Introducing Trueplay and the New PLAY:5

  • 29 September 2015
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In the end all I wanted to say was that I wish Sonos had a better stand alone speaker than the Play 5.
Err... they do. That (and Trueplay) is why this thread was created.

Once you get to listen to a Trueplay tuned play 5 pair, I look forward to see how it stacks up in your opinion against your Connect + AVI actives set up, for both sound levels and quality.
Erm...I mean new play 5s...
PS: without a Sub
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Play:6
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Play:6

this whole new vs old Play 5 thing is going to get REALLY confusing everywhere - please just go for Play 6 !
"PLAY:5" will have taken countless management hours to decide upon, and will thus be set in stone. We'll need to resort to some kind of shorthand here, such as "PLAY:5/2".
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Well the old PLAY:5 is discontinued so I can't see it confusing people when they walk into a store and see the new PLAY:5 on the shelve and see it's called PLAY:5. That'll be the only option, so the only product with that name that a new customer would be open to buying. I think.
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Well the old PLAY:5 is discontinued so I can't see it confusing people when they walk into a store and see the new PLAY:5 on the shelve and see it's called PLAY:5. That'll be the only option, so the only product with that name that a new customer would be open to buying. I think.

buying it will be no issue. However, supporting it will be e.g.
Customer: "Hello, is that Sonos support ?"
Sonos: "Yes, how may I help you ?"
Customer: "I have a problem with my Play 5"
Sonos "What type of Play 5 is it ?"
Customer: "I dont know - its kind of rectangular with some speakers in it but it wont connect - does that help?"
Sonos: "when did you buy it ?"
customer: "some time in 2015 I guess"
Sonos: "ok - you better give me the serial number..."

and discussing it in this forum as we've seen across a few different threads already.
Well the old PLAY:5 is discontinued so I can't see it confusing people when they walk into a store and see the new PLAY:5 on the shelve and see it's called PLAY:5. That'll be the only option, so the only product with that name that a new customer would be open to buying. I think.

Or... 'oh look. Sonos. But meh... thats the Play:5. Didnt care for it years ago, so never mind. Thought they'd have something new out to reconsider by now.'
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May be marketing going. Hey this will blow denon heos 5 out of the water. If we call it a 6 with no comparable will people think hey it's not as good as denon 7. Already see it in reviews where 5 is compared to denon 7 when price point of denon 5. Now with price point in between but actually hopefully beats out 7 anyhow.
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I also agree it should have been called the Sonos 6 but no biggie. I really like what I am reading about this new Play 5 and will almost certainly replace my present Play 5 with one. Currently I have my Play 5 in a rather large kitchen/family room on the shelf of a unit so only one-half inch clearance on the side, one inch above and 6 inches behind.it. With the bass port it produces an effect that is too muddy than I like most of the time and is not loud enough at times (but not too often). The new Play5 which is not rear ported, is more powerful should suit my room far better. The TrueSound an additional bonus.

So what to do with my current Play5? One thing I am considering is using it as a speaker for my TV. Has anyone tried that? I would have to input my TV via the Play5 input jack and am wondering if it is auto sensing (like the new Play5 is). I guess what I am really wondering is if I have my TV input into the Play5 and decide I want to stream music will the Play5 automatically overide the input jack, or would I always have to disconnect and reconnect?
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Well the old PLAY:5 is discontinued so I can't see it confusing people when they walk into a store and see the new PLAY:5 on the shelve and see it's called PLAY:5. That'll be the only option, so the only product with that name that a new customer would be open to buying. I think.

buying it will be no issue. However, supporting it will be e.g.
Customer: "Hello, is that Sonos support ?"
Sonos: "Yes, how may I help you ?"
Customer: "I have a problem with my Play 5"
Sonos "What type of Play 5 is it ?"
Customer: "I dont know - its kind of rectangular with some speakers in it but it wont connect - does that help?"
Sonos: "when did you buy it ?"
customer: "some time in 2015 I guess"
Sonos: "ok - you better give me the serial number..."

and discussing it in this forum as we've seen across a few different threads already.


