Volume Normalization for Online Music Services


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Add a feature to support volume normalization on the Sonos System so the volume of different tracks are the same when streaming from an online music service.

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116 replies

same problem here. Spotify playlist played thru Sonos app has dramatic differences in volumes across all speakers.
We have this issue too. This is so disappointing. Sonos should make this right.
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In the case of this suggestion, each music service has it's own music normalization, or in some cases, none at all. The Sonos players will get the audio at whatever the service sends it over at, we don't do any built in processing of volume. I don't have any news about getting this added to the system, but we'll let you know if there's any change in the future.

But Spotify already has this feature. However, whenever Spotify is played through Sonos, the feature becomes turned off.
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Please Sonos compare these 2 tracks from Spotify:

Normal volume
The scientist , Coldplay
https://open.spotify.com/track/75JFxkI2RXiU7L9VXzMkle?si=WX_9OV3VQkGiyCdX1lvCag

Very low volume,not audible
Wanted dead or alive, bon jovi
https://open.spotify.com/track/46ERhnELy62toOMlxe14a3?si=qxqLPDC_QRGxIjwvhs7kHg

There is too much difference in volume.

Is it a Spotify problem (wrong gain metadata) or is it a sonos problem?
Thank you
Camillo
Whatever the problem, it is a real one, and fixing it would be far more valuable to me that all the tinkering that is done with the UI. I also don't realistically expect it to happen - UI tinkering is a lot easier and visible.
a few folks getting emotional - I can understand that, esp. when one has forked out top dollar for lovely sounding speakers only to be let down by the controls. I am sooo lazy. I just play the same old lists from Amazon prime and, yes, seemingly similar songs come out at wildly different volumes. Whilst I am an engineer I don't need or want to understand the workings of every consumer product I purchase - I just want them to work. like a washing machine - dirty clothes in, press one button, clean clothes out. Simple. And I want that to be true even moreso in proportion to the amount spent on said product. The SONOS team have two things to sort (imho) 1) the woeful app and 2) this gain control/normalisation issue (whatever the correct term for not having one song blow you away and spill your tea straight after straining over the speaker to see if its still on during a song that came out quiet)
SONOS seem to pride themselves on great sound so I'd suggest that the sound issue should be the one they have the most need to sort to maintain their credibility. The app, well we can hope, but track record suggest thats all we can do.

The desired outcome has been described to the SONOS team - make similar volumed songs come out at a similar volume, (on the kit I paid a fortune for without me having to do anything requiring a brain or time). All we need do now is to sit back and quietly (or unexpectedly loudly) wait for it to be done.

btw - Im not a great forum follower so feel free to rip into me - I won't notice.
one song blow you away and spill your tea straight after straining over the speaker to see if its still on during a song that came out quiet)
SONOS seem to pride themselves on great sound

Although I don't find such stark differences, even small ones can detract from the listening experience; but I suspect this isn't on the Sonos agenda at this time. Unfortunate, because this one is a lot more important that some of the chimeras that Sonos loves to chase.
TIDAL now has metadata for loudness normalization as do Spotify and Apple.
So there is no processing required, just a simple gain adjustment.

I would think it should be part of the next software update.

I use Audirvana Plus on my Mac and it normalized my local library on request. It also uses the TIDAL metadata for ReplayGain loudness normalization.

To get some nice info about this stuff I would recommend "The Mastering Show #41 - The problem with loudness normalization - and TIDAL’s solution".
There you will discover that there are compromises.
Most important, there is not one perfect normalization setting that will work for your car, phone and home stereo. I would hope they (TIDAL) will in the future let us select different variants of normalisation..
But for now what they have is working and better than nothing.
Hi there. From my point of view, its very disappointing that a so avantgarde company as SONOS hasn't solved this terrible problem yet. How is possible that spotify has that normailize volume option and SONOS Doesn't? Please SONOS hear these voices and get deep to fix it! Thanks in advance
Hi there. From my point of view, its very disappointing that a so avantgarde company as SONOS hasn't solved this terrible problem yet. How is possible that spotify has that normailize volume option and SONOS Doesn't? Please SONOS hear these voices and get deep to fix it! Thanks in advance

While the problem originates with poor quality of songs in the Spotify library, this is one of two main reasons that I cannot recommend the Sonons system to others. Many other audio devices are able to function using the Spotify app. Sonos, however, forces you to use their own app. I think that this is fine, so that TruePlay and whatever will work correctly. But if forced to use one particular UI (the Sonos app), it really should be provide the same functionalities as you would otherwise have. Though the problem might originate with the songs in the Spotify library, I think that it is up to Sonos to fix this... I mean Spotify seems to have made a workaround that works for them...
Having just purchased a Sonos One, my first Sonos product, I felt I should also add to this topic that it really does need to be addressed by Sonos. I purely use Spotify for music and I've never had to worry about volume consistency using Spotify's own volume normalization, but since I've been using my Sonos One I've noticed a significant variation between music tracks, significantly between much older music (quieter) compared to modern tracks (louder). This is quite an issue when going from a - for example - track from the 1970s which is playing at a normal volume to a newer track which then is extremely loud in comparison and starts thumping the room with bass vibration.

I hope this is looked in to, but given the fact that this topic is 5 years old I'm not holding out much hope, sadly.
Same issue here. I am very seriously considering returning my brand new BEAM. Clearly a problem I did not expect, nor to see it has been going on for so long...
Dear Sonos,

I'm asking it elsewhere, and I'm asking it here - what is it going to take for you to respond to this core issue? A halving of sales?

There are multiple threads on this extending over years - yet I can't see an adequate response. Responses have been glib ones like "Thanks for posting and welcome to the Community. I am happy to forward this along to the team for consideration and visibility." And then no followup months later.

Almost everyone makes playlists from streaming services. The only time volume normalisation doesn't matter is if you're playing a single album....ask the music industry how often that happens these days.

Volume normalisation is a core requirement.

Most streaming services - Apple, Spotify have volume normalisation for playlists - but when you play the services through Sonos - there is huge volume variation between songs. I use Spotify - but it apparently also happens with other services such as Apple Music and Amazon Prime according to other posts in this forum.

Given there have been years of requests for this feature, and it is clearly a core feature of streaming services - the most likely conclusion is that Sonos cannot fix it (unless I have missed a response from Sonos that needs to be disseminated more widely?)

This is a fundamental shortcoming of the Sonos system which all purchasers should be made aware of before purchasing. I would have liked to have known before dishing out a not insignificant sum of money.

So, should I and others on this forum write to all key review sites - CNet, WhatHiFi, Engadget, Techradar, TrustedReviews, Wirecutter etc -- and ask that they include the lack of this feature as part of their scoring comparisons with other speaker systems?

Sonos - will us users more broadly publicising the issue prompt you to do something about fixing it - or at least be upfront that it cannot/will not be fixed??

Looking forward to a (meaningful) response.
Most streaming services - Apple, Spotify have volume normalisation for playlists - but when you play the services through Sonos - there is huge volume variation between songs. I use Spotify - but it apparently also happens with other services such as Apple Music and Amazon Prime according to other posts in this forum.
Yes, within their own apps; providing volume normalization on a third-party platform isn't that easy to accomplish.
Can we get a statement/status from Sonos on this problem? I'm a new Sonos user and have been very disappointed to discover this problem during my playback and even more disappointed to learn of Sonos' apparent disregard around providing a solution for its customer base.
I just bought Sonos AMP ... same probleem here, listening to spotify-playlists is a mess without volume normalisation ... very dissapointed