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Meet Sonos Five, studio-quality sound

Meet Sonos Five, studio-quality sound

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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.

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.

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.

Userlevel 4
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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.

 

Absolutely, I think the only other speaker in the current range without it is the Sub?! (And the One SL)
 

My guesses: 

  • they didn’t want R&D cost of redesign
  • concerns if used in vertical orientation 
  • not wanting to raise price or eat into margins re additional components
Userlevel 2
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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.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

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.

Userlevel 4
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Hi, 

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 2
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Hi, 

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?

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.

Userlevel 1

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. Hopefully the gen 2 has plenty of life in it and sounds great. Thoughts ? 

Return it, 100%

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.

Userlevel 4
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So I was really happy the 5 was going to be replaced as there was no way I was going to replace my G1 Play:5 with a 5 year old product and I’d really like to add voice control where my Play:5 is situated (and there isn’t room for a Nest Mini / Dot).

 

Without voice control? I think this means I’ll try sticking with S1. It also means I’m now unlikely to replace my two legacy Connects anytime soon so my planned Sonos spending just went to nil. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +7

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?

Userlevel 2
Badge +2

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. Hopefully the gen 2 has plenty of life in it and sounds great. Thoughts ? 

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 1

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

Userlevel 4
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Happy to finally see a white version of this speaker that is actually white, but WTF Sonos, why no voice assistant? The assistant in the One is great, and requiring the addition of an external mini/dot to the Five is a mistake. I know because that is what I do with my legacy Play:5s - they just don’t work the same as the integrated assistant. Sigh, at least I’ll now have AirPlay.

Further to my last post, why isn’t the new Five called the Five SL @Ryan S? That would align the naming nomenclature and leave room for a Five with a microphone in the future.

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.

Userlevel 1

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

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?

Userlevel 1

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

There’s probably not enough space in that enclosure to stick a wide field array of speakers. At least that’s my guess. I use random Dots and Shows to listen to my voice and control my Sonos devices. I’ve actually turned off the mics on my Sonos Ones. 

I was thinking there would be a new enclosure designed to accommodate the mic array.  I can see where they did not think it was worth the extra cost since no other design changes were needed and perhaps they did not get customer feedback saying it was needed.

There is some drawback to not having the mics onboard though.  Echo devices now have a feature where they can act as listening devices only, but respond through a different Alexa enabled device.  So for example, you can have several echo dots, echos, echo inputs, etc in a room listening for commands, but your Sonos One does all the talking, or your Beam, Move, or Arc.   It’s an nice feature, and one have been nice with the Five...if it was an Alexa enabled device.  Note, this feature doesn’t work for Echo Shows, probably because of the video aspect.  Also note, you can’t have one speaker do the Alexa speaking for the group, and a different speaker do the music playback.

 

 

Replacing legacy Play:5 Recommendations? I have so much Sonos it is embarrassing. Here’s the problem. My original Play:5 is doomed. I wasn’t crazy about the quality since the rest of the house has 2 gen Play:5, two sets of Playbar/Sub/Amp for home theater, and Play:1 and Ones scattered all about. The legacy Play:5 is on the bottom shelf of a wall unit in a sitting room that is adjacent to my great room which has the smaller of my TVs (62) with a Playbar, Sub, and two Ones for surround. So, when I play music, it bleeds into the sitting room but the Play:5 adds a little more punch. I already used my 30% off TradeUp to buy outdoor speakers and a new amp. Better to spend that deal on a package than a single speaker. I have another 20% burning a hole in my pocket. So, here’s the question…

  1. Do I replace the legacy Play:5 with a new Five (which could be over kill for the space)...or
  2. Do I remove the Playbar I installed a year ago with my new TV in the basement rec room. 82” with PlayBar, Sub, and amp powered BostonAcoustics as the surrounds? Then...add the new Arc and new Sub to that room and put the old PlayBar as the speaker on the bottom shelf where the Play:5 is that needs to move on? 

I’m leaning towards the second option. I’d probably by the combo so I get the new sub though I’m not sure I really need it. I might consider using one of the old subs outside though I’m not sure how easy it is to connect and disconnect. Though if I run it wirelessly, it would be pretty easy to just take outside and put on the patio for parties. 

I guess the real question is would a Playbar without sub (but in an open floor plan where a Sub is located attached to another Player) be a decent replacement for legacy Play:5 at lower volumes and a fill speaker?

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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. 

It works the way I want on a One, so would also on an assistant enabled Five. It does not work the way I want when I use a Dot.

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.