Feature Request: Multi Channel Stereo


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Hi. I used to have a Denon/B&W setup, and mostly used “Multi Channel Stereo” setting (stereo output in front and back speakers). I have Arc, 2x One and Sub. 


To achieve the same with Sonos, I have to :
1. Setup the two back speakers (One) as stereo pair
2. Start audio output from TV (ARC)
3. Add them to the TV-output

It would have been nice to be able to choose if the setup should be bundled as surround or multi-channel-stereo.


26 replies

Couldn’t you perhaps just use the ‘TV Level’ slider control in the Arc ‘Surround Audio’ settings to shift the playing stereo audio over to the rears by sliding it right between 0 and +15?

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@Ken_Griffiths : that’s not the problem. The problem is that I have to manually add the “back / rear” speakers every time I turn on the TV, unless I want the “back / rear” speakers to be surround speakers, which I don’t, because I want multi-channel-stereo, not surround.

@Ken_Griffiths : that’s not the problem. The problem is that I have to manually add the “back / rear” speakers every time I turn on the TV, unless I want the “back / rear” speakers to be surround speakers, which I don’t, because I want multi-channel-stereo, not surround.

Ah okay, well the above works for me and provides me with TV stereo audio on the front and rear channels. So as an example I might play Deezer or Spotify Musuc from their respective Apps built into my TV and get front channel stereo and when I shift the TV level slider right to +15,  I get that same audio on the two rear surrounds aswell - it’s a bit like ‘Full’ audio playback for music audio rather than the default ‘ambient’ setting.

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Hi. I used to have a Denon/B&W setup, and mostly used “Multi Channel Stereo” setting (stereo output in front and back speakers). I have Arc, 2x One and Sub. 


To achieve the same with Sonos, I have to :
1. Setup the two back speakers (One) as stereo pair
2. Start audio output from TV (ARC)
3. Add them to the TV-output

It would have been nice to be able to choose if the setup should be bundled as surround or multi-channel-stereo.

When playing music from the tv it only comes out via the Arc. But if you choose a streaming source the bonded rear surrounds will also play the music, giving stereo from the arc and from the surrounds simultaneously. 

@Ken_Griffiths : that’s not the problem. The problem is that I have to manually add the “back / rear” speakers every time I turn on the TV, unless I want the “back / rear” speakers to be surround speakers, which I don’t, because I want multi-channel-stereo, not surround.

Ah okay, well the above works for me and provides me with TV stereo audio on the front and rear channels. So as an example I might play Deezer or Spotify Musuc from their respective Apps built into my TV and get front channel stereo and when I shift the TV level slider right to +15,  I get that same audio on the two rear surrounds aswell - it’s a bit like ‘Full’ audio playback for music audio rather than the default ‘ambient’ setting.

 

It’s like it, but not the same thing. “+15” won’t result in exactly the same playback as “full” for streaming sources, which seems to be what’s asked.  As well, it would result in TV audio recorded in surround sound to play in surround sound (which is not wanted) and way too loud in many cases.  Yes, it’s a work around, but does not really meet the needs of the feature request as I see it. 

While surround sound and atmos setups are great, there plenty of situations where you just want good stereo/mono TV audio coming from some place other than the ‘front stage’.  There are cases where hearing is an issue, or a large space just doesn’t lend itself to a home theatre setup.  Personally, I would consider this for a backyard area powered by a couple Sonos amps.  You typically wouldn’t want surround sound, and quite possibly too big to be covered by a single Sonos amp.  Being able to bond  2 amps together to play stereo/mono for music and TV audio all the time, means atleast 2 pair of speakers, 4 pair if they are 8 ohm, and 6 pairs if you use the Sonance/Sonos speakers..

 

 

@melvimbe,

It’s why I did ask in my first post "couldn’t you just use the TV level slider?” - it may not be the same thing as the feature requested, but it’s okay when wanting to output the TV stereo audio to both the front and rear speakers in a Home Theatre setup. It’s just the  ‘full’ playback has been requested before for TV audio on  quite a few occasions in the past and acknowledged by Staff, but it has not yet been implemented by Sonos so far and the request had been around for some years.

