Home Theater and Television Recommendation Megathread


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Looking for information on Sonos home theater setups? Find answers about surround sound, Dolby Digital, TV recommendations, and all the rest to get the best possible theater experience on Sonos here. We’ll keep this thread up to date with your recommendations for TVs and other devices as well.

How to get the most out of this thread:


Read through the starter posts to get caught up on the basics including what to get and how to get set up. If you’re looking for something specific, check out all of the content below. If you have a question not covered in the starting posts or covered in one of our FAQs feel free to ask. Please see the posting guidelines below for getting the best help.

This thread isn’t intended for troubleshooting problems so those posts may be moved to a new thread if posted here.

Posting guidelines


What are you looking for? Describe your question the best you can.
Include all the details you can about your current setup or what you’re planning to do.
The following are great pieces of information to include as well:
TV model:
Peripherals (what sources of audio/video you’re using):
What Sonos components do you have or are you looking to get?
Description of how your home theater is connected:


Contents: Looking for something specific?


Community Recommendations for TVs, Blu-ray players, and HDMI switches
Questions about peripherals such as the Apple TV

What is the best Sonos home theater experience?


The Sonos home theater experience starts with Beam, Playbar, or Playbase and gets amped up with a SUB and surround speakers. The best experience you can have is when the players are getting a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal and the surrounds are properly configured. You can use your remote control or your voice to adjust the volume of the speakers. And when you go to play music, you should get the sound you want to hear from all of your speakers.

The Basics of Sonos 5.1


A Beam, Playbar, or Playbase is the center of our home theater experience. Picking the right one will depend on your room’s layout, and what you’re looking to use.

On size, Playbar and Playbase are larger than Beam. You can use the Playbase below your TV, or wall mount a Playbar above or below the TV. Beam is a more compact speaker and can fit almost anywhere.

Playbar and Playbase have more drivers and produce louder sound with more width and bass than Beam. Beam is optimized for small to mid-sized rooms, whereas Playbar and Playbase are capable of filling large spaces.
Sonos Beam is the first Sonos speaker for home theater that supports voice control, but you can use Sonos Ones as surrounds with a Playbase or Playbar to bring some voice control to the setup. Beam also uses HDMI-ARC to connect to your television and supports CEC to work with your existing remote, while the other two use Digital Optical connections.

Playbase and Beam both support AirPlay 2. In order to get Airplay 2 with your Playbar, you'll need to have an AirPlay 2 compatible Sonos player in a separate room (not bonded as surrounds) that you group with your Playbar.

For steps on setting up a Playbar or Playbase, please see the directions here. We also have all the requirements you might need to know about listed here.

You can use a pair of Play:1, Sonos One, Play:3, or Play:5 gen2 units as rear surround speakers. The Connect:Amp can also be bonded as surround speakers with by following the directions here. Don’t forget the Sub, which can be tucked into corners, placed under a seat, or made a room decoration for some deep glass rattling bass.

Choosing which speakers are the correct surrounds to use with your Beam, Playbar, or Playbase depends on your home and what size room you’re looking to fill. Usually the Play:1s work great, but if you’ve got a large room in need of filling Play:3 or Play:5 gen2s may be needed. Take a look here for details on setting up surround sound for Sonos, which includes where to put your surrounds.

Make sure you don’t hang your Playbar upside down accidentally.

TV Basics


Your TV should have the onboard speakers turned off, and the audio settings set to pass Dolby Digital 5.1 to the optical output if possible. For more on selecting a TV please see here.

Checking Surround Sound


Standard configuration for Sonos home theater has the TV wired to the Playbar or Playbase with an optical connection, or HDMI-ARC to your Beam. Now it gets a little more technical, but stick with us. First, you need a source that is playing the Dolby Digital 5.1 format. Which is then being passed to the Sonos home theater device.

For the standard setup, your TV should pass Dolby Digital 5.1 to your Sonos over optical when you’re watching something with that format. If your TV is doing this you’re all set.

