Line-In Latency/Delay Disable PLAY:5



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I have already resolved he issue of 32 devices in a local environment through two subnets in the worst case scenario, that is not a hurdle, I am already reviewing others do not worry about that
For the record you'd not need two subnets, just more than one Sonos system ('household'). Multiple systems can occupy a single subnet.
Sonos will certainly lose some business by not meeting this need. Just as they lose some by not supporting Bluetooth. Or Airplay. Or hires audio.

But overall the company succeeds by focusing all its efforts on being best at what it does, I.e. being a network based, multiroom, multiroom source home audio system.

You are entitled to ask for the feature you want but I can't see it ever getting near the top of the priority list.
Sonos will certainly lose some business by not meeting this need.
Indeed. My point was that they'd stand to lose even more business by diverting their attention away from the needs of their target market.
Your point taken, John. I think there is a fine distinction in what is being requested. It is not to include every other feature under the Sun, but still maintain wired and wireless options only but broaden the market base. After all how much consumer market spread is possible unless it becomes accessible very cost effectively and internet really becomes cheap across the world, which is not the case.....
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I've recently purchased several Sonos devices including a Play:1 & a Play:3 (I then upgraded to a Play:5). While I really do love the sound quality, I feel like I've been a little duped by Sonos. I got a Play:5 specifically because it added the flexibility of a line in, but only after plugging in my TV do I find out there's a noticeable delay (I have already adjusted to uncompressed audio as the guides have suggested, BTW). Is it really so much to ask for something like a "standalone" mode? I get that the delay is necessary for sending the signal out to other devices, but the speaker would not have to be streaming to other speakers on the network in this case.

I realize Sonos would likely dismiss this as being "niche" and not worth the effort. But it's really hard to commit to keeping this very expensive speaker when it is unable to perform a basic function like outputting audio without a delay. At the very least, Sonos should reconsider the wording in their official Line-In guide here: https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1091/~/using-line-in-on-sonos#compression "A benefit of using Uncompressed is that there will be very little delay from the source and the audio." It would've been nice to know before my purchase that the "very little delay" is not quite little enough to be unnoticeable.

I found this video to be pretty accurate in demonstrating the Play:5 delay. It may not be a huge delay, but personally it's enough to make it quite unacceptable for video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvkxLnaYFYI
@iamryanparker. Duped by Sonos? I'm sorry but that is a nonsensical statement. Sonos has only ever promoted one product as suitable for TV audio - the Playbar. The line-in on the P:5 is a "bonus" that allows legacy audio devices to be incorporated.
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@JohnB I understand the Play speakers are largely only promoted as being for streaming music. However, if I am researching their products that include a line-in on their own support site, I would expect the "bonus for legacy audio devices" aspect to be made clear. Their official Line-In guide is here https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1091/~/using-line-in-on-sonos#compression and specifically lists television as a legitimate reason to use uncompressed audio with line-in. For example:

[quote]Use Uncompressed if:

* You want to reduce the lip sync delay for video or a television.[\quote]

A simple disclaimer that the delay may still be noticeable even when uncompressed would be helpful. If their own guide lists TV as a viable line-in source, they can't blame me for not knowing a Playbar is the only "real" option for TV. I put a lot of time and research in before making this purchase and it's disappointing that the use of a TV (which was a big selling point) is now out of the question.
I objected, and still do, to your use of the word "duped", which implies a deliberate intention to mislead. The line in is a minor point in the way the Play:5 is marketed and it is not marketed at all as a TV speaker. Given that the line-in can be used for a TV, it's natural that the line-in guide should give what helpful advice there is. "Reduce" lip sync delay clearly implies does not eliminate lip sync delay.

It remains nonsensical to claim you were duped.
I can't believe how much resistance there is between fellow Sonos customers.

I too bought Play 5 to listen to music in my living room and to watch TV. Little did I know I'll get the lag when watching it.

So yeah, I too would like a setting to disable the lag when I'm watching TV and not broadcasting to other speakers.
Resistance? Hardly.

First there are routinely statements to the effect that the system architecture is built around an assumption of multi-room operation. To engineer a 'direct path' for delay-sensitive content via Line-In played solely on a local device would be a significant distraction of effort for a limited use case. Moreover it has the potential to introduce regression problems in the players' existing audio pipelines.

