Support high resolution files

  • Idea
  • Updated 1 hour ago
  • Not Planned
I purchase lots of high res FLAC files from hdtracks.com, but I can't play them on SONOS as high res FLAC files are not supported.

Please add support for high res FLAC files:

Reference:
https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php
https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answer...

ptr727

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  • hoping

Posted 2 years ago

John M, Official Rep

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Thank you for the feedback. At this time, Sonos does not have plans to add support for high resolution audio files, including high resolution FLAC.

This topic will remain open for further discussion.

User777223

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hi-def music files are the future of music everybody knows this. MP3 is dying (thankfully) and CD quality downloads will follow. This should be a Sonos priority. We have the technology Scotty. Pioneer wireless is already marketing 96khz 24b at 'mass market' audio shops. hi def music is not some fringe group of audio-nuts, it is coming to the mass market.Time to step up Sonos.

Jgatie, Champion

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Do you have links to any marketing studies or sales trends which show this decidedly unorthodox analysis to be true?

Majik

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With respect User777223, people have been saying this for 7 years, and there's no sign of it happening.

I'm certainly in favour of CD quality downloads, but I don't see any evidence this is happening either, nor that MP3 is "dying" as a download format.

I also don't see the point in hires until, at least, we are back to CD quality (which all of the download services could offer, across their whole catalogues, with very little effort or cost, and which everyone can use). Comparatively there is a vanishingly small amount of hires material.

I've also not met anyone who actually understands audio engineering and digital audio formats who believes there is any point to hires as a distribution/listening format.

The main driver for hires is "high-end" audio companies who are running out of reasons for people to buy their kit, and the magazines whose revenue is primarily driven by the former. Hires is a great new excuse to sell kit/magazines, and most of the people promoting it are those with an expensive product to sell, and a small market of relatively gullible "audio-nuts" who are only too happy to not challenge their pseudo-scientific nonsense and to believe their inexpert reviews.

Whatever Pioneer, or Linn, or Paul Simon have as aspirations to make Hires into mass market, to date they are utterly failing.

Even assuming they get traction and increase the market for hires at an unprecedented rate, it will be 5-7 years before it could be considered "mainstream".

Jgatie, Champion

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In addition to Majiks's comments, I'd like to say the fact "Pioneer wireless is already marketing 96khz 24b at 'mass market' audio shops" means nothing. SACD and DVD-A were marketed in DVD players you could purchase at Wall-Mart. Not just "audio shops", not just Best Buy; we are talking WALL-MART!

How'd that work out for SACD and DVD-A?

Clive

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Come on - wake up Sonos! EVen BBC Radio 3 was talking about these files yesterday. Surely supporting Hi-Res files can't be such a big deal, even my free downloaded MediaMonkey can play them.

Glen Lancaster

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Agreed! I listen to classical music and want to hear it with lossess audio files like FLAC. WTF Sonos?

Majik

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Sonos will play standard lossless FLAC files.

John

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Read all these posts and many of the linked articles, and here's the summary:

1) After years of false starts, hires audio, and hires streaming, are finally coming.

2) Tech companies either innovate or die.

3) Sonos: You are a tech company. You succeeded out of the box because of your innovations in service.

4) Please continue to innovate (instead of slowly dying), because we love you and have invested a lot of time and money in your equipment.

5) As much as we love you, your growth will stop -- and many of us will file for divorce -- if you don't innovate and keep on the cutting edge.

6) A good strategist can see that hires has got to be in your future.

John

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Read all these posts and many of the linked articles, and here's the summary:

1) After years of false starts, hires audio, and hires streaming, are finally coming.

2) Tech companies either innovate or die.

3) Sonos: You are a tech company. You succeeded out of the box because of your innovations in service.

4) Please continue to innovate (instead of slowly dying), because we love you and have invested a lot of time and money in your equipment.

5) As much as we love you, your growth will stop -- and many of us will file for divorce -- if you don't innovate and keep on the cutting edge.

6) A good strategist can see that hires has got to be in your future.

John

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Read all these posts and many of the linked articles, and here's the summary:

1) After years of false starts, hires audio, and hires streaming, are finally coming.

2) Tech companies either innovate or die.

3) Sonos: You are a tech company. You succeeded out of the box because of your innovations in service.

4) Please continue to innovate (instead of slowly dying), because we love you and have invested a lot of time and money in your equipment.

5) As much as we love you, your growth will stop -- and many of us will file for divorce -- if you don't innovate and keep on the cutting edge.

6) A good strategist can see that hires has got to be in your future.

John

  • 6 Posts
  • 2 Likes
Read all these posts and many of the linked articles, and here's the summary:

1) After years of false starts, hires audio, and hires streaming, are finally coming.

2) Tech companies either innovate or die.

3) Sonos: You are a tech company. You succeeded out of the box because of your innovations in service.

4) Please continue to innovate (instead of slowly dying), because we love you and have invested a lot of time and money in your equipment.

5) As much as we love you, your growth will stop -- and many of us will file for divorce -- if you don't innovate and keep on the cutting edge.

6) A good strategist can see that hires has got to be in your future.

John

  • 6 Posts
  • 2 Likes
Read all these posts and many of the linked articles, and here's the summary:

1) After years of false starts, hires audio, and hires streaming, are finally coming.

2) Tech companies either innovate or die.

3) Sonos: You are a tech company. You succeeded out of the box because of your innovations in service.

4) Please continue to innovate (instead of slowly dying), because we love you and have invested a lot of time and money in your equipment.

5) As much as we love you, your growth will stop -- and many of us will file for divorce -- if you don't innovate and keep on the cutting edge.

6) A good strategist can see that hires has got to be in your future.

User304231

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I agree with this 100%.  I must now consider changing my sonos out, as it will not play hires files.  This is too bad as sonos seems to make a quialuty product.

Kim

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I agree as well. Just bought my first two HD albums and very disappointed to find out that I cannot play it on Sonos. I have no intention of downscaling HD music I purchase.

Simon

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I agree as well!!

Lars

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+1

Rico Reyes

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There is apparently no movement in the Sonos point of view. For me it means no more investments in Sonos speakers. Meanwhile orientating on alternatives! 

User553164

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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!

User956704

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Fairsharemusic sell music in high res flac that Sonos don't support

Barry

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This is an unfortunate - and I'd suggest misdirected - decision on the part of Sonos' product manager(s). While I understand that only a small segment of Sonos customers may understand or care about the growing supply of high-res source material, that segment is also the most passionate about their music. Consequently they're the most likely to invest in new products - say, a high-res add-on or replacement for my current CONNECT - and also most likely to influence others & promote the Sonos brand. I believe there's a great opportunity to capture the market of music/audio enthusiasts who care about quality but can't afford the $10K+ entry price of a Sooloos or comparable system.

