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2 ONE vs Play 5(LOUD VOLUMES)


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Hey all!

I know this has been asked a thousand times already, but i still cant find an answer. Most of people here and on reddit seems to agree that 2 play 1/ONE in stereo are better than a play 5. Is it just the people listening at lower volumes and more mellow tunes that thinks this? The play 5 surely must be better? My current ONE struggles past 60% volume in my ears. I like to listen to mostly hiphop and EDM, and im thinking of either buying a second ONE or changing my current ONE to a play 5. Im only gonna use this in 1 room for several years.

What is the better choice for loud and bassy experience?

Thanks!
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Best answer by Belly M 12 January 2018, 10:31

The bass from a single Play 5 is very good and the overall mid and treble of the Play 5 shows its a much better speaker.

OP was asking about a Play 1 vs Play 5 so could only assume he was buying new. The Gen 1 Play 5 is poor compared to the Gen 2, bloated bass and the port chuffs along with the music.

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19 replies

Without any doubt a Play 5 (gen 2).

A pair of Play 1’s and a sub would also be very good but you could buy a pair of Play 5’s instead for less and they will play louder and you would be very happy.
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Thank you so much for this answer! Im heading to the store in a couple of hours and i really dont want to regret the decision :)
Userlevel 3
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I have two play 1s and a Sub and that set up is superb. With 2 Play 5s you won't get the deep warm bass the sub outputs. I found my Gen 1 Play 5 would loose bass at higher volumes too. But if you are not a bass freek then 2x5s would be fantastic and you have a later option of adding the sub too.
The bass from a single Play 5 is very good and the overall mid and treble of the Play 5 shows its a much better speaker.

OP was asking about a Play 1 vs Play 5 so could only assume he was buying new. The Gen 1 Play 5 is poor compared to the Gen 2, bloated bass and the port chuffs along with the music.
I've just played with the same question, but with a Play:3: Play:5 vs 2 x Play:3

I had first called Sonos to enquire and what they think would sound better... The answer was 2 x Play:2

I then bought that setup to compare. The salesman at the store pretty much put it as:
2xPlay:1 > Play:3
2xPlay:3 > Play:5

I can confirm that 2xPlay:3 not only sounds better than a Play:5, it will also be much louder.
Stereo separation can't be beaten using two physically separate speaker.
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Thanks for all the input guys! :)
I'd be surprised if 2xPlay:1 wouldn't sound better than a Play:5, maybe not as loud... but better for sure.
jya wrote:

I'd be surprised if 2xPlay:1 wouldn't sound better than a Play:5, maybe not as loud... but better for sure.



Better stereo yes, but do not sound as good. A single Play 5 (gen 2) in horizontal position actually gives a very wide soundstage than in many ways is better than a pair of Play 1/ones.

The Play 1 pair only works if you sit in the optimal listening position, the Play 5 sound good no matter where you sit.
Belly M wrote:

jya wrote:

I'd be surprised if 2xPlay:1 wouldn't sound better than a Play:5, maybe not as loud... but better for sure.


Better stereo yes, but do not sound as good. A single Play 5 (gen 2) in horizontal position actually gives a very wide soundstage than in many ways is better than a pair of Play 1/ones.



Ok, I wasn't overly impressed by the Play 5 soundstage.
I certainly much preferred the 2xPlay:3
Userlevel 2
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If I may input my 2 cents. If you are looking for just a single speaker to purchase, the Play 5 wins all day. I have 2-Play 1s, 2-Play 5s the sub and Playbar. 2 Play 1s may play slightly louder but the low end response of just a single 5 out performs a pair of 1s. As another poster mentioned, keep it in the horizontal position for a wide sound stage. I dare to say a pair of 1s would need to be around 8 feet apart to deliver the same sound stage.
Also, if you want a bassy experience as you say, seriously look in to the sub. With my pair of 5s playing alone, it can be felt in the walls and floors but if you want that true kick in your gut, the sub cannot be beat.
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Just came back from the store.
They showed me the ONE in stereo and the Play:5. There is a night and day diffrence when you go over about 40-50% in volume. I have no idea how someone can claim 2 Play:1's sound nearly as good. The Play:5 has more depth, bass and clarity than its smaller sibling even in stereo in my ears.

Thanks for all the help everyone, have a pleasant day :)
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Someone can say 2 Play 1s sound better because it is all in their perception of what sounds “good”. I’ve actually heard people say Sonos sounds horrible! 😲
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Probably if you only listen at low volumes. They did not please my needs :D
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So are you choosing to go with the single Play 5?
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I bought the Play: 5 today, and im very happy. Im already looking forward to buying another one for stereo pairing! So glad i made this decision. Since i currently live with other people, i can only have speakers in one room. Thats why it was important for me to start with something that can play louder and clearer. I absolutely see the benefits and value of a stereo pair of Play: 1 for the kitchen or for the TV, but thats not my goal at the moment.
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Very nice. You will no doubt get another Play 5 soon! Not because a single on lacks anything at all but Because it is just so nice. Not sure if you bought it from Best Buy but if you have one close by, you could purchase it and return within the 14 days no questions asked. That way you could see how these really come alive in a pair.
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I live i Norway so i buy speakers from our local HiFiklubben. They do a 30 return/refund no questions asked and give you 6 years warranty on your purchase. Im as happy as i can get i believe!
bockersjv wrote:

I have two play 1s and a Sub and that set up is superb. With 2 Play 5s you won't get the deep warm bass the sub outputs. I found my Gen 1 Play 5 would loose bass at higher volumes too.


I believe that the last part occurs with Gen 2 as well, to allow the speaker to go as loud as the single unit possibly can, by backing down the bass at the close to highest volume levels, to allow it to do so.
I think that for sustained high volume listening with full bass presence, the Sub is needed for its much higher levels of power. The ideal set up is a 5 pair + Sub, but a 1 pair + Sub is next best and is better on price and footprint, but lacks a line in jack if that is a needed feature. What a Sub also does in all set ups is add the much needed sound presence/richness at low level listening, much better than what the loudness button can.
This is for future readers; the OP has made the choice that suits him via listening for his situation, always the best way of deciding.
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Kumar wrote:

The ideal set up is a 5 pair + Sub, but a 1 pair + Sub is next best and is better on price and footprint


This is pretty much it. I cant afford the second play 5 right now yet alone the sub at the time, so a big factor for me is the dream of what 2 play 5 will sound like compared to 2 play 1. To bad the sub is so expensive! Converted to USD its 844USD in my country.

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