Using a Turntable with Sonos


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Thinking about getting a turntable setup with your Sonos system and wondering where to start? We've got you covered.

If you're looking for a quick overview before you dive into the details below, check out the info we have over on our blog and on our website here.
 

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Before getting started, we need to ask a simple question— Does my turntable need a phono preamp?

Although some turntables have a built-in phono preamp, most of them don’t. Turntables output their signal at phono level, which is a low, quiet signal rated in millivolts. A phono preamp converts the audio output to line level, which is a louder signal rated in volts. If your turntable does not have a built-in phono preamp, you’ll need to place one between the turntable and Sonos player.

We don’t recommend any phono preamp in particular, but we’ve heard great things about the Music Hall Mini, U-Turn Pluto, and Bellari Rolls VP 29.

Your audio receiver may have a phono input, which means you can wire the turntable directly to the receiver. To pass the analog signal along to Sonos the receiver should have a Tape/CD Out, Rec Out, or Zone 2 Out. (Note: additional configuration may be required to trigger the audio output on the receiver)

Which Sonos player do I need?

There are five Sonos players that have a line-in port— the Connect, Connect:Amp, Sonos Amp, Sonos Port, and Play:5. While all four can be used with a turntable, they each have a different application. The Connect is perfect if you already have an amplifier and a set of third-party speakers that you don't want to part with. You'll want to use a Connect:Amp or the new Sonos Amp when you already have a pair of third-party speakers but lack an amplifier. Our Play:5 is an all-in-one speaker with the amplifier and speakers all housed in a compact, solid enclosure. Now, no matter which player you plan on using, you'll have the ability to send the music to all of the other Sonos speakers around your house and at the same time. We get it, just because your collection sits in one room, that doesn't mean you have to.

For those just getting into vinyl or looking to upgrade, we now carry the Pro-Ject Essential III Phono in our online store for the US. This is a great turntable that includes a built-in phono preamp so it can be used out of the box with a Sonos Amp, Sonos Port, Play:5, Connect, or Connect:Amp right after the initial setup. We also have the newer Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Sonos Edition and some more options here. We know that Record Store Day is approaching so for those of you in the U.S. looking to upgrade your table, get a new Play:5, or both, we have a set that may interest you.

To connect the Play:5 to your turntable or phono preamp, you’ll need a 3.5mm male to RCA cable, which is more commonly referred to as an RCA y-cable. The y-cable will connect to the RCA Out on either the turntable with a built-in phono preamp (shown below) or the RCA Out of the standalone phono preamp. The 3.5mm end will then be connected to the Line-In port located on the back of the Play:5. Although they are not seen all that often, there are some phono preamps that include a 3.5mm out. In this scenario, you’ll want to use an aux cable, which is 3.5mm male to 3.5mm male.

 

 

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After the Play:5 has been set up, you’ll want to make sure to tweak the line-in settings. Trust me, I know the excitement of getting a new turntable setup and the first thing you want to do is drop that needle but reviewing the details below will help save time and answer a lot of questions you may find yourself asking. These settings are available for all of the Sonos players with a Line-In connection.

To make these adjustments, we’re going to use the Sonos app on a mobile device and head to More > Settings >  System > (Play:5 name) > Line-In.

To start, you can set the Line-In Source Name. This is used to specify what kind of device is connected to the Line-In port. By default, there isn’t an option for a turntable, so I recommend setting a custom name. The source name is then what’s displayed when selecting Line-In as an option under Browse > Line- In > Turntable: Den

The Line-In Source Level is extremely important, so make sure that if you’re skimming this thread just for info on settings, pay attention to this paragraph. There are two common reasons why music can be barely audible after getting a turntable setup with Sonos. One reason, the turntable doesn’t have a built-in phono preamp (covered above) and the other is because the line-in level is set too low. The line-in level is the voltage in which the signal is going to be detected and the higher it’s set; the louder audio will be. By default, Line-In is set to level two, which isn’t very loud for a turntable. Each class of audio equipment is different and therefore the output impedance will vary from device to device, so make sure to consult your product’s manual. Ideally, you’ll want to set the line-in level to match the output of your phono preamp according to the principle of gain staging. Since most phono preamps don’t have a very high output impedance, you should be able to set line-in all the way to ten if you don’t hear the audio clipping.

