How to use Play 5(gen 2) as center speaker

  • 28 November 2016
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 2
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Hello all,

I own two play:1's in a stereo pair configuration. I've read suggestions to place a Play:5(gen 2) between the pair to perform as a center speaker in a 3 channel stereo grouping.

My questions to the community are how well would this work & what orientation should I put the Play:5 in, portrait or landscape?

Thanks in advance!

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5 replies

You do realise that you won't get 3.0 sound out of this? And that for stereo music play the central speaker will upset the sound-stage? The PLAY:5 has a different timbre from the PLAY:1s, will not be phase-correct at all frequencies and would distort the stereo image.

What exactly are you trying to achieve? A SUB would be a much more sensible addition.
Userlevel 2
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I thought that grouping might imitate 3.0 stereo sound with more low end bass and a wider array of speakers performing in concert.
3.0 sound is where discrete channels -- left, right and centre -- are sent to matched speakers.

With a PLAY:5 positioned between PLAY:1s you'd basically get a wall of sound, without very well localised instruments. The left channel would be coming from the left and the centre. The right would be coming from the right and centre. The stereo image would be smeared.

For stereo you don't need a centre speaker anyway. With a centrally placed listener, stereo sound produces what's known as a 'phantom centre'.

It's your money, your choice.
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
Very informative...thanks! Sub it is then.
The centre speaker only makes sense if the speaker pair are kept so far apart from each other compared to the listening distance in their centre from an imaginary line connecting the two, that there is a hole in the middle of the sound stage and the phantom centre does not get a chance to be present. And nothing more than a third 1 unit is suggested in that case.

In almost every domestic environment, the Sub is the better add.