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Updated Sonos System - Connect is playing too loud and clipping

  • 23 November 2015
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Since I updated my system, my old Connect is now playing far too loud out of the digital out.

It is clipping like mad and causing serious distortion.

This needs to be sorted as it could cause serious damage to people speakers if they don't notice.

I have set it to variable for the time being, but obviously not ideal.

Any ideas?
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Best answer by Ryan S 30 December 2015, 22:48

Hi everyone,

If you're experiencing an issue with audio issues on your CONNECT after updating to 6.0 can you check that the issue goes away if you turn the volume on the CONNECT down to 95% instead of 100%? If your CONNECT was set to Fixed volume you'll need to change that to Variable under Settings > Room Settings.

If you find that this fixes the issue, we are working on a resolution for this issue in the latest version of the Sonos public beta. You can join the beta by following the directions on this page. After you're signed up for the beta, go ahead and update your system and let us know how it goes. Once the beta is over the fix will roll into the next version of the Sonos software to be released further down the road.

Let us know how it goes, and if you do still have any audio trouble with your CONNECT, it'd be best to give us a call and work with our team live.
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55 replies

I'd contact Sonos support, I don't think this is widespread, my connect is not suffering from this problem after the last update.
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Is yours the connect or connect amp? My amp is fine, just the digital on the connect.

I will contact them though cheers .
Is yours the connect or connect amp? My amp is fine, just the digital on the connect.

I will contact them though cheers .


The connect, mine is using the digital output as well.
I'm having the same issue, and noticing it most when playing my own MP3s over the local network. The clipping goes away if I switch the Connect output to 'variable' and turn the volume down to about 50%, but this is not a practical solution.

I tried troubleshooting with Sonos support to no avail. They sent a replacement, but unfortunately that didn't solve the issue. Fingers crossed for a future software update I guess...
I have exactly the same problem. I upgraded to a new iMac, which required updating to Sonos 6.0. After the upgrade, output from Connect units clips badly and I have to turn the Connect volume slider down. This happens on two completely different systems (different Connect units, different out board DACs). The clipping occurs with the Connect digital and analog outputs, and occurs with wireless or ethernet connection to the iMac with my music library. However, streaming lossless from Tidal does not have the distortion/clipping. Sonos says streaming from Tidal takes a different signal path, therefore may be avoiding the source of the problem.

Currently troubleshooting this with Sonos who says they have never heard of this. Yet, here is this thread on their site. No solution yet. Real bummer; the system used to work without issues.
Have you tried changing the CONNECT's Line-In Source Level?
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Currently troubleshooting this with Sonos who says they have never heard of this. Yet, here is this thread on their site. No solution yet. Real bummer; the system used to work without issues.

I have the problem too. Only evident since the last update. There is a significant change to the Connect's volume level into my Naim DAC-V1 resulting in clipping with some albums. It isn't every album but it does happen on a few of my favourites which is how it became immediately obvious. I've been thinking about getting some Rothwell -10db Attenuators which cost about £40 here in the UK. A little tweak to the fixed line volume output allowing the user to fix the level would be great.

Have you tried changing the CONNECT's Line-In Source Level?

You can only choose fixed or variable. The fixed is too loud and causing clipping. Variable is not user friendly for those who are routing the Connect to an external amplifier where they wish to use the amplifier's volume control. I've also switched to variable as a temporary measure but it's not a good permanent solution at all.
Currently troubleshooting this with Sonos who says they have never heard of this. Yet, here is this thread on their site. No solution yet. Real bummer; the system used to work without issues.

I have the problem too. Only evident since the last update. There is a significant change to the Connect's volume level into my Naim DAC-V1 resulting in clipping with some albums. It isn't every album but it does happen on a few of my favourites which is how it became immediately obvious. I've been thinking about getting some Rothwell -10db Attenuators which cost about £40 here in the UK. A little tweak to the fixed line volume output allowing the user to fix the level would be great.


I'm not sure how you're going to use attenuators if you're connecting digitally to the DAC? Attenuators are for analogue signals. If you're not connecting digitally from the Connect then I'm not sure what the DAC is for?

Have you tried changing the CONNECT's Line-In Source Level?

You can only choose fixed or variable. The fixed is too loud and causing clipping. Variable is not user friendly for those who are routing the Connect to an external amplifier where they wish to use the amplifier's volume control. I've also switched to variable as a temporary measure but it's not a good permanent solution at all.


No, you're talking about the Connect's OUTput, Buzz is talking about the input level on the Connect's Line-IN, but that only applies if you're actually using the line-in, it has no effect if you're listening to locally stored files or online services.
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I'm not sure how you're going to use attenuators if you're connecting digitally to the DAC? Attenuators are for analogue signals. If you're not connecting digitally from the Connect then I'm not sure what the DAC is for?



Sorry, I misread the post.

The attenuators would go between the DAC-V1 and the amplifier as the DAC-V1 isn't been used in Pre-amp mode but as a standalone DAC.

I've raised the issue with Support on an e-mail.
For the last few days, I've been getting distortion from a Connect which is connected via its digital output to a DAC. I hadn't linked this to the recent software update until I read this thread, but that makes sense.

I have two Connects, so I've tried swapping over, but this doesn't seem to have solved the problem.

It is easy to spot the distortion from the Connect by comparing the sound to that from the CD drive into the same DAC.
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I'd raise it in an email to Support. They have referred my case to their technical team so it would be helpful if they know my problem is being experienced by others.
I've e-mailed Support today.
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I had a long telephone conversation with Support today. They took another diagnostic, we did a factory reset and tested it with some familiar music but I'm afraid nothing had changed. It seems something came up in the diagnostic as the helpful Support person without prompting said he would arrange a replacement unit for me under warranty. Good news for me as I thought the warranty had run out after one year :-)

Hopefully that will resolve my issue - I'll update when the new Connect arrives.
The first replacement I was sent exhibited the same issue, shorty before disappearing from my system! Apparently the main board on that one was shot, so Sonos sent out a replacement for the replacement. I'm now on my 3rd connect with the same issue, so at this point I'm going to conclude that it's a result of some kind of recent software bug and will hope that a software update is forthcoming.
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Hi everyone,

We're currently investigating this and would love to get a closer look into any systems that are experiencing trouble with the CONNECT exhibiting audio quality issues. If you aren't already in touch with our support team, can you give us a call using our contact information here?

@ACB I've updated your support incident and a technician is looking into it now. They'll reach out soon.

Thanks everyone.
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Since the last Sonos update my music library, stored on a Mac mini, plays back with audible distortion through the Sonos bridge or through a personal DAC (I have two and they both reveal the distortion). Something is wrong. I will call the number again, as when I called last week the extremely helpful gentleman was unaware of any broader issues.

Do note, both of my DACs now reveal that Sonos now transmits with a 24 bit word length (rather than the previous 16). The customer service rep confirmed this. I suspect this is a related issue, but that is just a guess. Something is amiss!
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Just to clarify, there is no distortion when playing Deezer elite files or any other streaming service, just lossless files stored in my music library. Also, I meant Sonos Connect not Bridge.
I've been told that the Sonos Tier 2 support team is investigating a permanent fix (and I have a follow-up investigatory session with one of the team members booked for later this month) . In the meantime, my Connect (digital) output has been changed from fixed to variable, and set at about 80%. Lossless files now work perfectly.
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Do note, both of my DACs now reveal that Sonos now transmits with a 24 bit word length (rather than the previous 16). The customer service rep confirmed this. !

does this mean hi-res support is on its way and its leaked out in a half baked state ?!!
Do note, both of my DACs now reveal that Sonos now transmits with a 24 bit word length (rather than the previous 16). The customer service rep confirmed this. !

does this mean hi-res support is on its way and its leaked out in a half baked state ?!!


No it doesn't, the connect has always used a 24-bit wide bus as it uses 8-bits for volume control to avoid altering the bitstream until you get to very low volumes. That being the case it could only support24-bit if the volume control was permanently disabled. Anyway it's only a couple of weeks ago that Sonos execs were making it quite clear in interviews that they can't make the hi-res numbers add up (ie they think it's pointless).
Do note, both of my DACs now reveal that Sonos now transmits with a 24 bit word length (rather than the previous 16). The customer service rep confirmed this. !

does this mean hi-res support is on its way and its leaked out in a half baked state ?!!

Long ago the ZP80 was proven to be outputting 24bit words, with the lowest byte populated when volume was below 100%.
https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/zp80-output-specifications-4362

There's never been a 'previous 16'.
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My DAC indicated 16/44 up until the latest update. Now it reads 24 on two different DACs, and Uncompressed music files stored on my computer now play with clear distortion. Something fundamentally changed, and the word length readings seem related.

I do not believe I get any value from an external DAC if I play the system with variable volume.
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Perhaps what is occurring is the fixed volume setting is no longer going through bit perfect? I am just spit-balling here.
Read that old thread through. If the volume is 100% or Fixed, the 24bit S/PDIF word contains zeroes in the lowest byte. Perhaps this accounts for the DAC's display.

I do not believe I get any value from an external DAC if I play the system with variable volume.
You'd have to be at about -48dB on the volume before lowest order bits started to be truncated and information lost. Since your '24bit' DAC probably has a real world resolution of several bits less than that I somehow doubt you'd notice the absence of dither on the 24th bit. There's more than enough dynamic range there to go from inaudible to hearing destruction.
My DAC indicated 16/44 up until the latest update. Now it reads 24 on two different DACs, and Uncompressed music files stored on my computer now play with clear distortion. Something fundamentally changed, and the word length readings seem related.

I do not believe I get any value from an external DAC if I play the system with variable volume.


Variable digital output to a DAC still benefits from the external DAC's digital to analogue conversion (of course) - and this is likely to better than the conversion handled by the Connect.

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