But more fundamentally, Sonos have already addressed the requirement for low latency with TV sound, in the shape of the purpose-designed PLAYBAR. Modern TVs often no longer offer analog outputs anyway, only optical.
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Resistance? Hardly.

To engineer a 'direct path' for delay-sensitive content via Line-In played solely on a local device would be a significant distraction of effort for a limited use case...
But more fundamentally, Sonos have already addressed the requirement for low latency with TV sound, in the shape of the purpose-designed PLAYBAR. Modern TVs often no longer offer analog outputs anyway, only optical.


I bet if we through a vote, at least 30 to 50% of the current Play:5 owners would vote for that functionality and will use it.

I have Play:5 on my computer table. I bought Play:5 solely for the reason that it would allow me to play through Line-in, otherwise, I would get 2 Play:1s as I've already have in a living room. I planned to use it 50/50 as wireless player/computer speaker. As described above, the Sonos Manual/FAQ is not very clear on a remaining delay even after all the recommended settings adjusted.

I really don't think it would take a lot of engineering since you just have to get rid of additional protections and let it pass through as is without considering sync, latency, and other limitations. I assume it's a marketing resistance from Sonos that is concerned about a possible decline in sales of other products that are able to do that.

Finally, Playbar would look weird on the computer table, and I don't have enough space to put it there.

Does it work as advertised? - Yes!
Could it be improved without serious hassle? - For sure.
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Perfect if the 5 were a standalone speaker. But it is not. The delay is to allow the speaker to communicate with other speakers.
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Perfect if the 5 were a standalone speaker. But it is not. The delay is to allow the speaker to communicate with other speakers.

It's a hardware that is being run by software. If I don't need it to communicate with other speakers in particular scenario, you can easily cut half of the measures that were put in the software to make it work in sync. That would reduce, if not eliminate the latency.
It reminds me of Xbox One early days when it refused to work without an active internet connection even with the single player games. Microsoft realized the issue and fixed it. Sonos just doesn't want to bother. And I can't blame them - it's all business. Just don't insist that it is theoretically impossible with the existing hardware.
I really don't think it would take a lot of engineering since you just have to get rid of additional protections and let it pass through as is without considering sync, latency, and other limitations. I assume it's a marketing resistance from Sonos that is concerned about a possible decline in sales of other products that are able to do that. Do you believe it is a hardware and not a software bottleneck to allow Playbar do this but not the Play:5?
There's no 'bottleneck'. Sonos is designed as a networked music system, for which a measure of buffering is required to prevent dropouts when playing in sync across a multi-hop wireless network. In the case of PLAYBAR, it can afford a tighter buffer (30ms instead of 75ms) because it's tethered to its bonded satellites via dedicated 5GHz links.

Sonos is not designed to be computer speakers. Could the latency for standalone operation be reduced? Potentially. Would it 'take a lot of engineering'? We cannot know (and I've lost count of the number of 'it must be only a few lines of code' claims). What we can say is that, whatever the software development effort, it would require the full QA process come what may, it could risk destabilising the existing audio pipeline in the players, and it would be a significant distraction from other more lucrative feature developments. All for a use case for which Sonos is not designed.
I see it as an "operates as designed" and ease of use issue. It isn't marketed as a stand alone computer speaker, and nobody wants to keep switching between buffered and non-buffered output according to how one is using it. It is what it is, and isn't what it isn't, and allowing it to be what it isn't is both costly in engineering and confusing to the consumer.

ETA: As ratty says, it is most certainly a hardware difference that allows the Playbar to pass audio more real-time. The Playbar uses the 5 GHz band to send audio to the Sub/surrounds in the same room. Unfortunately, the 5 GHz band was found to be unreliable outside of the Sub/Surrounds, because passing through walls and floors proved to be too much for the faster, yet weaker 5 GHz signal. Therefore, for synchronized music* which must go between rooms, Sonos has to buffer the 2.4 GHz, and thus the delay on the line-in for music.

