Dolby Atmos


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Is SONOS working with DOLBY to encode and reproduce content with ATMOS for home theater surround sound with either the 7.2.4 speaker arrangement or sound bar simulation?

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Userlevel 5
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I am unable to conceive of a reason why they would do that. Why? Because it is irrelevant to how Sonos works.
Want a 7.2.9.27.twelvety system. Buy one.
Userlevel 3
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An Atmos soundbard requires upward firing speakers to bounce sound off the ceiling in an attempt to create the upward sound channel

The current playbar does not have any upward firing speakers, to support Atmos the playbar requires a complete re-design
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I suppose I should rephrase that question to whether there a plans to set up multiple SONOS speaker system to be able to decode and set up an ATMOS soundscape for home theater viewing.
Userlevel 3
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I suppose I should rephrase that question to whether there a plans to set up multiple SONOS speaker system to be able to decode and set up an ATMOS soundscape for home theater viewing.

No. Sonos is not a Home Theater company.
Userlevel 7
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I always say Sonos is the perfect platform for a wireless Dolby Atmos system. A SuperConnect box where you hook your hdim. Then the Superconnect will coordinate all 7 independent Sonos speakers in full Dolby Atmos.

Wishfull thinking as I see little chance in it happening. But thing what a perfect solution it would be for projector users - people where the devices are not up front.
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I suppose I should rephrase that question to whether there a plans to set up multiple SONOS speaker system to be able to decode and set up an ATMOS soundscape for home theater viewing.

Unlikely, as above Sonos is a music player company first, home theatre second and their devices need to do both, to have a separate upward firing atmos speaker would make it useless for music so it won't happen

in reality your best option is to go buy speakers and a receiver and setup your own atmos system, I know that's what I'll be doing - I only went with Sonos due to limited space, but once I have space the Sonos will be gone replaced by a real home theatre system
Userlevel 7
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No Sonos hardware can accept an ATMOS signal, as it cannot be carried over optical, it requires HDMI.
Saying that SONOS isn’t home theater is odd. They make a play bar specifically to sit under the tv. Maybe my idea of home theater is naive but the fact that atmos currently requires hdmi is more relevant than anyone’s opinion
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No Sonos hardware can accept an ATMOS signal, as it cannot be carried over optical, it requires HDMI.

Now that Apple TV will support ATMOS couldn't it handle the ATMOS processing and output to the soundbar?
Userlevel 3
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No Sonos hardware can accept an ATMOS signal, as it cannot be carried over optical, it requires HDMI.

Now that Apple TV will support ATMOS couldn't it handle the ATMOS processing and output to the soundbar?


No that won't be possible with the current playbar

The Playbar does not have any height channel speakers - even if your playbar could decode Atmos, it would sound exactly the same as normal 5.1 because there are no height channel tweeters facing the ceiling - basically the height channel in the Atmos signal would just get cut off and it would just output 5.1.0 instead of 5.1.2

The only real difference is that Atmos signal would be a higher bitrate so the sound quality may sound slightly better to your ears because Dolby Digital is a lossy format while Atmos is lossless but that's it and only real audiophiles can tell the difference between lossy and lossless sound anyway, the average person cannot
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AppleTV 4K which is the one that will support Atmos with the TVOS update does not have an optical out. So without new kit from Sonos it is not going to work. Passing the signal via a receiver won’t yield a hi res sound with the number of channels in a manner which sonos can distribute. Sonos need to up their game or be left behind. I have my fingers crossed.
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Saying that SONOS isn’t home theater is odd. They make a play bar specifically to sit under the tv. Maybe my idea of home theater is naive but the fact that atmos currently requires hdmi is more relevant than anyone’s opinion

They sell the playbar as a device that is simply better than your tv speakers, it's not advertised as a all in one home theatre package and if you read the description for the playbar, the ability to stream music and mentioned far more than the ability to do surround sound - it's obvious while the playbar is capable of doing 5.1 sound (when you add the rears and sub) - it's only marketed as a better speaker than the ones in your tv and by the way, it streams music and it can play music with the other wireless sonos speakers in other rooms

However Sonos do need to up their game, some TV's with built in speakers are now starting to do 5.1 and they can decode Dolby True HD etc, so technically some TV's with built in speakers are producing higher quality sound than Sonos so Sonos saying that the PLaybar is better than your TV's speakers may not be true anymore unless they up their game with a new product
I believe I’ve read that Dolby Atmos can’t be transmitted across an optical connection, as well.
Saying that SONOS isn’t home theater is odd. They make a play bar specifically to sit under the tv. Maybe my idea of home theater is naive but the fact that atmos currently requires hdmi is more relevant than anyone’s opinion

