Support high resolution files

  • Idea
  • Updated 2 weeks 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...
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ptr727

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Posted 3 years ago

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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.
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Majik, Champion

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I'm familiar with the "hypersonic effect", and I'm also familiar that that body of work is largely centered around the controversial artist/scientist Tsutomu Ōhashi.

TL:DR: The Ōhashi "Hypersonic effect" study that so many audiophiles love to cling to as "evidence" that hires is a sensible thing, has been shown to be flawed and, if anything, actually supports the view that hires should be avoided.


The reason it is controversial is because, when others (Ashihara et al.) have attempted the same experiment they could not repeat his results (a basic premise of science being that experiments can be repeated), and the methodology he used was found to be flawed in many respects.

For instance, he used a single tweeter design in many tests which would have introduced significant intermodulation across the wide range of frequencies tested. These could have included audible frequencies. In fact, in the Ōhashi study isolated frequencies above 20kHz could not be detected. It was only when these frequencies were combined with audible frequencies could a difference be perceived, which is more easily explained by simple intermodulation distortion than "hypersonic effect".

The tests were also not completely blind.

In any case, these tests didn't indicate anything other than the potential for humans to react to sound above the limits of human hearing. There was no indication of preference and no understanding of whether there was any musicality associated with these frequencies.

In fact, all of the other research on ultrasonics interacting with the human body suggest it may actually be harmful to us. In fact Ōhashi himself actually published a follow-up claiming the same thing.

Given how difficult it is to make consumer equipment that doesn't create nasty intermodulation products at higher frequencies (and given that the equipment in your living room almost certainly does create these additional frequencies) theres a strong argument that the Ōhashi study actually supports the view that hires recordings can result in detrimental audio quality (which is supported by analysis and testing by other groups, such as Xiph).


When you say: "...it might be time for a better standard that lines up with how we actually perceive sound" I would agree, except...

WE ALREADY HAVE SUCH A STANDARD!!

Much as many people love the idea that there might be something better than a standard that was invented 35 years ago, there really isn't. Redbook audio is perfectly matched to the characteristics of our hearing systems.
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Majik, Champion

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By the way I agree with this: "It really took 10-15 years for the recording end of it to be sorted out (easiest thing was to move to 24/96 or higher and then decimate to 16/44.1) and it took another 10-15 years for the playback to exercise enough demons (through rather creative DSP and filtering algortihms and in some cases upsampling to 24/88.2 where we are starting to realize the actual potential of the medium."

But that is pretty much all behind us. all of the important practical challenges of implementing the format have been addressed on anything made in the last decade or more.

There were also other problems too, such as studio technicians using analogue techniques which didn't suit digital, or misusing the technology by overusing processing and applying hard compression.

The trouble is all of these early issues are what turned people against digital. Neil Young might have had a point back in 1980, but he's simply deluded now.
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B Irvine

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The hypersonic phenomenon has been documented for over 60 years - first initiated on the deaf as well as in the treatment of tinnitus!  I know Oohashi is surrounded by controversy, but there has been further work - and at CES2014 there was even a paper presented studying the biological effects of the phenomenon.  It isn't as "dead and buried" as you are supposing.  I will say that it is "controversial" because it is nonintuitive, but it is hardly discredited as you say.  If anything Oohashi inadvertantly built upon work done in studying ways of hearing not involving the hairs in the cochlia.

I suppose my point is that the type of CD playback gear that does a decent job in light of the Redbook standard is usually above the amount of money people are willing to pay - and even then it doesn't do it cost-free.  If you are willing to program a FPGA with an apodizing filter, and suffer some early rolloff, you can minimize the artifacting perceptibility.  Funnily enough, similar techniques work much better at 48kHz ... and at 96kHz it is well taken care of (though it is still there but much reduced).  But ... the average consumer isn't able to spend $1000+ on such a player.  If the sample rates had been higher then a $250 or less player would likely have been plenty.

Redbook is hardly a perfect standard, but one chosen as the "best they could" at the time it was published.  It is the current defacto standard for music but I have to reject the notion that it is perfect - not only from artifacting in the audible range, but also in being a snapshot of what we could do with the assumptions we had in the late 1970's and early 1980's (I recall a speech imploring the AES to not adopt Redbook until the sample rates could be a little higher).
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Majik, Champion

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I hope it's not dead as a subject of study, because I think it warrants it. It wouldn't be scientific to not study it further if there are still questions.

But, anyone can present a paper (as Ōhashi did) but that's a long way from proving anything. More research and more testing is needed.

However, the evidence to date based on more than a hundred years of scientific testing which has included brain monitoring (I was discussing a system for monitoring brain response to optical and audio stimuli with a researcher more than 20 years ago) agrees that people simply don't hear music above 20kHz (and also that they don't hear the impacts of filters on modern upsampling D to A convertors). Most people struggle to hear above about 17-18kHz.

And, yes there was a call for higher resolution, but there was also strong lobbying for lower resolution (14 bits, I recall).

What is needed is proof. And, I'm sorry, however you spin it, and however audiophiles claim to hear stuff when not under test conditions, that is not proof.

