• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Using Sonos For Scanner Audio

Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
234
#1
I searched the forum thinking this may be a hotter topic but I found a few dated posts regarding scanner audio in the home but nothing specific to Sonos. If there is a more current thread that I may have missed, please point me there and accept my apologies.

I've run dedicated scanners for streaming in the past. My gripe with using this type of setup for audio around my home was the delay. There was no control over the delay, at least to my knowledge. The delay was a minimum of 1 minute, up to about 3:30. Of course, there could be a ton of variables at play to cause such a delay. I've been looking to pull the trigger on Sonos products for a couple of years now. It got me thinking.

Can you hook up a scanner/radio to say a Sonos Connect or a Sonos Amp and divert the audio to any speaker in your house that way? This would bypass any traditional streaming and utilize the "Sonos network" hopefully eliminating any long delay. Within the Sonos app, there could be the option for say, Scanner. From what I can tell, there are audio jacks on the back of some Sonos speaker models. I don't want to hook up a scanner to a speaker in the living room but I am looking to create a hub, with stereo, music streaming services and a scanner as options to pipe through the Sonos speakers. This would allow me to stream the scanner audio to any speaker in the house, on the Sonos network.

I'm not very familiar with how the two options available from Sonos work so I'm seeking any information from others who have knowledge of the Sonos Amp or Connect or who have set up a stream strictly through Sonos products. Below, I've linked to the 2 possible products to make this work. Many thanks in advance.

Sonos Amp - $599

Sonos Connect - $349
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
55
Location
Columbus, Ohio
#3
Sonos is great for what they do, especially if you want to make a (expensive) stereo pair or control all rooms of the house from your cell app. (I have a small system) Making it pick up streaming from non-Sonos feeds is I hear dang near impossible. As an alternative, several of the JBL bluetooth speakers are now offering pairing and multi room lag less systems in their smaller speaker lines. I have a Flip 4 and the ones above it seem to have the multiroom and pairing for stereo, etc. If your radio room is in bluetooth range I would look at a small bluetooth transmitter and the JBLs. Honestly I love the Bose-like sound f the Sonos but would go with JBLs if I were starting over I think. They will accept anything you can play on your device as a bluetooth stream.

S.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
41
Location
Manhattan. Kansas
#4
I searched the forum thinking this may be a hotter topic but I found a few dated posts regarding scanner audio in the home but nothing specific to Sonos. If there is a more current thread that I may have missed, please point me there and accept my apologies.

I've run dedicated scanners for streaming in the past. My gripe with using this type of setup for audio around my home was the delay. There was no control over the delay, at least to my knowledge. The delay was a minimum of 1 minute, up to about 3:30. Of course, there could be a ton of variables at play to cause such a delay. I've been looking to pull the trigger on Sonos products for a couple of years now. It got me thinking.

Can you hook up a scanner/radio to say a Sonos Connect or a Sonos Amp and divert the audio to any speaker in your house that way? This would bypass any traditional streaming and utilize the "Sonos network" hopefully eliminating any long delay. Within the Sonos app, there could be the option for say, Scanner. From what I can tell, there are audio jacks on the back of some Sonos speaker models. I don't want to hook up a scanner to a speaker in the living room but I am looking to create a hub, with stereo, music streaming services and a scanner as options to pipe through the Sonos speakers. This would allow me to stream the scanner audio to any speaker in the house, on the Sonos network.

I'm not very familiar with how the two options available from Sonos work so I'm seeking any information from others who have knowledge of the Sonos Amp or Connect or who have set up a stream strictly through Sonos products. Below, I've linked to the 2 possible products to make this work. Many thanks in advance.

Sonos Amp - $599

Sonos Connect - $349
Hi Luke,
I hear your pain. I have a 5.1 Visio wireless speaker system on my TV and have often wondered if it were possible to get my scanner audio over to that unit thru Bluetooth or some other option. Not finding any uncomplicated options, I just purchased a very low power fm transmitter for about $50 and jacked the audio out from the scanner to the input on the transmitter. The result is that I can hear the scanner over any FM radio tuner in the house and in the yard for that matter. I know it may not have the fidelity of the great Sonos sound but for very little money you're able to hear your scanner with decent audio thruout the house without having a scanner in every room. Hope that helps!
Best,
Dale
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
234
#5
@DC31, I have not heard of cleanfeed.net. I intend to read up on it tomorrow. Have you used it? What are your experiences with it if you have? What have you found to be the pros/cons over other streaming options? I want to guess less of a delay?

@DeepBlue, that is disheartening to hear about Sonos. I have heard nothing but great things about it music wise. I was hoping to skate around the entire thought of streaming. I thought with the amp or connect, I could plug in a scanner, a tuner/receiver for music and have the music streaming options as well. Bluetooth is a possible option. In the past, my Bluetooth signal has not carried well in my home. Perhaps a booster or transmitter may be the missing link.

