How I added Play 5's as Front to my Playbar and Play 1's as additional Rears for Movies with no Lip Sync Issues

  • 16 October 2019
  • 2 replies

Hi Guys,

I just thought I’d let you all in on a little hack that I’ve found that allows you to add as many speakers as you like to the sonos playbar when watching movies with no lip sync issues. Say what now? But what about that 70m/s delay I hear you say? Well - allow me to explain. 

First of all - you’ll need an apple TV with TVOS 13 installed and an iphone running IOS 13. Whats so cool about TVOS 13 and IOS 13? Well - it has this magical little function called wireless audio sync for the apple TV. Woohoo! But Not all apple TV’s are able to run TVOS 13 so you’ll need to make sure you have a compatible apple TV and likewise for your iphone so it can run IOS 13  So, here’s what you do. 

  1. Crank up your apple TV and TV
  2. Reset your TV’s lip sync settings back to zero
  3. Go to your sonos playbar in the sonos app,  find the lip sync function and drag it all the way to the right hand side (thats right - delay the audio - why? so it will match up with the 70m/s delay in your other speakers - it seems that dragging it all the way out to the right allows other speakers to sync up perfectly with TV audio when it comes through. This has always been the case, however - doing this alone you will have big time lip sync issues on your TV and i dont think there are any TV’s out there that can cater for this much delay in lip sync - so doing this alone was never an option, at least not for me with my LG TV - but with the wireless audio sync on the apple TV - its fixes this) 
  4. Go to the apple TV settings and find the Wireless Audio Sync Function (google this if you need instruction) and run the wireless audio lip sync
  5. Check to see if all is working now and lip sync is spot on. If not - try clicking on the bypass function in your audio sync settings on your TV. I had to do this and then it was absolutely perfect. 
  6. And  Viola, you’re done. You can pair as many speakers as you like with your playbar and have everything in perfect sync when watching movies on the apple TV.

Now it’s not going to operate like a proper 5.1, or 7.1 as syncing the playbar with these speakers  does not send an isolated rear, or front channel like a traditional 5.1/7.1 setup would - what it does (or seems to do) is just send the full TV audio output signal to whatever speakers you connect in addition. If you have a set of speakers paired up - you should get a stereo image (L&R)


So why is this cool - well, i have added two play 5’s as fronts and two additional play 1’s as rears (I already had two play 1’s added as the rear for the playbar for the 5.1 setup - the two extra play 1’s I added i have put in the rear corners of the room) 


The result? Bloody awesome. The sound stage increase by adding the play 5’s at the front is fantastic - totally awesome watching movies and almost blows you clean out the room if you wind the wick up - and the two extra rears are also really cool as it just fill the entire room with sound from every angle. The two play 1’s i have linked with the playbar as part of the 5.1 setup sit right next to my head so you still get the surround sound feel with all this extra audio surrounding you in stereo - but its a much more immersive experience. 

One last thing - I did find it very slightly off in the lip sync department without hitting the bypass button on the TV lip sync settings - when i turned Bypass on it was perfect. I found that the Wireless Audio Sync function on the apple TV works good - but its not absolutely spot on - just very slightly out and i’m a perfectionist when it comes to lip sync - if its not perfect I can’t watch the TV - I wig out and get too distracted by it.  I may have been able to correct this if I ran the recalibration function again on the apple TV or adjusted the lip sync settings on the TV slightly but i haven’t needed to as it is perfect with bypass enabled on the TV setting. If your TV doesn’t have a bypass function - i’m sure you will be able to work around it by calibrating the Apple TV Wireless Audio Sync a few times and changing any lip sync error on the TV adjustment if required. 


I should note - this will only work for movies on the apple TV and should be fine using any movie app you use - but thats it. It wont work so well for games on the apple TV (if you use them) as you need instantaneous sound for games with no delay. So it’s not a fix for everything - but it is for movies at least which is all i use. 


So I just thought I’d share this with your guys as i know there are a lot of people out there dying to do this just as much as I was . 

Just so you know what gear I’ve got this to work on. 



Apple TV 4k with TVOS 13 installed. 

Sonos Play 5 (new ones) in a stereo pair



2 x play 1’s gen 1 paired with playbar as rear surround for playbar

2 x play 1’s gen 1 as a stereo pair added as extra in rear courners in room. 


Hopefully some of you guys out there can get this to work as well. If anyone else does get this going for themselves - please reply back and let me know how you found it. 

Good luck! Its worth it.



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2 replies

This is pretty smart. Surprised more people haven't commented.

Userlevel 4
Badge +3

Awesome post, it is just a shame that this work-around (which unfortunately doen’t cover all use cases) is needed and not natively supported by Sonos.