Sub with Play 3 or Play 5?

  • 17 January 2013
  • 33 replies
  • 28965 views

Userlevel 2
Hi, and I apologize if this question has been already addressed somewhere in the forums. I will soon be moving into a two bedroom condo, square footage of about 1100 sq. ft. I am thinking about making the jump to Sonos. I definitely want the Sub, but would it be overkill to get two Play 5's or would it be better to save some money and get two Play 3's? I plan to set up the speakers in stereo mode and put them in my living room.



Any advice will be much appreciated.



Thanks.

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33 replies

The 1s are awesome little speakers

I agree; very high quality satellite speakers that don't have audiophile cred only because of the label and because of how cheap they are.

Also remember that in most places one can do a home trial before the final decision; something very worth doing because the 1 pair + Sub is a significant spend for many.
Userlevel 5
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Hey marketplaceauto Welcome to the Community!



I totally agree with Kumar here. The 1s are awesome little speakers - they totally blew me away the first time I set up a stereo pair. With an added SUB, I suspect you will be shocked with the results...



However.... I think I'd be negligent if I didn't at least ask you about the space you want to fill? What are your intended uses? What type of music do *you* love?



The answer to these questions may have an impact on the best options for you. There are many exceptionally knowledgeable people here in the community that are happy top help you with your decisions if you want to provide more context. 🙂
Excellent; it would give the 5 pair a run for the money, and will sound better in low volume listening because the Sub is better at retaining rich sound at those times. However best results are obtained if you take some care in speaker placement, with the Sub somewhere between the two play 1 units. Results then are on par with many HiFi stereo set ups.
How would 2 play1 s with sub sound?
If you're going to have frequent house parties go for the Play 5 option.
Excuse me but I am a little lost there.

What means 2,4ghz and 5ghz card ?

What about a set up using both cards as mine (sub that is 5ghz and play5 that are 2,4) ? Will the Sub convert 5 to 2,4ghs signal ?




Any 5GHz unit also has 2.4GHz support. So you can easily mate a SUB to a Play:5 or Connect:Amp. You just can't use a Play:5 or Connect:Amp for surround speakers with a Playbar.
Userlevel 2
amarvitus,



2.4GHz and 5.8GHz are frequency bands. Each end of the communication channel must use the same frequency.



For technical reasons SONOS has decided that PLAYBAR will use (only) the 5.8GHz band to communicate with SUB and the PLAY:3's when in surround mode. Since PLAY:5 does not include a 5.8GHz radio, it cannot be bonded to PLAYBAR in surround mode. Stereo mode uses 2.4GHz.




As I can see there

http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/12/sonos-playbar-home-theater-soundbar/

PLAYBAR uses both 2,4 and 5,8Ghz
amarvitus,



2.4GHz and 5.8GHz are frequency bands. Each end of the communication channel must use the same frequency.



For technical reasons SONOS has decided that PLAYBAR will use (only) the 5.8GHz band to communicate with SUB and the PLAY:3's when in surround mode. Since PLAY:5 does not include a 5.8GHz radio, it cannot be bonded to PLAYBAR in surround mode. Stereo mode uses 2.4GHz.
Userlevel 2
It appears the only units that have a 5GHz card are the Play:3, the Playbar, and the SUB. The rest precede the availability of 5GHz cards.



And as far as not realizing the Play:3 had 5GHz, it's news to me too (and I've been here almost 5 years. 😃 )




Excuse me but I am a little lost there.

What means 2,4ghz and 5ghz card ?

What about a set up using both cards as mine (sub that is 5ghz and play5 that are 2,4) ? Will the Sub convert 5 to 2,4ghs signal ?
Userlevel 2
Did you ever notice if the sub turns off the bass unit on the play 5's? Would seem an odd thing to do and not use it for mid-range.



That very hard to say.

Even when I go close from my play5 speakers, I ear sounds comming from everywhere in the room. So I don't know if it is turning off play5 bass. At the end, I don't care because it is perfect as it is.
Ah, makes perfect sense. Never realised the 3's had 5ghz wireless. Appreciate the input, I'm new to this whole Sonos thing but slowly learning...



So they all have 5ghz wireless now except the 5's? Even the bridge?




It appears the only units that have a 5GHz card are the Play:3, the Playbar, and the SUB. The rest precede the availability of 5GHz cards.



And as far as not realizing the Play:3 had 5GHz, it's news to me too (and I've been here almost 5 years. 😃 )
Userlevel 2
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Sonos has stated the reason only Play:3s are able to be partnered with the Playbar (quoted from ask.sonos below):







I don't see this as foreshadowing the imminent death of the Play:5.




Ah, makes perfect sense. Never realised the 3's had 5ghz wireless. Appreciate the input, I'm new to this whole Sonos thing but slowly learning...



So they all have 5ghz wireless now except the 5's? Even the bridge?
Good point regarding placement. And I also note that the Play 3's are the only ones mentioned to partner with the playbar which seems interesting on the longevity of the 5's...?



Sonos has stated the reason only Play:3s are able to be partnered with the Playbar (quoted from ask.sonos below):



Gordon M (Official Rep) a minute ago





SONOS PLAY:5s cannot serve as rears because the PLAY:5 only contains a 2.4 GHz card and the PLAYBAR Audio wireless transmission between the SUB and the rears uses 5 GHz.




I don't see this as foreshadowing the imminent death of the Play:5.
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Good point regarding placement. And I also note that the Play 3's are the only ones mentioned to partner with the playbar which seems interesting on the longevity of the 5's...?
Userlevel 2
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I run x2 play3's as a stereo pair with the sonos sub. The sound is fantastically blended. I have a single play5 so cannot do a proper comparison. An advantage to consider with the 3's over the 5's is placement. You can mount the 3's pretty much any which way (vertical or horizontal) including using dedicated threaded speaker wall mounts. The fives are a one way fit only.
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2xplay5 + sub sounds great and I'm very happy for not getting the play3 instead.



