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Advice on new Sonos setup

  • 21 June 2019
  • 4 replies
  • 302 views

Hi all

I'm considering investing in a Sonos system, but have a few question before I invest in the bucks.

1. I have an Xbox One X (4K), Apple TV (4K) and Nintendo Switch (and maybe a Wii U as well). All HDMI connections. I'm using a receiver at the moment to accommodate the number of inputs. The receiver isn't 'Works with Songs' compatible.

If I plan to buy a Beam, what's the best way to connect? HDMI splitter? It needs to feed through 4K and 3D.

2. I would then like to get some satellite speakers. Is there any difference with Play One and Play:1, apart from Alexa/Google Assistant? Is it worth getting two Play:5 (space isn't huge).

3. What's the 'fill' in a room from a Play:1 or One? Do I 'need' to get two for a standard sized bedroom? Or perhaps even a Play:5

4. Similar question... If I have an open planned kitchen/living room in an apartment area, do I need another speaker, say a Play:5 in somewhere to fill the open space? Or Can I use the surround theatre setup (as above) to fill that space?

Sorry if these appear to be basic questions, but despite reading through lots of website, I'm still very in the dark...

Thanking in advance...
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Best answer by AjTrek1 21 June 2019, 17:00

1. I have an Xbox One X (4K), Apple TV (4K) and Nintendo Switch (and maybe a Wii U as well). All HDMI connections. I'm using a receiver at the moment to accommodate the number of inputs. The receiver isn't 'Works with Songs' compatible.

A lot of what you plan to do depends upon your TV. Because it appears as though you plan to sideline your receiver if you plan on purchasing a Beam. If your TV will process DD5.1 over HDMI-ARC and you have enough HDMI inputs to accommodate your devices then you may not need a HDMI/Optical processor. At best at this point you may need an HDMI switch. 3D video processing has nothing to do with Sonos.

2. I would then like to get some satellite speakers. Is there any difference with Play One and Play:1, apart from Alexa/Google Assistant? Is it worth getting two Play:5 (space isn't huge).

When you say satellite speakers are you referring to surrounds to be used with the Beam or speakers just placed strategically around your space? If used as surrounds you can use Play 1 x 2 or Sonos One x 2. You cannot mix a Play 1 with a Sonos One.

If you are planning to place speakers strategically around your space and maybe later create stereo pairs then then same logic as mentioned above applies. If the speakers will always be stand-alones then it doesn't matter.

Sonically speaking you'd be hard pressed to discern a difference between a Play 1 and Sonos One. Although some with canine ears claim there is.🙄

Play 5's x 2 (IMO) would be overkill as surrounds and maybe for your space in general. The only reason at this juncture (again IMO) to employ Play 5's x 2 is if you are a purest and want a genuine stereo sound stage with them placed up front as left and right speakers. Also know...that if you plan to use a Sonos sub with the Beam it cannot be used simultaneously with the Play 5's.

.3. What's the 'fill' in a room from a Play:1 or One? Do I 'need' to get two for a standard sized bedroom? Or perhaps even a Play:5

For a standard size bedroom Play 1's or Sonos One's as stereo pairs IMO will suffice. Again the same logic for creating stereo pairs as mentioned above applies.

4. Similar question... If I have an open planned kitchen/living room in an apartment area, do I need another speaker, say a Play:5 in somewhere to fill the open space? Or Can I use the surround theatre setup (as above) to fill that space?

Without a diagram of your space it's hard to say if the Beam HT setup will suffice vs adding a Play 5. However, know that Sonos speakers used as surrounds can be set to switch from surround mode to FULL on speaker mode when playing music. After the music stops they will automictically return to surround mode.

I hope this helps and gives you a start to bring you into the light. 💡 Feel free to post back with more questions.

Cheers!
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And sorry about the heading - autocorrect and then I can't change it...
Userlevel 7
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1. I have an Xbox One X (4K), Apple TV (4K) and Nintendo Switch (and maybe a Wii U as well). All HDMI connections. I'm using a receiver at the moment to accommodate the number of inputs. The receiver isn't 'Works with Songs' compatible.

A lot of what you plan to do depends upon your TV. Because it appears as though you plan to sideline your receiver if you plan on purchasing a Beam. If your TV will process DD5.1 over HDMI-ARC and you have enough HDMI inputs to accommodate your devices then you may not need a HDMI/Optical processor. At best at this point you may need an HDMI switch. 3D video processing has nothing to do with Sonos.

