Audio converter for surround sound

  • 3 December 2019
  • 3 replies


I have recently got myself some additional Sonos speakers to create a 5 channel surround system for my TV. While the sound is great for music and video sources with Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding, there are a couple of issues that I'm looking to resolve. I have some films with a DTS soundtrack and the Sonos system doesn't decode this, also stereo sources - like iplayer, live TV, older films, etc - will only output to the soundbar and not the rear speakers. For whatever reason there isn't the option to have the rear speakers play to same as the front L&R and a stereo source means no sound from the rear speakers.

My idea is to have a device that sits between the TV and the soundbar input hat will output a sound signal encoded as DD 5.1. This means that stereo signals & DTS get converted to DD 5.1 and signals that are already DD 5.1 would get passed through. This could be either HDMI or optical (even HDMI in and optical out). I don't know if such a thing exists and I'd appreciate it if those that know of these things could give me some advice.

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3 replies

Back in the days of Dolby Pro Logic, there were many A/V amplifiers that would attempt this kind of thing, relatively ineffectually, IMHO. I think the issue is substantially more complex these days with Dolby Digital, and I’m not aware of any devices that even try to do it. Knowing which sounds to pull from a stream and send to rear speakers would be a mathematical nightmare. 


Rather shamefaced I have to confess that - once I had configured my system properly - everything works. It’s better than I anticipated, with sound coming through the rears for DD 2.0 source like BBC Iplayer!

No need to be shamefaced. I’m pleased you’re enjoying the system!