My sole focus in the early days of next-gen was getting my hands on a PlayStation 5. I assumed I would just swap it out with my PlayStation 4. Then just plug in all the wires and get on with gaming. Then I found out that the PS5 doesn’t come with an optical out port.
The relief of getting a PlayStation 5 once again turn into panic. How was I going to connect my PlayStation 5 with my sound system! Will it even work?
Will my sound system work with the PlayStation 5? The short answer is yes in 99% of cases. The way your sound system is hooked up to the PS5 might have to change. This is because the PS5 has no ‘Optical Out’ port. You will need to use the supplied HDMI 2.1 cable to plug directly into your TV. Then plug your optical cable from your TV into your sound system, then change the necessary settings.
After that shock, I wasn’t sure what do to. I was aware that I needed to use HDMI 2.1 to unlock the true potential of the PlayStation 5.
But if I plugged the included HDMI into my sound system, would I lose any features?
My sound system certainly isn’t HDMI 2.1 compatible.
What other ways could I connect up to my sound system? I mean what can you do if your TV doesn’t have an optical out port? Read on to find out some different ways to connect your PS5 to your sound system.
Will my sound system work on the PlayStation 5?
I will admit that I was so excited setting up the PlayStation 5 that I only plugged in the power and HDMI cables. So when the PlayStation 5 first booted up I had no sound. It wasn’t until I was on the home screen that it even click in my head that the room was deadly silent.
Had I sat on the muted button! So without thinking I grabbed the sound system remote and held down the volume up button all the way. Still no sound!
Then I realize my error. In my excitement, I hadn’t plug-in the optical cable.
So I pulled the PlayStation out from under my TV, picked up the optical cable, and couldn’t for the life of me find the port. I thought I was blind. I unplug everything for a better inspection.
There was NO optical port! I had the optical wire just sitting there mocking me. I had to find a different way to hook up my sound system to the PlayStation 5.
But why was there no optical out port?
Why the PS5 has no Optical Port
The decision to remove the optical port on the PlayStation 5 was economical. When designing the PS5 Sony had Decided to sacrificed the optical port due to cost. I get that the price point of a console is the all-important number. An expensive lesson that Sony relearnt in the PlayStation 3 era.
Sony collects data on the usage of the PlayStation 4 when users allow it. This data will have guided the team in the decision to drop the optical port. After all, why add a port that not many people are using, or that has a simple workaround.
Is there a way around the optical port issue?
What I ended up doing was plugging my PS5 HMDI into my TV. Then pugging the Optical Cable into the TVs ‘Optical Out port’. Then I put the other end into my sound system.
I didn’t even know my Tv had an ‘Optical Out port’! But boy am I glad it did.
Rember to use the HDMI 2.1 cable included with your PlayStation 5 when hooking up your PS5 to your TV.
What about a splitter?
You can buy a splitter, that takes an ‘HDMI In’ and split the signal into HDMI Out’ and Optical Out’. In theory, you could then just plug straight into the HDMI into the TV and the Optical cable into the sound system.
But there a catch.
At the moment you can’t get splitters that are HDMI 2.1 compatible. This will change soon as whenever new technology is released it can take a short amount of time for companies to catch up.
You can use a splitter that is HDMI 2.0 but you will not get the full feature set that the PlayStation can output. You won’t get 3d sound or a high refresh rate.
Just be patient. When one is available we will link to it here.
The different types of sound set up
There are a few different types of sound setups, but most of them are set up in the same way. With just a few settings that need changing. These setups include:
- Use the TV Speakers – I doubt you are one of these people. If you are reading this then the chances are very high that you have a sound system. But it is the go-to option for a lot of people.
- Soundbar – These are great for small rooms. A soundbar is simple to set up and often just goes under the TV.
- Surround sound – Whether you are using a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system, you probably appreciate that sound plays a big part in the entertainment experience. Did you know that most people don’t even have their surround sound setup correctly?
- If you have a Dolby Amos set up, then one, I’m insanely jealous, and two, the PlayStation 5 only supports Amos in Blu-ray playback only. If you want to game with Dolby Amos then you need to buy an Xbox Series X|S.
- Headphones have their place in this list because of their versatility. Plus you can experience 3d sound via the ‘Tempest Engine’. More on that down below.
How can you hook up your sound system to the PlayStation 5?
There are a few ways to do this but it is all going to depend on what TV and sound system you have.
You should go and check the back of your TV to see if you have an ‘Optical Out port’
Make sure it says ‘Out’ and not ‘In.
Check the back of your AV Amplifier to see if you have an ‘HDMI Out’.
If one of these is an option, then great you can easily hook up your sound system.
PS5 HDMI into TV, then optical from TV to sound system
This is what I ended up doing as it was the best solution with the equipment I had. Also, I wasn’t messing with the HDMI signal.