So please reconsider your response. Sonos promotes itself as a group of true music lovers and audiophiles... so don't contradict your own branding by ignoring the evolution of quality sound.

hne

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Please reconsider your want of 192/24 downloads, your ears will hear nothing but extra modulation noise that is not part of what was recorded and building hardware and speakers to cope well with ultrasonic frequencies will lead to otherwise unnecessary compromises in the actual audible range:
http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo...

I don't want more expensive equipment that makes compromises for something that no human can hear.

Jgatie, Champion

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+1 to hne's response. Follow his link, it will show you not only is 24 bit 96/192 audio not an "evolution of quality sound", it can in fact cause a degradation of the sound quality due to intermodulation in the electronics needed for reproduction.

ptr727

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I am well aware of that position, regardless, I have paid for music in that format, and I want Sonos to play it in whatever quality possible on EXISTING equipment. I am not asking you to approve of that format, the same way I'm not asking you to approve of my taste in music ;)

Jgatie, Champion

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It is not a "postition", it is a scientific fact, proven by audible testing. The same testing which refutes any quality differences between 24/96 and 16/44.1. Just thought I'd put that out there.

Either way, you can easily convert those files to 16/44.1, thus removing the possibility for bad intermodulation effects and making them playable by Sonos. There are literally hundeds of programs which will do this, such as Media Monkey and dBPoweramp. This in no way compromises your original files, and you can get all the quality of the originals without any harmful intermodulation effects for use in your Sonos library.

Somehow I do not think you are going to want to do this. However, since Sonos has marked this Idea as "Unplanned", I will still list this alternative for those who do not buy the hirez snakeoil and prefer their music without the introduction of audible distortion which accompanies the "evolution of quality sound" that is hirez music. Cheers!

ptr727

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Let me reiterate that I'm not asking Sonos to introduce new hardware capable of higher bitrates or higher resolution DAC's, I just want them to play these files on the existing equipment.

As you point out yourself, the files can be converted "without any harmful intermodulation", and in the same way they can be converted on-the-fly and played without me having to keep separate copies just for Sonos.

Jgatie, Champion

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I'm doubtful the Sonos boxes have the horsepower to transcode on the fly. Transcoding takes a pretty powerful processor. Personally, I would simply do it once and get it over with, rather than sit around waiting for Sonos to do something which they have already marked "Not Planned." YMMV.

Steven

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The contents of that link are laughable. Next you'll try to convince me to lower my computer monitor to 16 bit because you can't tell the difference between RGB 224,128,0 and RGB 225,128,0. Just the same, when you listen to the music, the detail comes out and is indeed noticiable within the audible sound spectrum, just as you can tell the difference between 16bit and 24bit video signals. Sonos needs to include support for high-resolution audio if they want to be regarded as better than a multiroom iPod.

Peter

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This is a much better link as to why hi-res is desirable and that it does make a difference http://www.overgrownpath.com/2013/08/how-classical-music-was-covertly-dumbed.html 

Lyle Palmer

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The link from hne is a thoughtful, referenced article that explains concisely why 'hirez' is a non sequitur.  Science works by considering the evidence and synthesizing an opinion on what is most likely to be 'true' given the evidence.  The evidence is that there is no reason for anyone to listen to 24 bit 192Khz files, nor for Sonos to support this format (which, if anything, would sound worse on their equipment).  If people don't agree with the evidence provided in the article, they should argue logically on the grounds of contradicting evidence (I suspect their is none).  Anything else is just hand-waving, and should be ignored by Sonos et al.

David Deutsch

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If there is good reason to record in 192/24, then there may be good reason to listen in the same mode, maybe not.  The reason for recording at hi rates apparently has to do with the distortion to the sub 20kHz information from information recorded above the hearing range.  192 just allows for better filtering above 20kHz.  That's a valid reason for 192/24 at least at a recording console, etc. 

But, what about playback?  Once recorded, the information can perhaps be delivered for conversion at a lower bitrate as there is no more extant distortion above 20kHz in the file.  I don't know.  BUT IT WOULD BE NICE FOR SONOS TO PLAY MY FLAC FILES BECAUSE I LIKE FLAC FILES BETTER THAN MP3 ETC.  THAT SHOULD BE ENOUGH REASON.

David Deutsch

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My final thought:  Hires is "Not Planned."  We are all on notice that this is not happening.  I have to put on hold my next Sonos purchases, extending the system further in the house (another room and a soundbar) as there is a likelihood now that I will have to re-tool to play hires in the future.  I doubt there are many of us as Sonos clearly believes that their mainstream middle market is wide open and unsaturated and they want to be the "popular" multi room system provider, not the "high end" audiophile provider, and I can understand the decision.   By the time mainstream moves to hires, Sonos will have reaped enormous profits from their marketing posture and probably be in a different product line by then altogether.  Just like early Apple and early IBM PC, the unexpected competition could come from "knock offs," straight duplicates of Sonos and this may be a problem for Sonos eventually.  I think a knock off could upset Sonos's plans considerably as anyone could start a "SoundOff" line of hardware and proprietary wifi.  Then -- Sonos will scramble for market share and anything can happen.  For now, I will not expand Sonos in the  home.

Majik

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Analogies with photography and video are dumb. Visual formats do not equate well to audio format. For instance, it is extremely common (a practice done thousands of times every day) to zoom in and crop a photographic image, and having very high resolutions allow you to do this whilst still maintaining good quality. There is no real equivalent to this for audio files.

The reasons for recording studios using the formats they do is largely because most of the data in these formats is inaudible. That's precisely why using these formats for listening purposes is daft. In any case, increasingly professional studios don't use these formats directly; they use floating point representation of the audio which is unplayable on any DAC. The studios themselves have to convert it to play it on their own equipment. Of course this is transparently done within the DAW, but it's still done.

Wanting "studio formats" demonstrates a deep ignorance of audio and recording studio practice. What is laughable is that many of these people are self-appointed "audiophiles" when, in reality, they are spec-junkies and gear-snobs.

Majik

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Analogies with photography and video are dumb. Visual formats do not equate well to audio format. For instance, it is extremely common (a practice done thousands of times every day) to zoom in and crop a photographic image, and having very high resolutions allow you to do this whilst still maintaining good quality. There is no real equivalent to this for audio files.

The reasons for recording studios using the formats they do is largely because most of the data in these formats is inaudible. That's precisely why using these formats for listening purposes is daft. In any case, increasingly professional studios don't use these formats directly; they use floating point representation of the audio which is unplayable on any DAC. The studios themselves have to convert it to play it on their own equipment. Of course this is transparently done within the DAW, but it's still done.

Wanting "studio formats" demonstrates a deep ignorance of audio and recording studio practice. What is laughable is that many of these people are self-appointed "audiophiles" when, in reality, they are spec-junkies and gear-snobs.