The line-in voltage levels are below:

2.2V - Level 1
2.0V - Level 2
1.8V - Level 3
1.6V - Level 4
1.4V - Level 5
1.2V - Level 6
1.1V - Level 7
1.0V - Level 8
0.8V - Level 9
0.6V - Level 10

These adjustments can be made under More > Settings > System > (Play:5 name) > Line-In > Line-In Level.

The Autoplay Room setting, which is turned off by default, automatically triggers Line-In as the preferred source for audio playback in a designated room. This means that whether music is already playing or you’re just getting ready to kick back and sink into an album that, once the needle meets the groove, autoplay will take care of the rest. Additionally, when autoplay is enabled, the designated speaker will drop out of a group it may be part of unless Include Grouped Rooms is enabled.

While the autoplay feature is great, it won't be ideal if you’re dealing with a cartridge that is a bit noisy, there is trouble getting a solid ground connection, or if there are power fluctuations from the outlet being used. This can cause music to abruptly stop when streaming from an online music service or local source.

 

 

 

 

General Troubleshooting

 


Audio Dropouts

 

 

 


A simple but often-overlooked reason you may hear audio dropping or skipping is due to the turntable and speaker(s) being on the same surface. While it may be aesthetically pleasing or the only option in a tiny room, a turntable is designed to measure vibrations, so any other external vibrations may induce skipping or distort the music. Again, if keeping them on the same surface is the only option, you can use foam or other absorptive material under the turntable or speakers to help.

One of the main causes for audio dropping during playback is wireless interference. Before following the steps below, try to clean up the wireless in the area as much as possible.

Audio drops may also occur on larger systems when there are multiple rooms grouped together. When there is a large group with multiple speakers, there will be a greater strain on the wireless communication. To help mitigate that strain, there are two options:

 

 

  • Set the line-in level to 4. Using level 4 will increase the buffer size from 75ms to 500ms.
  • Adjust the audio compression. Use compressed rather than uncompressed or auto as it will increase the buffer size to 2000ms. This is found in a slightly different location, More > Settings > System > Audio Compression

 

 


No Audio

 


Check the connections. I know this sounds silly, but we’ve all been there. Connecting an In to an Out or just plain forgetting a connection altogether.

Use a different device. After making sure all cables are connected and seated properly, grab a device that can be used with a y or aux cable. Can you hear sound now? If yes, then there may be a setting on the turntable or phono preamp that needs to be adjusted or checked.

 

Speaker Placement

 


The subject of speaker placement is a very expansive topic, so I'm not going to go into too much of the nitty-gritty, but I still believe it's important to cover some of the basics. These are some of the best practices to make sure you'll get a great soundstage and imaging. This will also change from one Sonos speaker to another, or if you're using your own speakers with a Sonos Amp.

 

 

 

  • Make sure the speakers are away from the walls. Specific to Sonos, this will also help to reduce potential wireless signal loss.
  • You've gotta keep'em separated. As a general rule of thumb, place the speakers as far away from each other as the distance they'll be from where you'll be listening.
  • Keep them at ear level.

 

 


221 replies

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Definitely. I am too old to get beyond the aesthetic beauty and rituals of turntables and vinyl, but I have noticed in charity stores here in Scotland, vinyl is now starting at £2 for even non descript stuff, whereas CDs are now 3 for £1.
In a wee Victorian house with Victorian wallpaper, my compromise has involved painting not only my Sonos 5s, but also my pre-amp and TT too. She is happy, and tbh, I think it's ok too! Nice clean lines if nothing else.

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I haven't come across it yet with a new turntable and its factory-fitted cartridge, but there's always a first time. I have seen it where people have tried to swap a cartridge themselves and got muddled. I have also heard of one cartridge manufacturer getting the wiring wrong during production.