The main thing you will need to do is go into your TV setting to make sure it is outputting the sound from the TV’s optical out. This is going to be different from each television. But it should be straightforward. Most TVs will have a sound section in their main menu, where you can make this change.
PS5 HDMI into TV, then HDMI from TV to sound system
This will only work if you have an HDMI out on your TV and an HDMI in on your sound system. If that is the case, then you will still need to let your TV know to output the sound signal out of the ‘HDMI Out’ port.
PS5 HDMI into sound system, then HDMI back to TV
This option is probably the worst option as you are messing with your lovely HDMI 2.1 signal.
It can be done, it is just not optimal.
Just make sure your sound system has an ‘HDMI out’ port.
You are going to run into the HDMI 2.1 issues. It will work. But you won’t get the full feature set of HDMI 2.1.
You just need to make sure your AV Amplifier knows to pass on the information to your tv.
You will most likely be needing to upgrade your AV Amplifier when HDMI 2.1 compatible systems hit the market. The price will also be high because it will only be added to the latest and expensive models. It will eventually become the industry standard on all electronics equipment with HDMI.
Playing a Blu-ray with surround sound
Surprisingly surround sound doesn’t work out of the box. There are a few settings you need to change first. Once you make the changes the PS5 will remember the setting for future disk playback.
Head to the setting, under Sound, find the ‘Audio format’ option. This needs to be changed from ‘Linear PCM’ to ‘Bitstream’. Once that is done, your surround sound should now be working which also includes Dolby Atmos playback, where applicable.
Will 3d sound work with my sound setup?
One of the ideas that Sony pushed with the PS3 was to have a dedicated sound chip. Due to the difficulty of developing on the PlayStation 3, many teams struggled to come to terms with the hardware. So the idea was dropped with the PS4.
The PlayStation 5 has once again gone down the route of having a dedicated sound chip. This chip is capable of handling 3D sound. Sony calls its custom sound software the ‘Tempest Engine’.
Sony’s plan is to make it work with any type of sound set up, from headphone to 9.1 surround sound.
Unfortunately as of the launch of the PlayStation 5, the Tempest engine only produces £D sound for headphones.
Sony started with headphones because they are easy to predict. As you know where the speakers are in relation to the user. Sonys then plans to work their way through more complicated sound setups. They have acknowledged that it will be a long-term project, that most likely last well into the life cycle of the PlayStation 5.
Sometimes you don’t want to use the full extent of your sound system. You need a more personal experience. Maybe you are playing while your partner is still sleeping and you just want to prolong your gaming session, without waking the house up.
So headphones are a great option. I for one can’t play games with the sound off. I need the sound feedback to make me feel part of the game.
In fact, headphones offer the best gaming audible experience you can get on the PS5.
Make sure you are using the right setting to get the best experience.
Head to the sound setting. Then follow the path to headphones.
- Sound > Audio Output > Headphones.
Now make sure you have Enabled 3d Audio!
You may have to plug in your headphones to select some options. If it is wired you can plug it into a DuelSence controller. Your headphone has to be connected straight to the PlayStation 5, not to your TV or sound system.
Creating a sound profile is the best way to get great sound just for you. Sony Tempest Engine works by using ear profiles. Unfortunately, you can’t have a scan of your ear imported, Yet!
But in the meantime, Sony has added some presets, choose the one which gets you the best results.
Then, Vola, 3D sound.
Now we just need Sony to hurry up and make 3D sound work with surround sound.
Most sound systems are going to be compatible with the PlayStation 5. The way that you connect up your PS5 the your sound system might have to change.
If you used an optical cable to hook up your PS4 straight into your Sound system. You are going to have to find an alternative solution on the PS5.
Because the PS5 doesn’t have an ‘Optical Out’ port. This feature was dropped by Sony due to cost and lack of use.
You should be able you connect the PS5 to your TV and have the TV output sound with an ‘optical cable’ or HDMI into your AV Amplifier.
Just make sure that if you are doing this using HDMI you are using HMDI 2.1 compatible hardware.
PlayStation 5’s Tempest Engine is a dedicated chip to support 3D sound. With only supports headphone out of the box. Sony is working on making 3d sound work on a range of devices. This is not going to happen overnight.
Does PlayStation 5 support Dolby Atmos? The PlayStation 5 only supports Dolby Atmos in Blu-ray playback. Sony decided to pursue their own 3D sound which will work on any sound system using the Tempest Engine. Dolby Atmos is not supported when playing games.
Can I get 3d sound if I pair my headphones with my sound system? No, you will have to pair your headphones with the PlayStation 5 directly. You will also so need to enable 3d sound in the headphone section of the sound setting in the PlayStation 5’s menu.
Does the Tempest engine support 3d sound with my surround sound? Not yet, it only works with headphones currently. Sony is developing its 3d sound with hopes that they can find a solution. After headphones they are going to focus on making 3d sound work with TVs built-in speakers, then lastly surround sound setups.