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Meet Sonos Five, studio-quality sound

Meet Sonos Five, studio-quality sound

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Userlevel 7
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Yes, I was covering use by Sonos (could be in another (physical) room but grouped) and also local Dots etc.

Userlevel 5
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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.

I think that’s the case.  I have a stereo pair of 5’s and the sound quality is better than the Play 5.  Clearer and more detailed although not quite as warm.  I’ve seen others say the same.  Airplay is more reliable which makes sense since Airplay was added to the Play 5 later.  Given that it’s pretty likely the internals are too different to pair the old and new 5’s.  I was one of the naysayers earlier in this thread but was wrong.  Now I have another set of Fives on order.  My best speakers to date were Kef LS50W’s which are $2499 and the Fives give them a run for their money while being simpler and more reliable as the Kefs have had lots of reliability issues.

Userlevel 5
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Thanks for the help and answers. I guess the problem here is that this is not fully explained as a limitation on the sonos website when ordering, I guess I’m not the first to suffer this. And actually there is no reason why it could not be achieved to make the system even better. That is only software required to do that. Same as creating a stereo pair is only software. Sonos should consider this as it is an improvement. 
might you could do this the system would move to another level and me truly awesome!

Unfortunately it looks like sonos is getting two new speakers back. 
and I will have to sell my playbar, sub and 2 x play 1’s which I have purchased in the last year with the view to doing this when I could afford it. The launch of the new 5’s was the incentive to do that. 

 

You actually have no idea if that is true or not.  

Wonder if this means a price reduction on Play 5s which are out in stores now?  That might be the way to go for me if there is no sound quality difference…

 

cheers

Userlevel 4
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Wonder if this means a price reduction on Play 5s which are out in stores now?  That might be the way to go for me if there is no sound quality difference…

 

cheers

I was wondering about this. Advantage is will play nicely with legacy devices stuck on S1, disadvantage is potential for it to be EOL’d sooner than the new version. 

Userlevel 2
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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.

Thanks going to stick with gen 2 

Userlevel 2
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Will Play Five pair with Sub gen. 1?

Userlevel 1
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@UseroftheSonos

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. 

Yet the Five can still be paired with the Sub gen 1 or 2 which presumably has a greater gap in computing components than it would with the Play 5 gen 2?  

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 disagree with that statement, but 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.

 

The other factor is, if Sonos ever develops their own voice assistant, it will be a big miss for the Five.  Seems like Sonos would have to develop their own puck listening device to make it useful.

@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. 

I don’t think that a “premium” product like this should have obsolescence built in. £500 is too expensive to find out it is not an investment.  I’ve had a Play 5 Gen 2 for 18 months and have planned to add another for a stereo pair but have to justify that expense.  I went to install my new Five today only to find out it cannot be paired.  I can’t justify £500 for an “extra” speaker so will return but now have to live with the knowledge that my Play 5 is “redundant”.

You can no longer use the PLAY:5 Gen 2?

Userlevel 4
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Why wouldn't you get a play 5 before they all went. I did with the play 1.

What is the latency on the new Fives’s like on the line in? Is it still the 70ms?

I hope you’re right. we have to wait and see. I use the to Play:5 to hera my vynil, and in this case nothing will change, but I’d be very happy to pay for tidal hires… with my old and loved 2nd gen

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.

 

People are stating as fact that they can be paired when you really have no idea if they can or not for what the issue is.

I’m surprised like every one else that the 5 doesn’t have voice control.  Although I gave up on voice control with ones awhile ago and have been using a Dot anyway.

My issue with the 5 is the price.  it might have made sense when it was introduced but $499 doesn’t make sense anymore.  There is too much competition out there.

The HomePod sounds better, has 360 sound, Siri works fine for anything I use it for and the HomePod mics are amazing and it’s $299 often on sale for less.  Airplay 2 means I can mix and match and I pretty much never use the Sonos app except for home theater with my Amp.

It’s puzzling how little the 5 changed, perhaps they ran out of R&D  $$ on the ARC or the Move which only  small niche will buy.

Hmmm, a $500 smart speaker with no voice control...that’s just weird.

A quick search would reveal the following:

https://en.community.sonos.com/wireless-speakers-228992/when-will-the-play-5-gen-2-be-replaced-updated-6835892

https://en.community.sonos.com/what-to-get-228989/play-5-updates-6822240

However, maybe what we need is a buyer’s guide like they have over at MacRumours:

https://buyersguide.macrumors.com

Yeah, a legitimate question, that was never answered by sonos, deflected by fanboys and then the subject was closed.

That does not at all look like they were trying to hide the 3.gen for as long as possible to try and empty the current stock of 2.gen.

 

I only saw discounts on the sub, Playbase and Playbar.  Not on the 2nd Gen Play 5.

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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? 

The HomePod sounds better, has 360 sound, Siri works fine for anything I use it for and the HomePod mics are amazing and it’s $299 often on sale for less.  Airplay 2 means I can mix and match and I pretty much never use the Sonos app except for home theater with my Amp.

 

 

I haven’t seen many reviews stating the HomePod sounds better, and the HomePod isn’t thought of as a very successful product.  

It’s puzzling how little the 5 changed, perhaps they ran out of R&D  $$ on the ARC or the Move which only  small niche will buy.