So how do you check that you’re getting 5.1 on Sonos? The system will tell you what’s playing under the About Sonos screen from any controller. Check under the name of the Beam, Playbar, or Playbase within Settings > About my Sonos System. If the line “Audio In:” shows “Dolby Digital 5.1” you’ll know you’re done. If it shows Stereo PCM there’s a few things to check out.

Getting Dolby Digital to Sonos


There’s a series or things to check if you’re seeing Stereo instead of Dolby Digital. First off, is the starting audio format in Dolby Digital? Where is the audio you’re trying to play coming from? Are you sure that it’s in Dolby Digital 5.1?

Next, you’ll need to check that every device touching that audio source is capable of passing it as well untouched. If it’s a cable box passing the signal over HDMI to your TV for example, make sure your TV is capable of sending Dolby Digital from HDMI over the optical. For the Beam, the TV should automatically convert a Dolby signal to Dolby Digital 5.1 as Beam will use a handshake over HDMI-ARC to request the right format. Dolby Atmos or Dolby Digital Plus are compatible with Dolby Digital 5.1.

Note: In some TV manuals you may see a line that Dolby Digital is only passed for “Over the Air” sources which are the built in apps on the TV and doesn’t include HDMI sources.

If one of your devices doesn’t pass Dolby Digital 5.1 through, you may want to consider using a non-standard setup. The community has recommendations for HDMI switchers which can receive all of your HDMI devices and pass the audio to a Playbar or Playbase through optical, while sending the video to the TV through HDMI.

Audio Formats


You might encounter the following sound formats from most home theater devices: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, and Stereo PCM. The Playbar is compatible with all of these audio formats except for DTS and Dolby Digital Plus.

Dolby Digital is our 5.1 surround sound format for the Playbar. If your TV delivers a Dolby Digital format to the Playbar or Playbase, you’ll be getting surround sound.

The Stereo/PCM format will be decoded into a left front and right front channels and we’ll make a matrixed center, right rear, left rear, and subwoofer channel from the audio signal to play out of all players.

DTS is an audio format most commonly found on Blu-ray discs. It’s uncommon for this format to reach the Playbar as it would need to be passed unaltered through the player into the TV, and then back out through optical to Sonos. If this happens, the Playbar or Playbase will not play any audio as DTS is not a supported format. Please see below on transcoding a DTS signal.

Transcoding a DTS signal


Sonos home theater devices do not support the DTS format. If you watch to a lot of Blu-ray discs or are getting DTS-encoded audio passed through to Sonos, there are some suggestions you can work with. You’ll need to use a device in the middle which can transcode that audio to a different signal. Ideally, you’ll want to get it into Dolby Digital 5.1.

Certain Blu-ray players are capable of converting DTS to Dolby Digital output during playback already. Examples of models capable of this are the Samsung BD-F6500, Samsung BD-F5900, and Samsung BD-F5700. The easiest solution if your only DTS source is from these discs is to check if your Blu-ray player can support on the fly conversion. If it doesn’t, you might consider picking up one that does.

Some gaming systems can also do this transcoding, such as the Xbox One and the PlayStation4 both can. Directions for setting this up for each device is linked to their names.

Note that even when converting from DTS, the television still must be capable of passing Dolby Digital signal to the Beam, Playbar, or Playbase or the end result will be stereo PCM. The community has recommended using HDMI switchers instead if the TV isn’t capable of supporting Dolby Digital. See some of those recommendations and more here.

Choosing a Television Set


Choosing a TV can be tricky, there are a lot of options and you just want something that will work. For TVs to work best with Sonos, the most important thing is for them to be able to pass Dolby Digital audio from both HDMI and over the air sources to the optical connection. It’s also best if you have an IR remote control for the volume commands, universal remotes work great, but more on that in a bit.

There is a great list of TVs here made by the community of TVs they’ve used before. We don’t recommend any particular TV brand ourselves as many work great, but we’ll highlight some of the most popular community recommendations below, to see them  click here.

When you’re setting up that TV, you can check under Audio Settings to make sure it is set to pass Dolby Digital through the optical connection if that’s an option.

