Signal Path - 24bit depth to Sonos S2

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS (Linux 5.4.0-64) / Intel NUC NUC10i7FNK / Roon 1.7 (build 710)

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

All Network gear is Ubiquiti UniFi

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

Sonos 5 group (2x Sonos 5 Gen2’s) over ethernet (WiFi disabled on the Sonos). They are setup in Roon using Sonos Streaming (not AirPlay)

Description Of Issue

I noticed while streaming from Tidal MQA to my Sonos that it’s converting from 24bit to 16bit. See below.

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The Same for local FLAC files:

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I also tried a 44.1kHz 24bit

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However, according to this Sonos KB, Sonos S2 supports 24-bit (44.1kHz/48kHz, FLAC/ALAC).

So what am I missing? Why is it playing in 16-bit?

The Sonos speakers have Software Version 12.2.2 installed (the latest at the moment).
Also, to be clear, it’s the Sonos Five (not the Play:5 [Gen 1 / 2]).

As an extra test though, I threw my SonosArc in the mix too, same results though…

As well as with Qobuz

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Sadly the bad news is that Sonos currently only allows Hi Def music locally, or from the Sonos App.
I have a house full of Sonos (all S2) and Roon currently only supports Sonos at 16bit 44.1KHZ, and for most of the house I am happy with that.

Out of interest I am using a Pi4 andHifiBerry DAC+ Pro to feed my Sonos AMP with analogue cables to feed 24bit 192khz upscaled audio.

I am hopeful the Roon will support this in a future release, though I think that 1.8 might be a bit too early

Mike

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@Michael_Harris

Do you think it’s actually playing whatever analog signal you feed it (natively as-is), or, similar to a home theater receiver… it’s re-digitizing the analog signal? I tend to believe this is happening since Sonos needs a “digitized” input signal to do it’s “Sonos magic” of allowing that input to be played on any other Sonos endpoint on the home network.

I have a Sonos Amp as well, and a Sonos non-amplified endpoint but because of the likely “re-digitization”, I didn’t bother setting them up on my Roon system.

I think this is limitation of Sonos API not Roon…

You could be right, but I like the sound of the Sonos Amp with Dali speakers and sub.
It does work really well with the Digi Dac, enough that I have kept it in and running.
The family have noticed a slight improvement so I leave both setup.

Mike

Rob this is probably true at this point, as I think I said it can only play from Sonos.
I am hoping this gets improved as the S2 platform matures, but I imagine Roon would also have to change their code to stop it down sampling again.

Mike

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Yeah, I thought the Sonos Amp sounded fine just playing as a Roon endpoint. If you like the current setup, no harm in leaving the RPi+DAC in the mix but you may find more utility using the RPi/DAC somewhere else later. Enjoy!

You are spot on, the Sonos amp actually sounds really good in my setup, but then so do the 2x Play 1 and Play 3’s we have set up in stereo pairs (so no complaints there from me).

I didn’t buy the Hats to actually put it into use but to test what the Digi+ Pro and Digi Dac+ sounded like to my different Dac headphone amps. We were all surprised when the Sonos actually sounded better (family blind test with volumes leveled) and no additional DSP besides max x2. And the Digi+ is feeding another Dac, but at some point they will be replaced to make it easier for the family again

Regards

Mike

One final thought… common logic would suggest your Roon Core with a powerful processor theoretically would do a better upsample than whatever is in our many years old Sonos Amp. So to have Roon send something to Sonos Amp in “native” format means the Sonos doesn’t have to do any conversion… or in your case, it doesn’t have to do an ADC conversion of your upsampled analog output from your Pi HAT.

But since you did a blind test and you’re happy, seems fine but I would tend to think less manipulation by what I assume is “inferior” Sonos ADC would be better. Having Roon send what Sonos wants (16/44.1) should be more ideal.

That maybe true but that was not the game I was playing :wink:
If I send the same 16/44.1 stream, it pretty much sounds the same (no one could tell a difference).
I am hoping Sonos upgrade their API to support 24/96 streaming and then Roon support his.
For the other Sonos devices there is no issue, it is just that the Amp with decent speakers and sub woofer do have more capability.

Mike

Sounds like Qobuz is the first to support but right now it’s only in German so not sure if applicable to the U.S.

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That’s good news, so there is hope so Roon to get there as well.
Let’s hope it doesn’t take too long to be working everywhere

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Could be interesting. It always bugs me when I see my paired Sonos Fives downsampled in Roon from Tidal. Would be even better if Tidal decided to support this.

Yes I am hoping they all do fairly quickly as I use Tidal as well.
I am guessing there will be some bandwidth issues with the old 2.4G BG devices like my original ZP100 in the office, but the modern Amp, Play 5 etc should hopefully handle it easily.
I am not expecting that much of an improvement but just to know it is being processed is a good thing

Bump for this post as we (Sonos AMP owners) are now able to get 24-bit streaming from Qobuz.

Only issue now is that Roon continues to down sample to 16-bit.

Please sort it out Roon.

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Yes it would be great, though it would have to down sample to 24/48 from what I read, which is still an improvement. I have tested this with local files and it has worked perfectly.

If they are going to fix this can they also fix the grouping issues that has existed for ages, where zones do not ungroup in Sonos but do in Room, it’s been around long enough that it is now embarrassing.

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It would be great to get 24-bit streaming from Qobuz in roon on my pair of Sonos five in my office.

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