Two fives and Two subs on Stereo mode

  • 6 February 2023
  • 23 replies
  • 1377 views

To the Engineers @ Sonos,

 

Its been more than two years as some of us are impatiently waiting for a solution to set up Two fives and Two subs on Stereo mode. Currently home theatre is the available option for adding a second subwoofer. But please note that I am a music enthusiast and prefer to listen to music in stereo mode. Unfortunately the pair of Five with one Sub is not capable to produce amble bass in my large room. 

 

Can you please please provide a solution to this. My neighbour use a Bose lifestyle 650 series where it allows adding a second subwoofer and the bass it produces is great on a stereo mode and we both have identical apartment size. Appreciate if you please reconsider giving the option of adding a second subwoofer on a stereo set up. Thanks


23 replies

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Hello @Vthomas, thank you for the feedback!

I’ve marked this thread as a feature request and forwarded it to the relevant teams for consideration. 

While I understand that the output of a full Sonos sub is greater than that of two sub minis, I really like the sound of the sealed sub more than ported. I would likely be interested in a pair of minis for slight larger rooms, knowing that a pair of full subs is still the way to go for very large spaces.

Vthomas,

I don’t know your preferences or your room layout, but subwoofer performance is very dependent on placement in the room. Maybe there is a better spot for your SUB.

You can explore your room. Play a track with a very thumpy bass line and walk the room, as close the the walls as is possible, and carry some Post-it notes. As you walk you’ll discover small locations where there is obviously more bass. Drop a Post-it here. There will be a few locations where this extra bass seems to be on steroids. Mark these locations with ‘!!!!’. After stepping back you’ll notice that the Post-its are more or less regularly placed around the room. The Post-it locations are known as a “Peak” and about midway between two Peaks is a “Null” where bass will be minimized. Placing a listener and/or SUB at a Peak will increase the bass -- especially at the ‘!!!!’ locations. If you want to do some reading, you are exploring “Room Modes”. After you become familiar with finding Peaks and Nulls, you’ll be able to find smaller Peaks and Nulls throughout your room in three dimensions.

 

I totally agree with this feature request. Let’s be enabled to pair two subs to a stereo pair of fives!

Thanks,

Jeff

I have pair of fives and subs now - just bought the second sub not even realizing that sonos have this software limitation? When I try to pair the second set of five + sub, software (S2) removes the second sub but keeps the sub from the first set. Doesn’t Sonos already support dual subs in HT, but why not with fives?  You already have feature to add one subwoofer, but not more?  It doesn’t look like the engineers aren’t solving the problems in cohesive and comprehensive manner.  I am mad at me for not doing the research properly and mad at Sonos right now.  If Sonos wants to sell more subs to the folks with larger rooms and also the folks who appreciate multiple speakers and subwoofers with music, they better not frustrate customers like this. Also don’t even bother releasing the updates unless trueplay handles such multi-set of speakers and subwoofers configuration.

I have pair of fives and subs now - just bought the second sub not even realizing that sonos have this software limitation? When I try to pair the second set of five + sub, software (S2) removes the second sub but keeps the sub from the first set. Doesn’t Sonos already support dual subs in HT, but why not with fives?  You already have feature to add one subwoofer, but not more?  It doesn’t look like the engineers aren’t solving the problems in cohesive and comprehensive manner.  I am mad at me for not doing the research properly and mad at Sonos right now.  If Sonos wants to sell more subs to the folks with larger rooms and also the folks who appreciate multiple speakers and subwoofers with music, they better not frustrate customers like this. Also don’t even bother releasing the updates unless trueplay handles such multi-set of speakers and subwoofers configuration.

The feature you’re requesting has been passed along to the relevant Sonos teams, as stated earlier in the thread. Meanwhile, perhaps setup a Sub with each separate Five (orientated horizontally for stereo output from each speaker) and group the two Fives in the Sonos App to have ‘playing’ Fives and both Subs. Whilst It’s not the perfect answer, it’s a good workaround whilst the requested feature is under consideration by Sonos. It sounds really good, particularly in larger rooms.

I have pair of fives and subs now - just bought the second sub not even realizing that sonos have this software limitation? When I try to pair the second set of five + sub, software (S2) removes the second sub but keeps the sub from the first set. Doesn’t Sonos already support dual subs in HT, but why not with fives?  You already have feature to add one subwoofer, but not more?  It doesn’t look like the engineers aren’t solving the problems in cohesive and comprehensive manner.  I am mad at me for not doing the research properly and mad at Sonos right now.  If Sonos wants to sell more subs to the folks with larger rooms and also the folks who appreciate multiple speakers and subwoofers with music, they better not frustrate customers like this. Also don’t even bother releasing the updates unless trueplay handles such multi-set of speakers and subwoofers configuration.

