Turn off playbar during music playback

  • 15 January 2017
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 1

I have been thinking about buying a playbar for a while, but something has been holding me back. Here's my current setup in my living room:

- 2 x Play:3 stereo pair + SUB

Now I would like to add a playbar for my TV and of course use the SUB with it. I could do this like this:

- Add the Play:3s to a Playbar + SUB setup.

In the surround settings I could then turn down the TV level to have only the Playbar play sound during TV playback. Also, I could set music playback to "full" to have the Play:3s play full spectrum during music playback.

Now here's my question: Can I turn off the playbar during music playback? During music playback I want to have only my stereo Play:3 pair + SUB playing music, not the playbar. In the manual, I could not find such an option. TV and music playback level adjustments seems to be only possible for the surround speakers, not the playbar.

Can anyone confirm that this is indeed the case? If so, that's a complete deal breaker for me since the playbar is going to mess with my stereo setup during music playback.

Any alternative setups that I haven't thought of are also welcome. Most important is that I have the SUB playing for both my Play:3s and the Playbar. Making separate groups won't allow that.


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5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I've never tried it but I assume it wouldn't work if you switched off the Playbar - Sonos equipment is not designed to be switched off on a regular basis.

I guarantee that the Playbar, unless you stand right in front of it, will NOT interfere with your enjoyment of stereo music played via a Playbar, Sub + 2 x Play 3 surrounds set-up.

If you are unsure buy via Sonos and return if you don't fins it to your liking

Also. If you talk about turning down surrounds is this because you won't ever have Dolby Digital 5.1 audio source?

In this case why not just have the Playbar linked to the TV and have the Play 3 and SUB as a separate room in Sonos parlance (they can still physically be in the same room)? This seems to be what you want anyway
Userlevel 1
Stuart, thanks a lot for the quick response!

While I do have 5.1 sources, I do not have the Play 3s placed in the right spots to be used as surrounds and am therefore not planning to use them as surround speakers. This means that in principle your suggestion to just make two separate "rooms" in the Sonos app would be the ideal solution. However, in this configuration I will not be able to use the SUB in both "rooms" as it can only be assigned to one room at a time. I'd have to choose to have it with the Playbar OR the Play3s. Alternatively, I'd have to constantly re-assign it between the two "rooms", which is not a realistic option.

The only way to have the SUB working with Playbar and Play3s would be to add the Play3s as surround speakers to the Playbar + SUB TV "room" (even though I won't actually use them as surrounds). Then I'd like to do the following:

- TV: Playbar + SUB, Play 3s silent --> possible through surround settings
- Music: Play 3s + SUB, Playbar silent --> to my knowledge not possible through settings.

I believe it would be pretty simple to implement a setting that would allow to mute the Playbar during music playback (similar to the setting which allows muting the surrounds during TV playback). This would allow for having the same SUB used for two separate setups for TV and Music playback .

However, like you say, I probably just need to test it and maybe my fear of the Playbar messing up the Play 3 stereo setup is completely unfounded.

Hey guys,

First post on the forum, have had a sonos system for a few years but a bit of a newbie here.

I’ve got a similar issue to Philip.

I’ve been considering upgrading my system, and will likely stick with sonos as i enjoy the ease and system sounds good. In my main tv room i currently have a playbar, plus sub and 2 play 1s as rear surrounds. Am looking to add a turntable and 2 play 5s to replace the play 1s which i’ll move to another room.

My issue is stereo sound, ive got a single chair i can move so im seated in the best listening spot central to the play 5s as rear surrounds, but this means im sitting right in front of the playbar, which isnt ideal and is distracting. It would be great to be able to turn off the playbar for the room like i can the surrounds or sub, so I can easily go from surround to stereo. Ive set the play 1s and sub up to listen in stereo like this, i much prefer this option but its a pain to then re-configure for tv/surround.

Any thoughts would be great, or maybe any feedback on the possibility of this from sonos.

Userlevel 1
Badge +1
I have exactly the same problem as Philip, couldn't be so complicated to add the feature to turn of the playbar!

I don't need surround while watching TV as well. My current workaround is connecting the TV without playbar via Sonos:Connect with 2 Play:1s and one Sub, but you need a switch and network cables to prevent delays and that's not a very smart solution.
Userlevel 3
Badge +5

- TV: Playbar + SUB, Play 3s silent --> possible through surround settings
- Music: Play 3s + SUB, Playbar silent --> to my knowledge not possible through settings.

This is a great suggestion!