Delay compensation when used with AV receivers


When using the pre-outs of the ZonePlayer into a receiver or Pre/pro, and then having that unit process the signal in any way that requires digitizing the input, there is obviously a slight delay. Using the speaker outputs of the zoneplayer in an area close by results in the dreaded "echo" effect.

Most receivers (newer/better) have adjustable delay, but it doesn't do any good in this case, as the signal is already delayed too much.

If the zoneplayer had a programmable / adjustable delay for the speaker output only, you could utilize the built in amplifier (which is actually quite good, by my ears.)

This would be a VERY usefull addition.

- Thanks

Chris

144 replies

As already posted here I would suggest to add an adjustable delay to single zone players when linked with other zones.

I have a ZP80 with a Yamaha sound projector in my bedroom and another ZP80 in my bathroom connected to some active speakers.

The DSP of the sound projector produces an audible delay when both zones are linked. You can hear annoying echoes within both rooms.
I get the dreaded echo with my theater system (ZP80) that is close to the kitchen zone (amplified ZP120). My theater system has a lip sync adjustment (in milliseconds) to achieve proper lip sync, maybe Sonos could add an adjustable delay (per zone) to eliminate the echo from one zone to another. I know the reason it is happening is because it goes through my "system" before it goes out the speakers and the ZP120 is more direct, or maybe it's a wired VS wireless thing...at any rate, some user adjustable delay would solve the problem. As it sits right now It is so annoying that I cannot "party mode" the home theater.

Jon
jonvan,

Make sure that the SONOS Line-In encoding is set to "Uncompressed". This will minimize, not eliminate the delay. I expect that the kitchen SONOS system is delayed with respect to your home theater sound.

The delay cannot be reduced to zero because of the time required to digitize the Line-In and package it for transport over the network. Certainly, SONOS could add a variable delay function, but solving your problem would require reducing the delay and this is not practical.

Note that there will always be an acoustic delay since the speed of sound is finite at about one foot per second. This implies that you may be aware of a delay between the kitchen and the theater room with a kitchen speaker wired directly to the receiver. Midway between the rooms there will be no delay, but if you walk a speaker in either room, the other room will seem delayed.

You might be able to improve your situation if you make analog audio connections between the input devices and your home theater receiver, then ship the analog output to the ZP80. Now, the receiver's lipsync delay adjustment will work in your favor.

It is a bit contorted, but if your receiver provides a separate Record Out function or a Zone2 analog audio output, connect this to your ZP80's Line-In and connect the ZP80's Line-Out to one of the receiver's inputs. At this point you can select the audio input to the ZP80 using Rec Out or Zone2, link the ZP80 and the kitchen, then select the ZP80's Line-Out to play in the theater room.

Now, the kitchen and the ZP80 outputs will be synchronized. If there is a delay in the theater room, it is caused by the receiver. Some receivers provide a "direct" setting that will minimize the delay.
I think he knows all this Buzz, it's the receiver delay issue he was talking about.

Cheers,

Keith
Some home theater receivers offer a "direct" mode that skips the digitizers. In this mode, analog inputs will not be delayed by the receiver.
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Picking up this old thread but I think this should really be added. I'm puzzled so few have asked for it, especially since there are quite a few users of external DACs or other soundprocessors that add some delay to the signal and causing echos when in Party mode/multiple zones..

This made me sell my DAC (by a ZP 80s optical out) since we mostly listen in party mode but if I could delay Zone X and Y (2 ZP100) ms the problem would be solved IMHO.
Hi
It would be great to have an advanced menu option where you can delay the output of individual zones. I have a home cinema system which I use with a ZP80 and the processing that goes on inside delays the sound slightly compared to my other zones. This sounds awful in party mode. A setting to delay the other zones by an amount in milliseconds would solve this.
Dodgycurry,

Sometimes disabling the surround processing in the receiver will eliminate its delay.
I have tried all the settings, unfortunately it isn't possible to turn off processing and remove the delay. It would be a very useful thing if it could be an option in Sonos. Doesn't seem too hard to implement?
I use a Sonos system of four zones (2x ZP120, 1x ZP90, 1x S5). With the ZP90, I have connected an Onkyo TX-SR876 Surrond Receiver. When I use the various surround sound modes, the surround effect calculation of the receiver introduces a little playback delay (approx. 10-100 ms), which becomes clearly audible and distracting when the other zones are playing at the same time. In fact, I need to turn off all other zones when I listen music through my surround receiver.

Would it be possible to introduce a delay setting into the zone player software that would allow adjusting a playback delay manually per zone (on a millisecond scale)? This way, I could just set a little delay in all zone players except the ZP90 to make all zones synchronous.

Many Thanks!
Nick
One of my zone players (a ZP90) is connected to my suround sound AV receiver so in party mode I can play music through the surround sound system in the sitting room. However due to the signal processing carried out by AV receivers the sound lags by about 250-500ms that produced by the ZP120's. The delay makes it not possible to use it durring a party as the delay between the zones makes listening unpleasurable. I would like to be able to configure all the other ZP's to always have a delay of Xms (or even better to only have the delay when linked with any other zones). Which would enable the music to synchronise with the ZP90 in the Sitting room.
Hi I made the following feature request but it disapeared so I try again...

