DTS, Dolby 5.1 on Playbar, 2015 edition!



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I think SONOS don't know what market they are in, other wise the playbar would have HDMI and DTS.
Their "Market Monitor" needs to go to specsavers :)

I'm going to use SONOS sales techniques and sell flying cars.
Of course You'll have to buy the wings and test it yourself, let me know which ones work and I'll make a list on the web site.
Hi! Iam totally new to all of this, I got the playbar maybe 1.5 years ago. After reading pretty intensely last night I realised I was only getting PCM sound from my sonos playbar. I did some changes to the tv:s settings and in in apple tv(3 generation). Now when I play something from the appletv and I got to sonos app to check what the soundbar is playing it says "Dolby digital 5.1" When i change back to how I had it for almost 2 years it says PCM Sound. So my Tv can pass through DD 5.1 via my optic cable when iam watching something on my apple tv3(netflix in this case),

Does this then mean my TV has support for DD 5.1 via optic cable in all cases? Aka if i feed my tv a DD 5.1 sound, with no regard to source my optic will pass it through to my Sonos playbar correctly?

If anyone is curious my tv is a 60 inch LG pm 670t
Yes, if you are getting DD 5.1 from an hdmi source, your TV passes DD successfully.
Yes, if you are getting DD 5.1 from an hdmi source, your TV passes DD successfully.

Awesome! Thanks for the answer.
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Hi guys, first post so please be gentle.

Just received my Playbar today and so far so good. Read most of the forum on DTS so won't rant about that because to be honest I knew what I was getting, but just wanted to ask to see if what I'm seeing should and is right.

Ok so my setup, a Sony 50W829B with Sky HD, PS4 and X1 plugged in via HDMI and an optical cable from the TV to Playbar.

On Sky and also Netflix on PS4 the SONOS app shows DD 5.1 (win, clearly working ok) but when watching a Blu-Ray on PS4 with a DTS-HD track it shows as Stereo, is that right?

I'm yet to try a Blu with a DD track, DVD or the X1 but I guess I've got it right?

Thanks.
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After some further testing it seems the PS4 DOES NOT re-encode DTS to DD on the fly, but the X1 does!

Looks like the X1 has just become my default Blu-Ray player now.
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So Sonos still no DTS in 2016 come on? Get of your chairs and do your homework! DTS support please!
So Sonos still no DTS in 2016 come on? Get of your chairs and do your homework! DTS support please!

It's not even 2015 yet, so either your calendar is wrong, or you take Sonos' statement about DTS at face value and are just blustering with these over-the-top posts.
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Hahaha you must work for Sonos!
its time they realize that customers need the DTS support! Are they awake in 2016?
I must say, I rate myself as an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to audio. I've invested in Sonos both at work and at home and would say we've spent close to about £5k on the kit in total. The most recent move was the playbar and sub, and went into it presuming it would just work, like all previous Sonos facilities.

I've got a samsung 4k TV which does output 5.1 over optical. I've found the about my Sonos feature and can happily report Netflix, sky, Amazon all doing what you would expect.

The punishment however is blu ray. If I stick something new in like inside out or the star wars boxset then all they have is DTS tracks. If I watch them in a different language then they have DD 5.1 but good old fashioned English I am treated to silence, until I disable the Sonos and use the TV speaker. Something I am capable of doing but the wife and indeed kids don't understand why, also the phantom menace pod racer scene is a whole load better with the rumble of the sub behind the couch, as we found out watching it through sky.

I've found a setting on the blu ray player that will convert but it seems to just throw it to 2.0 - I need to play with this more.

Now I do have a Xbox one but that's in another room at the moment. What's that going to bring to the party? Is it going to convert the DTS to DD 5.1 or just down to 2.0 like the blu ray player does?
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I must say, I rate myself as an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to audio. I've invested in Sonos both at work and at home and would say we've spent close to about £5k on the kit in total. The most recent move was the playbar and sub, and went into it presuming it would just work, like all previous Sonos facilities.

I've got a samsung 4k TV which does output 5.1 over optical. I've found the about my Sonos feature and can happily report Netflix, sky, Amazon all doing what you would expect.

The punishment however is blu ray. If I stick something new in like inside out or the star wars boxset then all they have is DTS tracks. If I watch them in a different language then they have DD 5.1 but good old fashioned English I am treated to silence, until I disable the Sonos and use the TV speaker. Something I am capable of doing but the wife and indeed kids don't understand why, also the phantom menace pod racer scene is a whole load better with the rumble of the sub behind the couch, as we found out watching it through sky.

