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Can you use Sub on it's side?

  • 26 September 2022
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Getting my money’s worth today …. third post 😀

Have a sub that I’ve owned since new (think a gen 2) and has worked perfectly to date.

But I did a few component move arounds and this one previously doing duty in the kitchen was moved to the hall ….. the kitchen redecoration lent itself to a new Gen 3 in white.

Came to connect it up just and it works but dropped in and out on initial playback then dropped out altogether when I moved it to its side. 

I reset it and added it again upright and seems be working fine now. But I wondered if it was good practice put it on its side or if there was a sensor that cut it out when not upright?

Reason to put it on side was purely cosmetic as it fitted under a footstool. That proved to be also a bad idea on a wood floor as the limited time it has sat there, it sustained surface scratches. But surprised it prove be a problem operationally on it’s side …. or am I convincing myself of mixed facts/circumstances?

Nothing unusual about the unit save to say that unusually we have it wirelessly linked as it’s in a position where we do not have easy access to an RJ45.

Any knowledge gratefully received as always. Many thanks

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Best answer by Mr. T 26 September 2022, 21:17

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The wireless on the Sub’s bonded Amp must be ON.

If it’s not the Sub may work intermittently, if it somehow manages to find a wireless connection elsewhere, but it would be a broken and invalid configuration.

 

Blimey, beginning to wonder if I know this stuff at all.😀

So option the Amp to Wireless ON? And then that allows it to talk to the associated Sub?

Correct.

 

But then by optioning the Amp to Wireless on, does that mean the Amp itself is using the wired connection or wireless?

The Amp still gets its connection by wire. The Sub talks to the Amp wirelessly.

 

The Sub has been working as it goes. Little bit confused by the logic now. If I had of had a working RJ45 in proximity to the new Sub, would that have been ok to have used? 

Yes you could wire the Sub, in addition to the Amp.

Got it. So the focus is on the wireless relationship between Sub and Amp rather than wired connection of Amp to Sonos infrastructure in general.

Brilliant, getting it now. Thanks for explaining Ratty. 

The wireless on the Sub’s bonded Amp must be ON.

If it’s not the Sub may work intermittently, if it somehow manages to find a wireless connection elsewhere, but it would be a broken and invalid configuration.

 

Blimey, beginning to wonder if I know this stuff at all.😀

So option the Amp to Wireless ON? And then that allows it to talk to the associated Sub?

Correct.

 

But then by optioning the Amp to Wireless on, does that mean the Amp itself is using the wired connection or wireless?

The Amp still gets its connection by wire. The Sub talks to the Amp wirelessly.

 

The Sub has been working as it goes. Little bit confused by the logic now. If I had of had a working RJ45 in proximity to the new Sub, would that have been ok to have used? 

Yes you could wire the Sub, in addition to the Amp.

Userlevel 6
Badge +11

The wireless on the Sub’s bonded Amp must be ON.

If it’s not the Sub may work intermittently, if it somehow manages to find a wireless connection elsewhere, but it would be a broken and invalid configuration.

 

Blimey, beginning to wonder if I know this stuff at all.😀

So option the Amp to Wireless ON? And then that allows it to talk to the associated Sub?

But then by optioning the Amp to Wireless on, does that mean the Amp itself is using the wired connection or wireless?

The Sub has been working as it goes. Little bit confused by the logic now. If I had of had a working RJ45 in proximity to the new Sub, would that have been ok to have used? 

The wireless on the Sub’s bonded Amp must be ON.

If it’s not the Sub may work intermittently, if it somehow manages to find a wireless connection elsewhere, but it would be a broken and invalid configuration.

Userlevel 6
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it’s bonded to an Amp which lives one floor up and roughly 10 meters away. That Amp is on RJ45.

And that Amp has its wireless enabled? It would be worth checking.

Assuming the Amp’s wireless is ON, then the Sub will be connecting to it over its dedicated 5GHz. Depending on the construction this signal could be being attenuated.

 

No ratty, near all my Sonos boxes are optioned wireless off. This one as well. 

