Originally Posted by jautor
If you're talking about any Soundbar (Sonos Playbar or any other brand) - there is NO surround channel (speaker) output... If you want "true" 5.1 surround in that room, you'll need an AVR. If you want to keep a minimal speaker footprint around the TV, a "speaker bar" for LCR is a possibility.
And in that case, a Sonos Connect used as a source on the AVR could be part of the equation. Again, I'd base that on how often the family members would be willing to turn on the AVR and use the main speakers (as opposed to the Sonos app alone).
I mean to write Playbar above, not the generic soundbar. If I have a Sonos Playbar, then there is NO AVR in the chain. That's the way it's designed, even if set up for 5.1 with a Sonos Sub and either a pair of Player speakers or a Connect:Amp hardwired to surround speakers.
With a generic soundbar, then an AVR would be required to drive the sub and surrounds, I think. There may be other specific soundbars that have provisions to drive a sub and surround, like a HTiB system.
I'm not real keen on the idea of needing to turn on the AVR (if there is one) to activate the WHA speaker mode. More control complexity, and probably more electric usage then necessary.
Unfortunately, I don't think there's a way to (easily) switch a Connect:Amp from surround duty to WHA zone duty. I need to research this more, but I think (not sure) that when you pair a Connect with a Playbar as the surrounds, it doesn't show up as a destination zone.