I Want Earphones

  • 16 February 2020
  • 18 replies
  • 345 views

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I have a huge investment in Sonos, with a playbar, a boost, a play 5 (2nd gen), 2 play 3s, a one, 4 play 1s, 2 connect amps, a connect, and now a move.  I absolutely LOVE the ability to move around the house and have the same thing playing in all or any rooms, or different things playing in various rooms.  Unfortunately, not all the people in my household appreciate music as much as I do, and often balk at anything playing anywhere at all.  I would rather get rid of some of them before any of my Sonos gear, but alas, this is not an option.  I also have a huge investment, including time, in my music library, and all geared towards use with Sonos.  If I can’t listen to Sonos at times due to others being home and not wanting to hear it, my music enjoyment is then sharply limited to what I have stored in my phone and through crappy earphones, which I would rather not wear at all.

Now, with the advent of the Move, it would seem that all the elements are there for Sonos to apply that technology to a pair of decent ear or headphones.  A move like this for Sonos would complete my Sonos experience and I couldn’t ask for anything more from them.  I am sure this applies to a lot of folks.

I implore you Sonos to make this sort of private listening available to Sonos devotees like myself.

PLEASE !?*&


18 replies

Yes, count me in for this suggestion... +1.

I would like to be able to play all the audio sources I currently have available within the Sonos App, including TV audio, to a nice pair of rechargeable Sonos wireless headphones.

The ability to 'group' headphones, as another Sonos Room for TV-gaming etc; would be great also.

Hi. This has often  been requested, but it is hard to see the logic. What you need is a set of non-crappy headphones. If you want to involve Sonos (although questionable you need to) then a Bluetooth base station and headphones connected to a Port will do it.

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Hard for you to see the logic, not me.  I thought I explained my logic pretty well.  By your logic there’s not much need for the Move either, but it is a great addition.  The SAME functionality in the move would be great in a pair of decent head or earphones.  It seems like having developed the Move, it would be a short step to apply the same functionality to a set of decent head or earphones.

I meant the commercial logic, given that this is already achievable.

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If it were available, I think people would buy it.  That is the commercial logic.  Other solutions put nothing in Sonos’ pocket.

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By the way, I have a bluetooth base station and earphones, and it is a lackluster solution at best.  I did that to enable earphones for hard of hearing use with the TV, but the bluetooth delay renders it all but useless.  I want a seamless solution like the Move with the sound quality Sonos is famous for.

My own thoughts are that Sonos headphones would need to be be able to use the 5ghz wireless band to 'group’ (not bond) with a Sonos HT device for gaming and TV lip-sync purposes .. it would mean a change to the way room-grouping works now in Sonos, which uses the slower 2.4ghz band and a 75ms audio buffer  .. so I think there is a possibility we may see something innovative in this area, at some stage in the future, as the Bluetooth connected product is not likely to achieve TV listening and Gaming in perfect lip-sync via a headset.

If Sonos can achieve the suggested outcome over the 5ghz band, with negligible delay, I would pay the added cost to have those features available within my Sonos household.

If I was just looking to play music over headphones though, where video lip-sync is not ever an issue, I agree with John B. An apt-x HD low latency line-out audio transmitter and compatible decent Bluetooth headset would be far cheaper and achieve a standard of music audio that I would be happy to listen to.

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I’m not just looking to play music over headphones though.  I want to be able to listen through headphones in the same way other zones are used.  That is, not having to jump through ANY other hoops if I want to add headphones to other rooms that are playing, or stop all other rooms from playing except the headphones with no interruption or change in what is playing.  I believe that would require wireless and not bluetooth.  Again, if the Move can do it, why not headphones?

Off the top of your head, what would the approximate cost be of your and John’s solution (which only addresses bluetooth)?  I’d rather give my money to Sonos.

