Sonos’ latest update contains big news for surround sound fans: the addition of DTS audio support for its home theater speakers. These include not just newer speakers like the second-generation Beam and Arc, but also older devices like the first-gen Beam, the Playbase, and even the Playbar that originally launched in 2013. Even the Sonos Amp is getting in on the DTS action.
For those unfamiliar with the technical nightmare that is home cinema audio, DTS is a rival surround sound format to Dolby Digital. So DTS support means that Sonos users can benefit from surround sound across more sources, like Blu-ray discs that use the DTS format. The release of the update comes a week after Disney announced that DTS audio support will be coming to its Disney Plus streaming service in the future.
Users on Reddit who’ve tried out the functionality 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 higher specced DTS-HD and DTS:X formats. If you try and play DTS-HD, it reportedly comes through as regular DTS. The Sonos app shows a small “DTS Surround 5.1” badge when a speaker system is playing the format.
Other niggles you might 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’re passing DTS audio through them via HDMI. Sending audio directly from an external source to your Sonos equipment should work, though.
Other new features introduced as part of the 13.4 update include a new Battery Saver mode for portable Sonos products like the Roam which, when activated, will automatically turn the speaker off after 30 minutes to conserve battery life. By default it currently just goes into a low-power sleep 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 “higher quality audio” is being played.