Use amp for Dolby atmos

  • 26 February 2019
  • 2 replies

I’m just wondering if it would be possible with future software updates to use a Sonos amp to get a full Sonos Dolby atmos setup? It seems that you can already use the amp in a 5.1 setup to provide the rear speakers (using 3rd party in ceiling speakers) so why not use it to provide Dolby atmos to the in ceiling speakers (either 2 or 4) instead with a pair of play:1’s providing the rear channels.

Apparently atmos can only be passed over hdmi and not optical but now that the beam connects to the tv with hdmi through the arc port doesn’t this make this idea more feasible.? im sure Sonos could produce a Dolby atmos specific in ceiling speaker so that the speakers audio qualities were known so that true play tuning could be used.

The ideal setup would be beam (or updated playbar with hdmi/arc), sub, 2x play:1 as rear channels, and amp which would be a wired to the in ceiling speakers and configured to provide the the “atmos” in ceiling speakers and grouped with the rest of system.

There are too many variables with ceiling heights get a good effect from upward firing speakers so I think this would be a great solution from Sonos and I’m sure there would be plenty of demand for it.

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2 replies

While I would like to see Sonos adopt Atmos, I'm not sure it make sense to do so. Here's some concerns I have with your plan.

- I don't know that Sonos can bond more than 4 devices together in a room, wirelessly without issue. I could be 100% wrong, but all the existing possible HT setups are limited to 4 possible devices, perhaps for a tech reason. What you're proposing would be possibly 5 or 6 devices. Although I can see where your setup could allow for a direct connection between amp(s) and the Beam or a playbar 2.0, so perhaps that isn't a bid issue.
- I don't think customers are that interested in in-ceiling speakers, particularly in 2-story existing construction. Some are, absolutely, but for many, it's a deal breaker.
- The cost of that setup would be rather big. A beam, amp, sub, 2 rears, and 2 passive speakers is going to cost above $2k.
- The beam is designed for small to medium rooms. I think you would need a playbar 2.0 for atmos room.
- If customers are able to wire through the walls for ceiling speakers, then why go with a Sonos wireless solution?

I'm hopeful that Sonos does adapt atmos, but I want to see it with a playbar 2.0 that has built in upfiring speakers as an option. Possibly new rear speakers that have upfiring built in as well. Give an option for wired in-ceiling speakers for those who can to give a better experience if possible.
I agree that it would be costly but that’s the beauty of Sonos, you don’t have to get it all at once, you can build it one module at a time.i think there will be lots of customers out there that have already invested in the full 5.1 system already and are waiting for a good Dolby atmos solution so that the system that they have already invested heavily in remains state of the art and doesn’t fall behind the curve.

As for customers not being interested in I’m ceiling speakers I can’t imagine that’s true otherwise Sonos wouldn’t have just released a new amp. I would imagine the amp is probably one of their top selling items.

As for upward firing speakers for atmos every review I have read (even for very high end Dolby atmos soundboard that cost 2-3 times the complete system we are discussing), says “sounds great but the sound doesn’t sound like it’s coming from above.”
basically bouncing the sound is never going to be a good solution the sound has to be native so for atmos to work well and for the customer to be satisfied in ceiling speakers are required.

As for the if customers are able to run wire in their ceiling why go for Sonos. I think that what people like is the versatility and interface of the system they maybe already own many other Sonos products that they have throughout the house and enjoy the inter connectivity between them. So when looking for a home entertainment system they would like to encompass that into their system as well rather than use a wired wouldn’t be connected to the rest of their house.