Question

how do I connect my own subwoofer?

  • 30 November 2013
  • 27 replies
  • 51164 views

ok so I have a playbar and i have a tanoy subwoofer. this one http://www.superfi.co.uk/p-3875-discontinued-tannoy-sfx-subwoofer-black.aspx what do i need to do to connect this subwoofer with the playbar?

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27 replies

Userlevel 1
i would like to keep my current sub, too. but because sonos wants us to pay for their woofer, i guess there is no possibility to connect other brand subs. hence i have and will not purchase a sonos play bar.
i dont think that is true. I think it can be done with the connect or connect amp, but i don't know how
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
Hello Joe and Andreas,

The PLAYBAR can only be synced with a SONOS SUB so that we can make sure the timing and crossover is properly synced. The SUB has specific EQ profiles for each possible bonding it can have to provide the best listening experiences with any configuration you use it in.

To use an existing third party subwoofer, you'd wire it into a CONNECT:AMP, which has a 2 volt subwoofer out, along with third party speakers. But that sub couldn't be bonded with the PLAYBAR and grouping it would likely have an echo or delay which we wouldn't recommend.

Cheers.
bummer.
Userlevel 2
Did you plan to allow / group third Party Subwoofer to the playbar?

I bought a playbar 2 days ago (not yet arrived) and read about it that i can't connect it to the playbar :(

I don't want to use the sonos sub, but i'm disposed to buy one new Connect:AMP to connect my sub, if this will be possible.

I Think this is only a small software feature to allow third party subwoofer.
i don't want to sent the playbar back :(

Greets
Sascha
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
Did you plan to allow / group third Party Subwoofer to the playbar?

I bought a playbar 2 days ago (not yet arrived) and read about it that i can't connect it to the playbar :(

I don't want to use the sonos sub, but i'm disposed to buy one new Connect:AMP to connect my sub, if this will be possible.

I Think this is only a small software feature to allow third party subwoofer.
i don't want to sent the playbar back :(

Greets
Sascha


Hi Sascha,

A third party subwoofer can't be properly setup to sync with the PLAYBAR and would likely diminish the listening experience of just having the PLAYBAR alone. Also, the PLAYBAR doesn't have any audio outputs to connect a subwoofer to it. Though Sonos is running wireless, it's a proprietary WiFi network which a third party wireless subwoofer can't connect to. 

You can use a third party sub with a CONNECT:AMP, but it might not be in sync with the PLAYBAR. When you setup a CONNECT:AMP as the rear speakers for the PLAYBAR the subwoofer output is disabled, so you'd need to group the two together. You could use at sub as part of another room in your home along with some unpowered speakers. That would give you two different Sonos rooms which you can control from the same device, mix and match what's playing, or group them for a party.

Try out the PLAYBAR in your home and see how you like it. If you think it needs more bass, we have a 45 day money back guaranty for units purchased directly through our website or sales line, try out the SUB. We're sure you'll be impressed.

Cheers.
Userlevel 2
Did you plan to allow / group third Party Subwoofer to the playbar?

I bought a playbar 2 days ago (not yet arrived) and read about it that i can't connect it to the playbar :(

I don't want to use the sonos sub, but i'm disposed to buy one new Connect:AMP to connect my sub, if this will be possible.

I Think this is only a small software feature to allow third party subwoofer.
i don't want to sent the playbar back :(

Greets
Sascha


Hi Ryan,

thanks for your response. I want to keep my own subwoofer because it can play the frequencies below 30Hz, sonos sub can't get this low. This is only possible because of the big speaker (13 inch or bigger).

I understand that i can't sync my subwoofer with the playbar using a Connect:AMP, but for the future it is maybe possible to allow that or to enable the subwoofer chinch output using it for the playbar?

I think there are a lots of customer who want to use a kind of this setup.
Maybe you can forward this feature request to your engineering?

Thanks and Regards
Sascha
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
Did you plan to allow / group third Party Subwoofer to the playbar?

I bought a playbar 2 days ago (not yet arrived) and read about it that i can't connect it to the playbar :(

I don't want to use the sonos sub, but i'm disposed to buy one new Connect:AMP to connect my sub, if this will be possible.

I Think this is only a small software feature to allow third party subwoofer.
i don't want to sent the playbar back :(

Greets
Sascha


Hi Sascha,

Thanks for the clarification, the SUB does go down to 25Hz and does so very well. I'd still recommend testing it out. We have an Idea thread open for adding a third party subwoofer to a Sonos 5.1 setup here. You can add your voice and +1 to show your support for the idea.

Cheers.
If you are using a receiver and have the Playbar ran through the receiver will that work with a third party Sub?
How are you running a Playbar through a receiver?
How are you running a Playbar through a receiver?

Optical Cable.
Seems like that should work but kind of a hack to have and receiver just for that purpose. If your sub accepted optical, and TV had two optical outputs, maybe one could be routed to playbar and one to 3rd party sub?
Did you plan to allow / group third Party Subwoofer to the playbar?

I bought a playbar 2 days ago (not yet arrived) and read about it that i can't connect it to the playbar :(

I don't want to use the sonos sub, but i'm disposed to buy one new Connect:AMP to connect my sub, if this will be possible.

I Think this is only a small software feature to allow third party subwoofer.
i don't want to sent the playbar back :(

Greets
Sascha


Hi Sascha,

Thanks for the clarification, the SUB does go down to 25Hz and does so very well. I'd still recommend testing it out. We have an Idea thread open for adding a third party subwoofer to a Sonos 5.1 setup here. You can add your voice and +1 to show your support for the idea.

