Home Theatre audio: receiver/switcher to Sonos?

I am looking to purchase a ceiling mounted 4K projector. The video from a few different sources will be output to the projector via a single HDMI cable, while the audio needs to be output to my Sonos Playbar and from there disseminated to my two Sonos PlayOne rears and a Sub.  

I assume I need to purchase an AV receiver with the following inputs:

-Blu-ray (HDMI)

-Apple TV (HDMI)

-Turntable (RCA)

-CD player (RCA)

-Rooftop antenna (COAX)**

**My understanding is I will need to pass the antenna signal through a separate analog-to-digital converter before connecting to the receiver.

My question is: how best to get the audio signal from the receiver to the Sonos? Most affordable receivers don’t come with digital audio (optical) outputs, so do I need to use RCA (analog) cables to carry the signal from the receiver to a Sonos Connect, and from there an optical cable to go to the Playbar?  If that’s the case, will the sound quality be significantly impaired by the analog leg of the route?

Or could I forego the receiver altogether and use an HDMI switcher instead? There are several switchers with optical outputs that could connect directly to the Playbar. That said, I haven’t come across any HDMI switchers with RCA inputs for my turntable and CD player.

Unfortunately I’m not particularly tech savvy, so I may be missing the obvious way to do this; any guidance would be much appreciated!

13 replies

If you go with RCA connection to a Sonos CONNECT, you’ll only be carrying a stereo signal, and not a Dolby Digital (5.1) signal.

I think you’re looking at two devices to do what you want. An HDMI switch with an optical output for the PLAYBAR, and a Sonos CONNECT, or more likely its replacement, the Sonos Port, along with a simple stereo switch to get the pre-amped turntable and CD player into the Sonos ecosystem. Or just digitize your collection, store it on a hard drive or NAS and do away with the turntable and CD player. 

Thanks for your response, Airgetlam

You’ve confirmed my concern that I would be short-changing myself if I went with the RCA connection. 


What I think you’re suggesting I do is:

-Input the two HDMI sources (blu-ray and Apple TV) into an HDMI switcher, and output the audio from the switcher to the PLAYBAR via optical out (and the visuals to the projector via HDMI).

-connect the turntable and CD player to a simple stereo switch, and from there to a Sonos CONNECT (which I already own).

I assume I would also need a separate, analog-to-digital converter to configure the signal from my rooftop antenna before inputting it into the HDMI switcher?

I may take your advice and shelve the CD player, but I still enjoy playing my vinyl!

BTW do you foresee any possible sync issues between the projector image and the Sonos audio?



Not’s been decades since I’ve used an antenna. I’m not sure what format the signal would be in. But I think most switch boxes are expecting a digital signal via HDMI, which might mean an external tuner device which generates an HDMI output….but this might be moot opinion your TV has an ARC output. If that’s the case, the TV might output the necessary signal, and you’d just need to be sure to get an HDMI switch that accepts signal from the TV and outputs it to the optical out port. Then the antenna stays connected to the TV. 

No, I don’t expect any issues with lipsync. All of the issues reported have been a result of audio processing done by the TVs on the HDMI input. Since you’re pulling audio off before it reaches the HDMI input, there will be no delay.  

I’m planning to get rid of the TV once the projector is installed, so there won’t be an output from it, ARC or otherwise.  Hopefully I will find an external tuner/converter that will generate an HDMI output.

Do you have any recommendations re HDMI switchers, or at least an idea of which functions/features will  be necessary (i.e. optical out, 4K...) in order to get the most out of my home theatre set-up?


No, I don’t use a switch. They appear to be commodities on Amazon, I’d think any that match your needs will do. Note, however, that none that I’ve seen so far will generate an eARC signal, so a Sonos Arc will not be in the cards at this point. I’d stick with the optical output type, and use that method to connect to your Sonos PLAYBAR. That will limit you to Dolby Digital or stereo, due to bandwidth restrictions, but that’s all the PLAYBAR can deal with, so you’re not losing out. 

I also have two stereo rear PlayOnes and a Sub as part of my theatre system. Will I lose out on anything there?

No. They would bond to your PLAYBAR as normal.

Okay great. Thanks. I think I have some direction now!


I assume because the HDMI switcher has no volume control (like a receiver), I would need to control the TV volume with the Sonos app on my iPhone? I currently have my Playbar connected to my TV, so am able to control it with the TV remote.

I assume because the HDMI switcher has no volume control (like a receiver), I would need to control the TV volume with the Sonos app on my iPhone? I currently have my Playbar connected to my TV, so am able to control it with the TV remote.

 You can use the app for volume, but any universal remote should be able to control the playbar directly through IR, including your existing TV remote.  

Perfect. Thanks.


Okay, I’ve connected my Blu-Ray player and Apple TV into the HDMI Switcher via HDMI cables, and successfully output the image to the projector via HDMI cable. I’ve also been able to output the selected audio from the switcher to the Playbar via optical cable.  BUT the audio is not being send on to the PlayOne rears or the Sub.  Why might that be? The Switcher gives me the following options, all of which I've tried: 2CH, 5.1CH, PASS, SPDIF/LR and ARC.  Any suggestions?!


I’ve answered your question in your other thread.