What "proof" has been presented has been at best sketchy, and at worst damning, and normally relies on some huge leaps of faith to get to the conclusion that hires makes any kind of sense.
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B Irvine

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Hey Martin --

Sounds like you have been in the thick of it.  Peace. You will have no argument from me about the ear canal limitations.  I think the major (incorrect) assumption is the way we sense sound ends with the ear canal.  I agree about the limits of the ear.  It's that we don't just ear with the ear.  It isn't controversial, it's well documented, and your citation of Oohashi isn't the main thing I am drawing from.  The AES has done their business with him already anyway - though they did not manage to discredit as there is ongoing research not with him, and his work wasn't ever in the mainline of the sensory perception of sound outside of the ear canal.  (The biggest controversies with his work once experiments were sorte dout, was that the subjects repeated the "I can't tell the difference" even when there was evidence of a biological response, I think?  But this is not exactly what I am referring to in this case.)

I also think that complicating things with the AES studies is that there are enough people that are not familiar with how instruments sound.

Below is a link to a short list of some of the studies over the last 50 years about the way sound is sensed above the well documented limitations of the ear canal - but not through the ear canal.

What I find fascinating is that the way we sense sound is not as well understood as we first thought.  And the more we understand, we have a valuable opportunity to make sound reproduction more realistic and more accurate if we're open to it. 

I still think it is important to consider the affordability of gear that reproduces the Redbook standard.  We know how to do it, but we don't really know how to do so cheaply and it's been 30 years ... one of the reasons the DVD adopted 48kHz as their standard was to give needed relief to the hardware demands.  I think I'd have pushed it to 50-60kHz or higher to remove the need to oversample altogether - the phase shift would occur above audibility, and there would be no audible artifacts to deal with at all - plus that poor filter designer would be able to relax a little, too and make a better filter.

(It won't let me post enough so here's a link, it's about 45 papers spanning about the same number of years: http://www.tinnitus.vcu.edu/Pages/Ultrasonic%20Hearing.pdf the main paper is about tinnitus - but the papers go into depth about perception of sound above 20kHz even amongst the deaf!)

There is some other work, that I cannot lay my hands on at the moment, that people who are intimitely familiar with something, tend to play it back in their memory as much as listen to it - which further muddies the water (meaning if you have heard something live ... then hear a lossy MP3 ... do you hear the music or just enough to cue your mind?  I find these sorts of studies very interesting.
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User956704

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Fairsharemusic sell music in high res flac that Sonos don't support
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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.
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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.
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Digital Music Lover

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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.
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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.
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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.
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Digital Music Lover

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I think it is interesting that a discussion of "could sonos play these high rez files" into a debate about whether there s sonic benefit or not.

It would be like asking Ferrari to allow travel above 180mph, and everyone replying "why would you want that? You'll just get in an accident, 100mph is more than anyone would ever need."
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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
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Dominic Zapaman

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

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You are talking about sonosnet 1. Sonosnet 2 which the play:3 play:5 and playbar all do is fairly up to date as is the boost.
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Jgatie, Champion

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All current Sonos products utilize 'n' level 2.4 GHz wireless, and everything since the Play:3 also have 5 GHz wireless. So while not the cutting edge 'ac', they are certainly current, not 10 years old.

Chris, the Connects and Play:5 are also Sonosnet 2. The only Sonosnet 1 device left is the Bridge, which is now the Boost.
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Chris, Champion

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There you go with those pesky facts again
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Chris, Champion

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Thx Jgatie for clarification
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B Irvine

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Sonos recently allowed the components to use standard 802.11 standards to the "n" level, yes. They also use that as the basis of their mesh network - on that layer. But the layer where they transport the bits is stuck form 10 years ago. Sorry. Wireless standards have multiple layers, and you can update one, but not the others. And the simplest one is to allow their narrow pipe to be put on 802.11. The layer that counts, is almost the same as before.

Likely they have pushed the capability of their standard to its limit. And now are staring down a gradual obsolescence. But like most companies, they are probably focussed on quarter to quarter - and they are making money TODAY, so screw the future (pardon my French). They are probably going to rely upon the power of marketing and the drumming of people who are reflexively anti-hiRez (which is funny, it's a bit like the people who cling to LP's in the face of CD, the CD folks are now clinging to their CD's in the face of HiRez. ) to somehow survive a bit longer, and then they will probably sell themselves to a larger company which has the money to actually invest and develop a better standard. Or not. They might just hold onto it and milk that cash cow and then chuck it to the side like Logitech did with the Squeezebox.

Things might look great for Sonos at the moment, but the gap between them and everyone else is closing, some players are racing ahead - you can try to dismiss them as being "small fish" - but realize Sonos was a dismissible small fish, too, not too long ago.

(And the real threat to Sonos may actually come from outside the "wireless mesh network" space anyway - leaving this tech to "audio nerds" to Sonos' cost)
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Majik, Champion

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.


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Majik, Champion

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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).
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Jgatie, Champion

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After being called a luddite, a muzak listener, 'thick', an irritant, etc. I believe I am much more entitled to the outrage and anger you are showing here.  If I were so inclined, that is. 

