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Sonos: Flac files | The Honest Truth

Sonos: Flac files | The Honest Truth

by Johnny2014/04/17

The honest truth about Sonos is that although it’s a good piece of equipment it has many unmentioned flaws that have been questioned by the public. Although Sonos is great for your average user who owns low quality MP3 files, it may not be so good for the advanced music listener. The main reason for this is because Sonos does not play 24 bit flac files which are the equivalent and possibly better than CD quality music. It was asked many times on the Sonos forums whether they had any intention to add support for 24 bit flac files.

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.

In short, the answer was no, this is frustrating for many owners of Sonos because there is no way to play flac 24 bit without spending half the amount again on an Apple networking device to bypass the software. To play music with your Sonos device you have to use the software they give you. It is hard to understand why they make it impossible to play music any other way, there are other music players that allow you to play flac files on your computer such as media monkey. I believe though that even if the software did allow you to play flac files you wouldn’t notice much difference because the Sonos doesn’t have the capability to play high-quality audio files in the first place as pointed out by forum moderator. The Sonos tagline ‘play all music on earth’ is false because you simply cannot play the high-quality tracks that are being sold by companies such as HD tracks.

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.

It is the future and it is obvious that Sonos is using old hardware and cannot keep up with the demands to date. I should also point out that you are limited to listening via your phone or computers music library or popular streaming alternatives such as spotify. This is because most Sonos devices do not have an audio input, this means if you wish to play music from your computer and use Sonos as computer speakers you cannot unless you own the play:5 or Sonos connect which you have to connect to outsourced speakers. The main issue is that YouTube videos cannot be played through the Sonos system. This is irritating because you have a decent speaker that can only be used for playing music from your music library. Not only that, if you have the highest audio quality it is not compatible with Sonos. If you are an audiophile and wish to use a speaker that can play 24 bit flac then I would suggest you keep hold of your CD players or even better buy a different speaker with a better spec that allows you to get the full experience of 24 bit flac’s.

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.

If you wish to listen to MP3s at their utmost then by all means buy Sonos but beware because you will not be able use it as a general speaker. Of course there is no other speaker that has software that is so easy to use, allowing you to play different music all the same music in each room with multiple devices. Anyone can walk in, download the app on their phone and start streaming their music library to your speakers after they have synced it of course. It is just frustrating the potential of the Sonos speakers isn’t there yet, and it should be for the price you’re paying. They are focusing more on marketing to a wider audience rather than paying attention to issues that already exist that affect user experience which is rather disappointing. Hopefully the next speaker that they release will pinpoint these issues and offer a good solution!

Source: Ask.sonos

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About The Author
Johnny is the manager of SoundReview but also writes himself occasionally. Away from the keyboard he likes to keep fit at the gym to balance out the daily toll of vigorous computing.
  • Jonas Löfling
    2016/07/05 at 5:55 am

    What about Denon Heos HS2, which supports 24 bit hi-res audio and also Bluetooth, USB and 3.5 mm input? Seems like a contender to me. Even Chromecast Audio will be an alternative, although not as simple to use as Heos or Sonos.

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