Audio Dropouts with Turntables - Suggested Remedies

  • 20 February 2019
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Hello

Note: The following remarks assume you are using a Moving Magnetic (MM) phono cartridge versus a Moving Coil (MC) phono cartridge. The former being the most commonly used and the type included with the Turntables on the Sonos website. The latter introduces additional considerations. Click the link for a comparison of MM vs MC phono cartridges. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-turntable-cartridges.htm

I’ve seen a few posts involving drop-outs when using a Turntable with Sonos. It’s not an uncommon occurrence and there are several steps that can be taken to correct the issue. These are not necessarily in any particular order:

1. Reset Router
2. Change entire Sonos from Wireless (Wi-Fi) to Wired Mode (Boost)
3. Reset Sonos App
4. Upgrade Cables
5. Change Audio to Compressed
6. Wire the left speaker to your router; if going line-in to a Play 5
7. If connected to a Sonos Amp, Connect Amp or Connect (assumes TT is pre-amped) then wire it to your router

The final solution may be one of the above or a combination of several.

Just to set the stage I live in a tri-level split home using a dedicated Boost module on the lowest level. My setup for my Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Sonos Edition_Black (which is also on the lowest level) is as follows:

TT to Sonos Amp with Play 5’s x 2 set as Auto Play Room (I opted not to go line-in direct to Play 5’s). I would experience drops to generic speakers connected to a Sonos Amp on the second level. No drops-out occurred to the Play 5’s that are on the lowest level as well.

The partial solution (after conversing with Sonos Tech Support) was to wire the left Play 5. Change audio to Compressed. While it decreased the frequency of the drop-outs (to the speakers on the second level) it wasn’t a complete cure. The final solution was to somehow bring the speakers connected to The Sonos Amp (on the 2nd level) closer to the TT, router and Boost module. There-in lied the rub

Final solution was to run Ethernet upstairs (2nd Level) to a second router (using an Asus AI Mesh setup), purchase a second Boost Module and connect it to the second router. The second Boost also extended the SonosMesh creating a stronger signal to the 3rd level in the split. The second boost sits not 3 feet away from the Sonos Amp with generic speakers. Dropouts are now virtually non-existent.

To clarify (and this according to Sonos Tech Support) Grouping speakers when playing audio from your digital device is normal fare for Sonos; as the audio is already in a digital state. Sonos is taxed more when playing audio converted from analog (TT) to digital to all but the Auto Play room or directly to Play 5’s via line-in. Other speakers grouped depending upon their distance from the source may suffer dropouts.

In conclusion my situation is somewhat unique. In most instances a TT setup will be sending audio direct to Play 5’s via line-in or speakers connected to a Sonos Amp, Connect Amp or Connect (via a AV receiver). Drop-outs can usually be corrected by employing one of the seven (7) methods mentioned above. Grouping in other speakers is where drop-outs may require additional corrective measures.

I hope this helps with your TT setups. Enjoy your Sonos!

Cheers!

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