If your TV doesn’t have enough HDMI ports for your sources, doesn’t have an Optical output, or doesn’t pass Dolby Digital from HDMI or over the air sources you may consider using an HDMI Switch or Optical Converter for the HDMI signals. This is a device that you can wire your sources into, and it’ll have an audio output for the Playbar with an HDMI output for the TV to get video from. We have some community recommended devices listed here.

Remote controls


The Playbar has an infrared sensor which can read signals from most TV remotes. It doesn’t support Bluetooth or RF commands, though your remote might also have an IR blaster which can be placed in front of the Playbar’s receiver. The remote setup guides you through the process of teaching your Playbar to recognize your remote. This can be found under Room Settings > Playbar > TV Settings > Remote Setup.

How to remove on-screen volume messages


During setup, you’ll want to turn the onboard speakers for the TV off so you don’t get any strange echoes. Some TVs will display a notification on the screen when they register the volume commands and the built-in speakers are off.

If you are getting this message there are a couple things you can do to prevent this. Here’s a page with some suggestions for getting around this notification message.

Generally, the way to go if the TV doesn’t have a setting to turn off the message is to program a universal remote with different commands for the volume. The TV won’t recognize these as commands for the volume, but the Sonos home theater device will. Volume changes, no on-screen message.

Another way around this, which works with a lot of TVs, uses the TV’s headphone jack if it has one. Most TVs will mute their speaker output when the headphone jack is engaged. Plug anything into that port and leave the TV’s speakers turned on within the settings. You won’t hear anything from them, but you won’t get an error on screen either. What you plug in doesn’t need to have a pair of headphones on them. You can cut off the end of a plug from anything, even if it doesn’t work.

Advanced Audio Playback Options


Within the Sonos Controller, you can find some advanced playback settings for Sonos home theater. There are two playback modes that can be toggled from the playing screen which can be useful: Night Sound and Speech Enhancement.

Speech Enhancement makes TV dialog easier to hear. Touch the icon on your Sonos controller’s Now Playing screen to turn this setting on or off.

Night Sound adjusts the audio when you need things a little quieter, it still maintains proper balance and range. At lower volumes, quiet sounds are enhanced and the intensity of loud sounds is reduced. Touch the icon on your Sonos controller’s Now Playing screen to turn this setting on or off.

Inside your Room Settings for the Beam, Playbar, or Playbase are two additional options.
Music playback which allows you to choose between two settings for the surround speakers:
1. Ambient: Default option; subtle, ambient sound.

2. Full: Enables louder, full range stereo sound.

Selecting Full has the surround speakers playing stereo along with the center home theater device when you have a music source playing, this has no effect when playing TV.

TV Dialog
Audio Delay (Lip Sync) is used to increase or decrease the sound delay if the video is behind the audio.

250 replies

Thanks for this very useful thread.
For DVD/Blu-ray players, I interpret the following from the thread:
Main options to work with Sonos (transcoding DTS to DD) are Samsung or OPPO players.
Sony have this feature on some, but not all, of their recent players.
LG don’t seem to provide this feature on their players at all.

I am still feeling annoyed with Sony since I currently have their BDP-S5500 player, which claimed to have transcode to DD, the menu option is there, but as others have also reported, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t seem as though Sony have any interest or plans in fixing this broken feature on this old model. Hence I don’t feel particularly inclined to spend new money in their direction.

It is a shame LG don’t support this feature. We have a nice LG OLED TV, so I would have bought LG player to go with it if I could.

The Samsung and OPPO models look well summarised in the community recommended devices section.