I've found a setting on the blu ray player that will convert but it seems to just throw it to 2.0 - I need to play with this more.

Now I do have a Xbox one but that's in another room at the moment. What's that going to bring to the party? Is it going to convert the DTS to DD 5.1 or just down to 2.0 like the blu ray player does?


Yes the X1 converts DTS to DD5.1 I've tested this myself with the Star Wars Blu-Ray set. PS4 does not and shows as stereo
I read the other article about that so looks like the option and hope that x1 does some 4k work in the future.

It is a shame though that Sonos have marketed this as a home cinema solution and its clearly no longer the full solution.
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That is a very important point. Sonos market the Playbar and sub combined with two play1 as a 5.1 system when in most people's set up it won't work as advised.

Even a tec savy customer will find it a chalenge get to get a decent half working 5.1 set up.

Their advising is at best not clear, some might say misleading. Sonos pride them selves on producing high quality simple to use products. In this case the have missed the mark.

If you want a 5.1 system don't buy Sonos. This combination is cumbersome at best, there are better soumding and easier to use 5.1 systems on the market, many of them costing considerably less than the Sonos.

That said if you are happy with a 2.1 set up that integrates with the rest of your Sonos equipent then the Playbar and sub work well.

This is not the only compatibility issue I have experianced with Sonos, I am very frustrated by the limited Spotify interface from within the Sonos app. Also the lack of ability to cast directly from your device to the Sonos network, works well via Google play music but not with other apps.

Interestingly Sonos's response to these complaints is very similar to the their response on the dts issue.

Is this the price we pay for dealing with a relatively small player in the market?

A couple of years ago Sonos was about the only choice if you wanted a wireless multiroom set up. That is no longer the case.

It might not sound like it but I am generally very happy with my Sonos system and have spent over £3,000 with Sonos and would purchase a uplated Playbar if one was produced. However I am frustrated by the lack of development and fear thay are falling behind the competition.

Listen to your customer Sonos or they might not choose your product next time.
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Thanks for the feedback ukstewie. We're constantly working on improving the system in many ways, but we don't share a roadmap for what's coming next. There were just recently some huge changes with Spotify getting the service to match up with what you see through any device running the Spotify Web API. Though we don't have Spotify Connect right now, the experience is getting much closer than it was in the past, and we're looking to improve it more.

Just a note on the PLAYBAR, on its own it's a 3.0 speaker with dedicated right, left and center channels designed all in one as an array. I understand wanting to get the best sound possible out of the experience, and if your source is sending Dolby Digital 5.1 to your PLAYBAR the surround sound is great. There are a lot of device which will pass this natively, and for commonly used media sources, the format is in Dolby.

Generally speaking, the main time you can run into an issue with DTS is when you have a Blu-ray collection with only DTS audio streams. And in that case, you may be able to fix that with a one time setting to tell your player to convert DTS into DD 5.1 on the fly.

We appreciate you sharing your voice here and let us know if we can answer any further questions for you.
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Thank you for your reply Ryan. In general I agree with the points you make.

It is good to know that Sonos is working on improving the in app user experiane, it is long over due, I'm sure it will be welcomed my all Sonos users.

I accept that with the correct imput he Playbar can offer a veru satisfactory 5.1 solution but it is not acceptable that it only works to the best of its capability with such a limited input source.

In both these case it is frustrating that development takes so long or is denied completely. The fact that in most situations my Sonos system works so seamlessly only serves to magnify that frustration. I hope Sonos is developing a Playbar with a modern anf flexible range of conectivity.
Bought the Playbar at the same time as a new TV last year. Glad I read these forums as I made sure I got one that passed through 5.1 from my STB to its optical out. If I ever go back to Blu-rays I just need to buy a cheap Samsung player that changes DTS to 5.1. I am 99% happy with my SONOS kit for Music and TV - only issue is TV when the sound cuts out for a moment every now and then. (never happens with music) Annoying but not the end of the world

I can tell a lot of people are very upset that the Playbar can't accept DTS! Not an issue for me in terms of the sound quality but I am interested to know if there is a general move away from 5.1 to DTS - perhaps for 4k TV?? I am thinking about adding some SONOS stuff to other rooms for music but if there is a trend to DTS being the standard then SONOS will surely have to bring out a Playbar 2 and I might as well wait for that and use my current Playbar in another room for music.

