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.

 

 


209 replies

Hey guys - can’t figure out how to delete my post, but disregard my comment.  Got on the phone with tech support, waiting 25 minutes, spoke with the tech for about 20 minutes, and it ended with him telling me it’s something on my end between my record player and my preamp.  He recommended me go buy a vinyl player with a preamp built in because apparently Sonos doesn’t approve of external preamps.  I guess the mechanics of sound are different when the preamp is inside of the record player versus being an external unit… I joke.

I’m taking the Sonos Amp back, somewhat sadly.  Sony got my money this go round.  Listening to a vinyl through the 200w Sony with the phono offset at +6… Volume at 40 is closely comparable to the Sonos Amp set at 60% just without the buzz.

I’m having a serious grounding/buzz issue with my brand new Sonos Amp, and after 2 weeks, I’m about to give up and take it back.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Numark TT-1510 into ART DJ Pre II.  At my old residence, this setup fed into a Samsung surround sound system.  Never had any issues, sounded great.

Moved to a new location and the vinyl setup is in a different room than the surround sound system, so had not put together a new setup yet.

Bought a Sonos Amp to complete the system, which is feeding 2x late 80’s model 3 way speakers.  Feeding Spotify through Sonos Amp to these speakers, sounds amazing.  Switch over to Line-In for vinyl and there is this terrible buzz.  The buzz even feeds into my Sonos One which I was also porting the vinyl output to (via the Amp).

I went to Guitar Center and bought all new RCA cables to ensure it wasn’t a cabling problem.  No change.

I took the record player and the Art preamp to a local electrician to test both units out for a grounding issue and after having for a couple of days, he said there was nothing wrong with either unit.  Said he cleaned out the connections, plugged it up to his amplifier and his records sounds great.  No buzz.

Got home, hooked it back up, still a buzz.  THEN found this article, which spoke about setting the input Volume 1-10.  This made complete sense.  My input was set to 3.  I SWEAR that when I changed it to 10, the buzz went away.  A day or two later, the buzz was back.  Just want to be clear, I was troubleshooting this issue so many ways from Sunday, that I was pretty burnt out.  So maybe the buzz never went away, but maybe when I turned to 10, I turned the volume down, and the buzz was just less audible.  Changing the Input from 1-10 does nothing other than adjust the noise floor where the buzz is quieter at 1 (but so is the playback) and the buzz is loud at 10 (but so is the playback).

SOLVED?? I went and bought a Sony 2ch. 200watt receiver with a phono input.  Plugged up the record player to the phone input and it sounded clean.  Turned it up to 50, sounded loud and great.  When I took the needle off the vinyl, I could hear a slight buzz, but that sound pretty normal for vinyl.  Could really only hear it if I put my ear close to the horn.

I hooked the player back up to the Art preamp, and then into a line input on the Sony, to see if the Pre-amp was the culprit.  Still at volume 50, the vinyl sounded loud and clear.

I’ve hooked my player, the preamp, and the Sony, in 9 different power configurations using 2 different 20A circuits in my house, and switching the ground from between the Sony receiver terminal and the Art Preamp terminal.  With all 3 devices (player, preamp, Sony) hooked up to the same circuit, with the ground on the preamp, the buzz is SUPER minimal.  At a volume of even 60, the only way to hear the buzz is to put your ear up to the horn.

I then reintroduced the Sonos Amp.  Player, to preamp, to Sonos Amp.  Volume of Sonos Amp halfway up, and the buzz can be heard from across the room.  No matter how I interchange the devices using the 2x different 20amp circuits, the buzz is consistently the same and loud.

I have used an Edison tester on these 2x circuits and they are showing a correct wiring including being grounded.

The only thing to note is that the buzz present when using the Sony receiver is an extremely quiet, electrical buzz.  The buzz from the Sonos Amp sounds more digital like interference but not RF interference. 

I really liked the idea of the Sonos Amp because it was streamlined in how you cast and control the volume, but can’t afford to have a $700 equipment that has a buzz equal to that of quieter parts of a song.  If I can’t get this Amp issue figured out, I’ll return it, keep the Sony, and buy a Sonos Port.  The Sony has a line level RCA output that I could then feed into the Port.  Likewise, have the Port feed the Sony in order to feed Spotify/Sonos.  This will work cleanly, but causes more steps to switch inputs plus the need for 2 methods of controlling volume :(

Any help would be so greatly appreciated.

You’d need to add a Sonos device with an analog input that you could connect your per-amped turntable to. Currently, the Sonos PLAY:5, the Port, and the Amp have one. Once the signal gets in to the Sonos ecosystem, you can play it on any of your Sonos speakers. 

Hi there 

 

I have a home cinema with a Sonos Beam, Sub and two Sonos One speakers. Is it possible to connect a turntable to the soundsystem and if yes, how?  

 

Best wishes 

Luke

Solve? It’s possible that it could help, but it’s likely that you can solve this issue without an additional purchase. You’re likely experiencing some sort of wifi interference in the connection. The bandwidth required by a line in source tends to be much heavier than a normal music stream from the internet, which is why you’re only experiencing this when grouping the turntable’s music. I’d take a look at that FAQ and apply as many of the potential solutions as possible. 

There’s always a chance, however, that there’s a deeper issue, in which case I would recommend that you submit a system diagnostic within 10 minutes of experiencing this issue, and contact Sonos Support to discuss it, or open up a new thread and post the diagnostic number, along with a detailed description of your setup here in the boards. 

I usually suggest the phone folks, they have more tools available, but are available Monday through Friday during business hours. Twitter support folks are available 24/7.

There may be information included in the diagnostic that will help Sonos pinpoint the issue and help you find a solution. 

