Answered

Sonos moves as seround speakers


Just have my first sonos speaker, the move. 

Thinking of buying a sound bar, a suband another move. Can I play 2 move speaker as seround speakers in 5.1?

icon

Best answer by AjTrek1 26 March 2020, 22:42

Hi @JJack 

Sonos Move speakers cannot be used as surrounds. 

  1. They can be used as Airplay2 speakers by themselves or to bring that feature to non-airplay speakers such as a Play 5 or Playbar via Grouping (including discontinued Play 1 and Play 3 speakers)
  2. They can also be Grouped with any Sonos speaker.
  3. They can be setup as a Stereo pair

Note: The above features require that the Move be on your home wi-fi.

View original

18 replies

Userlevel 7

Hi @JJack 

Sonos Move speakers cannot be used as surrounds. 

  1. They can be used as Airplay2 speakers by themselves or to bring that feature to non-airplay speakers such as a Play 5 or Playbar via Grouping (including discontinued Play 1 and Play 3 speakers)
  2. They can also be Grouped with any Sonos speaker.
  3. They can be setup as a Stereo pair

Note: The above features require that the Move be on your home wi-fi.

That is very disappointing. I wonder whether this is technical or commercial decison?

Yes? There’s an aspect of each, I think. The Move speakers can’t connect to a ‘SonosNet’ signal, which is what the sound bars use to connect to the surround speakers. Why did they leave out this aspect? Probably because it’s too easy to ‘move’ a Move, and you’d have lots of cases of the software ‘breaking’ due to one or both surrounds suddenly missing from the home theater set up. The software currently doesn’t make it easy swap between one sort of use and the other, either, I imagine there’s a substantial change in software state between the two.

Userlevel 7

Hi @JJack 

You might say it’s a little of both. The explanation below is part Sonos and some of my personal opinion. If you want a definite answer you’ll have to call Sonos. :relaxed:

Technical

  1. Sonos decided not to make the Moves surround capable to prevent someone from moving one (or both) of the speakers away from the surround setup and forgetting to return it. Thereby breaking the surround for the next household person who wants to watch a movie only to discover the back channel is missing because a speaker has been removed. OK simple enough to replace it; but what if the speaker has left the house or is being used on the porch, deck or patio? I wouldn’t want to referee that argument. Ture for a single person it wouldn’t be a problem.

Commercial

  1. Building software into the Move to allow bonding to take commands from a Sonos HT speaker would most likely have increased cost
  2. The Move was designed to be used as a  portable speaker not as stationary. 
  3. Allowing the Move to be used as a surround would erode market share and/or contribute to declining sales of Sonos speakers designed to be used as surrounds.

I hope this unofficial explanation helps. Cheers!

Sonos One can be taken to a different location yet this do not stop Ones to act as back seekers. 

The charging base can be in a fixed location so the Moves can be always pleased back to a perfect position. 

If one of the speaker is missing the system could play in 3.1. 

Strange that One SL can be the back speakers at 45% of the move price.

My mind gets from spending extra 2k on Sonos to return the Move. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Frankly,  while the Sonos Move can’t be used as surrounds … why would you want to buy 2 Moves to use as surrounds.

2 One SL’s can be had for less than the price of a second Move.

Therefore, if you have a Move now …. you would want to buy a set of One SL’s for the rear surrounds (cheaper option then a 2nd move).   Then keep the move for another room and portability.

 

I like to listening in stereo in the garden. This is why I bought the Move and wanted to buy another one.

Moves are superior to One even without portability and having 2 moves in the living room is better than 2 Ones. So if Move could be used outside as portable speakers and inside as ordinary speakers capable to act as souround system when watching tv I would move for all Sonos. 

 

I assume your WiFi reaches the garden? Moves cannot be stereo paired in Bluetooth mode.

Sonos make different speakers for different use cases, and they cannot cover all use cases for every user in one speaker. 

The Move is a portable Bluetooth speaker that can also become part of your home audio system singly or as a stereo pair. That is what's on offer and everyone can choose whether they want that or not. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

I should have first welcomed you to the Sonos community and our addictions to Sonos speakers in every corner of our house.
 

