The Sonos Port looks to be the best-sounding way to make your old receiver or Hi-Fi work with Sonos. Sonos music has been a good offering for years: all the music you can stream. The problem is, how do you get the good music to come out of the good speakers?
Sonos used to have a way to handle this. Sonos Connect was a box that connected to your network and streamed music. Connect was discontinued a year or so ago. For a while, there was no replacement, but now there is: Sonos Port.
What is it?
Sonos Port has two Ethernet ports. It has RCA input and outputs. It has a coaxial digital line out to connect to the Hi-Fi. You can control it from Amazon Alexa or Google Home. It works with AirPlay 2 if you’re in the Apple camp.
What makes it better than the old Sonos Connect or Connect AMP? It’s got an updated DAC. The DAC is the Digital Analog Converter, and is what’s responsible for converting streaming into actual stuff you can hear. It’s got a good one. Sonos doesn’t tell us which it is, but it’s good.
What’s cool about it?
One of the cool things about the input on it is, you can connect an analog device to it and stream to other Sonos speakers through your house. Connect a turntable to it, and you can stream vinyl.
The Port is supposed to be super easy to set up. It uses BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to identify itself to your phone, and then from your phone you add it to your Wi-Fi network.
What’s the difference between Port and Sonos Amp? Amp has an amplifier – you can connect it directly to speakers. Port requires an amplified device. A receiver, Hi-Fi, or even soundbars with coaxial digital input would work.
For me, Port makes more sense. Let the Sonos bring the streaming, and use the good amplifier and speakers you already have. This way, you can let each part of the audio system do what it is best at.
Sonos Port is available for $399 from Sonos.com