Majik

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Analogies with photography and video are dumb. Visual formats do not equate well to audio format. For instance, it is extremely common (a practice done thousands of times every day) to zoom in and crop a photographic image, and having very high resolutions allow you to do this whilst still maintaining good quality. There is no real equivalent to this for audio files.

The reasons for recording studios using the formats they do is largely because most of the data in these formats is inaudible. That's precisely why using these formats for listening purposes is daft. In any case, increasingly professional studios don't use these formats directly; they use floating point representation of the audio which is unplayable on any DAC. The studios themselves have to convert it to play it on their own equipment. Of course this is transparently done within the DAW, but it's still done.

Wanting "studio formats" demonstrates a deep ignorance of audio and recording studio practice. What is laughable is that many of these people are self-appointed "audiophiles" when, in reality, they are spec-junkies and gear-snobs.

Majik

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Analogies with photography and video are dumb. Visual formats do not equate well to audio format. For instance, it is extremely common (a practice done thousands of times every day) to zoom in and crop a photographic image, and having very high resolutions allow you to do this whilst still maintaining good quality. There is no real equivalent to this for audio files.

The reasons for recording studios using the formats they do is largely because most of the data in these formats is inaudible. That's precisely why using these formats for listening purposes is daft. In any case, increasingly professional studios don't use these formats directly; they use floating point representation of the audio which is unplayable on any DAC. The studios themselves have to convert it to play it on their own equipment. Of course this is transparently done within the DAW, but it's still done.

Wanting "studio formats" demonstrates a deep ignorance of audio and recording studio practice. What is laughable is that many of these people are self-appointed "audiophiles" when, in reality, they are spec-junkies and gear-snobs.

Majik

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Analogies with photography and video are dumb. Visual formats do not equate well to audio format. For instance, it is extremely common (a practice done thousands of times every day) to zoom in and crop a photographic image, and having very high resolutions allow you to do this whilst still maintaining good quality. There is no real equivalent to this for audio files.

The reasons for recording studios using the formats they do is largely because most of the data in these formats is inaudible. That's precisely why using these formats for listening purposes is daft. In any case, increasingly professional studios don't use these formats directly; they use floating point representation of the audio which is unplayable on any DAC. The studios themselves have to convert it to play it on their own equipment. Of course this is transparently done within the DAW, but it's still done.

Wanting "studio formats" demonstrates a deep ignorance of audio and recording studio practice. What is laughable is that many of these people are self-appointed "audiophiles" when, in reality, they are spec-junkies and gear-snobs.

Neil Gundel

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There is a considerable amount of classical and jazz available in hi res formats. Much of the SACD catalog is available as DSD files, which can be converted to hi bit rate FLAC very easily.

I understand that there are a lot of "experts" who claim that "science" has proven that differences cannot be heard between CD quality and higher quality formats, but very little actual evidence exists to support that claim. On the other hand, a good high end audio store can easily demonstrate to anyone with an open mind that hi-res audio DOES sound better than CD, and ultra-expensive equipment isn't necessary to hear the difference.

Pat

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My equipment is not so expensive (Quad pre and power amps, Oppo universal player, Audiolab M-DAC, DSPeaker Anti-Mode, QNAP NAS, CJ Walker turntable, Paradigm Signature S8 speakers and of course Sonos) and I can tell the difference between ordinary Red Book and SACD etc. It's as plain as daylight (though the superb Sabre DAC implementation on the Oppo does considerably narrow the distance). On the other hand, lately, I have done pretty exhaustive online research on all of my hi-res downloads. Unless you are buying from Linn, one has to be careful that some of the stuff being passed as hi-res is not just upsampled Red Book material. I'd love a list of reputable hi-res audio file sellers.

Jgatie, Champion

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Scientific studies have shown that all audible differences between 24/96 and 16/44.1 are due to better mastering.  When the superior hires masters were down-sampled to 16/44.1 and compared in an A/B/X test, all differences disappeared and even trained listeners were unable to tell the difference.

User51865

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If they were unable to tell the difference when both were 16/44.1 but they were when there was a 24/96 and a 16/44.1 that would support the idea that resolution matters.

arabesc

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I think that main reason to support hi-res files is in transparent format support. I don't want to convert my music library to match current h/w limits. Playback should be flawless.

arabesc

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I think that main reason to support hi-res files is in transparent format support. I don't want to convert my music library to match current h/w limits. Playback should be flawless.

User553164

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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!

User206105

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the discussion about 24 bits is an open item for so long
Sonos is getting pushed out of the market if they are capable to fix that point in a very short term

tons of guys like big player as Pionner Denon Marantz Yamaha are coming with streamer playing any king of bit rates
move guy before it will too late

Dominic Zapaman

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Please reconsider and look at adding support for 24bit FLAC files in the next generation of SONOS devices.

Kevin

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Having seen a sonos system for the first time last week when my brother got 2 play 3's 2 play 5's ipod doc and a sub I was pretty impressed with the setup and Ipad control. I would by a Sonos connect tomorrow for my existing setup using the digital output into my Cyrus Dac/Amp. I have just gone on the the sonos site for the first time a few hours ago to find what they can do for me.

Trouble is I have a lot of 24bit flac on my pc so for this reason alone I would not get consider going down the sonos route.

So Sonos miss out on £270 odd quid due to me not buying - not true. No doubt I would slowly add sonos units over a period of time when I could afford it - a 3 for the kitchen maybe a 3 in the bedroom, then maybe a 5 and a sub. before you know it the figure grows to a few grand of purchases.

So Sonos, you are really missing a trick here especially with many audiophiles who spend $$$ on their systems. Sure 24bit flac might no be that much better in quality (as some suggest) but it stops people like me buying their first bit of sonos kit , stopping any future addons.

I guess I will stick to my HTPC, TV and Amp for now.

I would really seriously consider adding 24bit support for your systems before your competitors begin to take business away from you.

Lars

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+1

User553164

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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!

Majik

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People have been asking Sonos to implement hires for at least 5 years with claims that lack of support will somehow result in them being excluded from the market.

Years later, and these deluded predictions have yet to be proven even remotely true and yet still they continue to be glibly made. In that time Sonos has significantly grown it's market share whilst the only main competitor that does support hires (Logitech) has retreated from the market. Based on this real-world data, it seems support for hires is NOT the thing to do in order to grow your market.

It's clear the people making such irrational warnings are talking utter rubbish!

Realistically the requirement for hires is niche: for every person that feels it's important there's probably 100,000 or more who either don't care or know enough to understand the audible benefits are, at best, negligible (and, potentially, hires formats can damage your audio).

For those that want to take advantage of the very real benefits of the superior mixing and mastering that is available on many tracks marketed as "hires", you can perform a one-time conversion them to a format Sonos can play and retain the full audio quality.