They sell the playbar as a device that is simply better than your tv speakers, it's not advertised as a all in one home theatre package and if you read the description for the playbar, the ability to stream music and mentioned far more than the ability to do surround sound - it's obvious while the playbar is capable of doing 5.1 sound (when you add the rears and sub) - it's only marketed as a better speaker than the ones in your tv and by the way, it streams music and it can play music with the other wireless sonos speakers in other rooms

However Sonos do need to up their game, some TV's with built in speakers are now starting to do 5.1 and they can decode Dolby True HD etc, so technically some TV's with built in speakers are producing higher quality sound than Sonos so Sonos saying that the PLaybar is better than your TV's speakers may not be true anymore unless they up their game with a new product
You are wrong. Here is the product description:
"The home theater sound bar and music player in one." No where do they say, "we sell it as a device that is simply better than your TV speakers." If you actually care to go read it yourself, you will see that it says "home theater" device AND streams music, too. Check you facts please, before spouting off false statements. The speakers do natively fire in an upwards direction, more at an angle, so there's no saying they cannot update firmware to work with Apple 4K with Atmos. May not be as good as others with original design elements for Atmos, but not too say it will never happen. Play One can be mounted to fire up, too.
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No Sonos hardware can accept an ATMOS signal, as it cannot be carried over optical, it requires HDMI.

Now that Apple TV will support ATMOS couldn't it handle the ATMOS processing and output to the soundbar?


No that won't be possible with the current playbar

The Playbar does not have any height channel speakers - even if your playbar could decode Atmos, it would sound exactly the same as normal 5.1 because there are no height channel tweeters facing the ceiling - basically the height channel in the Atmos signal would just get cut off and it would just output 5.1.0 instead of 5.1.2

The only real difference is that Atmos signal would be a higher bitrate so the sound quality may sound slightly better to your ears because Dolby Digital is a lossy format while Atmos is lossless but that's it and only real audiophiles can tell the difference between lossy and lossless sound anyway, the average person cannot


You hit the nail on the head there. It would sound exactly the same as normal 5.1. Thats exactly what I want. Because the alternative is hearing stereo.

You see most modern ultra-hd bluray releases don't add a Dolby Digital sound track anymore. Only Atmos, or DTS, or stereo. So with any Sonos home cinema set, you are either hearing stereo or nothing or you need an expensive transcoding bluray player or something to get 5.1.

I'm not interested in a 7.1 setup. I want my Sonos 5.1 setup to be able to play ALL forms of audio codec I throw at it. Ragnarock Ultra-HD bluray release? can't watch it no sound. Planet Earth II. Can only watch it in stereo. You get my point?
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Sonos is turning into a huge disappointment. I was waiting for the announcement of the new sound bar in the hope that it would have a HDMI connection to facilitate newer specs like atmos and get rid of my requirement for optical switches, or resorting to playing movies on my PS3 rather than PS4 just to get DD5.1.
I don't want stereo, I want Atmos or DD5.1.
I don't want "unsupported" coming up on my About page. I want Atmos or DD5.1.
Beam comes along. What do we get?
Alexa......
...... Really?
We get ARC HDMI, great, any additional decoding for DTS, DTS-HD, Atmos etc?......... no.
"Play everything that matters to you" they say.
What they mean is, "Play everything that matters to you as long as it also matters to us."
"Create a home cinema system when you wirelessly connect a pair of rear speakers and a Sub to your Beam", they say.
They mean, "Create a poor home cinema system..."
They then sign all this off with, "The wireless home sound system that gets better over time."
What kind of time frame are we talking about here? The same timeframe for plate tectonics, perhaps?
Cos I've had my soundbar for years, and we've since had the playbase and now beam. All either stereo or a very temperamental DD5.1.
Mine hasn't got better over time at all.
Time to ditch sonos and go where the actual progress is happening.
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I would assume that the best method for Atmos with Sonos would be adding HDMI to a new version of Connnect. Then you can choose any 7 speakers as seperates fed by a connect.

