Audio Delay Between Connect and Play 5



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PS to previous reply. 11000 views.... and 50 posts in 4 years, mostly explaining how to get rid of the issue.
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I know this thread is old, but has anyone figured out a solution yet to at least make it closer?

Yes, but it's dumb.

If you relay the analog output of the SONOS CONNECT output through the line input of another SONOS device (CONNECT or PLAY:5), and use the Line-In as the source for the rest of the house, that introduces a significant delay on the SONOS wireless side. It is generally enough of a lag to put it behind your receiver's sound output instead of the other way around. If said receiver has an audio delay function, then you can use that to synchronize it with SONOS.

Of course this will cost you $350 (or $250 to $275 if you go used) unless you have an unused CONNECT or PLAY:5 lying around. It's also more complicated to play whole-house music because you have to set the music source on the CONNECT, and group the rest of the house with the line-input of the CONNECT or PLAY:5 used as the relay, like this:

Receiver <---digital--- CONNECT (source) ---analog---> CONNECT/PLAY:5 (line in) ====> house

Like I said: stupid. Much better, easier, and cheaper would be for SONOS to allow you to delay the SONOS speakers behind the line outputs of CONNECT devices in order to account for receivers with DSP delays. It should be a simple software fix (a ms is a ms no matter where it is). But obviously they don't think this is important.
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I don't get this being a Sonos problem. The problem is a receiver downstream of Sonos introducing a delay. If your receiver is incapable of producing good sound without also producing a delay then you shouldn't have bought it. Or replace it with one that doesn't cause the delay - if you have multiple Sonos players then replacing the receiver is likely to be the cheaper option!

For the record - I have two Connects and one is plugged into a receiver via optical. When grouped they are all in sync unless the receiver is adding some processing, which is easy to avoid without losing sound quality.
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It's called "playing nice with others". Receivers have an audio delay function to deal with input sources and display devices that have additional video processing, causing the audio and video to be out of sync. Is that the receiver's problem? No, it's not. But the manufacturers understand that it all has to work together or the HT experience is going to suck, and that "just go buy a different TV/BD/DVD/projector" is not always as easy or practical as it sounds. So, they put in the audio delay feature so that you can make everything work like it should.

Sonos offers the ability to send a line out to a receiver/amplifier. If they are going to do that, then why not go the extra mile? It's not like audio processing delays are a new phenomenon, or that how to solve this is a big mystery.
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So the AV manufacturers don't have to "play nice" with Sonos? I understand delays for processing - as I said, I have an AV amp that does just that. Sonos is primarily for music. It therefore shouldn't need any additional processing? Most music is recorded as stereo and played as stereo after all. Also, the delay in the AV receiver is after Sonos has sent the output which would mean that Sonos would have to add delay to all other Sonos players or advance the Connect. The much more simple and logical solution is to not add processing at the AV receiver? What happens if you have three connects with three AV receivers and each receiver has a different processing delay? I'm not sure how the players buffer/syncronise, but it seems like lots of different custom delays would start causing a bit of a headache....

I'm not suggesting that this shouldn't be a feature request, but frankly, that's all it should be. I stand by my statement that it isn't a Sonos generated problem. Therefore in my eyes, some posts above should read "Please Sonos, could you look at....." rather than slate Sonos for being unable to rectify a delay caused by other manufacturers.
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I know it's wild to think that someone might want to attach their Sonos CONNECT to an existing A/V receiver. Things like saving money, eliminating redundant components, using less electricity, and possibly wanting a higher quality speaker are all just crazy talk. But people are funny that way.

Yeah, it's "just a feature request". But it's one that is, let's see, 5 years old now. And it's still coming up. So it might actually be a thing their customers care about.

And how hard can this be? Sonos already syncs clocks, and buffers music to play at time t. If you can do that, you can sync to play at time t+n.
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I know it's wild to think that someone might want to attach their Sonos CONNECT to an existing A/V receiver. Things like saving money, eliminating redundant components, using less electricity, and possibly wanting a higher quality speaker are all just crazy talk. But people are funny that way. Did you read my replies? I have four Sonos zones at the moment. Only one is a play unit - I have two connects and one is attached to an AV amp. Personally, if I choose to add some kind of DSP on the AV amp then I expect that zone to end up a little out of sync.

Yeah, it's "just a feature request". But it's one that is, let's see, 5 years old now. And it's still coming up. So it might actually be a thing their customers care about. I agree. Obviously people in this thread care about it. They should be asking Sonos to look into a solution. It would also be useful if Sonos gave some kind of indication as to whether it is likely, possible or impossible to be implemented. I enjoy reading about feature requests, some of them are awesome ideas for the masses, others less so but even then ideas have a tendency to spawn even more.