On my way through my search I interpreted the following about Sony models:
Sony BDP-S3700 supports DTS transcode to DD
Sony BDP-S6700 supports DTS transcode to DD
Sony UBP-X800 does not support DTS transcode to DD, though it can transcode to multi-channel PCM (I haven’t stopped to look into what that means for Sonos compatibility)
Userlevel 4
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Will my Philips 55POS9002 OLED tv pass through 5.1 to a Playbase along with a pair of Play1:s and sub?
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After much reading about the potential problems of DD5.1 Passthrough I can confirm that my concerns were unwarranted and my setup went perfectly and everything works. My equipment is:

TV - Sony Bravia KDL-50W815
Sonos units - Playbase + 2 Play1s
BluRay - Panasonic DMP-BDT230 Blu-ray Player
Freesat - Humax HDR-1100S
Other - Apple TV Generation 4

HDMI cables connect from the above to the TV. Then an optical cable from the TV to the Playbase. Dolby Digital 5.1/2.0 and Stereo signals pass through perfectly and the Sonos App reports the correct Audio In signal (in Settings, About).
I'm looking into getting a LG 65UJ7700 tv and a Sonos 5.1 (Soundbar, play 3x2 and sub) to upgrade our aging living room setup. We stream 90% of what we watch either through Chromecast or Netflix/Hulu/Amazon. So there won't be a BluRay or receiver in the new setup, just the tv, soundbar and Chromecast. Trying to keep the cleanest setup (no HDMI switcher) as possible for the less tech savvy wife. Anyone know firsthand if this tv's optical pass-through works without any snags?
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Does anyone know if there will be issues with a 2017 Samsung 65" MU8000 or 2017 LG 65" OLED65B7A? I'm planning to purchase one of these TVs soon. I already own a SONOS PlayBase and Samsung K8500 Blu-Ray Player. Will I have any issues with the PlayBase passing Dolby 5.1 with either of these TVs?
Hi,

Very useful thread. My current Samsung TV does not pass 5.1 to my playbar via external source(i use Apple TV 4th gen).

I am in UK and planning to buy one of following Samsung model. Would you be able to confirm if any of these models will pass 5.1 via external source. Thanks

UE55MU7000TXXU
UE55MU6120KXXU
UE55MU6400UXXU
UE55MU6500UXXU
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Hello folks!

I’ve found another TV that works:

Panasonic 50-EX700B

I assume that also means the other sizes of 700B, along with the 600B and 750B ranges will also work. I got a pretty awesome Black Friday deal from John Lewis including a free 5 year warranty.

By “it works” I mean that it passes 5.1 on to the Sonos via optical. My set up is:

Sky+ HD Box > HDMI > TV HDMI 1
Panasonic Blu-Ray > HDMI > TV HDMI 2
TV > Digital Optical > Playbase

It all looks and sounds fantastic. The TV is 4K, and streams Netflix and Amazon Prime in 4K/HDR, and they also output in 5.1. The Blu-ray upscales to 4K and is outputting 5.1. Sky HD is HD only (no Q yet!) but is outputting 5.1.

Panasonic don’t seem to feature in any of the earlier posts and wider tests, so I was delighted to get this working and to share it with you all as an option!

I had to fiddle with the settings quite a bit on all parts of the chain, so if anyone attempts the same set up and gets stuck, give me a shout

Cheers, Matt
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I quote:

Inside your Room Settings for the PLAYBAR and PLAYBASE are two additional options.
Music playback which allows you to choose between two settings for the surround speakers:
Ambient: Default option; subtle, ambient sound.
Full: Enables louder, full range stereo sound.
Selecting Full has the surround speakers playing stereo along with the PLAYBAR when you have a music source playing, this has no effect when playing TV.


But is it possible to use this settings also with tv like multi channel stereo?
How do Sonos know that I am playing tv instead of music?
Thank you
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Does my Philips 55POS9002 Oled tv support surround sound with playbase and a couple of Play1?
I quote:

How do Sonos know that I am playing tv instead of music?


My presumption is that the TV setting has affect on the input from the optical input, the music setting is when it's getting a stream from something other than the optical input.
I can confirm that my LG 47LS5600 tv passes the 5.1 from HDMI to Optical to my Sonos Playbar.
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Does anyone know if there will be issues with a 2017 Sony KD65XE9005?
https://www.sony.dk/electronics/support/televisions-projectors-lcd-tvs-android-/kd-65xe9005

I'm planning to purchase this TVs soon. I already own a SONOS PlayBar, two PLAY ONE, and AppleTV 4K.
Will I have any issues with the PlayBar passing Dolby 5.1 with this TV?
Userlevel 2
I've just bought a Sony KD55XE9005 and can confirm it passes DD 5.1 through to playbar.
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I've just bought a Sony KD55XE9005 and can confirm it passes DD 5.1 through to playbar.

