I'm looking to create a 5.1 setup with a soundbar, sub, and the largest speakers possible for the side/rears. My supplier hasn't come back with any info, and all of the sonos systems I work with are unfortunately not set up for 5.1 systems for me to test.
Do the new Play:5s now offer the option to make a 5.1 system, or am I stuck with getting the Play:3/1s? If a Play:5 5.1 setup is not an option, when will it be?
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The issue seems to be your insistence that a sound bar be a center channel speaker. A soundbar, regardless of the brand, is probably not going to be what you want. Soundbars contain center, as well as right and left speakers. There is nothing virtual about it. The separate channels are actually there, just closer together than in a wired system. This is fine for those that want to have a simple setup, but maybe not for those that want that full theater experience. I for one love Sonos, but keep my wired receiver and speaker separates for movies.
The fact remains, however, that no soundbar, by any manufacturer functions in the way that your original complaint focuses on. A soundbar is not designed to be a center channel speaker, they are designed to be a more compact, and wireless solution. The only way to create the setup you describe is to purchase a surround receiver and separate wired speakers.
I guess you also have an issue with reading comprehension because I clearly stated that if you had done research you would know that a Soundbar would not give you that function. That is irrespective of quality, but purely based on the stereo separation of the front channels.
You're all missing the point. Sonos has designed a wireless, modular system and is not constrained by connections to a receiver. This is great and has potential to grow into an even better system given that the Sub is "too good" for the soundbars. For some reason, there is a refusal to acknowledge that in 2019, with excellent WIFI networks and amazing computing power built into things like speakers and watches, we can have better solutions than we were previously limited to. Why not have the option to augment the front L/R channels with dedicated speakers in 5.1 setups, and then use those speakers in stereo pairs for music - all in the same room, and with better sound.
It's really not that hard to imagine that a customer would buy a soundbar, then a Sub, then some rears and say now I'd like to add some more speakers for the front L/R. That person would not have half-a-brain, or be juvenile, or be "entitled". In fact, I think they could be rational and reasonable, and might be willing to defend that position.
Thanks, I agree that what I'm saying makes a lot of sense.