Introducing Trueplay and the New PLAY:5

  • 29 September 2015
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242 replies

Userlevel 7
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Actually the Sonos Rep. Ryan was very respectful of your suggestion.

It's really the rest of us just being smarta*** while we wait for the new Play:5!

Thanks for participating jamietre ...we can be helpful at times too so please stick around!
Userlevel 7
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Sorry for being thick what is HLS? And will true play work with play bar?

HLS is a streaming format for data transfer, most recently it came up with our users because BBC radio converted all of their radio streams to use this format. We haven't had full support for that format, so those new stations wouldn't work on Sonos. We've been working to develop HLS support for this and other reasons, soon we'll be able running a test program for people interested.

No, Trueplay isn't be available on the PLAYBAR. There are a lot of variables in the PLAYBAR setup, and the "sweet spot" is much more complicated for home theater than it is for music listening. We don't have any official plans to announce around Trueplay for home theater, but if there's any news to share we'll be sure to let everyone know.
Userlevel 1
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Thank you both for explaining this to me 🙂
Userlevel 7
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Helpknot - I guess it is the way as with everything ... always something new coming out.

Advantage of keeping the old version is if you want setup a very strong stereo system you can stereo pair both of your Play:5's. If you get the new ones you can't stereo pair them.

I'm sure the new one will sound better. It will be $50 more. It will no have the headphone output. It will have the internal microphones for whatever future plans Sonos has for them. You still get Trueplay. It won't stereo pair with your current play:5 (of course it will still group) and we assume won't be available for a month or so.

I guess you have to weight those points for yourself.

I assume when you say the top buttons are different. Sounds like the one you picked up a few months ago must have been old stock and has a mute button imprint instead of the new play/pause imprint.
Userlevel 7
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oh - couple other differences - the new one can be placed on its side instead of horizontal position and will pair with Playbar.
Userlevel 3
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Question : old play5 , 2 tweeters, 2 mid-range, ! woofer. New play 5, 3 tweeters , 3 mid range . Is 6 better than 5 ? maybe, but what about the bass levels ( old play5 main strength point ) without the woofer ? Italian price for play 5 was formerly 399 euros, went to 459 because of currencies, now it will go to 579 ... big change , did they copy form Bose whose top of the range 30 is priced 600 ??.

On the other hand, congratulations to Sonos for true play being back compatible with the vast majority of the products we already own !!!
Question : old play5 , 2 tweeters, 2 mid-range, ! woofer. New play 5, 3 tweeters , 3 mid range . Is 6 better than 5 ? maybe, but what about the bass levels ( old play5 main strength point ) without the woofer ?

According to What Hi-Fi's hands on the bass levels are significantly better than the old Play:5, I think they even said they couldn't imagine what the sub would add to it, although I don't think they actually tested that.
Userlevel 7
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Question : old play5 , 2 tweeters, 2 mid-range, ! woofer. New play 5, 3 tweeters , 3 mid range . Is 6 better than 5 ? maybe, but what about the bass levels ( old play5 main strength point ) without the woofer ?

The three mid-woofers also provide a deep, rich bass beyond what the original PLAY:5 could offer. Naturally, it's going to come done to test it yourself and let us know what you think. But all of the reviews so far have been great.
Userlevel 7
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You must have written yours while you were going to get some free coffee.
Userlevel 7
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Can we use Android for Trueplay?
The answer for this was already pretty clearly posted, but just to reiterate it, no. We're hoping to be able to use Android devices to setup Trueplay in the future, but ran into issues with the inconsistencies of hardware. The team is still looking into ways to adjust for this though. It's not just the sheer amount of Android devices out there, you can purchase five of the same phone and wind up with five different microphones sometimes. Once you've used an iOS device to setup Trueplay on your system you won't need the iOS device anymore, so you can always borrow one from a friend or family member.


What if instead of supporting all android devices, only supports Nexus devices or flagships like Samsung Galaxy, Sony Xperia, LG G, etc?

