What is it, what can it do and why do you need it?


(Pocket Ribbon) – Sonos is best known for its multi-room audio speakers, but one of the company’s devices isn’t a speaker. Instead, it’s a device that powers your existing hi-fi speakers or audio components and brings them into your Sonos system.

If you’re a little confused about what the Sonos Amp is, what it does and whether you should or should buy one, you’ve come to the right place. This feature explains everything you need to know about the Sonos Amp.

What is the Sonos Amp and what does it do?

AmplifierHDMI ARC and line-in ports125W per channelUp to four speakers

The Sonos Amp is an amp – betrayed by its name. It will power traditional wired speakers, be it a bookshelf, standing, in-wall, in-ceiling or outdoor, and integrate them into the Sonos wireless system.

This means you can control those speakers via the Sonos app, while also giving them access to the features available through the Sonos system – more on that in a moment.

There are also HDMI ARC and line-in ports, meaning you can connect TVs, turntables, CD changers and other audio components to them, so they can also become part of a Sonos system. For home theater setups, one Sonos Amp can add stereo sound to your TV with wireless rears using a Sonos home theater setup, while two Sonos Amps enable surround sound.

The Sonos Amp offers twice the power of its predecessor – the Connect Amp – and can drive up to four speakers, with an output of 125 watts per channel. The Connect Amp could only drive two speakers and offered only 55 watts per channel in comparison.

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What features does the Sonos Amp offer?

Apple AirPlay 2 supportAccess over 100 streaming servicesTrueplay tuning

Sonos itself offers plenty of features as a platform, many of which the amplifier delivers to the speakers connected to it.

These features include access to more than 100 streaming services, from music and podcasts to radio and audiobooks. Users can also play music stored on a local device, be it a computer or phone, through a Sonos system.

Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice control is also supported by Sonos, either through the Sonos One, Sonos Beam, Sonos Beam (Gen 2), Sonos Move, Sonos Beam, or Sonos Arc, all of which are enabled for Alexa and Google Assistant, through Amazon Echo or through a third-party Alexa device, respectively Google Home, Nest speakers or devices with Google Assistant.

Those with a device with Alexa or Google Assistant can ask Alexa or Google to play music on any of the speakers connected to the Sonos Amp, as well as any other speakers in the Sonos system, providing voice control to your traditional wired speakers .

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There is also True Play. Trueplay is a software feature that Sonos launched in 2015 that allows users to match speakers to their environment using the Sonos app. The Sonos In-Wall by Sonance and Sonos In-Ceiling by Sonance can both take advantage of the tuning software when connected to the Sonos Amp. Tower speakers are not Trueplay compatible, and neither are the Sonos Outdoor by Sonance speakers.

Apple AirPlay 2 is also supported on newer Sonos devices, including the Sonos Amp, meaning iOS users can send audio from their iPhone or iPad to their Sonos system, including speakers connected through the Sonos Amp.

The Sonos Amp is designed to fit into standard AV racks used by custom installers, and the Amp can also be incorporated into smart home setups thanks to enhanced APIs and deeper integrations with Sonos platform partners, such as Creston. This means a single button can control smart lights and music from a Sonos system, if you have a seamless smart home setup like those from companies like Creston.

As for other features, the Sonos Amp can be set up to deliver stereo and dual mono sound and offers a pair of threaded connections for left and right channels. These connectors have standard diameters, so they can be removed and replaced with banana plugs.

The Sonos app also offers the option to turn off Wi-Fi if users connect their Sonos Amp directly to an Ethernet cable.

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Why should you buy the Sonos Amp?

Connect audio components to the Sonos platform

The Sonos Amp is for those who want to connect their turntable, traditional wired speakers, or other compatible audio device to the Sonos system for easy control and access to all the features Sonos offers.

For example, you may have a few Bowers and Wilkins tower speakers that you want to work with a Sonos One in a multi-room setup. The Sonos Amp would make this possible, allowing you to group the B&W tower speakers with the Sonos One for seamless multi-room audio.

You may have a pair of in-wall speakers that you want to be able to control via the Sonos app, for example, allowing for Trueplay tuning and multi-room audio with other Sonos speakers.

You may have a turntable that you want to pair with an existing Sonos system to enjoy vinyl records alongside streaming services or music on a local device. Or maybe you have an outdoor speaker, like a pair of Sonos Outdoor by Sonance speakers, that bring Sonos multi-room capabilities to your yard when hooked up to a Sonos Amp.

All reasons to consider the Sonos Amp.

How much does the Sonos Amp cost and where can I buy it?

The Sonos Amp is available in the US and UK and can be purchased through Sonos.com, among others. Color options are black only.

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Through Adrian Willings
December 10, 2020

Written by Britta O’Boyle.

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