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Bass vs Sub

  • 23 February 2017
  • 14 replies
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Can anyone explain how the Sub level works vs the Bass? What is the effect of increasing the Sub level vis a vis increasing bass level.
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Best answer by Arnaud D 23 February 2017, 15:32

Hi Cazualchatter, welcome to the community.

The Bass level is part of the EQ and will increase or decrease the level of bass in general (on the Sub and also on the speaker that is bonded with the Sub).
However, the Sub level will affect only the Sub and not the speaker(s) bonded with. Sub level does not touch the EQ, but simply raise or reducing the power of the Sub.
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14 replies

Hi Cazualchatter, welcome to the community.

The Bass level is part of the EQ and will increase or decrease the level of bass in general (on the Sub and also on the speaker that is bonded with the Sub).
However, the Sub level will affect only the Sub and not the speaker(s) bonded with. Sub level does not touch the EQ, but simply raise or reducing the power of the Sub.
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Hi Cazualchatter, welcome to the community.

The Bass level is part of the EQ and will increase or decrease the level of bass in general (on the Sub and also on the speaker that is bonded with the Sub).
However, the Sub level will affect only the Sub and not the speaker(s) bonded with. Sub level does not touch the EQ, but simply raise or reducing the power of the Sub.


Is it me, or am I missing something? I didn't think you could adjust the Sub once it was bonded? The Sub disappears from view once bonded and there aren't any other controls on it to "adjust" anything ... or are there? I just expected the output level to alter with the adjustments being made to the bonded Play/Pair.
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if you look into Advanced Audio/Sub Settings you can switch the level of the sub as well as switch it on/off. my query is what si the different of adjusting this control versus increasing the Bass in EQ.
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Hi Arnaud D, my original thought was to get more punchy bass - this would mean i keep Sub settings to center and increase Bass? that was the bass on the Play 1 would increase and be "punchy"?
Try both routes and see what works best for you.
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Hi Arnaud D, my original thought was to get more punchy bass - this would mean i keep Sub settings to center and increase Bass? that was the bass on the Play 1 would increase and be "punchy"?

While the Play 1 is a great device, I'm my view, it simply can't do full justice to the full spectrum of audio you may want it to play... I could be wrong, but I visualize the concept as this.... and I'd love other's comments regarding the thought structures I have in my head....

Picture a sideways line with a numbered scale representing frequency response. .... shade a portion of it (of essentially a fixed width) as where you are asking the Play1s to respond to the audio.... shifting this shaded area to the bass side, or treble side of your line is changing EQ.... (shifting all of it, not broadening it) The 1's can't play an entire range of frequency response.... if you want them to shift lower, they can, but you sacrifice the higher frequency response. When you added the SUB, the transformation of the audio experience is, in part, because you allow the sub to take the bass portion of response and let the Play1s shift their, necessarily constrained, response to the higher frequency ranges and release some of the lower response off to the SUB.

Now visualize a separate shaded portion along this line far to the bass side of the line and coming up to your Play 1 portion - a wide swath of the lower end of frequency response.... this represents the SUB.... changing the sub power is essentially increasing the volume of the response within this range... but you are not shifting the range along the line like with EQ...

For what you want, I think, without distorting the available audio response at the top end, I'd increase the SUB power and not shift the EQ....

Hope I've described the thought structures in my head fairly well and am, of course, open to other's modifications or feedback.
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Straight back home tonight to "fiddle" .... maybe that's why my Sub is a bit muted maybe, needs fiddling with 😃
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Thanks for the responses. I think the Play 1s + Sub combination while really good does not sound as punchy to me as the Play 5s when I heard both in a shop. Maybe I just need to try adjusting the EQ and Sub slides to see which comes closest.
I think the Play 1s + Sub combination while really good does not sound as punchy to me as the Play 5s when I heard both in a shop. Maybe I just need to try adjusting the EQ and Sub slides to see which comes closest.
How speakers sound is very greatly influenced by where they are placed, so a valid comparison needs both to be placed in the same place, ideally in the target home, with special attention to Sub placement. I don't see that either will then be punchier than the other, but the 1 pair + Sub will stay punchier as volume levels come close to the max - if that style of listening is a preference or a need and is permitted by a lack of neighbours.

The best way to tweak the sound from a speaker set up is:
1. Place them in as close to an ideal position as the home allows.
2. Then do True play tuning in that location
3. Fiddle around with both Eq and Sub output levels to get the sound to your specific tastes, for the music you listen to. Doing this is always a lot more useful than reading about doing it.
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Try experimenting with SUB placement. It can really affect the sound in the room.
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I think the Play 1s + Sub combination while really good does not sound as punchy to me as the Play 5s when I heard both in a shop. Maybe I just need to try adjusting the EQ and Sub slides to see which comes closest.
How speakers sound is very greatly influenced by where they are placed, so a valid comparison needs both to be placed in the same place, ideally in the target home, with special attention to Sub placement. I don't see that either will then be punchier than the other, but the 1 pair + Sub will stay punchier as volume levels come close to the max - if that style of listening is a preference or a need and is permitted by a lack of neighbours.

The best way to tweak the sound from a speaker set up is:
1. Place them in as close to an ideal position as the home allows.
2. Then do True play tuning in that location
3. Fiddle around with both Eq and Sub output levels to get the sound to your specific tastes, for the music you listen to. Doing this is always a lot more useful than reading about doing it.


Kumar, i cannot place the Sub between the speakers. They are on the TV table and because the Sub looks so grand, i have it placed at the far end of the table so as to not block the view of the TV for those own that end. I have listened to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon today with my eyes closed and could not make out the position of the Sub. The low notes seemed to play from the Play1 on the other side so to speak. i did not understand why the position of the Sub matters even Sonos recommends placing it any where. I also am looking at the Playbar and then your proposition does to make sense because it will not hold for the bar.
Sonos merely says it can be placed anywhere, not that it will sound the same everywhere! But what works for you is good for you; my recommendation is based on my experience with different locations of the Sub for the best results for music to my ears. I don't use a Sub for home theatre.
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Trueplay tune your speakers to get at least a good starting point for your sound.