Check all the rest of our wiring first , but if it's all good and vocals are still recessed on just the turntable then it's worth investigating the phase of the wiring further.


You were right, it's the turntable. Wiring is defective and it's being returned. Many many thanks for your help and response and also thanks Andy B, appreciate your help as well! It's just the worst not knowing what the h*ll is wrong so you can fix it but TT is getting replaced and soon I'll be able to enjoy my vinyl again on the Sonos 🙂.


Hi StephJoyce, I'm facing the same issues you were a couple weeks back. How did you establish that the wiring in your cartridge/TT was defective?


He heard the effect of something called destructive interference. Sounds that you would expect to come through loudly and from the centre of a stereo recording were much weaker than expected, but sounds on the more extreme left and right edges of the stereo soundfield were still strong.

You'll hear this effect (even with a mono speaker) when one side of a 2-channel system is out of phase with its partner. The cause is the the Plus and Minus wires for one channel are crossed over.
Hi everyone I’m hoping I can get an answer to my question please. I have a Playbar, Sub & 2 Play 3s as rear surrounds. I use a Toslink switcher to hook up my Sky Box & Xbox as I found the sound quality was better than running a Toslink from the TV.
I’ve found a thread where someone has connected their Pre-amp TT to their Playbar & Sub set up using an RCA to SPDIF converter so it goes from RCA to Toslink. They say it sounds great.
My question is: would I get sound from my rear surrounds as well with the same set up bearing in mind I think the Playbar would be receiving a Stereo 2 channel line in input?
If I were to only get sound from the Playbar & Sub I wouldn’t be interested in getting the turntable. I don’t want to get a Sonos Connect as I don’t have Sonos products elsewhere in the house.
Any help would be much appreciated thanks guys.
Definitely. I am too old to get beyond the aesthetic beauty and rituals of turntables and vinyl, but I have noticed in charity stores here in Scotland, vinyl is now starting at £2 for even non descript stuff, whereas CDs are now 3 for £1.
In a wee Victorian house with Victorian wallpaper, my compromise has involved painting not only my Sonos 5s, but also my pre-amp and TT too. She is happy, and tbh, I think it's ok too! Nice clean lines if nothing else.


Looks nice! I'd be worried about acoustic feedback, though, with the speaker and TT on the same shelf.

Records are still $2 here, thankfully, including some valuable Blue Notes I've snagged over the years. 😉
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Hi everyone I’m hoping I can get an answer to my question please. I have a Playbar, Sub & 2 Play 3s as rear surrounds. I use a Toslink switcher to hook up my Sky Box & Xbox as I found the sound quality was better than running a Toslink from the TV.
I’ve found a thread where someone has connected their Pre-amp TT to their Playbar & Sub set up using an RCA to SPDIF converter so it goes from RCA to Toslink. They say it sounds great.
My question is: would I get sound from my rear surrounds as well with the same set up bearing in mind I think the Playbar would be receiving a Stereo 2 channel line in input?
If I were to only get sound from the Playbar & Sub I wouldn’t be interested in getting the turntable. I don’t want to get a Sonos Connect as I don’t have Sonos products elsewhere in the house.
Any help would be much appreciated thanks guys.

You can answer your own question by testing it yourself.

Go to your Sky box or better still your Xbox and set it for basic stereo out. So that's PCM Stereo with no Down-mixing. Play that through your Sonos system. I'll be that the rear surrounds still run because the Playbar will apply a surround algorithm when it detects basic 2 channel.

However, there is a better way.

The surround algorithm makes educated guesses as to what the rear channels should be doing. You can have the rears play in a sort of 4 Channel Stereo mode. Go to Settings - Room settings - "Your Playbar group" - Advanced sound - Surround settings. Set the "Playing Music" option to Full rather than Ambient.

