trying to determine if my play:5 is defective

  • 10 December 2019
  • 7 replies

i just bought a second gen play 5 new from amazon and i’m completely dissapointed with it.  i had one play:1 speaker in my bedroom before, and the play 5 is actually quieter at the same volume levels than the play 1 is.  i have to crank it about half way for it to be at a decent listening level.  also, i’ve noticed that if i play with the balance levels and put them all the way left or right, the bass is completely stripped out of the sound, which makes no sense.  also, i’ve noticed that it will switch to turntable even when nothing is playing randomly, which pretty much makes the auto detect useless for me.  here’s a diagnostic 552520388

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7 replies

its mostly the low end..  it just doesn’t seem to be there.   especially for a speaker of this size with this many drivers.  i’ve ordered a replacement from amazon, hopefully its just a bad speaker

Userlevel 7
Badge +26

With those volume differences, it doesn’t sound like the unit is operating properly, but it’s hard to say. The diagnostic doesn’t show any specific fault, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one, just that the logs don’t see it.

Userlevel 7


I wrote the below in between @Ryan S post. I’ll yield to his suggestions as he has the better view via the diagnostic. 

A few options to try….however doing so will require you to submit another diagnostic if the issue isn’t resolved assuming you don’t return the speaker.

Option 1

  1. Connect the speaker to Ethernet... if the issue is resolved...remove the Ethernet and try setup again.

Option 2

  1. Unplug your Sonos speakers
  2. Check your routers admin page for updates and install if availble
  3. Reboot your router
  4. Power Cycle you device
  5. Delete and reinstall the Sonos app
  6. Plug in your Sonos 1x1 and let each come back B4 moving to the next
  7. Test your Sonos

Option 3

  1. Factory Reset the speaker as detailed in the link:


the volume issues are during streaming, so its not a source issue.  honestly, my 2 play ones sound much better to me than the play 5.  unfortunately i can’t do trueplay as the phone i was using is no longer supported.  i’ll probably return the unit if its working properly

Userlevel 7
Badge +26

Hi Murso74, I don’t see anything specific standing out as wrong on that unit. I have a few suggestions to start with. First off, on the volume differences, volume curves are different between players, but there shouldn’t be huge swings in the levels. When you say the Play:5 needs to be higher, what source is that for? Is it just with the line-in or do you have this when the Play:1 and the Play:5 are playing the same things? If it’s just the line-in connection, you should go into the line-in settings under Settings > System and configure the line-in level to be higher up. The standard level is pretty low to start with, and the higher that value is, the louder the input will start at when playing the line-in. Also, if it keeps switching to the turntable, autoplay must be detecting noise on the line-in connection. That’s probably coming from whatever is on the other end of the line, or maybe the cable itself isn’t shielded right. Try a new cable, and maybe see if having the cable unplugged on the end not on the Play:5 causes it to kick on, then you would know if it’s the device on the other side.

You may also want to run Trueplay tuning on the Play:5, I saw you have it on for some of the rooms. That shouldn’t change too much regarding the volume curves, but it might improve what you’re hearing with the bass.

I've checked all those things...  I'll probably try a return

Userlevel 7

Hi murso74

What you are describing is not normal. Make sure the volume limiter isn’t engaged on the Play 5. Check that the EQ isn't bias toward bass or treble. Make sure your turntable is not sending a signal when not in use (typically the speed indicator LED will glow as an indicator). To eliminate all doubts return the Play 5 for another one. :slight_smile: