Help Sub or play 1's

I currently have a Sonos Playbar, however my living room is vaulted and very open to the kitchen and dining room. I still have a hard time hearing my TV...sounds muffled...should I purchase a Sub to add or a set of Play 1's or both? Please Help!

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10 replies

Neither will particularly help sound quality. I'd be trouble shooting that issue before buying new equipment.

For instance, when you're playing some of this "muffled" TV sound, open up the app, go to settings and click on "About My Sonos System". Look for the line under the PLAYBAR that says "Audio In" and tell us what it says.

At the end of the day, if you're dead set on buying something, it all ends up to what's more important to you, not to us. Do you prefer surround sound, or do you prefer to have your chest shake when there's an explosion on screen. That will determine which one to get first. Ultimately, you'll end up with both.
I guess I shouldn't say muffled...its just not loud enough being such a large space. I feel I have to strain to hear especially if there is background noise. I checked last night and it says "Stereo" under the Playbar line. Is that what its' supposed to say?
Userlevel 7
Hi morganlp

The preferred output is DD5.1. However, it depends upon whether or not your TV will send DD5.1 over optical. Check your TV manual on how to access audio settings in the menu or call the manufacturer.

As far as purchasing a sub or Play 1's the latter will have no affect on the Playbar as it relates to sound level. There is a possibility that adding a sub may improve the sound characteristics somewhat by relieving the Playbar of low-end frequencies. Thus allowing the Playbar to process more of the Mid-range where human hearing is concentrated and improve dialog. Programming can also influence your audio and the coverage you experience.

If you have or can borrow an iOS device you can use TruePlay via the Sonos app to tune the sound of the room. When using TurePlay in your situation it's only necessary to tune the immediate area. For example if all rooms together (kit/dining/living) total a space of 36 x 36; but the living room comprises only 12 x 12 (1/3) then confine the tuning with Trueplay to that area. I would definitely try TruePlay first to see if that makes a difference.

Definitely not. It should say “Dolby Digital 5.1”

Assuming that you’re watching a show that has a 5.1 signal, of course.

So, the first thing I’d be checking is the audio settings on your TV. Make sure you’re indeed watching a movie or something that definitely has a Dolby Digital signal, some TV manufacturers won’t let you choose the Dolby Digital setting unless the stream it is currently receiving has it. Make sure that you have both Dolby Digital and Fixed chosen for your digital output. Then you may need to look at the audio settings for all the devices that are connected to your TV, to ensure that they are set up to send a Dolby Digital signal to the TV via the HDMI connection.

Making those changes should make a definite change in the quality of what you’re hearing. Oh, and if you run in to issues, feel free to call the folks at Sonos, they have a lot of experience with devices from various manufacturers, and would likely be a big help.
i remember when they hooked it up, my Philips TV didn't have an optical something so they did something else? It was a technician who hooks up TVS so he acted like it was no big deal...Is there a way for it to say DD5.1 if the TV doesn't have optical?
Ummm. I guess it depends on what they used to set it up. The PLAYBAR doesn't have HDMI-ARC capability, so you're kind of stuck using optical, which means that they must have put some sort of device in between the TV and the optical cable to the PLAYBAR. It would be useful to know if that device carries a Dolby Digital signal, or just a stereo signal.

And, depending what you end up telling us, you may want to think about (or shoot, already have) something along these lines:

Man, I hate Amazon's long links. But hopefully you have something like that, so all you'd need to do is go in to all of the devices that feed it, and make sure that they're sending a Dolby Digital signal to it.
Userlevel 7
Why not send us the model of your Phillips TV so we can shortcut all the speculation :8
My TV is Philips Model 50PFL3807/F7
Ok, I have really been researching this, My TV audio is set to Dolby..My cable box audio is set to Dolby but yet my Sonos only says Stereo.....I think the problem is my cable box is in a built in beside my tv and connected to my TV by an HDMI going through the wall. The optical input from from the sonos is connected to some kind of small box with an HDMI that is ran from that to the TV....since my TV has no optical output. When I ran a digital audio cable directly from the Sonos to the cable box (to test), it sounded great! But I cant have a cord running accross my floor....Could I purchase some wireless digital cable that would plug into Sonos playbar and into the Cable box? I'm really trying to figure this out 😞
Userlevel 7
Hi morganlp

First lets get your TV connections proper. In the insert you'll see Digital Audio Out. From the Digital Audio Out you need to run a coaxial cable to the Coaxial Input of the box shown in the link. Then run an optical cable from the Optical Out of the box (shown in the link) to the Optical In on the Playbar, Connect your cable box via HDMI to the HDMI-1 input shown in the insert.

After you correct your connections please post back for additional assistance (if needed). There is a distinct possibility that your set may not send DD5.1 over digital/optical.