Soundbars - don't really lend themselves to Atmos. Soundbars are more for convienience not high end separation codecs.
Userlevel 7
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Since Beam is not some full fledged 7.1 system. Using Dolby Atmos output from source to TV - the TV should output via ARC downconverted Dolby Digital 5.1 to the Beam. So you can use Dolby Atmos sountrack - it will just be dumbed down to the 5.1 that Sonos can handle.
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"Soundbars - don't really lend themselves to Atmos"
Except when they do, like with LG's offering ?

Rather than fork out another £400 for a bar that will *maybe* be able to output 5.1 from other codecs, I'll just put that £400 toward something that can actually do better, guaranteed.

And that's my point. Sonos could have kept up. They didn't.
Userlevel 3
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I understand what he is saying and in some sense he is right

Go look at the Dolby gold standard setup diagram for Atmos - the height channel is supposed to be produced by speakers in your ceiling not by trying to bounce sound off the ceiling, there is a big difference in outcomes

Bouncing sound off the ceiling can work but it’s temptemenal, you need to measure and sit in the perfect angle and have the perfect room ceiling acoustics and not have a ceiling material that absorbs sound - not many people have a good environment for this so soundbars that bounce sound don’t work as well as you would have hoped

That’s why in 2018 a lot of manufacturers have given up on bouncing sound, Sony has, their 2018 sound bar just sends the height channel in an arc above your head, think of it as the same thing the left and right Sonos Playbar tweets do ( send sound in an arc to the side) the Sony soundbar does the same but put the tweet in the center and turned it vertically so the sound goes up and over your head - you don’t hear sound from the roof with Atmos content but it’s still over your head. The benefit is it always works, doesn’t matter what your environment looks like it will always work
Before talking about Dolby Atmos we should state 1 thing, Sonos need more than optical, it needs an hdmi input (and output?). At the moment the optical only allows standard 5.1 (DD ? DTS? or pcm 5.1 ? I dont know). Before talking about 3d sound like Dolby Atmos or DTS X, let's start with Dolby True HD and DTS HD MA and decoding abilities...
At the moment my only solution is having my tv, an AVR + 5.1 speakers, and i join my Sonos speakers with a Sonos connect. I can watch my movies on a good 5.1 with the right sound. And listen my Music on all my speakers (Sonos + 5.1). BUT and yes there is a but, there is, even with the best settings, a little lag between sonos and my 5.1, unfixable since it would need the sonos controller to set a delay on all speakers except the connect.
What kind of time frame are we talking about here? The same timeframe for plate tectonics, perhaps?
Time to ditch sonos and go where the actual progress is happening.

Mr Conor -
1. "plate tectonics.......now THAT'S funny!!! Absolutely brilliant reference. Well played.
2. I fear you, and others, may be right....... I LOVE my SONOS system, and as a local Bostonian, proud to support a local company done good but..... they may be going the way of the blackberry by not following their best inventors and collaborators.... the users.... us.....

I am not an "audiophile" by any stretch of the words but.... I do love surround sound for both my music and movies. More so for movies and it's not that ATMOS is a deal breaker, but it's a pretty cool add on that I think people will pay for just because it's there. Similar to 5.1, electronic windows in cars, CD players, bluetooth, etc, it will most likely become "standard" one day or be replaced by something similar but why not throw it in there now. Just my .02 cents.

Watching Last Jedi as I write this and it's the scene with Finn, Rose, BB-8 and DJ (played by Benicio Sel Toro) where they are in hyper space talking..... Atmos would sound amazing as the "hyperspace" overhead....... Hey SONOS.... see what I mean.... my Playbar and 2 Play Ones sound wonderful as surround but..... could sound better.....
Well plate tectonics theory may have just gone out of the window.... Sonos Amp looks an interesting prospect. Albeit we'll have to wait until December for it to launch, and to know whether multiple of them can be connected to support Dolby Atmos. This is very timely for me because I was dreading putting a bunch of Connect Amps in my new rack. It would be awesome if I also didn't have to get AV receivers for each room as well as Connects

Here's hoping...
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Well plate tectonics theory may have just gone out of the window.... Sonos Amp looks an interesting prospect. Albeit we'll have to wait until December for it to launch, and to know whether multiple of them can be connected to support Dolby Atmos. This is very timely for me because I was dreading putting a bunch of Connect Amps in my new rack. It would be awesome if I also didn't have to get AV receivers for each room as well as Connects

Here's hoping...


Um, Sonos has already said that it supports DD 5.1, and has talked about all the possible configurations. Doesn't sound like you're going to get Atmos out of this, but things could change.

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