Play 3 or Play 5 with sub


I am reading a lot about the Play 3 vs the Play 5 in terms of sound quality and user experience. I have read the Play 3s are great, and a little disappointment with the Play 5. I also want to include a sub. For the money and such, which is a better buy? 2 Play 3 or 2 Play 5 with sub? This might seem like a dumb question but i am getting the impression that i can buy 2 Play 3s for the price of 1 Play 5 and, with a sub, get better bass and enjoyment from the 2 Play 3s. Any help? Also, can i connect 2 wireless routers on one network for my single modem and stick a Sonos Boost in a room with a wireless router but no modem? Only 1 model will be used. Thank you.

12 replies

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As consumers, most of us have got to make a decision about Play 3's vs. Play 5's -- so we're not really in a position to compare them as you suggest.

However, I have two of the Play 5's with a subwoofer, and they sound pretty terrific. The sub is expensive, but I think a very worthwhile addition.

On the other hand, the Bose people will tell you with two of their Soundtouch 30 speakers (which are the same price as Sonos Play 5's) you don't need a sub-woofer.
If you must have the Sub and money is a constraint, a 1 pair + Sub is the way to go.

I don't understand your two routers question; what are you trying to achieve?
Userlevel 3
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Based on comments on this forum and my personal opinion, it really comes down to the size of the room and budget.

Play 5 is the best of the three but also the most expensive.

In terms of the most bang for your money i'd say its a sub and 2 1's.

If you have large room to fill or budget is not an option then a sub and 2 5's.

The 3 is in an odd position at the moment as it sits between 2 very capable speakers and also the only one that has not been updated yet.

While in itself its a good unit, i've always felt the 3 usually appeals to users who needed something beefier than the one but find the price point of a 5 too high or the dimensions too large.

I hope that helps some.
I agree that the 3 is caught in the middle with consequent limited appeal. It probably makes sense to only those that want a single speaker in a zone but find the 5 to be too large/expensive.
Userlevel 1
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Hi. I Just got a single Play 5 and a sub and can personally say it sounds amazing. I'm now saving up to get a second Play 5 to get that stereo separation. Regardless of what you pick, the sub does an incredible job of creating depth of sound. I would agree with Kumar, that you should consider a pair of Play 1s (or Ones if you're looking for voice control / future Airplay support) and a sub.
A stereo pair with the sub would give you a lot of great separation and range.
Userlevel 7
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The 5 versus 3 question is a good one, I have both so maybe I can help.

The Play 5 is the way to go without a sub if you want full range music.

With a sub the 5 is really good except for the stereo separation, there a pair of 3s is superior.

Comparing my paired 3s to a single gen 1 or gen 2 Play 5s without a sub comes out pretty close but the 5s have a bit more low end.

Play 1s are good but just not as good as a 3, paired the 1s are pretty decent. I'd say pair the 3 too or you'll get tired of mono sound for any serious listening fairly quickly.

If you found the wife's credit card by all means go with paired 5s and a Sub unless you have space / placement issues you can't fix.
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I'm currently planning a multi room setup for a store and have been going over the "One vs 5" debate. The larger room (27' x 25') will have either 4 x Ones or 2 x 5s. Which setup do you think will offer the customer a more a seamless "blanket" of music as they shop? Would you recommend a stereo setup, or keep everything mono?
Userlevel 7
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Cjyyz wrote:

I'm currently planning a multi room setup for a store and have been going over the "One vs 5" debate. The larger room (27' x 25') will have either 4 x Ones or 2 x 5s. Which setup do you think will offer the customer a more a seamless "blanket" of music as they shop? Would you recommend a stereo setup, or keep everything mono?



For a store, I would go with the 4 Ones to provide more even coverage, everything mono.
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Thanks Danny! Do you know if there's a quick way to toggle between a mono and stereo setup for the 4 x Ones? If I'm the only one in the store I'd love to listen to music in stereo. I'd like to group the two on the right wall to be the right channel and the two on the left wall for the left channel.
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To OP's question - I favor the stereo paired 3. A single 5 just never did it for me, even with the Sub.

The Sub in its own right will "level up" your system. It's quite an impressive addition.

For Cjyyz - unless the single speaker you're using already has stereo separation, you would have to pair 2 of the identical speaker to form a stereo pair. Doing so is not difficult, as they can be paired/unpaired quite easily.
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spydrwebb - oops, I forgot to mention that would be for the 4 x Ones (edited post). I'd like to group the two on the right wall to be the right channel and the two on the left wall for the left channel. Then the checkout counter will be approaching "Man Cave" status. (only missing a sub and a bar fridge)
Userlevel 7
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Cjyyz wrote:

spydrwebb - oops, I forgot to mention that would be for the 4 x Ones (edited post). I'd like to group the two on the right wall to be the right channel and the two on the left wall for the left channel. Then the checkout counter will be approaching "Man Cave" status. (only missing a sub and a bar fridge)



You can do that. Pairing and unpairing isn't exactly done 'on the fly' but it's not a cumbersome task either. If you want the checkout counter be a a focal point, than maybe an option to consider is have the right wall be 2 mono speakers with the left in stereo. Either, you can try out different options to see what works best.

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