Why no balance control on Playbar?

  • 12 December 2016
  • 4 replies


I was wondering why there is no balance control on the Playbar?

Given the relatively small speaker separation I can see an argument for not having one, but in that case I don't know why there is a balance control on Play 3 (and I assume Play5 although I don't have one, where the separation is only a few inches?

So I'm not sure really whether my question is about lack of balance control on Playbar, or presence of balance control on Play3 - maybe I'm asking why the lack of consistency?

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4 replies

Hi. Play speakers can be paired to give proper stereo separation, so maybe that is why the option is there. With a single Play speaker or a Playbar it hardly matters if it's there or not, because as you pretty much state yourself, it's not much use in either case.
When setting up our living room for a house party yesterday, I wanted to setup the Playbar with Sub as the right channel and a ZP80 as the left channel.
Although I could change the balance of the ZP80 to full left, unfortunately as the OP states, there is no balance control for the Playbar so I could not change the balance to full right.
I'd be interested to know whether there is a technical reason why the balance of the Playbar cannot be overridden in software allowing the Playbar and sub to pair with another system to create a wider and richer sound stage for party music.
I suppose it is unlikely that anyone will setup two Playbars as a stereo pair and I acknowledge that pairing a Playbar with other equipment probably isn't going to win any prizes for audiophile quality but this setup would have been fine for party music.
( I could have achieved this setup with my Play5 to handle the RH channel duties, but the Play5 was busy in another room at the time 🙂
You do know that setting the balance control to far left/right does not make a speaker play the left/right channel only, it makes it into a mono speaker playing both channels.
Ah no, I wasn't aware of that. Thanks!
It would still be a nice feature to enable any pair of Sonos components to be made into a stereo pair though.