5.1 and Sonos Playbar (Mixed Success)

  • 17 November 2021
  • 1 reply

Userlevel 1

Hi everyone. We have been a Sonos family for a number of years and really enjoy the system. For surround sound we have the Playbar, subwoofer, and 2 Play 1 speakers in the back. Our TV is an older Samsung LCD that does not have ARC, eARC, and can only pass 5.1 OTA.

We are happy with the sound especially when we can get 5.1 from it. We have found that by using this Roku player we can get 5.1 sound from HBO Max and Apple TV+ while 5.1 only works if we use our older Fire stick for Netflix and Disney+. This means we have a splitter to handle both HDMI inputs. This is the splitter we use from iArkPower.

I would love to find a solution where we could just use 1 device to get 5.1 sound from everything. Is this possible? If so, do we need a different splitter or a different Roku or Fire device? We did try a newer Fire device and that caused the 5.1 sound in Netflix and Disney to stop working.

Again, our current solution is okay, however it would be great to get it down to one device that can handle everything.


Thank you!

P.S. We did not notice a difference with the latest Sonos update that came out today.

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1 reply

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Hi @charlesbell74,


That definitely sounds strange. What I usually find is that an entire device would be unable to send certain codecs, not a difference between the services on specific devices as you’ve listed here. 

I personally use a Fire TV Stick 4K from a year or so ago and I can get DD 5.1 from all of those apps you’ve listed (except HBO Max, as it’s not available here in the UK). Netflix, Apple TV+ and Disney+ all play in DD 5.1 through my Playbase without any tweaks required.

This does, of course, depend on your TV being able to pass through certain formats, but if you’re using a fairly recent TV I wouldn’t think you should have too much issue with getting DD 5.1 through. It might be worth raising this with Samsung as well, in case there are any known incompatibilities with that model for certain content.