Question

Sonos Playbar workable with PS4?

  • 11 September 2016
  • 16 replies
  • 17030 views

Hi All,

I'm new to Sonos.

I never use the TV directly, hence I don't rely on the TV sound output. I would only use it through PS4 (watching Amazon Prime, play Bluray, streaming movies though Media Player)

Now the simple question is, can I connect the optical cable of PS4 to Sonos PlayBar and set the format to Dolby Digital 5.1 and expect it to work?

Many Thanks,
H

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16 replies

Userlevel 7
What you are suggesting would be redundant even if it were possible (and I'm not saying it's not). To view your PS4 on your TV you are connecting via HDMI from PS4 to TV. If your TV has HDMI it must have an optical out that automatically converts the audio signal that is being transmitted via the HDMI connection. So just run the optical cable from the TV into the Sonos PlayBar. I have a PS4 connected in the manner I just described. I also use my PS4 to watch Bluray and Hulu. I have Amazon Prime via FireTV box. To be clear I use a HDMI switch to connect all my devices via a single HDMI port on my monitor. My Sonos setup is Playbar w/sub and Play 3 x 2 as surrounds which is effectively a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround system.

One more drawback to PS4 audio directly into a Playbar is audio control. The PS4 does not come with a media controller. I have a generic PS4 media controller made by PDP and licensed for the PS4 that has TV volume and channel control. However I haven't trained it to act as my TV remote which is what the Playbar must learn in order to have volume control from a seated position. I only use the media controller to watch movies via the PS4 and to perform required maintenance which can be faster for navigation vs the game controller. Assuming I may have mis-interpreted your question please let me know what I missed.

Also, If your TV does not have an optical out please let me know the brand as I'd like to research it for my own edification.
What you are suggesting would be redundant even if it were possible (and I'm not saying it's not). To view your PS4 on your TV you are connecting via HDMI from PS4 to TV. If your TV has HDMI it must have an optical out that automatically converts the audio signal that is being transmitted via the HDMI connection.


Many thanks for your detailed answer. The problem lies right in the paragraph above. According to numerous sources such as Top comment here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/SONOS-PLAYBAR-Wireless-Cinema-Soundbar/dp/B00BD1I8P4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1473664395&sr=8-3&keywords=sonos+playbar#customerReviews or here http://www.bigpicturebigsound.com/How-to-Get-5-1-Dolby-Surround-Sound-from-a-SONOS-PlayBar.shtml this is not possible with every TV.

In fact most TVs such as Panasonic send only Stereo instead of 5.1 signals through the optical cable. Which defeats the purpose.

Another point for concern is that connecting it directly without any means to control the volume is also not an option. Darn, this is not good.
Userlevel 7
[In fact most TVs such as Panasonic send only Stereo instead of 5.1 signals through the optical cable. Which defeats the purpose.
Another point for concern is that connecting it directly without any means to control the volume is also not an option. Darn, this is not good.[/quote]

You are correct there are some monitors that will not pass DD 5.1 over optical. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say "most". I own a 2014 Samsung PN51F8500AFXZA that passes DD 5.1 over optical. I would assume that with the advent of more speaker (and TV) manufacturers promoting a brand of "wireless speakers" for home theater; the TV manufacturers have taken note and are building DD 5.1 over optical into their sets. It makes logical business sense as the average consumer wants simplicity (ease of setup) versus a wired speaker system designed for a dedicated home theater room.

Below is a link on the Sonos website that provides a list of those sets not compatible with the Sonos Playbar and/or are not capable of passing DD 5.1 over optical. Hopefully, yours is not on the list. If not listed Sonos (and some big box retailers) has a liberal return policy so the only way to be sure is to purchase a Sonos setup (Playbar / Sub / Surrounds) for testing. As far as audio control goes...well you know the answer to that.

One last point about surround audio using Sonos Play 1's or Play 3's. If you want more volume natively from the surrounds...during setup set the distance from the listening position as further away than actual. My Play 3's are less than 2 feet from my listening position but I set the distance at 4- 6 feet. In that way the Play 3's play louder natively. Good Luck 🆒

https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1931/kw/Tv%20not%20compatible%20with%20Playbar
Thanks for the list. Unfortunately my Panasonic TV TX-P55VT30B is not listed. But looking at similar models, it won't be possible after all.

