Sonos Play:5 or One for multi room retail space?


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I'm looking for a wireless multi room setup in a retail environment and could use some advice. There are two adjacent rooms, one is 27' x 25' and the other is 12' x 25'. The ceilings are 9'8" high and the rooms are connected by a 6' doorway. I'll be using Spotify to play ambient background music and occasionally be playing audio from short promo videos on a TV in the store.

LARGE ROOM
Would you recommend two Sonos Play:5s, or four Sonos Ones? What kind of square footage coverage can I expect from each speaker?

SMALL ROOM
Would you recommend two Sonos Ones or a single Play:5?

TV
How can I connect the audio from the TV into the Sonos ecosystem? If I place one of the Play:5s near the TV and ran a 35mm audio cable to it, can I switch the the TV audio input on and off though the Sonos app? Or is there an affordable way to connect it wirelessly? BTW, I haven't bought the TV yet, so if there is a built in audio feature I should look for to achieve this, please let me know.

Thanks in advance!

12 replies

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Update: I think I'm going to go for a 4 x One setup in the large room and a single One in the small room. I've gotten advice to set the speakers in the large room to mono, in order to to give a seamless musical experience to shoppers wandering around the store. I'm thinking of placing them near the four corners of the room, close to the ceiling but angled down slightly. Any thoughts on that?

Does anyone know if it's possible to set up a stereo environment in the large room, then toggle back and forth between mono and stereo easily? I'd like to group the two speakers on the right wall to be the right channel and the two on the left wall for the left channel. (for when I'm the only one in the store)

Still not sure what to do about the TV audio... Worst case scenario I can look for a TV with good... fair... ok, "usable" speakers. Can anyone offer suggestions on how to send the TV audio to the Sonos speakers? It's only needed for occasional short promo videos. Thanks!
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Update: I think I'm going to go for a 4 x One setup in the large room and a single One in the small room. I've gotten advice to set the speakers in the large room to mono, in order to to give a seamless musical experience to shoppers wandering around the store. I'm thinking of placing them near the four corners of the room, close to the ceiling but angled down slightly. Any thoughts on that?

Unless you are planning to re-purpose the Sonos One's at some point you'd be better served to use Play 1's and save $20 -$50 each per speaker. Alexa voice assistant in the Sonos One's in a retail environment would ideally be muted. Otherwise you will get a lot of false responses from Alexa.

Your idea for placement is sound (pun intended :))

Does anyone know if it's possible to set up a stereo environment in the large room, then toggle back and forth between mono and stereo easily? I'd like to group the two speakers on the right wall to be the right channel and the two on the left wall for the left channel. (for when I'm the only one in the store)

You would have to go with Sonos Amp x 2 which can be set to stereo or mono output via the Sonos app. However, you would be forced to use Sonance Architectural speakers or 3rd party speakers of your own choosing. This option gets expensive :(:?

To be clear you can do the same with Play 1’s but the bouncing between stereo pairs and mono is a bit more involved. However it is less expensive. ?

Still not sure what to do about the TV audio... Worst case scenario I can look for a TV with good... fair... ok, "usable" speakers. Can anyone offer suggestions on how to send the TV audio to the Sonos speakers? It's only needed for occasional short promo videos. Thanks!

Purchase a TV with HDMI-ARC and/or optical out. You can then purchase a Sonos Beam that can be mounted to the TV and used singularly and also be Grouped and un-Grouped to the other Sonos speakers (on demand) to send audio to them.

This would definitely be where IMO the Play 1's are the best option for the corners of the rooms.

There might be a slight audio lag but most can be corrected via the Sonos app. In any event I would not have speakers grouped to the TV/Beam that are in close proximity.

Click the links for:

Sonos speaker and Amp products mentioned: https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop

TV mount for Beam: https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/sanus-tv-mount-beam.html


Warning: You may have to investigate licensing for music played in a retail environment be it owned and/or streamed.

Cheers!
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AjTrek1, thanks for all the info! I think I’m going to pay a little extra go with the One instead of the Play:1 because of AirPlay 2 support, faster hardware and overall future proofing.

For the TV audio, I’ll likely just use the TV speakers for now, as a Sonos Beam isn’t in my budget.
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AjTrek1, thanks for all the info! I think I’m going to pay a little extra go with the One instead of the Play:1 because of AirPlay 2 support, faster hardware and overall future proofing.