That said I will check. It’s a new one and maybe I left it optioned on. This is the only Sub not on RJ45 that I have.

it’s bonded to an Amp which lives one floor up and roughly 10 meters away. That Amp is on RJ45.

And that Amp has its wireless enabled? It would be worth checking.

Assuming the Amp’s wireless is ON, then the Sub will be connecting to it over its dedicated 5GHz. Depending on the construction this signal could be being attenuated.

 

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@attacama40 Detail which player(s) the Sub is bonded with, where they’re located, and whether any “WiFi” (radios) have been disabled in the Sonos devices.

The Orbi mesh should be irrelevant -- other than as a source of interference -- as you have multiple wired Sonos units.

 

Hi ratty, it’s bonded to an Amp which lives one floor up and roughly 10 meters away. That Amp is on RJ45.

The reason for this is that originally I had a single (older) Connect Amp on RJ45 running to a pair of in-ceiling speakers on the Landing and to a pair in the Hall. Oh and it had a long standing Sub bonded on the landing as well.

Incorrectly, I tried a couple of weeks back to bond a 2nd new Sub to this unit.

As was pointed out to me (may even have been yourself I forget this second) that you cannot bond a 2nd Sub to one Amp. So I bought another Amp and then connected the one pair of Hall speakers to it, leaving the landing pair and Sub in original configuration to the Landing.

The Sub on the Landing has WiFi disabled and is on RJ45. In fact all devices bar the new Sub are connected in the same manner.

Yes understand now your comment on the Orbi’s  ….  distracting myself with that factor.

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Your mesh points are separate WiFi streams that the clients must negotiate with and to a degree the streams interfere with each other. If you have your mesh points closely spaced and on the same channel, interference is enhanced. Consider your own situation when you are sitting in a room full of echoes and a bunch of conversations. There’s such a jumble that you can’t understand any of the conversations very well. In your hall of echoes relocating your listening position slightly might improve or degrade your comprehension. Similar physics is occurring at WiFi frequencies. Those brick walls are actually helping your situation by keeping the mesh points somewhat isolated from each other.

If your SUB is bonded to a soundbar it will be using a private SONOS 5GHz link, not your mesh.

Interesting explanation buzz, had lost sight of the fact that Sonos uses it’s own network.

So the Orbi’s are useful but irrelevant in this case.

And in terms of proxity to other Sonos ….. there’s a Port the other side of the thick wall maybe 2.5 meters away. There’s an Amp in the Kitchen some ‘one door’ and 5.5 meters away, then another two Amps at the far end of the Hall, approximately 10 meters each away. 

No the Sub is purely to pair with the Amp and a couple of B&W in ceiling speakers, no other complexity.

Thanks for explaining. No matter how many Sonos boxes or how many years you run it for, if you don’t engage regularly then it’s very easy to loose track of base concepts.

@attacama40 Detail which player(s) the Sub is bonded with, where they’re located, and whether any “WiFi” (radios) have been disabled in the Sonos devices.

The Orbi mesh should be irrelevant -- other than as a source of interference -- as you have multiple wired Sonos units.

Your mesh points are separate WiFi streams that the clients must negotiate with and to a degree the streams interfere with each other. If you have your mesh points closely spaced and on the same channel, interference is enhanced. Consider your own situation when you are sitting in a room full of echoes and a bunch of conversations. There’s such a jumble that you can’t understand any of the conversations very well. In your hall of echoes relocating your listening position slightly might improve or degrade your comprehension. Similar physics is occurring at WiFi frequencies. Those brick walls are actually helping your situation by keeping the mesh points somewhat isolated from each other.

If your SUB is bonded to a soundbar it will be using a private SONOS 5GHz link, not your mesh.

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Sonos is hit and miss with Mesh networks, your Sub my not be connecting to the nearest antenna.

Thanks Keith. Yes as mentioned I don’t use a great deal of WiFi as such …. although increasingly more than I probably think. 

The location I would have thought to be near optimum. It is is maybe 3 meters from the Orbi main router and then between three satellites on two floors and a further one outside. To visualise that, it’s almost as if it were sitting in a pyramid not dissimilar in concept to the Louvre extension in Paris 😀

On the negative side, whilst having a top tier and high performance WiFI installation, we do have two hefty Staffordshire engineering brick walls and very solid American Oak doors …. they are signal killers in areas. Is why I went with the Orbi install and extra satellites.

