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Meet Sonos Five, studio-quality sound

Meet Sonos Five, studio-quality sound

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I’m not going to debate HomePod vs 5 here since this isn’t the place for it especially for people who haven’t had both and your characterization of what reviews say isn’t accurate.



Well, you’re the one who made the claim...

New customers looking for a bluetooth speaker aren’t going to spend $399 when there are so many other options.  



No, they are not, but the Move isn’t just a bluetooth speaker.    I think it will appeal to those looking at higher end BT speakers, and get further drawn in by it’s WiFi side.   And yes, a lot of buyers are going to be Sonos customers who are drawn to the multiple uses of it.


Userlevel 7
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I hadn't seen that Verge link when I posted so am surprised that it is an identical listening experience to the Play 5 Gen 2 but can't be stereo paired with it.

Does anyone know what’s up with this :point_up: - why can’t they pair if they are the same sound? 

Great discussion folks! In this regard, while their physical dimensions and acoustic profile are similar, Five and Play:5 Gen 2 have very different internal processors and computing platforms. The gap in processing capabilities means that we will not be able to offer a stable stereo experience. Stereo pairing takes a lot of complicated computing work and it just didn’t work properly because of the differences here.

Userlevel 5
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Without mics for voice control, this update is simply irrelevant unless further features are announced soon which are not supported by the 2nd generation - and if such features are coming they should have been announced together with the speaker... 

If I am looking for a new speaker which is not for my tv, I can either go small with voice control or big without voice control. Why get less for more?

This is the exact same nightmare Sonos created when they introduced the Beam. The cheapest and smallest speaker was also the smartest one. It had voice control and Airplay which the bigger and more expensive Playbar didn’t. 

The forum is booming with users complaining over that situation.  

And now this is just more of the same. If you want the best sound, you buy the Five but miss out on the brilliant voice control you get on the cheaper and smaller One. 

Userlevel 7
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I guess we have to take your word for it Ryan but that seems a strange reason to be honest.

The oldest Play 5 Gen 1 speakers are more than capable of Stereo pairing, as are the Gen 2's. Struggling to see how the S2 capable Play 5 Gen 2 will struggle with this “complicated computing work” to maintain a stereo connection with a higher powered ‘partner'.

In the past the reason was always different sound signatures. Now these appear to be identical that excuse can't be used and we're told the device that is still on sale can't do this complicated work - but older devices can and that even the Gen 2 can with another Gen 2 in am S2 scenario.

Userlevel 7
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@UseroftheSonos, the Sonos Five doesn’t have support for WiFi 6 which was released well after the Sonos Five hardware had been fully designed. 

Regarding stereo pairing, the answer is that the computing components are too different for us to support stereo pairing between the old Play:5 gen2 and the new Sonos Five. 

Honestly not a fight. I love Sonos I love that it just currently works in my household. I love that it has made moving and resetting up super easy. 

play:5 gen2 did have some issues with AirPlay, updates to overall design should be good things.


but doesn’t have backwards compatibility and with recent S1 S2 product split announcement that isn’t well understood, and it’s a walk back from bricking. the optics look like future forced obsolescence, so the release of a new non compatible sku makes me more scared as an existing customer rather than happy. It’s a sign that within the next 5+ years my initial 800 dollar investment in a play 5 gen 2 might become an expensive paper weight or hindrance, rather than hey let’s be excited at the continued growth of Sonos as a brand and it’s continued product refinement.

What I think most of the people being negative are looking for is more indications that Sonos unlike other companies, have our backs as customers and has a growth path forward. That we are not paying for the great IOT experiment everyone in the industry says we are.

So you cannot have a true 5.1 system then with sonos? That makes no sense. Because a playbar is seriously not up to the job in a large room. Surely that’s just a software change by sonos? Why would you add 2 x Sonos Five at the rear, have a decent sub  and just a ply bar at the front. Gives no true L & R separation. Looks like they are going back then. 
anyone want to buy a playbar, sub and two play 1’s?

Thank you Airgetlam:

I’ve been on hold with Sonos Support for 10 minutes, another 35 minutes to go.

Thanks again for your reply.

You can use the 30% on every Sonos device sold, even sets up to a whole 5.1 setup.  I’m pretty sure the only thing it doesn't apply to is the turntables.  So you could trade up from a $350 Connect, and get over $500 off a full Arc, surrounds, and Sub 5.1setup. 

...Alexa now has a feature where you can set a default speaker for an echo, meaning that the echo hears you, but Alexa will respond through a different Alexa enabled speaker.  This is different from a prefered speaker, as it’s not about streaming music, but Alexa’s actual voice response.  It would have been a nice feature  to speak to the echo dot right next to you, but hear the voice coming from your Five.  You can do this sort of thing with the Arc, Beam, One, and Move

Can you explain a little more about this feature? The attached pictures show what Alexa says when I try to set this up with my Play:5 Gen 1.



