1 Play5 vs pair of Play 1s

  • 30 October 2013
  • 30 replies

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Userlevel 2
This might be helpful:
Userlevel 2
Having now had the opportunity to do this comparison the conclusion for me is a pair of play 1s.
What I've found is that it is VERY room dependent.
In my main family/dining/kitchen room which is very large a single play 5 I've used in there just can't cut it. I only then decided to see if I should pair up and get another one. First I just brought my play 1 down to see how a pair would do and it did fill the room. Surprisingly though the play 1 actually sounded better than the play 5. I still think the 5 has a way too over bloated bass.
What I've done now is to purchase another play 1 and they are now paired a stereo in that room and sound great.
My play 5 was moved to my office where the 1 was but as that's a small room again the 5 just didn't sound right so it's now living in my dressing room and does sound great.
So my advice is that it's very room dependant, be careful!
Moving forward I think I will only expand with 1s as they are that great and as I can testify a pair can fill a huge room.
Userlevel 2
I have both setups and I think the Sonos 5 is better for 2 reasons. The following is only my personal opinion obviously. YMMV.

First, the sound quality is richer and fuller. I understand the earlier comments about coloration but (also being a self-proclaimed audiophile with a legimitately high end setup; Rotel and Focal setup), I must disagree. I have been impressed with the accuracy of lack of coloration in the sound of the play 5. The imaging however, not so much.

I also have 2 play 1's which I tried setting up as stereo but was not impressed with the results. They seemed to lack depth and the soundstage was sparse. Good for party use I guess, but not for stationary listening. I ended up putting them in different rooms.

So given my experience, Play 5 is substantially better. The added benefit of an auxilliary port is also a plus.
Userlevel 2
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this is great information - I flip flop between doing one or the other. Stereo spread something that I generally prefer but when I'm looking for that kind of listening experience I have my Connect hooked up to my home theater and that works very well.

Currently my house is fairly small and the rooms I'm looking to add speakers to are only about 100 sq ft. so a Play 1 fills the room sufficiently.

I think the biggest factor in my setup that pushes me to the Play 5s in certain rooms is the Line In. Ultimately this system will be for me, my kids, and guests so if guests want to play their own iPod or whatever they'd have that option.
I currently run a Play5 and two Play1s (playing as stereo L & R) and all 3 paired to one room in our condo. This is more than enough for the space, the Play5 for a bit more depth with the Play1s for an overall wider soundstage. I think it works well and gives a bit of flexibility in case I move or if I prefer to move a Play1 to the bedroom, etc.

If you are looking at only this option of 1xPlay5 or 2xPlay1 and have no 'extra' sound system - the 2 x Play1s would be best IMHO, a Play5 may be 'better quality' sound overall but having a fuller, more encompassing sound gives a richer experience I think.

Of course, I do think everybody needs at least one Play5 regardless but it is a nice upgrade if you are just entering the Sonos waters or if considering value. $0.02.