In a 5.1 setup, with the 'full' setting, how do the rears use the sub

  • 21 October 2016
  • 3 replies

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I have a playbar + sub, and I am thinking of making a full 5.1 system using either Play:1's or Play:3's. I have done a lot of reading on the forum, and a common comment is that when you have two Play:1's bonded with a sub, two Play:3's with a sub provide very little value add because the main benefit of the Play:3 is the bass, which the sub would provide anyway.

Now, I know that in a 5.1 setup, and when I have the 'full' setting for music the rear speakers will act as a full stereo pair. What is not clear to me, is how they will leverage the sub? In particular, will they use the sub in exactly the same way as they would if the playbar was not present?

On a related note, we have a very open floor plan, where the living area (with the TV + playbar + sub) and the dining area and the kitchen is one large space. The rear speakers would be in the 'middle' of this large room, around 5-7 feet away from the sitting area where we watch TV. When playing music, the hope is that they will help fill the rest of the room. See attachment..

The room is around 35 feet from the tv wall to the kitchen wall. The Playbar and sub are underneath the TV. My hope is that the rears will act as a nice stereo pair filling the dining area when playing music.

My second question is: in this configuration, is there any objective reason to select Play:3's over play:1's? To be honest, we already have a play:1 in the bedroom and I love the sound.. I am leaning toward getting more of them for our rear speakers unless a Play:3's would clearly work better in the above setting. Would love to hear your thoughts!


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3 replies

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Yikes.. the forum completely gobbled up my nice Ascii art depicting the room layout 😞
The output to the Sub in Full mode will be exactly as if for Ambient mode or a separate Play:1 pair. The crossover will be determined according to the configuration, and all frequencies above/below the crossover will be routed to the speakers/Sub at a rate determined by the the crossover slope.
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@jgatie.. thanks. So I guess the short answer is that the rear speakers will pair with the sub in exactly the same way, whether or not a playbar is also in the mix.

That answers my first question. Thanks!