Question

Will my speakers blow?

  • 15 September 2016
  • 14 replies
  • 4570 views

Hi there,
i own a Sonos Sub and i have the EQ on max and the advanced Sub setting on max. i was wondering if this is bad and could i damage my Sub by playing music at high volume. i listen to songs that are very bass sided such as Rap Hip hop R&B Trap Reggae and so on... is it safe to play songs with the max settings on the sub or not because i do not want to damage my speakers or having them blow at high volume. can they handle the bass without damaging?

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14 replies

IMO, the play 1 is the most versatile unit in the range. And the 1 pair + Sub is a champion set up that punches far above its weight, footprint and price point!

Music is great for getting kids to unwind. There are some great Susan Tallman lullabies that are magic with my four year old granddaughter. Mozart can also work. Just don't do EDM, though Trance may work:-)
Thanks... it was such a big difference from the single play 1 to the surround/stereo set up. I understand that these capabilities aren't new... I believe it was similar on the original AcoustaMass (spelling?) from Bose I had. But that was in the day where I had the entire set up, the Bose, JBL rears and sub, and Klipsch center... oh the ole days. But on that system I had to adjust the crossovers and I knew the sound that would come out of those speakers and what to expect. This being done Technology wirelessly and without adjustments other than sub level, bass/treble/loud.

Like I said I had big doubts with these small speakers and was guessing I'd swap them out and go with another play 5. What's crazy is the playbase in my opinion did not sound all that great on its own for music. Once the play 1's and sub were added, it's an entirely new beast. In fact it makes the play 5 seem weak.(which I moved to the breezeway).

Also my five year old has been falling asleep laying on me listening to the music. Tonight it was Marley and the kid was out like a light. Three nights in a row... I believe the credit goes to sonos. That never used to happen. 😛
Do they design these in such a way that the system, once you have especially the sub, they can electronically separate the low frequencies and manage them in a way that increases the sound quality in the ones?

Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: This isn't new and has been done for decades. Sonos is able to do this with a little more sophistication, but the basics are old hat now. What is unique in Sonos is doing this wirelessly.
I am new to the community, but at one point I had heard that once you get the sub it helps eliminate the strain of the lower frequencies through the play 1's, so the speaker really puts out clear and crisp highs and smooth mids. I had one play 5 in the living room... was impressed with the single speaker. Recently, I purchased the playbase, sub, and two play ones. I am completely astonished that the sound is so big. I mean it is mind blowing. I'll be honest, we have a play 1 in our bedroom and it sounds good by itself, but I had doubts that I would be happy with the surround/music set up for music on its own. But for the size of our area and with the sub... wow.

Ok... so now you know I like it, but is that info true? Do they design these in such a way that the system, once you have especially the sub, they can electronically separate the low frequencies and manage them in a way that increases the sound quality in the ones?

Thanks.

Thanks Jgatie. I hadn't seen that post, although it doesn't specifically say that it is impossible to damage a Sonos speaker by playing loud music.

But it does suggest it's not actually possible to run a production model at damaging levels as caps have been put in place to stop that.


I won't say it's impossible to damage a unit by play it at full volume, after all, some people really like to torture their speakers and there's a chance one fails under that strain. It isn't really something to worry about though.

All our units are tested to play at all volumes for long periods, but the PLAY:1 probably get abused the most. I always say that if you're rocking out feel free to turn it up and enjoy. Just make sure you're using the right speakers for your situation. If you're trying to get units to out-power the sounds of a gym by blaring heavy metal, for example, you're better off with a bigger speaker than the PLAY:1.

The PLAY:1 sounds amazing for its size, but if you're trying to play dubstep or any massively bass heavy music at full volume for 20 hours a day, every day, that poor speaker is going to really hate you. That said, that doesn't mean it'll get damaged, just that the chances get higher. We test for this sort of thing and units have volume limiters so that they don't play loud enough to damage the speakers. But as a speaker technician simply I can't recommend using a speaker for long periods in a situation it isn't designed for.

For the OPs question, I've never heard of a SUB develop issues from playing too long too loud, same with the PLAYBAR. That is a situation that the home theater setups are designed for. Go ahead and leave it up if you'd like. Enjoy!

