Playbar and av receiver

  • 23 November 2017
  • 6 replies

Can I integrate playbar into current surround setup? I have a Yamaha RX-V575. It does have an optical output.

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6 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Hi, Cabello80. Welcome to the community. Any device with an optical port can be connected to the PLAYBAR, so this should be fine. Let us know if you have any further questions.
Similar query to Edward R - I have an exisitng surround set up - Yamaha AV receiver with 5 Sony speakers and Panasonic TV, but am attracted by quality and sound of Playbar - and the thought of no wires. Do I just connect my Playbar to Yamaha receiver with optical cable and then disconnect my 5 wired speakers, then match Playbar to my existing Play One speakers (which are not currently connected to TV/receiver in anyway). How does the subwoofer fit into this? Apologies if this has been covered before or is a stupidly easy issue to resolve - but the world of wireless home entertainment is new to me 🙂
Userlevel 2
For starters, you can't "integrate" the Playbar into an existing surround setup such that it acts as the center channel or anything like that. You would need to control volume independently for it vs. all the other speakers (would be VERY annoying) and the Playbar will output a simulated surround sound (or full stereo), which will not sound right with other active speakers. Definitely not a good solution. The Sonos staff member who responded doesn't have the ability to (read: isn't allowed to) comment on specifics of any setup that's not the officially supported one, so is just telling you that "yes, in theory it will function."

If, as pjmoorhouse is proposing, you elected to use it alone and ditch all the other speakers, your receiver would be doing nothing but acting as a passthrough/HDMI switch, with no impact on sound quality or anything else. Nothing wrong with that per se, particularly when you already own the receiver, but definitely overkill. The more common setups are either to run all HDMI into the TV and optical from TV to the Playbar OR to use a simple and cheap HDMI switch between sources and TV with optical run to Playbar either from TV or from switch.
Userlevel 1
I have the Playbar with a sub and two 3's. You can set up the interface to just do normal sound from the surrounds for music sources but I believe those would be for wifi sources and the optical would stay at 5.1 surround. The interface for all this is not user friendly at all. I would love to see them add the ability to adjust the surround speakers and sub directly from the room view. Also an option to toggle the surrounds from surround channels to full audio for the 5.1 source would be great when listening to music from your tv vs wifi devices. Now you have to hit settings, advanced, audio or some similar menu maze to get to the screen to adjust the surround volume.
Many thanks for useful replies. I’m a step closer to buying now a sound bar and sub woofer to go with my pair of Play 1. and prices are good in Elkjop! I’m sure my Panasonic TV is Dolby Digital only, but this might be OK as my viewing is either by HDMI 1 - cable TV, HDMI 2 - latest Apple TV, HDMI 3 - laptop for iplayer, HDMI 4 - Xbox. All these are plugged into a Yamaha RX V673 with one HDMI from receiver TV. So, if I get a play bar with idea of using Yamaha receiver as a HDMI switch, does optical cable go from receiver to play bar instead of TV to play bar? Then will I get full effect of sound bar when using Xbox and Apple TV if I change the audio settings on each one? Audio on laptop abd cable are not so important just yet. I’m very new to all this and it’s a big investment so want to be sure I get it right. Ms y thanks in advance for any helpful advice.
Userlevel 2
For both of you, what you'll want to confirm first and foremost is that your receiver actually has an optical OUTPUT. It's fairly uncommon and from a quick google search, it looks like both of the models mentioned here (V575 and V673) have two optical INPUTS but no output.

Given that receivers are typically used for their ability to provide power (amplifier) and decoding capabilities to unpowered speakers, manufacturers usually don't include an output that would require another device with redundant capabilities (like a soundbar).

If you don't have an optical output, you could run an HDMI from receiver to TV and optical from TV to Playbar, but you'll then be restricted by how the TV chooses to handle audio codecs (tons of discussions about that here) and the receiver will truly serve no purpose but to have only 1 HDMI going to the TV. You'd likely be better off with a simple and cheap HDMI switch w/ optical output like the Monoprice 5557. This would let you bypass the TV's potential downmixing of 5.1.