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Sonos: How to listen to Sonos music with headphones?


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I seem to be becoming a little bit of a can head these days, and I was wondering if there is anyway to listen to music on the Sono's system with headphones? For the life of me, I cannot figure out a reasonable way. Sure, I could feed the line level output from a Sonos Connect into a preamp and go from there, but somehow, that just don't seem the right way to go...

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Sonos Connect via Toslink to Chord Mojo to drive the headphones.

 

That would certainly work, but it still seems like a waste, $350 of Sonos into $600 of Mojo.

 

I guess what I am really wishing for is a software player, or a headphone amplified in a PLAY:1 or something like that.

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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I seem to be becoming a little bit of a can head these days, and I was wondering if there is anyway to listen to music on the Sono's system with headphones? For the life of me, I cannot figure out a reasonable way. Sure, I could feed the line level output from a Sonos Connect into a preamp and go from there, but somehow, that just don't seem the right way to go...

 

-Paul

 

Many integrated amps, receivers, preamps have a simple headphone out. Not sure what you are trying to hook up to. As was said earlier, Sonos Connect into integrated (or what ever) and plug in headphones.

 

PS. This assumes you are not using one of their speakers or the Connect Amp.

 

PPS. Why not just use whatever idevice you are using to control your Sonos and use the actual apps (Spotify, Apple Music, etc, etc. into the headphone jack.

David

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Many integrated amps, receivers, preamps have a simple headphone out. Not sure what you are trying to hook up to. As was said earlier, Sonos Connect into integrated (or what ever) and plug in headphones.

 

PS. This assumes you are not using one of their speakers or the Connect Amp.

 

PPS. Why not just use whatever idevice you are using to control your Sonos and use the actual apps (Spotify, Apple Music, etc, etc. into the headphone jack.

 

I suppose I could, but this is mostly for the better half, who is in love with Sono's and the integrated Apple Music. (*sigh*) Didn't take her ten minutes to ask her how to get Sonos to play in the headphones... It is partly for me too, as Apple Music is a PITA to integrate with JRMC.

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Just use your phone with Tidal thats what i do. Going back to Sonos-

use analog out to schiit amp for 99 dollars or toslink to amp/dac like fiio alpen 2 for 139 or audioengine d1 for 179. Off course you can go more expensive.

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I suppose I could, but this is mostly for the better half, who is in love with Sono's and the integrated Apple Music. (*sigh*) Didn't take her ten minutes to ask her how to get Sonos to play in the headphones... It is partly for me too, as Apple Music is a PITA to integrate with JRMC.

 

Seeing as she loves Apple Music then it's a natural to just listen on an iPhone as all your same playlists, music in the cloud, etc, etc, are there and the interface is actually better than the one in the Sonos app. Get her a pair of Kef M400 phones and hook them up to an iPad and she'll love it.

 

PS. Been trying Apple, Spotify, Tidal (the lesser one), Deezer and I'm actually leaning toward Spotify as I find that Spotify Connect running Spotify on a small computer into dac is really convenient and a decent sounding option. Feels like Spotify is really stepping up their game.

David

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Seeing as she loves Apple Music then it's a natural to just listen on an iPhone as all your same playlists, music in the cloud, etc, etc, are there and the interface is actually better than the one in the Sonos app. Get her a pair of Kef M400 phones and hook them up to an iPad and she'll love it.

 

PS. Been trying Apple, Spotify, Tidal (the lesser one), Deezer and I'm actually leaning toward Spotify as I find that Spotify Connect running Spotify on a small computer into dac is really convenient and a decent sounding option. Feels like Spotify is really stepping up their game.

 

This may be yet another blind spot of mine, but how does she listen to our internal album collection that way? She seems to have tamed Apple Music (and I will set her on Spotify...:)) but when she wants to hear our copy of say a Claudette Stone album not on any service I can find...

 

I really wonder if I am just missing something simple? It's possible. Probable even... ;)

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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I think you'll have to tell us how you have Sonos setup first for us to give you more advice.

Do you have all your music running on a NAS and then Sonos just access your music off the NAS? If so, what's the NAS running?

Or do you have a computer turned on all the time, running as a DLNA server (say with JRiver) and then Sonos access the music from that DLNA server?

Or do you have a computer turned on all the time, running the Sonos Controller that has access to all your songs and send the songs to Sonos Connect? Or does Sonos Controller actually pull songs from iTunes where you have all your songs and then you send the songs from iTunes to Sonos Controller to the Sonos Connect?

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I think you'll have to tell us how you have Sonos setup first for us to give you more advice.

Do you have all your music running on a NAS and then Sonos just access your music off the NAS? If so, what's the NAS running?

Or do you have a computer turned on all the time, running as a DLNA server (say with JRiver) and then Sonos access the music from that DLNA server?

Or do you have a computer turned on all the time, running the Sonos Controller that has access to all your songs and send the songs to Sonos Connect? Or does Sonos Controller actually pull songs from iTunes where you have all your songs and then you send the songs from iTunes to Sonos Controller to the Sonos Connect?

 

Eh, sorry. sometimes forget other folks do not know he configuration details. :)

 

All the music is on a SAN, from which it is mounted R/W to the primary "NAS" for entertainment server, which happens to be a Mac Pro. Yeah, that is a little overkill, but it happens to have enough horsepower to run that and several other VMs as well.

 

This machine holds a copy of my physical library as a SAN drive, and then publishes it back over the local net with SMH, NFS, and a couple of other less common methods. Nothing on that volume but music and video physical files. All he shares are read only, save for he ones I use to RIP or stage new music. Those are mostly to my laptops.

