Sonos has today announced the imminent availability of a new multi-room network streamer, the Port. It will replace the Connect that has been in play for over a decade and was many an audiophile’s first experience with streaming from a server at home and, later, from the cloud.
The Port switches the case from white to matte black and to a lower, wider profile to bring the new model into line with the Sonos Amp. ‘Round back we note the following connections: Ethernet in and out; a pair of RCA inputs for streaming analogue sources to other Sonos devices; a pair of RCA outputs for connection to an amplifier or pair of powered loudspeakers; and only ONE digital output — coaxial.
If the Port’s internals are in any way similar to the outgoing Connect’s, that missing TOSLINK output will be a let down for those who care about maximising its sound quality. The Connect’s TOSLINK wasn’t the most resolving of digital outputs but, crucially, it lacks the hardness and glare that we find so off-putting when hooking up the Connect to an external high-end DAC over coaxial.
The Wyred4Sound-modded Connect offered far better sounding digital audio than the standard version and is the key reason why this commentator still entertains Sonos’ outstandingly comprehensive streaming platform: if your streaming service isn’t on Sonos, it’s invisible. Sonos is the only third-party company to date to implement Apple Music on their platform with their UX.
Incidentally, the Sonos Port offers Apple Airplay 2 functionality but there is no word on hi-res support. We’ll assume the Port adopts the Connect’s 48kHz sample-rate ceiling until we’re told otherwise.
The Sonos Port goes on sale in the USA on 12th September for US$399. Europe? January 2020 and for €449. In the meantime, raise a glass for the Sonos Connect — we hardly knew ye.
Further information: Sonos