And how hard can this be? Sonos already syncs clocks, and buffers music to play at time t. If you can do that, you can sync to play at time t+n. No idea. Maybe easy, maybe not. But what if there are three connects and all need different delays? You would need t+n, t+n+a, t+n+b? If I remember correctly you can have 32 zones on a Sonos system - how many of those might need a custom delay setting applying to all other zones? It becomes a little more complicated at best.
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I don't expect Sonos to solve world hunger. All they need is one delay for all the PLAY devices in the entire house/zone. If for some reason each receiver in your house needs a different delay to sync, then make the Sonos PLAY delay long enough so that all the receivers are ahead of the Sonos speakers, and then use each individual receiver's delay function to synchronize to it. Problem solved. If your multi-receiver setup has more than one without a delay function, then this isn't going to work. Sonos can only do so much here.

But they can at least do something. "You gotta help us doc! We've tried nothing and we're all out of ideas!"
I know it's wild to think that someone might want to attach their Sonos CONNECT to an existing A/V receiver. Things like saving money, eliminating redundant components, using less electricity, and possibly wanting a higher quality speaker are all just crazy talk. But people are funny that way.

Almost all music is still offered in 2 channel formats, and Sonos is a music playing system with an easy solution to this problem: just run the AVR in stereo or direct mode. Yes, this will silence all but the front speaker pair, but with 2 channel content that is all that can be used. The unsolved problem in these cases is doing 2.1 where one has a sub to legitimately anchor the two satellite sized front pair.
By the way, the last I heard, audiophiles prefer to use higher quality speakers with 2 channel stereo amps, where this problem does not exist.
Since the DSP delay introduced varies from one receiver model to the next, Sonos would need to introduce variable delays to its system to allow sync of its speakers to different receiver models. It certainly can be done, but Sonos clearly isn't seeing this as a priority.
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just run the AVR in stereo or direct mode.

Not every AVR has this. I have an older sound bar that doesn't. Even in stereo mode on analog ins, it has a 6ms delay.

Since the DSP delay introduced varies from one receiver model to the next, Sonos would need to introduce variable delays to its system to allow sync of its speakers to different receiver models. It certainly can be done, but Sonos clearly isn't seeing this as a priority.


Sonos doesn't need to be this complicated. Just one delay for the PLAY devices in the entire house is fine. You set the delay long enough so that all the receivers in the house are either ahead of or synced with the Sonos PLAY speakers, and then use each AVR's delay function to then slow down enough for Sonos to catch up.

They have to draw the line somewhere, and this is a fine place to do that.

(Delaying each PLAY:1,3 or 5 differently would not make sense, anyway...that would put all the Sonos speakers out of sync. And you don't delay the CONNECT line output. That is going in the wrong direction.)
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I suppose if all you have are CONNECTs and no Sonos PLAY devices, then, yeah, it would make sense to allow individual delays on the CONNECT devices, too. But this gets complicated, and I don't think Sonos needs to go that far to address this. Let each AVR use its delay function to get them in sync.

If you didn't have Sonos and you wanted them all in sync, you'd have to do that, anyway. Sonos is not the right place to fix that.
Let each AVR use its delay function to get them in sync.

If there are AVRs in different rooms, does it even matter if the music is out of sync? Music needs to be in perfect sync when it is being heard in the same space - for instance in a large open space living/dining/kitchen where there is an AVR at one end and Sonos speakers at the other ends. In this case what would you want Sonos to do to allow their speakers to be in sync with those driven by the AVR?
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If there are AVRs in different rooms, does it even matter if the music is out of sync?

Yes, it does.Trust me. We have a loft next to our master bedroom, and the loft is open to the entry foyer. The sound in the master bedroom is 6 ms behind, and if I have the speakers up high enough so that my wife and I can hear, say, a radio broadcast in every room of the house, then you hear that delay in the master bedroom because the sound from the other rooms does come in.
I will take your word for it. But would not most people have stereo amps instead of AVRs in these places? And you are not able to solve the problem by using source direct options on your AVRs presumably. That is not a common situation, if I was to hazard a guess: of having AVRs for non TV room applications that also do not have a source direct function that makes them work the way stereo amps do, with no delays. It is that combination that is causing you issues.
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It is a common enough situation that this issue has existed for 5+ years, and it keeps coming up. As simple as it would be to address it, why not do that?
Because it may not be simple? And that this is a 5 year old thread only says that it is 5 years ago that this ask was mentioned first in it.
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A five year old thread with posts every few months. And this is just one of the threads on the issue.

