Answered

How does grouping another speaker to a Sonos Dolby Atmos setup change the sound profile?

  • 6 March 2024
  • 6 replies
  • 100 views

Badge +2
  • Avid Contributor III
  • 15 replies

So here’s a question. I have a fairly straightforward 5.1.2 surround set up using an Arc, Sub Mini with 2 x One Gen 1 set up which I use in day-to-day use. I dusted off an old unused Beam Gen 1 with the aims of selling it but just for fun, I decided to group the Beam on left side of my room and was REALLY pleasantly surprised at how well it filled in the space, especially with music.

I’m now kind of tempted to by another second hand Beam Gen 1 to do the same on the right but I just wanted to ask if anyone can explain how grouping the additional speaker works and changes the sound signature. As a 3.0 speaker, does it just serve stereo or does it serve as a 3.0 (FL-C-FR) or something else?

It would be very cool to be able to add other (older or newer) speakers into the mix to serve as additional height, side or other channels and open up a lot more options.

Keen to hear any thoughts and feedback. Thank in advance

icon

Best answer by jgatie 6 March 2024, 20:57

View original

6 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

I would expect just the left-and-right stereo sound will play. Which speakers on the current Beam are playing? 
I’m surprised the sound isn’t somewhat muddled with a stereo signal coming from one side of the room as well as from front-and-back. 

For stereo music, each grouped speaker/room will play the left and right stereo channel.  For TV sources and Atmos audio, each speaker will play a stereo downmix of the Left/Center/Right Fronts, R/L Surround, and R/L Atmos Height (for Atmos sources) channels out of the right (Right channels) center (Right and Left combined) and left (Left channels) of the Beam(s) as if it were a music source.  There will be no discrete Atmos or surround channels played by the Beam(s).

In short, though one may like the effect, for TV sources it most definitely will not be as the soundtrack was mixed, and all front soundstage, Atmos, and surround effects will be compromised.

Badge +2

Appreciate the thoughts and insights, thank you.

I would expect just the left-and-right stereo sound will play. Which speakers on the current Beam are playing? 
I’m surprised the sound isn’t somewhat muddled with a stereo signal coming from one side of the room as well as from front-and-back. 

Having the additional 6th speaker on the side made quite a nice change and made music sound a lot richer/immersive, at least to me and my hearing. Granted, it was unbalanced because it was only an additional “Left” speaker hence why I was considering adding another Beam on the right to see what the difference would be.

For stereo music, each grouped speaker/room will play the left and right stereo channel.  For TV sources and Atmos audio, each speaker will play a stereo downmix of the Left/Center/Right Fronts, R/L Surround, and R/L Atmos Height (for Atmos sources) channels out of the right (Right channels) center (Right and Left combined) and left (Left channels) of the Beam(s) as if it were a music source. 

That’s the part I wasn’t understanding jgatie, thank you. Certainly wasn't under any illusions that sound/audio tracks weren’t mixed for this kind of setup. Just a shame there’s no additional flexibility in adding speakers into a home cinema mix. The Arc/Sub/One (or Era300) surrounds work great as a 5.1.2/5.1.4  setup but it would be nice to have the option to add more speakers (or use old) into the “mix” to up it to a 7.1.2 or 9.1.4 for even more immersive experiences.

Maybe one day… :-)

Nope, adding non-atmos speakers will drop atmos delivery from the whole system (while they are grouped)

Nope, adding non-atmos speakers will drop atmos delivery from the whole system (while they are grouped)

 

For Atmos Music sources, yes.  For TV sources, no.  The original room will still play Atmos for TV, but the grouped room will play a stereo downmix of all channels. 

Nope, adding non-atmos speakers will drop atmos delivery from the whole system (while they are grouped)

 

For Atmos Music sources, yes.  For TV sources, no.  The original room will still play Atmos for TV, but the grouped room will play a stereo downmix of all channels. 

Interesting. I hadn’t picked up on that. Thank you for the info.

Reply