Answered

Playbar + Two Play5s (gen. 1) configurations

  • 4 November 2019
  • 6 replies
  • 104 views

Hi all,

For the past few years, I’ve been listening to my two Play:5s (gen. 1), paired together. Connected via an audio cable from my TV to the line-in port, I’ve been enjoying their sound for movies as well.
Apparently, I’ve been so vocally fond of them, that I got a Playbar as a gift for my birthday recently.
Now, I’m trying to figure out what the best way to utilise the three products is - of course, hoping that it’ll be an upgrade to my experience so far.

I love how all three sound when listening to music! I find that the Playbar does “open-up” the sound of the two 5s in a very satisfying way. Next comes the topic of the sound coming from the TV.

From some of the questions here I learned that I cannot use the two Play:5s for just the front left and right channels, with the Playbar as the center. I can, however, group them, so that they play together. In this way I might not get great left-right separation, but I would still enjoy the contribution of the low-frequency richness of the 5s to the Playbar (as I don’t have a Sub... yet).


While all three do sound great together for music, with the TV audio there’s a quite noticeable “reverb effect” when I group the 5s to the Playbar. Reading around, I found out that gen 1 of the Play:5s does have a high(er) sync latency, thus they cannot work as surrounds.

Given that I don’t care that much for surround/home cinema, but rather I’d like to have as good stereo as possible for both music and movies, my questions are:

  1. Is that echo/reverb effect I’m getting when I group the two Play:5s with the Playbar solely due to their high sync latency?
  2. If the answer to the first question is yes, then would that surely be addressed, shall I decide to upgrade the two Play:5s to gen2?
  3. Do you have any other ideas/suggestions what would be the best way to utilise two Play:5s (gen 1) and a Playbar?

Thanks!

icon

Best answer by Ken_Griffiths 4 November 2019, 13:55

 

  1. Is that echo/reverb effect I’m getting when I group the two Play:5s with the Playbar solely due to their high sync latency?
  2. If the answer to the first question is yes, then would that surely be addressed, shall I decide to upgrade the two Play:5s to gen2?
  3. Do you have any other ideas/suggestions what would be the best way to utilise two Play:5s (gen 1) and a Playbar?

Thanks!

  1. No, it’s just a case that the old speaker does not have a 5ghz radio built in, which is faster and required for Sonos Home Theatre bonded setups 
  2. Not relevant due to the answer to the first question.
  3. Best to keep the PlayBar and Play:5 stereo pair as two separate rooms… and group them together. When playing a TV PCM stereo source, use the “TV Dialog Sync” feature in the PlayBar Room Settings to try to bring your grouped speakers into sync.
View original

6 replies

 

  1. Is that echo/reverb effect I’m getting when I group the two Play:5s with the Playbar solely due to their high sync latency?
  2. If the answer to the first question is yes, then would that surely be addressed, shall I decide to upgrade the two Play:5s to gen2?
  3. Do you have any other ideas/suggestions what would be the best way to utilise two Play:5s (gen 1) and a Playbar?

Thanks!

  1. No, it’s just a case that the old speaker does not have a 5ghz radio built in, which is faster and required for Sonos Home Theatre bonded setups 
  2. Not relevant due to the answer to the first question.
  3. Best to keep the PlayBar and Play:5 stereo pair as two separate rooms… and group them together. When playing a TV PCM stereo source, use the “TV Dialog Sync” feature in the PlayBar Room Settings to try to bring your grouped speakers into sync.

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the answers!

Best to keep the PlayBar and Play:5 stereo pair as two separate rooms

Yes, that’s what I did. Missed to clarify this point, but this exactly is the set-up that I experience that reverb/echo with when I group the Playbar with the pair of Play:5s.

When playing a TV PCM stereo source use the “TV Dialog Sync” feature in the PlayBar Room Settings to try to bring your grouped speakers into sync

Didn’t know about that. Will try it.

Not clear what you mean with the second response, though. If the reason for the (d)effect I’m getting is the slow radio in gen 1, and gen 2 has it, then shouldn’t I expect that with a pair of gen 2 Play:5s, the reverb thing will not happen?

