Not exactly, you can pair one Play 5 with the sub and have the other two grouped with it. You can pair two Play 5s with the Sub and have stereo and group the third 5 with them. You can't group the Sub until it is paired with another full-range speaker. You can't pair more than two identical speakers as stereo and a Sub or for 5.1 a base, two surrounds and a Sub.
Key difference paired/bonded and grouped, pairing makes a stereo pair or surround set appear as a room. While a group gets multiple rooms (single speakers and/or pairs) to play the same music.
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