Play:5 to replace Cyrus/PSB setup

  • 5 September 2019
  • 2 replies
  • 66 views

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I already have several SONOS speakers (Play:3, Play:1, ONE. I have always been impressed with the sound quality, especially for the size. The convenience is also a big factor for me. I also have a Connect going into my main system (Cyrus 8vs2, PSB Imagine, CA Dacmagic) and found this a great mix of the two. I have 2 young kids and don't have the time or inclination to "critically listen" to my music anymore. I have also recently got fed up of all the boxes, cables and plus causing havoc in the lounge. Plus i could never put the speakers in the "magic listening spot) for various logistical reasons and cos kids like to poke tweeters!. So I moved the Play:3 into the lounge for a few days and was pretty impressed with it, yes it isn't audiophile quality (whatever that really means anyway) but i found myself enjoying the music more and just listening to more music. Surely that is the point of a music system.

As a consequence i decided to pack all my main system away and ordered a Play:5 (Gen 2) which arrives today. I am really interested to see how this performs compared to the Play:3 and also compared to my main system. I am expecting a different sound and less clarity and stereo separation but as long as i enjoy it then that is the main thing.

Can anybody with any experience of comparing the Play:3 and Play:5 and indeed between a Play:5 and a mid range separates system share their thoughts on what i might expect?

Thanks in advance.
Tom

2 replies

Play:5/gen2 will challenge mid-range or even more expensive conventional systems. Don't stop at one, get a pair, mounted vertically. Also use Trueplay to tune it/them to the room acoustic. If you don't have an iDevice then do try and borrow one.

Flat response, smooth treble, excellent mid-range, and quite a bass extension for their size (though I did end up adding a Sub to assist with the lowest octave).

I once used to faff around with all the separates too: CD player, tuner, preamp + monoblocs, passive speakers. The cables alone cost more than most mid-range systems. They're all long gone now.

First I discovered that passive speakers are actually the wrong engineering solution, with all the crossover and amp matching compromises. Active speakers with close-matched per-driver amplification are technically by far the best option, and it's no accident that studio monitors are active. I duly moved over to the early AVI active speakers, hooked up to a Sonos ZP80, and jettisoned all the old separates.

Then along came the Play:5/gen2, whose acoustics were carefully designed in collaboration with leading recording industry experts. Assisted by Trueplay tuning to suppress room resonances they were simply nicer to listen to, so out went the old AVI actives. Convenient to use, and I stopped listening to the equipment and started enjoying the music again. No way would I go back to all the 'audiophile' nonsense.
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Play:5/gen2 will challenge mid-range or even more expensive conventional systems. Don't stop at one, get a pair, mounted vertically. Also use Trueplay to tune it/them to the room acoustic. If you don't have an iDevice then do try and borrow one.

Flat response, smooth treble, excellent mid-range, and quite a bass extension for their size (though I did end up adding a Sub to assist with the lowest octave).

I once used to faff around with all the separates too: CD player, tuner, preamp + monoblocs, passive speakers. The cables alone cost more than most mid-range systems. They're all long gone now.

First I discovered that passive speakers are actually the wrong engineering solution, with all the crossover and amp matching compromises. Active speakers with close-matched per-driver amplification are technically by far the best option, and it's no accident that studio monitors are active. I duly moved over to the early AVI active speakers, hooked up to a Sonos ZP80, and jettisoned all the old separates.

Then along came the Play:5/gen2, whose acoustics were carefully designed in collaboration with leading recording industry experts. Assisted by Trueplay tuning to suppress room resonances they were simply nicer to listen to, so out went the old AVI actives. Convenient to use, and I stopped listening to the equipment and started enjoying the music again. No way would I go back to all the 'audiophile' nonsense.


Cheers for the response Ratty. Don't think i will be getting a pair any time soon due to logistics in the lounge but let's see what the single one sounds like. From what you have said i think i will be very happy with it.

There are a lot of areas to go wrong with separates and system matching, i ave experimented with all sorts over the years. It will be nice to get away from all the snake oil too about different digital cables sounding better than other etc!

Should be able to sell all of the kit too and make some money which is a bonus. Should pay for a couple of years of Spotify!!

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