Audio Delay But not the Norm

  • 2 November 2022
  • 5 replies

Ok SO I am an Avid Sonos User. I have a house with 3 Beams, 5 Subs, Six Fives, Four Ones, An Amp and a Port. I also have a High Output DJ system in my theater area. My question is my basement/theater area has a beam, Sub and 3 fives. The Fives are not setup as surrounds. When the theater is in use I have a beam and sub as my main TV sounds but from time to time I have a port that uses my DJ equipment as an input and outputs to a mixer with a mic that also runs to two 15” Active Ev Speakers and an 18” Ev Sub. Yes, I like it loud. So the issue I am having, and curious to see if there is a workaround for, is a delay. Sometimes I use the port to stream the TV audio to the PA setup for a very loud movie experience. But there is a delay. It seems to be more than the app is able to compensate for using the various delay correction options. I am trying to figure out where the source of the delay is coming from. The TV is connected to the Beam Via ARC. There is no DSP in the Mixer or the PA speakers. I have heard if I can get the TV audio outs to the Port and then group the others with the port, the delay would be eliminated. That is not really feasible without relocating the Port somewhere else and running RCAs out of the TV to the new location of the port. Is this the only way? I know its a bizarre set up but maybe someone else has had a similar set up and had success resolving the delay issue. 

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5 replies

The delay is dependent on the type input being used, and what extra “rooms” are associated.

The standard Sonos analog line in has a built in latency of around 75ms. This is so Sonos can ‘buffer’ the signal so that it can be played across any additional rooms involved. There’s likely other things going on here, but I’m going to stick with the buffer aspect, as that’s easiest to comprehend. This delay also occurs with streaming, it’s just not visible to you, since you’re not hearing the stream as it comes in to the Sonos, just the output. 

The digital inputs (optical or HDMI ARC/eARC) have a lower latency built in. I’ve never seen the number there, but they play in that one room, with a Sub and Surrounds, in lowest latency mode, in order to be (lip) synched with the video being played. However, once you add any additional “rooms”, the system automatically takes that signal, adds the approximate 75ms delay to it, so that it can be played in all the other rooms in sync. The original room (the one with the digital input) is on the shorter delay, but all grouped rooms have the added delay so that Sonos can ‘buffer’ that signal so that it can be in sync elsewhere. 

It sounds like your connect is TV  to Beam (via ARC) to Port (via Sonos grouping) to DJ equipment (via analog out on the Port)?


If that’s the case the delay is between Beam and Port.  The Beam will play the audio immediate to stay in sync with the TV.  The grouping with Port is buffered to minimize drop outs and usually isn’t concerned with playing in sync with the Beam/TV, as it’s expected to be in a different room.  You can add delay on the Beam audio to help, but that will be further out of sync with TV video.

If you connect TV directly to the Port, you’ll still have delay as the Port is not designed to play immediately to match TV.  It’s always buffering the audio to avoid wireless audio dropouts.

There isn’t really a good alternative using Sonos equipment.  It’s primarily a wireless audio system and you can mix and match it with other speakers in the same room effectively in many cases. I would probably look at connecting the TV directly to the DJ equipment for the times you want to use the Ev speakers.

And yes, I repeated a lot of what Bruce said.



Thank you guys. Was hoping for better news but all hope is not lost. If I run TV outs directly to the mixer (which then sends output to the mains being the EVS), do we think that they will be in Sync with the Beam and Sub at least? That is relatively a simple job as its only one set of RCAs L+R to the tape inputs on the mixer. If that puts it close to the Sync of the Beam, Port and TV, I can live with that. I do like having the Port in the Mix because I can send the outs of the DJ equipment to the inputs of the Port and have it playing throughout the house if I am having a party or something. Unfortunately due to years of clubs, my hearing is kinda bunk so I am not an “audiophile” by any stretch. But I love earth shaking bass and loud DBs. :)

That depends on the TV set, and whether it sends audio out synchronized between the analog and the digital outputs. It should be close, at the least, but whether it’s exact, you’d have to test. 

There’s a reason why Sonos doesn’t advertise their equipment for DJ use. It unfortunate, they’re great sounding speakers, but the hoops to jump through are just too many.  

When I run the Port outs to the mixer/PAs (while having music playing the “everywhere” group) I do not recall  hearing the delay when streaming from any of my Audio Streaming services. This would have sound coming form Sonos speakers and the PA system at the same time.  It could be because the PAS are so much louder than the Sonos Speakers but I do not remember my internal brain complaining as when I experience the delay problem while watching TV,  I will do some more testing to see if there is a delay but from memory nothing is jumping out at me. Maybe it is the latency when the source of the sound is the TV/beam, and not the Sonos music service? This is probably why the resolution would be either to get the TV source directly to the Port and then group from there OR have the TV audio sent right to the Mixer and then to the PAS. If I go the second route I am thinking I will still have a delay issue between the beam/sub and the other Fives in the basement area yes? I have other support TVS in the basement/game room but I have not yet branched a singular video feed to the support TVS from the theater TV which I plan to use as the master video source. Its on the TODO list but you know how that goes. I feel like I may have answered my own question here but I think the solution is run the TV outs to the Port and group from there. This way all the speakers in the Basement will be in Sync with the theater TV. It will also pre solve an issue once I use an HDMI splitter and send video to the other TVs from the Master Video TV which would be the theater TV that has the Beam and Sub on it. My goal is  to have the same video source playing on all the TVS along with the same audio playing from to all the speakers including the PAs if I desire. I will probably ad another AMP to the system and ceiling mount something for rear surrounds in the theater but that is also a later project. I could stick two fives up there too I guess.