For the TV audio, I’ll likely just use the TV speakers for now, as a Sonos Beam isn’t in my budget.


FYI, If you purchase 5 of the Sonos One (Gen1) models you'll save $100 which you could apply toward a Beam. The difference between the Sonos One (Gen1 and Gen2) is that the Gen2 model has more memory and uses BLE for setup. The extra memory is for future enhancements for which Sonos has made no mention as to when they might occur.

I have 6 Gen1 Sonos One's which I do not intend to replace unless there is an overwhelming functionality enhancement that relegates my current Gen1 models to the stone-age 🙂

To be honest I did purchase a Sonos One (Gen 2) just to test out the connection and pairing ability. Nothing remarkable to mention. Until there is a feature enchantment pushed out that is specific to the Gen 2 model IMO there's no difference in performance/features versus that of the Gen1. Just my two cents :8

Cheers!
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Just to clarify, when you mention Sonos One gen 1, are you referring to the Sonos Play:1? (Sorry, I’m new to the universe of Sonos)

You have a good point about saving money with the Play:1 and getting a Beam. I’d lose the AirPlay 2 support, but I’ll be using Spotify most of the time anyway. Plus I don't think I’ll get a lot of use out of the voice control.

If I get 5 Play:1s and a Beam, can I:
1) link all 6 speakers together to play Spotify
2) link all 6 speakers together to play TV audio (probably via a Roku Ultra)
3) have the 5 Play:1s play Spotify while the Beam plays TV audio

If there’s an easy way to toggle between the 3 modes above I may consider going with Play:1s and a Beam.

BTW, you mentioned that the One uses BLE for setup. What is BLE?
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Just to clarify, when you mention Sonos One gen 1, are you referring to the Sonos Play:1? (Sorry, I’m new to the universe of Sonos)

The Sonos One series and Play 1 series are different. The Play 1 preceeded the Sonos One. The Play 1 does not natively support Airplay 2; nor Alexa. The Sonos One Gen1 and Gen2 are identical except that the Gen2 model for futures has increased memory and uses BLE (BlueTooth Low Energy) during setup. BLE in Sonos does not support send/receive of music as traditional Bluetooth. The good news is that the sound characteristics of all three (Play 1/ Sonos One Gen1 & Gen2) are IMO the same.

You have a good point about saving money with the Play:1 and getting a Beam. I’d lose the AirPlay 2 support, but I’ll be using Spotify most of the time anyway. Plus I don't think I’ll get a lot of use out of the voice control.

If I get 5 Play:1s and a Beam, can I:
1) link all 6 speakers together to play Spotify
2) link all 6 speakers together to play TV audio (probably via a Roku Ultra)
3) have the 5 Play:1s play Spotify while the Beam plays TV audio


1. Yes
2. Only if you connect the Beam
3. Yes

If there’s an easy way to toggle between the 3 modes above I may consider going with Play:1s and a Beam.

IMO, Yes. The Sonos app allows to you create stereo pairs, break stereo pairs, group or ungroup speakers in any combination you desire. You just have to be willing to open the Sonos App.:) Note: Grouping can be accomplished outside of the Sonos app just by pressing the play/pause button on any speaker.

Also, if you use the Beam it has Alexa and Airplay 2. Via Alexa (Beam) you can play music via voice command and/or direct music to any speaker without turning on the TV. You can start Airplay on the Beam and group any of the Play 1 (non-airplay) speakers to join the fun.

BTW, you mentioned that the One uses BLE for setup. What is BLE?

See first answer above.

Cheers!
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Ah, I see. Thanks for the detailed explanations! Time for me to start shopping around for the best prices. I saw a deal on a pair of Play:1s at Costco recently. If I can get AirPlay 2 and Alexa support via the Beam, I see no need to go for the Ones over the Play:1s. What would you do in my position?
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Ah, I see. Thanks for the detailed explanations! Time for me to start shopping around for the best prices. I saw a deal on a pair of Play:1s at Costco recently. If I can get AirPlay 2 and Alexa support via the Beam, I see no need to go for the Ones over the Play:1s. What would you do in my position?

If you feel that for the present and at least a couple of years to the future you don't really need Alexa and/or Airplay 2 (natively) in the smaller speakers I'd opt for the Play 1's. Doing so will allow you to get the Beam and basically have as much versatility as you need without breaking the bank.