The feature you’re requesting has been passed along to the relevant Sonos teams, as stated earlier in the thread. Meanwhile, perhaps setup a Sub with each separate Five (orientated horizontally for stereo output from each speaker) and group the two Fives in the Sonos App to have ‘playing’ Fives and both Subs. Whilst It’s not the perfect answer, it’s a good workaround whilst the requested feature is under consideration by Sonos. It sounds really good, particularly in larger rooms.

Thank you for the message.  It is helpful.  So I think I can hear better sound quality from the stereo pair + one sub after true tuning - much better than “five+sub times two” in the same room.  I will have to keep moving the subs and speakers around my room to see what locations sound best, but what is the point of paying premiums for sonos?  I’d just go back to my audiophile stack of streamer/dac+preamp/amp+ speakers/subwoofers where I can do whatever I want at each stage of music reproduction.  I am not impressed with the sonos engineering team the way they have presented the solution to the problem - they just solved it for a limited number of products and only in HT application instead of solving it scalable for all platforms.  I will see if they do better (if and when) they decide to take another crack at this.

This is a must have. I bought a second sub for this reason and was sooo disappointed to find that i couldn't use it for music. 

How hard could this be to implement?

 

Isn’t it just a simple update, and then we can get greater bass and Sonos could sell more subs… win/win!

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I have pair of fives and subs now - just bought the second sub not even realizing that sonos have this software limitation? When I try to pair the second set of five + sub, software (S2) removes the second sub but keeps the sub from the first set. Doesn’t Sonos already support dual subs in HT, but why not with fives?  You already have feature to add one subwoofer, but not more?  It doesn’t look like the engineers aren’t solving the problems in cohesive and comprehensive manner.  I am mad at me for not doing the research properly and mad at Sonos right now.  If Sonos wants to sell more subs to the folks with larger rooms and also the folks who appreciate multiple speakers and subwoofers with music, they better not frustrate customers like this. Also don’t even bother releasing the updates unless trueplay handles such multi-set of speakers and subwoofers configuration.

The feature you’re requesting has been passed along to the relevant Sonos teams, as stated earlier in the thread. Meanwhile, perhaps setup a Sub with each separate Five (orientated horizontally for stereo output from each speaker) and group the two Fives in the Sonos App to have ‘playing’ Fives and both Subs. Whilst It’s not the perfect answer, it’s a good workaround whilst the requested feature is under consideration by Sonos. It sounds really good, particularly in larger rooms.

I just bought a second sub to pair with my stereo 5’s as there are loads of articles across the internet saying that this is a possible configuration. I’m so disappointed that it’s not.

Has anyone tried @Ken_Griffiths suggestion of setting the two 5’s as separate speakers with their respective sub and then grouping them? 

Also, can’t Sonos do anything about all of these articles - many of which are written by magazines as opposed to just independent/individual bloggers. It’s really misleading.

The OP is a little off.  The 2 Subs in a home theater configuration are not "stereo".  They both play the same ".1" signal, there are no "stereo" subwoofer signals in 5.1 or Atmos audio.  Indeed, with a proper subwoofer, there is no concept of stereo at the Sub level, because subwoofer frequencies are hard to localise, meaning the ear doesn't know where it is coming from, making a stereo signal from subwoofers rather useless.  You might as well just turn up the sub you have.  So the statement "I am a music enthusiast and prefer to listen to music in stereo mode" when talking about subwoofers, like many so called "audiophile" statements, is rife with inconsistencies.

Was just about to place an order for two fives and two subs when I saw this. Have this bees sorted or should I settle with just one sub?

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Two Subs in a stereo set up still is not possible.

Userlevel 7
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You might find that stereo Subs isn’t going to be an improvement as the low frequencies are very non-directional.

If it was a big selling point you’d see someone selling stereo sub-woofers and stereo sub channel AVRs. They may be out there but I haven’t seen any and I sure haven’t seen any media with a stereo sub tracks.

In the horizontal orientation a single FIVE is stereo, but one must be very close to the speaker in order to realize any practical stereo separation. If you break up the stereo paired FIVE’s into individual speakers, you can attach a SUB to each FIVE, but there will never be a full “left” or “right” FIVE in a Group. You could create a sort of faux stereo system by shifting the balance control on each FIVE in the Group. You’ll need to experiment with vertical and horizontal orientation in order to decide which is “”best”.

You might find that stereo Subs isn’t going to be an improvement as the low frequencies are very non-directional.

