New Sonos system

  • 26 February 2018
  • 9 replies
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Hi,
I'm wondering if we can expect any major updates to the line up soon. I'm interested in buying a playbar, Sub and 2 play 1's for my surround system. The One will probably replace the play:1 some day, but I prefer the play1 because it's easier to mount.
Is it 'wise' to buy it now or could there be any major upgrades to hardware in the near future?
I wonder if Airplay2 will be available to the current line up since that's still a little vague, no?
Concerning Voice Control: don't really need this, but I might buy a Sonos One in the future for the kitchen or bathroom. I assume if you have 1 Sonos One you can also use it to execute commands ( for instance play music in the living room) to the other 'dumb' speakers?
Thanks!

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9 replies

Hi.

1) No one knows but Sonos, and they don't share their roadmap with us, either for hardware or software updates. Typically, we find out new stuff with weeks before launch, and sometimes there's a thread regarding FCC filings, but they can be vague and open to interpretation.

2) Since the majority of functionality is delivered via software updates, there's not much of a reason to wait, unless there's a specific feature you're looking for that isn't available today (HDMI comes to mind, but I'm thinking about TV playback), but since we don't know what's on the list to be updated/newly released, it's a crap shoot.

3) Since Apple hasn't finalized Airplay 2 themselves, Sonos is in a quandary. I imagine they've been doing some development on early versions, but everything is subject to change when Apple actually releases the final API. One of the Sonos reps has said that it will definitely work on a Sonos One, but hasn't said if it will work with any other speakers. Most of the community here in many threads has been suggesting it will be treated like any other line-in, i.e. once it's in the Sonos ecosystem, it will be playable on any grouped speaker. But we don't know that for sure.

4) Yes, any voice control device (Sonos One or Amazon Echo device) when properly connected with the software provided with Amazon will control all of your Sonos speakers. Um. There may be limitations on controlling the PLAYBAR for TV using voice, mind you. Worth poking around in these forums and doing some reading.
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Hi Frankdoc_You're asking for insider information. LOL 🆒

You'll have to draw your own conclusions from what I've provided below:

Sonos updated the Play 5 released in November, 2009 to the Play 5 Gen2 in September, 2015_6 year Gap
Sonos has not updated the Play 1 released in October,2013 but refreshed it as the Sonos One w/Alexa in October, 2017
Sonos has not updated the Playbar released in February, 2013 but released the companion Playbase in March, 2017
Sonos has not updated the Play 3 released in July,2011 but it is believed to be a legacy product (for lack of a better term) that will probably not see a replacement nor upgrade as many consider the Play:1 and Sonos One to be equally as good

IMO as far as new products_your guess would be as good as anyone's. However, judging from the pattern above I wouldn't expect a major product release for at least a year or more. Even a Dolby Atmos playbar/playbase I would suspect (if in the works) would not see the light of day for a while. Even so I doubt that it would replace the current offerings; but just be another choice in the Sonos line-up.

As for Airplay 2 all indications are that it is coming this year (2018) and available via a software update: https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1241/kw/airplay%202

The Sonos One will direct music to any speaker in your Sonos ecosystem.

I hope this helps. If you want Sonos I say go for it. FYI, Sonos products hold their value quite well. So sell-to-upgrade is very good. I've done it several times and recouped at least 70% of the original value! :D

Cheers!
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We only know the Sonos One will be able to initiate Airplay 2 (as for others we do not know - other then they will at least be able to group and play with Sonos One).

You can have voice control now by just getting a cheap Echo Dot from Amazon. It will voice control all Sonos speaker models.
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Thank you for your replies. I went ahead and bought playbar, Sub and 2 play 1's for a decent discounted price 🙂.
Current setup: a TV decoder (digital tv), a Panasonic TV ( with netflix built in) and a HTPC.
I've read up on the issues with sonos not supporting DTS. This is mainly going to be an issue with my HTPC since a lot of myh media files ( on Kodi) are DTS.
I saw that I have to edit some settings in Kodi so it can transcode DTS to Dolby Digital.
Am I right that I will however need an optical switch so send the sound from the htpc to the switch, and from switch to playbar?
Since I read that most TV's ( except Sony) cannot passthrough DD AC3 5.1 sound via the optical out on the TV.
Will I also have an audio delay? So I should set a video delay in Kodi for all videos? But I wonder what happens if I have media files in Kodi that are not DTS: they won't need the delay then?
But I can't set the delay in the sonos app since the Netflix ( from TV) and TV decoder won't need transcoding DTS to DD AC3, so they wouldn't run in sync then.

