Moving up from Play: 3s: Add Sub or replace with Play: 5s?

  • 26 November 2018
  • 1 reply

Userlevel 2
I've had two Play: 3s paired in stereo for five years as the only speakers in my living room, which is 18' x 12.5'. I've concentrated my subsequent Sonos investments in extending the network to other rooms with Play: 1s. But I've never been thrilled with the Play: 3s. They push vocals way back. Midrange in general is muddy. They're better at 50% volume, but that isn't always appropriate.

In the room, there aren't a lot of options for speaker placement, and this pair is currently on sofa tables about nine feet from my listening chair. When I tested them against the Play: 1s in the same placement across music ranging from classical piano to DeadMaus to Matthew Sweet to Bad Plus to Kendrick, I was surprised: I preferred the Play: 3s. They projected a better soundstage, although the Play: 1s pushed vocals much more prominently and had more dramatic bass. The Play: 1s sounded tinny and struggling.

With the Sub sale, I'm considering either a) adding a Sub to the pair, or b) replacing the Play: 3s with a pair of Play: 5s on stands (without the Sub). I'm not considering replacing the Play: 3s with my Play: 1s and a Sub, because I wasn't impressed with the Play: 1s on their own in that placement, and I would need to get black Play: 1s for the living room (my other pairs are white).

Recommendations? Has anyone added a Sub to a pair of Play: 3s and discovered dramatic improvement when the 3s are just handling highs and mids? Obviously, just adding a Sub is by far the cheaper option. Thanks in advance.

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1 reply

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I would add sub unless you really want airplay (play:5s would give you)