Using Line-in with Sonos

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Line-in is an analog audio input available on certain Sonos products. It allows you to connect any device that has an audio output (such as a CD or MP3 player, AirPlay device, or TV). Play audio in sync on multiple Sonos players in the system. You can even stream the audio to a different player or group of players than the one the line-in cable is connected to.

If you want the audio to start playing automatically as soon as the line-in cable is detected, please see the Autoplay information linked at the bottom of this page.

Sonos products that have a Line-In port:

The following Sonos products have line-in inputs on the back:

– Play:5 (gen2)

– Play:5 (gen1)

– Connect

– Connect:Amp

Please note that Line-In is disabled on the Play:5 (gen2) and Connect:Amp when they are used as surround speakers with the Playbar, Playbase, or Beam.

Play:5 (gen2) has an 1/8″ (3.5mm) line-in port on the back, as depicted in the image below.

 

 

The Play:5 (gen1) has an 1/8″ (3.5mm) line-in port on the back which is labelled with a  logo. Please note that next to the line-in port there is also an 1/8″ (3.5mm) headphone jack, so if you are experiencing issues playing from a line-in source, please ensure it is connected to the correct port on the back of the player.

Connect and Connect:Amp both have RCA analog inputs which are red and white and labeled with the word “In”.

Connecting to Sonos via Line-In:

Play:5 (gen2) and Play:5 (gen1)
If the source you want to play from has an 1/8″ (3.5mm) output, you can use a standard 1/8″ (3.5mm) mini-stereo cable.

If the source has RCA outputs, like a DVD player, you can use an RCA Y-cable (shown below) to connect to the Play:5.

1/8″ (3.5mm) mini-stereo cable

RCA Y-cable

Connect and Connect:Amp

If you are connecting a portable music player to the Sonos player, you will need a 1/8″ (3.5mm) mini-stereo to RCA audio cable instead. Plug the 1/8″ mini-stereo end into the portable device and the RCA end into the Audio In connections on the Connect or Connect:Amp.

If you are using a Connect or Connect:Amp, use a standard RCA cable to plug an external source like a CD player into the analog Audio In connections on the back of your Sonos player.

RCA Y-cable

Standard RCA cable

 

Line-in from a turntable: If you are using a turntable, make sure that your turntable has a built-in preamp. If it does not have an internal preamp, it must be first connected to an external preamp before connecting it to the line-in on Sonos. If you do not do this, the audio from the turntable will be very hard to hear.

Playing from a Line-In Source:

Once you have a device connected to the line-in port on your Sonos player, you can start playing using the Sonos controller.

Using the Sonos Controller App for iOS or Android:
From the Browse menu, select Line-In, select the source, and select Play Now.

Using the Sonos Controller App for Mac or PC:
From the MUSIC pane, right-click on the music source and select Play Now.

Adjusting Line-In Settings:

Line-in Settings allows you to make the following adjustments:

– Change the name of the line-in source

– Adjust line-in source level if you find that the line-in volume setting is too low or high.

– Specify which Rooms music should play to (using Autoplay).

– Set a default Autoplay volume

To adjust line-in settings, follow the steps below:

Using the Sonos Controller App for iOS or Android:

From the More menu, touch Settings > Room Settings. Tap the Sonos product the source is connected to.

Using the Sonos Controller App for Mac or PC:

– Select Manage > Settings > Room Settings (PC) or Sonos > Preferences > Room Settings (Mac).

– Select the Sonos product your device is connected to from the Room Settings drop-down list.

– Click the “Line-In” tab and update the settings.

A default line-in level is automatically assigned when you select a source name, but if the volume sounds too low, you can select a higher line level for this device. You may experience sound distortion at higher volume levels if you set the level too high.

Adjusting Line-In Compression Settings:

Line-In compression on Sonos can be set to Automatic, Compressed, or Uncompressed. Your Sonos system defaults to Automatic in order to provide the optimal playback experience. Sonos recommends you do not change this default. However, if you would like to adjust these settings, we recommend the following usage guidelines:

Uncompressed line-in uses the WAV format which can put a lot of strain on your network if you are in a Standard Setup and have a lot of Sonos players. A benefit of using Uncompressed is that there will be very little delay from the source and the audio. With uncompressed line-in, the delay is about 75ms.

Use Uncompressed if:

– You want to reduce the lip sync delay for video or a television.

– You want to produce the highest quality sound for your Sonos system. (this selection requires more network bandwidth than compressed audio.)

Compressed line-in uses the SBC codec which is much less taxing on your home network at the expense of having a longer delay between the source and the audio. With compressed line-in, the delay is about 2 seconds. When using line-in for use with AirPlay, an additional delay of half a second is introduced.

Use Compressed if:

– You are streaming line-in to more than 4 rooms wirelessly.

– If you’re experiencing audio skipping or dropouts using Uncompressed.

To change the Line-In compression setting, follow the steps below:

Using Sonos Controller App for iOS or Android: From More menu, select Advanced Settings > Audio Compression
Using Sonos Controller App for PC: Select Manage > Settings > Advanced
Using Sonos Controller App for Mac: Select Sonos > Preferences > Advanced

Autoplay:

Line-In Autoplay feature will allow you to automatically play music when a signal is being sent to the Line-In port. Connect the audio line-in cable provided with your Sonos product (or a standard RCA cable) from the Audio out connection(s) on the external source to the analog Audio In connection(s) on the back of your Sonos product. The source device will automatically be detected and displayed on the Sonos controller.

Autoplay is not enabled by default. To enable Autoplay do the following:

Using the Sonos Controller App for iOS or Android:

– From the More Menu, Select Settings > Room Settings and select the Sonos component that has the line-in connected to.

– Tap Line-In > Autoplay Room and select the name of the player from the Autoplay menu.

– Close the window to save the settings.

Using the Sonos Controller App for Mac or PC:

– From the Settings menu (Sonos > Preferences on a Mac and Manage > Settings on PC) choose Room Settings and select the Sonos component you have the line-in connected to.

– Select the Line-In tab and select the name of the player from the Autoplay menu.

– Close the window to save the settings.

AirPlay:

With Airplay, you can use an Airport Express or an Apple TV to stream music from your Apple device or computer directly to your Sonos system. See more information about Airplay here: Using AirPlay with Sonos