Possible playbar configurations with other speakers

  • 17 December 2017
  • 6 replies
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In my sitting room I have a pair of PLAY:3s and a SUB, which together stand one of my rooms called MAIN.
So: MAIN = SUB + PLAY:3 + PLAY:3 (stereo, wireless)
I also have other rooms in my apartment with other speakers, mostly PLAY:1s.

Now, I am planning to buy and install in my sitting room a TV and a PLAYBAR.
And here come the questions:

1. If I simply connect the PLAYBAR to TV, is it possible that this setup is displayed as an independent room in Sonos App, for example called "TV"? In other words, is it possible to have the PLAYBAR be controlled by the TV when I watch TV and by Sonos App when I want to stream some audio?
2. Is it possible to somehow conveniently group PLAYBAR and MAIN, to be either controlled by TV set or by Sonos App?

To better explain my questions, I would ideally like to have the following possibilities:
a) To listen to my existing MAIN controlled by Sonos App (no PLAYBAR involved)
b) To listen to my existing MAIN + PLAYBAR, controlled by Sonos App (to facilitate the sound)
c) To watch TV using PLAYBAR only (no MAIN involved), PLAYBAR simply playing TV's sound.
d) To watch TV using PLAYBAR + MAIN, the whole set responding to whatever is on TV as 5.1 setup.
And that all with only PLAYBAR and TVset connected with an optical cord, everything else wirelss.
And that all being simple to switch between (grouping/ungrouping is acceptable, but without reconfiguring rooms, resets etc.).
Is that possible?

This question follows my earlier surprise about the SUB, which surprisingly has to be part of one of the rooms, which means I cannot conveniently add it to any room (takes reconfiguration). I think I only discovered that after I bought it...

Thank you in advance,
Cheers,
Piotr

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6 replies

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OK, perhaps I simplify my question:

Once I got my 5.1 setup for TV, how easy/fast is it to switch back to stereo+sub only in the room, just for music?
Unfortunately, it is not easy, nor fast. Bonding speakers into 5.1 is meant to be semi-permanent and reconfiguring would resemble double the effort it takes to bond and un-bond the Sub with your Play:3s at this time, because you need to do it once for the Sub and once for the Play:3s.
You can do pretty much everything you wanted in your original post, but taking the surround speakers out to operate separately requires a reconfiguration similar to that for the Sub. This seems unsurprising to me.

You can listen to music through the whole 5.1 setup without having to reconfigure (effectively two stereo pairs and a Sub), although I realise that may not be exactly what you are looking for.
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Thank you guys. So two quick questions more:
1) How's listening to music via 5.1 setup? Does it feel right? Isn't the PLAYBAR too dominating?
2) For 5.1 setup and sound coming from my TV, do I need to wire with ethernet between PLAYBAR and other units, or is it still going to be wireless allright?
Hi again
1. Personal taste.... but I have to admit I prefer a single stereo pair. But you can control the relative volume of Playbar and surrounds, as I recall (away from system so can't test), so I don't think the Playbar would have to dominate.
2. No need to use any network cables, unless using a Connect:Amp for surrounds, which you aren't.
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Ok, my PLAYBAR has arrived. First feelings very positive for it by itself. Additionally, it has revived my SUB which I don't like for music when just with a pair of stereo speakers, but it does a wonderful job in 5.1 setup.

I still have to experiment more but it seems that the answer to my questions is basically "no" - it is not possible to easily switch between these all modes. If I want to have 5.1, I have to make my L and R speakers "surrounds", and it is not grouping anymore. I have now even found Sonos materials mention it:

Be sure to follow these instructions to set up your surround speakers. Do not create a room group or stereo pair as these will not achieve the left and right surround channel functionality.

However, yes - it is possible to set the level of surrounds (L+R) for TV and for music - against PLAYBAR level I guess, which helps to bring stereo up and avoid PLAYBAR domination. Also, PLAYBAR brings in some very nice bass frequencies, kind of bass that I was missing from L+R+SUB setting. So, I might learn to enjoy listening to music this way. Time will tell.

If I was to suggest something to Sonos, it would be to make a movie demo of different setups, illustrated by a presentation of the app options, constrains, arguments, settings etc.