How to set up a 5.1 home theater with Sonos for Mac

Sonos is a wireless smart speaker system that can easily become your whole-home audio solution. Using a Sonos Playbar, Sub, and two Play:1s, two Play:3s, or two second generation Play:5s, you can create a 5.1 surround sound system.

Note: for your two rear speakers, you must use two of the same Sonos model; otherwise, this just won't work.

How to set up a 5.1 surround sound system using the Sonos Controller app for Mac

There are a couple ways you can set up a 5.1 surround home theater system with Sonos, but the easiest way is to start by adding a Playbar, since it triggers the surround setup.

Make sure you factory reset the Sonos speakers that you already have. This will make everything go more smoothly during the setup procress.

  1. Launch the Sonos Controller app from your dock or from the Finder.
  2. Click Manage in the menu bar at the top of your screen.
  3. Click Add a Player or Sub.

    Click Manage, click Add a Player or Sub

  4. Click Next once your power is connected to your Playbar.
  5. Click Next on the Power Up screen.

    Click Next, click Next

  6. Click the dropdown menu.
  7. Click Playbar in the menu.

    Click the dropdown menu, click Playbar

  8. Click Set Up This Player.
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  10. Click Next if the screen does not advance right away.

    Click Set Up This Player, follow the on-screen instructions, click Next if needed

  11. Click Next on the screen that says your Playbar has been added.
  12. Click Set Up PLAYBAR.

    Click Next, Click Set Up PLAYBAR

  13. Click the dropdown menu.
  14. Click the room in which you'll have your home theater system.
  15. Click Next.

    Click the dropdown menu, choose the room in which you'll have your home theater, click Next

  16. Click Next once your TV is turned off.
  17. Click Add SUB.

    Click Next once your TV is turned off, click Add Sub

  18. Click Next once you've plugged in your Sonos Sub.
  19. Follow the on-screen instructions.

    Click Next once you have your Sub plugged in, follow the on-screen instructions

  20. Click Next on the screen that says your Sub has been added.
  21. Click Add Surrounds.

    Click Next, click Add Surrounds

  22. Click the dropdown menu.
  23. Click the Sonos model that you have for your surround speakers.
  24. Click Set Up These Players.

    Click the dropdown menu, click the Sonos model you'll be using as your surround speakers, click Set Up These Speakers

  25. Click Next once you've connected your left surround speaker to power and placed it where you would like it.
  26. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  27. Click Next once your left surround has been added.

    Click Next once your left surround is connected to power, follow the on-screen instructions, click Next, click Next

  28. Click Next once you've connected your right surround speaker to power and placed it where you would like it.
  29. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  30. Click Next once your right surround has been added.

    Follow the on-screen instructions, click Next

  31. Click Next if there is a Sonos update.
  32. Click Next once the update is complete.

    Click Next, click Next

  33. Click Next on the Audio Setup screen.
  34. Click Next once you have moved to a central location from where you'll most often watch TV.

    Click Next, click Next

  35. Click the play button. Bass tones will start to play.
  36. Click an option based on what you hear.
    • Click No Difference if there is no difference in volume between A and B.
    • Click A is Louder if the bass tones are louder when the letter A is highlighted.
    • Click B is Louder if the bass tones are louder when the letter B is highlighted.
  37. Click Next.

    Click the play button, click an option, click Next

  38. Click the play button.
  39. Click the bass setting that is most pleasing to your ear. You can add bass or lower it, depending on your preference.
  40. Click Next.

    Click the play button, choose a bass setting, click Next

  41. Click the option that best describes the distance from you to your surround speakers.
    • Less than 2 feet (0.6m)
    • 2 feet to 10 feet (0.6m to 3m)
    • More than 10 feet (3m)
  42. Click Next.

    Click an option, click Next

  43. Click Next once the sound has been optimized for the room.
  44. Click Next once you have connected your Playbar to your TV via optical cable.

    Click Next, click Next

  45. Click Next once your have turned your TV on to a movie or a show.
  46. Click Next once the connection is recognized.

    Click Next, click Next

  47. Click Next once you have disabled your TV's speakers and set your TV's audio output to external speakers. This can be done using your TV remote in the audio settings in your menu. This will vary by television.
  48. Click Successfully Disabled once you have set your TV's audio output to external speakers.
  49. Click Next.

    Click Next, click Successfully disabled, click Next

  50. Click Next on the TV Speakers screen.
  51. Press the volume button on your TV remote to sync your remote with your Sonos system.

    click Next, press the volume up button on your remote

  52. Click Next on the Remote Control Setup screen.
  53. Press the volume button on your TV remote and choose the option that best describes what you see.
    • A Message is Displayed
    • A Volume Level is Displayed
    • Nothing is Displayed
  54. Click Next.

    Click Next, click the option that best describes what you see, click Next

  55. Click Next on the TV Messages screen.
  56. Click Not Now to complete the home theater setup.
  57. Click Done.

    Click Next, Click Not Now, click Done

Voilá! You're now pumping sweet, sweet surround sound thanks to Sonos.

You can always undo your home theater system in the Group settings of the Sonos Controller app.

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