Question

Function of Amplifier with Sonos Connect Attached?

  • 11 January 2017
  • 6 replies
  • 1272 views

I have a pretty nice wired receiver but I need to move to a wireless setup. I'm thinking of buying the Sonos Connect to attach to that receiver/amplifier, but I'm wondering what the point of even holding on to that amplifier/receiver is, considering that Sonos speakers are each independently powered.

My understanding is that the receiver would continue to feed the Sonos Connect multiple sources like a record player, optical TV audio, etc.

However, the Sonos Connect would not control the wired speakers attached to the receiver, and the receiver's amplifier would basically be a brick. If my understanding is correct, wouldn't I be better off selling my receiver/amplifier and using lining in audio to the Sonos Connect so it can send the music signal to each independently powered speaker?

Not quite understanding the role of a receiver/amplifier when all speakers are independently powered.

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6 replies

You're essentially correct. At that point, your receiver is acting as a switch, taking multiple inputs (tape, vinyl, etc) and feeding it into the Sonos system. And if you end up digitizing all of your music and storing it locally, say on an NAS or a computer, or just do streaming from various 3rd parties, your receiver really becomes redundant.
Sorry but I disagree totally with @Airgetlam on this one and think the OP has in fact misunderstood the nature of the Connect. The original and primary purpose of a Connect is to turn a conventional amp + speakers into a Sonos player. I listen to my digitised music and streaming services on my highish-end hifi by using a Connect. My amps are definitely not bricks!

Using the line-in on the Connect also means that legacy equipment such as CD players and turntables can be played through the Sonos system.

It is true that you might choose to get rid of your hifi and replace it with powered Play speakers. Or complement the hifi by putting Play speakers in other rooms. But that is just a choice.

One subsidiary point - you mentioned the Connect being used for "optical TV audio". The Connect has no digital input. Its only digital connections are outputs. It has an analogue RCA output too, and an RCA analogue line in.
Hmmm. I've been wrong before, and will be again. But I'm confused here by your disagreement, John B.

The intention for the OP was to replace the current speakers with various Sonos products, i.e. powered speakers. Ergo, no need for an amplifier at that point, other than as a audio source switch device. And if that is done, the only purpose of the Connect is to handle any input of analog data like a record player, tape deck, etc. In fact, if the OP had no devices that needed to be connected for analog input, then the Connect could be dispensed with altogether, reducing the cost of the system.

In your situation, John B, you're continuing to use your non-Sonos speakers, and I'd agree that your amp in absolutely not a brick. But it sounds like you're still using the speakers you have connected to it.

However, the one extra item you mentioned is worth exploring further, the TV audio. The Connect and Connect:Amp do not process a true 5.1 signal, to my knowledge, so in order to get a true "surround" sound, I believe that a Playbar is needed, which would handle the input of the DD signal via the optical input, and translate it to the surround speakers (the Playbar, the surround speakers, and a Sub).

I'm certainly open to further information. Thanks for the opportunity for the discussion.
Hi @Airgetlam. Clearly we have interpreted the OP's position differently, And I think the post is ambiguous.

You believe that the OP understands that he could use his existing wired hifi speakers but doesn't want to. My reading is that he doesn't know he can stream Sonos through his existing hifi, which is the main purpose of the Connect. I read it that way because of "the Sonos Connect would not control the wired speakers attached to the receiver".

We'll have to see, if the OP resurfaces, which of us interpreted his position correctly. As I said, it isn't totally clear.
Yup, I think we agree that we've interpreted the OP's post in two different ways. And I think we're both right, too. You're correct if he wants to keep his current speakers, I'm OK if he replaces everything with Sonos stuff, and the amp becomes basically a switch.

And frankly, I was answering the direct question that I thought was was asked, and not adding my opinion as to whether it was something he should do. Were it me, I'd do the same thing that you have done. And in fact, when I first started moving over to Sonos, I did do that, keeping my receiver/amp and speakers until such point as I felt the need to reduce the size and clutter and could afford the necessary replacement stuff. I've eventually ditched my receiver/amps, but it took a while and a plethora of speakers to replace everything, but I continue to operate under a budget. I couldn't afford 15 new speakers all at one shot.
I've eventually ditched my receiver/amps, but it took a while and a plethora of speakers to replace everything, but I continue to operate under a budget.
So have I, and I still run only 3 out of 6 zones with play units although, except for one external zone, all the remaining 5 zones would be best served by them.

I suspect most of us that had legacy audio kit investments have migrated via similar paths.

With Sonos it has been a very pleasant surprise to obtain clutter free, outstanding sound quality and convenience on a budget. Minor downsides on features are trivial.