I’m not completely on the band wagon of the Move as a speaker sounding any better than a Sonos One.   Especially for surrounds the Sonos One more than holds its own.  A couple Sonos SL’s for their price are a great addition.   They also then have the flexibility when not listening as surrounds to move to rooms to give you the true impressive part of Sonos and that is music in every room.

I’m also for flexibility for anyones need but no the Move isn’t capable of being a surround speaker and never will be due to hardware layout.

And actually surrounds to me are not the key piece in home theater with Sonos.   The Sonos Sub to me is the most important piece of a home theater setup and should be the #2 purchase after the Beam.   You can go with those two speakers and then decide when you want to go rears.

 

 

 

Sonos One can be taken to a different location yet this do not stop Ones to act as back seekers. 

 

 

Yes, but not while still playing music...unless you’re using a long extension cord.  As pointed above, one of the issues is that sonosnet depends on speakers located in generally the same location for a stable network.  The Move, which can be moved around while still playing, would be a horrible player in sonosnet, and sonosnet is required in 5.1 setup.

Another point to make is that one of the reason the Move sounds good in the different locations you place it in is that it has AutoTrueplay, adjusting itself automatically to the room that it’s in.  If you set it up as a surround speaker, you would lose this capability, even if you moved it to another location.

You mentioned that you like to play the Move in the Garden. You do realize that if you could set this up as surround speaker, than it would have to play the same audio as the rest of your 5.1 system (while on WiFi), and would only play left or right channel audio.  Doesn’t sound ideal to me.

 

The charging base can be in a fixed location so the Moves can be always pleased back to a perfect position. 

 

 

Not following why that is reverent.  The base provides power to the Move, doesn’t provide any connectivity functions.

 

If one of the speaker is missing the system could play in 3.1. 

 

 

Yes, it would, but it’s not a matter of it being just missing as if a surround speaker was unplugged, it likely will be in and out of range...unless you switch to BT mode only when not in the right spot for surround.  

 

Strange that One SL can be the back speakers at 45% of the move price.

 

 

Not at all.  Surround speaker is actually rather light and doesn’t require much.  Yes, you can use a play:5 as a surround, but it’s generally considered overkill and a waste of the play:5 potential.  Move importantly, it should be a hint that the reasons are technical in nature and not just commercial.

 

My mind gets from spending extra 2k on Sonos to return the Move. 

Because there’s another speaker brand where you can use your surround speakers as portable WIFi and BT speakers in the garden?  As far as Sonos possibly losing sales because a product doesn’t do what the customer wants, you also have to consider the customer who would have spent $800 on surround speakers that don’t sound anywhere as near as good as $800 speakers should, because they are not using them for the purpose designed for....and decides to go elsewhere for their next purchase.

Thank you guys for your time and response. 

I never watch TV and listen to the music at the same time. WIFI covers enough of my garden so there is no issues. 

 

Strange that play5 can work as seround. Those are clearly not made for that but still give the option, I like that. 

Do you mean that once Ones or any other speakers are in the seround mode there is no easy way to switch them to stereo mode by streaming music just to 2 Ones? E.g. Through Spotify? 

Isn't Move more powerful than One? 

 

At the end of a day this is just the matter of how much I need to spend. But ending with 2x One SL, Bar, Sub, 2x Move and 2x Play5 soundike a lot. 

Do you have any other option if I want to be able to 

1. Have a great seround for movies

2. Listen to music with no compromise. 

3. Have it outside in stereo without extension leds. 

One more time I would like to than you for your  input. 

 

 

 

Thank you guys for your time and response. 

I never watch TV and listen to the music at the same time. WIFI covers enough of my garden so there is no issues. 

 

 

Not really what I was getting at.  In this hypothetical scenario, your two Moves and playbar are still part of the same room, playing the same audio at the same volume.  So when you put a move in the garden on WiFi, you’d be getting one channel of stereo, left or right, while the other speakers are playing the same audio...also a little off since the volume is out of balance between left and right.

