Apple MacMini M1 -> Samsung HWQ600 A -> Dolby Atmos / Surround sound

JensS

Novice Member
I did some research and it seems that this is common problem. Still I hope somebody can help me wiht a hint.

I want to connect my Apple MacMini M1 (MacOS Monterey 12.2.1) via HDMI cable to a Samsung HWQ600A (wiht additional rear speakers). Video connection via USB C to LG monitor. With this setup I can manage to get sound out of the soundbar and the rear speakers but this is not atmos or suround sound but simply a stero signal that is duplicated.

I tried to influence the set up wiht the AudioMidiSetup app from Apple. But the only setting that I can select is stereo sound. All other choices are greyed out.

I included an HDMI audio extractor in the setting. MacMini -> HDMI cable -> HDMI extractor -> HDMI cable -> Samsung Soundbar. With this setting I have far more choices in the AudioMidiSetup App but whateverI choose I get no sound at all.

I tried the optical connection (toslink) only stero. Which seems to be no surprise as I read that in this setup optical connection would only provide stereo sound as well.

The test I ran today included my apple TV 4k. I connectes the apple TV via HDMI to the soundbar. Trailer from on apple TV did not provide suround sound. But when I streamed a file from my iPhone via Airplay to the Apple TV the sourround capabilities suddenly worked. (Did use a test file that provides isloated signals for each channel left, right, center, rear left, rear right, subwofer).

It seems that the MacMini tries to identify if the output device (the soundbar) is able to use 5.1 (or atmos). With the connection via HDMI to the Samsung directly the MacMini thinks this device can only do stero. But when I try to circumvent the auto detection wiht the HDMI audio extractor it doesn't play a sound at all.

I had a long chat with the apple support but they say it is a problem of the cable or the soundbar but by no means a problem of the Mac. I'm personally not convinced.

Does anybody has an idea how I could get the sound from the mac in the soundbar?

Really appreciate your support, thanks a lot.

Best Regards

Jens
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Like any modern Source device the MacMini is using EDID to communicate with the connected devices to understand what they can support.

The difficulty is you have a Two Channel (or no channel) Display plus the Atmos capable Soundbar sending differing capabilities to separate outputs on the MacMini plus you are using the USB-C adapter.

Your playback App is potentially getting confused about the capabilities of your connected devices.

A decent HDMI Audio Extractor or ‘Splitter’ with EDID management will allow you to set what information your MacMini sees rather than it ‘seeing’ the EDID the connected devices are sending.

HDFury have a range of options you could consider.

Joe
 

JensS

Novice Member
Thanks a lot, Joe. Honestly this is the first helpful answer since month. I assumed that the problem was due to the interaction between MacMini, soundbar and monitor.

I recently changed the setup and connected an AppleTV. AppleTV-> HDMI cable -> Soundbar -> HDMI cable -> Montior. Then I streamed a test file from my iPhone via AirPlay to AppleTV. This worked, also with surround sound.

I assume in this case the AppleTV acted as a kind of HDMI splitter preventing that the MacMini received the EDID information from the soundbar and/or the monitor. Also using the AppleTV to stream videos or movies provided surround sound.

In a way this is disapointing because obviousle Apple devices can deal with the setup but the MacMini not. Which makes the feedback from Apple support even more disapointing ("not an Apple problem").

Using an Apple TV as HDMI extractor/splitter is not my first choice. I looked at HDFury - thanks a lot for this hint too - but wonder which device would be the right one?

I think the 4K Arcana (4K Arcana 18Gbps | HDFury.com | Connect and Fix everything in HDMI) wouldn't be the right one, because the Soundbar is not totally supporting eArc.

Dr HDMI 8k (Dr HDMI 8K | HDFury.com | Connect and Fix everything in HDMI) might work but offers LAN connections that I don't need.

Vertex 4k60 (Vertex 4K60 4:4:4 600MHz | HDFury.com | Connect and Fix everything in HDMI) could also be a choise. I guess it's obvious where I struggle.

I'm thankful for any advice. Thank you so much.

Best regards,

jens
 
Last edited:

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you replace the ATV with the Mac mini and connect Mac mini > Soundbar then Soundbar to Monitor does that not deliver Surround Sound + Video?

I guess that may limit what video formats you can pass via the Soundbar to the Monitor.

HDFury can be confusing as the feature sets are pretty comprehensive - the Integral2, Vertex, Vertex2, Diva and Vertex3 can be configured as Video+HDMI Audio ‘splitters’.

Joe
 

JensS

Novice Member
Thanks, Joe. Will look into the HD Fury devices.

When I connect the Mac Mini to soundbar and soundbar to monitor I only get stereo sound. The AudioMidiControle detects the sound bar as a monitor that has only two channels and I can't change that. My assumption is, that this is due to the EDID interaction.

To make things even a bit more irritating I tried another set up today. I went back to the setup that worked in a way. ATV ->soundbar -> monitor. When playing movies from ATV this provided surround sound. Also playing 3D music from ITunes worked.

I streamed a test file from my iPhone and from my iPad and it worked as well while connected via AirPlay to ATV. Then I connected the MacMini and later a MacBook via AirPlay and played the same test file. This time it didn't work.

So while ATV wasn't changed but input varied from iPhone/iPad (iOS) to MacMini/MacBook (MacOS) I'm starting to assume that is has something to do with the OS. I guess I will write again to the Apple suport. Because when this is an OS problem I'm not sure if the HDFury devices can help.

Thanks a lot for your help, really appreciate it.

Best Regards,

Jens
 

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