Audio Delay Between Connect and Play 5



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Well crap, I am brand new to the Sonos game...just bought a Connect and two Ones. I noticed the audio lag right away on my receiver. The brand...you guessed it...Yamaha! I was so pumped up for this and thought the Connect would be the perfect solution. I've changed some settings on my receiver (adjusted the distance from all my speakers to zero), have tried optical and RCA, different DSP sound fields but nothing seems to be working. I have an awesome system in the living room for home theater (Martin Logan's throughout) and am not about to downgrade my audio system to a Sonos soundbar. Any suggestions? Wish I saw this thread earlier. I may be returning my Connect as it doesn't deliver on what I needed it to do.
I currently have an open ticket with Sonos but that was before I found this thread myself. I have little to no hope they will return with a satisfactory answer.
Try a digital output from the Connect. It will probably go the other way! However, you may have a “straight” mode which is somewhere in between the two. You might get lucky...
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Hi Chris, MikeV's suggestion for third-party components is correct. I also want to suggest how you may optimize your Sonos components. On the PC/Mac Controller, select 'Manage' - 'Service Settings' - 'Advanced' and set audio compression to uncompressed. Doing so will ensure that the Sonos system itself is not causing any delay.
I´ve hade the same issues with a Yamaha receiver. I found a thread stating that the delay is particularly bad with Yamaha receivers. Based on that, I tested with an Onkyo receiver (I think the 727). My impression is that there was less delay with the Onkyo and that that at least solved my problem. 
Yes, it pretty much stinks... Using the composite audio is good info too; I didn't know that (I currently use optical). In desparation, I did the following experiment. I also have a connect:amp here. Now, whether I am imagining it or not, using the connect amp as my main source, and then 'grouping in' the connect (hooked to receiver), [seems] to have eliminated, or at least reduced the delay to a point that is not noticeable. I'm not sure why, but perhaps not having to go through my receiver's processor first makes a difference? Ideas?
Interesting, I will try that as well. Right now I'm working on finding a receiver that adds as little as possible to the problem. Onkyo worked better than Yamaha and today I'm testing pioneer 1223.
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I'm not having any problems anymore.  I've got my Play  5 and my Connect on a Yamaha receiver grouped, and there's no lag.   I was unplugging them between uses (to power down) and having to reconnect, but now that everything works, I leave them plugged in like I'm supposed to. 😉  
I have this same problem with an Onkyo receiver. Pure or Direct plus analog input works, but then I can't use any of the EQ settings, the subwoofer or surround speakers. And I can'[t get digital sound. An adjustable delay for Connect receivers is a greatly needed feature.

Eh? Your receiver is already delaying the signal, why do you want to delay it more? Not sure why you'd want to use surround modes with stereo music as well but you could wire the sub to the front speakers if the sub has a high level input, then you wouldn't need the processing.
The quality of the Micromega DAC is of a much higher level than Sonos DAC in the Connect. So I can not directly connect the Connect to the Unico Secundo amp.
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I don't agree and no one has yet established in a level matched blind test that the Connect DAC is audibly not equal to any other DAC in the world.
So, two points: this thread refers to delays caused by using AVRs, delays that are caused by DSP in the AVRs, and that can be defeated by bypassing this DSP by using the source direct option. It has nothing to do with DAC sound quality.

I also haven't heard of anyone using an external DAC with the Connect complain of sync delays caused by doing so - does your Micromega have filters to process the sound? If yes, these may be causing similar delays.

One way to avoid these delays is to not use these filters if that option exists on the DAC. The other is to wire the analog outputs on the Connect to the Unico. All you will lose is the sound shaping options that may exist on the Micromega DAC, but these are also causing your sync issues. Choose the lesser evil:-).
The quality of the Micromega DAC is of a much higher level than Sonos DAC in the Connect. So I can not directly connect the Connect to the Unico Secundo amp.
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I don't agree and no one has yet established in a level matched blind test that the Connect DAC is audibly not equal to any other DAC in the world.
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Strange; my wife and kids can even hear the difference


Strange; my wife and kids can even hear the difference

In a instrument level matched blind test, and with any digital filters that the DAC may have, set to flat? Even makers of DACs that cost USD 10K and above haven't been able to produce such a result in support of their extravagant sound quality claims in any of their promotions.

