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Airplay2 with 5.1 Setup


I think the answer is yes, but was hoping to see if someone confirms. I currently have a 5.1 setup with a Sonos Playbar, Sub and two Sonos Play 1 speakers. If I replace my Sonos Playbar with a Playbase I will be able to use Airplay2 with my 5.1 set up, correct?
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Best answer by Ryan S 11 July 2018, 21:40

Hi BostonBill, yes, you could use either a Playbase or a Sonos Beam for your home theater, as both of them are AirPlay 2 compatible. It's the main speaker of the home theater setup that determines compatibility with AirPlay 2.

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Hi BostonBill, yes, you could use either a Playbase or a Sonos Beam for your home theater, as both of them are AirPlay 2 compatible. It's the main speaker of the home theater setup that determines compatibility with AirPlay 2.
Thanks! for the quick response.
I am one pissed off Sonos customer. I just bought the Playbar, Sub and 2 Play:1s in May and it sounds great, but I can't stream many apps from my iphone. So today I get the email from Sonos about Airplay 2. Great I thought. About time. Then I find it won't work with my system. WTF Sonos??? And I guess that will also be the case for future developments with the Playbar. At least I bought the Playbar from Costco so it can go back. Unfortunately I bought the Sub and Play:1s from Sonos on May 9, and they are just past the 45 day return window. Come on Sonos.
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aitkenjw wrote:

I am one pissed off Sonos customer. I just bought the Playbar, Sub and 2 Play:1s in May and it sounds great, but I can't stream many apps from my iphone. So today I get the email from Sonos about Airplay 2. Great I thought. About time. Then I find it won't work with my system. WTF Sonos??? And I guess that will also be the case for future developments with the Playbar. At least I bought the Playbar from Costco so it can go back. Unfortunately I bought the Sub and Play:1s from Sonos on May 9, and they are just past the 45 day return window. Come on Sonos.



It's a hardware issue, not software. Hardware requirements that Apple set, not Sonos. Not sure what you expected Sonos to do about that.
I am rather annoyed, should have set expectations a long time back about what is in scope for Airplay and what is not. I am in the same boat of having "invested" in a 5:1 setup and only to find it does not work with airplay...... poor.
Why would you want to pair a speaker in another room in order to listen to music in the room you actually want to listen in via Airplay???
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I have airplay 2 working with my 5.1 setup from the apple tv 4k. I have the playbase, 2 play 1s (rear speakers) and the sub. I noticed when using airplay 2 the sound is not 5.1 put really each speaker now playing the same content. In other words, the play 1s are not rear channel speakers. Does anyone know if we lose real 5.1 when using airplay 2?
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Steve1092 wrote:

I have airplay 2 working with my 5.1 setup from the apple tv 4k. I have the playbase, 2 play 1s (rear speakers) and the sub. I noticed when using airplay 2 the sound is not 5.1 put really each speaker now playing the same content. In other words, the play 1s are not rear channel speakers. Does anyone know if we lose real 5.1 when using airplay 2?


AirPlay 2 audio is sending stereo, not 5.1 audio. Your Playbase will treat the audio the same way it plays music, so if you have the rears set to "Full" you'll hear the stereo channels played in the front and back at the same time, if it's set to "Ambient" you'll hear an upmixed sort of surround, but it's not the same way we handle normal stereo TV audio. The Playbase doesn't have a way to know what the source of your AirPlay content is, Netflix vs YouTube vs Spotify, so it treats it all as music.
aitkenjw wrote:

aitkenjw wrote:

melvimbe wrote:

aitkenjw wrote:

I am one pissed off Sonos customer. I just bought the Playbar, Sub and 2 Play:1s in May and it sounds great, but I can't stream many apps from my iphone. So today I get the email from Sonos about Airplay 2. Great I thought. About time. Then I find it won't work with my system. WTF Sonos??? And I guess that will also be the case for future developments with the Playbar. At least I bought the Playbar from Costco so it can go back. Unfortunately I bought the Sub and Play:1s from Sonos on May 9, and they are just past the 45 day return window. Come on Sonos.



