Beam Sound Format

  • 18 April 2020
  • 5 replies


I am keen to know which sound format I am listening to through my Beam when watching TV, Amazon or Netflix?

I ask as when watching a film on Amazon prime through my firestick it defaults to stereo, but there is an option there for Dolby Digital Plus. On the subject of Amazon prime, it defaults back to stereo after every episode of a series! Meaning I am having to select DD+ at the start of every episode.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


5 replies

You can look in the Sonos controller under About my System to see what signal the Beam is receiving.  The Beam can play DD5.1 or stereo.  It does not support DD+.

Great, thanks John!

Since I found this out I have been driving myself mad trying to get anything but stereo. I watch amazon prime and Netflix through my amazon firestick so was hoping I may get DD5.1, but no joy.

I then came across another post where someone was having the same issue with their ROKU stick. When they tried the dedicated Netflix app on their smart tv they then received DD5.1, so I did the same and I now get DD5.1 when watching Netflix.

This makes me wonder, is it the firestick that’s the issue or my HDMI ARC?


Could be either. I don’t know specifically if the Firestick honors the demand from HDMI-CEC to only send Dolby Digital, or if your TV isn’t passing the information properly to the Firestick. You could see if there are audio settings on the Firestick to restrict it to a Dolby Digital, and try it, but that still doesn’t tell you where the failure is. 

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.

I hope this helps others who are having the same issue.

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You could use a splitter to extract the audio from the Roku stick HDMI before it goes to the TV, then connect that optical (via the adapter) to the Beam.