Question

Background / aimbient sound.

  • 23 August 2017
  • 9 replies
  • 1426 views

Hi! Pretty recently bought the Sonos Playbar. In general I'm really happy with it. Absolutely great sound from a single soundbar and I will definitely continue my setup with some play 1's and a sub.
However, I have one issue.
Background sound, like ambient sound (wind, birds chirping away, etc) are extremely low. I can barely hear them and sometimes are non-existant. When i switch back to the internal tv speakers I hear all ambient sound fine, but I really wish I could hear it through the playbar instead since the difference in sound quality is HUGE.
Any ideas on what could be wrong / what I could do to improve this?
My Tv is an LG UH850-V.
Cheers!

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9 replies

There are controls where you can adjust the various volumes, under room controls and advanced audio. But at the end of the day, the mastering of the source of the ambient sounds your listening to has more control. If this is a music source of ambient, as opposed to TV driven content, you may want to go in and switch the surround settings for music to full, so that you'll get the extra experience also from the rear speakers.
Hey, thanks for the tips! could these settings become availible once I have something else combined with the playbar? Like the sub or some play 1's? Cause all I've got in the advanced audio tab is to sync the audio with the visuals happening on screen. I probably should have put it in the original post that I'm watching netflix when this occurs, my bad. I'm a bit new to this :D
But as I said the various volume controls are not there. I have also fiddled around with the audio settings on the actual tv as well with no success. However my problem isn't as apparent when I switch it over to night mode in the sonos app. Maybe that's what I need to do when there's a lot of ambient sounds at a bit lower volume so the bass doesn't take over. Without me having to up the volume for groundshaking sound disturbing all the neighbours hehe to actually here the ambient ones. :)

EDIT: A word.
Oops. Yes, those additional controls would indeed show up when you add some surround speakers to your Playbar. But at least you're poking around in the right area now. The night mode/speech enhancement setting is something I leave on all the time, being older and slightly decrepit 🙂.

You bring up a good point, though. I'm not at all sure that my TVs audio settings affect the output of the optical port. I'd always assumed it was just a straight pass through of the digital stream. Guess I could do some testing around that fairly easily.
Hehe I can't speak for the "being older" part although slowly but surely I'm getting there as well 😃.

Indeed night mode and speech enhancement are both nifty features!
I believe I have somewhat sorted it out now though as all the sound including ambience is there when I crank the volume up to window shattering levels 🙂.
Night mode seems to work really well especially at lower volume being that it enhances the quiet sounds. And I would also assume that it doesn't hurt at all leaving it on as its effect seems to diminish at higher sound levels.
I also set up the trueplay setting (a bit late cause I have an android phone and didnt't know it wasn't compatible with trueplay yet) and it definitely helps as well.

Hopefully getting 2 play 1's soon and I hope they'll be fine being set on each side of the playbar as I do not have the space to put them on each side of where I sit nor behind me.
I feel like it should work to if I give some spacing between the bar and the speakers though.

EDIT: A sentence.
I've never tried putting surround speakers in the front of the seating area, I'd be extremely concerned that it would be weird, but hey, try it and see what happens. Everyone is different (echoes of Life of Brian's "I'm not" comment) and it may work for you. You may also want to think about the potential of wall mounting, either on a shelf, or an actual speaker mount, but as I say, it's entirely up to you. If it were me, and in front were the only option, I'd set them up as a separate room and use them for music only as a stereo pair.
In theory I suppose it would work alright with proper spacing between everything but now that you mention it, there are wall mounts. Yeeeees *sith voice*, could work.
I'd have to move some stuff around but I should be able to make it work. Definitely will be worth it in the end 😃.
I used Flexson speaker stands for my surrounds, they sit at either side of my couch, and work well, but you suggested that you didn't have space for stands. I also used Flexson mounts for a pair of Play:1s in my kitchen, and they work spectacularly well. I did, however, pay an electrician to pull power up to where I mounted them, so that I didn't have a cable running all the way down the wall to the power socket.

I'd say "may the force...." but as you appear to be a Sith, I might stop responding.

🙂
Haha as you wish. But should you want to join the dark side of the force... Consider the fact that we have cookies!

On topic: I do have the space required for wall mounts. I just have to move around the furniture a little bit to line it all up better for surround sound. I'll have a look at the flexson mounts, cheers!
Also as you said you leave night mode on a lot, I have tried it a full day now and I have to say that there is no loss in quality what so ever! Feels to me like it evens out the sounds to a great deal so the bass doesn't take over which is great.
Although when it comes to music the bass gets crankes up almost to the max 😃 \m/.
So the next step then for me is two play 1's and the sonos sub.
Now, why isn't my moneytree growing as fast as I thought it would... :?
It is indeed an expensive hobby. 🙂