The TV slider is just a quick workaround that I sometimes (albeit rarely) use when listening to stereo TV music apps. Personally speaking I prefer the soundstage out in front, but accept others like the immersive surround experience instead, but I use Dolby 5.1 or Atmos sources if I’m looking to achieve that with TV audio sources, like using Apple Music from Apple TV etc.

Another option is to use a cheap NVidia Shield TV and set its audio-out advanced settings to upmix stereo streams to 5.1 PCM audio as shown in attached screenshot.

@melvimbe,

It’s why I did ask in my first post "couldn’t you just use the TV level slider?” - it may not be the same thing as the feature requested, but it’s okay when wanting to output the TV stereo audio to both the front and rear speakers in a Home Theatre setup. It’s just the  ‘full’ playback has been requested before for TV audio on  quite a few occasions in the past and acknowledged by Staff, but it has not yet been implemented by Sonos so far and the request had been around for some years.

 

 

Yes, it’s definitely been requested before.  I also would like to see the feature implemented rather than resort of work around.  That’s all I’m saying.

 

The TV slider is just a quick workaround that I sometimes (albeit rarely) use when listening to stereo TV music apps. Personally speaking I prefer the soundstage out in front, but accept others like the immersive surround experience instead, but I use Dolby 5.1 or Atmos sources if I’m looking to achieve that with TV audio sources, like using Apple Music from Apple TV etc.

Another option is to use a cheap NVidia Shield TV and set its audio-out advanced settings to upmix stereo streams to 5.1 PCM audio as shown in attached screenshot.

 

Not sure I was aware of the Shield setting, but from what I can tell, that option does not have the left and right stereo channels play through the surround channels, it just runs the stereo channels through an algorithm to create new surround channels.

 

I tend to mostly use the Nvidia Shield stereo up-mixing feature for YouTube videos. There are many ‘workarounds’ to get the stereo audio out to ‘other’ Sonos speakers/rooms.

A further example is using the ‘TV Dialog Sync’ feature in conjunction with grouped Sonos rooms, which is certainly fine for in-built TV music Apps as the lip-sync issues become somewhat irrelevant, but I find lip-sync is not too bad anyway, if watching video with just a PCM stereo audio soundtrack.

In the longer term, maybe grouped room lip-sync won’t be relevant one day anyway, perhaps when a HT master device is able to operate with multiple 5Ghz/6Ghz wireless adapters to both connect to the local network and to bond with its Surrounds/Sub(s), especially if using WiFi 6 (or 7) mesh hubs for the Home wireless network. The (non-SonosNet) Era-100/300’s seem to be the beginnings ‘perhaps’ partly heading towards a longer-term objective🤔?

Opps, I’ve drifted slightly off topic - but these things are probably somewhat interconnected, I think. It depends what Sonos maybe has in mind, further down the development path, with TV audio.

I tend to mostly use the Nvidia Shield stereo up-mixing feature for YouTube videos. There are many ‘workarounds’ to get the stereo audio out to ‘other’ Sonos speakers/rooms.

 

 

 

A further example is using the ‘TV Dialog Sync’ feature in conjunction with grouped Sonos rooms, which is certainly fine for in-built TV music Apps as the lip-sync issues become somewhat irrelevant, but I find lip-sync is not too bad anyway, if watching video with just a PCM stereo audio soundtrack.

 

 

This is pretty much the work around OP is already doing, and isn’t satisfied with.

 

In the longer term, maybe grouped room lip-sync won’t be relevant one day anyway, perhaps when a HT master device is able to operate with multiple 5Ghz/6Ghz wireless adapters to both connect to the local network and to bond with its Surrounds/Sub(s), especially if using WiFi 6 (or 7) mesh hubs for the Home wireless network. The (non-SonosNet) Era-100/300’s seem to be the beginnings ‘perhaps’ partly heading towards a longer-term objective🤔?

Opps, I’ve drifted slightly off topic - but these things are probably somewhat interconnected, I think. It depends what Sonos maybe has in mind, further down the development path, with TV audio.

