2 X Play 1 as Stereo Pair vs 1 x Play 3 in a small(ish) Room

  • 2 March 2018
  • 7 replies

I am looking for some advice regarding expanding my sonos zones to include my kitchen. The room measure 2.4M (8ft) x 4M (14 ft), with a height of 2.4M.
I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion regarding the choice between a stereo pair of Play 1's (I have these in a 3 x 3 room, and they work very nicely), or a single play 3.
All would be mounted on the wall at just below ceiling height.



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7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +19
The perceived wisdom is that two Play 1 is better than a single 3. I like to hear the stereo separation so if that's also important to you then two Play 1s or Sonos Ones would be the best choice.
Thanks very much - that's more or less what I thought. The wife prefers the Play 1's visually as well!
Userlevel 7
Badge +19
If you are wall mounting then Play 1s are better than the Sonos One, as that looses the mounting screw.

as for mounts may I suggest you stick to Flexson. I tried cheaper wall mounts and they were universally rubbish.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I have several different setups for my Sonos gear, no pair of Play 1s yet but I think my experience with stereo imaging issues may apply anyway. I mostly listen to my Play devices at lower levels or background levels switching to Connects for louder listening so I can't reliably report on volume level issues of single versus paired devices.

Paired Play 5s versus single Play 5, both setups sound quite good and I don't really prefer one over the other although the paired Play 5s are noticeably better if listening from across the room rather than on the desktop. I eventually split the stereo pair to get sound in two rooms.

Paired Play 3s over single Play 3, the music from the single Play 3 sounds a bit lifeless to me, I'm thinking it is the very mono sound the 3 provides. Compared to a stereo pair of Play 3s the single suffers badly. My paired 3s sit about 3 feet apart and about 4 feet from me. I do not regret buying the second Play 3, the improvement was worth it.

My single Play 1 sounds very similar to the single Play 3, very decent sound but with no Stereo image it sounds very lifeless. Since it is mostly used for streamed AM radio station listening that isn't an issue often.

The Connects into good 5.1 multi-channel receivers really gives the best sonic image and overall sound quality but the convenience of the Play units keeps me adding them instead of more Connects. I have a Play 5 and a Connect/receiver setup in the same room and the Play gets 70-80% of the use.

I find I use the Connects to directly drive my headphones more often than using them to drive my receiver.
Userlevel 6
Badge +13
I recently swapped a Play:1 on our landing to a Play:3, the 3 has more bass but I honestly wouldn't say it was a marked improvement over the 1.

A stereo pair of Play:1's would be my choice, I have a pair as part of our 5:1 and in Music Mode they sound excellent!.

The Play1's are a nice compact punchy speaker, amazing really.
Be sure to aim the 1 pair - recommended - at the listening position if mounted high near the ceiling.
Thanks all - yes, I thnk the paired play:1's are the answer. I do have a pair of play:3's on my 5.1 surround in the front room - playbar and sub - amazing when in music mode. But that is a big room with no communal wall with next door 🆒