Playbar surround speakers + stereo room speakers

  • 29 December 2019
  • 1 reply

Hi all,

Newish Sonos customer here and love them.  I have 2 Play 5’s (G2) in the front of my room and 2 Ones in the back of my room.  I just set up the TV and added the Playbar.  So, the room looks like this:


Play5             TV/Playbar               Play5


One                   Couch                    One


Important to note that the TV and Playbar are inside a cabinet and pop up from the bottom only when I want to watch TV.  As such, I don’t want to use the PB to play music, only for television sound and I want to use either the Play5’s or the One’s for surround sound when watching TV. (whatever will sound better after experimenting with both).  This will only be ~10% of the use and 90% of the use of those speakers will be for music, which I have the 5’s and 1’s separated into two rooms and set up as stereo pairs.


I tried to set up both sets as surrounds, but it seems I can’t use them because they are setup as a stereo pair in another room.  This makes no sense to me as I would think the Sonos system is smart enough to recognize if they are being used as surrounds in the “TV’ room they wouldn’t be available to stream music in the “Family” room….but whatever.


As I understand it my options are:

  1. Configure either set as surrounds but music will still play from the Playbar inside my closed cabinet which I’m sure will not sound good.  Will need to configure the surrounds as Full instead of Ambient.
  2. Just use the PB with no surrounds
  3. Use surrounds but don’t use them for music (totally unhappy with this given my 90% music usage)


What else am I missing?  I really want to take advantage of these amazing speakers I have for both television and music!


FWIW I also have an AMP that could be used if helpful (right now just powering outdoor Sonos)




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1 reply

That’s pretty much the setup I have in front of me right now.

The PLAYBAR is set up with the PLAY:1s as surrounds, which are at either side/behind my couch. The PLAY:5s that flank the TV are set up as a second room, which I use to play music only.

If you want the PLAY:1s to play music, while they’re bonded as surrounds, then you should set them as “full”, and then turn them up in relation to the PLAYBAR for music playback, which is a setting in the same area as setting them to “full”. But, since it’s all a single room, you’ll always be getting something out of the PLAYBAR.

For my use, the pair of PLAY:5s is enough for music, the separation and frequency response works for me, I don’t normally need to add the PLAY:1s and PLAYBAR as a group.

Essentially, if you want to use the PLAY:1s without having the PLAYBAR at the same time, then they need to be a separate room, and not surrounds. You can’t easily un-bond and re-bond them each time. Can be done, it’s just a bunch of keystrokes, and you lose any TruePlay tuning that you’ve done in the room when you do so.