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Ambient or Full surrounds?

  • 1 March 2018
  • 5 replies
  • 10134 views

Have two play 3’s,bar, and sub. Have found advantages to both options depending on what I’m listening to. Is this literally just a personal preference option, or am I missing something entirely?
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Best answer by Chris 2 March 2018, 00:35

In Full Mode it auto switches - When in full mode

1. Watching TV - always then rears act as surrounds
2. When listening to music via Sonos app - the rears act as a full stereo pair.


Ambient Mode - No Switching

1. Watching TV - rears act as surrounds
2. Listening to music via Sonos app - again rears act as surrounds in a dolby prologic type where just a little reaches rear

In my opinion there is no reason to have the system ever in Ambient Mode. It should always be set to full mode and leave it in full mode.
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5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
When you set surrounds to Full .... when watching TV listening to anything via Toslink .... they remain as surrounds. Only when you play music from the Sonos app do they then become full stereo. I'm not sure why when listening to Sonos music you would want them to act as surrounds (and play very little in a dolby pro-logic type manner).
Agreed, so having them to full would only apply to music being played via a non TV source? If shows or music being played via TV programming the surrounds will always act as a mix of some sort of 5.1 mix, while in ambient mode... correct?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
In Full Mode it auto switches - When in full mode

1. Watching TV - always then rears act as surrounds
2. When listening to music via Sonos app - the rears act as a full stereo pair.


Ambient Mode - No Switching

1. Watching TV - rears act as surrounds
2. Listening to music via Sonos app - again rears act as surrounds in a dolby prologic type where just a little reaches rear

In my opinion there is no reason to have the system ever in Ambient Mode. It should always be set to full mode and leave it in full mode.
Userlevel 1
Badge +3
In Full Mode it auto switches - When in full mode

1. Watching TV - always then rears act as surrounds
2. When listening to music via Sonos app - the rears act as a full stereo pair.


Ambient Mode - No Switching

1. Watching TV - rears act as surrounds
2. Listening to music via Sonos app - again rears act as surrounds in a dolby prologic type where just a little reaches rear

In my opinion there is no reason to have the system ever in Ambient Mode. It should always be set to full mode and leave it in full mode.


In a 5.1 setup does the sub take over bass duties from the Playbar & surrounds to free them up for other frequencies or just one set & not the other?

IE: In full mode sub stays bonded to playbar and Play 5 rears play as a stereo without sub.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Good question. I’m assuming for all but never closely checked. With bass being directionless be hard to tell in same room.