New Sonos Amp or Connect and exusting amp?

  • 4 March 2019
  • 4 replies
  • 13570 views

Im currently running a software squeezebox on rPi hooked to a Audiolab MDAC into a Bryston 3bst.

ive ripped about 1000cds to alac but more and more i find i use Apple Music which squeeze doesnt support save via airplay which can be spotty and no shared queue for my wife to add things. Afaik AM is only supported by Sonos.

im intrigued by the new Amp for the increase in power and airplay 2 funtionality plus just getting me into the Sonos system. ill only ever use it in 2 channel mode.

That said i wonder if i could just buy the connect and run it into my existing dac via optical or coax?

im not sure if the amp would be an upgrade compared to the bryston or how the preamp/dac works in it vs the mdac.

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4 replies

Userlevel 7
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The Connect isn't airplay compatible though. You could get the Connect and a Sonos One though (which is airplay compatible) and group them together whenever you want to use airplay. That would only save you about $50, but you would get an extra speaker out of the deal.

As far as which amp is better, I'm not the right guy to answer that question.
Userlevel 2
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You've got some nice equipment, and my inclination would be to continue to use the DAC and power amplifier you have, and add a Connect as the source device, sending a digital signal to the DAC via optical or coax.

You say you've ripped your CD's to ALAC, so they must be stored on a NAS or host that runs your squeeze server. If it's a NAS or host that can do SMB file sharing the Connect can use the files directly, and perhaps any playlists you have depending on their format. The Connect in effect replaces the squeezebox as your digital streamer.

You won't get Airplay, as was pointed out. You would be able to use Apple Music natively on the Connect, however. Perhaps you have other reasons for needing Airplay.

Adding the Connect would give you access to Apple Music, and likely to your lossless library, with all the bits sent to your DAC.

Conversely, you could reduce the footprint and complexity of your system by replacing the DAC and amplifier with an Amp, while getting Airplay functionality too. Sound quality tradeoffs are impossible to predict... But you've got good options to choose from.

With the cost difference between the Amp and the Connect, you could buy an old Airport Express, and use its optical output into your DAC. More complexity, but I see the MDAC can support three inputs, so it's an option.

You don't say if you have other Sonos speakers, or if you have an interest in adding multi-room functionality. That might influence the decision...

Best of luck.
No real reason to need airplay other than using the native Apple Music app sometimes.

On that note, does a Sonos Connect act as a Spotify Connect endpoint (I know the speakers do)? Ie. Can I use the native Spotify app with the Sonos Connect?

My wife uses Spotify while I use Apple Music. I know I could integrate both in the Sonos app and use it, but she is used to Spotify UI so I am not sure if Sonos app will pass the WAF. That would be a plus.

If it does how does Sonos handle the queue when used with the Spotify App... Can I add a song from Apple Music (within Sonos App) and she add a song from spotify (for Spotify app via connect) and then maybe a 3rd song from Sonos that is local music? Can she control the volume of the amp with spotify?

Assuming I don't lose much in sound quality, the appeal of the Sonos Amp is a more unified experience
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
On that note, does a Sonos Connect act as a Spotify Connect endpoint (I know the speakers do)? Ie. Can I use the native Spotify app with the Sonos Connect?
Yes, all Sonos players can be controlled via Spotify Connect.

If it does how does Sonos handle the queue when used with the Spotify App... Can I add a song from Apple Music (within Sonos App) and she add a song from spotify (for Spotify app via connect) and then maybe a 3rd song from Sonos that is local music? Can she control the volume of the amp with spotify?
Spotify Connect takes over the queue, so you can't mix and match. And yes, you can control the volume via Spotify Connect.