I know nothing about this but from what I have read, the current Playbar will never play DTS due to bandwidth issues with optical audio. I assume the SONOS magic that makes it all work could be sorted to play DTS if the Playbar had a connection that could receive it? HDMI in to the Playbar and HDMI out to the TV for vision. Surely that has to be very simple??
Hi jgatie, I thought the whole sonos brand and product usp is built around effortless usability, high quality audio and bringing all music to your room. The playbar combined with pair of play 1's and a sub is being marketed as a 5.1. If the playbar only has optical input and the optical does not support DTS and therefore can't produce 5.1 then that seems poor for a combined price of £1500.


Actually Optical Inputs do support DTS. However it cannot support Lossless Formats such as DTS-HD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, etc, due to such high bandwidth.
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A standard response to those who question Sonos' DTS position is usually "it's a dead issue", "Sonos has already explained this", "maybe this isn't for you", etc. There are many (myself included) who aren't satisfied with the explanation and would like to continue to push for change. The problem stems from Sonos' marketing, pricing and performance as a high end solution juxtaposed against what we see as a lack of basic functionality and a pretty lame explanation.
Sonos designed an $700 soundbar (or $1800 USD HT audio system) to use your TV as an A/V switch. Problem is, with few exceptions (we know what they are), those sources can't pass anything other than 2-channel stereo to the soundbar. . Is it unrealistic to think that if you buy something that is marketed as a 5.1 solution and you hook it up in the recommended manner that it should actually work as a 5.1 solution? Are you really satisfied with simulated 5.1 from a dumbed down stereo stream?
Sonos themselves realize this is an issue so they recommend sticking an HDMI switch in the mix to route native multi-channel audio to the soundbar. Problem #2 - Sonos didn't expect a Blu-Ray player (with DTS audio) to be in these setups? Really? C'mon, it's 2016, do they even sell DVD players anymore?
So here's the frustration - how hard can it be to make this issue go away? Whatever the issue is it can only be licensing, firmware or hardware. What's the cost of a DTS license for the product - a few bucks. Can't be much more as every $50 BD player and A/V receiver has this capability. Can't implement the decoding in the firmware because you need a DSP or other chips? Fine, release a soundbar 2.0 and I'll sell mine on ebay to someone who doesn't have the same needs as me. I'm naïve, we can't do that, things aren't that simple. OK, rearchitect the soundbar with HDMI ports and use it as the switch - like some of your $200 competitors. The rub for us "complainers" is that it seems so non-sensical to not do it.
Or you can go buy another brand/type of hardware that does what you want it to and stop beating your head against the door here. But far be it from me to suggest a solution that actually is a solution. It must be so much more fun to keep doing the same thing expecting a different result.
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jgate: Please, you post the same response over and over. I get it, you don't like me or others questioning and discussing DTS. But, this is a thread about that. Allow us to make our case to Sonos.
You've made your case, over and over and over and over for years now. As long as you persist in repeating your case, I will persist in pointing out the futility of your repetition.
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You've made your case, over and over and over and over for years now. As long as you persist in repeating your case, I will persist in pointing out the futility of your repetition.
You're confusing me with someone else. I've been a Sonos owner for 2 months and have made 9 posts. Please just ignore me and the others who would like to see this problem resolved. No need to comment back, I understand your position.
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My Samsung JS9500 converts DTS to Dolby 5.1 no problem
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@gji801. Fully agree with the points you make and suggested solutions. Sonos market the Playbar as a 5.1 solution, it isn't and the fact Sons says it is leaves a bad taste. No one likes to be taken for a fool. Like many people I have spent a significant sum of money with Sonos for a wireless multiroom system. In general I am very happy with that system and do not want to, nor do I see why I should have to buy a separate system for the TV. Particularly when Sonos continue to market the Playbar as a part of 5.1 system. SONOS listen to your customers, if it's possible, issue a update to the current Playbar, if that is not possible launch a sound bar 2 with a range of fit for purpose modern connections. Don't ignore your customers or you will loose them.

@jgatie. As long as Sonos continue to market the Playbar as part of a 5.1 solution we should keep rasing the fact that the Sonos Playbar has limited conectivity to alow people to make a fully informed choice when about which sound bar suits their needs best.
I'm going to have to side with the DTS people. I have certain movies on my plex server that have dts audio encoding, and having to downmix to simulated surround or stereo is silly.

You can argue all you want, but from a marketing standpoint, sonos is certainly in a grey area. They didn't technically do anything wrong, but it's easy to see how people would assume a $700 soundbar would support all the available audio formats. The website says that it only supports dolby digital and stereo, but what if you bought it in a store like I did? What reason would I have to believe that a high end soundbar would be silent with dts audio as a source? After all, they tout the 5.1 audio functionality...it's about time they start publicizing it's limitations as well.