Describe the Stereo Quality for Music With a Sound Bar, HiFi Set of Fives and Subwoofer - All Facing the Listener

  • 29 January 2023
  • 18 replies
  • 115 views

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It’s imperative I preface this by saying I know this isn’t a proper set up for Surround Sound with ambient speakers behind the listener, I’m more interested in how it will sound for playing music in stereo.

I’m dealing with a small room and 1 subwoofer, I want the best sound I can get using the HiFi Set of Fives, a sound bar, and the Subwoofer (which I already own) and I’d like to use this 5.1 setup with the Fives pointed at the listener, not from behind (there’s no room and I’m really more interested in Stereo Music than the quality of the TV sound).

When I want to play music I’ll set the Music Playback option to “Full” and when I want to watch a movie I’ll set the Music Playback option to “Ambient”.

My question is does anyone else have their ambient speakers, 2-Fives in my case, set facing the listener and what is the sound quality for “playing music” like when you have the “ambient” speakers facing the listener?

thank you again Sonophiles


18 replies

Userlevel 6
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Yes, perhaps that’s the route to take.

With your TV and Music listening done primarily in one room it’s really absurd to think I would have to have 2 subwoofers in a the same room to achieve optimum results . . .  Are You Listening Sonos!

I simply don’t want to be flipping the sub from room to room all the time.

Like I said overkill but it makes me happy 😜

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Yes, perhaps that’s the route to take.

With your TV and Music listening done primarily in one room it’s really absurd to think I would have to have 2 subwoofers in a the same room to achieve optimum results . . .  Are You Listening Sonos!

I simply don’t want to be flipping the sub from room to room all the time.

Userlevel 6
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I have an arc sub and pair of ones for my home theatre listening but do not like music in atmos or soundbar call me old fashioned but I like my music in stereo.

To that end I bought a pair of 5's and sub for just music listening overkill I know but I would suggest that you use just the arc for tv as this is not your main interest and the pair of 5's and sub for your listening pleasure 👍

ATMOS’s value depends on what films and TV content you watch. If you watch newscasts and vintage films, ATMOS has no value. Recent action films can be fun with ATMOS.

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The Ray doesn’t support Dolby Atmos. Again, I’m really more interested in the Hi Fi Set of Fives and music than I am home theatre; although, I probably don’t know what I’m missing.

Userlevel 7
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I did not know about the importance of the surrounds, very interesting and revealing. This response alone may give me the info I need to make a decision.

 

The surrounds are also tied very closely to the Atmos effects.  Atmos uses a 3D placement method which allows the sound engineer to literally “place” a sound exactly where they want it in the 3D soundstage “bubble” surrounding the listening area.  If the surrounds are not positioned correctly the “bubble” collapses, and the movement of Atmos effects from the sides to the ceiling will be almost non-existent.  

Does the Ray provide Atmos effects? Won’t an  Arc be needed for that? 

I did not know about the importance of the surrounds, very interesting and revealing. This response alone may give me the info I need to make a decision.

 

The surrounds are also tied very closely to the Atmos effects.  Atmos uses a 3D placement method which allows the sound engineer to literally “place” a sound exactly where they want it in the 3D soundstage “bubble” surrounding the listening area.  If the surrounds are not positioned correctly the “bubble” collapses, and the movement of Atmos effects from the sides to the ceiling will be almost non-existent.  

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HA, ha . . . forums can be so edifying . . .

Userlevel 7
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2x rooms with Sub on either = 2 permutations 

5.1 system                             = 1 permutation

 

Total:    3

 

 

 

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I did not know about the importance of the surrounds, very interesting and revealing. This response alone may give me the info I need to make a decision.

Permutations.  Permutations are when the selected objects need to be in a specific placement or order.  Since you can’t use a sound bar or sub as surrounds, it’s permutations. 

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Totally agree, still a little reluctant (hard to ignore the 30% discount on the HiFi Set) to pull the trigger on purchasing but will let all know if I do and how I feel about the different combinations . . . or is that permutations . . . any mathematicians out there?

Yes, the two of you are pushing me in the direction of a 2 room setup. I wonder just how horrible it would sound for the TV as the Fives as surrounds would be fairly “subtle” in volume. Guess I could try the Fives facing the listener in a “Surround 5.1 setup” (facing the listener) and see what it’s like.

 

Surrounds are not always “subtle”.  They are used for two things; ambiance (rain, traffic noises, rushing water etc.), which can be subtle or quite loud, and directional queues, bullets whizzing past, off-screen voices, planes overhead, all of which are not subtle at all.  Having directional queues which are supposed to be located to the sides and behind you coming from the front is useless, and destroys both the front and the surround soundstage. 

But hey, I’ve seen people set up surrounds like that and think it’s awesome.  It’s really hot garbage to anyone who knows about surround sound, but there is no accounting for taste. 

Userlevel 7
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If you are going to buy the kit anyway, you can try all the permutations and go with the configuration you most like. 

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I concur with @nik9669a.  Two stereo speakers in front of and equidistant from the listening position will always be best for music.  I wouldn’t even bother connecting them as surrounds; it wouldn’t improve music at all, and would be horrible for TV. 

Yes, the two of you are pushing me in the direction of a 2 room setup. I wonder just how horrible it would sound for the TV as the Fives as surrounds would be fairly “subtle” in volume. Guess I could try the Fives facing the listener in a “Surround 5.1 setup” (facing the listener) and see what it’s like.

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As suggested to you in replies to your previous version of this question, you are probably best served by setting up your Fives as a stereo pair and labelling them as a “room” called Music.  Set up the soundbar as Television. Settle for 3.0 or 3.1 for your tv watching experience.  It would otherwise be odd for surround sounds meant to come from behind you to actually come from in front.
Add the Sub to the “room” you think gives you the most benefit - the Sonos app lets you reconfigure quite easily. 

Yes, I guess I’m going to have to “face the music” and opt to set up 2 separate rooms. Now the decision would be where to place the subwoofer  . . . with the Ray, probably most worthwhile or place the sub with the Hi Fi Set of Fives? Thoughts? (without my Sonos Sub, my1st gen Play:5 sounds a little “thin”)

I have these Sonos items now, all first generation. Play:5, Play:1 and the Subwoofer.  I’m going to likely buy the Sonos Five Hi Fi Set and a Ray.

I concur with @nik9669a.  Two stereo speakers in front of and equidistant from the listening position will always be best for music.  I wouldn’t even bother connecting them as surrounds; it wouldn’t improve music at all, and would be horrible for TV. 

Userlevel 7
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As suggested to you in replies to your previous version of this question, you are probably best served by setting up your Fives as a stereo pair and labelling them as a “room” called Music.  Set up the soundbar as Television. Settle for 3.0 or 3.1 for your tv watching experience.  It would otherwise be odd for surround sounds meant to come from behind you to actually come from in front.
Add the Sub to the “room” you think gives you the most benefit - the Sonos app lets you reconfigure quite easily. 
 

 

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