David Deutsch

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You are looking in the rear view mirror.  The future belongs to HiRes as surely as LP's gave way to CD's.  All the cheapie handheld players and headphones will be attached to hires files in the future.  MP3s died the instant storage got dirt cheap.

David Deutsch

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You are looking in the rear view mirror.  The future belongs to HiRes as surely as LP's gave way to CD's.  All the cheapie handheld players and headphones will be attached to hires files in the future.  MP3s died the instant storage got dirt cheap.

David Deutsch

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Mike --  Many Sonos users I am sure have at least one implementation which is audiophile, like your own, and then perhaps Sonos 1,3 and 5's or other higher grade playback strewn about the premises.  Sonos playback powered speakers are not the heart of Sonos.  The heart is the proprietary wireless streaming and the ZP's (now "connects") and the quality of these connections is the issue, not the speakers hung on them.  Furthermore, recent tech history demonstrates that what was "laughable" at one time can be, in short order, the virtual standard.  Automobiles were once laughable after all.  If the 99% ruled the roost, we'd still be using horse and buggy.  The audiophile fringe points the way and the 99% will be longing for 2496 as soon as they figure it out.  Who is going to meet this demand?

Pat

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In my case, you are right. I use Sonos but I am, more and more, seeking hires solutions so that I can play SACD, DVD-A and Blu Ray etc., Indeed, I have an Oppo player on its way to me right now. But I'm frustrated about all of the HDtracks music that I have stored in two formats, the original hires and a down-converted ALAC version that will play through Sonos. I'm going to keep storing the higher res stuff in the hope that Sonos or someone else comes up with a reasonable solution to the conundrum. Maybe I should switch to an Airplay system but then Netflix, my computers and my music all have to compete on my home network - sounds like a formula for disaster. If someone came up with a solution, even though I think it good, I'd leave Sonos immediately.

User553164

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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!

User553164

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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!

ptr727

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The whole point is that I should not have to convert my collection to a format just so that Sonos can play it, especially when my other players have no problem with these files.

This is not about audio quality, not about new hardware, this is about audio format compatibility, and using an updated FLAC code library.

Neil Gundel

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I agree. What this is also about, is whether Sonos listens to the needs of owners and potential owners of their product. Nearly every competing product does support hi-res formats in some way - even the free ones. It would be very easy for Sonos to support downsampled hi-res FLAC files.

Expecting listeners with these files to maintain two separate databases demonstrates an arrogance on their part that keeps me from recommending the system to others. Sonos apparently doesn't realize that non-audiophiles often ask their audiophile friends for advice setting up music systems.


User553164

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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!

Majik

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And that's a reasonable request, although I would point out that you have purchased music in a non-standard format that actually isn't that widely supported (most portable players won't support it, for instance). Perhaps you should campaign some of these vendors to make these superior quality masters available in more standard formats.

Regardless, it's still a reasonable request, even if your unwillingness to convert files to a more standard format (which, by the way, all your other music players will also play) probably isn't enough to compel Sonos to embark on a significant and costly development exercise.

My point is it is diluted by all of the irrational, made-up nonsense about hires being a significant segment of the market and Sonos losing market share by not supporting it (not from you, but from others).

Neil Gundel

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Hi-res FLAC is a standard format, and is widely supported. iTunes doesn't support it because they are hoping to make money on their own competing format. Sonos doesn't have a good business reason to deny this support. It would be very easy for them to play these files at downsampled resolution - most similar companies would have added this support long ago.

Sonos is unnecessarily creating an opportunity for their competition by dismissing the needs of their quality-oriented customers. Not giving us what we want now speaks volumes about how Sonos will treat us as this market evolves.

Pat

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Were Sonos to support hi-res FLAC, life might be easier for us and it might become more complicated. I'm as self-interested in the format expansion as the next person. Throughout the holiday, I've struggled to get my Oppo BDP 95 to speak with an external NAS drive containing hi-res files. The Oppo has an outstanding DAC and if I can get the two devices to speak with each other, I'll have a satisfactory solution to the Sonos problem.

If Sonos supported FLAC, I could see a whole other bag of worms opening with file and format incompatibilities, bandwidth constrictions etc. Their reticence to get into this market ( which is still a niche) is frustrating but understandable.

I also understand Apple's reticence to expand format compatibility. It has little or nothing to do with them making money off their own format. If that were the case, they would at least provide downloads in their own ALAC format - and they don't. I think that Apple has the same reticence as Sonos. An expansion into ALAC will put strain on bandwidth and there is still just a micro market for it.

On the other hand, Apple is the market leader. If they ran a lossless campaign and provided ALAC downloads, you can bet your last dollar that Sonos would follow. The seamlessness between iTunes and Sonos is far too tempting a morsel for Sonos to give up on.

On the further hand, you may have noticed that Apple now provides downloads that are labeled, "Mastered for iTunes", while still at 16 bit 256 Kbps these files are pretty good. Apple's engineers more than likely believe (and they may be scientifically correct) that there is little to no audible difference between their product and hi-res material. Frankly, I can't say with certainty that they are wrong. When I listen to my Oppo SACD and blu ray disks, I cannot say with a certainty that the better sound is not being created by the implementation of the onboard Sabre DACs vs the Sonos DAC. Indeed, when I run the Sonos through my Sabre equipped Audiolab M-DAC, I'm hard pressed to tell the difference between hi-res FLAC and the Sonos. My wanting Sonos to include hi-res FLAC may have to do more with the fact that I'm an inveterate tinkerer rather than obtaining a demonstrably better output.

Neil Gundel

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No bags of compatibility worms to worry about. Sonos ALREADY supports FLAC and even recognizes the hi res ones - but refuses to play any bit rate over 44 kHz. Bandwidth would not be an issue with playing hi res files at a downsampled rate of 44 kHz - which their hardware is capable of.

I can already play hi res FLAC files through my Sonos hardware using JRiver media center as the player, but for me to do that is not in Sonos' long-term interest, as it is a logical next step for me to just run a TOSLINK from my PC to the bedroom & play hi res files at native resolution through my existing DAC, and sell the Sonos hardware.

As far as Apple, you CAN play hi res ALAC files in iTunes. Probably it is sent as a downsampled stream, but they are not totally thumbing their noses at owners of hi res music the way Sonos is.

Market leaders sometimes get away with dictating terms to their customers, but history is also littered with examples where it has been their downfall.


Pat

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I'm so sorry, you are right about ALAC and iTunes. Indeed, I have many thousands of ALAC files but I've had to "dumb them down" for Sonos. Anyway, hopefully by tomorrow, after I speak with QNAP about a small technical hitch with their NAS speaking with my Oppo player, I'll forget about my problems with Sonos.