 

Yes, it’s possible that buffering could become a non-issue a couple years from now.  However,  a request to have a home theatre room play ‘full stereo’ for TV audio as well as streaming sources seems pretty legit to me...in the meantime.

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Hi @SB16 

Welcome to the Sonos Community!

Thank you - I've marked this thread as a feature request and it will be seen by the relevant teams for consideration. Keep the ideas coming!

Userlevel 1

Hi @SB16 

Welcome to the Sonos Community!

Thank you - I've marked this thread as a feature request and it will be seen by the relevant teams for consideration. Keep the ideas coming!

Thanks Corry 🙏😊

Hi Corry!
Will this “Multi Channel Stereo” Feature available in the near future?

BR Gunther

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Hi @pgunther 

I have no real idea. If I did know, I wouldn’t be allowed to share it with you - we tend not to comment on future products or features in the works.

If you were to force me to give my own, personal opinion, I’d have to say that I doubt the feature will come - if a feature will cause problems for more people than which it will solve problems for, it’s unlikely to be implemented. In this case, what is being asked for is a switch that basically disables true surround sound, which is in itself a major selling point for having speakers external to your TV in the first place. There is already a software switch that disables the rear speakers, so having another that also disables surround sound might be too much. In addition, and as mentioned above, it’s been requested before. That’s just my two cents’ worth, though - the feature request has been forwarded regardless.

 

Hi @pgunther 

I have no real idea. If I did know, I wouldn’t be allowed to share it with you - we tend not to comment on future products or features in the works.

If you were to force me to give my own, personal opinion, I’d have to say that I doubt the feature will come - if a feature will cause problems for more people than which it will solve problems for, it’s unlikely to be implemented. In this case, what is being asked for is a switch that basically disables true surround sound, which is in itself a major selling point for having speakers external to your TV in the first place. There is already a software switch that disables the rear speakers, so having another that also disables surround sound might be too much. In addition, and as mentioned above, it’s been requested before. That’s just my two cents’ worth, though - the feature request has been forwarded regardless.

 

 

I respect your opinion, but I’m not sure how it would cause problems for people.  It would just be a toggle switch in the room settings that would be turned off by default.  It would really only be a problem for people who think “I don’t know what this switch does, but I’m going to turn it on anyway”.

Ok...I see your point.  There probably are more people like that than people who would actually use the feature.  😀

My setup: Playbase and 2 Sonos One SL for rear surround.

 

The Sonos tries always to make a Surround Sound, that means even if you put the TV setting to Stereo-mode, the rear speaker only give the background sound/noise out. The voice frequencies are filtered (like a Karaoke machine). So you don’t have a multichannel stereo, its’ more an attempt to create a surround sound.

More or less, it would be a nice to have if you can disable this “background surround” feature and instead use the rear speakers as stereo pair of course connected with the playbase. If there is a Dolby Digital Signal comming it will switch to Surround Mode.

This is just one option more in the settings. A lot of people use the TV also to watch music-videos on some video-platforms. There you have also the effect that the rear speaker only give a background noise, which has nothing to do with the real music.

 

I enjoy multi-channel audio from my Denon and Definitive Tech set up.

I have a Beam (gen 2), Sub (gen 3) and two One SL set up. TV music audio (Spotify) in Dolby Atmos or PCM creates a 5.1 experience, but not stereo multi- channel, where all channels/speakers out full range audio. In the TV mode, while outputting audio through eARC, the output of voice is mainly from the Beam (gen 2), while the One SLs don't output voice much. 

The only way to I get true stereo multi-channel audio is when directly playing music (Spotify) from my phone and not through the TV.

I really wish there was a workaround or a mode which would allow multi-channel via eARC/TV as the output is louder and cleaner, but very Beam (gen 2) / soundbar focussed.

 

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My setup: Playbase and 2 Sonos One SL for rear surround.

More or less, it would be a nice to have if you can disable this “background surround” feature and instead use the rear speakers as stereo pair of course connected with the playbase. If there is a Dolby Digital Signal comming it will switch to Surround Mode.

