Beam / Arc - Play:5 / Five advice on next steps

  • 26 July 2020
  • 6 replies

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My current set-up is a Beam + two Sonos One (gen 1) + Sub in the living room. Play-5 in the bedroom.

Overall I find that the Play-5 in the bedroom does not get used much and that in the living room (where I do end up listening to my music), while the Ones add a nice touch to movies I do not get as much stereo as I would like. Furthermore a number of my flac files cannot be played (so I end up playing those through Plex rather than directly through the music library).

Before the announcement and release of the Arc and the Five I was thinking of getting another Play-5 and then set up the living room with Beam+Sub+2xPlay-5 but with the play-5 in the front of the room (rather than the back) and just move the Ones to the bedroom.

With the new announcement I been wondering whether (a) should replace the Beam with the Arc to get (hopefully) flac support and/or (b) replace the Play-5 with 2xFive (as they cannot be matched & mixed) or (c) just stick with the original plan.

If the Five supported flac I would probably go with (b) as I have no TV media that would use Atmos and the tv is not that big (the arc would be wider than the tv).

(c) itself is not ideal with the Play-5 in the front and nothing in the back but no need to revisit sonos choice not to allow the Beam to be a centre speaker for a 5.1 set-up.

Was wondering if people had some suggestions/thoughts as well as other alternatives

Thank you

6 replies

Userlevel 4
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Hi @McMaKo, thanks for reaching out and interest in the Sonos products. Sonos supports FLAC files up to 16 bit / 44.1 kHz, more here. And surround speakers should be placed behind and to the left and right of your usual listening position. More information here about Surround sound guidelines and limitations and Sonos Arc. Let us know if this helps. Thanks! 

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Thank you for your reply - it does not quite address my issue.

I know that FLAC till 16 bit (I thought that with S2 up to 24 bit would be usable), however a number of my FLACs are still not playable.

Regarding rear speakers: I am aware that rear speaker should be in the back - as mentioned my issue is that I do not care much for the additional rear sound and my issue is that I do no like the sound separation when playing music in the living our - however I do not want to have to create two seperate set-ups in the same living room (one for music and one for music which would then translate into 1 beam + 1 sub + 2 ones + 2 play-5/five + 1 more sub in the same room) - I was hoping for a better music set-up while still having TV play.

Userlevel 4
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Hi @McMaKo, thanks for your reply and confirmation. If some FLAC are working and some aren’t, just wanna confirm where did you get those songs? Maybe you can try redownloading since it should work as well. And about the setup, we can only add 1 pair of speakers as left and right rear speakers and you can use that one room for TV and music one at a time. Other pairs will be set up as a different room name to be grouped to your home theatre setup if you want. Let us know if you still have any questions. Thanks!

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Thanks for the reply.

The FLACs not working are those I have encoded at 24bit/88khz or 24bit/96khz. Those at 16bit/44khz work fine. So given that S2 only goes as high as 48khz I guess it’s not a suprise - guess will need to reencode those discs.

Regarding the left/right rear speaker I am fully aware of it - your answer is repeating my original messages not adding novel information.

My statement is that I want the best set-up to listen to music in the living room while keeping the sound for the tv. Now I guess the best set-up would be the two play-5 (assuming a buy another) in the front + sub - however that would leave me only with a beam for tv which is not ideal. That’s why I was considering just adding the the 5s as left/right rear speakers but placing them in the front and letting trueplay figure it out even though those speakers are not actually in the rear but they are in the back.

Now I do not know what are the implications of such actions, from your reply I am not clear what will happen (e.g. will it sound awful and it is stupid idea, will it explode, etc, etc,)

Thank you

Userlevel 4
Badge +12

Hi, @McMaKo! Yes, you’re right, Sonos S2 system supports 24-bit (44.1kHz/48kHz, FLAC/ALAC) and yes you may need to reencode it to make it work with Sonos. And as the surround speakers are recommended to be placed behind and to the left and right of your usual listening position, it will still be your choice on how you position it as long as the distance is within 10-15ft away. Since our soundbars like Beam have the front left and right speakers already, just make some adjustments if in case you’ll have problems with Trueplay. Hope this helps. Thanks!

Thanks for sharing guys