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If the footstool legs are made of metal, that can also impact the wireless signal being received by the Sub.

Thanks for the suggestion Mr. T. In this instance, that is not the case although is solid advice. It’s a wood and leather thing. I stripped the hessian base cover off and positioned the unit over the top to hide it. Not a fan of ‘on display’ tech if it can avoided.

Have to confess what I thought was an easy fit and use proved to be less so. it’s upright and at the side of the unit now and working. Doesn’t look as optimum as I’d hoped by at least working.

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If your SUB is part of a surround system the soundbar will use a direct 5GHz link with SUB and mostly ignore WiFi. My “rotation” suggestion was for any orientation, not just vertical.

Yes, I’m anal about wires too. 

 

😀 …. it’s a small club buzz but copper over air every time.

No this one is paired with an Amp and a pair of B&W CCM 682’s the length of our hall and mirrored by the same config on the landing.

I’m only using WiFi in this limited scenario as the RJ45 wall plate is (for reasons unknown) not working or connected at the switch end. I think it has been damaged at some point in building works and given it runs under a hardwood floor over an original wood suspended floor and through two engineering brick supporting walls, then it’s near impossible to re-feed without a lot of cosmetic and physical pain. 

For me, this is a tolerable use of WiFi 😀 ….. just.

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Sonos is hit and miss with Mesh networks, your Sub my not be connecting to the nearest antenna.

Userlevel 7

If the footstool legs are made of metal, that can also impact the wireless signal being received by the Sub.

If your SUB is part of a surround system the soundbar will use a direct 5GHz link with SUB and mostly ignore WiFi. My “rotation” suggestion was for any orientation, not just vertical.

Yes, I’m anal about wires too. 

Userlevel 6
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If the SUB is located in a poor wireless coverage area, flopping the SUB on it’s side will reorient the antenna and this may reduce signal quality below a threshold. Signal quality varies in three dimensions. Something as silly as rotating SUB 90° in this problem location may make a difference.

Thanks Buzz. The house ‘should’ be awash in wifi. I have the Netgear Orbi RBS850 router and 4 x RBS850 satellites which you might think is almost overkill. And this particular device in smack bang in the center of the house.

But what you describe is precisely what I experience. It literally goes off as you rotate it from the 90 deg position ….  almost as if it had a tilt switch in it! 

I’ve sat it upright and to date, no drop out or disconnect. I remember why I like copper cables so much 😀

Will try it again and see if it replicates. Thanks for the steer

If the SUB is located in a poor wireless coverage area, flopping the SUB on it’s side will reorient the antenna and this may reduce signal quality below a threshold. Signal quality varies in three dimensions. Something as silly as rotating SUB 90° in this problem location may make a difference.

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Thanks for clarifying guys. I do seem to remember seeing extra feet in the original Gen 2’s. We have a few Gen 2’s and 3’s now now but never found the need to put them ‘on side’.

This was for cosmetic and fit reasons but this intermittent operation did not seem promising. Positioned upright, the unit has worked perfect since.

It seems unlikely that an internal connection may have worked loose. That unit sat in the same position since new for at least 3 maybe 4 years but has been used a fair bit. Or maybe it could be the wifi signal was still levelling out?

I guess the only way to know is reattempt it but many thanks for clarifying the operational parameters of what it can and cannot do.

However, this is not the case with the new Mini - Sub. Just in case others came across this thread and thought it might apply to that device as well. 

Userlevel 7

The Sub is designed to be placed either horizontally and vertically.

The Sub is also supplied with felt feet to be used when the unit is placed horizontally on a flat surface to prevent such scratches.

 

Sonos Sub Product Guide

Make sure at least one side of the rectangular opening (acoustic slot) is unobstructed.

  • If you place the SUB vertically flush against a wall, do not block the front acoustic slot.
  • If you place the SUB horizontally on the floor, don’t put anything on top of it. Leave at least 1" clearance along the top of the SUB if placing under furniture.