Sonos Five (Pair) Placement

  • 3 September 2022
  • 10 replies

Hi folks,


I recently got a pair of fives and I’m having questions on what is the optimal placement for them.

The red square represents the size of the image projected. I thought about mounting them on the wall (Numbers 1) but the right side (window side) difficults this situation since the speaker will appear in the image. Left side is no problem since I can get the speaker outside the image. 

The other options (Number 2 and 3) would be using standing mounts. Placement would be dependent on optimal distance to sitting position (10ft or 5ft).


What would you suggest? I’ve read that the best placement is at ear level. If this is true, number 1 is discarded. I’m open to other options but as you can see my space is very limited.


Thank you!


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10 replies

Before anything else, someone that knows how the 5 units can deliver 2 channel sound for a projector has to chip in.

Assuming that this is possible, the only option seems to be stand mounting them but that needs the blue bed to be out of the way, or pulled forward.

Best placement is indeed at ear level in the listening position, but yours seems to be ok on that count if bought stands are being used. Note that ear level can also be achieved by tilting the speakers such that they are aimed at the ears, approximately. So even wall mounting can work.  But not if they are in the projected screen area.

Why not a bar based solution, mounted below the screen area instead of the 5 pair?

Are these speakers intended to be used for music, TV, or both?

Generally, it is recommended that the speakers be as far from each other as the listener is from the speakers.

Buzz is, as usual, correct.

I will just add - if this rule he says is to be violated, it can be towards the speakers being closer together than what the listener is to both of them. Significantly violated in the other direction, there will be a hole in the sound stage for music and a missing phantom centre channel for TV.

Thanks for your replies!

@Kumar, I forgot to mention that the projector is connected via HDMI using an Apple TV 4K. That being said, I will be using Airplay.

You are correct, I will have to pull the bed forward unless I can find a way to elevate the bed a few inches. This would be ideal.

The speakers are primarily for music, but I do watch a movie/show every once in a while. I thought about a soundbar (beam or arc) but not sure they will deliver the quality I expect for a good experience.


@buzz That can be done no problem. If I’m witting 10ft away from the speakers, I can place them 10ft apart from each other.

Userlevel 7


@buzz and @Kumar have given great advice as usual.

My opinion/suggestion may be bit late depending upon if the Fives can be exchanged or returned. Judging on the room dimensions I would lean toward a set of Sonos One SL’s mounted on stands bonded to a Sonos Sub.

IMO the Fives may be overkill for the listening environment not being able to expand properly in the space to create a good sound stage for music given the position of the listener. In short the music may be a “bit-in-your-face”. Also the low end may not be as pronounced as would be with a Sonos Sub (which also provides a bit more adjustability).

Given that music listening is the primary objective the Sonos One SL’s bonded with a Sonos Sub (I believe) in the space you have would be an excellent option. Adding a Beam (Gen 2) would be my choice for video in the space. Of course you could opt for the Sonos Arc.

Take a look at the table below (note the asterisks regarding stand type with imbedded link):


For the best video experience with either a Beam (Gen 2) or Arc you’ll want a Sonos Sub. Both will provide simulated surround until you decide to add Sonos One SL’s as dedicated surrounds. See the table below. 

* Flexson Stands

 ** Sanus

NOTE: You might consider going with the Arc or Beam (Gen 2) bonded with a Sonos Sub and Sonos One SL’s. You’ll not have the same discrete stereo sound stage as would be presented with Sonos Five’s X 2 or Sonos One SL’s x 2 w/sub; but you’ll have the best of both worlds for music and video (assuming you not strict about stereo separation up front for music).

In a Home Theater setup using Arc or Beam with One SL’s as surrounds and a Sub the surrounds can be set to play at full volume when listening to music along with the Arc or Beam up front (giving a surround effect) and auto switch back to ambient sound level for video (as surrounds).

Pay attention to the price point of the Home Theater Beam (Gen 2) package @ $1,754 vs that of the Five’s X 2 with Stands @ $1,416.


@AjTrek1 Thanks for such a detailed reply! The fives can be returned (I have a whole month to do so). You are right that my space is very limited (450sqft studio) and that the fives are overkilled, but they sound sooo good that scares me to switch the whole system for a Beam, a sub and two Ones.

I’ve stopped by a Best Buy to listen to the Ones SL, and although they sound good, for obvious reasons they did not matched the fives. Maybe going Beam + two SL’s and adding later on a sub will feel like I’m not loosing a lot by getting rid of the fives. 

I’ve read very good things about the ikea symfonisk. You can get a pair of those for the cost of a single One.

Is this mainly a music system or a video system?

With ARC or BEAM the sound stage will be different. As an experiment place your FIVE’s very close to each other in an attempt to simulate ARC or BEAM L/R spacing. Note that this is not a completely fair comparison because ARC and BEAM use some tricks to expand the apparent L/R imaging.

I don’t know how the Best Buy demo space is set up. If they have an ARC or BEAM without surrounds, play some music and pay attention to the stereo imaging and midrange detail compared to your FIVES,.

Userlevel 7

Hi @cristianc 

I can’t argue that the Fives are not awesome because they are! However you really can’t get a ture feel for the sound comparison of the Fives vs a pair of One SL’s with Sub unless you audition them in your own space.

Truth… the Fives will sound better than the One SL’s with sub simply because you can get more volume from the Fives. With respect…The real objective is not to confuse volume (loudness) with clarity in a given space.

So…here’s my best suggestion…if your wallet can handle  it…pick up the Beam Theater Package (as shown in the chart) and compare it against the Five’s in your space. Set the surrounds to output full range for music via the Sonos app. You might be surprised with the sound of music and get home theater sound as well.

BTW…I can’t comment on the iKea speakers as I have no experience with them.


Truth… the Fives will sound better than the One SL’s with sub simply because you can get more volume from the Fives.

On just this bit, I am not so sure. I have used the old 5, the first version, so I don’t know how loud a new 5 pair can go, but I suspect a one pair+Sub can match or even exceed that. If anyone dares to run that set up at 100% from inside the room it is in to find out! Mine is volume limited to 80% just to make sure that no one is fool enough to try; and even then the slider is never at 100%.

@buzz I do both, but my priority is music. If I have to be honest with you I feel like for my space any combo (either two fives or two ones + sub + beam) will be more than I need. 

If I have to be 100% honest, the Beam actually blew my mind. The sound was amazing, specially in such a big place like a Best Buy. I can imagine it sounds much better in a smaller environment.


@AjTrek1 Your suggestion makes sense. I do agree with all of you that the Theater Package will satisfy my requirements, its versatile and for a small space will be OK. 

On a different note, I’m not about volume but about sound quality.