Question

Will Sonos Beam + Amp give me 4.0 surround?

  • 25 August 2020
  • 5 replies
  • 149 views

Userlevel 2

I trying to set up a surround in my game room.

I have a couple of passive speakers lying around and also an extra Amp.

If I buy a Beam, can I achieve 4.0 surround with the Beam and the Amp, with the Beam doing the front 2.0 and the Amp driving the rear 2.0?


5 replies

The Beam is actually covering front left-right-center, so you would get 5.0 audio.  Yes, you can use the amp to power rear speakers.

Userlevel 2

The Beam is actually covering front left-right-center, so you would get 5.0 audio.  Yes, you can use the amp to power rear speakers.

How should the audio signal flow then?

From TV HDMI CEC to the AMP, then pre-out from the AMP to the Beam?

No, HDMI CEC to the Beam, then the Amp is ‘bonded’ in the Sonos setup to the Beam as surrounds speakers. It’s a wireless (5Ghz) connection between the Beam and the Amp. 

Userlevel 2

No, HDMI CEC to the Beam, then the Amp is ‘bonded’ in the Sonos setup to the Beam as surrounds speakers. It’s a wireless (5Ghz) connection between the Beam and the Amp. 

Wireless? That’s impressive. 

Two follow-up questions: 

  1. If the surround spekaers are wirelessly ‘bonded’ to the Beam through the Amp, is there any latency? I assume there isn’t, because Sonos wouldn’t have done it this way if there was.
  2. Does that mean I can’t use a non-Sonos sound bar to create a similar surround system? I just saw a Yamaha sound bar at Costco that’s cheaper and comes with a subwoofer too. This being a game room, I’m inclined to limit my expenditure.
  1. No, but that’s one of the reasons (I assume) that Sonos used a 5Ghz channel between the front and rear devices, lower latency. Less distance, though, 5Ghz gets absorbed by walls, etc., more so than the 2.4Ghz band. Which is probably why they use 2.4Ghz for the regular music connection for the normal music speakers. 
  2. Correct. Every company wants you to stay within their own ecosystem, and make it challenging (read impossible!) to mix and match. 

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