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 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.
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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?
It is easy for all of us to mistake the slightly geeky place that is a forum (or very geeky in my case) for the general population. It's a little while since I was a Sonos reseller, but I doubt it's changed much..... most people who bought Playbars did so because they wanted:
1. TV sound that was markedly better than their TV's crappy speakers
2. A music speaker that sounded much better than their iPod dock, and allowed them to stream Spotify
3. Those two things in one package.

The vast majority of them wouldn't know a codec if it jumped up and bit them, and I don't say that in a disparaging way, it's just a fact.

Clearly there are other people who want more than that, but whether the Playbar's limited codec support is a 'problem' that has to be 'fixed' is a matter for debate.
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Where is the big Boss from Sonos are you reading this ? Give us Dolby Atmos support for the Sonos Playbar!!
Start listening to your loyal customers.

Yes, we know that you want Atmos and DTS. We know that you've spent 2000 EUR. You've mentioned it in almost all of your posts here and in the Dutch community. Since it has been pointed out to you that Atmos over optical is not possible for the Playbar, and it's abundantly clear by now that Sonos will most likely never add DTS, if you're truly this unsatisfied, sell your gear and leave this forum if you have nothing constructive to contribute. Sonos is not cheap, so you can safely assume that most of the people on this forum have invested the same, if not more, in it than you have, so how much you've paid really doesn't matter to us.

Personally, I'm not sure if I would want Sonos to introduce Atmos hardware. It seems too much of a departure from their core business to me. In my mind, Sonos is a music system. It's nice to have 5.1 HT integration, and it would be great if they were to support codecs like DTS and Atmos, albeit downmixed (preferably downmixed by the Sonos hardware itself), so the integration would be seamless, but I would not care for Sonos investing time and money in creating products for a market segment that is not theirs.
I always tell people on here and in real life that if they're passionate about HT and surround sound, they should buy a proper A/V receiver and separate speakers. Sonos is not for them. The other way around, I would tell Sonos to offer an easy solution for people who want to integrate a basic HT in their Sonos system, but not to get involved in a different niche to their own, it is not for them.

My general vision on such developments is that I agree with Bruce's post above. I use a 5.1 Sonos setup, and I've jumped through the hoops I needed to jump through to make the best use of what it offers - I've bought a HDMI audio extractor switch and converted most of my digital files to DD5.1 - and I'm very happy with the performance.
Yes, it would be convenient if Sonos supported more codecs. As mentioned somewhere above, at this pricepoint you would just "expect" your product to work under all circumstances and it would be great not having to think of downmixing audio files or not listening to upmixed stereo while you were expecting 5.1.
Is it frustrating to have to wait so long for Google Assistant integration? Of course, I'd rather have any feature upgrade sooner than later.
Does this detract from my overall satisfaction with the product? No, it's great. I can do things now with my Sonos system I couldn't do when I started with just to Play 5s to play music, and I was already very happy with it then. Also, I knew what I was buying into when I finally bought the Playbar.

I work for a multinational company that is listed on the stock exchange. I know from experience that, as Bruce pointed out above, strategic decisions do not come lightly. And sometimes, you have to forego introducing products and activities that you would want to introduce, even if your competitor is already doing it, simply because the cost outweighs the benefit.

It seems like a sign of the times to complain about these things. We want everything now, without compromise. Not so long ago, if you bought a product like this, you bought into "the state of the art" at that time. Your CD player wouldn't magically turn into a DVD player. If you bought a piece of tech just moments before its successor hit the market, that was just tough luck. Currently, people assume everything can just be fixed "with a firmware update" and get offended when it's not technically or financially feasible.
Yes, this type of evolution has become a feature of tech products, but it also means that older products will eventually be crippled because they have to deal with an evolved ecosystem they were not built for. And of course, people will complain about that, too. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Consider that Sonos has done remarkably well in this regard. I'd like to see someone successfully using smartphones that are as old as the oldest still functioning Sonos products.

