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Sonos Amp: Volume

  • 21 November 2018
  • 26 replies
  • 2978 views

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I received the new Sonos Amp yesterday. I have connected a pair of Bose 251 outdoor speakers to it and I am very underwhelmed by the volume. No sound can even be heard until volume is at 30%, and at 100% I can converse at a normal volume level when 10 ft from the speakers. I expected a lot more umph at 125W/channel.

I am using preexisting speaker wire that is probably 5-10 years old and it appears to be 18 gauge. The total run is under 50’ of wire. Could the wire be the culprit? The sound quality is quite good, it’s just rather quiet. My understanding is poor wiring would lead to fidelity issues, not necessarily increased volume.

I am using google play and also airplay. Same results from both. Not using a line in. Volume is not limited. Can’t find any other relevant settings.

Any thoughts?
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Best answer by Airgetlam 21 November 2018, 20:45

According to this website:

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-qddHGrKsTRY/learn/learningcenter/home/speakers_wire.html

I'd guess that 18 gauge might be a little small for that, although I'm not familiar with those speakers.
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Yes. How did you get hold of a new Amp?
According to this website:

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-qddHGrKsTRY/learn/learningcenter/home/speakers_wire.html

I'd guess that 18 gauge might be a little small for that, although I'm not familiar with those speakers.
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Yes. How did you get hold of a new Amp?

Yes what?

I bought it from an audio equipment dealer.
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What music source are you trying to play?

Confirm the volume limiter is not set to reduce the volume levels.
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What music source are you trying to play?

Confirm the volume limiter is not set to reduce the volume levels.


Volume limiter is not set (I.e. it’s at 100).

Results are same with all sources of streaming music - google play, iTunes, etc. I do not have any line in so no external source.
Yes. How did you get hold of a new Amp?

Yes what?

I bought it from an audio equipment dealer.
Yes, I have some thoughts (as per your question). My first thought was how you had one before the launch date... but maybe I am mistaken over that.

Other thoughts. I doubt it's the wire unless it's really crap. Can't be sure though. But as outdoor speakers, maybe they are designed to spread the sound far and wide. The sound is likely to dissipate much more than in an enclosed space. What are you comparing it with? Have you used other amps with these speakers in the same location?
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Yes. How did you get hold of a new Amp?

Yes what?

I bought it from an audio equipment dealer.
Yes, I have some thoughts (as per your question). My first thought was how you had one before the launch date... but maybe I am mistaken over that.

Other thoughts. I doubt it's the wire unless it's really crap. Can't be sure though. But as outdoor speakers, maybe they are designed to spread the sound far and wide. The sound is likely to dissipate much more than in an enclosed space. What are you comparing it with? Have you used other amps with these speakers in the same location?


I called and reserved it a couple months ago. They got the shipment in on Tuesday. They called and told me I could come pick it up. I was surprised to get it so early. It’s a mom and pop/boutique audio store/installer.

I haven’t used them with another amp and you might be right. The sound is crisp, and they do seem to project a good distance. Just at a relatively pretty low volume. As these are common speakers, hoping maybe someone else can weigh in on their experience with them with another amp or the connect.

I would definitely say the wire is on the verge of crap but given the sound is clean I didn’t think it’d make a dramatic volume difference.
I have the AMP as well, I got an email the other day it was available now, ordered, received a few days ago. It went on backorder shortly after my order. I was excited as I have two Cerwin Vega D9s I have been waiting to get hooked up to this new AMP and run my TV through. Everything was great, power, volume, etc.....then the ARC won’t connect for the TV audio. I troubleshoot with tech support, tried a different TV, multiple cables, and it just won’t get a signal through the port. So I think the HDMI port is defective on mine, music streaming works great and sounded amazing. I’m assuming they will have to send me a replacement. I have to call back tomorrow.
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So I did a test this morning - ran a temp 14 gauge wire out to speaker from amp. No discernible difference is quality or volume.

So now it is either down to the Bose 251 lacking umph, a setting somewhere for the amp I am missing, or a defective amp. I have read a lot of reviews on the speakers and there seems to be a lot of positive reviews about these things kicking butt. But I suppose that’s a relative term.

Does the fact that 0 audio can be heard until over 30% volume tell me anything? It just seems strange that high quality equipment like this would have such low volume range/sensitivity.
Given that it’s a brand new device, and not many folk have gotten one to do any real world testing, I have to wonder if perhaps there’s a fault in the device, since you’ve ruled out the wiring as a potential. Skimming back through this thread, I don’t see that you’ve run a diagnostic using the Sonos software, and posted a number for a Sonos rep to look at. It might be the point in time to consider that as a possibility 😉
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Attached is a diagnostics confirmation.
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do you have some other speakers you can hook to it in the house to check and see the volume its putting out and make sure its not the speakers. It should be very loud from those speakers.
Did you ever get this figured out? I am having the same issue with my 2 new Sonos Amps. I am using 14awg, brand new speaker cable and it is powering Sonance Mariner 86s ..... If the volume is at 50% it's about half as loud as a single Play 1 is.
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Did you ever get this figured out? I am having the same issue with my 2 new Sonos Amps. I am using 14awg, brand new speaker cable and it is powering Sonance Mariner 86s ..... If the volume is at 50% it's about half as loud as a single Play 1 is.

