Sonos Amp for outdoor sound from Projector in basement

  • 19 June 2019
  • 6 replies

Hi All,

I couldn't find this particular question asked so I'm hoping for some insight from the community.

First, some background. I Have multiple Sonos products at both our main residence and our vacation house. In our main house, I have a full home theater room complete with projector in the basement.

The basement home theater system is a traditional 7.2 setup (non-Sonos but I do have a Sonos Connect connected to the AV receiver). My AV receiver is the Onkyo NX686, which has 2 HDMI outs, the Main out and a Sub out. The main out goes to my Epson projector, while the Sub out is not used. Zone 2 on this receiver drives 2 outdoor speakers to the patio which we use to listen to music outside. On this particular Onkyo receiver, Zone 2 IS NOT capable of sending digital sources to Zone 2, ONLY analog sources.

What I want to do is the send sound using the Sub HDMI out on the Onkyo to a Sonos AMP so that we can hear sound from the TV while using either the patio and/or the hot tub, as we have sliding doors that you can open to view the projector screen while outside or in the hot tub.

Can I use the Sonos AMP in this way? The Onkyo SUB HDMI Out will go into the Sonos AMP, and I will connect the outdoor speakers to the Sonos AMP. I think it will work but I don't know if I am overcomplicating it, and I really don't want to invest in another AVR that can push digital to Zone 2. I view the addition of the Sonos AMP as a more flexible option.

Would really appreciate comments and criticisms on this approach.

Thank you for your assistance,

6 replies

I wouldn't think the circuitry for a "sub output via HDMI" would be appropriate for a Sonos input. I'd think it would be restricted by your receiver to the LFE signal, and not get a full spectrum signal. You would probably need to check the Onkyo manual to see if that can be changed, but I'd have my doubts.
Hi thanks for the reply. I should have been clearer. When I say sub out I am referring to the second hdmi output which on an onkyo receiver is known as “sub hdmi out”. If I use this hdmi out will that work?
I think that depends on what the Onkyo’s manual says about what signal is being sent out.

It it is important to note that the Sonos Amp is expecting an HDMI-ARC signal, and not a standard HDMI signal. In all honesty, I’d have strong doubts that any signal being sent by an A/V receiver would be HDMI-ARC, that’s traditionally circuitry built in to TVs. However, all may not be lost, if your Onkyo has an optical output that is active. Sonos sells an add on device for the Sonos Amp that converts from optical to HDMI-ARC, which could be used.
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This won't work, for a couple different reasons. First, the AVR manual states that you can use the MAIN or SUB HDMI connection, not both at the same time. Second, the SUB connection is not HDMI-ARC. Third, it would still not work even if it was HDMI-ARC as you're essentially connecting 'female to female'. Your AVR has HDMI-ARC so that it can receive an audio signal from your TV/projector, typically from smart apps on the TV. It's not going to send out audio over that ARC channel.

What you could do is use an HDMI splitter/optical extractor between your video source and the AVR. The AVR gets HDMI while an optical signal gets sent to a Sonos amp (using the HDMI-ARC to optical accessory).