One of my zone players (a ZP90) is connected to my suround sound AV receiver so in party mode I can play music through the surround sound system in the sitting room. However due to the signal processing carried out by AV receivers the sound lags by about 250-500ms that produced by the ZP120's. The delay makes it not possible to use it durring a party as the delay between the zones makes listening unpleasurable. I would like to be able to configure all the other ZP's to always have a delay of Xms (or even better to only have the delay when linked with any other zones). Which would enable the music to synchronise with the ZP90 in the Sitting room.
Userlevel 2
+1

Really important and should be easy to implement on the software side?
I have the same issue too. I'd like to see a software configurable delay in each zoneplayer. Sonos seems to work very nicely with analogue equipment, but as soon as any equipment with digital processing is introduced, there is unacceptable delay.
I have read one or two comments in the forum regarding this, but here is my official feature request for it, and the reasoning why:

I currently have 5 zones at home, 2 S5's, 2 ZP90 and 1 ZP120.

One of the ZP90s is connected coax out into the living room AV receiver, the other zones are spread out across the place. For a long time I've enjoyed distributed music in perfect synch around the house, much to the amazement of my friends at parties.

I recently upgraded the AV receiver (from H/K AVR 354 to Yamaha RX-A3000) and find that the new one introduces a noticeable delay, around 30 ms from what I can tell. This is in the shortest, "purest" setting!

Now, as you can imagine, all the other zones play in synch but the main living room zone is about half a beat behind. And since it plays the loudest, it has ruined the experience completely.

I believe this will happen to others as well the moment they combine systems and use more advanced configs which introduce delay inherently in the processing.

So my feature request is:
Introduce a delay function for specific zones in order to manually compensate for secondary processing delays.

This could be a simple 1-100 ms setting in each ZP configuration. Or inversely specifying how much of a delay a specific zone introduces and have the others compensate whenever that zone is in a group with the others.

I believe the ZPs are already buffering internally in order to synchronize playout, so this should in theory be possible.

Thanks!
In all honesty, this is why I'll never buy a Kenwood receiver. They sound great, but they over do the DSP nonsense, and defaulting to a delay such as this is all part of that obsession with DSP's.
Bleh, the A3000 was at the top of my short list too :(

Back to the drawing board I guess.
Bleh, the A3000 was at the top of my short list too :(

Back to the drawing board I guess.


If I can help with the drawing, I've had great experiences with both Onkyo and Denon, and neither brand has a delay (or at least they have a "Direct" override mode).
[Mod note: This is a recurring topic in Sound Ideas. Six threads have been merged.]
[Mod note: This is a recurring topic in Sound Ideas. Six threads have been merged.]

Thanks for combining these. I also found a bunch of comments about it, but wanted to reiterate that it's an important feature request, especially as more and more people integrate their Sonos players into AV receivers combined with multiple zones.

Up to 100-150ms is more than enough for almost all cases, which uncompressed is only about 1-2 MB or so. I'm pretty sure the Sonos hardware can already buffer that much (or more) audio and with the advanced multi zone synch functions already inherent in Sonos it should be possible to implement this as a software update.

I think a "this zone delays: ___ ms" setting specific for a particular zone would be the most flexible method as it allows negotiation between the zones when grouping, including other zones which might also have processing delay of some kind.

All in all this problem has pretty much disabled my multi zone setup for now.

Thanks!

-- Rune

(As for the direct audio route, in the case of the RX-A3000 the "pure direct" mode disables speaker biamping and subwoofer so is pretty much useless to my config. In any case it doesn't completely eliminate delay!)
Userlevel 2
I agree to the feature request!

I'm using a ZP90 connected via (doesn't matter, tried everthing: optical, coax, analog) to my Yamaha 467, witch produces an delay in relation to a S5 in the same room, if i configure it to use the 5.1 system.

So i need to configure the S5 to intonate a few ms later then the ZP90. But as we know, i can't.

So please include this feature!
Userlevel 2
Yep you read that right! I want to deliberately offset some of my zones by a few seconds.

I have 4 zones and one plays via a ZP90 through a TV (yep I know horrid speakers but that's what it is doing for now). Trouble is the TV (a decent Sony) has a time delay in processing the audio and lags behind the other zones.

I want to be able to say this zone is running xxxx MS slow (give me a slider on the desktop app or an input box and I'll use trial and error to get it audibly close enough - if I can't hear the difference then that's good enough for me). and then use the buffering that each of the other zones already has built in to enable a tweak in the timings so they match.

The time difference is consistent so it should be fixable.

I bet I'm not the only person in the world running a ZP through something that has a delay in processing.

Please take pity on those of us Sonos users who don't have lovely amps 😃
Userlevel 2
+1 I have exact same setup and problem as nick
Userlevel 3
Yes, please. This is a mandatory feature for anyone running a ZP through a receiver or pre/pro, and then linking that ZP to one or more amped ZPs.

Using a "direct" mode works sometimes, but is usually not desirable, as it defeats bass management, room EQ, etc.

At present, it's just completely unworkable to link zones with any kind of external processor in the mix.
Userlevel 1
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Has there been any acknowledgement from Sonos on this topic? I just purchased 3 S5's a 120 and a 90 and the 90 is completely worthless. I'm using a YSP-4000 Sound Bar that provides the audio in my main room. Now I have a system that sounds amazing in the bedrooms, kitchen, yard and nothing in the living room. If every receiver has this same processing delay, why does Sonos even make the ZP90? Please add a delay option for the other zones.

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