I also have a logitech Harmony, so I'd pick an optical switch with IR receiver so everything is pretty much automated.

Can I have your take on this?
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Regarding DD/AC3 5.1... I believe most Panasonic TVs have been found to not pass through 5.1 audio to the optical port. Sony, Vizio, newer (like a year or two old) Samsung models, and possibly some newer LG models should all be passing through 5.1 from HDMI sources to the optical port, but you may need to enable settings in the TV to get it to work.

I don't think I'd go with an optical switch, but instead get an HDMI switch that also has an optical output. That way it adjusts both what you're watching AND what you're hearing at one point... otherwise you could have your HDMI cables going to the TV and optical cables to the switch, and be listening to something different than you're watching. Not to mention needing to have both optical AND HDMI cables coming from each device! I don't know ANYONE that wants MORE cables in their entertainment system! This should also minimize delay, since the switch is doing the splitting of audio and video, so it's sending both signals to their destinations at the same time. Hopefully there shouldn't be any major lip sync issues.

Whichever switch you go with, as long as you can set your HTPC/Kodi to always output DD/AC3 for 5.1, you should be good to go. Sonos can handle PCM for Stereo, so that shouldn't be an issue.
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Thanks. Yes I saw those hdmi switches as well, like Octava. But those are pretty expensive, no?
We're thinking about buying a new TV, so maybe if we're lucky it would pass through 5.1? Would you need to buy a top of the line model of Samsung or is it actually more software based? And it might be best to ask Samsung beforehand to confirm if it supports it? We're thinking of buying an entry level 55-60-65" TV. Don't have a specific brand in mind, usually pick LG/samsung/panasonic
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I was wondering: if the tv doesn't support passthrough, can't you use ARC ( that splits to optical out) hdmi port so that all audio is redirected to that port? Or would that only work for the 1 device that is connected to that hdmi arc port?
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IIRC, I paid less than $50 for my HDMI switch (I think the brand was Elec-Tek; got it from Amazon)... though that was before the HDMI 2.0 specification was finalized, and 4K wasn't a big thing then.

HDMI-ARC only works if the audio device has an HDMI connection on it. Sonos doesn't have such a device, so the only way to take advantage of HDMI-ARC would be to use a box that can act as an audio device as far as HDMI is concerned, then convert the audio data from HDMI to optical.

I know for the current Samsung models, buying top-of-the-line isn't necessary, however it's possible that buying an upgraded model might be necessary. I don't know if their 6- or 7-series models support DD pass-through, but I know the 8-series and QLED models do, so it's safe to assume that the 9-series does too. The trick about Samsung is that the setting appears in the UI, even if it's not available to select. It's only available to select if the TV is receiving DD audio from the source, if it's able to be selected at all. This makes it hard to tell since you can't just select another source at most stores. But we're almost to the point where 2018 model sets will be starting to arrive in stores, so you might find some nice deals on higher series 2017 models.

I'm sure that LG has some models that support DD passthrough, but I just don't know for sure which ones might be in that category. Like I mentioned earlier, I don't believe most (if any) Panasonic models pass through DD 5.1 from HDMI to Optical.
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Thank you for your reply. Just to be safe I might contact Samsung to enquire if that specific model can passthrough 5.1.
Just to test the hardware I made a surround setup ( so 2 play 1's as rear surround). But I was wondering: if I were to play music ( like spotify etc), is there an easy option to have all speakers act as stereo speakers? Because in my test the rear speakers remained quite silent when playing music.
I didn't see the option in the app, except to remove the play 1's and create a new room. But of course that isn't very feasible
*edit :this might be full mode?

Also: I also bought the wall mount kit from Sonos, but I'm not sure if I actually need it. Plan would be to wallmount the TV and hang the playbar under the TV with a bracket ( like from Sanus). Wasn't sure if I needed the wall mount kit or not. I saw some youtube videos where Flexson mounts are installed without the Sonos wall mount kit.