It's a hardware issue, not software. Hardware requirements that Apple set, not Sonos. Not sure what you expected Sonos to do about that.



I don't care what the issue is. I am a new Sonos customer and just forked out $1800 for a system that is already obsolete. If I had know this before I bought the Playbar then I would have waited and got something different. I guess that fact that Costco was selling the Playbar should have given me a clue.
aitkenjw wrote:


I don't care what the issue is. I am a new Sonos customer and just forked out $1800 for a system that is already obsolete. If I had know this before I bought the Playbar then I would have waited and got something different. I guess that fact that Costco was selling the Playbar should have given me a clue.



If you just bought in May then you didn't dig very deep into which devices were capable of supporting Airplay 2, they have been preaching that it required the new ONE, a second gen Play:5 or Playbase (beam wasn't announced yet) since the announced Airplay 2 was coming and went way more in depth with the requirements when they introduced the beam last month. I am not totally happy either as I have some ZP90's (connect) and even a playbar paired with ONEs that also won't work because its based off of the primary speaker in the room but fact of the matter is I bought it for what it could do when I made the purchase. Your speakers aren't obsolete, they still work they way they did the day you bought them, they didn't take anything away from you, it just won't have the extra feature they just added.
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Ryan S wrote:

Steve1092 wrote:

I have airplay 2 working with my 5.1 setup from the apple tv 4k. I have the playbase, 2 play 1s (rear speakers) and the sub. I noticed when using airplay 2 the sound is not 5.1 put really each speaker now playing the same content. In other words, the play 1s are not rear channel speakers. Does anyone know if we lose real 5.1 when using airplay 2?


AirPlay 2 audio is sending stereo, not 5.1 audio. Your Playbase will treat the audio the same way it plays music, so if you have the rears set to "Full" you'll hear the stereo channels played in the front and back at the same time, if it's set to "Ambient" you'll hear an upmixed sort of surround, but it's not the same way we handle normal stereo TV audio. The Playbase doesn't have a way to know what the source of your AirPlay content is, Netflix vs YouTube vs Spotify, so it treats it all as music.

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I appreciate the quick response even if it is not what I wanted to hear. I hope apple or sonos is able to send 5.1 via AirPlay as a future software update. Sonos has done a great job adding airplay 2 support so quickly.
aitkenjw wrote:


I don't care what the issue is. I am a new Sonos customer and just forked out $1800 for a system that is already obsolete. If I had know this before I bought the Playbar then I would have waited and got something different. I guess that fact that Costco was selling the Playbar should have given me a clue.



It has been known for months that the only Airplay 2 capable units are the Playbase, ONE, Play:5 2G and now the Beam. If you had done sufficient research, you wold have easily found this information, for it was published all over this site and in 3rd party reviews.
Steve1092 wrote:

I appreciate the quick response even if it is not what I wanted to hear. I hope apple or sonos is able to send 5.1 via AirPlay as a future software update. Sonos has done a great job adding airplay 2 support so quickly.



Is AirPlay 2 not capable doing this or is it up to Sonos developing this? I got a 5.1 and have no possibility streaming 5.1 Sound from Apple TV via AirPlay 2 to my Sonos?
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That is how airplay works, has nothing to do with Sonos. If you want 5.1 then play the content directly.
vazandrew wrote:

That is how airplay works, has nothing to do with Sonos. If you want 5.1 then play the content directly.



Bad performance from Apple to not support 5.1 over AirPlay! Playing directly is not as easy as you wrote due to my setup and connected devices like a beamer, NVIDIA Shield, Sky Receiver, etc. I am already working with a HDMI Splitter and an additional optical Switch. 5.1 over AirPlay would have been an improvement for me fighting against too less connection possibilities and therefore unnecessary devices and cables. Thinking i am not the only one.
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Then you would need to take that up with Apple. The Apple TV would be connected to the TV as would your main speaker (playbar/base/beam) with the rears and sub bonded to that speaker. When you play content directly on ATV it would output in 5.1. You can still group other speakers to get TV audio in other areas, while retaining the 5.1 on the main system. It is only when using airplay that this issue arises, and you may not be the only one but it would still be a relatively small group that needs it.

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