Sonos AMP with 4 (6 ohm) speakers

  • 21 November 2018
  • 19 replies
  • 2887 views

Hi.

I would like to know if i could connect 4 (6 ohm) speakers to the new sonos amp. I can´t find on the web the impedance range o minumium impedance of this device.

Thanks

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19 replies

4 Ohms total load. Powering 2 pairs of 6 Ohm speakers is 3 Ohms total, so it cannot be done without impedance matching wired in.
Hi jgatie. I don´t doubt of your good intentions with this answer, but do you own a 2018 AMP?. Do you have a pdf or a technical sheet where i can see the minimum impedance of the device?.

regards
https://support.sonos.com/s/article/265?language=en_US

To attach 4 speakers to a single Amp or Connect:Amp, the speaker impedance must be 8 ohms. Anything outside of that may damage the Amp, Connect:Amp, or speakers.

4 speakers @ 8 Ohms = 4 Ohms total.
I found this at www.theverge.com

"The Amp is more than twice as powerful as the Connect:Amp, delivering 125 watts per channel into an 8 ohm load with both channels driven. It can comfortably drive four speakers simultaneously. This was technically possible on the prior model, but you could run into trouble if the speakers weren’t a great match for the Connect:Amp. “That’s about the lower impedance — being able to drive a lower impedance,” said Benji Rappoport, product manager for the Sonos Amp. “We can do that now because we’re putting out more than three times the output current.” At peak, the new Sonos Amp can output 31 amps. “This is a really high quality amplifier that should dispel all the chatter we’ve heard that Connect:Amp is just a toy,” he said. “Sonos Amp is a real amplifier, and we’re really proud of that.”

This answer mi question.

thanks.
I found this at www.theverge.com

This answer mi question.

thanks.


No, your question was answered on the support page I listed above. Sonos states when powering 4 speakers, the speakers cannot be less than 8 Ohms each (aka 4 Ohms total load) or you risk damage to the components.
Very usefull information. So www.theverge.com its in some way making fake news.
Very usefull information. So www.theverge.com its in some way making fake news.

Actually the Verge stated that while it was "technically possible" for the old Connect:Amp to handle lower (4 Ohm) loads, the new Amp does it "comfortably". Nothing said about handling below that.
¨ This was technically possible on the prior model, but you could run into trouble if the speakers weren’t a great match for the Connect:Amp. “That’s about the lower impedance — being able to drive a lower impedance,” said Benji Rappoport, product manager for the Sonos Amp. “We can do that now because we’re putting out more than three times the output current¨

For me, I undestand that they are talking about lower impedance. Benji says that now its possible.
¨ This was technically possible on the prior model, but you could run into trouble if the speakers weren’t a great match for the Connect:Amp. “That’s about the lower impedance — being able to drive a lower impedance,” said Benji Rappoport, product manager for the Sonos Amp. “We can do that now because we’re putting out more than three times the output current¨

For me, I undestand that they are talking about lower impedance. Benji says that now its possible.


Whatever. You've got the official documentation. If you want to call the Verge out for "fake news" (the single most overused term of the decade), go right ahead.
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Wait... Fake News is now more overused than Russian Bot?

Sheesh, you start cashing Social Security checks and you loose track of these things.

I'll stick to the manufacturer's specifications and ratings and leave the ad driven sites to do their thing.
I hope that Benji Rappoport or other guy from SONOS could clear out this dilemma.
I hope that Benji Rappoport or other guy from SONOS could clear out this dilemma.

If you think a press interview which has absolutely no mention of an actual value, only the very vague term "lower impedance", can be trusted over an actual value stated on an official support page, then I don't know what to tell you.
I remember a PR person I worked with talking about “pixel leatherization” being used on a game I was working on. None of us developers understood what he was talking about.
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I suspect that the quote above is wrong. 31A into any reasonable speaker-like load is much, much higher than 125W. However, 125W into 8 ohms is 31.6V, so that may be the source of the confusion. Assuming the drive voltage capability of the Amp is 32V, then into 4 ohms, it would source up to 8A. That is a very capable amplifier section, but it isn't putting out 31A, certainly not continuously.

But, all of that is beside the point. The support page is completely clear. If you want to hook up four speakers, you need to ensure the Amp sees at least 4 ohms per channel. I mean, the is a lot of vague text all over the website, but this is pretty to the point:

"To attach 4 speakers to a single Amp or Connect:Amp, the speaker impedance must be 8 ohms. Anything outside of that may damage the Amp, Connect:Amp, or speakers."

Tldr; 4 speakers okay, total impedance seen by amp >=4 ohms/channel.
Don’t suppose anyone has actually tried the new Sonos Amp with 4x 6ohms speakers to see if it’s works? I already 4x ceiling speakers and would be a pain to change them or get 2x Connect amps otherwise.
Don’t suppose anyone has actually tried the new Sonos Amp with 4x 6ohms speakers to see if it’s works? I already 4x ceiling speakers and would be a pain to change them or get 2x Connect amps otherwise.

Sonos specifically warns against it, and states you can damage the speakers and/or Amp.

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/265?language=en_US#4_speakers

To attach 4 speakers to a single Amp or Connect:Amp, the speaker impedance must be 8 ohms. Anything outside of that may damage the Amp, Connect:Amp, or speakers.

I doubt anyone is going to risk their warranty trying it. If you are unwilling to replace the speakers, look into impedance matching devices.
The advice in red, particularly with reference to Connect Amp damage, is new and a surprise; my understanding is that seeing a low impedance - which just means that the speakers are trying to draw more power - would result in an amp shut down via triggering of its self protection circuitry, and it would restart in a while with lower load draws.

In practice this would mean music stopping before any damage anywhere. As a corollary to this, if music does not stop it would mean that the load being demanded is such that the amp is able to supply the load without clipping, with no damage to either speakers or amp.

So, if a 4 speaker install works without stopping it means all is well, probably because sound levels required are not high enough to trigger an amp shut down. If it does not so work and music stops, it signals the need for a more powerful amp, or for an impedance matching device, which in practice does the same thing, of not allowing sound levels rise to an extent that triggers the self protection circuitry in the amp from kicking in.

I would be very surprised if the new amp did not have the same kind of self protection that Connect Amp has.
As a postscript to the above: many 8 ohm nominal speakers drop impedance to as low as 2 ohms at times; when this happens while sound levels are high for long times, amp/speaker damage can happen even if it is just a 2 speaker load. Again, the Connect Amp would shut down before such damage occurs, and so would the new Amp, I would expect.

Unfortunately therefore, things are not as simple as just seeing the nominal numbers usually quoted in the speaker spec.
I found this at www.theverge.com

“This is a really high quality amplifier that should dispel all the chatter we’ve heard that Connect:Amp is just a toy,” he said. “Sonos Amp is a real amplifier, and we’re really proud of that.”

This is also an unfortunate choice of words by Sonos implicitly accepting that the Connect Amp is a toy. It is not and is in fact better than many 55 wpc HiFi amps around that cannot double that wpc to 110 into a 4 ohm load as it can, while still being as good as them on the low distortion levels criterion.
I have two at home since 2011, running as flawlessly as many HiFi amps I have used before and with them in different zones at home.
To my mind, the only reasons I would prefer the Amp to Connect Amp for stereo music is the mono option that is very useful for setting up outdoor systems. Or for ceiling speakers. Or if I needed to drive monster speakers, or those that are poorly designed and therefore power hungry ones. Everywhere else, the Connect Amp is still a valid product, although no longer available now, another reason to buy the new Amp if third party passive speakers are to be driven.