Without that precise level matching, the inevitable output signal level voltage differences leave the "louder at the same volume control setting on the amp" source to be louder, and even where this is as little as 0.2dB louder, sounding better to the ears. The cure is simple, boost the volume control on the amp a little when the Connect DAC is in use, and differences disappear. If you want them to.
returning the 2 Sonos players I just purchased as it renders them useless if they can't be played together.
They can't be; and I don't know of any that will in the way you want them to. If you do find any, others here will appreciate details for sure, because this issue comes up over and over.


Strange; my wife and kids can even hear the difference

In a instrument level matched blind test, and with any digital filters that the DAC may have, set to flat? Even makers of DACs that cost USD 10K and above haven't been able to produce such a result in support of their extravagant sound quality claims in any of their promotions.

Without that precise level matching, the inevitable output signal level voltage differences leave the "louder at the same volume control setting on the amp" source to be louder, and even where this is as little as 0.2dB louder, sounding better to the ears. The cure is simple, boost the volume control on the amp a little when the Connect DAC is in use, and differences disappear. If you want them to.


This discussion is going a bit off topic. Nevertheless; Do you really think the DAC inside a cheap consumer device has the same quality as a high end DAC?

I can give you some insight in where my DAC outperforms the Sonos DAC; One of the most important differences is the stereo field. My Micromega DAC provides a much wider and dynamic stereo field. There is also a noticeable difference in detail; Snare instruments sound more detailed, some background sounds in songs are better noticeable and the overall sound is more crisp.

I think I am not alone as a believer in high end DAC's:
https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/deciding-on-a-dac-and-sonos-connection-for-an-audiophile-room-31515/index2.html
It is generally accepted that the only objective way to conduct a listening test is an instrument level matched double blind test. The level matching rules out sound level differences that create an impression of better sound quality from even the slightly louder version that comes across in the ways you describe it to sound better. The double blind protocol is needed to eliminate expectation and other biases that no human can escape.

I have myself not found any difference between the sound from the Connect and that from the Connect feeding two different DACs that were heavier and more expensive than many stereo amplifiers. And equally true is what you say - there are believers in high end DACs. But there are also believers in expensive interconnects and speaker cables that cost ten times or more than equally capable commodity cables, so just this fact there are believers doesn't necessarily mean anything. I am also not able to make any definitive statement as to who is right and who is wrong, but that isn't the point.

The one definitive statement I can make, and my point, is that I haven't seen any double blind level matched test of two different DACs, where one has been picked to be superior enough times for that pick to be statistically reliable. Again, that doesn't prove such tests don't exist, and I would be happy to be pointed to one. Do you know of any?

I also have come to the conclusion that this old DAC subject is an obsolete one, as is the one of which stereo amplifier is better, where discussions are also always based on subjective, uncontrolled comparisons. I say obsolete because once current state of the art technology of active speakers is chosen, like Sonos play units, there isn't any scope left to discuss their internal components like power supplies, cross overs, DACs, amplifiers and speaker cone materials because it isn't possible to compare these largely commoditised components, nor is it necessary to do so. All that one can do, and does, is to see if one likes the sound from one play unit in comparison to other play units, or in comparison to other active speakers. After all, even in older tech passive speaker based systems, no one sits around comparing the built in power supplies inside amplifiers and external DACs and substituting external power supplies of supposedly better quality - except for extreme audiophiles.

I agree that this has now gone off topic and is my last post in this thread on this beaten to death subject. If your external DAC floats your boat for any reason, by all means use it. I merely suggested a way out of what you say are sync issues you see with it - issues that you say you don't see when you wire the Connect directly to the amp.

If you do a search there is also current conversation elsewhere here about how the Connect feeding an external DAC may be adding some amount of distortion to the sound, and how the analog outputs of the Connect do not do so. I don't think these are relevant to your issue, but the search facility is there if you want to look up those threads.

