Multi-Function Disappointment

  • 18 May 2017
  • 9 replies
  • 630 views

I started with 2 Play 5s paired in my living room in stereo, sounding amazing for music. Even added Google Chromecast Audio to an input and can control music by voice through my Google Home. Wow, great! Awesome system. Now let's beef up my tv sound...

Just purchased a Playbar and Sub and set the Play 5s as rear surrounds. TV sounds incredible now!

"Ok Google, play Aerosmith in living room." Nothing

Go to Sonos app, find Aerosmith in Amazon. Sound is blah, to put it mildly with tbe Playbar now dominating the sound output.

It seems the Play 5s are now completely dummied down with miniscule sound output, and their inputs are disabled. Even the Sub is barely noticable.

I can't be the only person who would expect awesome sound for both music, and tv in the same darn room?!

Tech support basically said, "I completely understand what your goal is, but it can't be done. Buy some Play 1s for surrounds, sit them on top of your 5s and set up a different zone for music." Guess I need to buy another Sub too?

Ugh. Am I crazy? Am I missing something here? Would love suggestions please.

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Just to make sure, if you'd like a larger sound stage when your PLAYBAR is set to be playing music, go into the Sonos settings and select Room Settings > Surrounds and under Music Playback choose "Full". This won't adjust any music played on your TV, to your PLAYBAR over optical, but any music played through the Sonos app will have your surrounds mirroring your center.

As to music played on the TV, the PLAYBAR doesn't know the difference between that and any other audio you might be playing, so that gets treated the same as a movie or TV show would.


Ugh. Am I crazy? Am I missing something here? Would love suggestions please.

What you are missing is that in using Sonos for HT instead of a full monty multi wired speaker HT set up, there are compromises to be made, and you have just discovered one of the main ones.

The solution is to use the 5 pair for music, keeping them flanking the TV.

Get a pair of 1 units for surround sound, they are perfectly able to deliver that requirement.

Use the Sub for the application where it gives you the most value. With a 5 pair for music, I suspect that would HT.

Use just the 5 pair zone for music play and use the play bar/Sub/1 pair surround zone for TV/HT.

Trueplay both zones for optimum results.
Thanks Ryan, just tried that and it certainly helped, but the Sub still seems weak with music alone. Even with bass bumped all the way up in EQ.

I'm not concerned about music with the tv as the source, but I do wish i could get the Chromecast Audio to come back to life in the input of the 5.
PS: The 1 pair will go to the rear of the room where it belongs, NOT on top of the 5 pair that will be in front and spaced correctly for accurate stereo imaging. I am surprised Tech Support said that, if they did.
PS: The 1 pair will go to the rear of the room where it belongs, NOT on top of the 5 pair that will be in front and spaced correctly for accurate stereo imaging. I am surprised Tech Support said that, if they did.

For how i have my particular layout, the 5s and 1s would be in the same spot. They weren't being smartasses. They were very helpful, despite the shortcomings I learned about.
In that case, there is no use for the 1 pair; use just the bar + Sub for TV and 5 pair as before for music via two different zones.
I am unsatisfied with how this thread apparently resolved 3 months ago. The solution for many people who just want more volume for music coming through their TV would be one of the following:

(1) Allow "Full" mode to be selected for the surrounds for the TV source.

(2) Provide a group "Party Mode" for a single group/room, that effectivly gives you "Full" mode sound.

Given all the other possible configurations, there is absolutely no reason that the Sonos interface and the overall system can't be modified to support this. In fact, it seems like significant effort was spent to prevent users from essentially using the TV/PlayBase as a head unit for music as well as home theater.

Consider the following:

(1) Many people have computers connected directly to their TVs.

(2) Software like iTunes provide more features for managing and selecting music to be played.

(3) Many people like to listen to music via YouTube via a browser on their computers or via a YouTube app running directly on their TVs.

(4) Many people like to listen to music channels from their cable TV service.

And yes there is somekind of aftermarket shareware partial solution out there, but I think this is functionality that Sonos should directly support.
What do you mean "Party Mode"? Is that a setting I don't know about?
I may not have the option label exactly correct, but it is a check-box for grouping speakers when you have multiple rooms/speaker groups in your Sonos setup. Previously I had a PlayBase and sub in "Family Room", and I had 2 Play 5s as a stereo pair in "Family Room 2". In this previous configuration, I could group the two rooms so that the same content was being played in both "rooms" (all the speakers were physically in the same room).

In this previous configuration I could play music through my TV (either a cable channel or from my computer hooked up to my TV), and I got "full" sound from both the PlayBase and Play 5s.

Before I moved my Play 5s to "Family Room" as surrounds, in the room grouping interface there was a shortcut for grouping all rooms. It was a check-box labeled something like "Party Mode". So, why not allow "Party Mode" for a single room setup for home theatre?