I still remember this verge media report from a year ago that was talked about here in the community (see link below)...

https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/24/18195947/sonos-headphones-in-development-high-end-first-pair

 

My own thoughts are that such headphones would need to be able to lip-sync with Sonos HT (A/V) products, aswell as play music with general Sonos speakers to give them the edge over the mentioned cheaper options available via line-in.

 

I reckon to achieve such things however, will not be as easy as some may think.

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Thank you Ken.  I wasn’t aware of this, and hopefully the report is true.  If so maybe we’ll have them soon, as it has been over a year.  As one commenter to that article said, “If multiple people can watch TV using the headphones with zero latency, then I’d drop $500 a pair without hesitation.”

A Bluetooth low latency codec such as aptX Low Latency (now essentially superseded by aptX Adaptive) is designed for video watching. Latency is around 30-40ms, similar to Sonos HT products.

aptX HD is not intended for such usage. Its purpose is to maximise quality. Latency is around 150ms. 

For near-zero latency you’d need proprietary wireless, which could actually also be lossless, such as with the Sennheiser RS series.

I’m not just looking to play music over headphones though.  I want to be able to listen through headphones in the same way other zones are used.  That is, not having to jump through ANY other hoops if I want to add headphones to other rooms that are playing, or stop all other rooms from playing except the headphones with no interruption or change in what is playing.  I believe that would require wireless and not bluetooth.  Again, if the Move can do it, why not headphones?

Off the top of your head, what would the approximate cost be of your and John’s solution (which only addresses bluetooth)?  I’d rather give my money to Sonos.

If you have both a Sonos Move and a Sonos  Home Theatre device and you ‘group them’ in the Sonos App to play TV audio, you will hear the audio delay/echo and see the video lip-sync issues on screen, if you then mute the HT device and particularly if you’re playing a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio source.
 

Those sync issues would need to be addressed with Sonos headphones, otherwise John B is possibly correct that folk will otherwise choose to go with the cheaper option, which is likely to cost perhaps a third of the price at least. That would be my initial guess.

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Thanks for the really informative responses.  I’m still curious though if these other hi-tech solutions would be as seamless as I desire.  I am relatively tech savvy (nowhere near as knowledgeable as you guys) and can deal with many of these issues.  However, I have people in my household that can’t even use your typical remote, and literally make an effort to not even want to learn.  If I had earphones that worked like all other zones and through the Sonos app, I would be a happy man!

Thanks for the really informative responses.  I’m still curious though if these other hi-tech solutions would be as seamless as I desire.  I am relatively tech savvy (nowhere near as knowledgeable as you guys) and can deal with many of these issues.  However, I have people in my household that can’t even use your typical remote, and literally make an effort to not even want to learn.  If I had earphones that worked like all other zones and through the Sonos app, I would be a happy man!

If, like me, you want full wireless headphone  integration with Sonos devices, then I would wait to see if the verge article turns out to be true and maybe see what Sonos may do this year. It’s really anyone’s guess 
 

Nothing to stop you in the meantime  however from using a cheap interim solution with a line-out connected Bluetooth aptX HD LL transmitter ...and compatible headphones.

i currently use this Bluetooth transmitter/receiver which plays to two receiving devices at the same time and supports optical connections and is rechargeable too. It’s just cheap and cheerful however.

BT Receiver/Transmitter

 

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Beautiful!  Thank you  :)

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If you want seamless stereo headphones get a Play 5 Gen 1 that includes a headphone jack. Not the Gen 2 that doesn’t have one.

If you want to hack about a bit and don’t mind mono maybe open up an IKEA speaker?

 

As a possibly better alternative I think Amazon sells “Free to a good home.” T-shirts in various sizes.

Nothing to stop you in the meantime  however from using a cheap interim solution with a line-out connected Bluetooth aptX HD LL transmitter ...and compatible headphones.

Use an Avantree Oasis Plus for longer range. I have one, hooked to a Port via coax-optical converter, which covers pretty much the whole house. Also, you can use any wired ear/headphones in conjunction with a compatible receiver such as Avantree AS70.

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