 

 

Strange that play5 can work as seround. Those are clearly not made for that but still give the option, I like that. 

 

It is overkill yet, but it does not cause the other problems that have been mentioned.

 

Do you mean that once Ones or any other speakers are in the seround mode there is no easy way to switch them to stereo mode by streaming music just to 2 Ones? E.g. Through Spotify? 

 

 

Correct.  In a 5.1 setup, you have the option to play music sources through the front speakers only, where the surrounds are silent, or ‘full stereo, where the surround speakers play stereo along with front speakers.  If you want to surrounds to play separately, they must be removed and setup as there on room, not something you want to do on a regular basis.

 

Isn't Move more powerful than One? 

 

 

Power is just one feature/characteristic of the speakers that make it good for the particular task.  A hammer is more powerful than screwdriver, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the right tool for the job.

 

 

At the end of a day this is just the matter of how much I need to spend. But ending with 2x One SL, Bar, Sub, 2x Move and 2x Play5 soundike a lot. 

 

 

Not sure what rooms you plan on using Sonos with.  I’ve heard just the garden and TV room.  Do you think you need 2 Moves for the Garden?  Are you going to want to move both of them out there every time?  Or are you thinking that whatever other room you use the Moves in will need to be in stereo?

 

For the TV room, go with the playbar  and sub and add the 2  SLs if budget allows.  I would actually wait on making these purchases right now as Sonos tends to release a new product late spring/early summer, many suspect they are due for a new playbar...or something else that might fit your needs a little better.

 

I can’t comment on the play:5s since I’m not sure what your intended use 

 

Do you have any other option if I want to be able to 

1. Have a great seround for movies

2. Listen to music with no compromise. 

3. Have it outside in stereo without extension leds. 

One more time I would like to than you for your  input. 

 

These a little vague, but I’ll try.

1 - As mentioned, surround speakers is light duty.  You might be happy with the Sonos ikea bookshelf speakers for surround, and they are much cheaper than even the Sonos SL.

2 - Not sure what a compromise is.

3- Many people get a Sonos amp with wired outdoor speakers, but that is likely not cheaper than a pair of Moves and not necessarily better sound.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Just a reminder of how the Sonos SL’s would work if setup as surround speakers in a 5.1 (Beam, Sub, 2 SL’s).

In settings you set them as FULL Mode.

What that does is when you are watching TV the SL’s will act as surrounds.

When you are playing Music online the SL’s will switch from being surrounds and output full stereo.   So when listening to music via controller the SL’s will play as if they were a stereo pair not in the 5.1 system (althought he Beam and sub will play along with them as a group).   This makes for much better full stereo sound then the SL’s staying as surrounds (which would be more of a Doby Prologic effect and not good for listening to music).

 

Thanks

Is that mean that 2x play 5, a bit waist as a seround speakers, can be use fully in stereo mode while listening to the music even if chained to 5.1 for watching movies? 

Thanks

Is that mean that 2x play 5, a bit waist as a seround speakers, can be use fully in stereo mode while listening to the music even if chained to 5.1 for watching movies? 

Yes and no.  You will have stereo from the front and stereo from the rear.

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Yes if you have 2xPlay:5 as rears - pretty much waste when doing surround but when listening to music they will be in full stereo (playing in conjuction with the Beam and Sub).   Actually would sound very good.

But with the sub providing good low end the only advantage vs. Some Sonos SL’s is going to be power to fill a big room.

Badge

Would It be possible to set up the 2 moves as stereo pair, and later group it with a Beam? Is It so diferent from a 5.1??

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

You can pair a set of moves

As far as grouping with Beam.   If your listening to music on Sonos then grouping with beam and the moves playing in stereo would be exactly the same as if paired.

If watching TV on the Beam and grouping in the moves - the sound on the moves will replicate the 2.0 channels of the beam and will be slightly delayed (causing a little stadium effect).   Would not be good for anything more than watching sporting events (as that stadium effect probably would sound like the surrounds anyhow).

Reply