Sub pairing question

  • 13 November 2018
  • 11 replies
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So despite the Sonos set up not quite working how I wanted it to (If you have ONE's set up as rear speakers you cant then just play music from them as a stereo pair), I think I'm going to go ahead and order anyway.

If I get a Sub, how does the pairing work?

I think my set for for 90% of the time will be a BEAM under the tv just for TV audio.
A stereo pair of ONE's for music.

Occasionally at the weekend when we watch a film worth or surround sound, I'll have to unpair the speakers and set them up as rear speakers for the BEAM etc. Long stupid needless process and Sonos should include the option to save different set up profiles so you can easily switch, but thats another topic.

IF I get a sub, I'd want it paired with the stereo ONE's for music for 90% of the time.

Can you pair it to the BEAM as well though or will I need to unpair it from the ONE's and pair with the BEAM if I ever want to use it for TV as well?

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11 replies

You would be better off creating a 5.1 setup with the sub and then set the surrounds to 'Full' in the Beams 'Room' Settings, that would provide you with full stereo audio for music from the rear surrounds.
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So despite the Sonos set up not quite working how I wanted it to (If you have ONE's set up as rear speakers you cant then just play music from them as a stereo pair), I think I'm going to go ahead and order anyway.

If I get a Sub, how does the pairing work?

I think my set for for 90% of the time will be a BEAM under the tv just for TV audio.
A stereo pair of ONE's for music.


I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but you can configure your rear speakers to play full stereo when playing a music source. The Beam will also play stereo with this configuration.


Occasionally at the weekend when we watch a film worth or surround sound, I'll have to unpair the speakers and set them up as rear speakers for the BEAM etc. Long stupid needless process and Sonos should include the option to save different set up profiles so you can easily switch, but thats another topic.


I'm not sure why you're assuming the bonding process is needless and stupid. Your correct that it could possibly be made done more quickly if their were profiles to switch from, assuming those profiles aren't overly large, but the some of the older models do not have the hardware for that featuree. I would also add some complication to an otherwise simple system that the vast majority of users would have no interest in.


IF I get a sub, I'd want it paired with the stereo ONE's for music for 90% of the time.

Can you pair it to the BEAM as well though or will I need to unpair it from the ONE's and pair with the BEAM if I ever want to use it for TV as well?


Sub's can only be bonded to one room at a time, so no. Adding and removing the sub is rather similar to the process of adding and removing the rear speakers.
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You would be better off creating a 5.1 setup with the sub and then set the surrounds to 'Full' in the Beams 'Room' Settings, that would provide you with full stereo audio for music from the rear surrounds.

other than it will completely mess up the soundstage as the BEAM will still be pumping out audio at full volume.
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Basically I want the ability to be able to play music through the ONE's and SUB without the BEAM playing any music and then if I want to watch TV I want to be able to have the rear speakers on or off and also the SUB on or off.

I don't want music to be played through the BEAM as it will sound better from just the stereo pairs ONE's and SUB

And I don't always want the TV to play through the SUB and rear speakers for just regular TV watching.
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I guess one slightly clunky way would be to just turn to power off to the SUB and the rear ONE's for the times I don't want surround? Presume the BEAM would still function normally if it cannot see the other speakers on the network?
You would be better off creating a 5.1 setup with the sub and then set the surrounds to 'Full' in the Beams 'Room' Settings, that would provide you with full stereo audio for music from the rear surrounds.

other than it will completely mess up the soundstage as the BEAM will still be pumping out audio at full volume.

That’s a matter of opinion, but I won’t knock this as we all have different audio preferences. I personally like the soundstage with the Beam included. You may end up making things a little more difficult for yourself, as you may need to unbond and bond your chosen speakers, on a frequent basis, but of course, that’s entirely your prerogative.

I will personally stick with my own preference, as it sounds just fine to me in my dining room and it is very simple to operate too, whether I’m watching a movie or listening to music.

If I was some kind of audiophile, or pretending to be, I probably would not choose sonos for a Home Theatre setup in any case, for a variety of different reasons.

I certainly find sonos 'home' products great quality for sure at their price range, but there is also an element of simplicity and convenience aswell that goes with the brand and I definitely like such convenience, simplicity and quality in the home environment, but I’m sure that if we were to put 'convenience and simplicity' aside, there are perhaps better 'wired' professional alternatives, but they tend to come at a much higher price tag.
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You would be better off creating a 5.1 setup with the sub and then set the surrounds to 'Full' in the Beams 'Room' Settings, that would provide you with full stereo audio for music from the rear surrounds.

other than it will completely mess up the soundstage as the BEAM will still be pumping out audio at full volume.


I believe that to be incorrect. The Beam will still have audio but whole point of the FULL setting is that the music is sent to the surrounds and they take much more of the level than they do when receiving TV/Film audio. If your surrounds are situated behind you in the ideal configuration I doubt you'd be aware the Beam was outputting audio if you sat in your normal viewing spot.

Either way you can test it out and see what you prefer
I guess one slightly clunky way would be to just turn to power off to the SUB and the rear ONE's for the times I don't want surround? Presume the BEAM would still function normally if it cannot see the other speakers on the network?You can switch off the rear surrounds in the Beams Room Settings.
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You would be better off creating a 5.1 setup with the sub and then set the surrounds to 'Full' in the Beams 'Room' Settings, that would provide you with full stereo audio for music from the rear surrounds.

other than it will completely mess up the soundstage as the BEAM will still be pumping out audio at full volume.


I believe that to be incorrect. The Beam will still have audio but whole point of the FULL setting is that the music is sent to the surrounds and they take much more of the level than they do when receiving TV/Film audio. If your surrounds are situated behind you in the ideal configuration I doubt you'd be aware the Beam was outputting audio if you sat in your normal viewing spot.

Either way you can test it out and see what you prefer


Fair enough, I guess I'll have to try.

This is for our Kitchen / Dining / day lounge. The listening config is that when Im sitting on the sofa looking at the TV, obviously its set up as you'd expect with the surround speakers level with you on either side.

But for music I'd be standing in the kitchen or sitting at the breakfast bar looking at the rear speakers (and at the back of the TV). So the BEAM would then be facing away from me and the audio from that would be bouncing off the rear wall.

Is there no way in the 'full audio' set up that you can then reduce the volume of the BEAM?

I presume if I were to simply unplug it, I would then get no audio at all even from the ONE's as they get their feed directly from the BEAM if I've understood the setup correctly.
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I guess one slightly clunky way would be to just turn to power off to the SUB and the rear ONE's for the times I don't want surround? Presume the BEAM would still function normally if it cannot see the other speakers on the network?You can switch off the rear surrounds in the Beams Room Settings.

Perfect.. thats that little question solved.

What about the sub? Can you switch this on and off easily as well?
I don’t think so ... (not sure?) ... but would you really need to? ... you can switch on 'night mode' to reduce the low frequencies and that’s better than switching off the sub altogether when using it with TV audio. You will also probably find 'speech enhancement' is a useful feature too. I use that feature a lot myself.

You will however need to unbond, either the sub and/or surrounds to use those as a 2.0/2.1 setup for just your music as there is no way to currently switch off just the Beam, which is in fact the main controller in the 5.0/5.1 setup.