Programming Apple 4th gen remote to control Sonos

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Setting up the Apple TV (4th generation) remote is a little different than your traditional remote. The Apple TV remote uses HDMI-CEC technology which allows the Apple TV to detect the television settings automatically. There is no way for the Apple TV to detect a Sonos home theater speaker using an optical connection, so you will need to program the Apple TV remote to control the speaker manually. But don’t worry, it’s only a few short steps.

Before you start, make sure the Apple TV and Playbar, Playbase, or Beam are within line-of-sight of the Apple TV remote. Depending on if you’ve already setup your Apple TV or Sonos home theater speaker, the steps will differ so please select the scenario below that best fits your needs.

Setting up a new Apple TV and Sonos home theater speaker at the same time:

Setup the Apple TV

For the most part, the setup of the Apple TV is plug-and-play. The Apple TV can detect which television you are using and may automatically program the Apple TV remote to control the volume of the television speakers – not the home theater speaker. After you’ve setup the Apple TV, come back to this article to configure the Apple TV remote to control the volume of the home theater speaker.

Follow Apple’s instructions for setting up your Apple TV.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205358

Setup the Sonos Playbar, Playbase, or Beam

Next, follow our instructions on setting up the Sonos Playbar or Playbase or setting up the Sonos Beam. When prompted to setup your TV remote, please follow the instructions using the Apple TV remote.

 Disable your television speakers

Finally, you will want to ensure that the internal TV speakers are disabled. For steps on how to disable your television speakers, check out our article: How to disable your television speakers

If you have recently purchased an Apple TV, and already have a Sonos home theater speaker setup:

Open the Sonos app.

Navigate to Room Settings.

– Using the Sonos app for iOS or Android: From the More tab, tap Settings > Room Settings.

– Using the Sonos app for Mac: Select Sonos > Preferences > Room Settings

– Using the Sonos app for PC: Select Manage > Settings > Room Settings

– Select TV Setup and Control > Remote Control Setup. Follow the in-app steps using your Apple TV remote.

After completing these steps the Apple TV remote will be the only remote that controls your home theater speaker’s volume.

If you have recently purchased a Sonos home theater speaker, and already have the Apple TV setup:

You may notice that when you press the volume on your remote, it is not adjusting the volume of the home theater speaker, but the television speakers instead. If your TV speakers are disabled or muted, you may get an icon or message telling you this. The issue is that the TV is still receiving commands to adjust the volume when the TV speakers are disabled, and the remote commands are intended for the home theater speaker. To fix this, you will need to teach a different IR remote to the Apple TV.

Grab a remote that you no longer use or one that controls a TV in another room of your home. We’re going to teach your Apple TV remote to send commands that are from this unused remote. This way, the volume buttons on your Apple TV remote will only be seen by the home theater speaker and the popups on your TV will no longer appear.

On your Apple TV:

– Go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Control TVs and Receivers.

– Set this to Off.

– Next, go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Volume Control.

– Select TV via IR.

– Select Learn New Device.

– Follow the on-screen steps to program your Apple TV remote to use the codes from the secondary remote you picked up earlier.

Now you will need to teach the Apple TV remote to the home theater speaker:

– Using the Sonos app for iOS or Android: From the More tab, tap Settings > Room Settings.

– Using the Sonos app for Mac: From the menu bar at the top of your screen click Sonos and then Preferences.

– Using the Sonos app for PC: From the menu bar at the top of your screen select Manage > Settings > Room Settings.

– Select TV Setup and Control > Remote Control Setup.

Follow the in-app steps using your Apple TV remote. You will be prompted to program the Volume and Mute buttons on the remote. Since the Apple TV remote does not have a mute button, just wait a minute for this to timeout and continue. After completing these steps, this remote will be the only remote that controls your home theater speaker volume.

If your television supports passing a Dolby Digital signal from the Apple TV through the optical output, we recommend that you enable Dolby Surround so that you get true surround sound for the best sound quality from the Apple TV.

On your Apple TV:

Go to Settings > Audio and Video > Audio Output.

Set the Audio Output to Dolby Surround.

 

Please note: If you are listening to music through the Playbar, Playbase, or Beam with the TV off, if you adjust the volume with the Apple TV remote, it may turn your TV on.