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Using a pair of Play 1 set for stereo and a single Play 5 gen2 as a sub/center fill speaker?

  • 15 January 2019
  • 4 replies
  • 202 views

Has anyone tried setting up a room with a pair of Play1 units set in stereo and then placing a single Play 5 in between, perhaps setting the EQ to be +++Bass? I currently own two Play 5's, but one is a Gen 1 and the other a Gen 2. Sonos does not allow them to be paired for stereo. Rather than purchasing another Play 5, which my room does not have adequate placement space for, I am thinking of simply adding a pair of Play 1 left and right of the single Play 5, I am not wanting the thumping base of a sub, so I am thinking the Play 5 can add the bottom that is missing from the Play 1's, and fill in the middle of the soundstage since my room is quite wide. Any opinions on how this would sound?
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Best answer by AjTrek1 15 January 2019, 20:29

Hi copywrites

In that type of set up (Play1/Play 5/Play 1) the Play 5 would essentially disrupt the stereo sweet spot created by the Play 1's in stereo pair. I don't even know if a name exists for an arrangement of that type.

Low end is set at a crossover point (say 50Hz or 150Hz for example) via a circuit board to send those frequencies to a specially designed speaker and send all others to the L/R front speakers for Mids and Highs. The speaker producing the low end can typically be placed anywhere in the room to achieve the audible or physical thump (if you like to feel bass) of those low frequencies.

A full range speaker such as the Play 5 cannot be adequately substituted as a low end speaker between a stereo pair. The EQ in the Sonos App is not capable of completely "erasing" the mids and highs of any Sonos speaker. That would require a mixing board and the ability to turn some of the speaker array in the Play 5 completely off.

In your arrangement you might hear the low end but it would sound very localized and not part of the entire setup. Moving left or right you would lose the low end on the opposite side. You'd be better off investing in a second Play 5 Gen2 and placing it in stereo pair with your current Play 5 Gen2; as many say in that setup no sub is needed.

You could repurpose the Play 1's and Play 5 Gen1 to another part of your home. However, you can always try your arrangement and if you like it...then problem solved.

Cheers!
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4 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hi copywrites

In that type of set up (Play1/Play 5/Play 1) the Play 5 would essentially disrupt the stereo sweet spot created by the Play 1's in stereo pair. I don't even know if a name exists for an arrangement of that type.

Low end is set at a crossover point (say 50Hz or 150Hz for example) via a circuit board to send those frequencies to a specially designed speaker and send all others to the L/R front speakers for Mids and Highs. The speaker producing the low end can typically be placed anywhere in the room to achieve the audible or physical thump (if you like to feel bass) of those low frequencies.

A full range speaker such as the Play 5 cannot be adequately substituted as a low end speaker between a stereo pair. The EQ in the Sonos App is not capable of completely "erasing" the mids and highs of any Sonos speaker. That would require a mixing board and the ability to turn some of the speaker array in the Play 5 completely off.

In your arrangement you might hear the low end but it would sound very localized and not part of the entire setup. Moving left or right you would lose the low end on the opposite side. You'd be better off investing in a second Play 5 Gen2 and placing it in stereo pair with your current Play 5 Gen2; as many say in that setup no sub is needed.

You could repurpose the Play 1's and Play 5 Gen1 to another part of your home. However, you can always try your arrangement and if you like it...then problem solved.

Cheers!
Well, I took your advice and just tried it......The results are beyond my expectations! The sound in the room is absolutely incredible. I placed the Play 5 in a corner with the EQ set at mid point for treble and the bass at maximum, The two Play 1s are about 10-12 feet away on, forming a 12 foot right angle triangle. They are set at mid bass and max treble. The Left side of the Play 5 is set to be opposite the Right Play 1, and the Right side of the Play is opposite the Left Play one. Sitting between the 5 and either Play 1 gives me the expected stereo image when sitting between speaker vs, in front of them. Standing away from the triangle gives me a huge sound stage that delivers the best sound of any system that I have every owned, at 1/3 the price. It makes no sense to me - it should sound like a muddled mess in this configuration, but adding the two Play 1s changed the listening experience completely and I am completely hooked on the sound. Instruments are placed not just right or left, but also front to back. The sound stage has width and depth The only drawback is I can only group them so I have to reset the grouping from time to time, but well worth it.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Some odd sounding speaker placements sound pretty good and as Sonos makes it easy to experiment it doesn't hurt to try different setups.

I like a pair of Play 3s about 4 feet apart and 3 feet away from my desk at ear height with a Play 1 centered between them but on the opposite wall, about 8 feet away. It gives a deeper sound field, not as good as a synthesized surround from my AVR but still enjoyable.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Well, I took your advice and just tried it......The results are beyond my expectations! The sound in the room is absolutely incredible. .

Hey..I'm glad it worked out for you! Sometimes non-traditional speaker arrangements pay-off for the intended listener/audience. Well Done!

Cheers!