Maximizing Audio Quality

Newbie question…
I’m just starting a test drive with Roon, and trying to figure out how to maximize audio quality within my setup. FWIW: have scanned through Knowledge Base, Getting started, etc. and not found answer to my question… so will post a new topic here.

How do I set up a Sonos endpoint as a passthrough, to take advantage of capabilities of my DAC (i.e., PCM-originated digital audio signals up to 24bit/192kHz) rather than be limited by lesser native capability of Sonos?

Roon Core sees the various Sonos endpoints on my network, along with other AirPlay capable devices. However, in main system, the Sonos Connect (ZP80) is only used a digital input (S/PDIF) to pre/pro DAC (Proceed AVP2) which then feeds all subsequent amplification and speakers. Since this pre/pro isn’t network connected, nor Roon-tested, it isn’t seen or recognized by Roon Core to send appropriately high-quality stream. And the settings tab for the Sonos box within Core doesn’t allow configuring this endpoint to take a better stream than native Sonos DAC.


Replace the Sonos with a high quality sound system.


Not helpful… I have a high quality sound system. I"m trying to leverage its capabilities.
Roon has limited functionality, which I’m evaluating for integrating into it.

No, the Sonos has limited capabilities. Doesn’t matter what your DAC or Roon’s capabilities are. A used first generation microRendu with an iFi or inexpensive linear power supply will be miles better. I auditioned speakers at my dealers this weekend and they were using a Connect and it didn’t do the audition any justice but I was stuck in the room without the big guns.


Charles is right. The maximum performance you’ll get out of Sonos is 44K sample rate / 16 bit depth. It doesn’t matter what your DAC can support since Sonos won’t support anything about this. BTW – Sonos says it supports higher bit rates and bit depth but it downsamples to 44K bit rate and chops off bits to get to 16 bit depth so that doesn’t count. Sonos is a fabulous entry/mid range system, very easy to setup and very capable, but it is not high end. Roon has unlimited capability. It supports streaming up to 768K / 32 bit in PCM or DSD1024. It is massively superior to what Sonos can handle. So the suggestion that Charles has to use a Sonore MicroRendu or an iFi unit feeding your DAC vs Sonos is a good solution as they will be able take advantage of your DAC’s capability which Sonos can’t.


As I said, you need to replace the Sonos with a high quality sound system.

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And I will add using SPDIF out of the Sonos, your jitter performance is limited by the Sonos not your expensive DAC. This is a characteristic of SPDIF where the source is the master clock. Now, since every analog signal is basically a Cartesian coordinate (x and y defining slope which approximates frequency), the DAC is only calculating Y while jitter (Sonos) determines errors in x – so you havea “fatal” limitation when using Sonos. Please excuse voice to text on my phone (which i have now edited a bit)

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Welcome to the forum Gary. The Sonos Connect is maxed out at 16/44.1. How many endpoints do you need, and what is your budget? The are some fine Roon Ready endpoints at various prices. Do you have network access at the location where you want to place your endpoints?

Although a year old, this is still a good overview by Darko about the connect and some alternatives:

@Jim_F was very helpful and is right. The Sonos is the weak link and if you want high resolution then it needs to go.

Sonos isn’t hifi.

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Then you need another device to present to Roon, and then output to your DAC.
What Digital inputs does your DAC have? Probably not USB.
So a unit with a S/PDIF output, a
There is also a Signature version, but the cases look shit.

Of course, if you have big bucks to spend then a DCS Bridge will solve the problem.

I fear that some of the responses here run the risk of alienating you Gary but I’ll add to some of the above comments as constructively as I can. Roon will leverage the maximum performance of anything connected to it so long as it is compatible. If the Sonos gear is capable of passing through a HD stream then it might be worth asking Roon to look at that with a view to adding that functionality. But right now I suspect it sees Sonos gear as universally limited to 44/16 and will transcode everything as necessary. I have had a quick look around and I cannot find any indication that the ZP80 is capable of HD Audio passthrough although I would be happy to be corrected. And Roon can’t make Sonos do something it wasn’t designed to do. If you want to test Roon’s full capability into your system it can be done relatively inexpensively. A device called an Allo DigiOne together with a Raspberry Pi will do what you need. It can be made fully Roon compatible and only be limited by your AVP2. If one came up second hand you could try it without being out of pocket as it would sell easily enough. I hope you find this helpful.


Ouch😬 This seems unnecessarily harsh. Especially since the same has been said about Bose systems.

I have both a “high quality sound system” and Sonos. One sends music to a set of Focal Sopras in my living room, the other to ceiling speakers elsewhere in the house. I suppose I also have another system. Onkyo and Klipsh pairing in my “theatre”.

In my opinion, the numbers alone are not a good indication of sound quality. And if someone is working with and happy with Sonos, Bose, Onkyo, or a “high quality” system, then that’s a great place to be.


Ouch! Such a waste for your Sopras. Never occurred to you that you might get better sound by replacing Sonos with something better, even if it means something as cheap as Bluesound Node 2i?

Sonos and Bose are not high quality sound systems. I have a Bose, but I’m not the person here asking how to maximize audio quality. I have said many times that I would need a better sound system if I wanted better SQ.

Never fear! The Sopras are powered by Cambridge Audio Edge NQ and Edge W. They do indeed sound delightful.



Fair enough.

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True statement. I own products from both companies, but they are background music devices for the most part.

I’m happy with my Bose system for now, but not exactly what I would call an HD music system. However, it does sound much better playing 24/96 streaming from my Oppo 203 than when playing 16/44 streaming from my Apple TV 4K. I don’t know that I will ever upgrade from here, I doubt it

Henry: thank you for the thoughtful response.