Cheers.


The link listed is bad.
Did you plan to allow / group third Party Subwoofer to the playbar?

I bought a playbar 2 days ago (not yet arrived) and read about it that i can't connect it to the playbar :(

I don't want to use the sonos sub, but i'm disposed to buy one new Connect:AMP to connect my sub, if this will be possible.

I Think this is only a small software feature to allow third party subwoofer.
i don't want to sent the playbar back :(

Greets
Sascha


Hi Sascha,

Thanks for the clarification, the SUB does go down to 25Hz and does so very well. I'd still recommend testing it out. We have an Idea thread open for adding a third party subwoofer to a Sonos 5.1 setup here. You can add your voice and +1 to show your support for the idea.

Cheers.


The link listed is bad.


It would be, the ask.sonos site no longer exists. This is quite an old thread, even the first time it was resurrected.
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
It would be, the ask.sonos site no longer exists. This is quite an old thread, even the first time it was resurrected.

That's correct. I believe the thread it pointed to is here.
How is it that the soundbar can bond with an :amp running third party speakers for the rear satellites, but the same isn't true of the sub? Can you explain why the timing of one is more difficult than the other?
How is it that the soundbar can bond with an :amp running third party speakers for the rear satellites, but the same isn't true of the sub? Can you explain why the timing of one is more difficult than the other?

If you are asking why the Subwoofer out on the Connect:Amp cannot be used to drive an aftermarket sub in a 5.1 setup, it's because the sub out on the Connect is an analog signal derived from the two stereo channels of the Connect:Amp. Since the Connect:Amp only receives the 2 surrounds channels, and it is incapable of receiving any more that that, the only sounds the sub out would be capable of playing is the lower bass in the surround channels, with no way to get the '.1" dedicated sub channel to the aftermarket sub.
No. I apologize for not being more clear.

I think this might clarify: an example setup might be a :soundbar bonded with an :amp driving 3rd party rear surrounds, and also bonded to a :connect driving a 3rd party sub.

to expand:

An earlier reply by Ryan S to the question "why can't a sonos:connect + 3rd party sub be used instead of the sonos sub" was answered with "A third party subwoofer can't be properly setup to sync with the PLAYBAR". The next sentences make it clear that sync means "get the timing right".

My observation is that it IS (or at least was, soon after I received my playbar a while back) possible and supported to use an :amp to drive 3rd party speakers and bond that as the rear sourrounds for the playbar. So that timing can be done correctly.

My question: given that getting the the timing right is demonstrably possible for the rear surrounds, please explain how it is more difficult to get the timing right for a 3rd party sub driven via a sonos:connect? As for signal content, just take the .1 sub channel, send it as mono on L and/or R. (or just send the whole combined 5.1 ->downsampled to mono and let the sub's crossover figure it out).

Note that this has nothing to do with using the sub output from the surround channels, which I understand does not contain low frequencies. The surrounds are only mentioned at all as existence proofs that getting the timing right is possible. (indeed, isn't exact synchronization precisely the value-add of Sonos over competing systems?)
Ok, I get it. If I were to guess, I would say that Sonos wouldn't be prone to dedicate man hours to getting that configuration to work when all it would suffice to do is cannibalize sales of the Sub and be a support nightmare for those who would be complaining about sub levels, etc. Sonos likes to sell hardware, and keep things simple. Even the "Connect:Amp as surrounds" configuration was originally meant for experienced installers, even though others have followed the directions to get it working. Further, it guaranteed a sale of a Connect:Amp which cost more than any of the (then current) Play units used for surround.
Yes, I think your analysis is correct. Thanks for the time!
They could sell hardware and make those of us who have expensive third party subs happy by allowing us to connect a second connect:amp to drive just the .1 sub channel.......
They could sell hardware and make those of us who have expensive third party subs happy by allowing us to connect a second connect:amp to drive just the .1 sub channel.......You have every right to request this, but I think @jgatie's analysis was spot on. This is never going to make commercial sense for Sonos. I wouldn't postpone any decisions in the hope that this will happen.
Well..... I understand the perspective, but from a purely sales perspective I have to slightly disagree. I only bought a playbar because I could drive my existing reference series rear surrounds with a connect:amp... two items sold. I would purchase another connect:amp if it would drive my Velodyne sub if it won't I'm keeping my old amp just to drive the .1 channel, another sale missed.....
Sonos, like many well run companies, does not run after every possible sale and therefore does not regret every sale missed.
As is known well, the cost of pursuing every possible sale is a higher marginal cost of outlier sales, reduction in total profits and the frittering of development resources that then cannot be focussed on best meeting the needs of selected target markets.
They could sell hardware and make those of us who have expensive third party subs happy by allowing us to connect a second connect:amp to drive just the .1 sub channel.......

If I’m understanding all of this correctly (forgive me if I’m not), instead of what you suggest by using a “second connect: amp” to drive a passive sub, I would prefer Sonos to update (probably hardware) the connect:amp to allow the Playbar to send the dedicated .1 channel to the connect: amp and then allow you to output that channel using the line level sub output that already exists on the current connect:amp. In my opinion this would make the most sense, allowing you to get left and rear surrounds (speaker level) as well as a sub out (line level) from one connect:amp.

On a different note I don’t see why potential sales of the Sonos sub should stop Sonos from doing any of the ideas mentioned, since the very existence of the connect:amp encourages the use of 3rd party speakers and subwoofers.

Just my 2 cents haha