Question

Playbar 7.1 surround setup


I just fitted out my place with 9 connect:AMPs a few pairs of play1, play3, play5, a couple of subs .etc all works well, I am mostly really happy. Although I could be happier with the playbar set up. I am using a connect:AMP to power my rears (through Playbar IP address) added a sub and a playbay. I have a 75" sony and the playbar just isnt long enough to really separate out the LCR function of the playbar. Here is my question, does SONOS or will SONOS (any dates, details or reasons why not) support 7.1 or 9.2/ 9.2? at this stage 5.1 seems very low end for a high end, well designed eco system such as SONOS.

I would LOVE to add a pair of play3 to my playbar as the L/R or even use 3x play3 as the LCR. Any thoughts, workarounds or updates from SONOS on getting more than the very basic old school 5.1 ?

Thanks!

Would you love to see SONOS offer a 7.1


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26 replies

Hi. No there is no way of doing 7.1. No soundbar based system will ever offer great front separation. It's the nature of the beast and the system is not aimed at real home theatre enthusiasts. It does what it says on the box and everyone has the option of buying it or not at the price asked.

There is no possibility of Sonos indicating whether they have plans for this because they never issue roadmaps like that. My money would be on this not being a development you will see for a long time if ever, but of course I could be wrong.
I vote "No, I'm serious about my home cinema so I bought a proper av setup instead of a lifestyle system".
I voted what The LHC voted.
Userlevel 1
So, you see no reason to improve "lifestyle systems" by making them better, i.e. 7.1? That's ridiculous.

I have been through the whole route of high-priced, overblown, hard to use AV systems with countless spaghetti wires shoved behind furniture or closets.

Because I didn't want to cut into walls and snake through the attic in hard to reach places, I chose to get a Sonos Playbar along with a subwoofer and a couple of Play 1s as rears. I love them.

I see absolutely no reason why a software upgrade to make it possible to add two more wireless fronts wouldn't be a great improvement.

That gives us all more choices. Those of us who want 7.1 in a "lifestyle" setup can get what we want and those of you who want to have a bazillion wires and cut through ceilings, etc, can get what you want.
A proper av system doesn't have to be high priced, certainly not significantly more than a 7.1 Playbar setup would be, nor does it have to be difficult to use. I don't think "overblown" actually has any meaning in this context.

Sure 7.1 would be better but it's not that simple. Dolby Digital doesn't go to 7.1, to the best of my knowledge 7.1 is only supported by HD audio codecs and they can't be carried via optical connections as there isn't enough bandwidth, they require hdmi, which the Playbar doesn't have. So unless I've missed something this request is physically impossible.
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I would love to just add another two Play 1's but I can imagine the hardware doesn't allow for more than 5.1 processing.

To be honest, I am more concerned with the lack of software updates in the controller that would have solved numerous relatively simple usability issues with the playbar.
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I voted for 7.1
I would also love to see Sonos add 7.1, think of all the revenue they are missing out on, this has been a topic on here for many years I do wish Sonos would say for sure no chance or yes watch the near future.
I would also love to see Sonos add 7.1, think of all the revenue they are missing out on, this has been a topic on here for many years I do wish Sonos would say for sure no chance or yes watch the near future.
I imagine very little revenue. Most Playbar purchasers don't go further than 3.0 (i.e. standalone Playbar). And every development Sonos does means another development they don't do. And why would Sonos tell the competition what their plans are?

My money is on Sonos never doing this, and never announcing one way or other. For good commercial reasons in both cases.
Userlevel 4
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I would be happy if Sonos just added an HDMI input. This would let it support all the other audio formats like DTS and Atmos. Having the input restricted to a single optical one is ridiculous. If you look at the posts in this forum it's dominated by people trying to understand how to get 5.1 audio. It's not so easy with just that darn optical input.
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Love to see all the people who doesnt even work for Sonos talking as they own the business and say what Sonos will and wont do 🙂
Userlevel 4
I would be happy if Sonos just added an HDMI input. This would let it support all the other audio formats like DTS and Atmos. Having the input restricted to a single optical one is ridiculous. If you look at the posts in this forum it's dominated by people trying to understand how to get 5.1 audio. It's not so easy with just that darn optical input.
Naaah, it's super easy. So easy even I got it setup in minutes. And safer for Sonos than HDMI because there's far less to go wrong. If they did HDMI then the forums would be dominated by people complaining about weird HDMI issues actually caused by their lousy TV electronics or their $2 HDMI wires.

