Play 1 Surrounds with Apple Music via Apple TV

  • 6 August 2021
  • 3 replies
  • 92 views

Hi,

I have an Apple TV 4K connected to my TV which is the connected to my Sonos Beam. I then have two Play:1 speakers connected as surrounds. I want to use this setup to listen to Apple Music lossless. 
 

My Apple TV is setup to lossless and Dolby Atmos when available. When I play an album from Apple in Atmos it plays across all speakers as full surround. When I select an album that isn’t in Atmos, only the Beam works. 
 

Is there any way around this? What I’d like is for the group to behave how it does when I stream Apple Music using the S2 app, which is the surrounds operating as one stereo source and the beam as the other, but in lossless quality. 


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3 replies

There’s no ‘formal’ (simple) way to achieve this, without some degree of effort, as stereo audio from TV output will normally only play on the front speakers only. There is a way to achieve a bit more sound on the rear surrounds however and that’s by altering the ‘TV Level’ slider bar in the Beam’s Room (Surround Audio) settings in ‘Settings/System’ in the Sonos App, but it’s still not ideal.

I understand that some users also switch off TruePlay, which enables the manual setting of the ‘Surround Distance’ …and increasing that to a higher value can apparently slightly assist too (I’ve not tried that).

IMHO however, it’s sometimes not worth all the messing (manually) with the Sonos HT settings (although some automation can be used, using 3rd party Apps, as briefly outlined below).

I personally find it easier to occasionally group the TV HT instead with a Sonos Move (or a pair of Sonos Roams) that I keep in the same Media Room, and whilst with TV stereo-audio output there is a slight lip-sync delay to ‘grouped’ rooms (30-40ms), that can often be dealt with, by slightly shifting the HT ‘TV Dialog Sync’ slider bar over to the right hand side in the Sonos App. 

In my own setup,  I make the ‘TV Dialog Sync’ adjustment using IOS Shortcuts and Siri voice control using the Soro (Shortcuts) App. The 3rd party App enables a user to ask Siri to create/alter room groupings and change the HT ‘TV Dialog Sync’ settings with one simple customised voice command or by selecting an iOS shortcut icon …and of course it will set everything back again afterwards with a similar voice command/iOS icon.

The one issue there however, is the mentioned 3rd party App has a fair bit of a ‘learning curve’ to set up the automation in order to be able to automate and simplify the grouping process etc; but i guess it’s reasonably easy to to do these changes manually in the Sonos App, but still a bit of a nuisance if doing these changes on any regular basis.

Hi,

Thanks for the detailed reply. Sounds like something not worth working through. I’ll just use the Apple TV for Dolby Atmos and airplay if I’m listening to regular songs. Hopefully lossless becomes part of the S2 app like Qobuz soon. 
 

If I were to get Sonos sub and played music through the Apple TV, do you think that would not get used as well, and it’d just stick with the front facing speakers, or in this scenario does a sub tend to get used always?

Hi,

Thanks for the detailed reply. Sounds like something not worth working through. I’ll just use the Apple TV for Dolby Atmos and airplay if I’m listening to regular songs. Hopefully lossless becomes part of the S2 app like Qobuz soon. 
 

If I were to get Sonos sub and played music through the Apple TV, do you think that would not get used as well, and it’d just stick with the front facing speakers, or in this scenario does a sub tend to get used always?

Yes, Sonos Sub(s) added to your HT will handle the audio low frequencies - the crossover frequency is around 80 Hz. I highly recommend getting a Sub anyway, it makes a huge difference to both TV and Music audio.