Connecting TV to connect:amp with optical audio cable

  • 19 April 2017
  • 9 replies

Hi there,

I have a new Samsung TV which only has an optical audio port (not the old fashioned headphone socket).

I have a Sonos Conect:amp, connected to speakers, which I want to connect to the TV so I can play TV sound over the speakers.

I bought an optical audio cable and an analogue to digital audio converter. I've wired it all up as follows:

1. TV to converter using optical audio cable
2. Converter to Connect:amp using the two-socket (red and white) analogue cable.

But when I turn the TV onto the optical audio output mode - and check on my Sonos app that line in is playing - I still can't get sound!

Any idea what's going on?

Any help greatly appreciated! Thanks

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9 replies

Couple of things, from out in left field, since I'm not really that familiar with the setup, but just working through it in my mind, I've got a couple of questions.

1) How sure are you that the optical output is working? Have you disconnected the cable from the converter to see if it is shining a red light out of the end while the TV is on?

2) Have you restricted the TV's output to Stereo, rather than anything else like Dolby Digital, DTS, etc? And the same for whatever is driving the TV, like a cable box, DVD player, etc?

3) Have you checked to see if the setting on the audio portion of the TV is set to "Fixed" rather than Variable for the audio output?

4) Have you adjusted the input level in the Sonos app for the line in on the Connect: Amp?

5) Have you looked at the "About my Sonos System" in preferences on the app, to see what it says is coming in on the Connect: Amp? (I know that on the Playbar it tells me if I'm receiving a stereo or 5.1 signal, not sure what it might show on a Connect: Amp.)

6) Have you tried different cables, on the offhand chance that there's an issue with one or another of them?

Finally, I'd recommend that you submit a system diagnostic and post the number here, so that if a Sonos tech needs to look at your system, you'll be a step up already in the process 🙂
You need a digital to analogue converter, not analogue to digital.
Damn, excellent point, John B 🙂
You need something like a Fiio D03k, or Audioengine D1 DAC to convert the TV optical output to RCA analog input to feed into the Connect AMP, which then converts to digital again to stream to connected Sonos speakers.

Is it dumb? Yes. Should Sonos just support a native digital input? Yes. 😞
"Should Sonos just support a native digital input? Yes."

Agreed. But what if the incoming digital audio format is anything other than 2.0 stereo? In the above mentioned tv scenario what if the signal is DD5.1? Some tv's simply do not convert from multichannel to stereo internally, but only passthrough the original signal.

Surely the Connect would then require an internal transcoding feature in order to convert this non-stereo source signal to compressed stereo for broadcasting it to all zone players in sync. There are Sonos products in existence which do this.

In short, you want a Playbase/Playbar-like device with all the additional features of the Connect, for the price of the 'regular' Connect.
From a sales point of view this does not make sense to me. Fortunately, I am not in Sales and don't have to make such decisions. :)

Judging by my personal customer experience with Sonos this product is highly unlikely to ever see the dawn of light. They might bin their entire home cinema range in the future though, who knows. That would give way for other units.
What you speak of is precisely the reason the Connect needs to do this - it should support a wide range of input codecs, and convert them to the internal codec that Sonos uses.

The Fiio D07 does just that. It takes in PCM, Dolby, DTS and other common formats, and converts them to a standard RCA analog output. The device costs around $50. So why can't the Connect do this? The Audioengine D1 DAC also does the same thing. As so many other dedicated DACs under $300.

The Sonos Connect should do the same thing too, and there's no reason that it can't, or why it would cost more to do it.
The Connect and Connect:Amp were designed to turn legacy hifi equipment into Sonos streamers. A line in was added for those who wanted to use a CD player or turntable. The line in was an incidental, secondary feature.

When Sonos decided to add TV audio to its range it decided not to do a rehash of the Connect:Amp but to design a new product specifically for the purpose.

The Connect::Amp and Connect are pieces of wireless hifi equipment designed for multiroom audio. If you want Sonos for TV buy one of the products designed for that purpose - Playbar or Playbase.
The Connect::Amp and Connect are pieces of wireless hifi equipment designed for multiroom audio. If you want Sonos for TV buy one of the products designed for that purpose - Playbar or Playbase.

The Playbar/base costs more than double a Connect, and offers a reduced soundstage that is not as good as two separated out speakers, providing a diminished music listening experience. While it may work for some, it's far from perfect. A small update to the Connect with a digital input, would offer a lot more flexibility for customers.
And undercut the sales of the aforementioned Playbar/Playbase speakers. I don't see this as a win for Sonos, unless they re-priced it, as discussed in one of the multiple threads you've posted in.