The Playbar 'DTS Decision'


Userlevel 7
Badge +17
So it's now been decided. Playbar is not planned to have any DTS update. See here https://ask.sonos.com/sonos/topics/please_add_support_for_dts_for_the_sonos_playbar

I'm very disappointed to say the least. I really expected them to go ahead on this. It's just a matter of time before TVs DO start passing DTS and then (hopefully) they will have to revisit their decision but why not pre-empt it and make a bunch of existing and potential customers happy in the meantime and increase sales as a result ?

Sad day. Also annoying it took so long just to say no anyway. Guess I'll have to buy myself one of those DTS to DD converting blurays and ditch my current player 😞

154 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Yes man, I can't believe it after almost a year waiting for the DTS Support Sonos said No! To their loyal customers FU Sonos!!! Goddammed!!!
Wow I'm quite surprised. Doesn't matter to me so much since I bought the samsung dts/D&D converter blu-ray player ... but this can only be bad publicity for Sonos. Also I'm not quite sure how they can advertise their system as being a "full 5.1 surround" system when it ... well ... isn't. Now I am going to go and hide from the flames that are forthcoming in this thread!!
Badge
I'm not usually stuck for words but.......... disappointed is not quite the word I'm looking for!
Userlevel 1
Badge
Yikes, this really surprises me - thought they would say yes finally after they worked out how they would do it.

They probably shouldn't advertise it as a 5.1 system if the majority of people are just getting stereo audio from their TV's optical port.
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
Disappointed, but far from surprised.

Credit to Sonos though, looks like they are lined up to take product returns for unhappy customers - or perhaps just calling their bluff?

Is the product too good to return in its existing form, even if DTS doesn't work?

As your product may be a year old now, it could be a good time to return it for a refund and see if an upgraded version is around the corner. If not, no harm in buying another with a fresh warranty.

I guess it's going to be a testing time. 1400+ people requested this support and, if they end up with 1400 returned PLAYBARs I think it would be fair to say they made a bad decision. If only a handful return it, though, going to be hard to argue against the outcome.
Disappointed, but far from surprised.

Credit to Sonos though, looks like they are lined up to take product returns for unhappy customers - or perhaps just calling their bluff?

Is the product too good to return in its existing form, even if DTS doesn't work?

As your product may be a year old now, it could be a good time to return it for a refund and see if an upgraded version is around the corner. If not, no harm in buying another with a fresh warranty.

I guess it's going to be a testing time. 1400+ people requested this support and, if they end up with 1400 returned PLAYBARs I think it would be fair to say they made a bad decision. If only a handful return it, though, going to be hard to argue against the outcome.


I don't get it. How could I return mine? It hasn't got a fault. It's well out of any 28 day /1 month trial like period. I think the 1 year thing is just for faults and that can be covered by a like for like replacement.
I don't get it. How could I return mine? It hasn't got a fault. It's well out of any 28 day /1 month trial like period. I think the 1 year thing is just for faults and that can be covered by a like for like replacement.

I think Sonos are making an offer to take back Playbars over and above any statutory requirement. This is the quote from their statement:

[indent]"If DTS support is crucial for your current set-up, PLAYBAR may not be the right solution for you and we apologize for this inconvenience. If you are currently a PLAYBAR owner and would like to discuss options for returning the product based on this decision, please contact Sonos Customer Care."
[/indent]

That looks to me like they'd be prepared to take back a Playbar long after the normal trial period.
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
I would be very surprised if they offer a full refund.
Thanks for the link & info. Has this got anything to do with Play Fi and turf protection?
Userlevel 2
Badge +4
Disappointed? YES! Deal breaker? No. The Playbar is still by far the best soundbar for those of us who are in the Sonos ecosystem.

This could, however, discourage new customers from joining the Sonos community.