You're right, I still could get it and try to connect it directly over a switch lik ethis one: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VJ8VS62/websearchengi40-20

That way I would be able to use it directly. However how would I adjust the volume? Unsure, no one talks about that.

Considering 4K becomes more viable and my 55" Plasma TV is almost 5 years old, I may have to purchase a 4K TV soon. Hence a home cinema that is bit future proof is key and Sonos PlayBar is not cheap. Not sure what to do really, maybe I should look at Bose and see what they're offering.

I might get a Play:5 for listening to normal music though. I think they are also quite good. but for home cinema I'm not fully convinced...
Userlevel 7
Thanks for the list. Unfortunately my Panasonic TV TX-P55VT30B is not listed. But looking at similar models, it won't be possible after all.

You're right, I still could get it and try to connect it directly over a switch lik ethis one: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VJ8VS62/websearchengi40-20

That way I would be able to use it directly. However how would I adjust the volume? Unsure, no one talks about that.

Considering 4K becomes more viable and my 55" Plasma TV is almost 5 years old, I may have to purchase a 4K TV soon. Hence a home cinema that is bit future proof is key and Sonos PlayBar is not cheap. Not sure what to do really, maybe I should look at Bose and see what they're offering.

I might get a Play:5 for listening to normal music though. I think they are also quite good. but for home cinema I'm not fully convinced...


Judging from your opening statement I believe you mis-interpreted the list. The fact that your Panasonic TX-P55VT30B was NOT listed indicates that it may be possible to pass DD 5.1 over optical. In fact according to my research it is.

Take a look at the attachment which is a page from your models manual. Where amplifier is mentioned that would be the Playbar. The link to the page where the attachment was obtained is at the end of this post.

Not saying that you need DD Bit Stream explained...but I've taken the liberty to include the following definition(s):

If you set your player (Panasonic TV) to "bitstream" over optical, this is what happens:

1. If you play a standard DVD, everything is normal -- Dolby Digital or DTS is output just like any other DVD player, and since these are 5.1 formats (generally) your receiver will pick up the 5.1 and maybe do PLIIx to make 7.1

2. If you play an HD DVD, you will either get a DD+ or a TrueHD soundtrack (keeping things simple since there isn't much DTS-MA). Because this cannot be passed through optical, your HD-A3 is decoding the audio, and then re-encoding it as regular Dolby Digital at the highest possible bitrate (640kbps). So your receiver is still picking up a normal 5.1 soundtrack.

The PCM option over optical is a DOWNMIX to two-channel for people who are using stereo setups. PCM is uncompressed audio, so it requires a lot more bandwidth to transmit -- this is why you can't send hi-res multichannel PCM from Dolby TrueHD over optical. But optical CAN transmit PCM in two-channel stereo.

When you set your HD-A3 to "PCM" in the optical/toslink audio setting, EVERYTHING is going to be downmixed to a 2-channel stereo PCM mix (like what you get off a CD).

My guess is that, since you never feed it 2-channel on the movie input, your receiver is automatically engaging Dolby ProLogic IIx and mixing the 2-channel PCM into 7.1 and you just didn't realize it.

That's why you think you are getting 7.1 -- you are actually getting two-channel but the receiver is matrixing it to 7.1... but when you set TOSLINK to "bitstream", you are getting the normal 5.1 track.

If this works all you need do is train the Playbar to accept signals from your Panasonic remote to control volume. Playbar setup will walk you through the process. Additionally you won't need to purchase an optical switch although you may need an HDMI switch if you don't have enough HDMI inputs.

Once again Good Luck 🆒

http://www.manualslib.com/manual/649718/Panasonic-Tx-P55vt30b.html?page=89#manual
Hi Aj,

Thank you so much for the detailed answer. Indeed the TV seems to be compatible after all. A lot of take in to be honest.

The price isn't cheap and I know that it's not 4K (HDCP 2.2) compatible. Hence an upgrade to 4K TV later in 2017 would mean buying a new home cinema again.

I wished Sonos would have released a new sound bar by now. Do you have any experience with Yamaha YSP-2700?
Userlevel 7
Hi Aj,

Thank you so much for the detailed answer. Indeed the TV seems to be compatible after all. A lot of take in to be honest.

The price isn't cheap and I know that it's not 4K (HDCP 2.2) compatible. Hence an upgrade to 4K TV later in 2017 would mean buying a new home cinema again.

I wished Sonos would have released a new sound bar by now. Do you have any experience with Yamaha YSP-2700?



