Sound quality question -- MS200 vs Sonos

I just did a quick A-B comparison between:

  1. Sonos Connect -> coax dig -> 568 (D1)
  2. Roon -> MS200 -> mini-opt -> 568 (O1)

The Roon either sounds a bit better, or maybe significantly better. It wasn’t a stringent test, but both platforms were set up for best SQ, and I was playing the same playlist from the same files.

Assuming true, would this be primarily due to the MS200, the Roon itself, or both?

The Roon app is a great UI…and can also help produce great sound quality when used to output in Exclusive Mode to DAC’s or Async USB devices etc

However, when Roon is connected to Network Audio devices such as the MS200 and other Meridian Endpoints, the PCM Produced by the Roon core is sent via Ethernet packets to the Endpoint…and this obfuscates any Jitter and most RFI / EMI that may result from direct connection to the “Noisy” RFI environment that is a PC

The Sonos Connect also has a high Jitter output compared to the much better designed MS200

And it should also be noted that the MS200 [just like the other Meridian endpoints] Upsample and Resolution enhances the PCM to a 2x data rate [i.e. 16//44 ----> 24/88]…so that typical CD 44k data becomes an 88k data stream…a process which among other benefits, is known to half the Jitter

And also as part of that Upsampling, the Data is also “Apodized”, which is a process that reduces / eliminates the Pre-Ringing that results from the use of “brick-wall” filters that are used to make CD 16/44 material

Thanks Ronnie. Some of that went over my head, I’m afraid…

My 568 is actually a 568.2MM running 2.12; my speakers are DSP5000 96/24, running latest firmware (and new tweets!).

When I play the Sonos, the speaker lights come on, indicating (iirc) that up-sampling is happening, which makes sense as my 568 has the hi-speed output ticked off on all the Presets.

Wasn’t the 568.2 v2.12 combined w/DSP5000 platform incapable of benefiting from apodizing? No speaker link here…

Assuming above to be true, would the SQ difference be solely attributable to MS200’s superior jitter-handling, as compared to the Sonos Connect? And maybe also further inherent SQ weaknesses in the Sonos due to probable crappy parts quality inside the box, etc? FYI both are hardwired to the same LAN network…

Your 568 is very capable of benefiting from apodising. The MS200 does the up sample and apodise. That way your high res digital all the way to the speaker cones. The Meridian Way… Enjoy

The D5k’s and 568’s did not receive a Firmware update to enable them to Apodize…which is a lot different from saying that they “would not benefit” from Apodizing!!

When your Sonos is connected, if you hit the right-arrow [or Fn-right-arrow] on your MSR, you will see the 568 display change to something akin to PCM 44K…this means that the 568 is receiving a 44khz stream from the Sonos…and as you have chosen the “HS=Yes” option on the 568, the 568 will then Upsample [but not Apodize] the stream going to your D5k speakers…resulting in the Yellow light on D5k’s…and the display on your main or centre speaker changing to PCM 88k

When you connect the MS200 to the 568, then it’s the MS200 that will do the Upsampling and Apodizing [not the 568]…and if you again toggle the display on the 568, you will it display “PCM 88K”…indicating that it’s RECEIVING an 88khz stream from the MS200, as opposed to the 44k stream from the Sonos

Outside of reducing Jitter at the various connections, the MS200’s Apodizing will eliminate / reduce the Pre-Ringing inherent in CD based 16/44 material…and Apodizing or Mimimum Phase as it can also be called, produces a different sound that many people prefer to Pre-RInging typical from CD’s

Got it – thanks.