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Can I group a Play:1 and a Sonos One SL in the same room?

  • 13 September 2019
  • 25 replies
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Hi Community,
I'm thinking of expanding my Sonos collection with one or two Sonos One SL, but I'm not fully sure what the capabilities/interoperabilities of these devices are.

In my living room, I have two Play:1's as a stereo pair. That is the extent of my Sonos products.

1.) Can I add a Sonos One SL to this group to get fuller music in the living room? Will the music optimization take all three speakers into account to make the music as good as it can be? Would it be better if I had 4 total (e.g. two L and two R)?

1b) If I can't add it to the group _per se_ can I create a new group "livingroom2" and play synchronized music to both zones at once?

2.) Is the above the same as adding it to a stereo pair? If it is not, is it possible to make a stereo pair with Play:1 and a Sonos One SL? (I believe it wasn't possible with Play:1 and Sonos One.)

3.) If I buy a Sonos One SL, that has Airplay support, and it is in a group with the two Play:1's, can I airplay to all three?

3b) If I buy a Sonos One SL, that has Airplay support, and it is in a *different* group than the two Play:1's, can I airplay to just the Play:1's?

Thanks for your help,
Steve
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Best answer by Airgetlam 13 September 2019, 05:23

1.) Can I add a Sonos One SL to this group to get fuller music in the living room? Will the music optimization take all three speakers into account to make the music as good as it can be? Would it be better if I had 4 total (e.g. two L and two R)?

Yes, the group, not paired. Not particularly. Maybe, but it would likely make the "sweet spot" much smaller/harder to be in.

1b) If I can't add it to the group _per se_ can I create a new group "livingroom2" and play synchronized music to both zones at once?

Yes, of course. You can put as many speakers/rooms as the Sonos system allows in the same room and group them so they play in sync.


2.) Is the above the same as adding it to a stereo pair? If it is not, is it possible to make a stereo pair with Play:1 and a Sonos One SL? (I believe it wasn't possible with Play:1 and Sonos One.)

No, it's adding another room. The Sonos software doesn't know where the speakers are physically, the room name is just for you to be able to know which is which. Sonos SLs can be paired with Sonos Ones, but not with PLAY:1s. Think of the Sonos SL to be a Sonos One that has had the microphones removed, other than that they're the same speaker. Much different than a PLAY:1, despite the similarity in size.

3.) If I buy a Sonos One SL, that has Airplay support, and it is in a group with the two Play:1's, can I airplay to all three?

Yes. Technically, you'd be sending the AirPlay 2 signal to the Sonos SL, and have the PLAY:1s grouped with it. Once the AirPlay 2 signal is in the Sonos ecosystem, you can group it with any other Sonos speaker.

3b) If I buy a Sonos One SL, that has Airplay support, and it is in a *different* group than the two Play:1's, can I airplay to just the Play:1's?

No. The PLAY:1s still don't have an antenna and processor that can handle the AirPlay 2 signal. In your scenario, that heavy lifting is being done by the Sonos SL, and then you can play it on any grouped speaker.

Hope that covers it 🙂
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25 replies

1.) Can I add a Sonos One SL to this group to get fuller music in the living room? Will the music optimization take all three speakers into account to make the music as good as it can be? Would it be better if I had 4 total (e.g. two L and two R)?

Yes, the group, not paired. Not particularly. Maybe, but it would likely make the "sweet spot" much smaller/harder to be in.

1b) If I can't add it to the group _per se_ can I create a new group "livingroom2" and play synchronized music to both zones at once?

Yes, of course. You can put as many speakers/rooms as the Sonos system allows in the same room and group them so they play in sync.


2.) Is the above the same as adding it to a stereo pair? If it is not, is it possible to make a stereo pair with Play:1 and a Sonos One SL? (I believe it wasn't possible with Play:1 and Sonos One.)

No, it's adding another room. The Sonos software doesn't know where the speakers are physically, the room name is just for you to be able to know which is which. Sonos SLs can be paired with Sonos Ones, but not with PLAY:1s. Think of the Sonos SL to be a Sonos One that has had the microphones removed, other than that they're the same speaker. Much different than a PLAY:1, despite the similarity in size.

3.) If I buy a Sonos One SL, that has Airplay support, and it is in a group with the two Play:1's, can I airplay to all three?

Yes. Technically, you'd be sending the AirPlay 2 signal to the Sonos SL, and have the PLAY:1s grouped with it. Once the AirPlay 2 signal is in the Sonos ecosystem, you can group it with any other Sonos speaker.

3b) If I buy a Sonos One SL, that has Airplay support, and it is in a *different* group than the two Play:1's, can I airplay to just the Play:1's?

No. The PLAY:1s still don't have an antenna and processor that can handle the AirPlay 2 signal. In your scenario, that heavy lifting is being done by the Sonos SL, and then you can play it on any grouped speaker.

Hope that covers it 🙂
Thanks Bruce,

That's about what I expected (though not what I hoped).

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It's a bit disappointing about the Airplay. I understand that the older devices can't receive the stream themselves, but it's a shame that the newer devices handle the Airplay protocol and stream to the older ones.

