Play:5 5.1


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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31 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +4
Good burn, bro.
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
You have great ideas! You are selling yourself short by shearing them publicly instead of filing a patent and making millions.

Thanks, I agree that what I'm saying makes a lot of sense.
Userlevel 4
Badge +4
You have great ideas! You are selling yourself short by sharing them publicly instead of filing a patent and making millions. However, the system does provide a 5.1 solution with a sub and rear satellites. A “phantom” or virtual solution would require the sound bar to only have one speaker that simulates directional sound. Most gaming headphones use this method through software such as Creative CMSS or Dolby Headpone, which uses single-driver speakers and clever volume mixing to simulate directional audio. The Sonos system, in contrast, has three separate channels, one for center, one for left, one for right. They are closer together than a manually placed analog system, but they are still separate physical channels.
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
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.

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.
Userlevel 3
Badge +6
Hardly the case, but I’m not going to indulge your nonsensical posts any longer.

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.
Userlevel 4
Badge +4
I don’t think anyone is questioning whether or not you are happy with the sound your setup produces. You have made it very clear that you are not.

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.
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
...
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
I am someone who knows how to actually research a product instead of blindly buying something and then complaining about it when it doesn't meet your unrealistic expectations. Generalizing everyone who disagrees with you as a Sonos fanatic only goes to show how ignorant and juvenile you really are.

FYI: There is no competitor that would have what you're looking for because that is how all soundbar systems work. As I already said, had you bothered to do the research you would have seen this fact and bought a traditional receiver based system


As with your other post, I'm happy for you that you have low expectations and are happy with what, I think, any experienced listener will consider mediocrity at this price point. Why can't Sonos be better? And not as flawed and limited as its competitors?

I still can't believe that you don't understand that stating that if I "had done better research I would have realized that the system is bad" and not purchased it, actually supports my view that the value proposition is not there at this price point.
Userlevel 3
Badge +6
I am someone who knows how to actually research a product instead of blindly buying something and then complaining about it when it doesn't meet your unrealistic expectations. Generalizing everyone who disagrees with you as a Sonos fanatic only goes to show how ignorant and juvenile you really are.

FYI: There is no competitor that would have what you're looking for because that is how all soundbar systems work. As I already said, had you bothered to do the research you would have seen this fact and bought a traditional receiver based system
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
Actually it is you who has an inability to understand these basic concepts. Had you done proper research you you would have realized your needs and bought a traditional system, or looked into the Sonos amp.

And who are you?

Either way, thanks for being another Sonos fanatic/user that confirms that the Sonos system is inadequate for users with standards beyond entry level expectations - yes, I will buy other products and no longer waste my money with mediocre and overpriced Sonos gear. I wish I knew earlier that the price vs. value proposition was this weak and purchased products form a competitor.
Userlevel 3
Badge +6
Actually it is you who has an inability to understand these basic concepts. Had you done proper research you you would have realized your needs and bought a traditional system, or looked into the Sonos amp.
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
So you just don't understand the situation and are blinded by loyalty to Sonos? Hopefully that is taken into account when people use your feedback in their decisions.

To add context to the discussion, this was the first thing you ever wrote in response to the post by me, describing my concern and dissatisfaction: "I just looked up the definition of "Entitlement Nation" at MerriamWebsters.com, and lo and behold, it linked to this thread."

PS: I didn't buy the L/R front speakers yet, but I wanted to. Not anymore.
Nope. My mention of your inadequate research was in reference to your expectation that Sonos allows you to add left and right speakers to a soundbar when no other soundbar in existence can be configured that way. You didn't research Sonos soundbars in particular, or soundbars in general, and thus you made a poor decision to buy left and right speakers to accompany a soundbar.

And a Sonos 5.1 system is easily balanced. It has Trueplay automatic tuning, just like wired 5.1 systems. You can also balance the channels manually.
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
My product research may have been inadequate in that I was unable to foresee that the Sonos 5.1 solution would be imbalanced. Something that I regret deeply and that you therefore imply would have been the result of my research had I done it adequately - therefore agreeing that the imbalance exists and should be highlighted for future Sonos customers. So why do you resits the truth and take my expressed opinion and concerns so badly?
I have no relationship with Sonos, financial or othewise. I am a user of their products, that is all. To suggest otherwise in order to deflect from your own inaccurate statements and inadequate product research is as absurd as it is ineffective.
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
1) You did not answer. You avoided stating that you have no special relationship with Sonos.

2) I have no relationship with any equipment or service provider in the space Sonos does business in or any adjacent market.

2) If you read my original thread, it was not bashing anything, any company or anyone. It still is not. I am expressing my thoughts on my experience with the Sonos products and Sonos's equivocal response to my request to improve their product offering.
Do you have any relationship with Sonos' competitors that makes it worth your while to come here and slag Sonos for what amounts to your poor research and/or incorrect knowledge of the product?

I expect your answer to be the same as mine to those preposterous accusations.
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
Just providing feedback on my experience, so that others don't make the same mistake. I have first hand knowledge from owning and listening to the system and believe it is valuable to bring the relevant topics forward so that other can add the feedback to their purchase decision-making process when they search the forums. I wish I had access to this honest and relevant information when I started to buy into the Sonos ecosystem.

I'm not sure what your personal beef is with my dissatisfaction with my Sonos experience. It's almost like you have some special relationship with Sonos and benefit personally from disagreeing with anyone that is not completely pro Sonos. Do you have any relationship with Sonos that goes beyond being an "anonymous" paying customers? (anonymous, as in, your obtaining product and services are unrelated to you standing and activities in the community.)
In my experience the soundbar is not capable of keeping up with the Sub and play:3 in the rear (never-mind play:5). You cannot add speakers to the front that can be used for both augmenting the output of the soundbar and creating a great soundstage for music. Your clients will be disappointed in the Sonos home theatre offering. It's not designed for high end implementations. (I use the beam, sub and 2xplay;3 setup for a 75" TV in my bedroom and am not happy with it because it's not balanced.)

This thread is 2 years old. Pretty telling when you have to dig up 2 year old necro threads in order to post your bitterness over not doing proper research.
Userlevel 1
Badge +2
In my experience the soundbar is not capable of keeping up with the Sub and play:3 in the rear (never-mind play:5). You cannot add speakers to the front that can be used for both augmenting the output of the soundbar and creating a great soundstage for music. Your clients will be disappointed in the Sonos home theatre offering. It's not designed for high end implementations. (I use the beam, sub and 2xplay;3 setup for a 75" TV in my bedroom and am not happy with it because it's not balanced.)
Thanks Stuart.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
No you cannot. You need Play 5 Gen 2 for surrounds. Gen 1 cannot be used for surrounds.
Hi,

I realise that this is another question rather than a reply. I hope that's ok.

Could I use a play5 gen 1 with a play5 gen 2 as surround speakers or do I need to get another gen 1?

Thanks
They're for my clients in their $2,000+ per square foot vacation home. A $5,000 Sonos system set up correctly will easily rival a $60,000 Savant system if you set things up correctly.

As long as they don't want to watch anything with a dts, Dolby digital plus, or HD audio soundtrack, sure.
They're for my clients in their $2,000+ per square foot vacation home. A $5,000 Sonos system set up correctly will easily rival a $60,000 Savant system if you set things up correctly.