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Sonos Amp True 5.1?


Can the new Sonos Amp be used in conjunction with a sonos playbar to create a true 5.1 surround setup?
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Best answer by Ken_Griffiths 12 October 2018, 13:19

Yes, the Sonos PlayBar will output the front left, right and center channels and the new Sonos Amp can be used (wirelessly/wired) for the rear-left and rear-right channels. Then you can obviously add a Sonos Sub to the room too. Note the ports on the Amp are auto-disabled when it’s bonded in a HT setup.

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Yes, the Sonos PlayBar will output the front left, right and center channels and the new Sonos Amp can be used (wirelessly/wired) for the rear-left and rear-right channels. Then you can obviously add a Sonos Sub to the room too. Note the ports on the Amp are auto-disabled when it’s bonded in a HT setup.
Thank you Ken, so here's another question or three; using 1or more amps is it possible to use the playbar as a centre speaker, have separate front left/right, separate rear left/right and sub as per a traditional 5.1? if this is possible where would the signal be fed to from the tv? also would it be hdmi or optical?
No it won't be possible to use Playbar as a centre. I suspect it wouldn't be a great idea anyway, because of the tonal differences across the front speakers. 4.1 will be possible, with a 'ghost' centre created by splitting the centre stream between FL and FR. I suspect it will be indistinguishable from true 5.1. The connection would be from the TV to the Amp, I think HDMI with an optical adapter, as for the Beam.

A second Amp could drive the rears (wireless connection), or you could use two identical Play speakers.
Thank you John. I would have thought the tonal differences would be sorted out by the virtual crossover to enable only the correct vocal tone to be played from the playbar in the same way it re-adjust when pairing it with a sub? I don't really know enough about the system to understand why this couldn't happen? I'd prefer a stand alone centre speaker if possible and the playbar does normally handle these frequencies. If not then I like the idea of the amp powering two floor standing fronts and two play speakers being used as the rears.
Thank you John. I would have thought the tonal differences would be sorted out by the virtual crossover to enable only the correct vocal tone to be played from the playbar in the same way it re-adjust when pairing it with a sub? I don't really know enough about the system to understand why this couldn't happen? I'd prefer a stand alone centre speaker if possible and the playbar does normally handle these frequencies. If not then I like the idea of the amp powering two floor standing fronts and two play speakers being used as the rears.

I second this approach.

Also, the AMP is advertised as having HDMI ARC to "Add stereo or surround sound to your TV for shows, movies, and games." To me that sounds like the AMP has (or will have) the ability to accept surround sound signals directly and either downsample them or transcode for use on other Sonos speakers bonded to the Home Theater setup the same way the PlayBar does for Play speakers bonded as rear speakers. That's my dream anyway....
ahaleck,

Perhaps see this link and the pdf document (user manual) on the left hand side of page, to see exactly what the Amp can do.

https://www.sonos.com/support/en/sonos-user-guide/index.html#t=sonos-user-guide%2Famp%2Famp.htm

This thread is also useful:

https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/introducing-sonos-amp-6812069
Thank you John. I would have thought the tonal differences would be sorted out by the virtual crossover to enable only the correct vocal tone to be played from the playbar in the same way it re-adjust when pairing it with a sub? I don't really know enough about the system to understand why this couldn't happen? I'd prefer a stand alone centre speaker if possible and the playbar does normally handle these frequencies. If not then I like the idea of the amp powering two floor standing fronts and two play speakers being used as the rears.

Hi Lewy88, I just bought the Playbar and while it is providing a great improvement over the TV's speakers, I feel like the lower tones (bass) is just ok. The bass is loud and punchy but not as deep as I would like, so I'm thinking about getting the sub to pair with it. I'm curious by your comment about the Playbar re-adjusting vocal tones when paired with the sub. Can you explain this?

Are you saying that when paired with the sub, the Playbar passes all lower tone bass to the sub while maintaining just the highs and mids? IMO this sounds like a good thing as I assume it allows the highs and mids to come out a bit more clear since the lows is being pushed exclusively to the sub, but I want to make sure that's what you meant actually happens.

Also, I originally came searching the community because I want more separation between the front and right channels, and while the Playbar is great, it just doesn't do this. From the various threads that I've read, it sounds like we can't pair two Ones/Play5s as dedicated front channels with the Playbar. Granted I'm aware of the workaround of pairing the Ones/Play5s as surrounds with the Playbar and setting them to FULL, and just placing them as front channels instead of surrounds, but it's not clear to me if by doing this the sound that comes from them is true stereo. Does anyone know?

I'm sure there's some logic to why Sonos isn't allowing us to pair other Sonos speakers as front channels with the Playbar/Beam/Base, but it would be great to understand why.

Before anyone responds saying, "if you want a true 3.1 (separate FR & FL) then just go with a traditional HT setup", well this is what I already have. An Onkyo receiver with a Paradigm center channel, two Paradigm bookshelf speakers, and a large 12 inch Klipsch sub. But I'm trying to decrease the footprint in my bedroom and the Playbar gives me back a lot of real estate sitting where my receiver and center channel used to be. Now I just want to replace the bookshelf speakers with Play1s for the benefit of smaller foot print and added voice assistant, as well as swap the sub since it too is smaller than my Klipsch.

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