Glad to know that you have an option to use Sonos with your Panasonic, if you wish.

The Sonos PlayBar is still a relatively new product from Sonos having been released in 2013. The original Play 5 was introduced in 2009 approximately 6 years before the revamped Play 5 (Gen2). I tell you this so you'll know that Sonos doesn't revamp their products as often as other manufacturers. IMO Sonos is more inclined to refine their existing technology vs. introducing new bells and whistles every other year. If I had to guess the next Sonos product to undergo a revamp might be the Play 3.

Speaking of bells and whistles here's a link that discusses 4K (HDCP 2.2) compatibility as to whether or not you really need to be concerned (especially for audio). http://www.cnet.com/news/hdcp-2-2-what-you-need-to-know/

Honestly, the only way you will ever know if a Sonos surround setup (play bar / sub / and surrounds - either 2 Play 1's or 2 Play 3's) will suit you is to trial purchase the system and listen for yourself.

Here's what Sonos says if you order directly from them:
"Free shipping, 100-day trial period
Contact our support team within 100 days of your purchase and we’ll pick up your purchase free of charge".

FYI, I have no experience with the Yamaha YSP-2700.

Good luck with your decision 🆒
Userlevel 7
Curiosity got the best of me so I decided to investigate the Yamaha YSP-2700. Let me say...it ain't cheap! $1199.95 USD for sound bar and sub. If you look at the diagrams showing the reflection surfaces you'll notice that it assumes a near perfect rectangle and only a slight deviation. See it here: http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/digital-sound-projector/ysp-2700/

Although Yamaha claims TRUE 7.1 reproduction I've never known a sound bar to deliver what actual strategically placed speakers will provide (i.e. Front.Center / Front Left/Right / Side Sur. Left/Right / Rear Sur. Left/Right / Sub). That being said it's been my experience with systems similar to the Yamaha YSP-2700 any deviation/exaggeration from the recommended/optimum room shape will color the sound effects. Curtains, carpet and plush furniture will also influence the effect.

To be clear that's not to say that room design and accouterments will not influence a 7.1 speaker setup or a Sonos 5.1 (simulated) setup. All I'm saying is....make sure you have a liberal return policy with the store whether you invest retail - $1796 USD in Sonos (Playbar / Sub / Play 1 x 2) or retail - $1199.95 USD in the Yamaha YSP-2700. The proof is in the LISTENING.

Good Luck 🆒
Thanks for looking into that AJ.

I came across the Yamaha through a couple of very positive reviews:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/yamaha-ysp-2700-review

http://www.whathifi.com/yamaha/ysp-2700/review

The device comes with a special microphone to place at your sofa at listening height, after 3 min it captures the reflection of the beam against the environment. That way it will suggest if 7.1 would even be possible in that room. Otherwise a 5.1 will be suggested.

It definitely looks like an impressive device as it eliminates the clutter of having another pair of speakers standing behind the sofa.

But as you say I have to visit a shop to listen to it for myself. Fortunately Yamaha has a 40 days trial return policy, which should be long enough to test it even at home. 🙂
Userlevel 7
That's great news.

I'll leave you with this....

If your only concern is sound to replicate a movie theater experience and/or play music in a single room then the Yamaha YSP-2700 may meet your needs. Sonos on the other hand goes beyond the Yamaha YSP-2700 capabilities in that you can:

Add speakers to have music in any room in your house
Play one tune in the living room and another in the bedroom - Simultaneously
A Single controller to make it happen on any Apple device, Windows PC or Android Tablet

Those capabilities pushed me to Sonos because in the beginning I...like you...was just looking for a sound bar and sub. I'm glad the sales person introduced me to Sonos.

Granted there are some features that Sonos does not support but you'll have to weigh the importance of those features (or lack thereof) as to what really matters to you.

Once again Good Luck with whatever route you take 🆒
hehe it's really not an easy decision. I hear you regarding those three bullet points you mentioned. I'm moving into a new place and it would have been great to have music in the bathroom. Sonos speakers are damp proof and theoretically safe to use in bathroom (?). What would be better than having the music in multiple rooms, as you finish the shower and return to the room -> the music follows you. It's like in posh hotels.

In this area the Sonos seems the better choice for sure. Yamaha seem to have the music cast capabilities and the speakers such as
https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-WX-010BL-MusicCast-Multiroom-Digital/dp/B01HY4WDB8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1473874181&sr=8-4&keywords=yamaha+musiccast+speaker

and

https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-WX-030-MusicCast-Wireless-Speaker/dp/B01429SJUM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473874181&sr=8-2&keywords=yamaha+musiccast+speaker

However they aren't as highly rated as Sonos.

