1x Sonos One & 1x Sonos Beam

  • 18 December 2018
  • 11 replies
  • 1019 views

So, I bought a Sonos one in June this year (Yay!), I needed a decent speaker in my living room to enjoy music on the weekends when I unwind from work and for use with my TV which I seem to watch excessively. Excuse my lack of knowledge, but only until after I bought the Sonos One, did I realise Sonos's modular setup and that if I wanted to use my speakers for music AND TV, I'd need to instantly add to my setup.

6 months down the line, and I'm ready to upgrade (or slightly upgrade, after a call to Sonos sales support I feel like I need to be adding another 2 or 3 pieces to my setup). I am going to add a Sonos Beam into the equation. I have scoured the internet for the setup I am considering which is: 1x Sonos One & 1x Sonos Beam, but I can only seem to find;

2x Sonos One and 1x Sonos Beam......I am slightly reluctant to fork out £200 on top of the £400 spent on the beam, to make it a surround sound so I called Sonos support to see, what are my options, and seeing as I found nothing of note around this topic I thought I'd share for all others who are in my dilemma (albeit, probably no one).

After a lengthy conversation with Sonos I have two options, for TV sound I will only be able to use the Beam, the setup will not recognise my Sonos One grouped with the Beam and so sound for TV will only emit to the Beam. IF I chose to use this for music, I can group the Sonos One and the Sonos Beam which will play the same music, without delay or any issues. Finally, If I chose to add another Sonos in the future I can use my entire setup for both TV and music.

So whilst, it's somewhat disappointing there doesn't seem to be an intermediate step from spending £200 on a Sonos one....to spending £600 on the Beam and another Sonos One, for music lovers, it shouldn't matter too much. The question I have been asking myself is....is it worth buying the Beam and having a redundant Sonos One? And the answer is yes, for a smaller sized living room the Beam will be sufficient and if I have guests over, and want to listen to music the additional Sonos One will really add to the soundscape

TL;DR

Sonos One can be used with the Beam for music only, if you want to use it for TV you must have 2x Sonos Ones and a Beam.

IF anyone has anything to add, feel free 🙂

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11 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
A few things I'd point out that may help with your decision.

- it's going to depend a lot of what you watch, but much of TV is still recorded in stereo. That means having surround speakers isn't going to really do much for TV watching. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have and sounds great when you're watching something in dolby digital 5.1, but it's not an utter necessity.

- If you were to use 2 Sonos Ones bonded with a Beam for surround sound, the microphones on the Sonos Ones will be turned off automatically. And since the Beam is already airplay 2 capable with Alexa, Sonos Ones don't really bring anything more to the table than the Play:1s do....other than a more modern look. For that reason, it may more sense to get 2 play:1s for $300 and use your Sonos One in another room.

- I wouldn't think playing a single Sonos One and the Beam together in the same room is going to sound that great, since one is a mono source and the other is stereo. And you also won't be able to Trueplay that setup. If you're not bonding 2 Sonos Ones as surrounds, I'd move the Sonos One to another room.

For these reasons, I probably would just buy the Sonos Beam for now. You can always upgrade again at later date.
Thanks for the info Melvimbe, I appreciate the time you took to respond.

Sonos support said the Sonos one and beam could work for music, but I too was sceptical. No doubt I will try it out to see if it works. But my idea is closer to what you're thinking, removing the Sonos One from the living room and placing in my bedroom until I upgrade to a second Sonos One to create a surround sound.

I actually have ARC and game quite a bit (xbox one and PS4 Pro) so I should be able to output Dolby Surround via ARC.

I'll update when I get the beam up and running to let everyone know.

Out of curiosity, do you own a Beam? If so, how does it perform on it's own in a living room?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hi Music_Mike

Whew!!! You’ve got a lot going on in your question. I see my friend melvimbe was typing faster this morning 🙂 Here are your options to the best of my understanding of your ask:

Beam
Primary use is audio for a TV and to provide L/C/R channels in a Home Theater (HT) setup (also provides Alexa voice control)
Secondary use is music

Sonos One
Primary use is for music; can also be paired to another Sonos One to create a stereo pair (also provides Alexa voice control)
Secondary use can be bonded to Beam as surround speakers (requires 2 speakers)

Play:1
Primary use is for music; can also be paired to another Play 1 to create a stereo pair (no Alexa voice control)
Secondary use can be bonded to Beam as surround speakers (requires 2 speakers)

Sub

Primary use is for low end with music and/or LFE in home theater setup. Options are:
Bonding to Beam (LFE)
Bonding to a stereo pair_Sonos One’s or Play 1’s (low end)

All can be used to play music. Sonos One’s and Play 1’s when used in HT setup can be set to Full for music playback. Requires the setting only once and they will switch automatically as surrounds or music when bonded to Beam

If using the Beam in a HT setup your configuration would be: Beam/Play:1 x 2/Sub. You would not want the Sonos One’s as the Beam has Alexa voice control and that feature is turned off in the Sonos One’s when bonded to a Beam

If using Sonos One’s or Play 1’s as surrounds in a HT setup they cannot be grouped separately to another standalone Sonos speaker. The same applies to the Beam in an HT setup. Grouping either by pressing the pause/play icon (or within the Sonos app) will group all as a cohesive unit.