If you go to settings there is an option for Music to set the Surrounds to Ambient of Full so you can have faked surround or the surrounds playing the full L/R channels.

My setup: Playbase and 2 Sonos One SL for rear surround.

More or less, it would be a nice to have if you can disable this “background surround” feature and instead use the rear speakers as stereo pair of course connected with the playbase. If there is a Dolby Digital Signal comming it will switch to Surround Mode.

If you go to settings there is an option for Music to set the Surrounds to Ambient of Full so you can have faked surround or the surrounds playing the full L/R channels.

This does not work when you have TV audio playing. It's not full range when playing from TV. You get this benefit of full range only when you play music from your phone. The only issue is that the overall SPL is much lower than the TV SPL.

Hi. I used to have a Denon/B&W setup, and mostly used “Multi Channel Stereo” setting (stereo output in front and back speakers). I have Arc, 2x One and Sub. 


To achieve the same with Sonos, I have to :
1. Setup the two back speakers (One) as stereo pair
2. Start audio output from TV (ARC)
3. Add them to the TV-output

It would have been nice to be able to choose if the setup should be bundled as surround or multi-channel-stereo.

THEY HAVE TO COME OUT WITH AN UPDATE TO SUPPORT ALL CHANNEL STEREO ON THE ARC 5.1 SETUP.  REARS ARE JUST AMBIENT NOISE MOST OF THE TIME AND NEED VOCALS IN THE BACK PLEASE ASAP.

It can't be that hard to add a all channel stereo switch in the app to allow full range vocals to the back speakers.  Just like the full/Ambient option.  Dolby/All Channel Stereo/Rears off. etc. Come on Sonos. 

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My setup: Playbase and 2 Sonos One SL for rear surround.

More or less, it would be a nice to have if you can disable this “background surround” feature and instead use the rear speakers as stereo pair of course connected with the playbase. If there is a Dolby Digital Signal comming it will switch to Surround Mode.

If you go to settings there is an option for Music to set the Surrounds to Ambient of Full so you can have faked surround or the surrounds playing the full L/R channels.

This does not work when you have TV audio playing. It's not full range when playing from TV. You get this benefit of full range only when you play music from your phone. The only issue is that the overall SPL is much lower than the TV SPL.

Correct, the Full Mode is only for music, not the TV source.

Any non-TV source works, not just playing from a phone.

I can’t believe I found this thread and am boxing the Era 100s back up and sending them back.  Stereo is how they should work by default.  Surround should be the custom setting.  Major disappointment.  

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I can’t believe I found this thread and am boxing the Era 100s back up and sending them back.  Stereo is how they should work by default.  Surround should be the custom setting.  Major disappointment.  

I don’t think the default setting of Rearspeakers in a configuration you set up as a „surround system“ should be to play stereo. Sonos isn’t designed to offer such a number of different sound modi and options like an AVR. Yes, there may be music content to play via TV sources, but just for myself I can say if I like to listen to music, there are so many sources I can use with Sonos in music mode icluding the „rearspeakers“ to play full stereo. 

Any updates on this feature add?

Our older cleints who are hard of hearing don’t always want Surround. They would rather have All Ch Stereo so they can hear better.
 

Thanks

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Badge +18

Hi @MVSV 

No updates, nor are there likely to be any - if it is ever implemented, you (and I) will not be informed beforehand. I refer you to my previous post:

Hi @pgunther 

I have no real idea. If I did know, I wouldn’t be allowed to share it with you - we tend not to comment on future products or features in the works.

If you were to force me to give my own, personal opinion, I’d have to say that I doubt the feature will come - if a feature will cause problems for more people than which it will solve problems for, it’s unlikely to be implemented. In this case, what is being asked for is a switch that basically disables true surround sound, which is in itself a major selling point for having speakers external to your TV in the first place. There is already a software switch that disables the rear speakers, so having another that also disables surround sound might be too much. In addition, and as mentioned above, it’s been requested before. That’s just my two cents’ worth, though - the feature request has been forwarded regardless.

I hope this helps.

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