upgrade to atmos

  • 19 June 2020
  • 4 replies

Hi all, I have 2 x 3s, sub and a beam hooked up to appletv4K and Sony oled a1. Hadn’t realised until now that wasn’t getting Dolby Atmos - I think? Would it be worth replacing the beam with the arc? Would it upgrade the sound to Dolby Atmos across the whole setup?

I also currently have to select the grouped speakers as it defaults to the beam. This is annoying. Any suggestions please.


4 replies

It’s a tossup. Given the limited amount of Atmos content out there (higher if you watch movies, lower if you watch TV), it might not be worth upgrading yet. And in order to get Atmos from the Apple TV’s Apple apps, it must be an Apple TV 4K model, and the Arc must be connected via eARC. If you have just regular HMDI ARC, I wouldn’t rush to do it, but as I say, it depends on your usage patterns of what you watch. 


Not sure what you mean by “grouping” speakers. Your SUB and two PLAY:3s should all be “bonded” to your Beam’s room, and all show up as one room in the controller. In the controller, it should say the Beam’s room name, followed by (+SUB, +LS, +RS) or something along those lines. If it doesn’t, you’ve not properly bonded those speakers to the Beam. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +13

Hi @Simon Lofthouse.

Welcome to the Sonos Community and thanks for sharing your concern.

I agree with @Airgetlam, the option/decision to upgrade from Beam to Sonos Arc depends on the movies you are watching most of the time, and depending on the TV features, limitations, and capabilities. I would also like to add, try reaching out first with the manufacturer of your TV to check if it is capable of Dolby Atmos or Doby Digital. You can also consider checking the codec of the movie/video source if they are capable of Dolby Atmos or not. I do agree that there are only limited modern TV's so far that are eARC capable, better check with the manufacturer. 

I would also like you to check these guides on how to get all your system maximized on a Home Theater 5.1 setup.

  • Here is the link on how to bond a sub to your Beam.
  • Here is another link on how to add surrounds to your Beam using your Sonos Play 3s

Let me know how the changes affected your Home theater set up. We’re always ready to help.





Hi, thanks for your replies.

I buy a lot of DV and DA movies from ITunes. Everything is watched through an Apple TV 4K. It is hooked up correctly as receive a DV signal. 

Sonos is bonded correctly so I assume I have a 5.1 system. Would replacing the beam with an ARC make much difference to the sound quality on a DA movie. I also listen to Apple Music through Apple TV.

The sound issue is that the tv and the Apple TV defaults to the beam instead of the room setup. It’s fairly easy to switch over by selecting the room system but annoying to have to keep doing it.






Userlevel 4
Badge +13

Hi @Simon Lofthouse,

Thanks for the immediate response.

I would like to ask if you can submit a diagnostic while you are experiencing the issue so we can check the signal being received by the Beam from the TV.

I would also want to inform you that all videos you are watching through the TV where the Beam is connected would always default the audio to the Sonos Beam however only surround audio will be generated through the surround speakers if the video you’re watching is surround coded.

You can try playing music through the beam and if all speakers generate the same music, then we can definitely conclude that they are configured as a Home theater 5.1 surround setup. Once that has been confirmed, switch back to TV mode. If the video you’re watching has surrounds audio, it should only be coming out of the surround speakers.

Let us know how this goes and please take note of the diagnostic and we’ll check it out.