I think this is the wrong decision.
I am absolutely disgusted by this decision and want to return my playbar, sub and 2 x play1! Infact I am so shocked I may even dispose of the rest of my sonos gear, 3 x play5 and 2 x play3. I was happy with my original equipment however I would never have invested further in the brand and purchased the additional 5.1 setup had I known about the DTS problem. The advertising is misleading and should be reported. How can the sonos development team, management and board of directors think this is an acceptable resolution to the second most complained about topic on their website? It is unbelievable that one of the most expensive sound bars and 5.1 systems on the market doesn't support the standard sound format for blu rays. We are many years away from streaming video becoming the norm and blu ray will be here for a long time to come. The standard sound format for streaming video differs depending on the provider and will probably change in the future. If sonos can't or won't provide updates to the playbar decoding we have all purchased an expensive brick! This is not the response I was expecting from a forward thinking tech company at the top of their game. We should have been told many months ago that DTS would not be implemented. They have moved into the home cinema marketplace with a product that is not fully fit for purpose. This is the wrong decision Sonos and is terrible news for your loyal and patient customers !
I'm very disappointed, as I have a Playbar in our family room and I was thinking about buying another for the main living room to replace a rather large home cinema setup there.

However, without DTS, and the implication for 5.1 support that goes along with that, I won't be bothering. I'll give it a while and see if a competitor comes up with something, or Sonos produces a Playbar 2.0.
While this is unfortunate for those who wished for it, I can't say I expected anything different. Playbar was an anomaly from the beginning; marketed as both sophisticated and simple, as suitable for complex home theaters and HT dummies. Anyone who knows home theater knows that dichotomy is impossible. When the recommended (and only supported) setup turned out to be a connection through the TV optical, that told me right there that it would be a great cable only bedroom TV system to replace tinny TV speakers. I knew it was not a real home theater component, no matter what the marketing says.

It seems Sonos agrees with that assessment, (again) no matter what their own marketing says. I can only imagine the infighting that went on between the "we have to keep it simple" and the "we have to make a real Home Theater soundbar" camps, especially in the last few days. It is obvious one high level concept won out over the other, which just goes to show that the best purchasing philosophy is to buy something for what it is right now, not what it could/should be in the future.

The return rate should be an interesting stat, not that we will be privy to it. Only that will tell the tale of whether Sonos made a small or gigantic mistake, both with their initial design and the inability to veer from it.
I doubt the return rate will be that high as most people will have gone to some effort to neatly install their Soundbar. A replacement may be a different size, need locating differently or have different cabling requirements.

Where Sonos may see an effect though is in future purchases. They'll probably sell less Play:1s as surrounds and maybe less Subs too, as well as less Playbars. I certainly won't be buying another one for a different room.

I guess we'll see if Sonos made the right decision or not if a 'new' Playbar comes out in the next couple of years.
Userlevel 2
Badge
I am as we'll surprised by the decision, but I believe we all miss one crucial bit of information:

1) how much would it cost for Sonos to implement Dts? Would it be something like an x dollar per unit license fee? How much resources would it take to implement the update? Is it possible at all with current hardware?

Common sense tell us that having DTS support is a rather basic thing, as virtually everything out there does it we'll below Sonos price tag, but obviously we might be wrong.

On the assumption that it would be something of little impact on profits, I judge it as a magically stupid decision: lots of loyal user disappointed, lots of not tech savvy user disappointed when they buy into a top priced system advertised as fully surround only to hear nothing out of their speakers.

I am personally still not impacted at all, my BLU rays are in Italian and are encoded in dolby, the ps4 games can decode dolby, but the day a game support only Dts I'm literally going to get mad.

I really am curious at what the economic implications of adding Dts support wold be. And Sonos should seriously stop selling the 5.1 crap marketing stuff, the have even acknowledged that the way their sets is meant to be used is not going to output at half the quality of systems that cost half the money.
They should get at least get their facts straight.
Userlevel 4
Badge +8
Sounds like we might have to move to some other sound bars and a Connect.

I just saw one from Harmon for 1000 that included a wireless sub.
So compare that to the Sonos prices 700-Playbar 700-Sub, 1400.
A Connect plus the Harmon is still less. The Harmon has three HDMI in, optical in, analog in, HDMI out and supports DTS.

