Question

Added a Sub to Beam, disappointed with mids, any ideas?

  • 14 June 2020
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Userlevel 2
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Hi all

I just got a Gen 3 sub. I was really excited about it (as you would be if you spent £700 on a product that is almost unanimously considered to be life-changing). However, I found the sound underwhelming, and after a couple of days testing and tweaking I think I’ve identified the issue: the Sub takes too much away from the Beam, leaving the mix sounding tinny and lacking in punch.

Given that I hadn’t discovered this as an issue before I bought the Sub, I’m open to suggestions that I’m doing it wrong. This is where I need your help, Sonos Community!

 

My set up:

  • TV on a desk (IKEA Bekant).
  • Beam in front of TV.
  • Sub upright on floor, Sonos logo facing forwards, under the desk and centrally under the beam. The desk itself is in the corner of a square-shaped room, but the Sub has about 15 inches of clearance from the side wall.
  • 2x One SL wall-mounted either side of the bed.

TruePlay is on, otherwise everything sounds unbearably muddy and boomy.

 

What I mean by lacking in punch:

  • Netflix ‘bad-dum’ logo. You used to be able to almost feel the beat of this sound logo, but now it sounds more hollow, albeit the left and right separation of the logo is more noticeable.
  • Music. You do get much better low-ends. I’m not an audiophile so I don’t know the terminology, but I guess I would call it sub-bass? I’m talking proper low-ends, the kind of quiet but present reverberating, boomy bass you get in a dance track that’s subtle but travels through the whole room. When it comes to everything else, there’s a huge lack of punch, and warmth, like the oomph has been taken out of it.
  • TV. Vocals are enhanced a bit too much, there’s a lack of depth and subtle low-end to people’s voices. This is technically good for clarity purposes, but the lack of warmth makes it sound disappointing.

If I turn the sub off, that oomph comes back. The sound as a whole is obviously quieter and lacking in definition, but that punch and warmth is there.

By using basic logic, although again I’m not an audiophile, I would guess that the Beam is being relieved of its mid-bass a bit too much. The cross-over is therefore suffering and mid-bass/punchy sounds are being lost to the mix.

 

Now finally to my settings:

  • EQ: Bass -1, Treble sometimes 0 sometimes +1. I had this on the standalone Beam as personal preference.
  • Surround: Full, TV -2 and Music -4. It used to be Ambient but it sounded truly awful when I added the Sub, apparently the Sub is badly affected by Ambient.
  • Sub: -3

I don’t think you can blame my Sub level being -3 as the culprit. If I raise it too much, then that really low low-end becomes too overpowering.

 

I’m a bit dejected at this to be honest, so I’d really appreciate your help with ideas (or maybe this is a bug report!). Please do give me suggestions for what to test both in terms of EQ, sub positioning, and even sources to try out and then report back how I thought it sounded.

 

Thanks in advance!


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5 replies

Userlevel 7
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I don’t have much to suggest, other than to check that you ran Trueplay with the Sub installed, rather than from your pre-Sub days?
 

Maybe submit a Diagnostics report to Sonos to check if there’s anything wrong with the Beam or Sub?

 

Userlevel 2
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I don’t have much to suggest, other than to check that you ran Trueplay with the Sub installed, rather than from your pre-Sub days?
 

Maybe submit a Diagnostics report to Sonos to check if there’s anything wrong with the Beam or Sub?

 

 

Yeah that’s right, and I ran True Play twice (the second time after my initial disappointment) just to see if it was a fluke or something.

 

One weird thing is that, on Ambient, there was extreme bias on the right surround speaker. It was much louder than the left surround. I didn’t have that issue pre-Sub, but when switched to ‘Full’, the bias is completely gone and the sound is central.

 

I will move it over to Sonos Support / diagnostics in a few days if this thread is unsuccessful.

 

Userlevel 1
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I seem to have somewhat the same problem I believe. I've just picked a sub3 and added it to my beam and I'm not really impressed either. Has there been a solution to your problem?

Userlevel 2
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I seem to have somewhat the same problem I believe. I've just picked a sub3 and added it to my beam and I'm not really impressed either. Has there been a solution to your problem?

Not really, but I have since gotten used to the sound signature with the Sub and I notice its improvements a lot more. Whilst I would still prefer to have some punchier mid-bass, I am now happy with the sound.

Userlevel 1
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Thanks for the reply. I'm gonna consider it for some time and then decide.