And again, if you have any questions or concerns with a unit you have, please feel free to give us a call on our support line.
Userlevel 2
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Hi there,
i own a Sonos Sub and i have the EQ on max and the advanced Sub setting on max. i was wondering if this is bad and could i damage my Sub by playing music at high volume. i listen to songs that are very bass sided such as Rap Hip hop R&B Trap Reggae and so on... is it safe to play songs with the max settings on the sub or not because i do not want to damage my speakers or having them blow at high volume. can they handle the bass without damaging?



You must be the guy that always has the rental car just before me.

Try setting everything to neutral instead of 11
In my house PLAYBAR and SUB operate at iMAX levels for several hours a day. This has be ongoing since product introduction. Nothing has broken yet.
Userlevel 7
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Thanks Jgatie. I hadn't seen that post, although it doesn't specifically say that it is impossible to damage a Sonos speaker by playing loud music.

But it does suggest it's not actually possible to run a production model at damaging levels as caps have been put in place to stop that.


I won't say it's impossible to damage a unit by play it at full volume, after all, some people really like to torture their speakers and there's a chance one fails under that strain. It isn't really something to worry about though.

All our units are tested to play at all volumes for long periods, but the PLAY:1 probably get abused the most. I always say that if you're rocking out feel free to turn it up and enjoy. Just make sure you're using the right speakers for your situation. If you're trying to get units to out-power the sounds of a gym by blaring heavy metal, for example, you're better off with a bigger speaker than the PLAY:1.

The PLAY:1 sounds amazing for its size, but if you're trying to play dubstep or any massively bass heavy music at full volume for 20 hours a day, every day, that poor speaker is going to really hate you. That said, that doesn't mean it'll get damaged, just that the chances get higher. We test for this sort of thing and units have volume limiters so that they don't play loud enough to damage the speakers. But as a speaker technician simply I can't recommend using a speaker for long periods in a situation it isn't designed for.

For the OPs question, I've never heard of a SUB develop issues from playing too long too loud, same with the PLAYBAR. That is a situation that the home theater setups are designed for. Go ahead and leave it up if you'd like. Enjoy!

And again, if you have any questions or concerns with a unit you have, please feel free to give us a call on our support line.
I don't know if active speakers are different beasts in this respect, but I would not run a typical stereo amp flat out into passive speakers 100% of the time - just intuitive restraint that, and perhaps a degree of care that isn't needed. Fortunately in my case, even the play 1 pair never has to run at more than 75% levels and that too only some of the time; it usually runs at about 50%. If that wasn't adequate for sound levels, I'd have given serious thought to a 5 pair instead.
Thanks Jgatie. I hadn't seen that post, although it doesn't specifically say that it is impossible to damage a Sonos speaker by playing loud music.

But it does suggest it's not actually possible to run a production model at damaging levels as caps have been put in place to stop that.
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Thanks Jgatie. I hadn't seen that post, although it doesn't specifically say that it is impossible to damage a Sonos speaker by playing loud music.
Here's one:

https://en.community.sonos.com/wireless-speakers-228992/new-user-question-did-my-dad-just-ruin-my-play5-6731837

Great answers here everyone. It is quite hard to damage a Sonos speaker, though I managed it once on a test model for the PLAY:1 a while back, prior to the frequency caps being in place on that unit. If you do wind up thinking there may have been damage to the unit kmjy's suggestion of giving us a call is the best way to go.

Also, I'll be moving this thread over to the wireless speakers board.


So it seems it is hard to do, and the only listed occurrence was a test model Play:1 before release.
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I've seen such enquiries several times over the past years, however have never seen an official Sonos reply on this. It makes me wonder if indeed the speaker could be damaged by listening to very high volumes...
I've been running PLAYBAR and SUB at iMax theater levels since the products have been introduced. I haven't had any trouble (other than things inside the walls vibrating) and I don't expect any trouble. If you stress a SONOS amplifier, it will reduce the level or shut down. Since heat is the enemy, you could make the case that running constantly high levels causes more heating and ultimately reduces the life of the unit, but it will be many years before any potential issues will play out. We don't yet know what the ultimate lifetime of the SONOS units will be and how high levels will effect this term.
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I would have thought you've got more chance of damage to your hearing or upsetting your neighbours than damaging the speakers.