5.1 passthrough PS4 to Beam using switch device

  • 22 April 2020
  • 6 replies

Hi everyone, 

I appreciate there are loads of posts on this topic, but as I’m new to all of this I haven’t quite found one that seems to fix my problem.

I have the Sonos Beam and two One’s setup for home theatre, the Beam is plugged into my TV through HDMI ARC, whilst I also have a PS4 plugged into one of my TV’s other HDMI’s. My TV is a Panasonic and I understand from research online and my usage that it does not passthrough 5.1 audio from the PS4, but it will output 5.1 when using the inbuilt Netflix app. 

I’m looking for a workaround to try and get 5.1 when using the PS4. 

Would it be possible to have: Beam > switch by HDMI > switch > PS4 by optical > switch to TV by HDMI? From my research I understand the best fix to my problem would be to have optical directly from the Beam to the PS4, but I don’t know enough to understand whether this would be possible through a switch type device. 

I have looked on Amazon but there are so many I’m a bit overwhelmed, so any help/ direction to something that could work would be really appreciated. 

Thank you! 


6 replies

As an update I’ve managed to get the 5.1 working, however there is a slight audio delay. I also tried plugging the Beam directly into the PS4 and the delay is gone. 


If I got a switch as described above and didn’t have the PS4 going through the tv is it possible this would get rid of the delay?


I’ll also have a look at any other posts but would appreciate any help!

Hi Indigo,

I too have a Panasonic TV and it looks like I am struggling with the same issues you are. 

I can only get DD 5.1 through the inbuilt Netflix app on the TV, but only Stereo through my PS4 and Amazon Firestick.

How did you get your PS4 to output 5.1?

Do you reckon the issue is the TV?

I see other posts suggesting to change the TV audio output settings to Dolby Digital, but unsure how to do this on a Panasonic TV.


Hi Lawrence, 

I managed to do this by going into the sound settings on my PS4 and setting it to HDMI Output and to either Dolby DTS or Dolby Bitsream. I then pressed options on my remote (whilst still on the PS4 screen for that HDMI input), went into sound settings, and there is an option to either select PCM or Bitstream, you should select Bitsream. This then meant I had 5.1 through my PS4 when using the Beam through HDMI ARC. 

As mentioned this unfortunately meant I had a delay on my PS4 sound, which was really off putting for speech on games.  I think this delay is brought in by the TV which sits in between the PS4 and Beam. To fix this I first bought a HDMI switch, but this didn’t work. I then bought this:

This meant I had to use Toslink (or Optical) connections for all of my devices but it meant I could have 5.1 on both inbuilt TV apps and the PS4, without any delay. This is because the PS4 is going into the switcher and then directly to the Beam and so the TV can’t bring in any delay. So here I had both the Beam and PS4 into the switch and the switch into the TV. 

The only issue with this is that you cannot control the TV with your voice (due to no HDMI ARC) and, although I’ve found I can still turn the Beam up and down with my TV remote, the Panasonic either shows an annoying “speakers off” or the volume bar with 0, whenever you use the volume on the remote. This is because the TV is still picking up the signal from the remote, either though the TV speakers are set to 0 or switched off. 

If you google a fix for this, you’ll see some people mentioning the secret hotel mode on Panasonic TVs. This helps with locking the volume to 0 on your TV speakers, but you still get the annoying message whenever you use the volume on the remote. My halfway fix for this was to plug in headphones to the back of the TV, set the TV speakers to headphone mode and then switch my TV (turn off the lock) to 0 and my Beam to 0 and then whenever you use the volume on your remote the volume bar will move up and down as the Beam is turned up and down. 

Let me know if you have any questions with the above, it took me a while to figure it all out because lots of the threads on this don’t seem to actually contain any fixes. 

Hi Indigo,

Many thanks for the detailed reply :)

It looks like you may of just solved my PS4 issue so will definitely be buying that audio switcher.

As the Amazon Firestick is a HDMI connection,can you think of a way that I may get this to work too? 

It's so annoying that we spend £350 on a beam to then find we then have to buy additional switches to get Dolby Digital!

I guess long-term this will only change if we were to change our TV's.


UPDATE - After calling Panasonic, they have confirmed that my Panasonic TX-42E6B can only passthrough PCM. This means that any devices I connect to my TV such as the Amazon Firestick, PS4 etc will result in Stereo sound from the Beam. 

The only way I can listen to DD5.1 is when watching Netflix through the inbuilt app on the TV. 

Having called Richer Sounds from where I purchased the Beam, the only solution is to buy a new TV that supports other passthroughs than just PCM.

Hi Indigo,


would you mind confirming your set up with the switch please? I have the exact same issue with my tv and PS4 only emitting stereo through beam!


if the PS4 is fed into the switch as an input where does the output go as the beam does not have an optical port, or are you using the little adaptor that comes with the beam on the switch out and then connecting to the beam via hdmi?