If Sonos are smart they will wait until HDMI has been replaced by USB Type-C which is the universal device connector that will rule them all within five years. Thunderbolt 3 over USB Type-C rips the pants off even HDMI2.1 in bandwidth and versatility. We can see it do triple duty as the power supply and network connection at the same time, if you like the sound of exactly one cable going into your Playbar. Of course then the forums will be riddled with people using the wrong Type-C cable instead.
Lifestyle makes a big difference - I just moved and my old living room had a Monitor Audio Platinum speakers driven by a Anthem Statement D2 and and Anthem Statement P7 amp and dual Sunfire True subwoofers. The new living room is all Sonos - in-walls for the rear on a Connect:Amp and a playbar in the front. There's no comparison in terms of sound quality but it actually sounds really good all things considered. I'd still love it if it were a bit more expandable though - i.e. an ability to install another pair of Play:1s as presence speakers or even the ability to beef up the left and right fronts with Play:5s. So, yes, give me a 7.x option and I'm all over it!

Sonos has been producing pretty much the same product for years and they need to embrace new technologies (like Atmos) if they're going to stay relevant for another decade IMHO. Sonos might also do well to add a fancy wooden veneer to some of their speakers - this would definitely up the living room acceptability factor.
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I agree. 7.1 is needed. Sonos is good for basic stereo music. But falls behind for what is now a reasonable request: home cinema....

7.1 is needed
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7.1 would be great, but so would Atmos. There's some great products just announced at CES 2017, starting to feel like my Sonos "Home Theatre" setup is a bit dated tbh.
Sonos is good for basic stereo music.
Er... so that would be "good for music" then. Which is what Sonos has always fundamentally been about, and always will be.
7.1 would be great, but so would Atmos. There's some great products just announced at CES 2017, starting to feel like my Sonos "Home Theatre" setup is a bit dated tbh.You are only now starting to feel that.....?
Userlevel 5
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TV is only just being more universlly broadcast with 5.1. A playbar is a TV speaker. Ergo 5.1 is perfect.
7.1 is needed, awkward rooms shapes, corner TVs mean poor rear placement and the sound potential not maximised. I run a Play bar, Sub and p1s, which for wireless systems for small medium sized living rooms are fantastic. But the additions of two side play 1s would make a drastic difference.
There would be a vast percentage of people with a 5.1 current set up that would go to 7.1 so big profit for sonos, after all the most likely to buy are those who perviously have.
The Lifestyle debate is a non starter for me, at some stage you will get top of the line wireless theatre set ups. We where smart enough to code 5.1 it’s just a matter of time and change in technology.
Love my Sonos system but seriously send out an update, I’m not immersed in sound like i should be with these great speakers. The playbar is great but it just doesn’t compare to seperate front speakers. Update to 7.1 so i can spend more money on sonos speakers and get the best surround sound experience possible! Thanks
Denon has been building Heos into there receivers for quite some time now. Sonos could possibly reach the home theater market in the same manor or even offer a home theater line of speakers built specifically for 7.1 or Dolby Atmos or Aura 3D. The Playbar does it’s job well but let’s remember that there was once a day that Sonos didn’t offer a sound bar solution. Who’s to say that we won’t see something new on the horizon?
I hope Sonos will make that happen somtimes 🙂
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I binned all my old surround setup in favour of a nice clean and simple Playbar 5.1 system instead.

Does the job very well imho.
NEED TO ADD 2 MORE Play:5's to my playbar and Play:3's.

SONOS TAKE MY MONEY!