And in the thread you have quoted, I have participated extensively. Read it, and you will see there are people there too who agree with me, just as there are that don't.
I have never done, view or read any "double blind" scientific test. The only thing I find important is the best sound quality in my house. Over the last 20 years I have had a lot of different high end amps, speakers etc. and the most valuable investment which made my music sound better was my USD 500 DAC, not even that high end as you can see.
I today listened my test playlist again on the sonos with an without DAC and the difference was more than significant, it think everyone would have noticed that.
And I do believe in good interconnects and expensive loudspeaker cables. Loudspeaker cables are my number two best hifi investment per dollar.
Anyways, I liked the discussion and we indeed better stop it!

And I do believe in good interconnects and expensive loudspeaker cables. Loudspeaker cables are my number two best hifi investment per dollar.
Anyways, I liked the discussion and we indeed better stop it!

LOL. We clearly live in different universes, going by your belief in cables. There isn't any common ground, so I agree to stop for my sanity.
Anything is possible, but adding a variable delay without losing the much more valuable "all Sonos speakers in perfect sync" feature may be complex, expensive and not worth an effort from a market driven ROI point of view.
he suggested, as I did in my other post, to connect a multizone amp to the Yamaha and use that as the music source for the 2 kitchen speakers.
Although this would work, it defeats the convenience factor of the Sonos player, volume control etc.

Do you mean to add another amp downstream of the Yamaha and use it with wired speakers? That will deliver sound in sync everywhere but seems to me that it will very inconvenient in many other ways, and almost not worth the trouble.
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Do you mean to add another amp downstream of the Yamaha and use it with wired speakers? That will deliver sound in sync everywhere but seems to me that it will very inconvenient in many other ways, and almost not worth the trouble.


That's exactly what he meant and what I consider doing but correct, it is inconvenient and defeats the purpose of Sonos.

I am determined to figure out a solution!
Check this on going thread: https://en.community.sonos.com/components-228996/recommended-receivers-that-dont-have-a-delay-when-used-with-a-sonos-connect-6739257/index1.html#post16031546

Seeing that you have a Yamaha as well, does the solution that is suggested there, to at least have the Sub playing without losing sync, work for you?
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Check this on going thread: https://en.community.sonos.com/components-228996/recommended-receivers-that-dont-have-a-delay-when-used-with-a-sonos-connect-6739257/index1.html#post16031546

Seeing that you have a Yamaha as well, does the solution that is suggested there, to at least have the Sub playing without losing sync, work for you?


So as you can imagine I have been spending a ton of time experimenting and reading up on this. I spoke to both Sonos and Yamaha and there is no fix. Period.
I was able to get the best result but choosing uncompressed audio setting in the sonos advanced settings.
I used analog RCA cables, not optical, that made the problem worse which was confirmed by Yamaha.
THis gave me the best result and at times it was sync'd and others not. - Not good enough for me.

My resolve- Removing sonos from the equation. My Receiver is an 11.2 channel that only runs 9.2 unless you connect a power amp. to either power the additional 2 surround sound speakers or you can power another zone.
I am going to power my kitchen in zone 2. This will never be an issue as the same music will always be played in these 2 rooms.

Also, the new Yamaha audio app works just like a Sonos. I was very impressed. They have Rhapsody as a source which I use 95% of the time and I can airplay any other music source I use like Sound Cloud.
Zone 2 has separate volume control from the amp, again much like Sonos
I am sure this will solve the issue.

I will use the extra sonos for another room I need anyways. If I was the CEO of Yamaha I would parley the receiver to 3 or 4 zones or sell separate amps as sonos does and recreate the sonos model. This eliminates multiple companies with different technology.
Yamaha already make their own Sonos competitor, their latest amps include the technology within them, can't remember what it's called, music cast or something?
Probably Music Cast III, because that's how many times Yamaha has launched a Sonos competitor.
This will never be an issue as the same music will always be played in these 2 rooms.

Should work, in this case. I am guessing all speakers will be wired? That too will avoid the need for wireless, which Sonos seems to do more reliably than others.
I have the same problem. My new Yamaha RX-A3060 connected to Sonos Connect via digital coaxial cable is out of sync (delayed) versus Connect: Amp and Play: 5 in adjacent rooms. Was previously using a Yamaha RX-V3900 connected to Sonos Connect via digital coaxial and sync with Connect: Amp and Play: 5 in adjacent rooms was fine. Sonos - if you're listening - please help by introducing a delay feature in the Sonos Controller!