Improving my Sonos system

  • 28 March 2023
  • 4 replies

I’m looking for advice on how i might improve my current system and if indeed changes will improve it.  Not able to finance multiple upgrades so need to do in phases. I’m looking at Phase 1 purchase this Easter, phase 2 next year. 

i currently have a Sonos amp to wing I’ve connected a Pro-Ject turntable and Terri stand alone 1990’s Polk speakers. These act as the front right and left speakers.  The surround speakers are two Sonos Fives in a vertical position so confused for stereo sound.

 My question I guess is what can I add to this system to make it really sound better?
1: Will adding a Soundbar really make a difference, if so is the Arc the best choice?  

2: Is that Preferable to adding a Sonos sub woofer, which one?

3: What should i prioritise for phase 1, Soundbar or sub woofer?

4: Even though i love the old Polks would the system be better enhanced by replacing them as front speakers with speakers from Sonos? Would i be better served by moving existing Fives to replace Polks and buying some ERAs to use as rears?


The system is mostly used for home theatre but gets used a lot for music as well. Recently switched to apple from Spotify for ATMOS and the speaker set up really lit up with certain tracks. 

Really appreciate some help in establishing a phased approach for the next couple of years that will help me fine tune current Sonos sudden into something even better.



Best answer by melvimbe 28 March 2023, 22:05

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4 replies

 I think it depends on your personal preference for bass.  A sub adds a lot and is a big improvement, but if it does mean that much to you, maybe that’s phase 2.   I used to say think that the Arc really isn’t that good for music compared to separate stereo speakers, but I think atmos music changes all that. If you do switch out the amp for an Arc, you can just move your amp+speakers+turntable to a different room.  You’ll be able to play all the Sonos together (group the two rooms)  or play them separately. 

Really, both options are good here.  

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The Arc is a complete sound system containing left/right/center amplifiers and speakers. It connects to your TV as well as streaming music.

The Arc will use your Fives as Surrounds.

As a test you can remove your FIVE’s from the surround system, bond them as a stereo pair, and use them to play stereo music instead of the POLK’s. Is this an improvement or not? Be sure to play one of the high quality tracks that you’ve discovered.

I don’t recommend attempting to use FIVES as front speakers for your TV -- unless your video source needs extensive audio delays. There is an inherent 75ms delay from Line-In to output from a speaker. When AMP is connected to the TV via HDMI-ARC, this delay is reduced. I recently encountered a cable box that required the full ARC audio delay adjustment plus an additional 160ms from the TV. Without this extreme audio delay it seemed like we were hearing English dubbed over another language.

Also, when used as front L/R for a TV, FIVE’s will render stereo, not surround.

Oh that’s interesting.  Are you saying i don’t need an amp if I’m just converting my TV ?  The arc will act as amplifier of the music AND wirelessly connect to the two Sonos Fives that i have?