Integrating a stand-alone CD player

  • 11 May 2019
  • 9 replies

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Hi, I have 5 Sonos speakers around the house, with 2 more on the way. I have sold off most of my traditional stereo equipment, but I still have a CD changer with 200+ CDs in it.

I hav3 ripped the bulk of them and I can play them from a hard drive attached to the work.

But sometimes I want to listen to the CDs.

Does Sonos have a practical solution for integrating the CD player into my Sonos ecosystem?

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9 replies

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You can use any device with a line in: Play:5 (both gens), Connect (Amp) or Amp. If you haven’t got one of these already, for this functionality it is probably best to get a Play:5, since you then also have an additional speaker at the same time.
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Instead of the five, could the beam be used? It has an optical in, and I'm sure the AD converter is much better than on my CD player.
You could certainly run a PCM optical feed from a CD player into a Beam's TV input. If it's already serving a TV you'd need an optical switch, ideally an IR-controlled active one.

Note however that although the reproduction through the Beam (and any satellites) would be fine, to get the signal to any other rooms you'd need to group them with the Beam. They wouldn't play in perfect sync with the Beam, and the quality would be slightly compromised because Beam uses lossy compression to deliver the TV audio to grouped players.
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Is the syncing problem specific to the Beam?
It's not a 'problem' as such, it's a function of the design.

For TV sound it's important to minimise the latency/delay for in-room audio, to preserve picture lip-sync. Sonos can do this for Beam (or any other Sonos home theatre player) because wireless comms in-room to surrounds/sub are over a dedicated 5GHz channel.

When other rooms are grouped the audio to them travels over 2.4GHz, whether it's WiFi or SonosNet, which is more susceptible to interference and other traffic demands. There therefore has to be increased buffering, and hence delay, to avoid interruptions. TV audio sent to other rooms is less delay-sensitive since the picture is typically out of view.

Basically the TV input on any Sonos home theatre player is designed for TV, not as a general-purpose Line-In.
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Very helpful and interesting. Thanks.
Another approach is to use a CONNECT (a re-named ZP90), or the older ZP80.
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Buzz although the connect is the ideal solution, I find it overpriced and not to be a good value. They’re probably working on another version that is compatible with airplay. Maybe that will come out before I’ve done anything and I can re-evaluate the product.
If I were to guess, if they were to bring out a new CONNECT that is AirPlay 2 enabled, it will be priced slightly higher than the current CONNECT.