So to further echo Bruce, I would like to see updates, but not at any cost. I will also accept that some updates will not be rolled out for all products and that at some point, my oldest devices will fall out of the ecosystem, because that is just the way it goes with tech nowadays. If I don't object to buying a new smartphone at almost €1000 every few years, why would I complain about this? I think I will fair better with Sonos in terms of lifespan.
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
Userlevel 3
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
Atmos is a layer on top of DD 5.1. The DD 5.1 core should be coming out of the Apple TV. I would contact Apple about this error.
Userlevel 7
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They are very interested.
https://www.reddit.com/r/sonos/comments/ae9n40/some_interesting_items_in_sonos_survey_today/

All this tells you is that Sonos is interested in finding out if customers are interested.
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They are very interested.
https://www.reddit.com/r/sonos/comments/ae9n40/some_interesting_items_in_sonos_survey_today/

All this tells you is that Sonos is interested in finding out if customers are interested.


That it literally the same thing... As a company they only survive if they have products that their users want.
If they wanted nothing to do with Atmos they would not even ask the question.

I don´t really need Atmos. But what i do want is more supported standards so i at least can get 5.1 from more sources.
It´s also a thin line, if they do decide to go down the Atmos road they can "piss off" alot of users who just bought pretty expensive Sonos speakers and now "have" to replace them. So they need to find out a way to make existing speakers work as much as possible. I for one have a Playbase, sub and two play 1´s, it will never work with atmos. But if they have a "cheap" HDMI Box that translates Atmos to the Playbase and these new Atmos "Satellites", then i might be interested since i would "only" have to buy new satellites and this Atmos box, but if i also have to get a new playbar/base. Not so much.
Userlevel 7
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The market research questionnaire does not mean that Sonos has any current plans regarding Atmos. Depending on the results of the study, it could even mean that Sonos has decided to not to include Atmos in future development plans.

The natural inclination when people see a study like this is that the other people will answer identical to how they would answer. But of course, that isn't true. If it were true, there really wouldn't be much point in asking the question in the first place.

It´s also a thin line, if they do decide to go down the Atmos road they can "piss off" alot of users who just bought pretty expensive Sonos speakers and now "have" to replace them. So they need to find out a way to make existing speakers work as much as possible.

No they do not. By this logic, companies would never be able to release "2.0" or better versions of an existing product, as there will always be customers who wish they had known the new product was going to be released. Sure, people get upset about this, but it's not logical to expect companies to give customers this sort of forewarning, nor are companies obligated to give customers features that were not provided at the time of purchase. That said, Sonos would be wise to announce the product at least a month or so before release, as they typically do. They also tend to give existing new features to existing products where it is possible, even though they are under no obligation to do so. I just don't see how customers could be rightly upset if things don't happen this way.
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No, definitely market investigation.


Ergo, they're interested.

Look, anyone can read between the lines. Nobody has claimed that anything is definate, but if Sonos is asking people about this stuff than it's clearly not far off their strategy - if it isn't there already.


Asking does not mean anything more than Sonos wants to know what people think about the subject. Anything more than that is subjective guessing.


The grumbling is growing louder, and it's not just Blu Ray enthusiasts who are getting upset, the streamers are running into problems too.


I don't know how you measure grumblings, or the different place you go to gauge general customer thoughts on the subject, but I haven't really noticed anything different around the boards. Even then, it's pretty clear that the sentiment on the boards don't really reflect the sentiments of the general population...which is why Sonos is asking the general population and not the boards to begin with.


If Sonos can sort out their codec support, they erase one of the last reasons why their home theater products wouldn't go to the top of the recommendation list every time.


It would surely win over new customers, but hard to say whether it would be enough to make it worth it for Sonos. Again, why they are asking questions.
Userlevel 2
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Sonos does support a 5.1 codec, that is all they have to support, and that support alone has sold lots of products. There doesn't need to be a technical reason for not supporting more, nor do they need to give consumers any reasons why they only support DD 5.1 (and they did give a reason anyway). Your conclusion that Atmos must be in the pipeline isn't based on the facts, but on your own your own personal wish that it is.


In a world of Netflix and Roku, if Sonos wishes to end up being irrelevant in home theatre, than sure!
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.

No. Sonos is not a Home Theater company.
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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
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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
Userlevel 4
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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.