SONOS Beam and HDMI splitter

  • 2 August 2019
  • 3 replies


I need help getting surround sound from my Steam Link to my SONOS Beam. My surround system includes a SONOS Beam paired with 2 SONOS Ones.

My current setup is as follows -

1) My Samsung TV does not have ARC and it does not send surround sound out via Optical Digital Audio out (it will only send surround sound out for OTA signals).

2) I use a J Tech audio extractor ( to separate audio from HDMI as Optical Digital Audio out and connect that to the Beam with the SONOS Optical Audio Adapter. This works perfectly for surround sound with my PS4, XBox One and Roku

3) The Steam Link ( will only send out 6 channel PCM (5.1) and does not support Dolby Digital or DTS. 6 Channel PCM is converted to 2 Channel stereo by the J Tech audio extractor - Optical Digital Audio does not have the bandwidth for 6 channel PCM.

4) Would an HDMI splitter work in this scenario? I would connect the Steam Link to an HDMI splitter and thus send a full HDMI signal (Video + Sound) to the TV and to the SONOS Beam.

5) If this would not work, is there any other way to connect this?



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3 replies

Thanks for your reply!

Sadly Steam is not willing to pay the Dolby licensing fees, so I'm out of luck.

For anyone interested in the technical details of why this would not work, ARC transmits audio using pins 14 and 19 of the HDMI cable, not the regular HDMI audio channels.

I did find a converter for HDMI to ARC -

Keep in mind ARC does not have the bandwidth for PCM, DD plus or DD Atmos.


Many of us have hopes for eARC, and perhaps a Sonos solution that support it....but I imagine we're talking many years down the road.
You'd need to find a HDMI switch that does that kind of codec translation. I've never seen one before, but I've never looked, either. Most of the HDMI switches that I've seen are merely pass through devices, and don't actually modify the signal in any way, they just pull it from the HDMI channel, and add it to the optical channel.

I think you're going to need to do more investigation around that Steam Link device, and figure out some way to force it to do a true Dolby Digital codec/signal. Perhaps you may want to contact Steam directly, they may have had others with similar issues. At least one hopes that they might have an answer for you.