It could be a good compromise for all the people who have android and isnt willing to lose functionality.

Best regards


Good question, I know the team's looked into it but we don't have anything official to share at this time. We'll certainly see what can be done in the future. If I'm not mistaken, I believe some of those flagship phones you named were tested and even among them, different microphones were found across the same model. We'll be letting everyone know if there's news or a change. Until then, Android only homes will have to borrow an iOS device to setup Trueplay.


Does the SUB work with Trueplay?
Absolutely. The SUB isn't listed in the units for Trueplay simply because you can't run Trueplay on the SUB without it bonded with a PLAY:1, PLAY:3 or PLAY:5. On that page, you when the SUB has been added to a speaker or pair of speakers, Trueplay ensures the connected SUB is tuned correctly with the speaker(s) for the exact space it's in. Adjusting your SUB level will do away with Trueplay tuning. However, you can still adjust the level of bass to your personal preference in EQ settings.


Good to hear that, I look forward to seeing how this works once the app upgrade is released. I assume that Trueplay does more than just set the output levels on the Sub, that it smooths out the room response based frequency responses to reduce bass peaks and lows. Does this mean that setting up a Sub with play units will be a two step process, with the first step as exists just now including selecting the Sub output, and the second step the Trueplay tuning that will also adjust the Sub output level for best results? Will Trueplay also select the Sub phase such that it won't matter what is selected between A or B in the first step?

I agree with a comment here that the new play 5 ought to have received its own name if it is not just a tweaked play 5, but as radical an improvement as it seems to be. If nothing that exists in the old play 5 was used as claimed by the designers, why not invent a new name as well? The play 5 name could be just retired.
Kumar, just get on the private beta, you can play with True play now. It's worth the hassle!
Userlevel 7
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Kumar, just get on the private beta, you can play with True play now. It's worth the hassle!

Private beta means you can't "just join it". Those are invite only and I believe they aren't adding new people at the moment.
Userlevel 3
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I have an opinion on SqueezeBox having owned a whole house full of them. They were great if you like to tinker, but they never just worked like Sonos. While the radios sounded good, they don't sound nearly as good as a Play 1. And, it used the bandwidth of your existing wifi router instead of a proprietary mesh like Sonosnet so players skipped when grouping many together. So glad I sold mine and switched.
Replacing was done with a name change in the past for zp90 and zp120, so that isn't the reason.

Keeping the play 5 name for what is a new product is going to cause confusion for some time, for sure. New play 5 will need to be the clunky name for some time to get over that.


Play:5+
5+ is one solution that is at least better than the existing one.

For some time now I have thought that what Sonos was missing was a better play unit, that would close the small gap existing between the 1 and good hifi speakers. The new 5 seems to fill that gap nicely, although being a traditionalist I would have liked it to look more like a hifi speaker.

Leaving that aside, I suspect that a pair will be all it will now take to obtain sound quality as good as most legacy CDP+Amp+Passive speaker kit that will run to 2-3 times the price of a 5 pair. And with a much smaller footprint and no cable mess. Even the Sub may be redundant with it.
They have a lot in common with the $10,000/pr Kii Threes, and might even be better looking. 6 drivers, 6 Class-D amps, DSP correction and tuning. The Threes are going to embarrass a lot of inferior "high end" speakers, as will, no doubt, the Play:5s. Both are bleeding edge designs.

http://kiiaudio.com/en/prod-life.html
Userlevel 7
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On the naming of the new PLAY:5

Probably because it occupies the "Play5" slot in the lineup. It is replacing the old Play5 so retains the name as the "current" Play5.

This is basically right on the spot. We didn't want to confuse anyone and change up the naming scheme. We weren't going to be making more of the old PLAY:5, so if it were to be named the PLAY:6 (for example) our lineup would become the PLAY:1, PLAY:3 and PLAY:6. I know some people wouldn't care, but the symmetry/sequence crushing change would upset just the right people here.

The idea of course is that the new PLAY:5 will replace the old one in such a way that people will remember that the PLAY:5 is our flagship speaker. It's the top all in one speaker we make for music listening in the home.

