Connect Sub to Multiple Groups?

  • 25 November 2018
  • 49 replies
  • 5367 views

Userlevel 2
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In my living room I currently have a stereo pair of Play5 for music. I'd like to add a Beam just for the TV. I'm also considering adding a sub. Is there any way to have the sub work with both the Play5s and the Beam depending on which is active? I'm assuming the answer is no, but I thought it would be worth asking.

49 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hey there, amfnyc. If you have two separate zones (TV - Beam & Living Room - 2x Play:5) your assumption would be correct. There can only be one device that has control over the Sub. A few users in the past have requested "scenes" in Sonos that would act as configuration presets. If you'd like, I'd be happy to add your name to the list for this feature request.
Yes, assuming they are Play 5 (gen2) speakers and not gen1. You can create a 5.1 (Dolby Digital) 'bonded' surround sound system...

The Beam will be front left/right and center and the two Play 5’s will be the two rears which you can either set to 'Ambient' or 'Full' for music purposes. Then add the sonos sub to the room to handle the Bass.

That’s how I would personally choose to set things up... great for 5.1 TV surround sound too.

I wouldn’t choose to set things up as separate rooms and go onto group things, as you may find you encounter TV audio lip-sync issues... but it is fine to have such groups for playing music, that’s if you prefer not to use a 'bonded' surround setup. You will then only be able to add the sub to either the Beam (Room) or the Play 5 (Room) and not both.

When you 'bond' all speakers into one 5.1 sonos room there will not be any TV lip-sync issues.
Userlevel 2
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Thanks guys. Keith - sure, that sounds like it would be a good feature. I won't hold my breath, though ;-(

Ken - My Play5s are gen 2, but I don't plan to bond them as surrounds for the Beam since I don't want them in the back of the room. They are my primary stereo music listening speakers, so they need to be up front.

Essentially, I plan to use the stereo Play 5s (maybe plus sub) for music listening and the Beam (maybe plus sub) for TV/movies. Obviously the Play5s cannot be used for TV, and I imagine the Beam is not as good for music as the 2 Play5s?

I'm definitely open to suggestion for a better setup, but that's what I was thinking.
Userlevel 7
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Get the Sub and try it on both the Beam and 5s, decide if you like it one place or the other more or if you really want a second one.
Hey there, amfnyc. If you have two separate zones (TV - Beam & Living Room - 2x Play:5) your assumption would be correct. There can only be one device that has control over the Sub. A few users in the past have requested "scenes" in Sonos that would act as configuration presets. If you'd like, I'd be happy to add your name to the list for this feature request.

Please add my name to the list as well: I wish to have a TV setup using a Beam and a Sub in the same room as a pure audio setup using 2 x Play 5 and the same Sub? Obviously not playing at the same time. Sounds (pun intended) quite reasonable, right?
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Add me to this list as well. I have a PlayBase for my TV, and two Play5’s (gen 2) for audio only (mostly turntable). Thinking of getting a sub to “share” between the two setups.
Userlevel 2
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An update on my setup...I had the sub connected to the two Play5s for a few months. It sounded good, but as I read on other threads, the sub did not add a tremendous amount to the Play5s. I was a little disappointed honestly.

A few weeks ago (for the season premier of GOT 😉 I "moved" the sub to be connected to the Beam. WOW! It made a huge difference for the Beam. Even shows without big bass are clearer, and it is fantastic for epic battle scenes. I'm finally glad I bought the sub.

I still wish it were easier to switch the sub between groups, but at least it has proven its worth.
Having the sub being able to be paired to multiple groups would be a really nice differentiator. I could see this pushing someone from buying a different sound bar and sub because then they could use it as a multi purpose sub.

I just ordered the in ceiling speakers with the sonos amp. I plan on using it for music. I’m going to see how it sounds for tv speakers paired with the sub. If not ideal I’d plan on getting a sound bar and with the feature of pairing the sub to multiple groups would have me consider getting the beam over another sound bar.

I too would like to be added the the list for notification when this feature is available.
While it makes sense for those who want to have a stereo pair for music and soundbar for TV, it's not a good fit if your rooms are actually different rooms physically. I can see people trying to 'cheat' by buying one sub and moving it around all the time to whatever room they feel like having a sub in. There is also the problem whenever a person decides wants to play the stereo pair and soundbar separately...which one gets the sub? I suppose you'd have to build in a mechanism for that.

Maybe the best solution would be to allow a single room setup where when music is requested, the stereo pair + sub play automatically. When TV audio is requested, the soundbar + rears + sub play automatically. This way, they system will play as the user wants without having to change any settings at all.

