What is 5.1 surround sound?
Dolby Laboratories created Dolby Digital 5.1 to immerse you in whatever you’re watching. It’s the most common surround sound format for TV shows, movies, sports, and video games. Playbar supports Dolby Digital 5.1.
“5.1” refers to the number of channels in the audio signal. The “5” refers to the three channels that are ideally situated in front of the viewer – left, centre, and right – and the two channels behind them – rear left and rear right. The “.1” refers to a channel dedicated for bass, sometimes referred to as low frequency effects.
Which Sonos speakers do I need in order to be able to get 5.1 surround sound?
Playbar on its own creates a wide soundstage for the front three channels – left, centre and right. The ingenious thing is we’ve designed it to retain all the audio information for the bass and rear channels as well. So you also get the surround sound and bass channels mixed in.
When you combine a Sub with Playbar, you get even richer low-end response. You’ll hear all those deep rumbles, booms and other thunderous sound effects in more detail.
For a completely epic 5.1 surround sound experience, place a matched pair of Sonos speakers behind you. For most rooms, Play:1s make great rear channel speakers. If you want to go louder and deeper you can use a pair of Play:3s or Play:5s.
What kind of TV do I need to get 5.1 surround sound?
Just about any TV with an optical output works with Playbar. To make sure you will get a 5.1 signal, look for a TV that can pass Dolby Digital 5.1 from all sources to the optical connection.
Go to the audio settings for the TV and sources and enable Dolby Digital 5.1 if it’s available.
Will I still get surround sound from Playbar even if the source is stereo?
Yes. Playbar uses Sonos' audio engineering to upmix any stereo signal into a surround sound experience that fills all channels, even when the source isn't Dolby Digital.
Can I use a streaming device to make sure I’m getting a 5.1 signal?
Yes, many streaming devices can be set to automatically output a 5.1 signal from any source. You’ll find this option under the device’s settings.