Question

Play5 (2nd Gen) - Recommendation on Speaker Stands?

  • 3 February 2016
  • 36 replies
  • 11416 views

I am a current Play5 user of the 1st generation speakers. I recently mounted them on some Flexson speaker stands and I am delighted with the product. I know Flexson has a new stand for the 2nd gen. Play5 but I can't find them in the U.S. (California to be exact). I would take a recommendation on other options or...if you know of a local reseller that deals in Flexson.

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36 replies

Hi Folks,
I too am looking for one stand. I,m thinking landscape mode. But as this speaker will be beside a chesterfield and an end table I need something tall. The other 5 will sit quite high on top of kitchen cupboard and a set of Bose cienematic sitting on fireplace mantle. Therefore im thinking I need a stand that places the 5 at a height of roughly 36-48 inches. I've not seen anything that height and wall mount won't work for us. So any new suggestions or do I need to talk to my carpenter?
If the cheap pair fulfils the needs for a stable platform that allows for speakers to be safely placed at about ear level in listening position, and meets your aesthetic needs, get the cheap ones by all means. Be careful about stability - and I would say that about any stand - the 5 units are heavy and if placed vertically, the entire structure may even be top heavy.
I don't get why I'd pay $300 for the pair of Flexson stands. I can get something that appears equivalent on Amazon for $40 / pair. I assume I'm missing something, so would love to hear thoughts on why a small poll with a platform at the top is worth $150. I'm not trying to be cynical or argue, just looking for input before I go with the cheapo pair. Thanks.
These look good and should work very well. Just be careful of stability given the small footprint of the speakers in vertical compared to their weight and place them in the room keeping that in mind. Use Trueplay to take care of the little compromise you may have to make for achieving a safe placement.
I ordered a pair of these speaker stands for my 2 Play:5s set up as a stereo pair:
Vebos floor stand Sonos Play 5 gen 2 black - vertical
https://www.vebos.co.uk/vebos-floor-stand-sonos-play-5-gen-2-black-vertical.html
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Sonos Forum denizens: a super affordable option for an L-R vertical placement of the Play:5 generation 2's is to use Home Depot $13 10" corner glass shelves with a contemporary mounting bracket. Pics from my temporary apartment abode follow. (Custom square or rectangular sized 3/8 or heavier glass shelving is a bit more but much less than Plexsons!) Acoustically, they seem to manage well and they look clean in my eye's mind.
Sonos,

Please design and make your own speaker stands.
There aren't any of the vertical on amazon and for horizontal there are a couple used white ones, and one new black one, for the lovely price of $558 + $34 shipping... They just aren't really available right now - hopefully Flexson eventually starts manufacturing them again. My guess is they had a quality issue or some other reason, but the sources for new ones have dried up, even from Flexson directly.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0189D3CQI/ref=dp_olp_new_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=new
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Amazon?
Ya - only problem is if you look at their website they are always "out of stock" - no idea when these truly will be available. Same for the horizontal. I've checked them for quite a while and always the same "out of stock" status. Crutchfield stopped selling their horizontal version as well - I imagine because they couldn't get any new product.
Flexson has listened. They have now brought out a vertical stand. http://www.flexson.com/by-sonos-product/sonos-play-5-all/play-5-floor-desk-stands/flexson-floor-stand-for-sonos-play-5-vertical-version. I haven't seen them, but knowing how thoughtful their design is generally, I would assume that they will be stable.
I also used the Bose stand (http://www.crutchfield.com/p_018FS01/Bose-FS-01-bookshelf-speaker-floor-stands.html) and they actually feel very nice and stable. I got a 3/4" drill bit and was able to drill the hole in the back large enough to get the power cord through, so that made them look very clean in my opinion. Not a perfect solution, but the best I have come up with so far. If you try drilling the hole bigger, get someone who is good with a drill to help you and remember to wear eye protection. It can be easy for the drill to catch - don't want anyone to get hurt. But I do think it's worth hiding the wires.
I would acknowledge @Heilbron's point about the Play:5s having a higher centre of gravity than conventional speakers though.

I think the conclusion is that there is no ideal stand for the P:5s out there at the moment. I would still take my current compromise (P:5s on small but stable and heavy lamp tables, Trueplay'd), over P:1s on Flexson stands. I am happy for others to think differently.
Whether they will be unstable or not depends on the stands. I've had stands that you filled with sand and that a bull elephant would have struggled to knock over. How big the plate is depends on the speaker stand (although I admit that most will be bigger than the P:5's vertical footprint). There are certainly aesthetic considerations but those are very subjective. For example, I think the Flexson stands themselves are rather ugly, while others will no doubt think differently.

Speaking purely personally, I could not now go back to Play:1s for my "serious" music listening, having experienced gen2 P:5s.
if you put them on other stands, they will be extremely unstable. They also look weird since the top of the stands on which the speakers sits are bigger than the base of the speakers. An expensive and unsatisfactory fix. Trust me, I have tried.

