Introducing Trueplay and the New PLAY:5

  • 29 September 2015
  • 242 replies

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Today we’re excited to announce our newest product, the all new PLAY:5. The original PLAY:5 still sounds great and we’ve upgraded it in almost every way.

The new PLAY:5 has our best sounding player yet. It's got six synchronized, custom-designed drivers, each with its own Class-D amp, and three mid-woofers for mid-range frequencies. There’s also a touch interface for convenient play/pause, volume adjustment, and changing tracks with a swipe. The new PLAY:5 also has six internal antennas, for the best wifi in any orientation. Find out more about the new PLAY:5 here: We know you’ll love it as soon as you have the chance to hear it.

Along with the new PLAY:5, we will be launching an exciting new software development we call Trueplay. This is a speaker tuning software above and beyond basic equalization options which uses the Sonos software on an iOS controller to adjust your speakers to deliver great sound in any room of your home.

Finally, in the next few days, we’ll be introducing HLS streaming for the BBC via an update to our public beta for Sonos version 6.0. We’ll post a separate announcement with information here when the next public beta update is available.

The new PLAY:5 and Trueplay will be available later this year, and you can sign up here to be notified when the PLAY:5 is available for purchase:

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242 replies

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
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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.


I just plug the Sennheisers into the phone, and stream from the same provider I use on Sonos. No problem at all.
HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) is a communications protocol. Currently, the BBC HLS streams are incompatible with Sonos, The new HLS implementation will fix this incompatibility, as well as allow HLS streaming from other sources.
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I am slightly annoyed that when I ordered a Play5 just about a week or ten days ago, I was not offered the suggestion that I might want to wait for an upcoming announcement. This is my second Play5. I am perfectly happy with how they sound for where and how I use them, but still it would have been nice to know there was something coming down the pike. Theoretically I could return this second Play5 as I am within the return period, but if I wait and get a New Play5 later this year instead, then it still isn't going to actually match the first Play5 I brought on board a couple of months ago is it? Actually, the Play5 I bought recently is not exactly the same as the one I bought a couple of months ago either, the controls on the top are different.

We rarely talk about future products, so until it's been officially announced, as we just did, no one can talk about what's coming. As you said, if you wanted to you could return the one you just got and wait for the new one.

There are a lot of differences between these two units, the sound is absolutely noticeable. But, you also can't bond an old one and a new one together as a stereo pair. So if that's something you're looking to do, you can stick with what you've got. We'll be providing support and updates for the original PLAY:5 long into the future.

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

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.

My reference to the zp90 was to an earlier change, not to the rebranding it to Connect. The zp90 replaced the zp80 and the zp120 replaced the zp100. Replacement caused a change of name, so not doing so for a play 5 replacement doesn't have Sonos history behind it.
I'd think that the new 5 is as much a new product as the 90 and 120 were, compared to the 80 and 100 they replaced, and if they earned a new name, so does the 5.
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HLS implementation is huge and the most high priority request. This update is major for most of the U.K.
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this whole new vs old Play 5 thing is going to get REALLY confusing everywhere - please just go for Play 6 !
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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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heres a review with some curvy things !

Thanks for sharing Nick, that's great review with curvy things!

The physical volume and play/pause buttons have been ditched, in favour of capacitive ones that light up. While that might ring alarm bells for anyone into who's had a cat brush up against an Xbox 360 in the middle of a heated Halo game, the buttons aren't overly sensitive. Sadly, though, I can't confirm whether they're actually cat-proof.

Funny story, this is something that we've been looking into for a while. There was a significant part of the internal hardware beta looking for employees with cats just to test if this would be an issue. There's been a long standing observation (I can't quite call it a problem) where pets find Sonos players to be warm and comfortable perches, at times causing players to start playing in the middle of the night by pressing the buttons on top. The new PLAY:5 went through what testing was possible to try and minimize undesired, pet-caused audio playback. We'll see how the world-wide cat population behaves with their new sonic housemates.

As far as Trueplay is concerned, it will absolutely make a more noticeable difference in some homes over others, it's all about the acoustics in your rooms and where the units are positioned. Even if it only makes a subtile change, it may be a positive change nonetheless, and of course, if you don't like the way it sounds for some reason, you will always have the option of turning Trueplay off. Though we don't expect that to happen much.

We can't wait to hear what you all have to say about the new PLAY:5 and Trueplay when you have the chance to try them out.
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just received a mail regarding IOS compatibility that Sonos 6.0 release (with Trueplay) will be available as of tomorrow, 10 Nov
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When or(?) will the Trueplay be available for all the users with Android devices? This must just be a small programming issue..
When or(?) will the Trueplay be available for all the users with Android devices? This must just be a small programming issue..

They can bring it to Apple devices as there is a small range of microphones in the iPod/iPhone/iPad range, however there are many, many devices that run Android so it may not be practical to use the internal microphone, an external "Sonos" mic could be used?