You can try this now without making any changes to either the Sky box or XBox. Try a Sky radio station as they play in stereo with no surround encoding. See how you get on.
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Definitely. I am too old to get beyond the aesthetic beauty and rituals of turntables and vinyl, but I have noticed in charity stores here in Scotland, vinyl is now starting at £2 for even non descript stuff, whereas CDs are now 3 for £1.
In a wee Victorian house with Victorian wallpaper, my compromise has involved painting not only my Sonos 5s, but also my pre-amp and TT too. She is happy, and tbh, I think it's ok too! Nice clean lines if nothing else.


Looks nice! I'd be worried about acoustic feedback, though, with the speaker and TT on the same shelf.

Records are still $2 here, thankfully, including some valuable Blue Notes I've snagged over the years. ;)


Got to admit, I had the same concerns too, and I actually swapped the pre-amp and turntable locations, but in both configurations, there seems to be zero feedback. The table itself is one solid bit of engineering, and the hairpin legs were made for me to a pretty high standard.....no spikes though. One compromise I did have to make! Envious of the vinyl market in the US. Prices here in the UK are definitely on the climb.
Just need to to chase down Kumar on the subject of the Connect I have linked up to the home cinema system. By sheer luck, none of his concerns have come to pass, and the entire 7.1 system is pumping out synced sounds. Happy bunny here.
Oh, I added a Sub lying flat underneath the table (yep, yet another compromise), and really happy with the results so far. A much more mellow addition to vinyl sounds compared to the REL Storm attached to the cinema system, but that's ok.
Just surprised at how many old school liberties I can take with the Sonus/analogue interface without having the sorts of issues I have spent my life encountering on purely analogue set ups.

Just surprised at how many old school liberties I can take with the Sonus/analogue interface without having the sorts of issues I have spent my life encountering on purely analogue set ups.

Lol. Welcome to the club. Although in my case by now I have phased out all analogue except two zones with passive speakers that still work very well with a Connect Amp.

As to vinyl prices in the UK, I believe that the USD 2 reference is for used records. Doesn't the UK do garage sale equivalents? Or have stores that also sell used records? New is expensive in both places, I think.
Oh, i never buy new records. I love hitting the GoodWill thrift that's within walking distance of my job. Jazz records are hard to find, but persistence has paid off over the years. They sometimes put popular albums, like The Beatles and Stones behind the counter with high prices, but i don't care for pop, so no problem. Had to laugh, in the weeks after MJ died, they were trying to sell Thriller for $$$. There were something like 25 million copies pressed. It will never be worth more than $2, lol.
They sometimes put popular albums, like The Beatles and Stones behind the counter with high prices, but i don't care for pop, so no problem.
Used Vinyl seems to be one of those happy exceptions where it is cheaper to be of a discerning bent!
I'm looking to setup my turntable remotely. I do not want to use songs as an amp, I already have a great amp and a multi-room setup. I merely want move my turntable to my living room (for convenience) while leaving the rest of my setup in the basement. Am I correct in assuming the following setup: Turntable > Pre-amp > Sonos Connect > wirelessly transmits to second Sonos Connect > Receiver.
That will do it.
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I'm looking to setup my turntable remotely. I do not want to use songs as an amp, I already have a great amp and a multi-room setup. I merely want move my turntable to my living room (for convenience) while leaving the rest of my setup in the basement. Am I correct in assuming the following setup: Turntable > Pre-amp > Sonos Connect > wirelessly transmits to second Sonos Connect > Receiver.

If you want to save a little money you may want to check out this Instructable I wrote describing how to set up a Raspberry Pi as a line-in for Sonos: https://www.instructables.com/id/Add-Aux-to-Sonos-Using-Raspberry-Pi/ Cheaper than buying a Sonos Connect 😃
I have a Sonos One and a connect. I cannot get the connect hooked up with my turntable so all will play with the one. My turntable has a preamp built in and when I hook up the connect I get no sound from my existing speakers or the Sonos one.
OK, first thing I'd try is flipping the switch on the pre-amp a couple of times. I've seen issues before where it doesn't actually actuate, although you haven't specified what kind of turntable you have. It's worth a shot, at least, just to make sure the pre-amp is turned on.