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I also feel that while music is in stereo, I don't see why we have to dedicate an L and R speaker. I don't see why we can't just put "some number" of sonos devices around a room and have Sonos decide how to decode the music to make the best 3D sound it can out of it. It's not all that processing-intensive because it's still just originating with Stereo sound so in the end it's just got a %left channel + %right channel for each speaker (with possible delay factors) and those are constant throughout playback.

Steve
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@Wizzzard

Airgetlam answered your questions. I just want to add this...

You could theoretically at one or two Sonos One SL to your living room. In the end what you would achieve is the same sound coming from multiple directions. Also just adding a single One SL in your living room would make things sound a bit off if you leave the Play:1 's as a stereo pair. In that instance I would recommend setting all 3 as stand-a-lones.

However, I digress from my intended point...If you really want to improve the sound of the living room you need to add a sub to the Play:1's. You'd be amazed at the improved acoustics. I know a sub at $699 is not cheap. However, IMO it's the only option to really enhance and/or improve the sound (or whatever descriptive adjective you care to use) of the existing Play:1's. Just my two cents ☺

Cheers!
I'm neither an audio engineer, nor a code engineer, so I have absolutely no clue as to how difficult it would be to add what you suggest to the Sonos code base.

I'd imagine that if it made sense, from a ease of implementation, and interest as evidenced by their marketing surveys showing a market for it, they would do that.

However, I'd remind you of the "quadrophonic" experiment back in the early 70, and the success that it had, as a good starting point. When's the last time you saw a standard receiver that uses that codec, or even a CD or downloadable track in "quad"?

My perception is that most people (and hence the market I perceive Sonos to be interested in) prefer at most a stereo system for music, and a 5.1 system for video. And consequently, Sonos provides both of those.

My perception is that Sonos is much interested in chasing the wider market, and leaves it to others to do innovation and attempts to enter in new markets. Instead, I think they see where the market is the greatest, and attempt to do the best thing possible in that space. I happen to think that they're pretty damn successful at that.
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@Airgetlam

Quadrophonic...really!! I thought I was old. I even had a Quad 8 track in my 77 T-Bird back in the day. LOL.

l doubt that @Wizzzard was born then😎

Cheers!
I had a friend who has quad. I remember listening to some Pink Floyd in quad. Even then (this would have been '72ish?) there just wasn't a lot of music out there in quad, at least in any of the record stores I visited.

I managed not to get an 8-track, but I had plenty of exposure to it. I always hated that ka-chunk in the middle of a track.
Ha ha @AjTrek1, we did not have an 8-track in the family Datsun, but yes I did grow up with them around.

I wasn't suggesting that Sonos innovate with polyphonic sound. I was just suggesting that installation could consist of "Put as many Sonoses around the room wherever you want (and do not assign any Left/Right or anything) and run TruePlay and we'll make the group of speakers create a good stereo sound".
And they could do the same thing with surround sound for TV as well.

Anyway, I guess what I had not realized is that you really can only group 2 speakers in a room for L+R. I had kind of assumed that you could have as many as you want.
You're correct that you can group 2 speakers (left and right) in a Sonos "room", which is a logical construction for the purposes of the software. However, you can choose to put as many "rooms" as you want into a single physical room. So you could have a stereo pair playing as Living Room, and also have a third speaker playing as Living Room 2, and have both be in sync. Sonos really doesn't know (or care) where you put your speakers.

I think your main concern is around the TruePlay process. You would certainly be able to TruePlay the Living Room in my example, followed by the Living Room 2, but you just wouldn't be able to do both rooms at the same time. I do think you'd get a good sound out of it, but for me, losing the sweet spot out of the stereo pair due to the added mono source would be an issue.
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Thank you for this answer. The statement “Sonos SLs can be paired with Sonos Ones, but not with PLAY:1s.” was the most important for me because I already have 2 Play:1s and was wondering about the One SLs as an addition, but it looks like they won’t really work together … so, it’s off to find a good deal on Play: 1s.

 

thanks again!

Thank you for this answer. The statement “Sonos SLs can be paired with Sonos Ones, but not with PLAY:1s.” was the most important for me because I already have 2 Play:1s and was wondering about the One SLs as an addition, but it looks like they won’t really work together … so, it’s off to find a good deal on Play: 1s.

 

thanks again!

 

They will work together, you just can’t pair them as a stereo pair.  Note, pairing is not grouping, you can group any Sonos device with any other to play in sync.  Since you already have  pair of Play:1s you can stereo pair those.

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Actually, I have those Play: 1s paired. I was just wanting to add single extras in a couple of other rooms.

Thanks for the answer!

I have 2 Sonos One SL with a sub and was thinking of buying a 2 pack of Sonos Play:1 from Costco.  Is it possible to stereo pair a Sonos One SL with a Sonos Play:1?  I figure I’d make the One SL the right speaker and the Play:1 the left then do the same with the other Sonos One Sl and Sonos Play:1.  Any thoughts?

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Why? What would you gain by mixing the Play 1s and One SLs across a pair?

You might be able to do that with a third party app but why?