2. I would then like to get some satellite speakers. Is there any difference with Play One and Play:1, apart from Alexa/Google Assistant? Is it worth getting two Play:5 (space isn't huge).

When you say satellite speakers are you referring to surrounds to be used with the Beam or speakers just placed strategically around your space? If used as surrounds you can use Play 1 x 2 or Sonos One x 2. You cannot mix a Play 1 with a Sonos One.

If you are planning to place speakers strategically around your space and maybe later create stereo pairs then then same logic as mentioned above applies. If the speakers will always be stand-alones then it doesn't matter.

Sonically speaking you'd be hard pressed to discern a difference between a Play 1 and Sonos One. Although some with canine ears claim there is.🙄

Play 5's x 2 (IMO) would be overkill as surrounds and maybe for your space in general. The only reason at this juncture (again IMO) to employ Play 5's x 2 is if you are a purest and want a genuine stereo sound stage with them placed up front as left and right speakers. Also know...that if you plan to use a Sonos sub with the Beam it cannot be used simultaneously with the Play 5's.

.3. What's the 'fill' in a room from a Play:1 or One? Do I 'need' to get two for a standard sized bedroom? Or perhaps even a Play:5

For a standard size bedroom Play 1's or Sonos One's as stereo pairs IMO will suffice. Again the same logic for creating stereo pairs as mentioned above applies.

4. Similar question... If I have an open planned kitchen/living room in an apartment area, do I need another speaker, say a Play:5 in somewhere to fill the open space? Or Can I use the surround theatre setup (as above) to fill that space?

Without a diagram of your space it's hard to say if the Beam HT setup will suffice vs adding a Play 5. However, know that Sonos speakers used as surrounds can be set to switch from surround mode to FULL on speaker mode when playing music. After the music stops they will automictically return to surround mode.

I hope this helps and gives you a start to bring you into the light. 💡 Feel free to post back with more questions.

Cheers!
Thanks for such a detailed and excellent response.

In response to my questions and your response:

  1. I guess my best option is getting a HDMI Switch, input that for video/audio into the TV, and then using the ARC connection from my TV into the Beam. (Just annoyed that there's another remote - I might get a Logitech Harmony to do everything)
  2. You're right in assuming I meant surround speakers. Given Google Assistant is through the Beam anyways, I'll just get the Play:1 as surround.
  3. Follow up question: You mentioned stereo Play:1 rather than Play:5; what would be the difference in getting stereo Play:1 (i.e. 2 of these) versus a single Play:5 unit?
  4. I might just trial out the Beam HT option first, with the change to full speaker mode when music playing. If it doesn't work, I'll add a Play:5.
Looking forward to your response with Q3. Thanks again for being so helpful!
Userlevel 7
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1.I guess my best option is getting a HDMI Switch, input that for video/audio into the TV, and then using the ARC connection from my TV into the Beam. (Just annoyed that there's another remote - I might get a Logitech Harmony to do everything)
As I mentioned if your TV will not pass DD5.1 over HDMI-ARC please let us know as their are ways to overcome that possible issue.

2.You're right in assuming I meant surround speakers. Given Google Assistant is through the Beam anyways, I'll just get the Play:1 as surround.

Using Play 1's as surrounds with the Beam is a good idea as the voice assistance with Sonos One's is negated when used with the Beam. So save the money.😎

3.Follow up question: You mentioned stereo Play:1 rather than Play:5; what would be the difference in getting stereo Play:1 (i.e. 2 of these) versus a single Play:5 unit?

Using two Play 1's in stereo pair as a opposed to a single Play 5 IMO provides the following:
  1. A comparable sound level (i.e. loudness)
  2. A wider sound stage with a better stereo effect
  3. Less expensive
Assuming you are still considering this setup for your bedroom here's where I would recommend opting for Sonos One's with voice assitance. I have them in my bedroom and haven't touched a light switch for so long ago that I can't remember when as they are integrated with my Phillips Hue light bulbs. I also get my morning weather feed as well.🙂

Also, if you do decide on the Sonos One's be sure to get the Gen 2 model as they are future proofed for additional updates from Sonos. No one knows what they will be at this time. Just FYI.

Good luck with your Sonos. If you have additional questions just post another topic...we'll be here!

Cheers!

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