Sonos’ latest update includes big news for surround sound fans: the addition of DTS audio support to their home theater speakers. These include not only newer speakers like the second-generation Beam and Arc, but also older devices like the first-generation Beam, Playbase and even Playbar, which were originally launched in 2013. Even the Sonos Amp is getting into the DTS action.
For those unfamiliar with the technical nightmare that is home theater sound, DTS is a rival surround sound format for Dolby Digital. So DTS support means that Sonos users can take advantage of surround sound across multiple sources, such as Blu-ray discs that use the DTS format. The release of the update comes a week after Disney announced that DTS audio support will come to the Disney Plus streaming service in the future.
Reddit users who have tried the functionality report that Sonos only seems to support standard DTS Digital Surround, so you will not be able to get the most out of sources that use the higher specified DTS-HD and DTS: X formats. If you try to play DTS-HD, it will reportedly come through as regular DTS. The Sonos app displays a small “DTS Surround 5.1” badge when a speaker system plays the format.
Other little things you may need to be aware of are whether your TV supports DTS audio. For example, LG’s popular CX and C1 OLED TVs do not support DTS, which means you will run into problems if you send DTS audio through them via HDMI. Sends audio directly from an external source to your Sonos equipment ought to work though.
Other new features introduced as part of the 13.4 update include a new battery saving mode for Sonos portable products such as Roam, which, when activated, automatically shuts off the speaker after 30 minutes to save battery life. By default, it currently just goes into hibernation mode with low power consumption. Now the playback screen in the Sonos app on iOS includes a new shortcut to access EQ settings and a new HD emblem that appears when “higher quality audio” is played.