Common questions about Playbar

Playbar and your TV
5.1 surround sound

How do I set up Playbar?

Setup is simple. You won’t need to run speaker wires around the room. You don’t need any tech or programming expertise. Just connect Playbar to your TV with the included optical cable, download the Sonos app, and relax.

Will my TV work with Playbar?

Playbar comes with an optical cable that connects directly to your TV. As long as your TV has an optical output (also called S/PDIF optical or TOSLINK), you’ll be able to use Playbar.

Most modern televisions have a built-in digital audio output. Your TV manual will have that info. Or you can look the model number up online.

How about a remote?

You can control Playbar with your existing remote. Playbar works with almost all TV, cable box and universal remotes by learning their infrared (IR) commands during setup.

Playbar doesn’t support remotes that only send Bluetooth or RF commands, but these are not particularly common.

Does everything connected to my TV work with Playbar?

Your TV will send the audio from devices like your cable box, Roku, Apple TV, PS4, Xbox One, and Blu-ray player to Playbar.

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, center, 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 to get 5.1 surround sound?

Playbar on its own creates a wide soundstage for the front three channels – left, center, and right. The cool thing is we’ve designed it to retain all the audio info 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.

Does Playbar work with my Blu-ray discs?

Playbar plays audio from Blu-ray discs.

Blu-ray discs are made with DTS audio, Dolby audio, or both. If the Blu-ray disc you’re watching has a Dolby Digital audio track, we recommend you select it in the Blu-ray disc’s settings.

Playbar does not support DTS audio signals. If the Blu-ray disc you’re watching has a DTS audio track, the default settings on your TV will usually convert the signal to a stereo format supported by Playbar.

You can also use some Blu-ray players or game consoles to convert a DTS audio signal into Dolby Digital 5.1.

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