Question

Sonos line-in delay - 70ms surely noticable?


Hey all,

Have searched a bit on the forum but can't find specific answer.

I'm thinking of using a Connect to link my computer's audio output into the Sonos system as a line-in input and using two Play 3's in a stereo pair as my speakers for the PC. However, there seems to be conflicting information on the delay that the Sonos introduces, even in Uncompressed mode. One post I've seen says that the delay is 70ms - this would be noticeable if watching video or playing a game, wouldn't it?

But given Sonos promotes the Playbar and connected speakers as a 5.1 solution, surely there can't be that much delay? Anything more than 25ms would be noticeable when it comes to speech, I'd have thought. Or is it only the Playbar that has reduced delay?

15 replies

The Playbar uses an optical input, so it doesn't need to do the A-to-D conversion the other devices apply to their line-inputs. This reduces the delay to 30ms, which most people don't apparently notice.
OK, so sounds like this is absolutely not possible unless I used a Playbar, and even then a bit surprising to hear that much delay is considered acceptable. Zero latency A/D conversion is standard in audio interfaces costing almost nothing, how is it not possible for Sonos? Disappointing.
i have my TV audio plugged into a Play:5 line in. the lip sync is definitely noticeable. But it is still nice to have the TV audio in other rooms, so I still use this function quite a bit.

If i understand it correctly, the built in 70ms delay is to ensure synchronization between grouped/paired speakers across the system.
garrett5688 wrote:

i have my TV audio plugged into a Play:5 line in. the lip sync is definitely noticeable.


I find this to be the case only when using compressed mode on the line in, when it gets noticeable.
In my area the cable system lip sync is so bad that the 70ms delay is constructive -- most of the time -- except for cable boxes where the video is ahead of the audio.

I am very sensitive to lip sync. Fortunately, I rarely watch TV, but when I do sit near a TV I will watch or listen. I never watch a person speak. Curiously, lip sync is much better on the movie channels. The movie industry worked through lip sync decades ago.

DevlinC.

SONOS injects some additional latency to create robust network streaming. This is one reason why SONOS can Group so many zones with perfect synchronization and the low latency guys are struggling with multiple zones.
Badge
Hey DevlinC,
I'm considering doing JUST what you describe. Maybe you can help me out.
Do you think it matters if I use a Z80 or Z90? They're WAY cheaper used.
I plan to use the device to stream PC computer sounds (youtube vids etc) to a Play1 speaker. I'm also in the same room with my P5s and sub, so I can go that route occasionally.

My PC is hard wired to the router, which is remote. I have one cable which comes out of the wall. I figure I can plug the Z80/90 into that and use a patch cord for the PC, into the Z. I'm I on track here?
I'm told the PC connection would slow to 100Mbit/s. Does it matter?
TomJV
TomJV
tomjv,

100Mb/s is faster than most Internet connections, but will slow an otherwise 1Gb network during large file transfers through the ZP90. As I type, I have a wireless ZP90 supporting this computer. (OK it's bit more complicated because the ZP90, two computers, and three NAS drives are connected to a GB network switch) Technically, the Internet connection is a little faster than the ZP90's wireless throughput, but I typically don't transfer many large files over the Internet and when I do, I'll walk away for a little while. For most purposes my Internet connection through the ZP90 is blisteringly fast.

ZP90 has better, wireless connectivity than ZP80. CONNECT is identical to ZP90 (the "model change" was done with a word processor)

In any case you will have the 70ms latency between Line-In and output from a player.
Badge
Thanks Buzz
Great info
TomJV
I was so frustrated to learn of this 70ms delay after buying 2 Gen2 Play5's. My solution was to buy a Motron RTS-200 (another $200) http://www.amazon.com/RTS-200C-RadioTVsync-Second-Audio-Delay/dp/B00H7IBTQ2. I delay the preamp output to the amps by 70 ms so the who system is now delayed the same 70ms. It's not elegant and the additional AD/DA transfer knocks down the quality a notch but nothing that Sonos users would recognize.
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
How does delaying the audio even further help? I am not sure I understand your post. Surely you need to delay the picture by 70ms so it comes back in sync with the audio?
You delay the main system to match the delay in the Sonos so everything is synchronized. No delay on the line that feeds the Sonos, put a delay on the line that feeds the amps that run the main system that you want to be aligned with the delayed Sonos. Get it?
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
So you have delayed a non-sonos amp to be in sync with sonos equipment?

How have you delayed the picture? This thread is about lip sync isn't it?

I also think there may be a few people on here that would be a little miffed that you imply they don't appreciate good audio quality.
Legnum Nick wrote:



I also think there may be a few people on here that would be a little miffed that you imply they don't appreciate good audio quality.



Nahh...many of us don't bother responding to audiophile comments of a general nature, usually of a condescending kind. We have experienced a lot of the kit from that world in past lives and are familiar enough with the associated syndromes to know it is a waste of time to do so.
Badge +1
garrett5688 wrote:

i have my TV audio plugged into a Play:5 line in. the lip sync is definitely noticeable. But it is still nice to have the TV audio in other rooms, so I still use this function quite a bit.

If i understand it correctly, the built in 70ms delay is to ensure synchronization between grouped/paired speakers across the system.



Same scenario here. The Play 5 as a TV sound system in our kitchen works ok, the delay being acceptable.
garrett5688 wrote:

If i understand it correctly, the built in 70ms delay is to ensure synchronization between grouped/paired speakers across the system.


It is, and there's occasional misunderstanding that it has something to do with A-D conversion. The latter is virtually instant.

The 70ms playout buffering is to absorb variations in packet transit times across a multi-hop SonosNet mesh. Too small an allowance and the receiver could exhaust its buffer and its audio drop out.

Because PLAYBAR talks directly to its bonded satellites point-to-point, a tighter allowance of 30ms is possible. (It's nothing to do with the fact that the links operate at 5GHz per se, though there could be a contributory benefit due to reduced interference in that band.)

Cookie policy

We use cookies to enhance and personalize your experience. If you accept you agree to our full cookie policy. Learn more about our cookies.

Accept cookies Cookie settings