If you have traditional audio equipment, such as a receiver and a pair of bookshelf speakers, and want to integrate it into your existing sonos system, you should purchase the sonos port ($449). Released in early 2020, the Port is a newer, more versatile (and more expensive) version of the company’s Connect (no longer available); It has a better built-in dac, is airplay 2 compatible, and thanks to its bespoke all-black design, it looks more like a typical audio component.
just like the connect, the port is a wireless transmitter with a built-in dac. It has RCA and digital coaxial audio outputs for connecting to a stereo or AV receiver, thus allowing you to control and play music on that system through the Sonos app, just like a Sonos speaker. The port also has an RCA audio input port for connecting audio sources, such as a turntable (with a built-in preamp) or a CD player; This allows you to play music from those sources on your existing Sonos speakers.
Perhaps the most interesting upgrade is the port’s 12-volt trigger, which gives you (and you) a little more control of the connected receiver or amplifier. It essentially eliminates the need for you to manually turn on the receiver or stereo, or switch to the appropriate inputs, because everything turns on when you start streaming through the Sonos app to stream music. however, there is a catch, and only newer stereos and receivers have a 12-volt trigger input. (My three year old yamaha receiver didn’t support it, so unfortunately I still have to use the receiver’s remote to change inputs.)
It’s true that most newer audio components have bluetooth built in, so simply adding “streaming” to your stereo receiver isn’t a major feature of the port. However, the port has a fancy new digital-to-analog converter (DAC), compared to Connect, and supports Wi-Fi streaming like Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2; so it will transmit higher resolution audio and better sound than bluetooth.
port vs amplifier: what’s the difference?
sonos currently sells two different wireless transmitters that allow you to turn an old audio component into one that works exactly like a sonos speaker. there’s the significantly more expensive port and amp ($649).
The big difference between the two is that the port does not have a built-in amplifier, so it will only work directly with audio components and active speakers that have built-in amplification (such as powered or active speakers). . It can also be connected to a turntable with a built-in phono preamp (or a turntable with an external phono preamp) so you can listen to vinyl through your sonos speakers.
The amplifier is essentially a port with a built-in amplifier. So while the port is designed to connect to a stereo receiver, which then allows you to play music on your passive speakers, the amplifier takes the place of the receiver, cutting out the middle man, and can drive the passive speakers on its own.
The other difference is that the amp is HDMI-ARC compatible, which means you can replace your AV receiver and turn your passive speakers into TV speakers. Turn your speakers into a system that works similar to one of Sonos’ sound bars.
how to connect the port to a receiver
if you have a stereo or av receiver and a pair of bookshelf speakers, and you want to be able to use it as a sonos speaker (being able to stream music directly from your smartphone and integrate it into a sonos multi-room speaker system ), you must connect it to a sonos port.
- plug the port into a power outlet.
- connect the port to a power amplifier or receiver via its rca output connections.
- open the sonos app on your smartphone.
- select “set up a new system”.
- select the “add” option on your sonos port. (If you’re using the Sonos S1 controller, tap Continue > Set up products.)
- Follow the steps in the app to set up your port and add your music services.
note: if you want to connect the port to an audio source, such as a turntable, you can do so by following the steps above, but using the rca connections on the back of the port.