We've been thinking about that on the support side of things a bit and I think be best followup question would be something like, does it have buttons for mute and volume controls on top of it? Or does it have one or two ethernet ports? There are some easy followup questions which will let you know which one is which. However, troubleshooting on both will be almost identical when it comes down to issues people might see.

If audio is cutting out for example, no matter which model, you'll be starting with checking wireless environment and network communication. The new one will have a stronger connection to the network, but a bad wifi environment is a bad wifi environment, even if you have more and better antennas (which the new PLAY:5 does have).
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I

So what to do with my current Play5? One thing I am considering is using it as a speaker for my TV. Has anyone tried that? I would have to input my TV via the Play5 input jack and am wondering if it is auto sensing (like the new Play5 is). I guess what I am really wondering is if I have my TV input into the Play5 and decide I want to stream music will the Play5 automatically overide the input jack, or would I always have to disconnect and reconnect?


I use my vintage Play5 as a speaker for a TV. The line in/streaming source can be selected via the controller software as needed, or it can be set to auto-play for use away from the home network. But as I learned recently, don't forget to set that puppy to auto-play before leaving the home network, because once you get to the hotel room, you aren't going to be able to use the controller app to change the setting.

We've been thinking about that on the support side of things a bit and I think be best followup question would be something

In time, there can be workarounds for any situation, but I still haven't heard from anyone here the answer to my question:
We know the downsides of not changing the name, and agree there must be upsides because Sonos isn't irrational. That said, what are the three top upsides?
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For the person who was wanting some songs to test, pretty much anything System of a Down exhibited the problem - Toxicity being a very obvious one. A bunch of Tool's harder songs did too
That was me. I look forward to trying it out over the weekend, though I'll have to wait until my wife's gone out 🙂 I don't doubt what you heard (or knock your decision to go elsewhere), but it will hopefully be an interesting exercise (for the Play:5 drivers, that's for sure!). Might try it on my Play:1 pair with Sub too, for comparison.
I've had the opportunity to experience the new Play:5 speakers and Trueplay.

My observations are:

1. I had the chance to compare old styley Play:5s in stereo pair configuration to the new Play:5s and, without Trueplay, the new units sound significantly better, more balanced and less "boomy". With Trueplay I feel the gap is narrowed a bit, but at higher volumes the new Play:5s stand out. In my view the sound quality is significantly better.

These are very good speakers.

2. The new Play:5 is much more like a traditional speaker than the Play:5, which was (IMO) much more of a portable boom-box. The new style Play:5, for instance, has no handle and is much trickier to pick up and move than the original Play:5. It needs two hands, for a start.

3. The finish on the Play:5 seems to be the same as on the Play:1 tone, suggesting the Play:1 Tone was part of (or took advantage of) the R&D for the new Play:5.

4. No headphone out... doesn't affect me but I can see why others might be upset.

5. The pairing process seems to have been subtly refined, with the discovery of new devices being more transparent, and a pleasant tone emitted from the speaker when it's paired.

6. The new touch controls are slick. They take a little getting used to (mainly, as a long-time Sonos user, remembering they exist), but there is an in-app tutorial and the controls are straightforward and relatively intuitive. When pausing/unpausing, the speaker makes a pleasant "plop" noise. I found them useful.

7. The form factor and design is much more suited to being used like traditional speakers than the old Play:5. I love how the speaker and logo still looks good regardless of orientation.

8. The supplied Ethernet cable seems to be of much higher quality than the flat thing provided with previous units.

9. Trueplay makes a great difference across the (supported) range. I've tried it on stereo paired Play:1s both with and without a SUB, stereo paired Play:3s and mono and stereo Play:5s (both old and new models). In some cases (more challenging acoustic environments) it was more pronounced than others, but in every case there was an improvement. To my taste, the bass was sometime reduced a little too much, but this is easily adjustable to taste after the tuning has been done.