@enduser56 to better understand your setup, are you carrying some sort of fm receiver around with you? I'm curious to understand how you are monitoring your scanner audio? The quality of the audio isn't as much of a concern as it is the ability to switch audio between rooms/speakers.

Thank you all for the feedback and ideas.
 

DC31

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
1,049
Location
Massachusetts
#6
I have only experimented with cleanfeed very briefly, not giving it a good workout. I found it quite simple to set up and to use. There is essentially no delay in the audio feed. It has been a coupleweeks now since I experimented so I don’t recall a lot of other details. I found that i could easily stream from a raspberry pi to other computers and mobile devices (ipad/iphone) on the network. Very good audio (a lot of that depends on the source) and no delay.

Correction: not on the local network. It streams out to the cleanfeed server and then back to connected devices.
 
Last edited:

DC31

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
1,049
Location
Massachusetts
#7
You got me to thinking about it. I run a bcfy radio stream from a raspberry pi in the radio room at the fire station. That pi runs pulseaudio as it also does TwoToneDetect alerting. In the apparatus bay is another pi (this one a model A+ $25) connected via hdmi to a cheap LED tv that displays our IamResponding screen continuously. Pulseaudio can be used to stream audio across the local network. So we pipe the radio audio from the usb sound card on the radio pi to the tv pi via pulseaudio. Then, using the preinstalled sound player in the tv pi (VLC) the piped audio is played out of the tv speakers. Delay of less than a second. This setup basically extends our radio audio into the apparatus bay. The model A pi is used due to its low power requirement. It is powered from the usb port on the tv. It makes for a very compact and clean setup. With a series of pi’s and speakers, you could likely accomplish your goal at your house. Probably not as elegant as your Sonos option and more work to get it set up on your part. Pi’s are used commonly for home entertainment/audio systems so some searching around might give you some ideas.
 

DataSquid

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 1, 2015
Messages
90
Location
Waterloo, Ontario
#8
I searched the forum thinking this may be a hotter topic but I found a few dated posts regarding scanner audio in the home but nothing specific to Sonos. If there is a more current thread that I may have missed, please point me there and accept my apologies.

I've run dedicated scanners for streaming in the past. My gripe with using this type of setup for audio around my home was the delay. There was no control over the delay, at least to my knowledge. The delay was a minimum of 1 minute, up to about 3:30. Of course, there could be a ton of variables at play to cause such a delay. I've been looking to pull the trigger on Sonos products for a couple of years now. It got me thinking.

Can you hook up a scanner/radio to say a Sonos Connect or a Sonos Amp and divert the audio to any speaker in your house that way? This would bypass any traditional streaming and utilize the "Sonos network" hopefully eliminating any long delay. Within the Sonos app, there could be the option for say, Scanner. From what I can tell, there are audio jacks on the back of some Sonos speaker models. I don't want to hook up a scanner to a speaker in the living room but I am looking to create a hub, with stereo, music streaming services and a scanner as options to pipe through the Sonos speakers. This would allow me to stream the scanner audio to any speaker in the house, on the Sonos network.

I'm not very familiar with how the two options available from Sonos work so I'm seeking any information from others who have knowledge of the Sonos Amp or Connect or who have set up a stream strictly through Sonos products. Below, I've linked to the 2 possible products to make this work. Many thanks in advance.

Sonos Amp - $599

Sonos Connect - $349
Yes. I use a first gen Play 5 line in to get the audio to the system. No issues.
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
5,989
Location
MACOMB, MI.
#9
High fidelity quality is usually what communications professionals don't want. Having sound that is clipped to enhance 'voice' only is what they strive for.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
234
#10
@DataSquid Just curious, are you plugging directly into the Play 5 and feeding just the local speaker or do you have the ability to send it to any speaker you have? Would you mind elaborating on the specifics of your Sonos setup?

@DC31 thank your the details. Is this strictly local network streaming or can this be streamed externally and online as well? I've seen Pi mentioned a bunch for many different applications. This may be a viable solution.

Initially, I was not looking to use a device to grab audio. I basically wanted the option to go into Room A and turn on the scanner audio or move into Room B and and do the same without wired speakers per say.
 

RBMTS

WA Database Admin
Database Admin
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Messages
606
Location
Redmond WA
#11
I have fed scanner audio through the Sonos Connect and a Play5 (input on the back of the speaker). I have played the audio through every Sonos wireless speaker I have (other Play5's and Sonos1's) and or selected specific rooms (just as you can with music).

When you ask if it can be sent through "any speakers" the answer is YES if they are Sonos speakers on the same system. Yes to wired speakers that are connected to a Sonos Connect Amp.

I've noticed that the audio picks up a lot of the hiss from the signal of the scanner. Squelch breaks and noisy analog signals can be annoying to listen to because of the amplified volume and the echo you might get in certain rooms. I tend to try to keep the volume down. I also try to find a good balance between the scanner volume control and the Sonos volume to reduce the annoying noise mentioned.

