Onkyo’s receivers will work with Sonos, thanks to upcoming June firmware update


Userlevel 5
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What a news!!!!

Thanks to a firmware update coming to a plethora of receivers from Onkyo and its brands — Integra, Pioneer, and Pioneer Elite — they will all work with the Sonos app. The official list of supported network AV, stereo receivers, and processors will be announced in early June along with the firmware update and availability.

This power move is the result of the “Works With Sonos” initiative, which allows third-party manufacturers like Onkyo to not only mimic a Sonos speaker but also interact via mixing or creating groups, syncing with the Sonos app without requiring a hub.

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/5/16/17362208/onkyo-receiver-sonos-app-integra-pioneer-elite

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25 replies

Userlevel 2
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Wow, so my Sonos Connect becomes redundant (?) Is now connected to my Onkyo receiver.
Userlevel 7
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I would imagine only work with newer high end models. So we will have to see how far it goes.
Userlevel 5
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Wow, so my Sonos Connect becomes redundant (?) Is now connected to my Onkyo receiver.

But it just seems you still need a Sonos Connect...
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Onkyo has announced its receivers will soon be able to controlled directly via the Sonos app -- but only when connected to a Sonos Connect unit -- as part of the new "Works with Sonos" certification.

Onkyo says select receivers from both Onkyo and Pioneer connected via Sonos' dongle will act as if they were one unit, following a firmware update on June 6. The specific models will be announced in the coming weeks.

The ability to control the Sonos directly removes the step of having to change the Onkyo receiver's input independently and also potentially enables the "zone" to be controlled via Alexa.

With a $350 ticket price for the Connect, however, this option is still out of the reach of most people -- especially when a Chromecast Audio dongle with much of the same functionality costs only $35. While Sonos' Playbar and Playbase alleviate AV compatibility a little, the company sorely needs an inexpensive dongle if it's to compete with Google's Chromecast built-in system.
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Full article here:
https://www.cnet.com/news/onkyo-now-works-with-sonos-but-still-need-a-sonos-connect/
Userlevel 7
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Don't know, but I am skeptical of this, specifically I mean that you can control a receiver through the Sonos app. It seems that there would be a lot of required features for controlling a receiver, some of which don't have anything to do with Sonos.

For example, if you have a receiver that has tv as input 1 and sonos as input 2...the Sonos app is going to enable you to switch to input 1? Maybe. Even then, to be really effective, input 1 needs to be labeled as 'tv'.

From a technical standpoint, I can definitely see why a connect would be required. Besides Sonos missing the sales, control is much less complicated than streaming and getting the audio in sync with other Sonos devices. I have no doubt that the connect isn't really a part of the control, certainly not through it's physical connection to the receivers. Therefore, the control must come through the app or other controller, or shared amongst the other sonos devices. If control is done by other Sonos devices, I would not be surprised if you have a Sonos One or other newer devices in your system in order to make this work.

As a side note, if Sonos can control the Onkyo receiver, and the receiver is taking in hdmi sources and sending it to the tv....could Sonos inform the receiver that it should be in a 'whole house mode' and introduce a delay on the video side in order to resolve any syncing issues? That would be a nice feature.
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Another thought, what if the ability to control Onkyo AVRs was enabled in the Sonos cloud, not just at the local system level? And then subsequently, what if some of these new features (whatever they are) were available through voice control, Alexa now and Google later?

Step back a bit further, Sonos is currently the only product listed as Speakers compatible with Alexa. I'm sure you can do voice control of other speakers, but I think it's fair to say that Sonos is ahead of the game in this area. What if Sonos is trying to leverage their current position to become sort of gateway between voice control and any AV system, not just their own whole house system? Instead of Onkyo, building their own interface with Amazon and Google , setting up their cloud servers, and so on, they just work through Sonos?

I could be way off on this, but it does seem that if your going to do receiver control through the app, you should do voice control as well if at all possible. I also thinks this fits with photo we've seen for Sonos June 6th announcement. If Sonos is planning to be the gateway for AV control, it certainly would mean getting rid of all your remotes. I also think that could very well be a good reason for a public offering.

I also think that could mean that the upcoming hardware product may not be a sort of superconnect like we hoped. It may me more of an upgrade to existing connect with a mic built in and the extra horsepower needed to manage and control AV equipment.

Again, completely speculating....
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And me again...