I hope this answers some of your questions and helps you make an informed buying decision.

Cheers!

Edit: Here's link as to my opinion regarding the Beam in a room of "X" size.

https://en.community.sonos.com/wireless-speakers-228992/beam-vs-playbar-playbase-my-opinion-6814520
I can't see any reason why you can't set the Sonos One up as a separate "room" and then group it with the Beam. You'll end up with the Sonos One just outputting the same sound signal as the beam. The person you spoke to at Sonos is right, this won't work in TV mode (you need two One's/Play 1s/Play 5s set up as Left and Right Surrounds - unless you just want either the Left surround channel or Right surround channel which will be pretty useless and will do nothing to improve the sound experience of the Beam on it's own). But it will certainly work for music. The whole point of the Sonos modular setup is you can set speakers up as different "rooms" in the app and then group/ungroup them as you wish. You can have all rooms playing independently or some or all playing the same song simultaneously. The only difference being with your setup the Sonos One which will be set up as a different "room" in the app is it will be physically located in the same room as your Beam.

For the record, I have a Beam with two Play 5s and a Sub. Just the beam on it's own sounds great for casual tv watching/gaming and packs a surprising punch when playing music. It sounds a lot "wider" than it looks, presumably thanks to the side-firing speakers making it sound like the left and right channels are placed much further apart.

Bottom line is save your pennies and get another Sonos One. You can then set them up as a stereo pair for music mode, supplemented by the Beam and have them set up as L+R surrounds for tv and games. When in music mode you can set them to "full" (as opposed to "ambient") and then balance the sound between them and the Beam. I promise you, they will sound great!!
Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Out of curiosity, do you own a Beam? If so, how does it perform on it's own in a living room?


I actually have it in the gameroom where 99% of the usage is for the xbox. I love it there, and for gaming purpose, I'll change my recommendation to get the the 2nd Sonos One for surround (or 2 play:1s). It does make a significant noticable difference.

As an example, in Destiny 2, I can hear NPC voices coming from the different speakers as my character changes direction. A very cool effect. Granted my kids tend to play with headsets on, so maybe not worth it if you want to use a headset most of the time.

Mine is actually the Beam plus 2 play:1s plus the sub in the game room. The sub is worth it, but not 100% necessary. My bedroom is just the beam plus play:1s, and I mostly listen to music there. Love it as well, though I must confess that I bought a sub for that room that I'll be setting up soon. That's probably more to feed my addiction rather than actual necessity.

Out of curiosity, do you own a Beam? If so, how does it perform on it's own in a living room?


I actually have it in the gameroom where 99% of the usage is for the xbox. I love it there, and for gaming purpose, I'll change my recommendation to get the the 2nd Sonos One for surround (or 2 play:1s). It does make a significant noticable difference.

As an example, in Destiny 2, I can hear NPC voices coming from the different speakers as my character changes direction. A very cool effect. Granted my kids tend to play with headsets on, so maybe not worth it if you want to use a headset most of the time.

Mine is actually the Beam plus 2 play:1s plus the sub in the game room. The sub is worth it, but not 100% necessary. My bedroom is just the beam plus play:1s, and I mostly listen to music there. Love it as well, though I must confess that I bought a sub for that room that I'll be setting up soon. That's probably more to feed my addiction rather than actual necessity.


