Adding a Sonos beam gen 2 to a pair of Five ?

  • 24 March 2023
  • 8 replies


I am very satisfied with my pair of Sonos Five, playing music all day long.

Now I am thinking to buy a Sonos beam gen 2 to enjoy similar quality of sound with films too. But I read it may affect the quality sound of my music?! The pair of Five would no more be used the way they're now when I am listening to music (some sound would come from the beam 2 and no more from the excellent Five's). Except if switching on the app which seems to be a pain...

Is it true?!





Best answer by GuitarSuperstar 24 March 2023, 21:31

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8 replies

Userlevel 7

You can add a Beam to your TV and keep the pair of Fives as a separate zone. But if you use the Fives as surrounds with the Beam, you will enjoy surround sound when playing TV audio.

It is true that it will be a pain to remove the Fives as surrounds every time you want use them separately and then adding them back as surrounds when you want to use them with the Beam. But if you set the Music Playback setting to FULL under the Surround Audio settings for the Beam, you will get full stereo playback from the Beam AND the pair of Fives at the same time. For some, this sounds great because you have stereo audio playing from two sides of the room. But for some purists, this can be distracting because they prefer the stereo audio to come from one side of the room only.

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

I really prefer stereo music from two speakers although for casual listening the Sonos Ambient Mode for surrounds isn’t bad.

Full Mode is great for parties and the like where you just want the room full of sound and don’t mind that the stereo imaging isn’t there.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Just some advice for when you decide to go this route: when setting up the Beam to work with the Five, you do not ad the Beam to the Fives, but set up the Beam, unpair the stereo set of Five if they are set up that way and bond the Fives to the Beam.

Short feedback

I ordered the Beam 2 and add the pair of five.

And was disappointed.

First the sound of the Beam was not that impressive compared to the sound of the television.

Second the Sonos app had some bugs while trying to set the 3 together (Five five beam).

Third, switching between TV sound and music was not so smooth (app asking 'are you sure').

In conclusion, while very happy of the 2 Five, I sent the Beam back... And will buy good headphones.

Novice Audiophile here… 

The initial install of my Beam Gen 2 and 2, One SL’s produced a stellar sound stage… ‘but’ I do use AirPlay and thus seem confused to the Sonos S2 app setup…

My home theater :  Sony XBR-950G.  Sonos Beam Gen 2.  2-> Sonos One SL’s.

We’ve found the video & audio quality superior while using a Amazon 4K Firestick as the Apple 4K TV device has lackluster video.

The Beam Gen 2 is connected to the Sony eArc HDMI port and is connected Ethernet. The 2 One SL’s are Wi-Fi connected.

We have Apple Music, Amazon Music and Yahoo Music installed to the S2 app and pretty much leave TruePlay on.

When streaming TV content via Firestick → Netflix→ Amazon Prime → Hulu, etc., do I need to “bond” or ungroup anything to achieve best experience?


What’s the best way for me to optimize my listening experience?  (I’m on the ‘fence’ to add a pair of ERA 300’s for the rear surrounds based on what I’ve read herein.) i can easily move the One SL’s into my home office but $900 is quite a bite!


Your One SL’s are already ‘bonded’ to the Beam and receiving the left & right rear TV audio channels. You can’t add any further surround speakers to your setup. The only thing you can add to the Beam HT setup is either…

  • A Sub
  • A Sub Mini
  • Two Subs (one needs to be a Sub Gen3)

Any further speakers you purchase (Era etc.) would become a separate Sonos ‘room’ which you can ‘group’ (not bond) with your Beam HT setup. All grouped rooms will play in sync for music audio playback, but note that when playing TV audio, there will be a delay to the grouped Sonos room(s) which might cause an echo effect if the speakers are located in the same physical room, but might be fine if placed some distance away in say a different physical room.

That said, there are tools in the Sonos App that can be used to try to bring the playing TV audio in sync across grouped rooms, but that may result in lip-sync issues with the video viewable on the TV screen. See this Sonos support link for further information:

@Pixeditor1950, if you plan to swap the One-SL’s for Era 300’s you will certainly see an improvement over the One’s as surrounds, but personally speaking, my own choice would be to add a Sonos Sub to the existing setup instead.. that would be a much better improvement for both TV and Music audio and cheaper too.

Thank you, most kindly!  

I’m reticent to add the Sub Mini given my Condo next door neighbor has ‘pin-drop’ sensitive hearing and we’ve gone through many iterations of home theatre equipments to avoid text messages to ‘turn it down’… Had a Vizio 5.1 with its Sub and ‘nothing’ I could do worked. 

So far….my Sonos setup hasn’t generated any hiccups ‘but’ I may just go ahead and try the Sub Mini as you’ve recommended. 

Many thanks again for the prompt reply and recommendations.

Lynn C