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Hi lefanto

The latency you are experiencing between your current Play 5’s and the Playbar is due to the 70ms delay between the Playbar and the 5’s. Adjusting the lip sync may help but not cure the issue. The same would hold true it you were to upgrade to Play 5’s (Gen2).

The upside is that you would gain better overall sound for music with the Gen 2 Play 5’s. So much to the point that you may not choose to group in the Playbar for music. The Play 5 (Gen2) sound stage is remarkable versus your current 5’s. 

You would also gain Airplay to play music direct from your iPhone. They can also be used as surrounds. However, IMO they are overkill for that purpose.

The low-end as you currently use your Gen1 Play 5’s for watching TV would be better as well. However, the latency will still be present but as I said somewhat adjustable via the lip sync setting of the Playbar. 

FYI, you would lose the headphone jack (if that’s ‘s of importance) as that feature is not available on the Play 5 (gen2). 

Sonos is offering a Trade-up Program of 30% off toward the purchase of a Play 5 (gen2) provided you are willing to give up your Gen 1’s. Meaning they will be “bricked” and you are obliged to take them to a participating retailer for the 30% discount towards the purchase of the Play 5 (gen2) or any Sonos product. To take advantage of the offer...

  • Log into to MY Account > Data > Scroll down to Trade-Up  > Check Upgrade Eligibility

If your Play 5’s (Gen1) are registered they will appear. I hope this helps with your decision. 

Cheers!

@Ken_Griffiths Another case of posts crossing as “ships in the night”  :sweat_smile:

Oh sorry I mis-read that question, if you had the Gen2 version of the speakers, then you can create a 5.0 'bonded’ setup, which is different and more permanent than 'grouping’.. and 'yes' all the Sonos devices will sync fine in that type of setup which uses the 5ghz band.

One thing to add to that is in a bonded setup the rear speakers default to ambient output when playing music audio… I would recommend changing that in the PlayBar Room Settings to ‘Full” Music audio output for the rears.

 

I will add that play:5 (gen2’s) in my humble opinion are a bit of an overkill (and a waste) for a bonded HT setup… most folk choose Play:1’s or Sonos Ones for that purpose… but it depends on how big your room is and what you prefer.

 

If it was my decision, I would choose to keep my Play 5 (gen1’s) as a stereo pair for music purposes and buy a separate HT setup as a complete bundle with smaller surrounds.

 

It really is your decision though and your preference.

Ha ha no worries AjTrek1, I think it’s inevitable. We at least seem to share much of the same viewpoint and I agree that the Play 5 (gen 2’s) are a bit of an overkill. Although I’m sure some others here may disagree with that.

I think it’s a bit of a waste, as most general TV output (News/sport/TV shows etc.) are broadcast in stereo and little, if anything, emerges from the rear channels in that situation. Great for DD 5.1 Movies though, but Play:1’s and similar sized speakers do a great job as rear surrounds. Even better when a Sub is added to shake the room. 👍

So, after all, the TV Dialog Sync did resolve my issue. I moved it to 3/5 and the annoying reverb/echo is gone. Thanks again, @Ken_Griffiths

So, for the sake of anyone else arriving here later, here’s my set-up.

I have a TV on a TV table and the Playbar on the shelf under it. To the left and to the right of the TV I have two Play:5s (gen. 1). I have the Play:5s stereo-paired as their own “room”. The Playbar is a “room” on its own as well. Grouping both “rooms” together and adjusting the TV Dialog Sync in the Playbar’s settings, eliminated the annoying echo I was getting. 

The result is that the three bodies – i.e. the two “rooms” – sound better together. That’s barely noticeable for the sound coming from the TV, but dramatically better when streaming music. 

I tested right-left channel videos on YouTube and tracks on Spotify. What this set-up results in, is that the right-half of the Playbar together with the right Play:5 cover the right audio channel and the left half of the Playbar and the left Play:5 – the left one. Not exactly surround sound, but I find it totally satisfactory.

Now I can listen to both streaming music and the TV audio without fiddling with grouping and settings and I do have better sound than I had before. Cool stuff! :)

Reply