Answered

Will Sonos support higher quality hi res music?

  • 18 June 2020
  • 9 replies
  • 974 views

I’m building my hi res music collection and am wondering if it’s worth the pursue 24bit/96khz quality. Currently Sonos can support up to 24bit/48kHz. However, with the release of S2, people are saying S2 shows the possibility of hi res music support.

 

Is Sonos planning to support higher khz with S2?

icon

Best answer by Ryan S 18 June 2020, 20:19

View original

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

9 replies

Userlevel 1

I wouldn’t be too concerned about that until humans have been upgraded to support higher bit rates.

Userlevel 7
Badge +26

S2 added the ability to support 24bit/48kHz resolution audio. I’ll share your request with the team to expand support, but there are no plans for that I can let you in on right now. Thanks for asking!

I have high resolution source files that come out as noise on my Sonos S2 unless I specially down convert them.  I don’t need to do that for playback on my Apple devices.  If Sonos hardware can’t support the higher sampling rates, at least have the software down-sample so the music plays and the end user doesn’t have to down-sample by hand.  Generating noise and making the customer change their music or keep multiple copies is just a bad experience.

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

The problem isn’t just the Sonos hardware, you also have to consider the WiFi connection. The higher the music resolution the more bytes need sent over the air. In WiFi congested areas Sonos has problems even getting what we have now delivered. 

If you don’t use a lot of WiFi data and neither do your close neighbors then WiFi is great. If they do, particularly things like baby monitors, your open WiFi space suddenly isn’t so open.

The problem isn’t just the Sonos hardware, you also have to consider the WiFi connection.

Which makes the suggestion in the @evan123456 post a worthy one - downsample Hi Res music on the fly and it will sound just as good without hogging WiFi bandwidth.

When I suggested this some years ago, the purists said that doing this every time is a waste of resources, and it is better to downsample once and use those files thereafter. But for many, this is a dark art, and even for those that know how to do this, multiple copies are another chore.

If I remember right, Sonos had themselves suggested that they may take this downsampling on the fly path in the future.

But six months after S2 release, still subjecting Hi Res fans to “generating noise” seems strange. I would have thought that Hi Res will be an immediate visible “gain” from S2 for those that have been clamouring for Hi Res. So six months on, there is still nothing value added for those that upgraded/moved to S2.

The problem isn’t just the Sonos hardware, you also have to consider the WiFi connection. The higher the music resolution the more bytes need sent over the air. In WiFi congested areas Sonos has problems even getting what we have now delivered. 

If you don’t use a lot of WiFi data and neither do your close neighbors then WiFi is great. If they do, particularly things like baby monitors, your open WiFi space suddenly isn’t so open.

Hi Stanley — at 24bit/88.2kHz ALAC stereo is only around 2.5Mbps.  In any case, nothing prevents you from pre-down sampling your music if your network cannot reliably handle double current requirement (to accept double current sampling rate).

So six months on, there is still nothing value added for those that upgraded/moved to S2.

Yes, considering how long they had to plan for this, how much disruption and ill-feeling this has caused and the cost to customers with legacy kit to wish to stay current, I’m amazed how little true value has been added so far. There  doesn’t seem to be a ‘must have’ facility in S2. In some respects, due to factors outside their control like TuneIn, the Sonos experience is worse than it used to be - on any version of the software.

I’m not currently planning on ‘upgrading’, but if I were I’d want to see some major benefit from doing so.

 

I’m not currently planning on ‘upgrading’, but if I were I’d want to see some major benefit from doing so.

I am firmly in S1 - because I don't subscribe to Hi Res is one reason. The other reason is that I don't think that for audio in general, there is anything to be done to improve sound quality that hasn't been done since digital came in decades ago. Nor did Sonos do anything since 2011 when I bought into it. What can be done is more features/easier access to music and Echo and similar now do those things at least as well as Sonos, so all I need is for my line in jacks on Sonos to keep working in S1.

Which leaves Hi Res as the only “worthwhile” benefit of S2 for Sonos audio users and Sonos seems to be sleeping on that - so one has to think that the May event hoopla was only to get a sales bump. 

It is possible that S2 will offer a lot in future to the HT/TV experience, where the audio experience that is part of it has probably not plateaued as it has for pure audio. I don't know much about that side of things.

It is possible that S2 will offer a lot in future to the HT/TV experience, where the audio experience that is part of it has probably not plateaued as it has for pure audio. I don't know much about that side of things.

Me neither… I have a home AV system which handles a number of devices perfectly, so don’t see the attraction of the Sonos AV offerings.