Cheers,

Keith
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I'm considering hanging a stereo pair of new PLAY:5s on the wall of my new kitchen. From the pics there appear to be no mounting lugs so the only way to do this is sticking up some ugly shelves. Is this right?
I've had the opportunity to experience the new Play:5 speakers and Trueplay.
My observations are:

You could edit that list to include the lack of the 2nd Ethernet port. The lack will be felt in situations where WiFi quality requires a wired connection, and you want to position it at a room location where there is already a device using the Ethernet wall connection.
I'm considering hanging a stereo pair of new PLAY:5s on the wall of my new kitchen. From the pics there appear to be no mounting lugs so the only way to do this is sticking up some ugly shelves. Is this right? Also be sure to take note that the new Play 5 is deeper than the old one so a shelf or mantel that worked for the old one may not work for the new one.
To my taste, the bass was sometime reduced a little too much, but this is easily adjustable to taste after the tuning has been done.

Very useful summary, thank you.

The "where has the bass gone" reaction is common after room response DSP is implemented and is said to be a result of people being used to a more bloated than real bass for the most part. Common recommendation is to give some time to get accustomed to the new sound after which most people notice that it was bloated earlier. Or, as you have said, boost it to taste post tuning.
Neither the old nor the new Play:5s have mounts. IMO the new Play:5 will be much easier to mount, especially in vertical orientation, than the old Play:5.

It might even fit onto some traditional speaker stands.

Cheers,

Keith
The "where has the bass gone" reaction is common after room response DSP is implemented
I've also read that it's the result of DSP engineers aiming for a flat response by basically inverting the room characteristic, whereas humans prefer to warm things up a little.
The "where has the bass gone" reaction is common after room response DSP is implemented
I've also read that it's the result of DSP engineers aiming for a flat response by basically inverting the room characteristic, whereas humans prefer to warm things up a little.

A typical room DSP strategy for the listening position sound is to aim for smooth more than flat, it is the peaks and valleys that cause the biggest deterioration/aggravation. A usual objective for the listening position tuning is to have a smooth response with some plus in dB of low frequencies, dropping slowly and smoothly as it moves to the higher end of the frequency scale - to the right in a typical graph. How much that plus should be gets to be a matter of time/tastes, but doing an overall lift addresses this issue provided smoothness has been achieved. The latter is the important factor that the usual tone control/eq cannot deliver on its own.
Flat and smooth at listening position is almost always disliked for the missing warmth you refer to.
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I would really like to have TruePlay with my 6 room Sonos set-up, which has cost a lot of money, but as I don't have any Apple devices it appears that I am now considered to be a second-class citizen by Sonos.

The suggestion that one should borrow an iOS device to setup Trueplay. is unacceptable, even if this were easy. Maybe the National dealer from whom I have purchased all my Sonos kit will have a loan solution?

At least we will have support for BBC Radio HLS streams shortly
Trueplay tuning is being offered only on Apple because it needs some standardisation in the mic that is possible with Apple hardware. Sonos have suggested borrowing an Apple device until such time they solve that hurdle, not as a forever thing. Maybe they should have waited till they did this, and denied everyone - people that have Apple devices and people that can borrow them, till they had done so?
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There is a legitimate and significant reason that Sonos cannot offer TruePlay with Android devices: there are literally thousands of devices with thousands of different microphone specifications. It would be virtually impossible for them to provide a solution that works across the variety of phones/microphones. Apple does not have such fragmentation. It has nothing to do with them treating anyone as a "second-class citizen".

On a related note, the TruePlay setup is not something that is done often, so borrowing a friend or relative's phone should not really be that much an inconvenience for many people.
Once again, not having a dedicated Sonos Built controller puts them at the mercy of third party device manufacturers. There is nothing preventing Apple from changing the source of their microphones at any time creating the same issue currently seen with Androids.