Hi fleetmack

Did you get your issues resolved:? Please update either way. If resolved please tell us how; as the solution may be helpful to others. FYI, I have two Sonos Amp's with no volume issues.

Cheers!

Hi fleetmack

Did you get your issues resolved:? Please update either way. If resolved please tell us how; as the solution may be helpful to others. FYI, I have two Sonos Amp's with no volume issues.

Cheers!


I did not, I've just come to accept that these amps may not of the same super high quality that I've come to expect from Sonos, which is irritating as to how much money I've spent on these. There is no malfunction and both of them (I bought 2) perform the same, so I think it works properly, the performance of the amps is lackluster. Having double the power of the old amps, yet the old amps are louder, makes no sense to me.
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Hi fleetmack

Did you get your issues resolved:? Please update either way. If resolved please tell us how; as the solution may be helpful to others. FYI, I have two Sonos Amp's with no volume issues.

Cheers!


I did not, I've just come to accept that these amps may not of the same super high quality that I've come to expect from Sonos, which is irritating as to how much money I've spent on these. There is no malfunction and both of them (I bought 2) perform the same, so I think it works properly, the performance of the amps is lackluster. Having double the power of the old amps, yet the old amps are louder, makes no sense to me.


Hi fleetmack

Sorry to hear that you are still experiencing issues with your Sonos Amps. Here are two attachments. The first taken from the Sonance product manual for the Mariner 86's and the second from the Sonos Amp quide. The link is to the Sonos Amp with additional information. You might also check the Sonos amp to be sure the volume limiter for the Sonos Amp is not engaged. My last suggestion is to submit a diagnostic, place the reference ID in this forum and then call Sonos.

Good luck. Cheers!





https://www.sonos.com/support/en/sonos-user-guide/index.html#t=sonos-user-guide%2Famp%2Famp.htm%23TOC_Connect_the_cables3bc-4&rhtocid=_0_1_8_3
I'm having the same exact issue. At 30% volume level I can barely here the music across different audio sources. I have a simple setup, two speakers, left and a right. Is there an issue with the Sonos Amp product? Can the gauge of the speaker wire affect volume levels?
I'm having the same exact issue. At 30% volume level I can barely here the music across different audio sources. I have a simple setup, two speakers, left and a right. Is there an issue with the Sonos Amp product? Can the gauge of the speaker wire affect volume levels?

Apparently per above, speaker wire ~can~ make a bit of difference, but that is clearly not the issue here. I used the same speaker cable as I have with my volume issue, but hooked up my Denon receiver in place of the amps, using the exact same speaker wire (about 30-40 feet of 14awg cable, for the record) and the performance of the speakers is much better. Additionally, I brought one of the Sonos amps to my basement and hooked it up to my Definitive Technology speakers using about 10 feet of 12awg cable and have the same issue. The amps are just not high quality like the rest of the Sonos family, sad to say.
Okay, I'm seeing the same issue here. I think I'm going to be forced to return this product. It's amazing that Sonos would roll out a product that cannot produce good volume levels, especially at $600!
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Interesting. There has been quite a handful of reports about this observation now. I wonder what's going on.

My Amp is quite capable of blasting out solid, undistorted volume levels into a pair of Q Acoustics 3050 floor-standers. I couldn't comfortably use 100% volume in my reasonably large reception rooms. As with all Sonos equipment you have to go up the volume scale compared with other amplifiers, but those amplifiers are generally incapable of getting anywhere near 100% volume without distortion.
Interesting. There has been quite a handful of reports about this observation now. I wonder what's going on.

Yes. And beyond defective amps, wiring out of phase could be the reason - inadequate speaker wire gauge does cause sound level drops, but not to the extent indicated.
One thing to reiterate - folks comparing other amps should compared both at 100% volume before drawing any conclusions. If the same at 100% but different at 30%, this is just because of a different volume control architecture and where Sonos is concerned, one that makes the volume control more usable.
I have had the identical issue since last year. One set of Bose 151 Enviormentals. Not the wires, not my new Pioneer VSX LX303 Amp, not Settings Fixed/Variable/100 % Max. Tuner/iPad/Bluetooth all work nice & loud on same system & speakers. It’s the Sonos Connect Amp. It Sucks. Sorry I bought into this mess.
I have had the identical issue since last year. One set of Bose 151 Enviormentals. Not the wires, not my new Pioneer VSX LX303 Amp, not Settings Fixed/Variable/100 % Max. Tuner/iPad/Bluetooth all work nice & loud on same system & speakers. It’s the Sonos Connect Amp. It Sucks. Sorry I bought into this mess.
Wait a minute. You already have a Pioneer amp driving the Bose speakers? What's the Connect:Amp connected to?

And what's with the "Settings Fixed/Variable/100 % Max"? Those are characteristic of a Connect, not a Connect:Amp.
Ratty, I stand corrected, Sonos Connect not Connect Amp.
In that case I don't understand the issue. Connect outputs at line level from its RCA outs, when volume is full or fixed. Obviously volume can be lower if the variable volume option is used.

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