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Use of Sonos Sub

  • 5 January 2019
  • 14 replies
  • 717 views

I have some questions about the Sonos Sub. I am thinking of getting a sub for my living room Sonos setup, but it is not entirely clear for me what the ideal setup will be.

As I understand it, the Sub is aware of which Sonos speakers it ie paired with and adjusts the base and volume accordingly.

My Sonos setup in the living room consists of two Play:5 II (stereo pair), which I use for streaming music and a Sonos beam for my TV-set.

Sometimes I am using both the Beam and the play 5 speakers when I listen to music and sometimes I only use the Play 5 setup for music.

As I understand it, the SUB is connected to a speaker group - eg. If I group it to my Beam, the Sub will cover the deep tones and let the Beam concentrate of middle and high tones.

Further more it seems that changing the Sub to another Speaker set takes some time. (is this correct) and will I have to do the truetone setup every time I change the attachment for the sub?

I will of course want to use the Sub for tv and movies together with my beam, but also want to use it when I am playing music on my Play 5 set.

So what will the ideal setup be for a sub in my setup?

How will the Sub react if I group it with the Beam together with my Play 5 setup? Will it still only adjust to the Beam or will it change to reflect the attachment to both the beam and the Play 5 speakers?

Will the best setup be to attach the sub to the beam and then group the Beam with the Play 5 when I want music?

And how difficult is it to change the attachment to the beam and shift i to the Play 5 stereo pair in stead?

How you can help - Thanks!

/Henrik
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Best answer by Chris 5 January 2019, 17:36

I think it adds more to the Beam.

Moving it between sets is fairly easy but yes then it messes up your Trueplay tuning which is the negative.

To move sub from one pairing to another … lets say its paired to Beam. You go to settings … Room settings … Beam and choose … remove Sub …. it will then ask you what new zone you want to move the Sub to and it takes a few seconds and done (now its paired to the Play:5s).

If paired with beam it will only be pulling low end from the beam - it won't effect the Play:5s if they are grouped with Beam.

The only way to have it effect all is to pair your Play:5s with the Beam as well and have full 5.1 setup. I like this a lot for music myself (full mode).
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14 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I think it adds more to the Beam.

Moving it between sets is fairly easy but yes then it messes up your Trueplay tuning which is the negative.

To move sub from one pairing to another … lets say its paired to Beam. You go to settings … Room settings … Beam and choose … remove Sub …. it will then ask you what new zone you want to move the Sub to and it takes a few seconds and done (now its paired to the Play:5s).

If paired with beam it will only be pulling low end from the beam - it won't effect the Play:5s if they are grouped with Beam.

The only way to have it effect all is to pair your Play:5s with the Beam as well and have full 5.1 setup. I like this a lot for music myself (full mode).
Thank you for the answer - So you suggest that I group the beam and the play 5 together and then add the sub to that group? How will the Sub then react when it is grouped to both a beam (with relatively little bass) and the Play 5 with significantly more bass? And what will happen if I only play music using the Play:5 stereo pair alone - will the Sub still play along or will it only play if the Beam and the Play:5 is used together?

I am a bit confused over this as the Sub aparently works in another way than the speakers - You can join og break the speakers into groups on-the-fly but it seems that the Sub is more or less locked into in single configuration?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
The sub will crossover with speaker it paired to

If it is paired to beam it will pull base from beam. If you group play:5s in the sub will still only be pulling bass from beam and the play:5s will have no crossover done to them and play full.

If you pair all the speakers (not group) and this have them all as one single zone then the sub will pull bass from the 5s and the Beam. the 5s and Beams will be playing in stereo together with all low end sent to sub.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
I am a bit confused over this as the Sub aparently works in another way than the speakers - You can join og break the speakers into groups on-the-fly but it seems that the Sub is more or less locked into in single configuration?
The SUB is not a full range speaker, so it cannot function on its own. It only makes sense when bonded (not grouped) to other speakers.
Thank you for your reply - I am aware that the Sub is not a stand-alone speaker - but it seems like bonding the Sub to different speaker configurations is not as easy as grouping normal speakers.