 

This is a “be careful what you wish for” trap for the unwary. In addition to the point above, two subs can even interfere with each other, leaving the outcome of two to be worse than that from one. And as far as room filling presence is concerned, one Sub can do the job in any space where two 5 suffice. Indeed, the 5 pair+ Sub set up usually needs Trueplay tuning to deliver some necessary control over the Sub to avoid bloated bass lines. Using two Subs needs someone that knows what they are doing to get a good outcome and this involves careful placement of both units. I also suspect that the Trueplay trick of overcoming poor speaker placement will not be easy to do where two Subs are placed in acoustically poor locations.

subwoofer performance is very dependent on placement in the room. Maybe there is a better spot for your SUB.

You can explore your room. Play a track with a very thumpy bass line and walk the room….

 

The above well known advice is the reason to hesitate before adding a second Sub in the same space. Another way to do the same thing suggested is to place the Sub where you will be listening to the set up and then do the wall crawl at floor level, along all walls, to see where the Sub sounds the most punchy and then locate the Sub at the point alongside the wall. Doing this for placing two Subs can be tricky and almost certainly not worth the bother, given that low frequencies cannot be traced to where they come from and therefore do nothing to enhance the stereo illusion.

… given that low frequencies cannot be traced to where they come from and therefore do nothing to enhance the stereo illusion.

While a blindfolded observer’s accuracy is low when asked to point at the subwoofer, accuracy improves when the subwoofer is placed too far from the main speaker. For example, for L/R in the front and subwoofer in a rear corner does not sound right for many listeners. But, I know one person who loves this arrangement because this person is a bass freak and in this room the subwoofer location offers maximum bass. To me the result is very poorly equalized and spatially disjointed. Fortunately, I don’t live or spend time there.

The best subwoofer placement is vaguely in the plain of the speaker(s) it supports. Off to one side or under a nearby coffee table will be satisfactory.

@buzz  No argument there, especially for music play where integration of all speakers becomes important. I would never place a Sub for music in a corner opposite to where the main speakers are in a music play set up, even if that corner was the best for the Sub, for precisely this reason.

I have found that the best placement for a Sub is in the plane of the speakers, anywhere between the two main speakers, as close to the centre as practical. And then, in the case of Sonos, let Trueplay optimise things. 

The opposite corner may perhaps work well for movies where the referred integration is less important than physically feeling the effects.

PS: for completeness for those interested. The can’t locate the sound starts applying as frequencies drop below 80Hz, or even 60Hz. Frequencies from 80-120 Hz, and all above that of course, can be located to where they come from and in much acoustic music, much of what are low frequencies are such locatable ones. Hence all of the above.

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My current setup, forced by the room, is an Arc sitting about four feet out from a corner on a TV cabinet. Behind the cabinet and directly in the corner is my Sub. The main listening chairs directly face the Arc. Behind the chairs in the opposite corner from the Arc and Sub I have my two surrounds. All far from optimum but very listenable.

Due to the open nature of the room I could well use a second Sub, likely placed between the Surrounds in that back corner but spousal push-back says not any time soon.

I spent a lot of time playing with Sub placement with my old Denon - Infinity AVR setup and that front corner was the sweet spot according to both my ears and the Infinity setup toolkit.

 

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I’m late thread, but, Vthomas, what size room do you have where one sub is not enough please?

I have a fairly large room and not invested in any Sonos ever yet and just pondering what I need, hence the question.

See this thread here for my room dimensions.  I’m hoping a full sub, two 5’s and maybe two 1’s (later if needed) will fill it.  Appreciate your opinion!

 

Cheers

@Broxhead 

Sorry for the late response. It’s been a while since I checked this site for solutions since Sonos keeps giving lame excuses that their technical team is working on it, it’s really childish to repeat the same statement over the last 4 years. So I sold Sonos and invested something better that brands give proper and professional technical support. Now I’m happy with my lineups. To answer your question my room size is 7x7 meters. I would suggest if you have a larger room, don’t even think of this nonsense brand as it will never serve the purpose of a decent stereo listening. Separating two fives to add two subwoofers to each of them is like playing on mono mode, this was the interim solution from Sonos support. Are you crazy to spend so much money on two fives and two subwoofer and then listen on mono? Regrettably it’s way beyond stupidity.

I have two Five + subs in the bedroom, but I would like to add a second sub. Then I have a One at the entrance. I was thinking that if I paired a sub with the One, I could then move that sub into the bedroom. Then during the listening phase I could combine the two environments. in this way I would keep the stereo pair of the Fives intact and I would have two subs. The problem remains of how to silence the One at the entrance…

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