Like the Five, the Play:5 Gen 1 is not an Alexa enabled speaker, so Alexa can’t respond through it.  Your speaker can take commands to play, pause, etc from Alexa, but it’s not capable of responding as Alexa (unless wired through the aux input of course).


I am not sure it’s 100% technically accurate, but it makes sense, to me anyway, to think of it this way.  One of the feature requirements  of an Alexa enabled device is to have microphones that listen for the keyword, then send the audio up to Alexa servers for processing.  A second function is that they must be ‘listening’ to the Alexa servers what Alexa needs to say something.  That’s usually a direct response to a command it was given, but it doesn’t have to be.  For example, Alexa can remind you of an appointment, or give you the news at a set time, etc….all without being prompted.  What I believe Amazon has done with this default speaker feature is essentially to forward every request for  a device (A) to speak on to a different advice (B).  Device A can still listen, but device B does all the talking for it.


Anyway, a speaker can’t be the default speaker if it isn’t Alexa enabled, unfortunately.  This is just me spit balling, but I wonder if one day, the Five could be an Alexa enabled device even though it has no mics built in. That way it could be the default speaker, do the Alexa talking and playback of audio for skills etc.  Would be pretty cool, but I doubt it will happen. 


My issue is that a particular radio station I use through a particular skill will always play on the Dot rather than on Sonos, but this is not the case with any of my Ones. It’s also not the case when I initiate Spotify through the Dot.


Yea you could get the audio for the skill to automatically play on an Alexa enabled device like your Ones or anther dot, but not. the Play:5 gen 1, unfortunately.

Yes, that’s due, I believe, to the way Amazon limits what they’ll allow on third party hardware versus their own hardware, so they can maintain their own sales. That wouldn’t change with a new piece of hardware from Sonos. 

I’m certainly extraordinarily pleased with both PLAY:5 gen 2 speakers I have. They’re outstanding, and completely S2 compliant. 

This 'only 5 years' thing has been possibly the biggest misrepresentation that has featured on this forum in recent months. A close second is that discontinuing sales makes a speaker 'useless', 'obsolete' or 'dead'.


Yes, especially the “Sonos could release a new product and discontinue it the very next day, so you really only have 5 years of life” reality twisting logic.

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You guys are really snippy. If I am wrong that’s fine but I’m not trying to misrepresent anything.

I thought it was a 5 year guarantee...I know it could be longer but is 5 years the guaranteed minimum that Sonos promises? Please tell me the actual minimum guarantee, I’ll be very happy if they guarantee more than 5!. Thanks.

They might be snippy, but I can understand the reaction to the immoderate and inaccurate language on this issue from many across this forum and in social media more widely. Anyway, you are correct that the minimum support guarantee is five years after a product is discontinued, so it is possible the Play:5 Gen 2 may start to lose access to new features in five years time, but they are very unlikely to stop working altogether. I’m still happily using products that I bought 10+ years ago, and am only swapping those out now because I’d like to keep up with S2 developments.

Userlevel 7
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Hi, I don’t know if this is the right thread for this but you can move it somewhere else suitable if you like. (Perhaps someone has already asked this somewhere.)

I have some thoughts regarding the new Five.

As read in an article online somewhere-

Why now- why so little?

Talking to people here in Sweden many seems a bit confused why there were so little upgrades on the new Sonos flagship speaker. Yes more memory better processor and WiFi radio, but many people I know including myself really thought that Sonos would release a new Bluesound Pulse2i killer, something that would outperform their flagship and other competitors.(and outperform the play5gen2)

I have not heard the Pulse2i myself but according to my brother it has more of everything compared to the Gen2?

(e.g 24 bit/192 kHz and more power and quality psb drivers)

What’s your opinion of the Five versus the Pulse2i? (In let’s say a stereo pair.)

What would you prefer and why?


*This leaves me with the question, will Sonos soon release another speaker that might take over the throne from the Five as the flagship Sonos audiophile speaker? Perhaps the New “Sonos Six” :wink::thinking: (they have also removed the phrase “Our most powerful speaker available” on the web site :thinking: )


Have a good day! Or evening as here in Sweden!


They are different speakers - 2 woofers 2 tweeters in the Blusound vs. 3 woofers and 3 tweeters in the Sonos.   But Sonos woofers are only 4” vs. 5.25” in the Bluesound.   Person to person they are going to have a preference for one or other - one review or person does not make for one better than other.   Sonos Trueplay tune really helps Sonos shine though.

We won’t know how the sound is tweaked with the new version but I’m sure there are some subtle changes.   Also getting higher bit rate on Sonos will help the audiophile crowd.

Overall - good healthy competition.

Userlevel 4
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The fact that I can’t stereo pair the Five with my Play:5 is totally bogus. I was literally about to add my stereo pair tonight, now I’m screwed. Thanks a lot sonos

Play:5 Gen 1 or Gen 2?

Gen 2

Well, that would be an obvious pairing, so I wonder why it is excluded? Perhaps the audio dynamics are so different that it wouldn’t sound right.

