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Can I use Sonos One as front left and front right with Sonos Beam?

  • 18 September 2018
  • 5 replies
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I am pursuing a 5.1 surround sound set-up for my medium-sized game room. I plan to get a Beam and Sub as well as an Amp to power two in-wall rear speakers. I know that the Beam can output front left and front right in addition to center; however, I am curious if it is possible to 'boost' the front sound by getting two One speakers for front left and front right while also using the Beam. I understand that the Playbar may be a better option for front sound but I like the look of the Beam better and want the HDMI ARC functionality found in the Beam. I simply ask if it is possible to set up my front sound with a Beam and two One speakers (and still have it sound as it should), not whether it is practical or what others would do.
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Best answer by melvimbe 18 September 2018, 18:37

Short answer, no, there is no option to do this.

Long answer is that you can setup the Sonos ones as stereo pair, with a different room name, but place them in the same room as your Beam. When playing music sources, the two virtual rooms would play in sync. For tv, they would be slightly out of sync. You would also not be able to use trueplay tuning accurately for the two rooms.

You may want to look at the announced Sonos amp, as that can power passive front left and right speakers with a simulated center channel.
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Short answer, no, there is no option to do this.

Long answer is that you can setup the Sonos ones as stereo pair, with a different room name, but place them in the same room as your Beam. When playing music sources, the two virtual rooms would play in sync. For tv, they would be slightly out of sync. You would also not be able to use trueplay tuning accurately for the two rooms.

You may want to look at the announced Sonos amp, as that can power passive front left and right speakers with a simulated center channel.
Thanks Danny. Sounds like getting the One speakers for the application I suggested won't be ideal.

I was already planning to get an Amp for two rear in-wall speakers (left and right) so I could use the same Amp to power two passive bookshelf speakers for front left and right. I was under the impression though that true 5.1 with the Amp and Sub alone was not possible since the amp will only power 4 speakers. Can you clarify what you mean by simulated center channel?
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You can use the Connect:amp or Sonos amp to power your rear in-wall speakers. You can then use a different Sonos amp for front speakers. The Sonos amp is supposed to be able to send audio to left and right speaker in such a way that there appears to be sound coming from a center channel that isn't actually present. And of course, you can add a sub.

Technically, that's a 4.1 setup, with simulated center channel.
So I would have to have two of the newly announced Sonos Amps and a Sub for the 4.1 setup with simulated center channel? I was planning to get the newly announced Sonos Amps (not the Connect:Amp) so just want to clarify whether I would need 1 or 2 since I thought the newly announced Sonos Amp could power 4 speakers. Perhaps that's just in stereo and not in surround?
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Yes, you need 2 Sonos amps if you're going to use non-sonos speakers for the front and rears.

Perhaps it's more to think of it terms of having different options for the front speakers and a different setup for the rear speakers...in whatever combination makes sense for you. There is no sonos device that handles both front and rear all in one device

So for front speakers, you can use any of the following:
Playbar
Playbase
Beam
Sonos Amp (2 passive speakers with simulated center)

for rear speakers, you can use:
2 Sonos Ones
2 Play:1s
2 Play:3s
2 Play:5s
connect:amp (2 passive speakers)
sonos amp (2 passive speakers)

The Sonos amp (and connect:amp) has connector for left and right channels only (set to play stereo, tv audio front left and right w/simulated center, or rear surrounds). You can attach 2 or more pairs of speakers to the Sonos amp, but the speakers would not being playing more than 2 channels still.

So in theory, you could connect 2 pair of speakers to the Sonos amp, all playing rear audio and it would look like 7.1 audio, because there are 4 speakers, but you really are just doubling up on the 2 rear channels.