Onkyo has this up on their own website. Feels better to hear it straight from them.

https://www.onkyousa.com/sonos/?utm_source=Onkyo+Subscribers&utm_campaign=f085e73beb-EMAIL_Sonos+Announcement&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae1ad0e3c-f085e73beb-229215061&mc_cid=f085e73beb&mc_eid=ef2cfc7f0a

The key statement to me is "After a simple set up, your Onkyo receiver will seamlessly tie into Sonos, instantly waking, changing inputs and playing at the volume you command through the familiar Sonos app." I would hope that is also means you'll be able to wake, play sonos audio, and volume control through Alexa, since this is available for a sonos zone right now.
Userlevel 2
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your Onkyo receiver will seamlessly tie into Sonos, instantly waking, changing inputs and playing at the volume you command through the familiar Sonos app.

Instant waking & input change is a big step forward imho, this was all manual until now. I`m wondering if this will work for all of the 3 lines (optical, coaxial, rca).
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Not sure what you mean Eddie. I don't think it really matters how your Connect is setup with the receiver. Those lines aren't capable of sending control commands, and the receivers this will work will have to be wifi enabled. So I'm sure the control commands are going to be through wifi (or Ethernet as the case may be). I'm not even sure that the Connect will be that involved in the process of commands at all. I would not be too surprised if we are later told that you also need to have a Sonos One or something to make it all work. I really hope not, but wouldn't be too surprised.

I will think you'll need a connect though, at least for existing receivers for it to work in the sense that it's the only way you could establish a sonos zone for your receiver. A lot of the functions won't mean anything changes on the connect, such as switching the receiver's input from bluray to cable or something, or volume when the input isn't sonos. However it still needs to be a zone, I'm sure.

Maybe in the future, Sonos will allow Onkyo to create a receiver that acts a Sonos zone all by itself. I am doubtful of this, but it's possible. One thing for sure though, Onkyo could opt to let Sonos handle all of its streaming (including local network music files) and voice control needs be handled through Sonos with future receiver versions.
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Sorry Melvimbe, I wasn`t clear I realize. I`m using a Sonos Connect that is connected to a recent model Onkyo via coaxial digital cable. I`m using this with great pleasure in the Sonos ecosystem but need to power on the Onkyo manually, select the right (coaxial digital = Sonos) input manually and ready to play. The way I read the new Onkyo software update from your earlier post, is that both (wake up and go to coaxial digital input) are triggered by playing to the Sonos Connect via Sonos App.

So to me that is a step forward free of charge if this is true. My first euphoric reaction :P:P was that I could use the Sonos Connect elsewhere since my Onkyo will take over fully but that is not going to be the case I learned now.
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Sorry Melvimbe, I wasn`t clear I realize. I`m using a Sonos Connect that is connected to a recent model Onkyo via coaxial digital cable. I`m using this with great pleasure in the Sonos ecosystem but need to power on the Onkyo manually, select the right (coaxial digital = Sonos) input manually and ready to play. The way I read the new Onkyo software update from your earlier post, is that both (wake up and go to coaxial digital input) are triggered by playing to the Sonos Connect via Sonos App.


Yep, that's the way I read it as well. I do not have that sort of setup at the moment, but I used to, and having to turn on the receiver and switch inputs was rather annoying. It's one of the big reasons why I don't use that setup anymore. I even still have 2 connects I don't use anymore, because I didn't listen to music that frequently in those zones, and I couldn't be bothered to make the switches. I might very well bring the connects out of retirement because of this.
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This I grabbed from the link from the Onkyo website you`ve posted Melvimbe:


"Whenever you start playing music back from your Sonos app and the Onkyo receiver is selected the receiver will automatically turn on and/or switch to the correct input"


so that is promising, let`s see
Sounds good, even if I have this now via the Harmony Hub, which works with Alexa too. I just say "Alexa, turn on Sonos" and the Onkyo starts up, switches to CD input, and the Harmony switches to Sonos controls. But I imagine I will fool around with the native Onkyo support too.
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This is great for me, assuming my receiver (NR646) is apart of the firmware update. I alreayd have a Connect hooked to it. The problem of course is that whenever I want to turn on the living room sonos,I have to turn on the reciever, set the input, and fiddle with teh volume. This will make it was easier hopefully to just control it from the app as if it was another Play 3 or Play5.
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Same here Parafly, also with an NR646 wich is a 2015 model, so fingers crossed.The update to DTS Neural X worked fine so this one should be piece of cake 🙂
A little confused; I thought that having the receiver do an auto turn on will need trigger hardware and not just a firmware update. IF I am correct, then I also don't understand what is being offered that isn't already there with any receiver that has line in jacks, using a Connect.
I'd imagine the receiver would have to be connected to the network via Wifi/Ethernet and that Sonos can trigger it that way, also control the volume etc..
Time will tell; I believe that getting a receiver out of standby mode in response to signal detection anywhere in it needs a hardware trigger to be present and not just a firmware change, but I could be wrong.
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A little confused; I thought that having the receiver do an auto turn on will need trigger hardware and not just a firmware update. IF I am correct, then I also don't understand what is being offered that isn't already there with any receiver that has line in jacks, using a Connect.