I already use three formats, Sonos, vinyl and an Oppo disk player, it's no big deal for me to use the Oppo in order to play hi-res files. Unless they came out with a machine with a well implemented Sabre like DAC, I'm not sure that I'd be so happy with a Sonos solution. I'd still have to run my music through a good DAC.

Majik

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FLAC is supported in full-resolution formats, but not in hyper-resolution formats. Sonos cannot tell the difference and will index both simply because it's not possible to tell the internal format of the file without trying to play it, which isn't sensible at the indexing stage.

Any suggestion that implementing hires formats on Sonos would be easy, or wouldn't impact in major ways on the current platform is completely wrong and shows astounding ignorance.

Majik

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FLAC is supported in full-resolution formats, but not in hyper-resolution formats. Sonos cannot tell the difference and will index both simply because it's not possible to tell the internal format of the file without trying to play it, which isn't sensible at the indexing stage.

Any suggestion that implementing hires formats on Sonos would be easy, or wouldn't impact in major ways on the current platform is completely wrong and shows astounding ignorance.

Majik

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FLAC is supported in full-resolution formats, but not in hyper-resolution formats. Sonos cannot tell the difference and will index both simply because it's not possible to tell the internal format of the file without trying to play it, which isn't sensible at the indexing stage.

Any suggestion that implementing hires formats on Sonos would be easy, or wouldn't impact in major ways on the current platform is completely wrong and shows astounding ignorance.

Majik

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FLAC is supported in full-resolution formats, but not in hyper-resolution formats. Sonos cannot tell the difference and will index both simply because it's not possible to tell the internal format of the file without trying to play it, which isn't sensible at the indexing stage.

Any suggestion that implementing hires formats on Sonos would be easy, or wouldn't impact in major ways on the current platform is completely wrong and shows astounding ignorance.

Majik

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FLAC is supported in full-resolution formats, but not in hyper-resolution formats. Sonos cannot tell the difference and will index both simply because it's not possible to tell the internal format of the file without trying to play it, which isn't sensible at the indexing stage.

Any suggestion that implementing hires formats on Sonos would be easy, or wouldn't impact in major ways on the current platform is completely wrong and shows astounding ignorance.

Pat

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Hi Majik:

I agree with you. From my lay person's perspective, I can imagine what the engineers at Sonos have discussed this issue in depth and many times. I am sure that we can all rest assured that as a company dedicated (as are other companies) to the maximization of its profits they decided that getting into hi-res would not add to their bottom line.

In the end, it might well be the case that Sonos would have to provide two classes of device, one that managed the current file protocols and another handling the current files plus hi-res. The expectation among those buying the value added device would be that it would operate at a standard far higher than the current "Connect". That means using greater bandwidth, improved and therefore more expensive DACs etc. I will bet my last dollar that Sonos did the market research and found that as it stands, the current Sonos offerings reside in a niche market. I mean, how many people actually own this stuff? If I'm right then, the hi-res market would amount to a niche within a niche. 

Sakamura

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Majik: The file could be removed with very little changes to the indexation process because, as you might not be aware, every single file is actually opened.

The indexation actually:
- Opens up the file

- Looks up the file header for the file format (FLAC, ALAC, MP3, MP4, WAV, OGG, ..)
- Looks up the ID3, that can be located at file start, or file end, or anywhere actually since it can now contain multiple data files, such as multiple images and stuff
and it could not actually look up the byte saying "hey I'm a 96KHz file" or "hey I'm a 24 bit audio file".
- Verifies if the artist/album/Index/songname already exist in the collection, only keeping one (except in the Folders list)

We all agree implementing high resolution format is complicated for a full networked and dynamically adaptable system. As an end-user, I couldn't care less whether it's complex or not. That's not my job when I purchase Sonos. My job is to enjoy the benefits of the system for a said amount of money. The engineers are the ones who need to make this work, or not. And as a consumer, my job is to actually be vocal on things that I feed dissatisfied, that will make me not purchase Sonos components in the future.

(I will say things for me, but I believe it reflects the sentiment of many disgruntled users here) I could very well say nothing, and leave this be. I don't because I love the way Sonos components work together. I want to help Sonos becoming better by expressing my (dis)satisfaction with their technology choices, hence making certain I will be happy (or not) in the future and getting a better user experience. As a computer programmer too, I know about the complexities of such tasks, and I'm happy to tell people that it's feasible or not, depending on how things go.

It's quite clear you do not have that issue at the moment, it's quite clear also it's not in your priorities whether they offer 96KHz or not. However, this is not relevant to the discussion at hand, which is many people do in fact CURRENTLY have these files on their hard drives, from multiple sources, whether HDTracks, from Nine Inch Nails web site or ripping their own vinyls, or even their own recordings they are making in their home studios. The debate whether the changes are audible or not, the debate whether the format is easy to support or not, the debate whether the majority of people or not want this is totally irrelevant to what people are saying here. We, as a subgroup of consumers, are dissatisfied because the files we have are not all played, and even worse are shown in the actual list of playable files.

This is what's at hand, IMHO.

Majik

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But these have all been given as primary reasons in this very thread:

"The debate whether the changes are audible or not"

Lots of people say they want this because they believe these files are audibly better. If they didn't believe that, they probably wouldn't be that bothered.

"...the debate whether the format is easy to support or not"

A small number of people here seem to think that this is trivial for Sonos to do and that, therefore, they should support it. If they actually understood how complex it probably is, they might have a more reasonable and balanced view on why Sonos hasn't done it. It will not stop them wanting it, but they might be more reasonable about how they request it, as you have been.

"...,the debate whether the majority of people or not want this..."

There are a lot of people on this thread who claim one or all the following:
* That hires is, or is about to become, mainstream
* That hires afficionados are highly influential in the market
* That Sonos are missing a significant market opportunity by not supporting hires
* That Sonos will soon die as a company because they don't support hires

These are the reasons they give for claiming, often with much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and toys leaving prams, that Sonos is somehow personally offending them.

Of course, all of these "reasons" are complete rubbish.

I'm only posting responses because some of the people on this thread are posting a right old load of nonsense. If people merely posted a rational and reasonable "me too" type response, or just clicked on the "I like this idea" then I wouldn't have any nonsense to respond to.

If you are saying that the only really strong argument for this is the need to help the few people who have hires files organise the music files better, then I would agree. Of course, I would then point out that it's unlikely that Sonos will do such a major development for such a minor reason.

That doesn't stop you wanting it, but you aren't one of the people being unreasonable with your demands.

As an aside, if you were to suggest that, at least, Sonos should be able to somehow blacklist these files so they didn't get indexed, I would also agree and it would go part of the way to solving your specific issue. You may want to put this as a separate feature request.

But I doubt if it would keep the majority of the other hires supporters on this thread happy, as those things you claim to be irrelevant seem to be highly relevant to them!