After few days of listening, I would say that the addition of the sub is a little more subtle as it does not makes a big difference. It's simply make the sound widder (instead of having 2 speakers source, you will feel that the sound come from anywere in the room - my system is in 50 square meter room). That what I was looking for.



So I would recommand to get 2xplay5 and try it at home. You should already be very happy with this. Then if you miss something else, then go for the sub, but I would not say it is worth the money. For the same price, you could also go for 4xplay5, it might be better and more flexible.




Great, thanks for the info. Appreciate the information on size as well. Did you ever notice if the sub turns off the bass unit on the play 5's? Would seem an odd thing to do and not use it for mid-range.
Userlevel 2
2xplay5 + sub sounds great and I'm very happy for not getting the play3 instead.



After few days of listening, I would say that the addition of the sub is a little more subtle as it does not makes a big difference. It's simply make the sound widder (instead of having 2 speakers source, you will feel that the sound come from anywere in the room - my system is in 50 square meter room). That what I was looking for.



So I would recommand to get 2xplay5 and try it at home. You should already be very happy with this. Then if you miss something else, then go for the sub, but I would not say it is worth the money. For the same price, you could also go for 4xplay5, it might be better and more flexible.
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Thank you for your comments. I finally changed my mind and ordered 2x play 5 with my sub instead of the 2x play3 initialy planed.



2 reasons :

- The line in plug that will allow play CD + TV and all extra mp3 players.

- I expect the 5 to be better because of its bigger size and additional speakers (heaven if woofers are shut down when used with sub).



I will get my system tomorrow at my local shop ... lets give a try ...




Hi, did you eventually get to try this? Currently in the same predicament...!
Userlevel 2
Thank you for your comments. I finally changed my mind and ordered 2x play 5 with my sub instead of the 2x play3 initialy planed.



2 reasons :

- The line in plug that will allow play CD + TV and all extra mp3 players.

- I expect the 5 to be better because of its bigger size and additional speakers (heaven if woofers are shut down when used with sub).



I will get my system tomorrow at my local shop ... lets give a try ...
Userlevel 1
I would love to hear the difference also. Currently I have two paired play 5's and a sub in my bedroom, another play 5 in another room and a connect working with a bose in living room.



I do plan to add some more Play 5's at some point, but if Play 3's paired with the Sub sound about the same as the Play 5's paired with the Sub then it would make more sense for me to by two Play 3's, pair those with the sub, then move the existing Play 5's elsewhere.



If Play 5's sounds better with the Sub (even if just a little), then I would prefer to just keep those and add more Play 5's down the road.



I would think they would sound better seeing that when paired, even if the Play 5 Bass Driver is turned off, then the Play 5 has 4 speakers working (two mids and two tweeters), and the Play 3 would have 3 speakers working (two mids and one tweeter) - or am I missing something (maybe that extra tweeter on each Play 5 just wouldn't really make any difference)?


Does anyone else made comparison between both configurations? When I ordered, I just thought SUB will do job of PLAY:5's boomers so no need for them.







Read this:



http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/music-streamers/sonos-sub-review-50008318/



As stated earlier in this thread, with the play 5s, the differences are subtle, so you will need to see if they are value for the extra cash. It would seem that with the 3s, it is a day/night difference.



The review doesn't comment on the difference between a 3 pair and a 5 pair, when reinforced by a Sub. Maybe Amadeus can offer his views on a side by side comparison.
Userlevel 2
Hello,



I am new in SONOS universe and just ordered 2x PLAY:3 + SUB.



I wonder if I have made a mistake in not choosing 2x PLAY:5 + SUB.



As money is not an issue and sound my main concerns, I would like to have more feedback from people who tested both configurations because I can still change my order.



Does anyone else made comparison between both configurations? When I ordered, I just thought SUB will do job of PLAY:5's boomers so no need for them.



I will use my system as single room (for now) in my living room + kitchen that is about 50m2.



I also think PLAY:3 are easier to place and hide as I hate to see any electronic equipment.



Thank you for you comments.
Userlevel 4
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I assume you paired the Play 5's in stereo with the sub?



Yes, sorry, I should have said that. Used stereo pairs (of Play:3 or Play:5) when testing with the Sub. I did use just one speaker with the sub at one point but knew I wasn't going to ever stay with a single speaker and the sub so didn't bother listening to it too much in that config.
I initially bought 2 Play:3 and a Sub - they were installed in my living room - 23x18 feet.

I then wanted to add a couple of zones. I bought 2 x Play:5 devices, intending to install one in each zone. I then thought that as we listen to most music in the living room, I'd move the Play:3 to the new zones. When I did that, I found the sound very thin. I experimented a lot and I decided that the Sub with the Play:5 was not quite wasted but not as pronounced. I moved the Play:5 to the new zones and we're very happy with the set up now. The biggest problem is the dining room, but that's because we've not created a zone in there yet.




I assume you paired the Play 5's in stereo with the sub?
Userlevel 4
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I initially bought 2 Play:3 and a Sub - they were installed in my living room - 23x18 feet.

I then wanted to add a couple of zones. I bought 2 x Play:5 devices, intending to install one in each zone. I then thought that as we listen to most music in the living room, I'd move the Play:3 to the new zones. When I did that, I found the sound very thin. I experimented a lot and I decided that the Sub with the Play:5 was not quite wasted but not as pronounced. I moved the Play:5 to the new zones and we're very happy with the set up now. The biggest problem is the dining room, but that's because we've not created a zone in there yet.