And my comments about comparing video to audio were not directed at you, hence the paragraph spacing.  Also, the reference to "anyone" in the statement.  I'm sorry you interpreted it that way.

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Jgatie, Champion

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Well Martin, if hypersonic sounds actually do create lower level harmonics, then they should be fairly easy to detect in a double blind listening test.

Care to link to one that actually detects them?

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User294112

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I've been thinking about a good description for jgatie. "Deliberate irritant" works & is certainly nicer than what I've been inclined to call him.
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Jgatie, Champion

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Knock yourself out.  I've been called worse by better. ;-)
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Digital Music Lover

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Jtagie ... the "Oohashi paper" wasn't actually debunked - the whole study of the phenomena is called "The Hypersonic effect" it might be good to familiarize yourself.  Where I think that some might be confused about it being "debunked" rather than some refinement to the initial study being completed:  For instance, based upon the brain studies, it is showing that HFC (High Frequency Content) is sensed not by the ear, but some other parts of the body.  And when they did conduct a survey, when playing music limited to 20kHz after the same song with the HFC restored, the preference was for the truncated sound - even though there was a irrefutable biological response to the HFC being present (would make one wonder about the veracity of surveys in DBT's actually, but the preference is there).

Right now the AES uses the double blind test with the measurement done by a survey conducted on the subjects afterwards.  Given the tools for understanding how people perceive sensory data has moved beyond this - look at Cognitive Science for some improved methods showing what and how the brain is activated when sensory data hits it has shed a lot of light on exactly what is being processed by the brain, and in some cases based upon which sections of the brain are active, what organ is responsible for the sensing.  

I'd be really happy when the AES improves their testing methods (including some objective measurements as well as questionaires)- as anyone committed to science is compelled to do.  We might learn something, and learn how to maximize our enjoyment of music as well, rather than rehashing the tired old litany based upon methods that can and ought to be improved.

And given Psychology, which used surveys to measure data in many things at first, has moved on to fMRI and other objective measurements, I figure the AES Engineers ought to as well.
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Dominic Zapaman

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

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Re:  "Downsample it yourself!" argument.

Yep, one could transcode all of your files.  In fact, taken to a logical extreme, Sonos could decode only a single codec with that logic, but they do not.

THer emight be all kinds of economic considerations (undoubtedly they ran the scenarios) and for whatever reason Sonos has chosen to not pursue it at this time.

Their choice.

So we can do one of 4 things:

1.  Suck it up and use it for what it can do.
2.  Transcode our library to be compatible with Sonos (either keeping 2 file sets, or just the downsampled ones).
3.  Go find the capability and buy into another ecosystem (i.e. Bluesound and others)
4.  Try to convince everyone and onesself there is no difference in perception between what Sonos does, and anything of higher resolution, then revisit #1.  ;-)

Likely there are some serious technical limitations with Sonos' wireless standard that would prevent them from offering this economically.  Given that Bluesound accomplishes the same thing with their BluOS but at 24/192, it probably isn't trivial if you already have a standard built around 16/44.1

So ... while I doubt the gap will be bridged with the HiRez skeptics and the HiRez fans ... perhaps we can leave it here?
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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!
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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*!.
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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.
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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.  
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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?
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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...
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Majik, Champion

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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?
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Endo Machine

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I completely agree. This smacks of our customers are not intelligent or important enough to give a proper answer to. You bought our product now shut up because we are not interested and already have your money. I have a playbar , a sub and 2x play ones and I thought I was buying a bells and whistles system. No Flac, no DTS. Absolute trashy stock responses from Sonos. Very poor support. I don't want workarounds I just want a system that works out of the box and exceeds my expectations. Not one that leaves me feeling cheated.
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B Irvine

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SONOS has no plans to support HiRez ... until they DO have plans.

Things change, and while they continue to focus on streaming services, and trying to grow into a $1bn (American billion) company, they are starting to see some competition both in the low and the high end of things.  Can they continue?  They sure seem unstoppable right now.

Well, nobody really knows.  But this is a fast changing niche within the audio world.  It's a interesting and fun ride.
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Chris, Champion

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Sounds like their plan to me :)
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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.
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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?
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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!
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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! :)
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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
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User294112

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That box you're standing next to looks home-made.
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CAVU

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Factory product, 35 years old. 458 pounds (ea). Google for more info. Old "Studio Sound" advert below:

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Philip

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Sonos, please listen to your customers. It can't be that big a deal to add this functionality, or to design an upgrade your hardware.
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LManS

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Very happy with my Logitech Media Server feeding 3 Radio's and 2 Touches, playing multiroom HiRes, even using open source hardware as server and players (e.g. the RPi), and definitely not willing to step up (down) to Sonos. A suggestion: connect the newcoming quadcore RPi 2 with Squeezeplug and a decent HiRes DAC to the audio in of your Sonos Amp and that's it :-) Multiroom HiRes will playback on your Sonos Players.
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Martin

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Ho, ho.

That IS a joke, isn't it?