How do i know when my 5.1 surround is working or its in stereo.

  • 18 September 2018
  • 5 replies

I have just bought a sound bar ,sub woofer and 2 Sonos Ones speakers ,the problem is when playing a blue ray disc there is not much sound coming from the back speakers and no effects coming from them .I'd appreciate some advice on the subject .The sound bar is very good but if i cant get any effects coming from them i may send them back .

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5 replies

I think the first thing to check is in the Sonos Controller App, wherever you have that installed. Go to Settings>About my Sonos System. Look at the information listed for the "soundbar" (which one?) and see what it lists next to the Audio Line In: section. It should be Dolby Digital, not PCM. If it is PCM, there's a device that's not passing through the correct stream to your "bar".

So, there's a couple of things to look at if that's the case. First, make sure that you are selecting the Dolby Digital soundtrack on your disc. Most blurays are natively encoded in DTS, and the Sonos system can't decode that (although if your 'bar' was getting that, it wouldn't be playing any sound at all). Your bluray player may have the ability to transcode a DTS soundtrack to Dolby Digital, although most don't, if yours does, make sure that feature is turned on. Then check the Audio settings on your TV to make sure that it's set to Dolby Digital as well. It's possible that your TV may only be sending a stereo (PCM) signal to the 'bar', and consequently the Sonos is having to create it's own backchannel, which always tends to be lower in volume.

Finally, you may want to go in to the room settings in the Sonos app for the room that has these surround speakers. IN Advanced settings, there should be a choice for surround speakers, where you can alter the volume of them when playing from the TV, as well as changing their behaviour when streaming music.
Hi Airgetlam , thank you for the information regarding my Sonos .When i opened About my Sonos my Playbar audio in is playing stereo not 5.1.How do i get it to play 5.1 .After going into advanced settings i adjusted the T.V.settings to about 3/4 and am at least now getting sound from them, thanks .
Glad to hear it. It is indeed something that requires checking all the sources that feed the TV in addition to the TV itself. Fortunately, you only need to do it once.....or so. I've actually had my Vizio change the settings I entered when they updated the firmware, one time. Most of the times, it updates without a change, so I'm betting that the engineers/QA folks missed a check in that update, but it only took me a week or two to figure that out.

Enjoy your Sonos!
Userlevel 1
Huh? The poster is still not getting 5.1
Huh. I plead stupidity, or at least mis-readig of his post. Thanks, mjake16.

My apologies, southoftheboarder.

What kind of TV is it, i.e make and model? What are the audio settings for the TV? How do you have the PLAYBAR connected to your TV? What is the source that you're watching? Is it over the air, a cable or satellite box, or a disc player, or a gamebox of some type that you're watching? How are these devices connected to your TV?

If you've checked your TVs settings (and my questions above still stand), then I'd be looking at the audio settings of the device that you're using to feed the TV. I said it above, it's still valid. The sound has to e 5.1 all the way from the source through the various devices in the chain and then out of the TV. The Sonos can't make that happen, these are settings you need to check and modify.