*Note, even the TV source, which is low latency at the Playbar/Sub/surrounds, is delayed a bit when playing in other rooms due to this buffering.
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For the sake of adding another voice in favor: I am not buying a Play:5 because of the line in latency, even though I'd love to extend Sonos to the office. I had assumed the line-in could go direct, without Sonos latency, when used as a standalone unit. Glad I searched for this first.

For me, the compact, high-quality play:5 is ideal for a medium sized home office. But not if it means having two sets of speakers occupying the space: one for the Sonos network and another to connect directly to a TV or computer. Low, direct-input latency is necessary for anything other than playing an album, like sound from a TV, messing with garageband, playing with a keyboard, amateur audio mixing, cutting a large audio file into separate parts, or even video editing home video.

Why buy a nice compact speaker for a office or bedroom when it's going to necessitate a separate wired system right next to it?

Maybe we're a small subset of users, so Sonos is unwilling to do it. That's fine -- I'm just one customer. But it's just a design/business decision. Audio equipment is normally designed for a source input to route around certain features as necessary. My main integrated amp routes sources around the equalizer by a switch. Line inputs on amps routinely route around effects features. And, of course, Sonos already allows you to set compressed or uncompressed, which in essence routes around compression. This function would just route the line input source direct to amp, skipping the network. It wouldn't take a focused effort, just implementation of a basic internal function.

One vote here for allowing Play:5 (and Connect:Amp) to operate as a standalone unit. The setting options would be: Automatic (default) Compressed (higher latency, better network), Uncompressed (lower latency, worse network), Standalone (zero latency, no network)
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Being able to use the Play:5 as a regular, latency free powered speaker from the Line-in is an obvious use case that many people would find useful, and would improve the product. I think it would be welcome and overdue addition to the feature set.
Moreover it has the potential to introduce regression problems in the players' existing audio pipelines.


No one has asked what exactly the above means; for sure this requested feature will add a lot of noise of complaints from people that have inadvertently selected it to the effect that Sonos multi room is playing music out of sync.

But the quoted seems to be much more than just that, I am guessing.
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Moreover it has the potential to introduce regression problems in the players' existing audio pipelines.


No one has asked what exactly the above means; for sure this requested feature will add a lot of noise of complaints from people that have inadvertently selected it to the effect that Sonos multi room is playing music out of sync.

But the quoted seems to be much more than just that, I am guessing.


The way I see it, there would be no issue with multi-room sync, because the feature would turn the Play:5 into a simple powered speaker, just directly playing what's coming into the line input. There would be no multi-room in this instance.
Yes, but what when someone tries to group it without remembering or knowing about changing the no sync feature?

More important is the ratty caution I quoted.
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Yes, but what when someone tries to group it without remembering or knowing about changing the no sync feature?

More important is the ratty caution I quoted.


I guess when in 'direct play' mode, it wouldn't be groupable.
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Yes, but what when someone tries to group it without remembering or knowing about changing the no sync feature?

More important is the ratty caution I quoted.


I guess when in 'direct play' mode, it wouldn't be groupable.


Exactly. In 'direct play' or 'standalone', the unit wouldnt be groupable cause the playback is not going through the network process. To switch, you'd change the setting, playback would stop, and then you'd restart it. Pretty sure playback stops like this when switching between compressed and uncompressed too. Not a big deal.

Not a big deal.

Except to those that don't know about this and stumble into consequent issues with sync. And any unforeseen consequences on doing this on other synced/grouped players in the home are of course a VERY big deal to the market at large.
My bet is on Sonos foregoing the market of those that needs this feature for the gain of not rocking the stable boat of multi room audio. Even more so when their declared focus is on voice control/streaming services.
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Not a big deal.

Except to those that don't know about this and stumble into consequent issues with sync. And any unforeseen consequences on doing this on other synced/grouped players in the home are of course a VERY big deal to the market at large.
My bet is on Sonos foregoing the market of those that needs this feature for the gain of not rocking the stable boat of multi room audio. Even more so when their declared focus is on voice control/streaming services.


Fair enough to everything in that second paragraph.

On the first, I just frankly don't understand this concern at all. It's a really straightforward function that would remove the Play:5 from the group while in standalone mode... it wouldn't exist on the Sonos network. What happens when you unplug a device and use Sonos elsewhere? And who is going to set their Play 5 to Standalone mode and then freak out confused why it isn't streaming with the house?

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