New to Sonos - Placement Questions


Hello, I am looking into getting a soundbar and surround speakers for my new house. I was told from some friends at work that Sonos was a great option and I've been reading up on Sonos ever since.

I am thinking of going with a Beam and 2x Sonos Ones.

My question is would these suffice as a soundbar (yes probably soundbar OK) and then two surround speakers to start? The Sonos Ones would double as a TV surround sound/music speakers for parties, etc. We have an open floor plan via the kitchen/living room.

Additionally, what location would put the two Sonos Ones in the room operating as a L+R stereo for the TV... behind couch to the L&R, to the L&R of the TV? Stands, Ceiling mounts? etc.

Thanks in advance.

16 replies

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wendyshawn3 wrote:

Hello, I am looking into getting a soundbar and surround speakers for my new house. I was told from some friends at work that Sonos was a great option and I've been reading up on Sonos ever since.

I am thinking of going with a Beam and 2x Sonos Ones.

My question is would these suffice as a soundbar (yes probably soundbar OK) and then two surround speakers to start?



Yes, but if you're using them in a large room, you may want to consider the playbar instead of the Beam. Also, when using the Ones with the Beam, the Ones will not work as Alexa devices. There is really no benefit over the play:1 in this use case, unless you just like how the Ones look better.

wendyshawn3 wrote:


The Sonos Ones would double as a TV surround sound/music speakers for parties, etc. We have an open floor plan via the kitchen/living room.



This is what I do as well, accept I have a playbar, and play:3s as surrounds and sub. The play:3s are located in the kitchen on top of the fridge and on the counter.

wendyshawn3 wrote:


Additionally, what location would put the two Sonos Ones in the room operating as a L+R stereo for the TV



This is not a valid option. The Beam covers the L+R stereo for the TV, as well as center channel. Same for the playbar and playbase.

wendyshawn3 wrote:


... behind couch to the L&R, to the L&R of the TV? Stands, Ceiling mounts? etc.



Behind the couch is not a bad option, but you might not get the coverage you want to play music in the kitchen. If your kitchen is directly behind your living room, you might want to try placing them in the kitchen. Or you could get additional speakers for the kitchen and use them for music only. As far as stands or mounts, it's really a matter of personal preference. Keep in mind that these speakers do need power, and if you mount them , the power cords may be difficult to hide. There are stands available where the power cord can be hidden in the stand itself.
Why would they not work with Alexa since the advertisements say they do? Beam x Sonos One package?

So the Sonos Ones would just be additional TV surround behind us?

As far as location couldn't I just move the Ones into the room I want to connect music too? I would just connect it to Apple Music on my phone right?
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wendyshawn3 wrote:

Why would they not work with Alexa since the advertisements say they do? Beam x Sonos One package?



Beam can control the TV (on/off, switch inputs on some brands) through voice control. If the Ones are listening as well, your voice command might not make it to the Beam. I don't think it's a big deal personally as the Beam hears me pretty well, but I'm not using it in a large room, and I certainly wouldn't mind the option of turning the Ones on/off for Alexa myself. I can see where Sonos were trying to keep things simple though.

wendyshawn3 wrote:


So the Sonos Ones would just be additional TV surround behind us?



For TV audio, yes. For music, you can set them to play full stereo, along with your Beam.

wendyshawn3 wrote:


As far as location couldn't I just move the Ones into the room I want to connect music too? I would just connect it to Apple Music on my phone right?



You cannot easily swith the Ones from playing surround sounds with a Beam, to being their own separate stereo pair in another room. It takes a good 5-10 minutes for the speakers to reconfigure themselves.

As for playing Apple Music, Sonos does not have Bluetooth. Sonos can play the music stored locally on your phone, and if you have an iPhone, you can use airplay. Ideally though, you'll want to configure the speakers with your Apple account so that the speakers can stream directly, not through your phone. The Sonos app is a controller, not a streamer.
So I can connect my apple music account directly to the Sonos Ones? I do have an iphone. You are saying I would not be able to turn on apple music on my phone and have it go through the Ones and Beam?
wendyshawn3 wrote:

So I can connect my apple music account directly to the Sonos Ones? I do have an iphone. You are saying I would not be able to turn on apple music on my phone and have it go through the Ones and Beam?



