Sub connected, weak sound

  • 10 March 2021
  • 9 replies

Userlevel 1

Just added a Sonos Sub to two paired Ones and a Beam. I also successfully ran Trueplay. The sub is virtually non-audible except when set at the highest level. Even at that level, the base is unimpressive. I tried removing the sub and re-adding it to no discernible effect. Any ideas?


Best answer by AjTrek1 11 March 2021, 02:55

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9 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +12

You might want to contact Sonos support as you may have a defective unit. If it works as intended the difference is very noticeable. Unless you’re playing highly compressed audio with a high pass filter! I’m not aware of a setting on a new, default setup that would impact what you’re reporting. Bass should be there aplenty! 

Maybe try a full reset and set all up from scratch and see if a setup glitch somewhere gets fixed? 

Userlevel 1

After several diagnostics, Sonos support informed me that what I was hearing was normal operation. I was told that the base would be richer but not really louder or more pronounced at normal settings. This is extremely disappointing, given that I don’t hear the Sub at all at normal settings. And toggling it off and on is barely noticeable. I do get an improved base at full sub level 16 and maximum EQ base, but nothing impressive. I don’t get the hype over this box and will be returning it as soon as I get the label. Returns at least are no hassle. 

Where is SUB placed in the room? How large is the room?

In my experience SUB can be one of the most aggressive subwoofers available at less than huge size and astronomical prices. I must subdue items in the room that will vibrate during a strong bass passage. I’ve even excited items inside the walls. Not many subwoofers can do this.

If a subwoofer is properly placed in the room, a blindfolded person will have great difficulty accurately pointing to the subwoofer location. But, but this might not be your expectation. Experiment with different locations. Placing SUB on the floor in a corner will accentuate the bass.

Userlevel 1

Thanks for the input. The room is roughly 20 x 25’ but open to a kitchen and separate TV area which has the beam. The room has a cathedral ceiling about 15’ at the peak. The Ones are on diagonal corners and the sub is in between about 6’ from one of the Ones. The sub is not directly on the floor. It is on the bottom shelf of an open back table. The Ones alone sound great, and when grouped with the beam provide balanced sound as we move around the entire living space. The Sub should be heard anywhere in this open space, but it’s contribution is negligible. I thought it might be defective, but Support doesn’t think so. I’ll try a factory reset and reinstall before returning it. But one question… Does it take some time for the sub to “learn” and adapt to the acoustics of the space and usage?

Userlevel 7

Hi @Ruder 

I must agree with others that barring a defective sub your overall setup is the root cause of your issues. The Sonos sub does an excellent job to enhance the low-end of music and movies. 

In a room the size you are describing the low-end is present but given your placement of the sub (lower shelf of an open back table) it’s not getting the support it needs to function to potential. Also placing the One’s diagonally to each other is not producing a true stereo image.

The Beam is merely filling a void where music may fall-off emanating from the One’ as you say balance out the sound.

Finally, TruePlay only works in one of the setups below:

  • Ones as stereo pair with sub
  • Beam with sub

Speaking of Trueplay you have the following working against it properly doing its job and it’s not the room size per se.  Assuming the sub is paired with the One’s their diagonal placement is not ideal. In fact TruePlay may even make the sound worse. Yep...that’s right...TruePlay is not a cure all in every situation.

The One’s should be positioned alone the same horizontal plane no more than 6-8 feet apart to produce a stereo image. The Sub, if bonded to them; should be along a wall, in a corner or laying flat under a sofa. The floor, walls and corners of a room reinforce the low-end frequencies.

If the sub is bonded to the Beam...typically placing it against the wall to the left or right of the Beam is recommended. Of course one can experiment with sub placement to get the best performance.

I highly recommend you rearrange the position of the One’s and the sub assuming they are bonded together.

Userlevel 1

Great advice AjTrek1!  I positioned the Sub to bo open on both sides hoping for a less restricted, bi-directional output. I’ll correct that ensuring that it is on the floor and against a wall. The sub is bonded with the stereo pair Ones. I will also try the Ones on the same side of the room; however, the stereo image is pretty good given there are multiple, dynamic listening positions in this space. I’ll update tomorrow. 

Userlevel 1

Wow! What a difference in booming distortionless base when the Subis directly on the floor and against the wall. The base fills the entire listening space. I can now reduce the base level. All is good. You all save me from returning an excellent product. I lift my glass to you! Cheers!  - Rod

Userlevel 7

Excellent! Enjoy your Sonos!

Userlevel 5
Badge +12

Great news. Good result. The sub makes a huge difference. Surprised the positioning had such a dramatic impact. But good tip to learn.