Even if Sonos were to discontinue the Play 1 tomorrow you'd still get applicable updates and tech support for years to come. Granted at some point support may stop as far as updates are concerned but that won't "brick" the speaker. Sonos is still supporting the Play 5 Gen1 which has not been sold for 4 years!

Cheers!
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Ok, thanks for the advice. You mentioned previously that I should avoid placing the Ones/Play:1s near the Beam. Can I ask why that is?

Do you think the Beam would cover one side of the room on its own? If so, I’d put the Beam on one side of the room and 2 x Play:1 on the other side.

You also mentioned that sometimes there are sometimes lip sync issues between the TV video and the Sonos speakers, which can be adjusted in the Sonos app. If all the speakers are playing TV audio, will the app adjust the audio sync in all the speakers simultaneously, or just the Beam?
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Ok, thanks for the advice. You mentioned previously that I should avoid placing the Ones/Play:1s near the Beam. Can I ask why that is?

Having the Play 1's in the same vicinity of the Beam may create what is known as stadium effect (i.e echos)

Do you think the Beam would cover one side of the room on its own? If so, I’d put the Beam on one side of the room and 2 x Play:1 on the other side.

It's possible. However, in the beginning you were wanting the smaller speakers mounted in the corners of the room for ambient sound. If the TV/Beam were placed up high on the wall on one end I'd say it's doable. At eye level the Beam will be more "in-your-face" acoustically.

If in the large room you might consider placing the TV/Beam in the center of a long wall. That would place the TV/Beam far enough away from the corners (on either end) and steer clients to the center of the room rather than one end. JMO.

If the TV/Beam is in the smaller room where's there's only one other speaker I'd say the choice of position is not as critical. But again not next to the smaller speaker.

You also mentioned that sometimes there are sometimes lip sync issues between the TV video and the Sonos speakers, which can be adjusted in the Sonos app. If all the speakers are playing TV audio, will the app adjust the audio sync in all the speakers simultaneously, or just the Beam?

You can set the audio for the Beam to compressed in the Sonos app which would regulate all other speakers when grouped.

Suggestion:
Wi-Fi interference in a commercial environment will be more prevalent than in a home. Just think about the number of cell phones that will be on and have the potential to cause interference with your Wi-Fi. To mitigate the possible occurrence of Wi-Fi interence with Sonos I suggest using Wired mode (fka Boost mode) instead. Wired mode can be accomplished in two ways:

1. Wiring a speaker to your router
2. Using the dedicated Sonos Boost module (my recommendation) as it affords greater placement flexibility and a stronger signal.

Click the link on the advantages of Wired versus WiFi mode: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3235?language=en_US
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Wow, you are a wealth of information! The TV is going to be mounted in the centre of a long wall (north wall), and I'm going to be running an Ethernet connection to it. I can run a second Ethernet connection to the same location for the Beam and mount it above the TV. If I also mounted 2 xPlay:1s in the corners of the opposite long wall, do you think that would work to fill the room? I can also run Ethernet to the Play:1s if you think that would help with any audio sync issues.

If I set the Beam audio to compressed, would that affect audio quality for music?
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Wow, you are a wealth of information! The TV is going to be mounted in the centre of a long wall (north wall), and I'm going to be running an Ethernet connection to it. I can run a second Ethernet connection to the same location for the Beam and mount it above the TV. If I also mounted 2 xPlay:1s in the corners of the opposite long wall, do you think that would work to fill the room? I can also run Ethernet to the Play:1s if you think that would help with any audio sync issues.

If I set the Beam audio to compressed, would that affect audio quality for music?


1. You can run Ethernet to the Beam and that would create the SonosNet (i.e. wired mode) which is my recommendation.

2. With the TV in the center and the Play 1's x 2 on the opposite wall may fill the room but to do so you may have to turn the level higher than you desire. So 4 speakers (1 in each corner) still may be the way to go. You will have to experiment to be sure.

3.Wiring every speaker back to your router will strengthen the SonosNet. However, unless you experience drop-outs (after wiring the Beam) it may not be necessary. So I'd try the Beam alone first to see how things sort out.

4. Setting audio to compressed will not be that noticeable. The small amount of data loss is insignificant for the TV audio overall. The only ones who might notice are canines 🙂. As I said earlier audio lag is not a given...just a maybe. Try things in normal mode first then make adjustments if needed.

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