Replacing was done with a name change in the past for zp90 and zp120, so that isn't the reason.

Strictly speaking, the ZP90 is an identical unit from the CONNECT, there have been some minor changes since that name change happened, but it was a branding change more so than a replacement unit. Much like the PLAY:5 was originally called the Sonos ZonePlayer S5. With the launch of the PLAY:3 we changed the names to the current naming convention, and I don't think anyone's planning on changing that again.
Userlevel 3
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I don't recall every song I heard on the stereo pair, but the ones that brought on the goosebumps were the Led Zeppelin tracks. People were commenting through several of the other music genres which were being demoed, but as soon as the opening riff of "Whole Lotta Love" came on, the place fell silent. Whatever wizardry was done to tune these new players adds a freshness to the sound that's difficult to describe, especially when the volume is cranked up above 50%.
Userlevel 7
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Quote from a tech radar review, on the name subject:
"Interestingly, on the unit I played with the words 'Encore' were stamped across the back, leading me to believe that Sonos may have been thinking of releasing this as an entirely new product range. Given the changes, it would have had every right to."


Indeed they must have had a late change of heart or perhaps 'encore' is the internal name for it to not confuse with the current (old) Play 5.
In the unpacked android software you can see the images named 'encore' for all the (new) Play 5 references:



I agree, I think its going to be more confusing calling it a Play 5 when it clearly isnt ! Play 6 would have been more appropriate since its a newer, better 'flagship' speaker with 6 drivers compared to the old one !
We use this place to complain a lot about Sonos - which is how it should be - but it sometimes takes an outsider to say this:
"The real value, though, lies in Trueplay. How often does a company such as Sonos make a major breakthrough in how its products work and then give that breakthrough away to its customers?"

Quote from a review on bloomberg.com


Must admit that room equalization is a big deal and much more of value than me moaning about the lack of a headphone socket when I "could" just plug headphones into my iPad.
Userlevel 7
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I like the guys that buy it and use it for years and then discover it doesn't do something they think it should, and then bash Sonos continuously because their bizarre feature isn't ever included in an update. Or say how they will never recommend Sonos because a feature doesn't work the way it does on some non-Sonos gear.

My only grumble is that some of the features that have been asked many times by many users are overlooked in a new 'flagship' product e.g. digital input.
I often recommend Sonos and I know that my endorsement has put many extra thousands of dollars sonos' way over the years. Im not going to grumble about a hardware feature missing from a product I already selected and purchased. I might however also make the odd grumble about something that could be solved with a software update 😛
Userlevel 7
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Is it really missing or 'solvable' if it wasn't intended nor there to begin with?

Only Sonos can answer that - take the multiple accounts for example - that wasnt intended nor there to begin with since streaming services didnt really exist when Sonos started. As streaming services became more prevalent, users within the same Sonos household ended up different accounts with the same service and Sonos kindly adapted the software to 'solve' that need. Only they know what can else be achieved on their own platform. All we, as users, can do is indicate and justify each and any requirement and hope it gets fulfilled - see https://en.community.sonos.com/controllers-software-228995/wishlist-for-sonos-controller-improvements-6730862
Giving customers free software upgrades (especially when it's for really expensive hardware they bought from you in the first place) doesn't cost you anything, and also ensures that all your customers are on the same platform. It makes support easier, and it engenders customer loyalty. It's good business any way you look at it.



"Doesn't cost you anything?" Are you serious? I'm sorry, but that is the single most ignorant statement I have ever seen on this forum. I would posit that software upgrades are the number one cost in man-hours and/or payroll at Sonos or any other similar company. It is most definitely good business, but to say it costs nothing is absurd.
Userlevel 3
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@random_man, the old play 5 doesn't have a 5Ghz antenna, so it can't be used as a surround. The new P5 will work as surrounds if you have a pair. The old P5 and new one sound so different from one another (volume, tone) that a stereo pair would sound completely unbalanced.