Next, I'd take a look at the settings in the Sonos app for the Line in, and make sure it's turned up properly. You may want to try several settings, before you're happy. Shoot, since it's a CONNECT, it might be worth making sure you're connected to the Analog in jacks, rather than the Analog out. Who knows? :)

Finally, if none of that works, I'd recommend that you submit a system diagnostic, and post the number here, for the folks at Sonos to look at.
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If you want to save a little money you may want to check out this Instructable I wrote describing how to set up a Raspberry Pi as a line-in for Sonos: https://www.instructables.com/id/Add-Aux-to-Sonos-Using-Raspberry-Pi/ Cheaper than buying a Sonos Connect :D

Cute -- good work. I use Raspberry Pis for lots of things -- some Sonos related -- but not this. Will give it a try when I have some time for home projects.
I have an audio-technica turntable with a built in pre amp hooked to my paired play 5’s. Regardless of input level the vocals are distorted and there is a humming noise in the background of the tracks. Any idea what I can do to fix this? Thanks!
I'm a new guy.
I have 2 play 5s and 2 play 1's that I want to replace my old Bose speakers and Pioneer receiver. I want to connect my turntable to the 5's/1's. I don't mind purchasing the Connect Amp if that's what it takes. However, there is no ground on the back of the Connect Amp. My turntable has the white and red RCA as well as the ground wire. Here's my question: Is there an option to ground the turntable if I'm using just the Connect Amp to connect the aforementioned Sonos speaker setup? Thanks for your time and consideration.
My turntable has the white and red RCA as well as the ground wire. Here's my question: Is there an option to ground the turntable if I'm using just the Connect Amp to connect the aforementioned Sonos speaker setup?
If you get the 5 there is no need to get the Connect Amp that also does not have a ground socket. Your TT almost certainly needs a phono pre amp to be connected between it and the 5, and this little amp should have the necessary ground socket.
Scanning message re getting a turntable hooked into Sonos but not seeing quite my configuration. I have a Play 5, sub and Playbar hooked up and working. I want to add in my turntable. I have a pre-amp for the record player and have plugged into the Play 5. Works fine. Thing is I want the record player in another room. Can I use the Connect with the record player in the other room for that or do I have to have the Connect:Amp. Too pricey. I don't have a receiver, just want to get the record player into the mix.
If you want the sound to also be in both rooms, and do not want to move the 5 unit around, you need a second speaker set there, with a line in jack. So that can be a Connect + Active speakers, or a Connect Amp + passive speakers, or another 5.
PS: If you don't want sound there, but just to relocate the TT, the Connect will suffice.
I don't want the sound in both rooms. I have the speakers set up with a TV so happy with that room. Just want the record player in another room playing through the TV room. I have been testing a Connect and thought it would bring the record player into the system enabling me to locate the record player away from the Play 5 but haven't been able to get it working.
Review all you have done with the first few posts on this thread, and revert if it still does not work. Connect should work.

Are you seeing and using the line in on the Connect as a music source in the app?
Have doubled back. I have my turntable RCAs into the preamp line in. From the pre-amp I have the RCA lines out into the converter and into the Play 5. Line in is available in the App, all good and works with good sound levels. I take the RCAs from the Play 5 and remove the converter and plug those RCAs into the Connect line in. No line in on the app is available. I haven't done any other setup procedure with the Connect. Just has power. I can use an ethernet between the Connect and the play 5 for direct internet rather than wireless. When I do so lights on back of connect are showing activity related to internet connection.
When I do so lights on back of connect are showing activity related to internet connection.
Have you added the Connect to the system? Via Manage on the computer controller app or via Settings on the phone app? If yes, are you seeing the Connect as a Room in the app? All else follows from these steps/indicators.
Thanks, got it working. I hadn't added the Connect to the system as I was fooled when Connect worked by plugging into the Play 5. Of course that is because it was directly wired into the Play 5 which was on the system. The app settings indicate Add Player of Sub so also got fooled by that as well. Tom Petty spinning fine now! Cheers

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