Sub volume

  • 29 December 2015
  • 12 replies

Hi, Love my 2 play 5's and sub. Don't know quite how to explain, but here goes. I know sub volume adjusts with master volume, but it should be built into software so that sub volume is a certain percentage of master. A higher percentage at low volume and vice versa. I'll put it this way. When listening to low volume we use 'loudness' to give a little extra bass but at higher volume you generally don't need it. I find myself adjusting sub level according to master volume. Couldn't software be written to do this automatically using some type of gain so the listener can adjust to personal preference? Thanks, Play bar is next.

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12 replies

I see your point, but I don't find myself missing bass presence out of the Sub once its level is set to my preference, even at low volumes. It is possible that DSP is doing something on the lines you suggest even now.

I don't even need to use the loudness switch like I would if the Sub wasn't in the system, and I don't know what effect that has. What happens if you use that option?
I like to feel the bass, so I always use loudness for low volume with sub level a little past half. But I sometimes find it a bit overpowering (depending on music) in upper level, say, 3/4 volume. Also, there are so many steps in the controller to get to sub level and back .
The problem is that different people will want different slopes for sub levels at different volumes and it can then become a complex thing to do - which Sonos still might if they reckon there is enough demand for this. Don't hold your breath though:-).
I agree, but I also stated in my first post that an adjustable gain (not sure if this is the correct term) could probably be built into the software so you can control a higher or lower percentage of sub level as per master volume level. Maybe slope as you stated is a better term. The slope could be adjustable from say -5 to +5 with 0 increasing or decreasing the same as master. You could still use the present sub level for a starting point. I'm probably out in left field. That's what I hate about forums. I know what I want to say but hard to put in txt.
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SUB level is adjusted on a more advanced level than just in accordance to the master volume. It starts with the DSP processing every track you play before it starts and making some small adjustments to all the paired players for each track so they are played as they 'should be' and correctly match the source. This is what generally makes SUB always blend well with the music and stay timed.

It can depend on the type of music you listen to, the format, bitrate, and sample rate. As well as generally the overall quality of the recorded track.
With the release of Trueplay recently an even further detail has been added to the sound by bringing all the paired players together more harmoniously and without taking or calling too much or too little attention to themselves.

With my setup I have two PLAY:1's and a SUB, I listen to a lot of bass music from different genres and definitely without Trueplay turned on the bass is super punchy and thick and sometimes I would turn it down for certain songs. With Trueplay turned on that is all cleaned up and SUB blends very well with the PLAY:1's and never becomes noticeable enough to pull my attention to it. For my tuning it is noticeable that a lot of the higher bass is thrown to the PLAY:1's and therefor is less extreme, but all of the lower bass is kept with the SUB but ever so slightly quietened down to blend better. If I turn up the SUB volume in the app this all stays the same, there is just more power to the output so I can feel it, never an instance of it taking over the music though. In saying this, if I put on a very powerful bass track then of course the bass will be the most standout aspect of the audio, that's just the way it was recorded and that's the way it's played.
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I don't even need to use the loudness switch like I would if the Sub wasn't in the system, and I don't know what effect that has. What happens if you use that option?
The 'Loudness' option is a simple way of digitally enhancing (or boosting) certain frequencies of audio that you would otherwise not be able to hear at lower volumes. In some cases it can also make the audio sound more full at louder volumes by enhancing some frequencies that would usually be quieter comparatively to the overall mix.

In the case of SUB (for example) a lower kick sound would have slightly more punch to give you a fuller and ticker effect. This normally doesn't take away from the track or impact it's trueness.

This is something that these players do well as being digital means they can adapt and adjust in real-time to the source audio.
Didn't know about 'Trueplay'. This sounds like what I'm looking for. My controller is up to date, but I don't see 'Trueplay'. Is this only available with apple devices as I am using Android?
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Ahh, yes. At the moment it's only available on iOS devices due to the consistently similar microphones and audio processing hardware inside the devices. I think there are plans for Android down the track but nothing for sure.

Best way to do it is to borrow a friends iOS device really quickly and tune up your room, then you can control and manage all of the Trueplay settings from your Android device without having to use the iOS device again, unless you re-tune.
Yes, at this time the tuning needs the standard set of device mikes of the kind available on iDevices, so there is a one time need to borrow one.

I did not think Trueplay did anything great, but some are in raptures.

Try it out, but for your specific needs I don't think it is the answer. You can toggle it to off via Android at any time later if you don't like what it does, doing that doesn't need an iDevice.
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Worth a shot.

My room produced super chunky bass and with Trueplay it sounds pretty natural. I could never not use Trueplay now, did so much for my room.
Thanks for all your input guys(I checked your profiles). My daughters are all apple, so I will definitely do this in next couple days. I'll let you know the results.
I'm just wanting to add my request to Sonos to produce more settings for sub volume other than turning on loudness