That was also my initial thought when I bought Sonos Connect. Doesn`t work. The wake up & auto input selection seems only to work over HDMI (CEC). My Onkyo is Ethernet connected and I can wake it up through the Onkyo App and also select Sonos Connect/Coaxial digital input over the Onkyo App and then play music through Sonos. So that makes the Onkyo App more or less take over the remote control functionality, nothing more, nothing less. So both powering on and selecting input are necessary steps at this time to play through Sonos Connect which should be solved by the update (I hope).
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I'd imagine the receiver would have to be connected to the network via Wifi/Ethernet and that Sonos can trigger it that way, also control the volume etc..

I would not be surprised if this is the way they approached this, over the network.
Time will tell; I believe that getting a receiver out of standby mode in response to signal detection anywhere in it needs a hardware trigger to be present and not just a firmware change, but I could be wrong.

There are no hardware triggers for Onkyo receivers. You must turn them on via the remote or the standby button. I would imagine the Works with Sonos API has control commands that go from from Sonos to the receiver to switch it out of standby, switch inputs, and control volume via the network connection. Similar to the Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) for HDMI that sends control commands over HDMI connections, except Works with Sonos sends them over the network connection.
Works with Sonos sends them over the network connection.
So, not via the line in autoplay feature; will the wired line in be eliminated then, with music signals also passing wirelessly?
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That was also my initial thought when I bought Sonos Connect. Doesn`t work. The wake up & auto input selection seems only to work over HDMI (CEC). My Onkyo is Ethernet connected and I can wake it up through the Onkyo App and also select Sonos Connect/Coaxial digital input over the Onkyo App and then play music through Sonos. So that makes the Onkyo App more or less take over the remote control functionality, nothing more, nothing less. So both powering on and selecting input are necessary steps at this time to play through Sonos Connect which should be solved by the update (I hope).


My guess is that any receiver that can be controlled through the Onkyo app will also be controllable through the Sonos app. I'm sure there are some different protocols involved, but it's pretty much the same process for control. What would disappointing is the method of control for Sonos requires that your Onkyo app be running in the background. In other words, Sonos doesn't talk to your receiver directly, but through the existin Onkyo app. That would be ok in a lot of situations, could cause some automation processes to fail, if your phone isn't on the wifi and connected.

I hadn't thought about the possibility of waking the receiver through RCA inputs. I know Sonos does this, but I wasn't aware of it as something other AV equipment does. I really doubt that's going to be used though, as it seems like the major requirement for recievers is to have access to wifi.

Although I have 2 connects that I never use and decided to hold onto, so it doesn't effect me, I am hoping that the CONNECT has a price drop soon, I would think that the price of the connect is going to keep a lot of consumers from adding on Sonos to their receiver purchase, especially when they aren't existing Sonos customers. But if the device is around $150 (the price of PLAY:1), then I can see customers really tempted since you're going to access to all that streaming, good app control, AND potentially voice control. I can also see a slight price drop on the receivers too, since they don't need to have streaming access built in anymore.
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Works with Sonos sends them over the network connection.
So, not via the line in autoplay feature; will the wired line in be eliminated then, with music signals also passing wirelessly?


According to the Onkyo website, it specifically states that RCA wires will be required. So no, the audio will not pass wireless. That is to be expected though, as sending the audio wireless would surely require more dev work and hardware requirements, not to mention exposing/sharing some of Sonos multiroom tech to Onkyo.
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According to the Onkyo website, it specifically states that RCA wires will be required. So no, the audio will not pass wireless.

Agree that the audio will need the cable from Sonos Connect out to the line in of the Onkyo but I think (and hope :8) that this will not be limited to the RCA but also applies to the SPDIF outputs (coaxial & optical) of the Sonos Connect. I assume the website is only mentioning RCA because Sonos provides this cable with the Connect. And...I never got any coaxial or optical cable from them with my Connect. 😃
Works with Sonos sends them over the network connection.
So, not via the line in autoplay feature; will the wired line in be eliminated then, with music signals also passing wirelessly?


No. The music sources will remain as is, the control commands will be sent over the network connection, just like they are now from the controller to the Connect. The Works with Sonos API will route the ones meant for Onkyo to the Onkyo and the Onkyo will translate perform them just as if the Onkyo app sent them.