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Review and Measurements of SONOS Amp

amirm

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#84

D700

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#85
They sound like crap though.
I've done Alexa for extended periods and find it generally a mess to use and not very reliable.
Happily off-topic:)

I started with Siri for home automation and abandoned it for Alexa. I've been rather surprised by the sound quality of my 2nd gen Amazon Echo Show. I've got it on counter in the corner, had to turn the bass down. I didn't buy it for the sound but it holds its own at low/moderate volume and I've found Alexa to be flawless on it and my Echo Spot.

When Amazon makes a Show with Optical Out, include the other music services and all these other streamer companies will disintegrate...suspect its when, not if. Add an IR emitter to it and a few other companies can take their ball and go home as well.
 

Darwin

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#86
Happily off-topic:)
I started with Siri for home automation and abandoned it for Alexa. I've been rather surprised by the sound quality of my 2nd gen Amazon Echo Show. I've got it on counter in the corner, had to turn the bass down. I didn't buy it for the sound but it holds its own at low/moderate volume and I've found Alexa to be flawless on it and my Echo Spot.
When Amazon makes a Show with Optical Out, include the other music services and all these other streamer companies will disintegrate...suspect its when, not if. Add an IR emitter to it and a few other companies can take their ball and go home as well.
I don't think its exactly off topic when I can use Alexa or Siri with my Sonos amp and soon Google assistant.
It's fine for playing music but for home automation of lights etc plus controlling home theater it's been unreliable for me. Siri far more reliable and HomePod microphones dramatically better. I see a lot of people saying the same thing with having to add and remove skills that suddenly stop working etc. The Alexa app is awful. Many skills are too if you read the ratings. Amazon just keeps cramming more and more in there.
Many times I have to give the dot a command twice just to get it to turn off lights etc and that's using Amazons smart plug. That pretty much never happens with Siri. I'm not alone, see the reviews on Amazon.
A lot of people know about Siri from two or three years ago. It's way better than it used to be.
Something is wrong when a lot of Sonos owners are using echo dots with their Alexa capable Sonos devices like the Beam and Sonos One. You even see this on the Sonos community forum where anyone saying anything bad about Sonos is drawn and quartered...
People have different reasons for using Alexa, Google or Siri. Privacy also matter to a lot of people and only Apple offers you that.
 

Darwin

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#87
The Verge reviews the AMP.
https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/7/18254803/sonos-amp-review-speaker-specs-features-price
Alot of reviews say it is a little bright. I notched the treble down a little and really don't like high treble but it's fine.
It doesn't really seem that expensive to me for what you get but maybe my standards for what is expensive are different from others.
I gave up an AV receiver three times the cost of the Amp in favor of no cables and simplicity.
 

pjug

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#89
Distortion curve pretty much matches my testing:
Both show best case THD+N of 0.01%.
It sounds like John Atkinson did the power vs THD+N curve by hand so that he could use digital input:
"To plot the THD+noise percentage present in the ZP100's output against power, I fed it a 1kHz tone from a 16-bit AIF file and increased the amplifier's volume-control level, noting the THD+N level with each step."

The power vs distortion curve of the new amp would be expected to be much better with digital input. I am fairly sure that the new amp is much better than the previous ones, at least when used for streaming.
 

pjug

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#90
The Verge reviews the AMP.
https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/7/18254803/sonos-amp-review-speaker-specs-features-price
Alot of reviews say it is a little bright. I notched the treble down a little and really don't like high treble but it's fine.
It doesn't really seem that expensive to me for what you get but maybe my standards for what is expensive are different from others.
I gave up an AV receiver three times the cost of the Amp in favor of no cables and simplicity.
I can't help but wonder if the "bright" sound is just a reputation that has already stuck to this thing. Unless you are using the sub output. In that case the amp's crossover is automatically engaged, so maybe that would cause a brighter sound.
 

Darwin

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#91
I can't help but wonder if the "bright" sound is just a reputation that has already stuck to this thing. Unless you are using the sub output. In that case the amp's crossover is automatically engaged, so maybe that would cause a brighter sound.
Yeah I dunno, I think I'm pretty sensitive to high treble and not hearing it with my Revel M16 speakers.
 

BYRTT

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#92
I can't help but wonder if the "bright" sound is just a reputation that has already stuck to this thing. Unless you are using the sub output. In that case the amp's crossover is automatically engaged, so maybe that would cause a brighter sound.
Yeah I dunno, I think I'm pretty sensitive to high treble and not hearing it with my Revel M16 speakers.
If all production samples follow the one tested here it looks be a left channel bright problem or say signature as seen below relinked from post 1, should be easy enough oneself perform a diy test to see where we are in that for example free REW should could do it in offline mode for digital input. To be constructive for case first in REW "Generator" create a measurement sweep at a prefered sample rate that is played back in systems player while recording sweep with for example free Audacity and then import both reference sweep plus recording into REW whereafter its engine extract the difference into graphs and should reveal ifs a left channel brightness that go again as in below.