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Hi phazerwon

Is it possible to stereo pair a Sonos One SL with a Sonos Play:1? 

To answer your basic question the answer is No.

As @Stanley_4 suggested you may be able to find a 3rd party app. However even if such an app exists it will not be supported by Sonos and querying this forum for assistance is a moot point.

I too don’t understand the reason for trying to cross stereo pair a Sonos One SL with a Play 1:thinking: It really makes no sense at all.  Just stereo pair like for like speakers. The KISS approach :relaxed:

Cheers!

I have 2 Sonos One SL with a sub and was thinking of buying a 2 pack of Sonos Play:1 from Costco.  Is it possible to stereo pair a Sonos One SL with a Sonos Play:1?  I figure I’d make the One SL the right speaker and the Play:1 the left then do the same with the other Sonos One Sl and Sonos Play:1.  Any thoughts?

 

Why?  What would be the advantage, when you can just stereo pair the two SL’s and stereo pair the two Play:1’s?

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@phazerwon 

After close examination of your profile I see you already have a Sonos One SL and a Play 1. If that's true...logic would dictate that you could have already tried to stereo pair a Sonos One SL and Play 1 and discovered the answer for yourself...NO.

At this juncture I’m inclined to question if you are the owner of this account or someone’s kid just messing around:thinking: 

Cheers!

@AjTrek1 I have one set of Play:1 speakers. They are ceiling mounted rear channels along with a Playbase and a Sub in a separate room in our house.  I have another pair of SL Ones set up in a different room and those are already stereo paired.  There are 2 other Play :1’s listed on my account but those were returned because they didn’t have Airplay capabilities so then I bought the 2 SL Ones that are in that separate room.What I was wondering was if I rebought another set of Play:1’s, now that each SL has Airplay, could I unpair the SL Ones in that room and use One Sl and a Play 1 as stereo pairing?  Maybe as different groups?

@AjTrek1 I have one set of Play:1 speakers. They are ceiling mounted rear channels along with a Playbase and a Sub in a separate room in our house.  I have another pair of SL Ones set up in a different room and those are already stereo paired.  There are 2 other Play :1’s listed on my account but those were returned because they didn’t have Airplay capabilities so then I bought the 2 SL Ones that are in that separate room.What I was wondering was if I rebought another set of Play:1’s, now that each SL has Airplay, could I unpair the SL Ones in that room and use One Sl and a Play 1 as stereo pairing?  Maybe as different groups?

 

You can group a One SL with a Play:1 (or group paired One SL’s with paired Play:1’s), but not pair a One SL with a Play:1.  Grouping a Play:1 with a One SL will allow you to play Airplay 2 sources to the whole group.  

I was trying to have 1 pair of SL Ones as a stereo pair and a pair of Play :1’s also stereo paired play the same music in the same room.  Because the Play:1’s have no Airplay I was trying to rig a way to use one of each speaker with each other in order to be able to stereo pair both sets but it seems that if I just group them when I use iTunes or Spotify for Airplay I can get that to work.  @jgatie nailed it!  Sorry if it came off as confusing but I was super confused and therefore, the dumb question.  Thanks for replying.

 

I have a Play:1 in my living room, and am thinking of buying a new One SL for the bedroom. Can these be paired/grouped with each other? The main reason is that I hate the Sonos App you have to use for Play:1, and would prefer to use Airplay. If they can be paired, then would it be possible to use the airplay function of the One SL to send the music to the Play:1? (both with and without the One SL playing any music).

TIA!

They can be grouped together, they can not be stereo paired. 

And no, in order to use the Sonos One as an AirPlay 2 target, it must also be playing the AirPlay 2 source when grouped with the PLAY:1 in order to get the AirPlay 2 signal to the PLAY:1. 

Thanks for the reply much appreciated! Still not quite sure the difference between Grouping vs. Stereo Pairing though? Since they’ll be in different rooms I’m not worried about the speakers playing in stereo, but does this mean there is a delay between what’s playing out of each speaker?

Thanks for the reply much appreciated! Still not quite sure the difference between Grouping vs. Stereo Pairing though? Since they’ll be in different rooms I’m not worried about the speakers playing in stereo, but does this mean there is a delay between what’s playing out of each speaker?

 

Stereo pairing - Semi-permanent bond where two like models are configured into one Room.  Each unit then plays a single channel of the Left/Right stereo signal.

Grouping - Two or more Rooms are grouped together to play the same source.  Each Room plays the full stereo signal signal, there is no separation of channels.  Grouping is also dynamic, you can group and ungroup rooms on the fly, without going through the setup required for pairing/bonding.

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Just to make things confusing you can have multiple Sonos devices that the App shows as different rooms in the same physical room.

I have Dining, Kitchen, LR-Table and LR-Beam “Sonos Rooms all in the same room of my house.

Oh, and the Dining is actually a Pair of Play 3s and the LR-Beam has a Bonded Sub.

 

The Sonos room name can be picked from a list or entered manually so you can work around some of the potential confusion. Or if you want to aggravate the grand kids and grandma you can go wild with the names… Not recommended twice though.

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