Sakamura

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The OP is:
I purchase lots of high res FLAC files from hdtracks.com, but I can't play them on SONOS as high res FLAC files are not supported.
Please add support for high res FLAC files: [SNIP]
Anything else is, for that matter, moot. Like I said, the fact we are having this discussion, and with the proliferation of HD tracks sites, it's bound to happen that files will eventually migrate to a higher resolution format, and people should not have to do anything to play them.

And I totally agree with you most people don't know what they are saying. One of the major selling points of CDs in the 80's was "it's louder", as the format went from usual -4db RMS vinyls to +3db for cassette decks to +10db digitally maximized audio with a RMS of 0db. Seriously flawed reasoning. Also, without double-blind A/B testing, there's no point in telling it's better or not.

However, I have to answer elements. Like I said, I can safely tell when most vinyls are recorded from a lacking digital source. I shouldn't be able to tell that if 44/16 was that great. I was never able to tell a difference between /16 and /24. I keep my files at /24 because it's there, but I could probably safely reduce them to /16 without any issue. So the fact it's there or not is not relevant. Hey, vinyls are clearly with a crappy SN ratio, but I still see it as superior at the moment due to multiple elements, most having nothing to do with inherent resolution (or lack thereof). But one thing about resolution, I am able to see a difference between 44 and 96KHz when I take my time and listen intently to audio, relaxing in my listening room. I still listen to 44 and feel "happy" with the results, but am happier when I can get that little extra touch.

I'm also a photographer, and I'm trained in seeing dct compression artifacts, I hate seeing them and it pisses me off no avail when I see some in a movie, on TV or on a JPEG image, when some people just can't seem to see them. That's the same than MP3/MP4/OGG formats, I am able to tell the difference, but I still listen to them for convenience, like I prefer a great well mastered 45RPM 180g 12" vinyl than a badly pressed 33RPM 90g 30m per face compilation vinyl from a crappy 3rd generation tape. Hey, the music is there, I still like it, but when I feel like listening to great quality, my heart is not there. That's exactly why I gave (in another thread) a photographic analogy, both are enjoyable, but there's something in that 30 megs file that the 1024x768 won't give you. Same in audio for lossy-lossless debate or 44 / 192KHz debate.

So far, in my experience, here's a table of differences I see on a VERY good source/amp/speakers. Which doesn't mean I don't enjoy lesser resolution files (heck, I have 32KHz files I still listen at home, and I recorded a 22KHz master on CD from a personal recording on a SVHS tape that still sounds quite good all considered)

vs.  44  48  88  96 176 192 DSD DXD   8  16  24  32
44 N Y Y Y Y Y Y
48 Y Y Y Y Y Y
88 N N N N N
96 N N N N
176 N N N
192 N N
DSD N
DXD
8 Y Y Y
16 N N
24 N
32

Sakamura

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Just to give more to the frequency debate from my actual experience ... Some of the sonic properties are simply for ambience. My sub is only used between 12 (lower limits for my sub) and 25Hz, as set up in my crossover over the range of months. A frequency range that's not audible by humans. But by having it there, I do sense a major difference even if I couldn't hear its benefits, and could tell after half a song that I had left it unplugged. I don't have a thundering bass with this, my speakers are more than adequate for that, and I don't even hear bass reverb on pianos or guitars, but I do have the kick drum "thump". Same for 44KHz vs 96KHz. What I add to the quality is on some instruments. For example, piano have that precise attack, violins don't sound harsh, and trumpets DO sound harsh :) So it's not what you will listen at that point, it's more about sound refinement. From my experience, most people are able to listen to these differences after a few hours listening, and people will tell me that something is different, the sound is less defined somehow, without knowing they switched to a lesser resolution source. That's not considering MPx compression or violent brickwall mastering, which IMHO is the biggest culprit of lacking audio quality.

Jgatie, Champion

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Humans can most certainly hear below 25Hz, and below ~20Hz,there is still a tactile effect to low bass that has nothing to do with your ears.  On the other hand, there has never been anyone who could hear over 20 KHz, most people out of their 20s struggle with over 15Hz, and there is no tactile element to ultra-sonic frequencies.You are comparing apples and oranges.

The fact is, there have been scientific peer-reviewed tests of hi-res audio where even trained listeners were given the opportunity to pick out the hi-res version from a down sampled version from the same master.  Not one person was able to choose the hires version with any statistical significance.  Not one.  Also, you would think that if there was such a noticeable difference, the hi-res recording companies would be lining up to conduct their own versions of the test but alas . . . crickets.

Sakamura

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There's been one peer reviewed article giving effects. It wasn't reproduced however but people are still intrigued by it and haven't found a reason why (or why not).

Removing that one, there have been multiple explanations in these peer reviewed articles about hypersonic effects. Many will point out to different elements, many of which doesn't have anything to do with the ear.

Possibilities have included the body reacting to hypersonic sound, giving a tactile enjoyment of it. Also the idea some people are able to hear more precisely a sound when there's a noise floor being applied to the initial sound instead of listening to a pure frequency response, the noise floor in this being safely put in the hypersonic range, out of our listening ability. Then there's the (peer-reviewed) research showing people are comfortable listening to audio at higher volumes when high-frequency frequencies were introduced in the stream, giving the listener the opportunity to use more fully their ears, thus give what is considered a better sound. That's not speaking about audio equipment that will modify their lower frequencies in response to higher frequencies due to inefficiencies (in which case my system is inefficient in a really cool way and I thank it ^_^). All in all, multiple probable causes have been proposed in the articles you are talking about.

Returning to my text, I carefully chose my examples with elements that does exhibit a high frequency harshness when badly dithered at 44KHz. You can get a safe 44KHz response for violin by reducing >8KHz and by putting heavy dithering to the sound. Otherwise, you get inconsistent high frequencies. To achieve 22KHz, you alternate 1 and 0s. To achieve ~11KHz, you alternate 1,.5,0,.5. As such, a lot of what is >8KHz is interpolated by DACs to get a better frequency rollout and reduce harshness. Much like 25Hz, the 15KHz is still present, and you were the first to say there's a tactile sensation, a presence at lower frequencies. I have to add up that one to the same principle.

Most of what is played at lower 8KHz frequencies will be very adequate, then you will get "that" sound that you'll hate, or you'll have that metallic property you'll hate (metallic is the best way to describe it, but in no way it has anything to do with the digital logic on ICs).