Agreed. Says right in the FAQ that it will only pair with another Five. Pretty sure they just want us to buy 2 speakers

It’s an interesting theory, but I don’t think that is the case. If it was, why would they let the One and One SL to join together.

Userlevel 7
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Will the Sonos Play 5 Gen 2 stand also work for Sonos Five?

Yes. The Sonos Five has the same footprint as the Play:5 gen 2 and the same accessories will work with it.

Userlevel 2
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It is on the product page.




Quad Core
1.3 GHz


512 MB NAND Flash

Not Five (gen 3) I’m asking about play 5 (gen2)

The Play:5 (Gen 2) has 256MB of RAM and 256MB of Flash.  That makes the update even more underwhelming.

The Five specs are in line with the One SL and the Port.  It looks like Sonos has settled on 512MB for devices without Home Theater functionality or voice control.  Any device that has voice control or HT capability gets upped to 1GB of RAM and Flash.  The only exception is the Arc, which gets 1GB of RAM and 4GB of Flash.

Userlevel 2
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I was talking about the currently sold devices, of course.

I also forgot to mention the Sub.  The Gen 3 only gets 256MB/256MB, but that makes sense because it is always connected to another device that can handle most of the processing.

Userlevel 4
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Literally just purchased and setup my first play 5 gen 2 when I heard there was a gen 3 out very annoying. Don’t know whether to return it but then again doesn’t seem to be that big a jump. Thoughts ? 

Did you get a discount on the Gen 2, or is there a price difference between the Gen 2 and Gen 3?

it was a bit cheaper than retail price of gen 2. In uk gen 2 retail is same as gen 3 I think. Just wondered if the new version is significantly different or whether actually best to keep gen2. Tbh I sort of prefer the white/black combo of gen2.

Was going to say the two big reasons to swap are the extra longevity of the Five over the Play:5 Gen 2 and the new all-white colour scheme. If you prefer the older colour and you got a discount, I’d stick with what you have.

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I have a 4 months old stereo pair gen2 with the SUB gen2.

What is the main differences between these updated models? 

Only memory and CPU in the SUB?

Same drivers?


Only aesthetically differences play5gen2 and the Five?

Same drivers?


And the better question, will the sound quality be exactly the same with the Gen2 pair and SUB Gen2

as with a Gen3 pair and SUB Gen3? Will you be able to hear improvements in sound?

You might want to read this:

The Verge: The new Sonos Five looks and sounds identical to the Play:5 it’s replacing

Userlevel 1

I think that promoting it as a bathroom speaker without having voice control is a bit of a mistake. My bathroom ones placed so that I can't reach the touch controls, and when in the bathroom you're in the shower, or have a toothbrush in your hands etc., so voice control is really helpful. Would have liked to switch them out for something a little bass heavier with stereo in one speaker, but alas, no luck with these new fives.

I'm sure if they can find room for mics in a Play 1 there is room in a Five.

I just think it was a choice they made - a strange one for me that you need another device (grouped or close by) to use Voice control on their latest product - especially considering the Arc has it.

I am also surprised that the Five doesn’t have built in voice control.  Rightly or wrongly,  I read the ‘other device’ not to mean another Sonos speaker but an Echo Dot / Google Mini.  I guess you are referring to both possibilities when you say ‘grouped or nearby’?  Which is fair enough.

I actually prefer using Dots with my current gen 2 Play:5s, and would not swap for built-in voice control.  Not everyone will feel that way, I’m sure.

I don’t know about you guys, but I use my Play:5 2nd gen mostly for airplaying music from my mac/ios device and very frequently the sounds stutters, pauses for few sec. and resumes, etc. This happens almost every time I rearrange the queue in iTunes or add a song to my AM library. There are no such issues when using the Sonos apps. 

I wonder if the new radio in the Five will fix these AirPlay issues… It’s definitely not a reason to switch, but if you are buying now, I think it’s better to get the new one.

Playing from a device has always, by its nature, been the least robust source on Sonos.  That was true of ‘on this iPhone’, and is true of Airplay and Android ‘on this mobile device’.  That isn’t to say that everyone will have problems with this, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with the radios.  The only problems I ever had were occasionally with ‘on this mobile device’ and I hardly ever use that because all my local music is on my network.

The problem is the wireless ‘hop’ from phone to router, which is absent if you use a NAS or streaming service.

@Ryan S

Hi, I have some questions I hope you can answer:

Is the dimensions exactly the same on the 5 gen2 and Five?



Yes.  You can verify that by viewing the dimensions of the Play:5 gen 2 refurbished page.

I have an additional dimension question, what are the height and width pf the Five at the rear of the speaker?  Can someone with the a Play:5 gen 2 do a quick measurement and let me know.   Considering getting a 5 to place in a somewhat tight space.


Will the Flexson gen2 stands fit the Fives?



According the product page, yes.

Will a sub gen2 pair with the Fives in a stereo config?

99% sure the answer is yes to this.  I believe it was said earlier