Will a sub improve my set up

  • 13 February 2024
  • 8 replies

Currently enjoying my living room music via two fives grouped with a beam and two ones. The sound is deep and rich but will a Sub improve it further given I have the two fives in the set up?

8 replies

Userlevel 7


IMHO the reason you are grouping your Five’s with your Beam and two one’s when playing music is because without them (Fives) the sound from just the Beam and One’s is..”meh”.  By bringing in the Five’s you’re not getting better sound just adding more speakers to make-up for what’s lacking with the Beam and One’s.

I can say the above because I have a Beam2 with Era 100’s (in a guest bedroom) and music doesn’t sound near as good as it does on my Fives with Full-Size Sub. A sub-mini would have sufficed but I’ve had the full size sub ever since I had Play Fives that were upgraded to Fives. BTW as good as the Five’s are the sub makes them sound even better. To be honest I have a Sub-Mini bonded to the Beam2 and Era 100’s but still prefer my Five’s with sub for music.

My listening preference is most likely different than yours as I prefer a traditional stereo sound...meaning two speakers upfront facing the listening area. I don’t want music from behind which is what you get when listening to music on a Sonos home theater setup (especially if the surrounds are set to full stereo for music). 

To answer your question about adding a sub….It really depends upon which speakers you would bond it to. 

  • If your primary focus is music I’d bond it to the Fives
  • If you want improved dialogue when watching TV I’d bond it to the Beam 

Using a sub will improve things for either the Fives or the Beam as it relieves those speakers of low-end duties and allows them to focus on mids and highs.  As long as all speakers are in the same room when grouped you’ll still get a somewhat better low-end. This IMO assumes an average size room (in feet) of 20(W) x 20(L) x 8(H) or smaller.

I shared additional thoughts in the link below on the use of subs with Sonos (how/when/where) and you’ll also find comments by @Kumar there as well.


Are any of the speakers bonded to BEAM as surrounds? If so, is this primarily a music system or a TV watching system?

Userlevel 7
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If you Bond the Sub with the Beam it will improve both TV and music from it.

As asked, how are your Sonos set up? It makes a difference in the answers you’ll get.


Thanks! The ones are bonded to the beam as surrounds and I use those with the TV.  I've been grouping them with the fives for music.

I know a sub still improve the Tv sound from the beam and surrounds but, in terms of music playing, would the sub bring much improvement to the grouping with the two fives?

in terms of music playing, would the sub bring much improvement to the grouping with the two fives?

Sounds paradoxical but you may get more perceived improvement when you listen at lower volume levels, when the Sub will prevent the music from the two 5 units from sounding thin. Is that enough to justify the price and added footprint? Only you can say, this is very subjective.

Thanks for that! The cost probably isn't justified for music alone in that case, but I'll consider it to accompany the beam and surrounds. 

In most places Sonos will give you a full refund if after use you are not satisfied with the value for money return. If I am not mistaken you have a hundred days to decide that - thirty for sure which is enough.

Userlevel 7
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I’m pretty happy with my Play 5’s low end, I’d be hard pressed to justify adding a Sub.

My Beam / One TV room really is a night and day difference with the Sub, with my small room 10x10 feet a Mini would have done the job if it had been available.

My Arc / Play 1 TV room is a smaller difference with and without the Sub but in the big and open room it is a big plus.

It is easy to toggle the Sub on and off to A/B the sound. Just pick good audio when testing.