Further to my preceding post, the quote above is why I will now hesitate to recommend a 5 pair to an audiophile with an eye for detail.
From a purely sound quality perspective, speakers can even be kept on a pile of books, if the pile is high enough and correctly placed. However, to many people, aesthetics matter and often a lack of aesthetics will have a bearing on perceived sound quality. Rightly or wrongly.
I take a different view from @Kumar. If "ordinary" speaker stands can be used for audiophile passive speakers, why not for Play:5s? It means resorting to gel pads or Blu-tac, but then I have Blu-tacked many a passive speaker to a speaker stand in my time. Perhaps a particular problem with the Flexson Play:5 gen2 stands is that there isn't a flat surface that you can use Blu-tac on very easily.

I would say (and this is always going to be subjective) that a pair of P:5s + Sub is significantly better than a pair of P:1s + Sub, great though that combination is, and ordinary stands are a viable option.
Interesting - this makes it difficult to recommend the 5 units to someone that is looking for audiophile/hifi quality speakers because good speaker placement contributes a lot to the delivered sound quality. Pity, because by themselves the speakers tick all the necessary boxes necessary for them to do so. I am not sure that Trueplay is the entire answer for not placing speakers properly in the first place.

A play 1 + Sub then remains a better choice for that application because there are excellent stands for the 1 units that let the potential for their sound quality be fully realised.
Good to know.
I would only add that I didn't much like the Flexson gen2 Play:5 stands. Partly because only horizontal orientation was possible, but it also required large amounts of Blu-tak to give a semblance of security. It's not entirely Flexson's fault. Unlike the gen1 Play:5, the gen2 has no screw hole to allow a secure mounting. The speaker has to be rather jammed into the stand.
Thank you for taking the time to post such a complete response! That's a lot of good info.
Re: Flexson Speaker Stands for Sonos Play:5 2nd Generation Speakers

The Flexson stand to my knowledge is one of only two stands currently designed specifically for the Play:5 2nd gen. There is another company that is making wood stands for the Play: 5 but the reviews have not been good and even their online pix don't look very good.

I have other Flexson products and have always found them to be well-designed and well-built. The new Play:5 stand is no exception -- except for one glaring omission. The stands are only for positioning of the Play:5 in landscape mode. You cannot use the stands with the speakers in portrait mode. I can't understand why Flexson would do this when Sonos has gone to such lengths to make the Play:5 Second Generation speakers playable in portrait mode -- even putting accelerometers in them so that they automatically sense and reconfigure the speakers depending on the position. Indeed, the speakers are specifically designed to be used in portrait mode when used in a stereo pair in a relatively small room. (They work great as a stereo pair in landscape mode in larger rooms). In a small room, the portrait mode provides greater separation and fantastic imaging. That is one of the reasons I moved up from a set of first gen Play:5's. Except Flexson has only designed their new stands for landscape mode. And they don't even put this on their packaging or clearly signal this in their advertising.

However, even Flexson recognizes that they screwed up. I called the company and spoke to a representative who told me they are designing a new stand that will permit the Play: 5 to be used in either landscape or portrait mode. But they have no plans to manufacture the new stands in the foreseeable future. And the rep made it clear that they are not going to create a new piece of hardware for the current stands that would allow a retrofit -- something that strikes me as very easy given the modular nature of the stands. But you can bet they won't publicize the new stands or sell them until they have sold their inventory of the current, deficient stands. (I'm actually amazed a company employee actually admitted to me that they recognized they blew it and were doing a re-design).

What does that mean for the would-be Sonos Play: 5 2nd Generation speakers? It means that there is no stand out there that has been custom built for portrait mode. And if you think you can just use another high-end stand, think again. Unlike classic bookshelf speakers, the Play:5 2nd Gen speakers are tall and thin: they have a relatively small footprint for their height and they have a relatively high centre of gravity. What that means is that if you put them on other stands, they will be extremely unstable. They also look weird since the top of the stands on which the speakers sits are bigger than the base of the speakers. An expensive and unsatisfactory fix. Trust me, I have tried.

Your only recourse is to put the speakers in portrait mode on a bookshelf or on the floor. Not good.

So, if Sonos wants their customers to take full advantage of the amazing capabilities of the Play: 5 2nd Generation speakers in portrait mode, they need to create their own line of stands. Or perhaps there is another enterprising speaker designer out there who can fill this small but important niche? Over to you Sonos!
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For some reason my picture didn't post. Here is a link.

http://imgur.com/Rw2lYgV
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I got the Bose FS-01 stands and set them up today. They are great. Very stable and at just the right height. There is a channel down the tube for running speaker wire and, unfortunately, the top access hole is too small for the speaker plug but I can live with that.

Thanks for the recommendation, schristo.
Agreed! Distribution of what is out there is extremely weak in the U.S. Funny, given they are making a product for a U.S. Manufacturer.