 

I’m not sure how you’re able to classify the Arc and Move as small niche markets.  I haven’t really seen anything to suggest that.  I think you could make an argument that they are gateway products.  New customers looking for a bluetooth speaker, or Dolby Atmos support, could get these as their first products, but end up buying more as they see the value in whole home audio.

 

Hmmm, a $500 smart speaker with no voice control...that’s just weird.

 Although I am surprised by the lack of voice control,  I don’t think Sonos would have done it if marketing numbers said that it was needed in order to sell the speaker.   I can’t imagine sales will be worse than they were for the play:5 gen 2.

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.

I was referring to the Move as a niche product not the ARC.  I expect the ARC will be very successful whether used for Atmos or not.  I actually think $799 isn’t a bad price for what you get even if you don’t use it for Atmos.  Personally I use an Amp with Revel Concerta 2 speakers, Sonos sub, and One SL rears.  I have Sonos One’s and HomePods in stereo pairs in 5 rooms around the house.

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

I think $500 for a “smart” speaker with no voice control in 2020 is really surprising and puzzling.  

Userlevel 3
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To me the comparison with the HomePod doesn’t make sense.

Sonos, especially the Five / Play:5 is targeted at the classic Hi-fi music listeners, who want to listen to their music with ease and be able to wirelessly have whole house audio.

The HomePod is more like a background or blast loud speaker for the younger crowd, not for the music listener.

I think most music enthusiasts do not accept the “bounced off the wall” music effect HomePod generates - hence they would much prefer a Five.

Userlevel 3
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To me the comparison with the HomePod doesn’t make sense.

Sonos, especially the Five / Play:5 is targeted at the classic Hi-fi music listeners, who want to listen to their music with ease and be able to wirelessly have whole house audio.

The HomePod is more like a background or blast loud speaker for the younger crowd, not for the music listener.

I think most music enthusiasts do not accept the “bounced off the wall” music effect HomePod generates - hence they would much prefer a Five.

The comparison makes sense, that is what gave you the information to reach your conclusion.  For you and your needs.

Also does the Play Five have wifi 6 support for future forward compatibility?

 

Any legitimate reason the Sonos Five cannot pair with a Play:5 Gen 2? I have been eyeing another 5 to make a stereo pair for a little while now and the refresh cycle your starting to push says get out of the sonos eco system and get a high-end audiophile wired speaker that will last me 20+ years and maybe an amp, maybe I replace the amp once and a while, but it would still be cheaper.

 

If I was building a true sonos upgrade I would be saying can any one of my new speakers support the processing for a like unit pair in my old environment and bring them all forward rather than constant segregation of product stacks and sku’s. This type of forced obsolesce stuff is why I didn’t buy bose or a competitor originally. 

 

it looks different… if I the customer don’t care why should that stop me on a technical level? If the answer is it sounds different, we upgraded some stuff inside. Sonos offers trueplay this shouldn’t matter, you as a manufacturer know your own baseline sound stage. Fix it electronically. Ya it will only sound as good as the lowest preforming equipment I get it, but its easier on the customers pocketbook, I the customer will upgrade organically in my own time not yours. Its in the same product class it should still work together. same as Play:1 and Play One same general product group should work.

 

Alternative number 2, offer a higher end product that can offload the processing from the existing speaker(s) to a dedicated processing unit and stream it to the speakers without the processing overhead. I think they might call that a receiver or amplifier system or something not sure… ;) You get the new smarts without having to gut and obsolete a working product stack and offer backwards compatibility. Also makes your existing customers happier. and even if you dumb down your old product stack, and force future processing to the new head unit you so you don’t have to support old code, I would be happy. We get it legacy is hard. Its easier as a customer to swallow replacing a single processing head unit every 10+ years, or sooner if I just have to have that new feature vs replacing the whole freaking speaker ecosystem.

 

These current upgrades feel like accountant  saying print us money by forcing incremental product pushes rather than how can we build and support a truly amazing speaker system, and still make new products and coexist with with “old” ones. Nothing truly revolutionary was done to the Play Five it  shouldn’t freak out existing owners that your going to arbitrarily force obsolesce on them in 5 years. It should just be that cool new thing that just co-exists with their current environment. Sure its better but the whole it just works ethos I loved about Sonos is eroding quickly… cause so so many caveats 

Userlevel 3
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sonosg Of course you are spot on! 
I guess what I was trying to say is that the two products are intended for two different audiences / use cases.

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Hi to everybody. Sometimes speed bump it’s due to new electronic components and cpu on the market that substitute the old ones. IMHO the five it’s one of the finest loudspeaker you can find on the market and i do not miss the lack of the microphone on it. I use two play:5 stereo paired to listen music, not to talk with them. I suppose the new Five will serve great for years, like my 2nd generation did (actually they are doing well even today...)

...I use two play:5 stereo paired to listen music, not to talk with them...:laughing::laughing: LOL

sandro

 

Userlevel 1
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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.

 

Just trying to understand here and I appreciate your response. If I understand correctly,  you are saying the different processors mean that they can’t pair, fair enough. Since it’s a technical reason I guess Sonosequencer won’t be able to pair them either (I was actually hoping you would say the reason is because of sound so sonosequencer would be able to pair them if I go down that road).