You can add your Apple Music account to the Sonos system. Then you can play your Apple Music account from the Sonos app, or from the Apple Music app on your iPhone via Airplay 2.

What melvimbe is saying is that once configured as surround speakers, it is not easy to remove the Ones and use them as standalone speakers. They will play just fine along with the Beam, though. You can even set them to Full volume for music, instead of ambient surround.
why is it so hard to ungroup a sonos one and have it used as a music source rather than TV? just the way it goes?
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Think of speakers setup as surround speakers as bonded to the Beam, rather than grouped. Within bonding, the lead speaker (Beam) is setup to play it's audio channels, and send the right surround audio channels to the surround speakers. It also is sent over 5 GHZ wireless instead of the normal 2.4 GHZ. The Sonos Ones are kind of set in a slave mode, where all they do is listen to receive audio from the Beam. And there is some tuning that happens to make sure everything sound right in the room.

With grouping, which is playing two or preset rooms (a room could be a single speaker, a stereo pair bonded together, or a soundbar and it's bonded speakers) is just sending a full stereo signal from one room to another. Much easier to do 'on the fly' then what happens in bonding.

BTW, Sonos uses specific terms that are normally synonyms to describe different things. Words like 'grouping', 'bonding', 'pairing' mean different things in Sonos nomenclature.
Thank you for your help. That makes more sense.

Do you think having one Sonos one as a surround sound and then the other as a dedicated music box would work or would two for surround be better?
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You must ser up both as surrounds, you can't just use one speaker.
I have an open living room / kithchen area, counter seperates the two areas. I use the sound bar, two Play1's with Sub for our music source and for TV. Not going to be playing both inputs at same time. I also have a Play1 in the office and another in the lounge, and a Play5 in the master bedroom to play for party music mode. TV in living room disconnects from those rooms when swithed on, leaving music in other rooms. Easy to rejoin after turing TV off, press one of the Play1 buttons or use the app. I would use as a pair for surround effect.
Melvimbe howncome he says he does what I want to do but you say I can’t. And why would I not be able to use one Sonos one as a tv output of it was bonded and if I didn’t bond the other use that as music.
Soundbar at TV, surrounds L&R either wall or side rear room near listening / ear level. Mine are at ear height on table tops, limited wall area for one side & power source limits.
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wendyshawn3 wrote:

Melvimbe howncome he says he does what I want to do but you say I can’t. And why would I not be able to use one Sonos one as a tv output of it was bonded and if I didn’t bond the other use that as music.



I don't see where @scromar and I are in contradiction. He is using 2 speakers for surround sound. He is using single speakers in other rooms. His last two sentence refer to grouping functionality, not bonding.

The reason is likely because dolby digital 5.1 produces 5 distinct channels of audio (plus sub). The Beam handles front L+R+C, while one sonos one will handle the L surround, the other R surround. If you only setup on speaker, you'd be missing a channel, and it would not sound good. I suppose Sonos could programmatically blend the two channels together, but that also wouldn't like sound good, and would not be as the content creators intended.

I don't recall one of the Sonos staff answering that question directly, so they might have a different reason then I'm giving. Regardless, a single surround speaker is not allowed and wouldn't be recommended if it was.
He said he changes the beam and Sonos Ones from tv to music on iPhone. U said I can’t do that easily
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You misunderstood a bit, it is not quite what you think.

Changing from surround to music (full) mode is easy but it doesn't remove the speakers from the surround setup.

Changing from having a surround setup to a Beam and individual other speakers is not quick or easy.
I gotcha so I can have beam plus two Sonos Ones for tv/surround and I can play music off all 3 as well.

Not as easy to just take a Sonos one off of surround and use for music

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