 

The machine has an iTunes instance running, a JRMC instance to stream from, a Sonos controller instance which actually accesses and provides the library for the Sonos network, Plex Server providing access to our DVD library for the TV, Apple TV, Bluray players, etc. Also has a VM running with an experimental music server/player.

 

All the music and or videomservers have read/only access to the physical library, and maintain their own index library on "local" space.nThat's in quotes because their lcalmstorage s also on he SAN, but you get the idea...

 

Every physical file has the metadata correct in it, and has embedded artwork. I do this when I RIP them or when I import newly purchased downloads. File formats range from MP3 to DSD256, with the vast vast majority being AIFF files at 16/44.1. About 22% of the physical library is "high res" in that it is in a format greater than 16/44.1.

 

The published read only physical library is also accessed by several remote instances of JRMC running on low power NUCs and/ a variety of other machines and software. Most of the servers, like Vortexbox, run on a VM, since they are not sending music to a DAC, though they still access this same physical library r/o to build their libraries.

 

My wife's favorite is the Sonos system, which sees the same physical files as iTunes, but does not use iTunes. Apple music is of course, available from the Sonos system directly over he network. I was thinking that Apple match might work but I cannot seem to get Sonos to play from Apple Match. And in any caee, Apple match only holds a moderate percentage of our library, and that in AAC256.

 

Also JRMC under Windows will not play nice with iTunes, though it will under MacOS. i put Rouge Audio's Airfoil Speakers on the a test W10 machine, which makes it an Airplay target, but with JRMC running, who boy... Nothkng but trouble. Oh it works okay if JRMC is not given exclusive access to the output device, but then JRMC cannot adjust the sample rate or bit depth. Undr MacOS - JRMC only has sxclusive access when it is a tually using the device, so it will coexist happily with iTunes.

 

Using the freeware Sonos hack under Linux has for some reason not worked out allmthat well either. I admit I did not try all that hard either, so maybe a bit more persistance would pay off there. Have a Google Chromecast here I want to try out as well, along with a couple Linux based $9 PCs.

 

But basically, what I need for Karen would be a Sonos device itu a headphone out or a USB out or something aling those lines. *I think*...

 

That is not a conplete picture of the entertainment net around here, but I think it answers your questions?

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Wow. That's a pretty involved setup. I'm guessing if JRMC is running, you should be able to use JRemote to play music on the iOS device. Alternatively, if your system is not setup for JRemote, I'm guessing the JRMC instance is running at least a DLNA server so you can run PlugPlayer iOS app with its crappy user interface on to stream music from the DLNA server to the iOS app. Finally, you can turn on iTunes Home Sharing so that you can access the music library in iTunes on the Apple Music app on iOS. That said, this is what theoretically can work but it really depends on what and how you're running your Mac Pro...

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Wow. That's a pretty involved setup. I'm guessing if JRMC is running, you should be able to use JRemote to play music on the iOS device. Alternatively, if your system is not setup for JRemote, I'm guessing the JRMC instance is running at least a DLNA server so you can run PlugPlayer iOS app with its crappy user interface on to stream music from the DLNA server to the iOS app. Finally, you can turn on iTunes Home Sharing so that you can access the music library in iTunes on the Apple Music app on iOS. That said, this is what theoretically can work but it really depends on what and how you're running your Mac Pro...

 

 

Yep- JRMC can run on the iDevice, but it does not integrate with Apple Music at all, so what you see is our internal library, but no access to Apple Music.

 

Apple Music can run well, but you don't see any of our high res music library with it, or - using Apple Match - a late percentage of library is just missing.

 

Sure, one could switch from one to the other, but what seems to work the best for Karen is Sono's with Apple Music integrated into it.

 

I know I know, she is still missing the 100's of vinyl albums I painstakingly covered into 24/192k, and so on. But never argue with your better half... it is always a no-win engagement! :) And I can transcode those into 16/44.1 before her birthday in June. :)

 

** And my eyesight is getting so bad, I should never type on a phone again. (*sigh*) Voice dictation just misses so much nuance...

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Yes, transcoding all the high-res files into the same library accessible by would be the cheapest birthday gift for her. It just costs you time. It'll be cheaper than a Chord Mojo and Toslink cable plugged into the Sonos Connect... Your music database file system is very complex because you're trading complexity for quality (high-res files). Now you just need to decide on whether you want to trade money (new gadget) for your time (transcoding). The cheapest way to go is probably to get a headphone amplifier to plug into the Sonos analog output.

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Yes, transcoding all the high-res files into the same library accessible by would be the cheapest birthday gift for her. It just costs you time. It'll be cheaper than a Chord Mojo and Toslink cable plugged into the Sonos Connect... Your music database file system is very complex because you're trading complexity for quality (high-res files). Now you just need to decide on whether you want to trade money (new gadget) for your time (transcoding). The cheapest way to go is probably to get a headphone amplifier to plug into the Sonos analog output.

 

Yeah- the setup here is simplistic, in that it is trivially easy to *use*, but I had to put some thought into setting it up. I will engage Karen on the topic and let her choose what she would prefer.

 

*I* prefer listening when she is snuggled up with me on a couch somewhere. :)

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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That's why I suggested Chord Mojo so if you have the same headphones, you can listen together with the 2 audio output jacks without sonic degradations at the same volume. And you can use it for other purpose in the future. On the other hand, there are many other cheaper sans-DAC headphone amplifiers and you just need to find one with 2 output jacks. Maybe even with separate volume controls...

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