I can see two problems with this though. Although it could bring in more sales for Sonos, it may also give the impression that the soundbars don't play music very well. The other is that it seems like it's just a stop gap solution. For those who would go with this option, what they really want is a 5.1 setup with stereo and channel separation.(separate speakers for all 3 channels). If this were an actual option, no one would be trying to use 2 logical Sonos rooms into the same physical room. Or maybe it's just may.

Although, I am happy with my playbar setup, I'd seriously consider adding 2 play:5s to the room if this was an option.
Userlevel 1
One more vote for this functionality. I have an open plan house with in-ceiling speakers on one amp for kitchen and another amp plus in-ceiling speakers for the dining and connecting the two room at right angles is the tv room with a play bar, sub and two ones for surround. It would be great if the sub could join the dining for dinner or the TV when watching or the kitchen when cooking. So please add a vote for me. 😁👍
Same issue here. I have one sub that is connected with the soundbar for TV use and I also have two Play 5-Gen 2's that I use separately for just plain ole' stereo listening in the same room. I have the settings set up as two different rooms but I cannot connect my sub to both.
WHY NOT???
Same issue here. I have one sub that is connected with the soundbar for TV use and I also have two Play 5-Gen 2's that I use separately for just plain ole' stereo listening in the same room. I have the settings set up as two different rooms but I cannot connect my sub to both.WHY NOT???

That's just the way it is. The Sub can be semi-permanently bonded to one room and one room only. Sonos has never explained why and probably aren't going to start now.
Add my name for this functionality. I actually just bought another play 5 and sub thinking it would be possible to do this. But now that I see it’s not, I’m disappointed, and I have to decide which I’d rather group it with, the playbase or the play 5s...
Userlevel 7
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If you had a conventional, wired system where you had a 5.1 home theatre system with sub, and an additional pair of hifi speakers, the same situation would exist. The sub would be wired to one environment or the other - either the home theatre setup or the hifi One. To connect to the other speaker set you’d have to re-wire it.

Sonos speakers are wireless, and configurable, and can be grouped. But there are limitations. If you have a stereo pair, you can’t suddenly decide you want just the “left” speaker running in tandem with a speaker in a different room.

I would speculate this this is analogous to why you can’t suddenly decide to run the Sonos sub with different speakers to the ones you initially bond it to, without first breaking that bond.

Yes, it would be a nice to have feature but I don’t see it happening.

Another vote for this - Want the sub for both my set of speakers (music) and my playbar (Movies).

This should be developed soon.  Quite a detraction from what could be a great experience.

Add me to the list.  I’m not going to buy the sub based on the fact that it can only be paired with one room.  That seems like a waste.  If I want the sub to play with my living room setup sometimes and my kitchen setup other times I should be able to do that on the fly.  The rooms are right next to each other but still separate rooms.  So if I want bass in both you want me to buy 2 subs.

I too would love to have the functionality of setting up different scenes. I have a Beam, 2 play 5’s, 2 One’s and the sub. For surround sound TV watching I like the beam, ones for surround and the sub. However, for music listening I like the play 5’s in stereo and the sub. Seeing as I only have 1 sub I’d like to have a choice of it bonding to either setup. Seems like this would be technically feasible for Sonos to do. 

My constellation is also comparable. In our living room a pair of Play5 are operated together with a sub. I would buy a beam if it would be possible to group the Sub in different scenes in one room. I don't think this should be rocket science. In a room, the source is also changed automatically if, for example, a signal is present at an analog input. Then there is also output via Play5 and Sub.

As long as this option is not available, the beam will remain in the shop window at the dealer 👎

Another +1 here. This would be massive bonus. I have outdoor speakers, that lack bass, if these could be added to the sub in the inside room would be huge improvement. Sonos please consider this. Happy to beta test.

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Yes this indeed this would be great. I don’t have room for two subs in one room and I do enjoy truly separate channels when I listen to music. That is something no soundbar can fulfill. 

I want this feature too (so badly)!

I currently have two Sonos Ones and Sub that I use for music. I was thinking of getting a Beam or Playbase for TV but the fact you can’t switch the sub between them is now putting me off. Please add this feature Sonos!

Me too

Me too. Have 2 ones as rear speakers and soundbar and sub as tv setup. Have also bought 2 ones as front speakers but cant add them :(

 

now in that same room i want to create a music setup with the obsolete ones and the sub that is also already used for tv set up but i &&@&&&&”@ i am not allowed to do so :(

is there alternative way to do this?

Not currently, but we don’t know what may happen in the future. 

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