THIS is the reason. With Apple products they have like maybe little over a dozen microphones to work with? With Android, there were over 4000 different models back in 2012, god knows how many different devices there are nowadays with varying level of mics etc. As an Android user, it is a shame Trueplay is not supported out of the box but it's not too much of a hassle to borrow an iPhone/iPad from a friend to run Trueplay once in each room, it's not like you have to perform this on a regular basis, right? Maybe there will be an external "Sonos microphone somewhere along the line but I would very much doubt it.
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Looking at the new Bluesound Pulse mini for the same price, offers Bluetooth, optical input as well as a headphone socket whilst ofering support for hires music files.

I love my Sonos but over the years my muisc habits, requirement and needs of equipment have change as my family has grown. Some long time members will know I have tried many different platforms but stayed with Sonos but I really do think it time to rethink.

Shevans. I agree. I was really surprised and disappointed to not see any additional input or music support options for their new flagship Play speaker.
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Personally, I think Trueplay makes the Play:1 sound like a completely different speaker (for the better). I have been critical in the past of the Play:1 not having room filling sound and not up to par with the Play:3. Trueplay really changes my opinion of them in that they really can fill a medium sized room with good, undistorted music.
Which means Sonos has lost me as a customer. Do I want to expand into more rooms? Perhaps. So OK, let's see what they've got. For me that would be either two Play3s or two Play5s. What? Nout on the Play3 to plug a CD player in for instance and yes a line in on the 5 but no headphone connector? Unbelievable and sorry, but NO sale, ever.
BTW I won't expand my Playbar either cuz I still feel slightly cheated on that one and don't want to go the optical switch route. On its own it does improve the flat telly's sound though.
Combine the above with Sonos' complete lack of user support like the already mentioned playlist improvements and the still lousy shuffle function on which complaints and requests go back years and years and one can understand that I'm far from a happy Sonos customer.
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Now that we can talk about it, I won't get into specifics of how, but I got to listen to a stereo pair of the new Play5s. Amazing. HUGE sonic upgrade. I kept trying to find where they hid the SUB, because the bass response was so deep and full. Songs which you've heard a million times before - on the P5s it's like hearing the song again for the first time. This new component is a big deal, make no mistake about it. My only question is why they named it the Play5 again because it is such a different beast than the original.
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Great discussion everyone, I just wanted to answer a few of the main questions so far.

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 allow you to further adjust your bass on top of the already modified Trueplay tuning.

Does the new PLAY:5 have a headphone port?
No. We minimized the ports and connections on the new PLAY:5 to emphasize the sleek design and make sure we had room for everything that needed to fit. If the headphone port is an important feature to you, there are still some of the original PLAY:5 out there in the wild you can look to pick up, but believe me, the new one sounds amazing.

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.

@SBSurfer that was my first impression too. The new PLAY:5 has been in development for about 3 years, and we've learned a lot about making the best speaker we can in that time.

I'm happy to answer other questions too, just let me know.
All this carrying on about a missing headphone jack? Why should a speaker need a headphone jack? Every phone, tablet and mp3 player in existence has one, why not simply use that?

If there was a soft client for Sonos that let you actually play through your phone, tablet, or mp3 player, you'd be on to something...

But there isn't.

It would be great if Sonos had the ability to act as a standalone server so I could do this, and (more importantly) expose it to the internet so I can play music from my home Sonos system through my phone outside the house. But I suspect this interferes with the business model of selling hardware 🙂 so I use a gaggle of independent clients (subsonic, spotify, google play, etc) to accomplish this when not on my network.

The unicorn would be the greatness of Sonos' fronting all my music serivices, but accessible everywhere...
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I think @sbsurfer meant he likes pickles and tiny flags.

or don't lose focus on what a product is supposed to do and why you bought it.
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Hey Jamietre,

Sarcasm and witty notwithstanding, that is a cool suggestion we've heard here before, the suggestion is generally called "phone as a zone". There are a lot of technical questions behind using the headphone port on your mobile device for Sonos. Keep in mind that the way Sonos works today, your Sonos controller doesn't actually touch any of the audio going to your players. Controllers themselves just send basic commands such as "go play this" they don't actually send the audio. It would be a great idea though.

Thanks for suggestion though and I'll be passing on your interest over to our development team.
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oh my head is already beginning to throb thinking about my squeezebox. I should take it out of the drawer and stomp on it a few more times!!

Yeah, that would be great... but as you observed, they don't.

Since you can't actually train everyone to act the way you want them to, then maybe a better solution (if, in fact, this is really a problem) is to find a way to make the system be able to handle the workflow that people naturally use.

That's kind of my point in all this and why I had a smiley face. You shouldn't fight your customers. They want what they want, they are going to do what they do. If you have the best game in town anyway, you will probably be successful anyway, but if there's something your customers want, and you don't give it to them, eventually someone else will, and they will cease to be your customer.