Issue With Surround Sound Speakers via Amp

Hi all,

Was helping set up a Sonos system for zay friend of mine and we are running into an issue.  I have an Apple TV connected to a Sony Bravia TV. Apple TV has Dolby 5.1 turned on and the TV passes the sound to a Sonos Beam via HDMI Arc. In the same room, we have surround speakers connected to a Sonos Amp.  All Sonos products are connected via wifi.

When playing music, all speakers function as intended, but when we switch the input to TV, the surround speakers do not function. Anyone have any ideas here? For context, was running Youtube TV on an Apple TV but also tried streaming music via airplay and neither worked.

Thanks in advance for any help


Best answer by John B 19 March 2021, 20:26

You need to play a DD5.1 source. If you play a stereo source you won't get surround sound.

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10 replies

Userlevel 7

Hi @agold1002 

This my setup

  • LG OLED 
  • Arc_HDMI eARC with bonded Sub x 2 and Sonos One x 2 as surrounds
  • AppleTV_HDMI 4

Playing YouTube App via the AppleTV. The only difference is I’m not using a Sonos Amp with 3rd party speakers as surrounds. You did bond the Amp to the Beam...correct?

Please explain what you mean by switching to TV input from music?

If playing music you should only have to stop playing music and turn on your TV.

So what switching are you talking about.?

Are you speaking of moving from the AppleTV input to a cable input?


What do you mean “bond the amp to the beam”? They are set up in the app as the same room and as the amp as the surround input. 

what I meant is that when streaming Spotify, the amp and beam work perfectly together but when I switch over to the Apple TV only the beam has audio. 

unfortunately, no cable box as our household is strictly OTT. 

thanks for your help!

Userlevel 7

Hi @agold1002 

When adding a sub or surrounds to a Beam or Arc in home theater the process is called “bonding” which is different from “grouping” rooms together. The speakers bonded to the Arc or Beam cease to operate independently and receive all audio instructions from the Arc or Beam.  Follow the instructions in the link to properly setup your surrounds using the Sonos Amp with 3rd party speakers.

Surround Setup

Ah - yes they are properly set up as surrounds speakers within the Living Room. For whatever reasons, the Apple TV just does not provide any audio to the surrounds.

What does the Sonos app say about the format the Beam is playing?  This is now shown in the app on the ‘Now Playing’ screen, or look in About My System.

So it says Stereo PCM….which doesn't sound right not me...


How old is your TV? Many older TVs do not pass through DD5.1 from HDMI inputs. If Sonos says it's getting a stereo input then it is getting a stereo input. 

I doubt that's the reason but worth checking.

I have just reread your original  post. As you were playing from YouTube and music sources there is every chance that you are playing stereo only. You need a source that is definitely in DD5.1. 

Its a Sony Bravia TV purchased in the last 4-5 years. It has an HDMI ARC output and Dolby Plus settings. Apple TV is also the current generation. Something funky is going on...I have a hard time thinking that my equipment is outdated. 

You need to play a DD5.1 source. If you play a stereo source you won't get surround sound.