Haha thanks for the update - I have quite a few plans going on at Xmas and it will mostly involved 15-20 friends and family being in my living room watching TV, listening to music and watching the boxing which is this Saturday. I am fully commited to the Beam and just want to know if people will be wowed by it, or whether it might be deemed a vain purchase. Having said this, this is not at all the reason for my purchase (for others to be wowed) I am a very keen music lover and gamer and sound and aesthetics are important to me, so it's good to hear people who are using it in the same application as me
Hi Music_Mike

Whew!!! You’ve got a lot going on in your question. I see my friend melvimbe was typing faster this morning 🙂 Here are your options to the best of my understanding of your ask:

Beam
Primary use is audio for a TV and to provide L/C/R channels in a Home Theater (HT) setup (also provides Alexa voice control)
Secondary use is music

Sonos One
Primary use is for music; can also be paired to another Sonos One to create a stereo pair (also provides Alexa voice control)
Secondary use can be bonded to Beam as surround speakers (requires 2 speakers)

Play:1
Primary use is for music; can also be paired to another Play 1 to create a stereo pair (no Alexa voice control)
Secondary use can be bonded to Beam as surround speakers (requires 2 speakers)

Sub

Primary use is for low end with music and/or LFE in home theater setup. Options are:
Bonding to Beam (LFE)
Bonding to a stereo pair_Sonos One’s or Play 1’s (low end)

All can be used to play music. Sonos One’s and Play 1’s when used in HT setup can be set to Full for music playback. Requires the setting only once and they will switch automatically as surrounds or music when bonded to Beam

If using the Beam in a HT setup your configuration would be: Beam/Play:1 x 2/Sub. You would not want the Sonos One’s as the Beam has Alexa voice control and that feature is turned off in the Sonos One’s when bonded to a Beam

If using Sonos One’s or Play 1’s as surrounds in a HT setup they cannot be grouped separately to another standalone Sonos speaker. The same applies to the Beam in an HT setup. Grouping either by pressing the pause/play icon (or within the Sonos app) will group all as a cohesive unit.

I hope this answers some of your questions and helps you make an informed buying decision.

Cheers!

Edit: Here's link as to my opinion regarding the Beam in a room of "X" size.

https://en.community.sonos.com/wireless-speakers-228992/beam-vs-playbar-playbase-my-opinion-6814520


Thanks for the reply! That's all quite useful information and it's great to have opinions on room size for the beam as it's a question i've asked quite often. How big/small does the room need to be for it to sound optimal?

My thought process at the moment is i will use Beam in living room and move the Sonos one to another part of house
I can't see any reason why you can't set the Sonos One up as a separate "room" and then group it with the Beam. You'll end up with the Sonos One just outputting the same sound signal as the beam. The person you spoke to at Sonos is right, this won't work in TV mode (you need two One's/Play 1s/Play 5s set up as Left and Right Surrounds - unless you just want either the Left surround channel or Right surround channel which will be pretty useless and will do nothing to improve the sound experience of the Beam on it's own). But it will certainly work for music. The whole point of the Sonos modular setup is you can set speakers up as different "rooms" in the app and then group/ungroup them as you wish. You can have all rooms playing independently or some or all playing the same song simultaneously. The only difference being with your setup the Sonos One which will be set up as a different "room" in the app is it will be physically located in the same room as your Beam.

For the record, I have a Beam with two Play 5s and a Sub. Just the beam on it's own sounds great for casual tv watching/gaming and packs a surprising punch when playing music. It sounds a lot "wider" than it looks, presumably thanks to the side-firing speakers making it sound like the left and right channels are placed much further apart.

Bottom line is save your pennies and get another Sonos One. You can then set them up as a stereo pair for music mode, supplemented by the Beam and have them set up as L+R surrounds for tv and games. When in music mode you can set them to "full" (as opposed to "ambient") and then balance the sound between them and the Beam. I promise you, they will sound great!!



I get your point and asked this question, the problem was that the sound in one room might sound...odd??

I wasn't 100% convinced but Sonos explained how it would be better in another room so that the sound wasn't drowned within 1 room.

When i get the beam tomorrow I will test out all possibilities and let you know how i get on
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Thanks for the reply! That's all quite useful information and it's great to have opinions on room size for the beam as it's a question i've asked quite often. How big/small does the room need to be for it to sound optimal?

My thought process at the moment is i will use Beam in living room and move the Sonos one to another part of house


If you have (or can borrow) and iOS device you can use Trueplay to fine tune the room acoustics.

Cheers!
Thanks for the reply! That's all quite useful information and it's great to have opinions on room size for the beam as it's a question i've asked quite often. How big/small does the room need to be for it to sound optimal?

My thought process at the moment is i will use Beam in living room and move the Sonos one to another part of house


If you have (or can borrow) and iOS device you can use Trueplay to fine tune the room acoustics.

Cheers!


Im unsure you can do this with a sonos one and beam grouped together in the same room? I could be wrong but I was under the impression it would be turned off as soon as it was grouped inside living room? Or perhaps I've misunderstood
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hi Music_Mike

You are correct that you cannot use Trueplay for Grouped speakers. However, you can use TruePlay for each individual Speaker, Stereo Pair or Speakers Bonded in a HT setup. Sorry to have confused you :(

Cheers!