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Am I getting Stereo PCM or 5.1 Multichannel? Sonos vs. Kodi

  • 5 January 2024
  • 15 replies
  • 353 views

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I am playing an audio file through Kodi running on my Amazon Fire Stick.  While the file is playing, the Kodi screen on my TV tells me the file is 5.1, PCM, 48kHz, 6912 kbps and 24 bit.  But when I go into my Sonos app on my phone to see what is playing it says Stereo PCM and nothing else.  I believe the file to be a 5.1 multi as that is how it was created, but the Sonos app is concerning me that perhaps the file is being downconverted somehow.

Which is giving me the correct information?

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Best answer by Ken_Griffiths 5 January 2024, 16:50

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15 replies

Sonos reports what it is receiving. It doesn’t do any conversions. 

I don’t use an Amazon fire stick, but I’d first be checking the TV to be certain it could pass through a Dolby Digital signal. 

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Missing from the question is what sound @Britfolkgod is actually hearing? Do the rear speakers work or not?

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Rear speakers work.

My brother has Sonos Arc and is experiencing the same issue.

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Oh and my brother is not using a fire stick but an nVidia shield.

Oh and my brother is not using a fire stick but an nVidia shield.

Is the soundbar connected over HDMI-ARC, or HDMI-eARC? 

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It’s HDMI-eARC.

 

It’s HDMI-eARC.

 

Well the Arc does supports the codec as can be seen here…

https://support.sonos.com/en-us/article/supported-home-theater-audio-formats

So maybe it’s a HDMI cable issue - The cable linked to the Arc must be  HDMI v1.4+ with heac support, So if not using the Sonos supplied cable, then perhaps swap out the cable.. other than that, ensure the TV is set to ‘pass through’ and check to ensure it will pass-through the McPCM audio format.

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I think this is the question I really need answered:

Apple Music will play lots of Jethro Tull songs in 5.1 surround sound on my Sonos.

How can I rip my own (legally-purchased) 5.1 mixes in a way that Sonos can play them in 5.1?  It turns its nose up at anything in 6 channels.

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You’d have to rip to a supported format (below) and then feed it in through the HDMI port or pass-through your TV. The Music Library looks to be stereo only.

https://support.sonos.com/en-us/article/supported-home-theater-audio-formats

 

Not ripping but you might try playing them on your TV using a service that supports multichannel sound and local music. Maybe Amazon?

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Not a happy ending to the story, Sonos support told me basically encoding from your own legally-purchased media to hear playback in Atmos or 5.1 is “not yet supported”.  Which is doubly maddening since you know the functionality is there since streaming services like Apple Music will do it.

With all the money I’ve spent on surround media, not to mention the Sonos surround system itself (which I was told can play it) I’m not a very happy Sonos customer.

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You could take your complaint to the one who told you this was possible…….

What format are this mixes you mention?

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You could take your complaint to the one who told you this was possible…….

What format are this mixes you mention?

I have ripped the discs to Multichannel WAV and FLAC.  But the discs themselves don’t play in 5.1 either.  Literally the only way to hear it in 5.1 is through streaming services like Apple Music.  And that’s only if Apple makes the special edition 5.1 mixes available which they often don’t.

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Never tried it but if you could stream your multi-channel files to the TV and have it decode them before sending them to your Sonos that would be nice.

 

Maybe?  

https://dolby.io/project-gallery/real-time-streaming-monitor-apps/

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Never tried it but if you could stream your multi-channel files to the TV and have it decode them before sending them to your Sonos that would be nice.

 

Maybe?  

https://dolby.io/project-gallery/real-time-streaming-monitor-apps/


This is a very intriguing idea.  Thanks, I’m going to give it a try this weekend.

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Never tried it but if you could stream your multi-channel files to the TV and have it decode them before sending them to your Sonos that would be nice.

 

Maybe?  

https://dolby.io/project-gallery/real-time-streaming-monitor-apps/



Problem is it costs $4.00 per song!