Is a Sonos Connect what I want? Questions and details inside


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My system consists of the following components:

A wired PC with lots of music files
A wired Marantz SR6008 AVR connected to JBL studio speakers and an SVS subwoofer
Multiple Sonos Play:1s and a One
Spotify
A wired Apple TV 4K
Google Chromecast audio over wifi
A Macbook Air on wifi

What is the best way for me to just have music sent to the Marantz AVR to get the best quality and consistency (no hiccups, clicks, dropouts, etc.) to a. my main setup of the Marantz with JBL speakers and b. to the Marantz AND the Sonos speakers? Will a Sonos Connect into the Marantz, with the wired PC acting as a media server be the most logical setup? Can I play FLAC this way? What limitations will I face? I also use Spotify a lot - would a Connect benefit me at all for this, too?

It would seem the Apple TV and Chromecast would be cut out of the audio equation if I went with the Sonos Connect, right (that probably doesn't matter much to me; the Chromecast was cheap, and the ATV is for 4K streaming primarily)?

Is there a better solution, or a more straightforward one? From my research it seems like this is probably the way to go. Thanks!

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10 replies

Userlevel 5
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Yes, a Connect would do just fine for this application. You can play FLAC, up to 16 bit, 44.1 kHz.

Supported formats and bit rates: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/79?language=en_US
Userlevel 7
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Yes, add a connect to the Marantz.

I would input audio into the Marantz via digital connection (just like a CD player). I would use the Zone2 Output to feed into the connect.

Then, if you want to listen to Sonos music on the Marantz you just set it to the Sonos input (in this case I mentioned CD).

If you want to play something that is input into the Marantz on other Sonos speakers in the house you would just choose the Zone2 output and pick the source you want to Send into Sonos (like TV whatever you may have input into the Maranatz). I don't know if the Marantz cross converts digital to analog you will have to see about that (ie if you input like AppleTv into Marantz does it convert that to an analog stereo signal that outputs via the Zone2? I don't know).
Userlevel 7
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ok looks like your receiver will

"That application won't work unless you set the Zone 2 HDMI Audio to "PCM" as the Zone 2 preout and Amp Assigned terminals won't pull the audio from just the HDMI connection without the "PCM" setting enabled. However, this will limit your Main Zone to 2 channel when Zone 2 is enabled. (GUI: General - Zone 2 Setup - HDMI Audio) "

So if you turn on Zone 2 to output audio from the Marantz to rest of Sonos speakers. Your entire system will limit itself to stereo (not 5.1 on the mains and then 2.0 to the Zone2 output). Seem pretty reasonable. Sounds like if you turn Zone2 off your main system will go back to full 5.1 if you need.
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Aside from using Sonos to play music through the speakers (vs. Airplay, Chromecast, etc) and integrating the speakers with my Sonos components, what are the added benefits for the Connect? I don’t fully understand your Zone 2 examples.

Can the Connect act as the player itself? What I mean by that is, does it serve as a wired Ethernet part of my network, so that I can play stuff that’s on a wired PC on the same network, for example? Will I get a cleaner connection to it than via Airplay to my Apple TV? And lastly, will I end up with lag between the receiver speakers and the Sonos speakers around my house?

It looks like the Connect has been around for quite awhile...curious if an update to the hardware is planned anytime soon.
Userlevel 5
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The Connect will act as a player in much the same way as a CD player - outputs to your receiver, receiver takes it from there to the speakers. It will stay in sync with your other Sonos devices, as that's what the whole Sonos ecosystem is designed for. Will it be better than Airplay? Certainly better than Airplay 1, Airplay 2 remains to be seen.

The Zone 2 recommendation was to be able to add anything that's input to the receiver to be played on all the other Sonos speakers in the house. It's not necessary to set up if you don't want to, it's just a nice capability to have, say if you have a turntable in that location you can play it to other rooms easily. This will not stay in sync however, as there is a short but definite delay required to digitize the output for transmission to the other rooms.
Userlevel 7
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Or if your playing applets as example tv show. Via the line 2 connection out of receiver a Sonos speaker in another room can play that sound
Userlevel 4
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I have two connects which are attached to hifi systems. One is a home theatre system. If I am streaming through Sonos and the receiver is switched to the Sonos Connect then it is in perfect sync with the rest of the grouped zones.

My home theatre system is also connected to my PC so I can also output from the receiver into the Connect. This means that the rest of the house can play anything through Sonos that I can play on my receiver - TV - DVD - PS4 - PC. This however is where you can get lag, as the Sonos speakers will lag behind the PC/TV etc. I can switch the receiver to play via Sonos which puts the home theatre system in sync with the rest of the house but then the lag between sound and picture in the home theatre room is obvious. Exactly how this works depends on your hifi capabilities and how you wire it all up, but fundamentally the lag between your receivers inputs and the other Sonos areas is inevitable as the Connect needs some time to do its stuff and stream to the other Sonos players.
Userlevel 7
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Sonos does add a little delay - putting your receiver in a dsp mode will add some delay to it and make them more in line. It will do opposite though when playing Sonos music as dsp mode (like all channel stereo) will add delay when Sonos is not.
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In theory, will I be able to use Airplay 2 to my Sonos One which will then stream to the Connect, also? So that I can play YouTube audio for example to all the Sonos components, including the Connect? Or conversely, can I output YouTube audio via the Apple TV, into the Marantz, and out to the Connect, then out to all the Sonos speakers, right?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Yes