, WAY more granularity than those old outdated analog slider things. I’ve never used those silly EQ presets either - they do absolutely nothing about room nodes, which Trueplay and other room correction systems are all about. 

@Corry P Got it thanks, I thought it to auto adjust the volume levels based on the sound levels in the room. Now there is a suggestion for Sonos that has merit:-).

You may benefit from creating your own system, then, rather than relying on some large corporation who has to make a profit and doesn’t have your specific needs at heart. 

@nik9669a

It's just because I want a wireless system and I want a system that works with the smartphone. Also I want the speakers to be small and I wanted them black (blackout). So Sonos was the one that interested me but I didn't check all the controls and settings possible before buying. I told myself that all the basic functionality should be there for the price. I believe that Bose does not have a mid-range as well, I find it unfortunate that year after year the user is made to fit into the cake mold and we always lose things for no reason. Normally the more possibilities there are the more interesting the product are, now nowadays it seems that it has become the norm to lighten things as much possible for average Joe.

Sonos is not a charity for the benefit of persons who self-identify as audiophiles. Sonos presumably includes features that enough Average Joes will value and use.

What you regard as 'basic functionality' is something I regard as useless at best. Let's just agree to differ. 

Not sure if it’s me, but I scrolled that user-review list/posts yesterday until I got fed up and then I searched all the posts on page for ‘Equalizer’ thinking that there might be some folk asking for that feature, but I couldn’t find a single post in the link provided🤔? I captured my search result of the scrolled pages (see attached). 

Most complaints there, seem to be more network related, but in fairness to the views expressed, there are many 4 & 5 star reviews from folk too who appear to love the App and their Sonos products.

It’s perhaps the old story of “…you can’t please all of the people all of the time”. 

Not one mention of ‘Equalizer’ however, perhaps that strongly ‘infers’ it’s not exactly a priority request from a majority of Sonos customers.

The very few calls I have seen around this topic, by users online, has been for EQ presets for different genres like Pop, Rock, Classical, Acoustic etc. In my own experience though when those presets are available most people seem to leave things switched off and just adjust their Bass and Treble.
So I guess that Sonos engineers may have much better things to do than create such features for such a tiny minority.

I’m sure Sonos may have the EQ development feature on a ‘to-do’ list somewhere, but as we all know they never (or very rarely) announce their intended development path anyway.

Being an audiophile for a long time, I notice that the qualities of the Sonos speakers are of great precision and of great quality.

And since you claim this, here is some constructive advice for you to take or discard. 

Sonos speakers are not tuned by Sonos to be any different than how the typical modern day home HiFi speaker is tuned in the design stage. All are meant to deliver a natural sounding mid range in the typical home albeit with a slightly boosted bass for the warmth that most listeners prefer, when the EQ controls are set to flat. This is different from how studio monitors are tuned for studio applications - these usually sound sterile/bass light in the home.

But all rooms are not alike, hence Sonos also provides the two EQ controls for tweaking, that are enough for most Sonos users, even for those that are familiar with very high end - read that as expensive - home audio equipment. Beyond that, there is Trueplay tuning, that can be turned off if you don’t agree with the Sonos opinion of how the speaker should sound in your room.

If none of this delivers what you want, there is something very unique about your room acoustics, or what you prefer as a sonic signature, and Sonos speakers are not for you. Nor will many modern day HiFi speakers be. And this situation will not change merely by the addition of a mid range control in the Sonos menu.

Unless, as I think you say elsewhere, you want the midrange slider just because the system in your car has it. In that case, you have to wait for Sonos to deliver it, or get another system that has it.

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@Kumar

Kumar, I don't understand why you are trying to ridicule the fact that I want a mid-range slide just because my car has one. Obviously you did not understand anything of my words which was simply to make you understand that having a 3 choice of adjustment is NORMALLY the basis of things as in all the other daily devices that I use and that all people use... I understand that Sonos does not want to elaborate on a precision equalizer to facilitate the user experience and I respect their choices, but Sonos should provide us a minimum of 3 sound adjustment slides as mentioned above...

@Thewizard2000   I’ve followed this thread, and your comments still leave me wondering: if Sonos has a feature missing, which is such an essential one to you, why buy Sonos products? There are so many hifi and audiophile products available and all the others of them that you’ve bought have at least 3 tone adjustments, except Sonos. Why get Sonos speakers?

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Couldn’t the OP just use the existing bass and treble sliders to reduce those frequencies, thereby increasing the midrange in comparison?

Couldn’t the OP just use the existing bass and treble sliders to reduce those frequencies, thereby increasing the midrange in comparison?

He could, if he was not so hung up on having a mid range slider just because his car has it.

Audiophiles - The Port needs to be bit-perfect or it’s useless to us audiophiles!

Also audiophiles - We need a 10+ band equalizer to tailor the sound to our preferences!

 

Also audiophiles - We need a 10+ band equalizer to tailor the sound to our preferences!

The direct opposite to the above lot are the audiophiles that disdain even the presence of tone controls on their preamps/amps because even when flat, the associated circuitry “corrupts” the virgin signal. So some amps even have a defeat switch to take that circuitry out of the signal path. A switch that is corruption free?:grin:

There are all kinds of audiophiles down the rabbit hole that they live in. They do serve a useful purpose though - their compulsive upgrading keeps up the supply side of the consequently excellent value used HiFi kit market.

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@John B , equalizers have been used all over the world for many years. It has nothing to do with music producers. Every room, every place, every type of speakers and music requires adjustments. A producer cannot create music that will perfect fit on all speakers around the world the first time, that's why the equalizer was invented (analog and digital). In this case, we are talking about digital with sonos we can not even adjust the MID freqences. This is the basis of music! Sonos sells us a Ferrari but we can't adjust the mirrors. Sonos turns a deaf ear to its customers, sad.
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@Airgetlam

A 10-band digital equalizer has absolutely nothing to do with audiophiles, it is a basic option that any sound system needs. Even all smart phones players have one, have a look in your android or apple music app.  I don't understand your reasoning of depriving hundreds of thousands of people of basic functionality just in case some don't know how to use it. Those who don't want to use it just don't have to enable it THAT’S IT!
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@nik9669a

It's just because I want a wireless system and I want a system that works with the smartphone. Also I want the speakers to be small and I wanted them black (blackout). So Sonos was the one that interested me but I didn't check all the controls and settings possible before buying. I told myself that all the basic functionality should be there for the price. I believe that Bose does not have a mid-range as well, I find it unfortunate that year after year the user is made to fit into the cake mold and we always lose things for no reason. Normally the more possibilities there are the more interesting the product are, now nowadays it seems that it has become the norm to lighten things as much possible for average Joe.
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@John B 

Just because it is a mass market system not mean that we have to do things in a sloppy way. I still paid 3k+ for this system, the basic functionalities must be found there, and customers must not always have to take the seller by the hand while making complaints, the seller must always go ahead customer expectations if it wants to ensure its future, not wait for complaints to pile up.

Please point me to the pile of complaints.