 

pjug

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#93
If all production samples follow the one tested here it looks be a left channel bright problem or say signature as seen below relinked from post 1, should be easy enough oneself perform a diy test to see where we are in that for example free REW should could do it in offline mode for digital input. To be constructive for case first in REW "Generator" create a measurement sweep at a prefered sample rate that is played back in systems player while recording sweep with for example free Audacity and then import both reference sweep plus recording into REW whereafter its engine extract the difference into graphs and should reveal ifs a left channel brightness that go again as in below.

Is that rise in the L channel always present or only with analog input in through AD converter?
 
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#94
Random thoughts:
- They engineered a proprietary power cord so we have to buy replacements from them. It's called business. (See also: Apple)
- The line in is most likely a "just in case someone needs it" feature hence not much care was put in its implementation. It was mainly intended to be a "connected amp" (or whatever you call these things)
- Not recommended huh? Can we at least give it some credit for value (i.e. Watts per $)?
- I have no grasp of the "connected amp" market so I wonder how it compares to competing products, if any
- Yes, a teardown would be nice. Mainly curious as to what amp module (ICEPower, Hypex or other) and DAC chip it has.
- Audio Science dudes/dudettes aren't the market for this product.
- Amir seems to have achieved influencer status. Folks dislike something he does not recommend and vice versa. That said, thank you sir for taking time to do this review.
 

BYRTT

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#95
Is that rise in the L channel always present or only with analog input in through AD converter?
Thanks sharp eyes and think forgot myself look up that graph is the analog line input, still it wont cost much time doing a in system situation loopback test and see where numbers are for ones system.
 

Darwin

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#96
Random thoughts:
- They engineered a proprietary power cord so we have to buy replacements from them. It's called business. (See also: Apple)
- The line in is most likely a "just in case someone needs it" feature hence not much care was put in its implementation. It was mainly intended to be a "connected amp" (or whatever you call these things)
- Not recommended huh? Can we at least give it some credit for value (i.e. Watts per $)?
- I have no grasp of the "connected amp" market so I wonder how it compares to competing products, if any
- Yes, a teardown would be nice. Mainly curious as to what amp module (ICEPower, Hypex or other) and DAC chip it has.
- Audio Science dudes/dudettes aren't the market for this product.
- Amir seems to have achieved influencer status. Folks dislike something he does not recommend and vice versa. That said, thank you sir for taking time to do this review.
There are a bunch of places that sell that power cord or knockoffs of it cheaply. Look on Amazon. Not to mention how often do you need to replace it.
Sonos makes a big deal out of the line in a and especially for use with a Turntable. I'm not sure how many people will actually use it for that.
I'm an audio science "dude" and I have one and I'm sure others here do too. Maybe the audiophile snob appeal isn't high enough. I'm getting that vibe.
A teardown would be really great.
 

amirm

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#97
- Yes, a teardown would be nice. Mainly curious as to what amp module (ICEPower, Hypex or other) and DAC chip it has.
There was no obvious way to open it. So I packed and sent it back. Some has post a picture of it though:

 
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#99
There are a bunch of places that sell that power cord or knockoffs of it cheaply. Look on Amazon. Not to mention how often do you need to replace it.
Sonos makes a big deal out of the line in a and especially for use with a Turntable. I'm not sure how many people will actually use it for that.
I'm an audio science "dude" and I have one and I'm sure others here do too. Maybe the audiophile snob appeal isn't high enough. I'm getting that vibe.
A teardown would be really great.

Darwin, I understand you are streaming multiroom with a mixture of homepods and sonos devices (including the sonos amp)? How is it working out for you? is it stable and reliable with airplay 2? Cheers
 

Darwin

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Darwin, I understand you are streaming multiroom with a mixture of homepods and sonos devices (including the sonos amp)? How is it working out for you? is it stable and reliable with airplay 2? Cheers
It is with the amp which is hard wired but I find the Sonos Ones have pretty crappy WiFi or airplay implementation so don’t work as well. I just replaced a set of Sonics ones with two more Homepods for this reason. Plus the Homepods sound a lot better and Siri works very well with amazing microphones on the HomePod. Alexa on the Ones is pretty awful so you are better off using a dot.
 
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