The return rate should be an interesting stat, not that we will be privy to it. Only that will tell the tale of whether Sonos made a small or gigantic mistake, both with their initial design and the inability to veer from it.


Some other things to consider
1. Long term damage to the brand.
2. Torpedoing future sales and further products in the TV/Video space.
3. Customers spell your name $ONO$ (credit to a user on ask.sonos.com)
Userlevel 2
A popular Apple iOS website just posted a review and they mentioned the DTS issue but didn't make any big deal about it.

You may want to post something in the comments.

I am new so I can't post the link, but the site is iMORE.com
Badge
Wow - I must say I am surprised by this decision, but it's all about $$, and obviously they felt it was not cost effective to support DTS right now. Can't think of any other reason NOT to support it.

I don't think Sonos was fully aware what they were getting into when they entered the home theater arena. And now they are paying the price for that lack of awareness. That price was going to be either the actual cost of adding DTS support, or the intangible cost of some bad PR and a significant amount of unhappy current customers. They apparently chose the latter.
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Now we must make a new DTS support tread on ask sonos.com
Sounds like we might have to move to some other sound bars and a Connect.

I just saw one from Harmon for 1000 that included a wireless sub.
So compare that to the Sonos prices 700-Playbar 700-Sub, 1400.
A Connect plus the Harmon is still less. The Harmon has three HDMI in, optical in, analog in, HDMI out and supports DTS.


This is precisely the design Sonos should've adopted (act as a HDMI hub much akin to a receiver). To stipulate that this product only works with optical out from a TV is a very daft decision when HDMI is the de facto standard now and users are always going to connect it up with other devices.

Still, I'm happy with my general Sonos stuff but zero chance I'd ever buy a Playbar now.
This is precisely the design Sonos should've adopted (act as a HDMI hub much akin to a receiver). To stipulate that this product only works with optical out from a TV is a very daft decision when HDMI is the de facto standard now and users are always going to connect it up with other devices.

Still, I'm happy with my general Sonos stuff but zero chance I'd every buy a Playbar now.


Agreed. Most of the televisions I've looked at purchasing recently don't even pass 5.1 via the optical out from HDMI sources so for me this is the main misleading factor of the Playbar. Most people in the UK with these televisions won't even get 5.1 through the Playbar nevermind DTS.
Agreed. Most of the televisions I've looked at purchasing recently don't even pass 5.1 via the optical out from HDMI sources so for me this is the main misleading factor of the Playbar. Most people in the UK with these televisions won't even get 5.1 through the Playbar nevermind DTS.

And that, unfortunately, is what I suspect is the main reason behind the "no DTS" decision: the fact that most users won't ever receive DTS at their Playbar, so it's pointless to update their software to accept DTS and pay the licence fee.

So Sonos are catering for the many, to the detriment of the few. This should hardly be a surprise but that doesn't stop those few being bitterly disappointed.

The good thing is there ARE workarounds for those who have invested in Sonos' "semi-surround" system: that is, to play Blu-rays you will need a DTS to 5.1 converting player: one of those Samsung ones, an Oppo one (allegedly), the PS3 or PS4. I suspect the Xbox One will also do so when MS pull their finger out and update their box.

I for one am happy with my Samsung BD-F6500 - luckily, it's a pretty decent player and not that expensive.
Userlevel 4
Badge +8
Still, I'm happy with my general Sonos stuff but zero chance I'd ever buy a Playbar now.

I also am very satisfied with all my other Sonos products
I got my first Play1 two months ago and now have 4 Play1s, 2 Play5s, and a ConnectAMP. I have also introduced both my mother-in-law and brother to Sonos. They each now have a Sonos system also. I am a Sonoshead for sure!
But my brother and I both will not be buying Playbars for our combined 5 sets of TVs which are used in home theatre setups.
Just too bad, for what I consider the world leader in wireless audio.
Userlevel 1
Now we must make a new DTS support tread on ask sonos.com

And what good do you think that will do you? The decision's been made, it's not going to happen.

Reply