But it works great - especially when the wife isn't home and complaining about the radio traffic.
 

DC31

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
1,049
Location
Massachusetts
#12
@LukeB
thank your the details. Is this strictly local network streaming or can this be streamed externally and online as well? I've seen Pi mentioned a bunch for many different applications. This may be a viable solution.

Stream it wherever you desire. You can do locally only, private across the internet, or public through BCFY.
To stream locally, i use a combination of darkice and icecast, both on a single pi. Streaming this way results in a delay. Use cleanstream to avoid the delay which I believe was your stated goal. If you PM me your email address, I can send you an invite to listen to my cleanfeed stream

Initially, I was not looking to use a device to grab audio. I basically wanted the option to go into Room A and turn on the scanner audio or move into Room B and and do the same without wired speakers per say.

My reference to wired speakers is only a short audio cable from a pi to the audio input on a standard speaker. On your Sonos unit this is accomplished inside the speaker enclosure. Both would obviously need mains power unless the Sonos is somehow rechargeable. Communication between the pi which is connected to your radio and the remote units is through wifi, not wired speakers per say.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
234
#13
@RBMTS This is the finite answer is have been seeking! Either a hard yes or a hard no. Thank you. I do not have the Sonos speakers yet but it's in my sights. I like the option to be sitting in a room and click the app or whatever, and get my scanner audio. I may reach out to you at a later date for more specifics but 5hank you for verifying.

@DC31 PM sent. The delay was my biggest snag for not wanting to stream, especially through icecast or darkice. If it's going out to the internet and back to my device, I understand the delay. Cleanstream seems to be the answer to losing the delay and fingertip access while at home.

I plan on including a Pi setup in my upcoming research. My reference to wired speakers was not wanting to run speaker wire to each room and installing a ceiling or wall speaker.

I'd like the option to put a base radio or two in, hook the audio to Sonos and/or cleanstream and be able to listen around the house. Knowing whether or not this was an option has now been answered and I've found other intuitive ways to get audio around the home.
 

DataSquid

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 1, 2015
Messages
90
Location
Waterloo, Ontario
#14
@DataSquid Just curious, are you plugging directly into the Play 5 and feeding just the local speaker or do you have the ability to send it to any speaker you have? Would you mind elaborating on the specifics of your Sonos setup?
Once audio is available to Sonos as a "source", it's available anywhere. In my case, that's 4 rooms across two floors. You can output the audio anywhere you like, including not in the room the scanner is. That's one thing Sonos is pretty great about. But the limitation is the "system" which is effectively the home. No remote access from across the internet, no streaming to non-Sonos output devices. I drank the Sonos koolaid and never regretted it (not for the scanner, but for other reasons). But I also have a good grasp on Wi-Fi, understand that can be the Achilles heel of this system, and live in a fairly uncrowded environment where I can ensure a fairly clean channel for the Sonos gear.

Latency on analog input is surprisingly low if you set "no compression" or something somewhere in the advanced options for the line-in.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
41
Location
Manhattan. Kansas
#15
@DC31, I have not heard of cleanfeed.net. I intend to read up on it tomorrow. Have you used it? What are your experiences with it if you have? What have you found to be the pros/cons over other streaming options? I want to guess less of a delay?

@DeepBlue, that is disheartening to hear about Sonos. I have heard nothing but great things about it music wise. I was hoping to skate around the entire thought of streaming. I thought with the amp or connect, I could plug in a scanner, a tuner/receiver for music and have the music streaming options as well. Bluetooth is a possible option. In the past, my Bluetooth signal has not carried well in my home. Perhaps a booster or transmitter may be the missing link.

@enduser56 to better understand your setup, are you carrying some sort of fm receiver around with you? I'm curious to understand how you are monitoring your scanner audio? The quality of the audio isn't as much of a concern as it is the ability to switch audio between rooms/speakers.

Thank you all for the feedback and ideas.
Hi Luke,
Good question and sorry I didn't explain further. All that is required is any regular commercial AM/FM tuner with the normal range of 88 - 108 Mhz. For example, you can set the xmitter a little under the band to transmit at 87.9 Mhz provided nothing else is going on at that frequency. I have a cheap AM/FM alarm clock radio in the bedroom set to 87.9 mMz. In our TV/entertainment room is a a full size AM/FM tuner with 5.1 surround, again, set to 87.9 Mhz. There are other portable FM radios of various description in the house that I can turn on and listen to the scanner as I carry the portable with me to the garage, shed, or anywhere within 200 feet of the xmitter. FYI, 200 feet is the FCC max distance you can legally transmit with a low power transmitter. I bought mine on Amazon.com, just search for "low power fm transmitter", there are quite a few of them. I also stream my scanner feed to Broadcastify.com and have for several years. In return I get a premium subscriber account which allows me free access to their frequency databases and you can't beat a deal like that. Happy scanning and take care!
 
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