multi room sub pairing

  • 11 September 2023
  • 2 replies

Picture this: in one room I have a TV with the following SONOS products set up to provide a surround experience: 


sub (gen 3)

And a pair of Play 5

this is a great surround sound setup for my TV and I’m super happy. But..

In the extended part of my living room I have another pair of SONOS speakers who are grouped as a stereo pair under the name ‘Livingroom’. 

the Sub (gen 3) is in fact placed so that it would be perfect as a sub for my stereo pair, when it’s not busy being a sub for my TV surround. Since these two setups are in fact more or less in the same room, they will never be used at the same time, and it would make for a much better listening experience if the sub could be used as needed. 

today it seems the only option is to unpair the sub and pair it with the speakers in question and then unpair and re-pair for next use. This is cumbersome and leaves me using the sub only for TV surround and having a cheaper experience when listening to music.


How about offering a ‘scene’ option so that speakers can be paired / grouped based on use-case?


TV scene and my surround is activated and sub, arc and rear speakers play their part. Switch to music and the sub joins my music speakers. Doable?


2 replies

Asked for many times over the years, but never implemented.  It’s generally thought to be impossible due to the configuration required for the ad hoc 5 GHz direct connection between a Sonos subwoofer and it’s main speakers.  There’s a reason adding a sub to a room takes the time it does, the system must reconfigure the radios and perform a handshake.  They could possibly make this a hot button, but it’s not going to speed up the process from the current time it takes to remove it from one room and add it to another.

One possible way around this reconfiguration issue is to allow users to setup a single Sonos room that includes a Arc + rear surrounds + sub + stereo pair of speakers.  When playing TV audio, the Arc_ rear surrounds + sub will play.  When playing music, the Arc still processes the audio, but sends the stereo signals to the stereo pair and sub.  So the sub isn’t actually switching rooms, and the room’s main coordinator remains the same.

Still lots of problems with this though. The tuning would be different between the TV and music modes, so that would complicate tuning.  Users who place speakers  to the left/right of the TV would want them used for TV audio as well, another common request.   Users also request to be able to physically move the sub to a different room, and this would not work for that request at all.