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How to switch/share Play:5 speakers between stereo pair and surround speakers for playbar (& back)?

  • 14 January 2017
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I have a pair of Play:5's (gen2) that I use a a stereo pair for listening to music and I have a Playbar attached to the TV that I use for normal TV viewing.

On occasion of watching a movie (a couple of times per month), I would like to use the Play:5's as a Surround Sound pair attached to the Playbar.

This will involve me physically moving them and re-configuring them within Sonos (so it is not something I do often), but how do I go about doing this (ie un-configuring the stereo pair and re-configuring them as Playbar Surrounds) and then also putting them back as a Stereo pair afterwards?

Rgds

Gary
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Best answer by jgatie 14 January 2017, 20:05

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13 replies

It's all done via the Playbar settings menu. Add Surrounds menu to add, Remove Surrounds to remove.
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Thanks for getting back to me.

So this will re-purpose the stereo pair as surrounds by doing this - OK, sounds good.

How do I then go about then switching them back to a stereo pair afterwards?

Rgds

Gary
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Note: When setup as surrounds under surround settings if you set to Full then the Play:5s will play full stereo music when playing Sonos music and act as surrounds when playing anything coming via optical input into Playbar.
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I don't think that I want this, as when I play music, I only want to use the Play:5's and not include the Playbar.

Hence my question as to how to switch them between the two configurations - what is the easiest/best way of doing this?
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yes to play just the Play:5s you would then need to remove them each time from surrounds in the app.

I have to say I used to not like the Playbar for music but since Trueplay tuning added I really like the music sound that comes from it.
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So you remove them from being surrounds to the Playbar and then I need to then re-add them as being a stereo pair again (in their own room)?

I am a bit of a music purist - I love the stereo sound through the Play:5's and don't like it with the addition of the Playbar.

I also like the Stereo separation and I listen to music in a different location in the room to watching the TV - ie sit on the couch to watch TV and would want the surround speakers behind the couch for this, whereas listen to music from a completely different location and 90 degree different orientation
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I think when you remove them from being surrounds they go back to being the pair they were before with their old room name. I think.
I am in a similar situation and went through the whole process several times. Turns out it's a massive pain, not only do you lose the pairing when disabling the surround you also lose the trueplay tuning on your playbar. And then when you turn the surround back on, you lose the trueplay tuning on the pair of Play 5. If, like me, you've seen how much of a difference trueplay does to the sound bar you won't want to go through that pain.

It would be awesome if you could configure a room to switch to a different mode automatically when you go from listening music to using the optical input of the soundbar... Until then, the best option is to get a pair of Play 1 just for the surround.
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Yes - agreed. I finally went through the whole process last night to see how the Play:5's sounded as surrounds with the Playbar - it all sounded great.

But it's such a convoluted process to have to re-tune them both when adding them to the Playbar and removing them back to a stereo pair, that I doubt I will do it again - which is a real shame.
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This pretty much sucks. I mostly love Sonos -- I wouldn't have dropped > $2500 on about 5 devices now otherwise. But I HAVE DROPPED $2500 on it. For the price, they need to address stuff like this. People have been asking for this for like 3-5 yrs (I was looking at some old threads on the topic). I just bought a 2nd gen2 Play 5. Like the original poster here, I want to use it both as a stereo pair (most of the time) and as surround speakers for watching movies. For the money I've spent, I shouldn't need to additionally by a pair of Play 1s (and def won't be doing so).
Bump -- I want to use my two Play-1's as Surround speakers for my PlayBar/Sub when watching a movie, and then EASILY transition them back into a Stereo Pair (separate room) when I'm not watching a movie and listening to music.

Right now, to switch between "movie mode" and "music mode" I need to remove the surrounds, re-add the stereo pair (walking around pressing buttons on the speakers), re-tune them with the sonar sounds, etc.

And then I have to go through the same laborious process to switch back to "movie mode" -- add them as surrounds to the PlayBar, go press buttons on the top of each speaker, go through the sonar sounds as I re-tune them for the room, etc.

I just want the system to remember my two configurations and let me switch easily between them.
I'm new to SONOS and haven't set anything up yet. Like a lot of other people here, I want true stereo for my music and surround sound for the tv. And I don't want the hassle of moving/switching things around. Here's what I THINK will work for me. Please let me know if I'm messed up: Set up my Soundbar, Sub, and two Ones (rear) for surround sound.
Two Fives (L & R) in front for music set to Full for stereo. I can "bond" the Fives and the Sub in the app calling them something like Living Room Music, and "bond" the Soundbar, Sub, and Ones calling them Living Room Surround. Will that work? I'm worried the Soundbar will play all the time, even when I just want two Fives in a music set up.
So, the 5.1 system would be one "room" in the Sonos software, the two PLAY:5s would be a second "room".

But no, it's not that easy (not impossible, just a lot of keystrokes) to swap the SUB between being bonded with the two PLAY:5s and the Soundbar. That may be why they use the term "bonded" for the connection of the SUB to the speakers. It's intended to be semi-permanent.

But, having said that, you might be able to get away with that, depending on your ears and the kind of music you listen to. I have a pair of PLAY:5s in my kitchen, and they do an excellent job with bass. I keep my SUB bonded to my PLAYBAR.

As I suggest, it's not impossible to switch the SUB between the two, it's just kind of a pain. You could try the process, listen to all of the setups as you do, and figure out which configuration works best for you and your ears.