It's all these that makes the music played @ 96KHz more enjoyable, much like I have difficulties seeing my pixels on my 1920x1200 screen, I don't see the pixels on my high DPI phone screen, especially with antialiasing enabled (then I just don't have any chance!) but somehow, sometimes, I see pixellated jagged edges in some cases, honing my attention to that defect. And most of the music I listen is awesome at any given frequency, I do enjoy music at 44KHz a lot, and most of it is really incredible. But there's that edge case here and there that somehow makes it better for me when I'm not filtered by a quantized 44KHz response

Jgatie, Champion

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Nonsence. Your post is nothing but pure and utter nonsense. Sorry, but that is what it is. If there was any truth to what you say, it could be detected in A/B/X testing. No A/B/X test has ever shown any content above 20 KHz to be detectible by man.

Jgatie, Champion

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Nonsence. Your post is nothing but pure and utter nonsense. Sorry, but that is what it is. If there was any truth to what you say, it could be detected in A/B/X testing. No A/B/X test has ever shown any content above 20 KHz to be detectible by man.

Jgatie, Champion

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Nonsence. Your post is nothing but pure and utter nonsense. Sorry, but that is what it is. If there was any truth to what you say, it could be detected in A/B/X testing. No A/B/X test has ever shown any content above 20 KHz to be detectible by man.

Jgatie, Champion

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Nonsence. Your post is nothing but pure and utter nonsense. Sorry, but that is what it is. If there was any truth to what you say, it could be detected in A/B/X testing. No A/B/X test has ever shown any content above 20 KHz to be detectible by man.

Jgatie, Champion

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Nonsence. Your post is nothing but pure and utter nonsense. Sorry, but that is what it is. If there was any truth to what you say, it could be detected in A/B/X testing. No A/B/X test has ever shown any content above 20 KHz to be detectible by man.

Sakamura

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God, Jgatie, I understood you the first time ^_^ So my text is nonsense? Let me find out the different sources then. Sorry for not taking time to find them in the first place, it's a long and tedious process to find freely available versions saying I'm not crazy (well no, I'm crazy, but not that way ;) )

The hypersonic article saying there WAS a difference: http://www.therapiesonore.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/hypersoniqueondoline.pdf
and
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/p/pod/dod-idx/on-the-mechanism-of-hypersonic-effect.pdf?c=icmc;idno=bb...
You can find articles not finding the same results than his research. You can google them if you wish. But these are peer-reviewed and accepted scientific researches.

Then, when he saw the research being somehow not linked to the ear, here he presents a (peer-reviewed accepted research) about the body potentially getting its share of hypersonic information: http://arraytherapeutic.com/library/articles/HypersonicEffectBody-Ear%20study.pdf

When I was talking about the equipment actually reproducing high frequencies at lower frequencies: http://www.hificritic.com/downloads/Archive_A10.pdf

I could continue on and on about noise floor helping to recognize shapes and slight noise actually improving visualization, as random numbers help exacerbate differences that might be too minute to be heard otherwise (and different algorithms that will push dithering noise to inaudible realm, keeping the noise properties to help enjoy the audio, but removing them from our hearing path); 44KHz sounding harsh when no dithering is used and what can be done to alleviate that; the basis of 44KHz in a quantized environment and the possible frequencies and their purities (or lack thereof). Remember an adult can percieve the "note" up to 8KHz, then it becomes a less definite "tone".

And we're not talking about kids that will hear 20KHz and up. Or my friend who will cower in fear when going through a motion detector because the noise is deafening him. I'm talking about normal adults here, and I know I'm not special.

So I don't know where you believe I'm spewing nonsense here, but writing your disapproval 5 times will not help disproving what I found in practice.

User553164

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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!

Dominic Zapaman

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The audio formats offered by SONOS will soon be exceeded by the audio on HDvideo streams....?

Jgatie, Champion

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When you can perfectly sync up 32 HD video streams on 32 monitors, then you have a point. Anybody can stream 24/96 to a single streamer, there are dozens of them out there (well, "dozens" - 1, now that Squeezebox crashed and burned). Nobody has ever streamed 24/96 in perfect sync, to up to 32 players at once, some of which can/cannot actually play the stream. There's the problem, not whether someone else can stream higher bandwidth to a single unit.

User553164

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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!

arthur

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I would replace my connect if it were able to stream 96/24 to my amp. Perhaps a new version of connect with hdmi output? I have many dvdaudio discs that I have ripped to hard disc, retiring my dvdaudio player. In most cases there are also 5.1 versions of the same album on the disc (Metallica "black" album, deep purple "machine head" etc). I do not expect to be able to stream hi resolution flac/wav to my 5's but I would hope to be able to stream to a connect that then feeds my living room amplifier. Sonos, more websites are appearing offering hd audio (hdtracks.com for example). Please consider at least being able to support an emerging market of audiophile quality music, otherwise your mantra of all your music available everywhere, will be inaccurate!

arthur

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I have been buying music from the website HDtracks.com. I am unhappy to now realise that sonos's promise of all music available everywhere wirelessly, falls short. The system on the pc will not even recognise the existence of my 96/24 tracks (flac or wav). Worse still, I have some 5.1 at the same high bitrate. These also are not recognised. When will sonos include support for streaming hidef audio to my sonos connect (which I have connected via spdif to my amp)? If there is insufficient bandwidth across the optical, will sonos eventually bring out a connect with hdmi for multichannel connectivity to amps?

I am willing to repurchase in order to allow hi def playback.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Hi def and surround sound track support *please*!.

Thomas Nielsen

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I just thought I'd pitch in. The way we solved the problem with HD audio is really quite simple if slightly spaceconsuming.

We have all our music stored centrally, in its original format (all the way up to 24/384) and pristine condition for backup purposes, and use dbpoweramp to convert this music to suitable formats onto other disks. We have metadata stored in a database, to make changes easier across versions, but that is merely a nice-to-have. There are other ways to solve that problem. Files that are converted are placed in four different locations; one for 24/92, one for iTunes one for Sonos and one for portables (car and walkman etc). Whenever we get a new record, it is thrown into the pot and batch converted. We have Sonos in 5 rooms serving synced music 95% of the time, iTunes for syncing with iPods and 3 Squeezeboxes (one of which has been demoted to the garage and another used for special purposes in my music study).

We have solved the 24-bit limitation in a very simple way. The power DAC we have in the living room can handle 4 digital sources, so we simply attached our Transporter alongside the Sonos Connect. Whenever I get that tickling sensation, I just switch and play the Transporter instead. In situations like that I don't need to sync anything anyway - just have complete silence everywhere else in the house.

So instead of replacing one system with the other, we let them complement eachother, exactly like a CD player doesn't [necessarily] replace a turntable.

David Deutsch

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I don't think this is "solving" the problem.  In effect you are simply living with the problem, creating  two sources and pathways instead of one.  This is exactly SONOS's answer to HiRes complainers:  Do your audiophile stuff separately, apart from Sonos!  Well, yeah sure that's always possible.