Perfect, thank you! 🙂
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HDMI Switcher recommendations from the community:
Octava HD-41
Monoprice ARC version 7974

Can this list be updated with any more and/or newer recommendations? Monoprice confirmed for me that the ARC version 7974 HDMI switch does not exist anymore. The Octava HD-41 Switch is ~$250. No thanks. I currently own the $40 Kinivo 510BN HDMI switch, and per other user comments, it does not support DD5.1 pass through. I bought an LG 60PB5600 plasma TV (one of the last plasmas made, I believe. I refuse to switch to LED), and I confirmed with LG that it also does not support DD5.1 pass through. I'm looking for other HDMI switch recommendations that are confirmed to work. Thanks!
Are there people who have an ultrawide screen (21:9 ratio) which works with their system as a pass through for dolby? I've also tried to look for a solution for pc, but this seems impossible to find without input lag for some reason in 2017
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I'm looking into getting a LG 65UJ7700 tv and a Sonos 5.1 (Soundbar, play 3x2 and sub) to upgrade our aging living room setup. We stream 90% of what we watch either through Chromecast or Netflix/Hulu/Amazon. So there won't be a BluRay or receiver in the new setup, just the tv, soundbar and Chromecast. Trying to keep the cleanest setup (no HDMI switcher) as possible for the less tech savvy wife. Anyone know firsthand if this tv's optical pass-through works without any snags?

Hi Rich, Did you manage to confirm this for the LG65UJ770? I am looking at getting the same one and want to know if it passes through 5.1 to Playbar. Thanks in advance, Stuart
Userlevel 1
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HDMI Switcher recommendations from the community:
Octava HD-41
Monoprice ARC version 7974

Can this list be updated with any more and/or newer recommendations? Monoprice confirmed for me that the ARC version 7974 HDMI switch does not exist anymore. The Octava HD-41 Switch is ~$250. No thanks. I currently own the $40 Kinivo 510BN HDMI switch, and per other user comments, it does not support DD5.1 pass through. I bought an LG 60PB5600 plasma TV (one of the last plasmas made, I believe. I refuse to switch to LED), and I confirmed with LG that it also does not support DD5.1 pass through. I'm looking for other HDMI switch recommendations that are confirmed to work. Thanks!


If you find a switch that works well please let us know. I found this new one on Amazon, looks promising but the reviews are not very detailed.

https://www.amazon.com/FiveHome-Extractor-Splitter-Optical-Supports/dp/B076XV1LVS/ref=sr_1_4?m=A3LVDVG1JBPA0&s=merchant-items&ie=UTF8&qid=1512670503&sr=1-4
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HDMI Switcher recommendations from the community:
Octava HD-41
Monoprice ARC version 7974

Can this list be updated with any more and/or newer recommendations? Monoprice confirmed for me that the ARC version 7974 HDMI switch does not exist anymore. The Octava HD-41 Switch is ~$250. No thanks. I currently own the $40 Kinivo 510BN HDMI switch, and per other user comments, it does not support DD5.1 pass through. I bought an LG 60PB5600 plasma TV (one of the last plasmas made, I believe. I refuse to switch to LED), and I confirmed with LG that it also does not support DD5.1 pass through. I'm looking for other HDMI switch recommendations that are confirmed to work. Thanks!


