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

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144 replies

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.
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
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!
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
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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.
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?
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.
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.
[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 picked up a Play:5 yesterday to add to my Connect hooked up to my Yamaha YSP sound bar. What an incredible disappointment to hear the out of sync music in party mode when I played it with all my guests over. How is a configurable delay not a feature a feature yet? Only enable it when there is a Connect in the network if you have to Sonos. Come on!!

The Play:5 is going back to the big box store until Sonos adds a feature to fix the out of sync issues.
hokieperogi,

Was the YAMAHA ahead or behind the SONOS?
Userlevel 3
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I previously anticipated having to listen via my CONNECT (ZP90) analogue output when linking adjacent zones to avoid the dreaded echo effect arising.

My CONNECT (ZonePlayer 90) is connected to my new Yamaha RX-A1010 AV Receiver by digital optical cable. A suggestion from Sonos Technical Support yesterday prompted me to actually try this out yesterday. I followed their advice and also ran in an analogue stereo RCA pair to a second (unused) audio input on the Yamaha amplifier. Selecting this input instead of the previous digital one virtually cures the problem. There is a tiny hint of echo, but I suspect this will not be apparent when linked ZPs are in their final locations. That is adjacent rooms, rather than 2xZPs in the same room as at present for testing. In any case this trace can be completely eliminated by switching the AV Receiver to 'Pure Direct'. This action removes all downstream DSP etc, and basically sends the incoming analogue audio straight through to the amps. So my final compromise will be to use the Yamaha's DAC for quality listening in my Living Room only, and revert to analogue for linked zones listening downstairs during parties and so on. As I have typed this, I have been listening to KBPK, and it sounds just fine.

Not a perfect solution, I still think Sonos should accept that a fair number of customers want to have at least one better quality zone and include an adjustment option in the software to eliminate the resultant echo. Hope this workaround is of interest to OP.
Userlevel 3
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This post is based on one relating to the use of headphones, but as it is even more relevant to delay compensation, I have repeated the bones of it here too!

I now have a Teac UD-H01 USB DAC, having waited patiently for some months as it is a new product here. Purchased to provide a headphone outlet c/w volume level control to listen to my Sonos using my Bose QuietComfort 3 Noise-Cancelling Headphones, it serves that purpose very well when driven by the relevant ZP90's digital optical or coaxial o/p. Audio quality is excellent, with a warm bass that I find to my taste.

At my hifi vendor's suggestion, I also fed its output via an analogue stereo pair into my new Yamaha RX-A1010 AV Receiver, and was delighted to find the Teac DAC is not far removed from results I had last year with a Wyred4Sound Cullen modified ZP90. Although AQ was terrific, I did not keep the W4S model, because I had wireless issues and felt it ran too hot for comfort.

But of much more significance is that if this {ZP90-->UD-H01-->RX-A1010} zone is now linked with a ZP120 zone (currently they are both in the same room for experimentation), there is no perceptible timing difference between these two zones. And therefore no echo as reported elsewhere on this forum.

This avoids me having to run the optical cable of my last post from ZP90 to RX-A1010 for "quality listening", with a separate analogue stero pair to a second input on the amp to avoid the very obvious delay through the Yamaha box when "linked zones listening" is happening. While this latter solution certainly fixed the echo, it's a messy solution. Now one connection under the floor for both purposes, and using the Teac DAC for both! Neat.

This finding may offer a solution to OP suffering from this irritating problem. While Sonos may eventually implement a variable delay feature through software, I would not bank on it. This inexpensive wee box is well worth the outlay IMHO.
Userlevel 2
+ 1 for me!

@all:
I am will shortly replace my 20 years old Onkyo stereo amp (behind a zp90) with a new av receiver. Would like to buy again an Onkyo device.
Does anybody know if this problem exists with the new Onkyos? Is there a pure/stereo mode which is working without delay?

Thanks a million! :)
ozone
I've owned 3 Onkyos, the latest a 607 model. None of them have shown any delay using Sonos. I know there are newer models out now, but Onkyo seems to have a good track record with their DSP modes. In any event, all the Onkyo's I've used have a pass thru or "pure" mode that allows you to bypass any DSP modes.
Userlevel 2
I've owned 3 Onkyos, the latest a 607 model. None of them have shown any delay using Sonos. I know there are newer models out now, but Onkyo seems to have a good track record with their DSP modes. In any event, all the Onkyo's I've used have a pass thru or "pure" mode that allows you to bypass any DSP modes.

Thanks jgatie! Really appreciate it! ;)
I`m thinking about the Onkyo TX-NR809….
Userlevel 2
+ 1 for me too!
I've got just two ZP80, one in my living room, connected to a Home Theater (Philips HTS3251/12), and the second in my bedroom connected to a pretty old stereo system.
Home theater add some delay and unfortunately it is not possible to remove it completely, old creepy stereo add just nothing.
I need to close doors when party mode is selected in order to avoid a really unpleasant echo, quite a nonsense during party... ;)

I'd like to buy a new Play:3 for the kitchen, that is close to the living room, but I will not do it before this feature will be available: it would sound horrible without this missing feature.

Is there any prediction from Sonos regarding the user-definable delay feature?

Thank you in advance for any response. 🙂
Userlevel 1
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+1

Just about picked up a "Connect" this weekend at my local BB to add my HT as a "zone", but stumbled upon this thread while reading up on the subwoofer. Now I'm glad I did not.

Here's hoping they add this functionality.
+1

Just about picked up a "Connect" this weekend at my local BB to add my HT as a "zone", but stumbled upon this thread while reading up on the subwoofer. Now I'm glad I did not.

Here's hoping they add this functionality.


Not all A/V receivers have a delay. I have an Onkyo that has no delay at all, and many receivers have a "direct" setting that bypasses any delay.
Userlevel 2
+1 for me too. my two sonos zp90s are connected to an av amp in the living room and a stereo in the kitchen and i can't listen to the same song at the same time on both because of the delay coming from the living room. sounds awful. surely adding an adjustable delay to the controller wouldn't be too complicated?
+ 1 from me!

I have the issue that my AV receiver connected to my Connect introduces a slight delay of a few milliseconds. Unfortunately, my amp does not have the option to allow a direct passthrough without any processing. Thus, I would be really happy if Sonos introduced the option to adjust room specific delays that would help compensate for the amp processing.
Userlevel 2
Can't believe there is no option in Sonos to adjust delay comp. I just switched from a squeezebox setup where you can adjust delay caused by dac and other audio processing to remove echo from zones.

Really hope this is implemented in the future
Userlevel 2
I have a Zp90 sending coax to my reciever (onkyo 805) in livingroom and a wireless play3 in the next room. The reciever makes a delay of 50-80 ms delay to the signal,so the rooms don't play in sync. I wish I could go to setup and choose/add a 80 ms (adjustable to what you need) delay to the play3 (or whatever you are using),so the rooms would play in sync!