2x Play 3 + Sub or 2x Play5 & Hi!

  • 26 June 2016
  • 6 replies

Hi All!
New to the forum. Looking to build out a few rooms, and was curious about opinions on a larger living room/dinning room area. Has anybody heard or compared a 2x Play 3 + sub setup vs. a stereo pair of the Play 5 Gen2's?

Everything else being equal, I would prefer a Stereo Play 5 setup and call it done, but the idea of ceiling mounted Play 3's with a floor mount Sub solves some placement issues at extra expense and mounting effort. If it sounds materially better I might go that route vs. the 2x Play 5 floor mount. Any input?


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6 replies

Userlevel 2
Did you get anywhere with this? What did you go for in the end?
I have a pair of play 3's, and was thinking about either adding a sub, or replacing with a pair of play 5's. That would free up the two 3's to go in to other rooms.
My vote goes to two Play:5s, on the grounds that across the whole frequency spectrum it offers a big leap up from the Play:3, and has excellent bass extension to which the Sub does not add hugely. It's a personal choice though - someone with the opposite view will probably come along in a minute.
Userlevel 2
So I spoke to the Sonos online chat people and they recommended to add the sub to my existing play 3s, rather than a pair of 5s. Which was interesting, as they didn't automatically suggest the more expensive option - given that I already had the 3s.

Their reasoning was that the sub has a low frequency response that the 5s can't match. And the work they take away from the 3s frees up those speakers to better reproduce the treble and kids.

I have to say, adding the sub to that stereo pair has been fantastic and really sorted out my concerns about missing lows and lowmids.

So I can't compare with a pair of 5s myself, but no one would feel let down if they had two 3s and a Sub.
And it does things with drum n bass that my friends single 5 doesn't do. So I guess the question could be, how low do you need, or want, your bass
It really depends on what is to be accomplished, given that everyone has budget constraints of differing extent. For a little more money, a 5 pair could have done a lot of this, and released the 3 units for up to two additional rooms. If that was more important to someone, as an example.

At the other end, adding a Sub makes most sense to a 1 pair which then does almost all that a 3 pair + Sub does for all the same reasons, for a lower total spend. Both make for excellent audio set ups, that can legitimately qualify for audiophile status.
Userlevel 2
Kumar, this is very true. With the Play 3s already on the wall, the sub was £300 cheaper than a new pair of 5s. £300 I did not have.

Also, a large part of the Sonos appeal, aside from the sound quality, is convenience and aesthetics. A pair of 5s would probably be too dominating in the locations I wanted my speakers.
I have scaled back from a pair of floor standers, so am very happy with the relatively tiny play 3.

I have heard great things about the play 1 pair and a sub and would love to hear them. Or hear from someone on here about a comparison between 1s + sub and 3s + sub.

I definitely have my eye on a couple of 1s for other rooms in the future. (Already have one in the kitchen and am impressed by it every day). But perhaps I could put those same 1s with the sub and free up the 3s for bigger sound in the dining and bedroom.
perhaps I could put those same 1s with the sub and free up the 3s for bigger sound in the dining and bedroom.
Excellent idea; and something to look forward to do, whenever budget permits. There is little to choose between the 1 and the 3 once the Sub is attached to either pair, but on their own the 3 units are a better option than the 1.