There is no perfect solution that ticks all boxes really. A compromise needs to be made.

Another interesting sound bar is Dali Kubik One. http://www.trustedreviews.com/dali-kubik-one-review and http://www.whathifi.com/dali/kubik-one/review

Same price range but without any sub. Strangely they don't have any DTS nor Dolby Digital capability. In fact no internal DSP / decoder at all. It's just plain Stereo it seems...Surprised to see it so highly rated.

I think I will make the final decision once I moved to the new place in 2 weeks time. It's really overwhelming...
Hi all!

I currently have 2x Play 3 + 2x Play 1.

The 2x Play 3 is in my livingroom along with my ps4. Im considering buying the playbar, to get surroundsound when using my ps4 (BF1).

Ive read some topics over the last few days, regarding the above mentioned. But it seems like people are having alot of issues setting this up.

I got a friend who says he just connected his ps4 (via hdmi) to his tv, and then connected the soundbar to his tv (via the cable that came with the soundbar) and now it works.

Should i be able to do the same, and will i get the correct surround experience with this setup?

My main "goal" is to get a proper surround experience when using my ps4.

At the moment i apple tv and ps4 connected to the tv.

Is there anything i should be aware of? 🙂
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Hi all!

I currently have 2x Play 3 + 2x Play 1.

The 2x Play 3 is in my livingroom along with my ps4. Im considering buying the playbar, to get surroundsound when using my ps4 (BF1).

Ive read some topics over the last few days, regarding the above mentioned. But it seems like people are having alot of issues setting this up.

I got a friend who says he just connected his ps4 (via hdmi) to his tv, and then connected the soundbar to his tv (via the cable that came with the soundbar) and now it works.

Should i be able to do the same, and will i get the correct surround experience with this setup?

My main "goal" is to get a proper surround experience when using my ps4.

At the moment i apple tv and ps4 connected to the tv.

Is there anything i should be aware of? :-)


You've already posted this elsewhere (I responded)
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
Have a read here and...please let me know the answer:-
http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/Consoles-Peripherals/Dolby-5-1-via-HDMI-on-PS4/td-p/42123275/page/15
Hi,

To get the PS4 working with full 5.1 surround with the playbar using optical out you first need to go to the settings/sound&screen/audio output settings.

Next go into primary output port and set it to digital out (optical) and on the next screen make sure that only Dolby Digital 5.1ch is ticked

Set the audio format (priority) to Bitstream (Dolby)

These settings should get games and streaming services playing in Dolby 5.1

To get DTS encoded blurays to work you need to play a bluray movie then press the "options" button on the controller then go to settings. Go to Audio Format and set it to "Bitstream (Mix).

Now you should have the movie playing in 5.1

Hopefully this will work 😉
What you are suggesting would be redundant even if it were possible (and I'm not saying it's not). To view your PS4 on your TV you are connecting via HDMI from PS4 to TV. If your TV has HDMI it must have an optical out that automatically converts the audio signal that is being transmitted via the HDMI connection. So just run the optical cable from the TV into the Sonos PlayBar. I have a PS4 connected in the manner I just described. I also use my PS4 to watch Bluray and Hulu. I have Amazon Prime via FireTV box. To be clear I use a HDMI switch to connect all my devices via a single HDMI port on my monitor. My Sonos setup is Playbar w/sub and Play 3 x 2 as surrounds which is effectively a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround system.

One more drawback to PS4 audio directly into a Playbar is audio control. The PS4 does not come with a media controller. I have a generic PS4 media controller made by PDP and licensed for the PS4 that has TV volume and channel control. However I haven't trained it to act as my TV remote which is what the Playbar must learn in order to have volume control from a seated position. I only use the media controller to watch movies via the PS4 and to perform required maintenance which can be faster for navigation vs the game controller. Assuming I may have mis-interpreted your question please let me know what I missed.

Also, If your TV does not have an optical out please let me know the brand as I'd like to research it for my own edification.


Hi AjTrek,

Per your last sentence. My Dynex (model # DX-40L261A12) does not have digital optical to connect to my play bar, so I have to connect is directly to my PS4. Which sucks, cause I am unable to program my remotes to work with the sonos play bar.