Audio Delay Between Connect and Play 5


Userlevel 2
Disappointing not to have delay compensation in Play 5 so I can listen to my expensive stereo system with Connect at the same time as Play 5. Big echo between the two. I didn't see any warnings in the sales information. I feel like this was not disclosed. Can this be fixed with a software update? Or do I need to return one of the components?

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104 replies



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.
Userlevel 1
[quote=Kumar] If you do find any, others here will appreciate details for sure, because this issue comes up over and over.

I was thinking of getting a multizone amp that may cause a similar delay as the Yamaha receiver.
Also, I ran the Ethernet cables in a series between my 3 Sonos players and that helped slightly. Not sure why. Before I had 1 direct to router and the other 2 wireless. Now they are daisy chained.
There are times the delay is slight and others it's clearly obvious.

I will keep this posted if I find a resolve. I am hoping running the other zones through an amp will fix the problem.

Wouldn't it be nice if Sonos had a dial in their settings that could create a delay for a certain zone. Like a volume control to create an artificial processing delay.
Wait, that would be too easy!
Userlevel 1
I spoke to a Sono's tech today for sometime and discussed this delay. He confirmed there is not resolve to this issue and understands the problem.
We discussed a way to fix this and 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.
Found it funny that Sonos will not add a delay feature but instead recommends removing one of their players...doesn't sound good for business! lol

Also, they do have a delay feature for the video/audio issue they have with their playbar since the TV processes the video slower you are able to delay the sound. If they can do that then I would believe it is simple for Sonos to add a delay on their amp's using the room settings.
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.
Userlevel 1

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?
Userlevel 1
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!
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/760361-REG/AV_Toolbox_AP_411_AP_411_Lip_Sync_Corrector.html
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/760361-REG/AV_Toolbox_AP_411_AP_411_Lip_Sync_Corrector.html

Useless as a solution to the above problem. That unit delays audio. The problem in this thread is that the receiver delays audio out of the Connect compared to the other Sonos units. If you put that unit between the Connect and the receiver, all you will get is an even greater delay.
I know this thread is old, but has anyone figured out a solution yet to at least make it closer? I have a yamaha receiver connected through optical to my connect and the delay drives me CRAZY!! I am getting tired of calling tech support and them telling me theres no fix when apparently lots of people are having this issue. This is not what they advertised and I am getting ready to return everything for something else. If you have gotten a new system can you tell me what brand? thanks
No and I don't know of any other make that offers a solution to this either.
The delay is due to the DSP processing in your receiver, not Sonos. Unfortunately, Yamaha receivers are especially DSP heavy and are notorious for this delay. There is no other system which can fix this, short of buying a receiver with no DSP delay.
The delay is due to the DSP processing in your receiver, not Sonos. Unfortunately, Yamaha receivers are especially DSP heavy and are notorious for this delay. There is no other system which can fix this, short of buying a receiver with no DSP delay.

What is dsp processing?? Digital sound processing? What receiver would you recommend?
what is dsp processing?? Digital sound processing? What receiver would you recommend?

Yes, digital signal processing. Things like "7 Channel Stereo", "Opera House", Dolby Pro-Logic, etc., are all DSP produced and depending on the receiver, cause anywhere from an unnoticible to a considerable delay. If your receiver has a "Passthrough", "Direct", or "Pure" stereo setting, it can reduce or eliminate the delay. Also, I know Onkyo receivers have minimal delay in most DSP modes, whereas Yamahas are notorious for delay. It can also help if you try switching between the analog and digital inputs.
Almost all receivers have a DSP bypass called by different names; but when you use it, only the two front channels will work. What this means is that if you want perfect sync using Connect into a receiver, only two speakers will operate delivering stereo sound. Which is an excellent way to listen to music. The only people that have a problem with sync therefore are those that must have all speakers actively playing music.

Stereo amps have no DSP, no delay. But they also only do two speakers, and sometimes, a Sub as well.
SONOS WAKE UP. Purchased Sonos equipment for $1,500 today and I`m very disappointed that there is no delay option using Connect on a high-end stereo and the Sonos speakers in other rooms. How does this post has 11,000 views and this feature is still missing? Is this a moderated community - I would hope for a reply from Sonos, would hate to have to return all the equipment which otherwise is stellar.:@
Perfect synch with my high end stereo and rare for it to be otherwise. AV receivers another matter. Are you sure there is no direct mode? I assume the units are grouped and you aren't playing the same source through two ungrouped speakers?