If you find a switch that works well please let us know. I found this new one on Amazon, looks promising but the reviews are not very detailed.

https://www.amazon.com/FiveHome-Extractor-Splitter-Optical-Supports/dp/B076XV1LVS/ref=sr_1_4?m=A3LVDVG1JBPA0&s=merchant-items&ie=UTF8&qid=1512670503&sr=1-4


I'm happy to update that list as well with community recommendations.
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I'm looking into getting a LG 65UJ7700 tv and a Sonos 5.1 (Soundbar, play 3x2 and sub) to upgrade our aging living room setup. We stream 90% of what we watch either through Chromecast or Netflix/Hulu/Amazon. So there won't be a BluRay or receiver in the new setup, just the tv, soundbar and Chromecast. Trying to keep the cleanest setup (no HDMI switcher) as possible for the less tech savvy wife. Anyone know firsthand if this tv's optical pass-through works without any snags?

Hi Rich, Did you manage to confirm this for the LG65UJ770? I am looking at getting the same one and want to know if it passes through 5.1 to Playbar. Thanks in advance, Stuart


According to rtings.com, yes it does pass through 5.1 via optical.
https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/lg/uj7700
Userlevel 3
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HDMI Switcher recommendations from the community:
Octava HD-41
Monoprice ARC version 7974

Can this list be updated with any more and/or newer recommendations? Monoprice confirmed for me that the ARC version 7974 HDMI switch does not exist anymore. The Octava HD-41 Switch is ~$250. No thanks. I currently own the $40 Kinivo 510BN HDMI switch, and per other user comments, it does not support DD5.1 pass through. I bought an LG 60PB5600 plasma TV (one of the last plasmas made, I believe. I refuse to switch to LED), and I confirmed with LG that it also does not support DD5.1 pass through. I'm looking for other HDMI switch recommendations that are confirmed to work. Thanks!


My Monoprice MD-415ARC works fine but has since disappeared from Amazon and the Monoprice website. There are some other Monoprice options like this one although it has a couple of extra features people may not be looking for:
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=14529

There's also this one but there's limited inputs: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24278
Does any one know if Philips 65PUS8102 can pass 5:1 to the soundbar?
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Hi,

Very useful thread. My current Samsung TV does not pass 5.1 to my playbar via external source(i use Apple TV 4th gen).

I am in UK and planning to buy one of following Samsung model. Would you be able to confirm if any of these models will pass 5.1 via external source. Thanks

UE55MU7000TXXU
UE55MU6120KXXU
UE55MU6400UXXU
UE55MU6500UXXU


I assume the TV settings should be the same even though you're in the UK but I checked rtings.com for you and they show the MU6500 as passing through 5.1. I didn't check the others but here's a link you can use: https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/samsung/mu6500
Badge +2
HDMI Switcher recommendations from the community:
Octava HD-41
Monoprice ARC version 7974

Can this list be updated with any more and/or newer recommendations? Monoprice confirmed for me that the ARC version 7974 HDMI switch does not exist anymore. The Octava HD-41 Switch is ~$250. No thanks. I currently own the $40 Kinivo 510BN HDMI switch, and per other user comments, it does not support DD5.1 pass through. I bought an LG 60PB5600 plasma TV (one of the last plasmas made, I believe. I refuse to switch to LED), and I confirmed with LG that it also does not support DD5.1 pass through. I'm looking for other HDMI switch recommendations that are confirmed to work. Thanks!


If you find a switch that works well please let us know. I found this new one on Amazon, looks promising but the reviews are not very detailed.

https://www.amazon.com/FiveHome-Extractor-Splitter-Optical-Supports/dp/B076XV1LVS/ref=sr_1_4?m=A3LVDVG1JBPA0&s=merchant-items&ie=UTF8&qid=1512670503&sr=1-4


I have since found 3 on Amazon that have the Toslink output and apparently work with SONOS:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HM1RP6G/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A36PN40E750046 (outputs 5.1 for SONOS, per the Seller)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017MUWYLS/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A21E2GQRWA2Y0Y (works with SONOS, per the reviewers. One reviewer confirmed it passes 5.1 to SONOS).

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QJGAKCW/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2IX3RNQE846HA (works with SONOS per the reviewers, but no confirmation of DD5.1 pass through)
Userlevel 5
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I have just purchased a Samsung UE49MU8000 and can confirm that it passes Dolby 5.1 through to optical out via HDMI sources.

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