Sonos finally adds DTS audio support to its home theater lineup

Sonos’ latest update has big news for surround sound fans: the addition of DTS audio support for its home theater speakers. These not only include newer speakers like the second gen Beam and Arc, but also older devices like the first gen Beam, Playbar, and Playbase. Even the Sonos Amp gets into the DTS action.

For those unfamiliar with the technical nightmare of home theater audio, DTS is a surround sound format rival to Dolby Digital. Thus, DTS support means that Sonos users can enjoy surround sound from more sources, such as Blu-ray discs that use the DTS format. The update’s release comes a week after Disney announced that DTS audio support will soon be available on its Disney Plus streaming service.

A “DTS Surround 5.1” badge appears when playing compatible audio.
Image: u / No_Author_4413

Reddit users who have tried the feature report that Sonos only seems to support standard DTS Digital Surround, so you won’t be able to get the most out of sources that use the more specific DTS-HD and DTS: X formats. If you try to play DTS-HD, it looks like it’s normal DTS. The Sonos app displays a small “DTS Surround 5.1” badge when a speaker system plays the format.

Other issues that you may need to watch out for are whether your TV supports DTS audio. LG’s popular CX and C1 OLED TVs, for example, don’t support DTS, which means you’ll run into issues if you feed DTS audio to them over HDMI. Send audio directly from an external source to your Sonos equipment should work, however.

Other new features introduced as part of Update 13.4 include a new Battery Saver mode for Sonos portable products like the Roam which, when activated, will automatically turn off the speakerphone after 30 minutes to preserve battery life. By default, it currently goes into low power standby mode. The Now Playing screen in the Sonos app on iOS includes a new shortcut to access EQ settings and a new HD badge that will appear when playing “higher quality audio”.

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