It better be that simple. They are already delaying in order to sync all the players to time t. If you can sync to time t, you can sync to time t+n. There are only so many ways to sync something to a clock. If their software is so horribly complicated that they can't add a number to another number, then their software engineers should consider another career.

I've considered poking around at the network time synchronization used by Sonos players. If you could force the CONNECT's clock to be a few ms behind, that would take care of it, too.
PS to previous reply. 11000 views.... and 50 posts in 4 years, mostly explaining how to get rid of the issue.
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Followed by people either saying "No such setting" or "That worked for me, but of course I can't use the EQ, digital inputs, etc. Sonos needs to fix this."
Followed by people either saying "No such setting" or "That worked for me, but of course I can't use the EQ, digital inputs, etc. Sonos needs to fix this."

Every DSP can have a variable amount of delay. Not to mention the dozens of different "2nd Zone" schemes where it may of may not be analog only, or any analog input may have to be digitized. There is no standard amount of delay for a receiver, it all depends on what it is trying to do. So if the delay is wildly inconsistent, how exactly is Sonos setting a permanent delay for each speaker in the system supposed to help?
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If you have multiple receivers in the house/zone, with or without Sonos, you already have this problem. Many of these devices (particularly AVRs) do provide an audio delay/lip-sync function as well. So, set the delay on the Sonos end long enough to get behind all the receivers/amps, and then use each individual receiver/amp's audio delay settings to individually sync them together.

If you have multiple receivers without this capability, then whether you have Sonos or not, you don't have a free solution for getting them sync'd up. You'd need to get a little lip sync delay device for the offending receiver/amp ($70 to $100). But at least you'd have that option.
If you have multiple receivers in the house/zone, with or without Sonos, you already have this problem. Many of these devices (particularly AVRs) do provide an audio delay/lip-sync function as well. So, set the delay on the Sonos end long enough to get behind all the receivers/amps, and then use each individual receiver/amp's audio delay settings to individually sync them together.

If you have multiple receivers without this capability, then whether you have Sonos or not, you don't have a free solution for getting them sync'd up. You'd need to get a little lip sync delay device for the offending receiver/amp ($70 to $100). But at least you'd have that option.


Do you realize the fringe cases you are describing here, not to mention the gymnastics you need to go through to solve a "problem" that has amounted to 50 posts in 4 years, most of which are explaining, not complaining?

Personally, I use a Connect with a receiver that has a delay for any DSP. You know what I do? I turn off the damn DSP's and listen to stereo sources the way they were recorded, in stereo. "Problem" solved.
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I have a device without a way to eliminate the delay, even in analog stereo mode (6ms delay is the best I can manage). So I don't have a solution, and there are still people who are unhappy about that solution anyway. Yes, it's a fringe case, and yes this one thread has only so many posts in it. For the people affected by it, it'd be nice to have some way to address it.

One, single audio delay for all of the Sonos PLAY devices would let me completely resolve this issue. So what if it takes some "gymastics", as you call it (and they are hardly gymnastics...setting a lip-sync delay is not exactly hard labor)? The point is, one delay for Sonos PLAY devices would give me something I can work with. Right now, they don't give me anything at all.

This is not a difficult feature to implement, it can be done in software, and it's a 5+ year old feature request that would make customers happy if it was resolved. I don't understand why the feature request makes people so hostile. It's a reasonable thing to ask for especially in a system where a major selling point is synchronization of players.
That is you. One anecdotal case does not drive major software changes. The vast majority of receivers do not have adjustable delays, their DSPs delays are variable, not set in stone, and purchasing an outboard "lip sync delay device" most certainly is gymnastics to fix a problem not many are complaining about, especially when the vast majority of receivers do have the ability to disable the DSP using Direct or Through mode.
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I am not asking for Sonos to solve all problems everywhere. And you are the one bringing up "gotcha" questions about multiple unsynchronized AVR's, and then getting hostile when I answer them. Why does this upset you so much? (And, once again, if your whole-house audio depends on multiple AVR's each of which has a different DSP delay, then you have a synchronization problem even if you don't have Sonos. This is a strawman argument that is mostly irrelevant.)

A single audio delay gives enough flexibility for people to work with, and requires no "gynmastics" or outboard devices unless you have really complicated setups. And it's obviously not one anecdotal case, or there wouldn't be a thread on the issue going back 5 + years, or other threads on the issue (this one seems to be the oldest).