I’m sure this is answered somewhere but I can’t find it. I have an Orbit U-turn turntable hooked up to a Play 5 that is paired in stereo. It sounds fantastic. But, I’ve also got a whole house full of other Sonos speakers. It seems if I group the Play 5’s with other speakers while playing vinyl the other speakers drop out frequently. I’m wondering if a Boost or Connect Amp would solve this issue and give me vinyl music throughout my house without interruption. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated!

Duplicate post, responded in the new thread.

Hi all,

Sorry newbie to the forum here and I want to clarify something as I’m getting conflicting information from the “chat” function on the Sonos website. I’m sure the answer is already in this thread, but with currently home schooling my kids, my eyes can’t take any more screen time to search through :open_mouth:

I have an existing Sonos set-up, 1 x 1, 2 x 3 and a Playbar.

I have no other non Sonos speakers, amplifiers etc etc.

I want to add a turntable to play through my existing Sonos speakers.

I initially thought I would need to buy the Amp, but was pretty sure when I asked a few weeks ago that I was told that as long as I had a turntable with built in pre-amp, that a Port would do the same job and stream the turntable to my existing Sonos speakers?

The helper on chat today insisted that I would need to buy at least the Amp and if I only had the Port, I would need another amplifier and/or 3rd party speakers??

Thanks in advance for any advice

Adders

For my living room setup, I have a Beam, a Sub, and 2 Sonos One speakers. I’d like to set up a turntable. Is there any way to use the Ones, either with an Amp or a Port + one of the turntables Sonos sells? Or do I need the Play 5 speaker?

It’s an old Rotel record player. I’ll double check to see if it has a switch. Haven’t noticed one though. May have to purchase a pre amp. Thank you.

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Seeing the symptoms you present you probably do. You don’t mention make and model of you record player; some players have a built in preamp but require it to be switched on

I have set up my vintage record player and amp with a Sonos Connect. I’ve finally managed to get some sound coming out of my Sonos speakers but it’s very quiet. Do I need a preamp as well? 

Check your cables, and reseat them. Make sure your pre-amp is working, I’d bet based on you post that it isn’t. 

I’m new and sure could use some help please.. I have a turntable with pre-amp hooked up to sonos port that is streaming to 2 Sonos Moves.. I dont feel like im getting all the maximum volume I would like to hear. When I stream from my phone (apple music) to the Moves it is nice and LOUD.. but from the turntable its, eh.. any advice or suggestions please? thank you

Anyone here who can share experiences with SONSO and a Technics 1200/1210? 

If you have only Sonos speakers, a Port is all you need; the Amp is a waste. If one of your Sonos speakers is a 5 that has a line in and can be conveniently wired back to the turntable, even the Port isn't needed. 

Read the opening posts of this sticky for more if needed.

Yes, a turntable to pre-amp to Sonos analog input directly will work. And the quality would be the same on any analog input, be it a PLAY:5, Amp or Port. 

...And if you can play turntable direct thru Sonos Port or Sonos Amp using ONLY Sonos speakers, which is preferred for that (sounds better, more power, etc), Sonos Amp or Sonos Port?

I don’t see anywhere on this thread where the question is answered whether you can use a Sonos Port or Amp WITHOUT a stereo receiver. I have an old Harmon Kardon but would prefer to avoid the massive physical footprint of a stereo and just hook my turntable up to the Sonos equipment and play through my Sonos speakers. Everyone else is talking about receivers and amplifiers. Does anyone know if you can go straight into Sonos Amp or Port (or EITHER) with a turntable/preamp setup and just play thru Sonos speakers? 

I do not completely understand what you are trying to achieve here.  

I'd say you'd connect the turntable to the Phono in on the receiver. The Sonos Connect can be wired to the Tape-in (for input from Sonos, say Spotify) and the Tape-out on the receiver (so any sound out of the receiver, i.e. turntable, tuner, and anything that's connnected to the Aux input) will go into the Sonios system.

When you want to hear music from your turntable your receiver would be set to Phono. Than you'd hear the music on the speakers connected to your receiver and the Tape out brings the sound to Sonos - so you can listen to the music playing from your turntable on other Sonos speakers.

 


yes you got it...its not so complicated but somewhat I started making things more difficult. Indeed, to listen to records will use phono and the tape out will send the signal to the remaining of sonos speakers!! thanks for the light!

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I do not completely understand what you are trying to achieve here.  

I'd say you'd connect the turntable to the Phono in on the receiver. The Sonos Connect can be wired to the Tape-in (for input from Sonos, say Spotify) and the Tape-out on the receiver (so any sound out of the receiver, i.e. turntable, tuner, and anything that's connnected to the Aux input) will go into the Sonios system.

When you want to hear music from your turntable your receiver would be set to Phono. Than you'd hear the music on the speakers connected to your receiver and the Tape out brings the sound to Sonos - so you can listen to the music playing from your turntable on other Sonos speakers.

 

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)

 

Has anyone tried this: input a turntable into Phono preamp on a receiver, then route the Rec/Tape Out to Sonos Connect, then back again into the Receiver?

As receivers will require you to select the input (eg Phono or Aux) how would the Phono preamp work if the receiver source is selected to Aux (so that to play what is coming out of Sonos Connect)?

Thanks for the explication. 

There is no setting for Wireless sources; that is why it is necessary to select the Line In level so that the same volume control setting on Sonos gives, as far as possible, the same sound levels when the source changes between Line In and Wireless.

By “both places” I meant the two rooms in the house where I use Line In as a source.

@Kumar 

”I have set mine at 10 in both places I use Line In to have sound levels maintained at about the same volume level setting regardless of which source is in use - Line in or Wireless.”

I don’t understand the set to 10 for Wireless. I did not found anywhere in the the settings an option for Wireless level. In fact just for Play 5 and for LineIn. 
 

Can you specify the location of this setting? Thanks. 

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