Sonos sub vs traditional sub

I have a Sonos system hooked to my TV. A Playbar, two Play 1s, and a sub. My issue is, I think the sub may be missing some lows. It hits incredibly well, but there are movie parts that I remember being so much better on my traditional sub than on the Sonos sub. A clear example is the Lion King. When all of the animals are coming to Simba’s introduction at the beginning, the traditional sub would shake the house with the elephant steps, but the Sonos sub barely even plays those steps. I don’t know if it’s part of the remastering of the movie, or a lack on the part of the Sonos sub. If it’s the latter, is there a way to make it pick up and play those sounds? As I said, it is great in most movies, but maybe I’m missing something I don’t realize because I’ve only ever seen those movies since my Sonos system. 

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11 replies

Userlevel 7

Have you adjusted the EQ settings and Sub Level in the Sonos app? When you experienced the house-shaking bass from the elephant steps with the “traditional sub”, were you watching The Lion King from the exact same source?

Yes, I’ve adjusted the EQ, but to no avail.
No. The exact same source is not available to me anymore. Neither is the option to test the system with a traditional sub and speakers without a major set up. 
was hoping this was something that others may have experienced, even if not with that same movie. 

Userlevel 7

How exactly are you watching The Lion King now? How did you watch it before?

Originally, on dvd. Now, on Fandango now. So a hard copy vs. a streaming service, and I know after all of this time it’s been remastered. Unfortunately, I no longer have access to that original source, as it’s been 25 years or so, and on my friend’s system which was simply his receiver, and a 5.1 system, but he’s divorced and the ex got the movie, I’m sure, plus he lives on the other side of the country, so asking to borrow his Lion King disk would be odd. I could probably grant him access to my account and see if the streaming version sounds like the original. Also, I know it’s been remastered, so maybe it got changed. It’s just a lot of maybes, so I’m trying to figure out which maybe it could be. 

Userlevel 7

I just tested The Lion King on Disney+ in Dolby Digital Plus (Dolby Atmos) on my Arc. I have my Sub Level set to 0 and the bass on the EQ set to +6. I could clearly hear the bass from the elephants but it wasn’t room shaking. But when I increased the Sub Level to +15, my house vibrated with every elephant step. So try adjusting your Sub Level higher.

Also, it’s difficult to compare two different sources with two different audio mixes playing out of two completely different audio systems in different listening environments. Your friend may have had a more powerful audio system and set his sub levels very high.

I still remember it much better on my old 5.1 as well, but I didn’t have near the system he had. 

Userlevel 7

What is your Sub Level currently set to? Are you getting Dolby Digital 5.1 or stereo audio from The Lion King on Fandango?

I’ll have to check. Hopefully later today. 

So, as it turns out, my wife has the disk from when her kids were young and I found it today. It’s a limited edition, so not the original, but the sound is incredibly better than when streaming. Again, don’t know if it’s been toned down since the streaming version is some anniversary edition, or if it’s because of the streaming, but at least I know my Sonos system is not to blame.  Makes me wonder what I’m missing in the other movies I have on there. 

Sources do get remastered by studios rather frequently. 

Userlevel 7

@G8rh8r12 I wonder if you are hearing a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD as opposed to a stereo mix from Fandango. That would explain the improvement in audio quality.