Surround sound

  • 1 February 2018
  • 17 replies

I have a connect and 2 surround speakers. I tried connecting connect to receiver with optical audio but does not work. Do I use the network connection or coaxial cord to connect receiver instead?

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17 replies


As stated a few times, when using a Connect attached to rear channel pre-outs, the Connect is always going to be 70ms behind the receiver's sound. This is not a good thing when trying to synchronize surround effects with screen effects. It's a hack at best.
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I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish regarding surround. Lets back up and tell us what your trying to do first.
So I have a pioneer receiver. I purchased a sonos connect and two play 1 speakers for surround sound. (I already have the other speakers and sub (not sonos)

The connect allows you to hook up to receiver via 3 options. Optical audio cord (what I tried) coaxial cord or network cord. The surround speakers are not synced.

What do I do?
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Your receiver isn’t going to have discrete rear out and Sonos is going to add a delay that would also make it not a good choice for rear surrounds. Sonos is not meant to be used to send wirelessly to speakers for rear surrounds.
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And your connect does not have digital input. It has stereo analog input.
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You can use a Connect ronsend Sonos music to your pioneer receiver and you can use a Connect to play stereo music from your receiver to Sonos speakers through your house. But for using in a 5.1 system with a legacy receiver it is not meant for.
Wow. Not what I was told when I bought them. Was told all I needed was a connect with my receiver to send sound to the rear surrounds.

The optical cord is a digital out according to receiver and that's how I connected it but I'm assuming that when you say no discrete rear out that's what you are you saying that without a playbar there is no way to use these wireless speakers for Surround?
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The receiver may have optical out but the Sonos is an optical out. The optical port on the Sonos is to send music from the Sonos to a legacy receiver like your pioneer. The optical cord would go from the Sonos optical out to one of your optical inputs on the receiver (like CD input etc). Then you could play Sonos sound via your legacy receiver and speakers.

I believe you have been mislead by an uninformed sales rep. (it wasn't Best Buy again was it).

The analog input of the Sonos can be used to send TV sound to those speakers but it will be left/right front stereo. You would hook the analog input of the Sonos to something like the Tape Out or Monitor out red/white RCA outputs of the receiver. They are not going to be surround sound and they are going to have a 70ms delay vs. the speakers you have currently (created a stadium type sound effect when watching TV).
Sonos does 5.1 using a Playbar/base, a Sonos Sub, and either 2 Play speakers or a Connect:Amp and two speakers. No other way.
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The only way for Sonos to create a 5.1 surround system is with a Playbar to handle front/Center/left and then other play speakers to be the rear left/right surrounds. When they are paired with the Playbar they use the low latency 5ghz channel in the speakers to avoid the 70ms delay. But this is only when paired with playbar.
Thanks for your help. Guess I need a playbar. Much appreciated
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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news - the playbar/playbase is awesome though!

If your not going to get the Sonos sub I hear the playbase provides better low end (I have the playbar but have the sub too). But your setup may not work for the playbase (TV on stand vs. wall)
It's fine. So I have tv on wall. I planned on just using my current subwoofer but we'll see. So playbase should be the choice? Thanks again.
If your TV is mounted on the wall, I'd be looking at the PLAYBAR instead of the PLAYBASE. Roughly the same. There are two differences...the PLAYBASE has a small "Bass" speaker included, and is in a different form factor. The PLAYBAR would hang against the wall and be much more aesthetically pleasing, in my opinion. Go to a store and listen to them both, and look at the form factors, and make a decision that works for you 🙂
Hi Stshepard,

THERE IS a way to have 2 Play:1 & Connect work as surround speakers with your Pioneer receiver. Actually, there are two ways that I know of:

It takes either a Digital-to-5.1-analog converter (DAC) or HDMI sound extractor (depending on you Receiver/TV/cable box configuration, about $90.00), and an optical splitter x2 (not needed if your TV has other digital out/analog out options).

Connect your TV optical out to the optical splitter in, then you’ll have 2 optical outs.

Connect one optical out from the splitter to your Pioneer. Out of the 5.1 channels, you’ll get fronts, center & sub sound.

Connect the other optical out from the splitter to the DAC optical-in, and connect the RCA left/right surround outs of the DAC to your line-in Sonos Connect.

There, your Sonos will reproduce surround sound.

You will have to independently control the volume of all speakers using the Sonos App and Pioneer’s remote. Not ideal, but still doable.

Easier yet, connect a speaker out level to line-in level adapter to your Pioneer’s surround speaker terminals and from there to the Sonos Connect. It’s great because you can control all speakers with the Pioneer’s general volume, although in my case, there was significant ground noise coming out from the Sonos. I’m sure there’s a solution to that too. It may turn out differently in your case considering the difference in audio components.

You will still have the latency issue, but you will get true 5.1 sound. And since surround speakers hardly reproduce dialogs, most of the times you may not notice the latency or “Arena effect”.

Of course, in sound it all boils down to personal taste but I thought that you may like to know that there are options.

Best of luck!
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Hey jayhar could you explain a little more about option 2? My receiver provides pre outs for the rear channels, so I don't think I'd need an adapter. But how would I configure everything in the Sonos software? Would I just make the Play:1's into a stereo pair and then select the Line-in input manually every time I want surround?
Rear channel pre outs? Perfect! Better than cheap DACs...and yes, when watching 5.1 movies, select Line-In in your Sonos app., and match its volume (surround) to the F/L/C speakers fed by your Pioneer.
If your Pioneer has “fix/variable” option for the pre-outs (I doubt it), choose “variable” and you can control all speakers -Sonos included- with the Pioneer’s remote.
Or, you’ll have to re-adjust the Sonos surround volume every time you adjust the Pioneer’s volume.
Using a Speaker level to line-in adapter will allow you to control all speakers at the same time. And you can also diminish the latency problem this way if your Pioneer has a mic to calibrate distance/level.
I am using speaker level to line-in adapters and my Sonos sound better than with a low-cost DAC, but the sound is too forward and thinner in bass response for my taste. But that’s a matter of opinion.
I hope you find a way to enjoy your audio set/up!