In my case I both want to use the Sub with my Sonos Beam, when I watch Tv, and together with my Play:5 stereo Pair when listening to music and sometimes also when I play music from both my Beam and my play:5 stereo Pair at the same time.

As I understand this might not be so easy and I will have some situations, where the Sub will not be playing along without I change the bond between the Sub and the speakers.

What will be the smartest setup here - bonding the SUB with both the play: stereo Pair and the Beam? And what will happen then if I only use the Beam having bonded the Sub to all three speakers - and vice versa what will happen if I only play with the Play:5 speakers?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
See Chris' first response here, bond/pair it with the Beam.
Thank you for your answer.

I agree that a Sub naturally provides the most extra punch to the beam - but I am interested in a Sub setup that can both be used for the Tv-setup with the beam alone and for playing music on my play:5 speakers - alone and in combination with the beam. is this a lost cause?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I think I have explained this in full detail.
Thank you, Chris. I am sorry that I am bit bit slow here - But a Sub is not cheap, and I want to be sure that it fits my needs.

So the Sub need to be paired to a set of speakers. How do I pair it to both my Beam and my Play:5 speakers on the same time - and does this mean, that I can not ongroup the beam and the Play:5 and use them seperately - And if I ungroup the Beam and the Play:5 which speaker will the Sub then be paired to??

You mention that you have a 5.1 setup - are you using the Play:5 as front speakers for your tv-set?

Best regards

Henrik
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I have explained this.

It can be paired with one zone at a time. You have to choose and I told you how to switch the pairing.

Pairing as a 5.1 system means you pair all of them together as 5.1. So when watching tv the 5s act as rear surrounds. When listening to music the 5s act a s stereo pair in conjunction with the beam.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
You can't pair the Sub with more than one room (stereo play 5 or 5.1 Beam) at a time and you have to go through the whole process of pairing and trueplay to get it to sound right at every change.

You have two realistic options: Pick one or the other to pair with or Buy two Subs.

You can't really use Play 5s or any other speaker as front speakers with Sonos, front and center are built into all the TV devices. You can use them as rear surrounds but that is overkill as a Play 1 pair is plenty.
Userlevel 7
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Not overkill for for music when setup as 5.1
Userlevel 3
Badge +7
My experience is first Beam with sub and rear ones and now a Sonos amp with Revel speakers, sub, and rear ones. You don't want to play music designed for stereo in 5.1 and I also found using just the rears for music with some sound coming from the Beam as far from optimal for sound quality.
I strongly recommend a sub for the Beam to improve just about everything but Sonos really needs to come out with that lower cost sub for Beam users who are paying $399 for the Beam and get sticker shock of $699 for the sub.
I was surprised to find you can pretty easily turn off the rears in the Sonos amp since just about everyone suggested using the rears for music instead even though it doesn't also shut off the Beam, doesn't sound very good, and music coming from the back of the room is kind of odd.
Badge +2
Hi Henrik! I just last week got a Sub and 2 Ones to compmiment my Livingroom Playbar. I have a small Livingroom at about 25sqm. The Playbar on its own is a pretty good speaker, but not as good as a Play 5 stereo pair i would think. Pretty decentraliseras base though campares to Beam.

Connecting Surrounds and Sub was a straight forward process. And now i use the whole setup with rears on Full mode for music. It sounds great. I’m not really sure what the center cnannel on Okaybar does when playing music but it doesn’t cause any problems. I think that your best option is to get the Sub risk free with the 100days no fuzz return policy and try it out for yourself in your home to see how it fits your needs.

If your living room is small pair Sub to the Beam and if you don’t want surrounds you can repurpose the 5’s and use them in another room. Also. When bonding surrounds to a Beam/Playbar/Playbase when unbonding they remember their previous room config, except Trueplay tuning, so it’s easy to play around with them to find a setup for your needs. I’m sure you’re gonna keep it. I for sure am gonna keep mine 🙂