As it is, Sonos is forcing audiophiles to choose between convenience and connectivity and a higher level of fidelity and, speaking for audiophiles  (and notwithstanding all the nonsense about what ears can or cannot perceive), the higher level of fidelity will win every time and our decisions will disfavor Sonos.  We are higher profile among the "listening public" than you average kid listening to mp3s on the street and our opinions and advice are more respected.  Sonos really has to address us or face a shifting market share in even the short term.  Sonos must be tops in all things audio to become the absolute standard at what it does.  

User553164

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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!

User553164

  • 12 Posts
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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!

Jon

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I wish Sonos would not ignore this request. Downsampling hires is not straight forward and the quality of the downsampled version depends heavily on the sample rate converter used. Whilst this is not noticeable on sonos speakers it can be on systems connected to a high end dac.

Whilst I can envisage streaming hires to multiple devices is problematic is there not a way for now to just allow the Connect to pass high res via its digital output?

adam

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see new WSJ article on 24 bit .. makes me feel Sonos is out of date! http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

Majik

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You do realise the author of the WSJ article has been misled, and even admits it in his article (although he doesn't actually realise it)

It is a classic mistake: Michael Hsu was comparing copies mastered for digital downloads (Amazon, iTunes) with a different version. By definition they will sound different. By definition a master created for mass-market digital downloads will not be as good as one where the Audio Engineers have been allowed to mix, master, and render the track carefully.

There is no doubting the superior quality of the studio Engineering work that is used on the HDTracks downloads. There is every doubt that any improvement is due to the hires format. In fact, even in the WSJ there is strong evidence that the format isn't the primary benefit.

In the article, Michael Hsu writes:

"I took the hi-res audio files that I purchased from HDtracks and converted them to MP3 using iTunes. To my surprise, they sounded unmistakably richer and less brittle than the digital versions I had purchased from Amazon.com and the standard iTunes Store"

If the difference can be heard even when the track is converted to mp3, it can only be because the original source material sounded far better.

The article is a great advert for better source material. It's not a good advert for hires.

Vanadium

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Yamaha's Aventage AVR products can play high bitrate FLAC, IIRC, and is a great multizone product. The Yamaha's control apps could obviate the need for Sonos at all, for some.

I'm pretty sure they can't do the data bandwidth wirelessly to do this, across all users in all environments. Because of urban density, the least common denominator is set pretty low.

I think they could do some stuff to fix it, such as allowing us to turn off wireless networking and go wired-only to enable the higher bandwidth rates. Im sure this is super complicated and probably a rewrite of the core software. It also makes their new direction of movable, portable units less useful to the high bandwidth users. Does it create more problems than it solves? Maybe!

And maybe the lost customers' dollars add up to less than they gain by making hidden wireless mesh networking their focus into the future. That's a big market; simplicity is elegant. It sells.

Greg

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Simple reason that Hires may never be supported by Sonos is backward compatibility. To this date, every single feature or upgrade that has been released via firmware update can be enjoyed by people who bought even the old school ZP100's or the first generation of Sonos hardware. These devices almost certainly don't have the processing power to play hires which means that there would be features that are not available to everyone. I applaud Sonos for their consideration of backward compatibility, contrary to the likes of companies like Apple. While I wish the Sonos system could play hires, I understand why it probably never will. Let's be honest, the crowd of us hires listeners is still a small one. Yes you need expensive equipment to play hires, and I'm OK with that. You can't expect to drive at over 200MPH with a Toyota Camry, and can't expect a $350 Sonos Connect to do a good job with hires. I dove into hires, and it is a pain to convert my library to a Sonos compatible format, but it's the decision I made.

I do feel that if Sonos did play hires, it would be just that more of a complete system, and this topic would not be a discussion.

Jan

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With the recent launch of Bluesound, I absolutely hope that Sonos will reconsider their position and provide hi-res support. Otherwise I might consider switching to Bluesound

David Deutsch

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I checked the Bluesound website and think they may have something but they have no idea how to reach a user without the tech talk.  Also, I do not find any price list or MRSP.

User553164

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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!

Kamall

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I'm rather tired of stock responses like "no plans to support". I would be understanding of SONOS if they explained technical challenges, issues or even a tech strategy that is mutually exclusive to 24/96 FLAC. Even that it is cost prohibitive at this point. I understand SONOS need to make a profit!

I've invested a good amount of money in SONOS gear that stated it supported FLAC (Connect and some play 5's). Now to find out it only supports CD quality sampling and no higher resolution audio is rather misleading. Without even downscaling! I guess I should have done more detailed research before I bought.

I honestly find this corporate "no plans to support" line as insulting to me as a loyal customer and arrogant in expecting that we deserve no context despite our product investments.

SONOS, I thought you were a more modern company? How about some more modern, straightforward communication?

arthur

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My current dissatisfaction with sonos is that even using the coax output on the connect, and linking to an external DAC that does support 192/24 the sonos player software says the file cannot be played! In short sonos cannot even pass the data to an external device correctly for processing. That is in my view a hardware and software failing.

Ciaran

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My question would be, is the SONOS inability to play hi res FLAC files caused by a hardware limiting factor or is that SONOS platforms require a firmware upgrade to play hi res FLAC files?

User155230

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I think it has to do with the fact that the bandwith to pass on the large amount of data of hi-res audio wirelessly is insufficient or puts them at trisk of having lots of people complain. I for one in my house had to switch to wired connection since they kept disconnecting or did not connect at all. Now if that is already the case for MP3 or basic flac imagine the same for 24/96 let alone 24/192.
As an audiophile I am waiting for some reviews and experiences from users of newer generation systems like bluesound to throw Sonos out and switch over. I am tired of crap quality MP3 and other low-res formats.... Up to you Sonos!

Rolf

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I also want Sonos to add functionality to play high rez files. I do not think backward compability should prevent progression in a case like this. Sonos, please add this! :)

Clive

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My latest email from Sonos ---LINK HERE--- ends with

"Enjoy all the music on Earth... your way" ... but I can't

Jgatie, Champion

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I know. I want to tap into live Borneo drum circles, but I can't. FALSE ADVERTISING!!!! *rolleyes*

Jgatie, Champion

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I know. I want to tap into live Borneo drum circles, but I can't. FALSE ADVERTISING!!!! *rolleyes*

Jgatie, Champion

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I know. I want to tap into live Borneo drum circles, but I can't. FALSE ADVERTISING!!!! *rolleyes*

Jgatie, Champion

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I know. I want to tap into live Borneo drum circles, but I can't. FALSE ADVERTISING!!!! *rolleyes*

Gary

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Please re-consider and upgrade or get passed by.. Looking for alternatives ..

User553164

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The solution is www.bluesound.com . An equivalent to Sonos which supports up to 24bits/192kHz Hi-Res music. Comparable price category! I have a Sonos system that I love, but I am now tired of waiting on them and will move on to Bluesound. Good bye Sonos!!!