Stereo pair Play:1's + SUB, my experience and story of how I adopted them


Userlevel 4
I've finally finished my investment into getting two Play:1's and a SUB. I just want to share my experience with it for anyone that is curious. How does it sound? Was the SUB setup easy? Does adding the SUB make a huge difference to just two Play:1's? How does it compare to a Play:5?


1 Play:1 in mono
Firstly, I lets start with my thoughts on a single, mono Play:1. It sounds phenomenal for a speaker that size. I borrowed my brother's iPhone to Trueplay tune it, and as I have it on my desk in the corner in my room it seriously reduced the bass resonance, and tightened up the mids and removed a lot of muffling in the vocals too! The Play:1 kicks hard especially with a 3.5" woofer. This setup originally got me into Sonos as my parents bought one for the kitchen and I had to get one of my own! I was so impressed I could only guess as to how great a stereo pair would sound...

Stereo Play:1's
So I got a second Play:1, and tried out the stereo. I hit play on a random track in the UK top 50 and not only did it sound clearer and louder, but the improved soundstage made the experience jump huge!

Comparing a Play:5 to stereo Play:1's
Now, I was hooked into the Sonos ecosystem, and after the event of a stereo Play:1 setup also grabbed a Play:5, as I work in an electronics store that sells Sonos products, and Sonos (the legends) were offering a limited time 50% off all Sonos products for all colleagues. So I picked up a Play 5 for £250 and I realized how much low end detail was missing in the Play:1's...

When I think about it, I really loved the huge soundstage the stereo pair had... Just comparing them; Play:1 stereo has a huge soundstage, but the Play:5 has more kick and low end detail and overall sounded fuller.

They were a tie and I used them both equally in my day to day life. I kept the Play:1's on my desk for when I sit down and the Play:5 to fill my room and they suited each purpose wonderfully.

Adding the SUB
So, I decided I also wanted a SUB to compliment my Play:1's. I saved my pennies, and asked my parents if I could get one and they said no. Ahahah... funny... I was a little niffed to be honest. Though I did remind myself that (at the time) the SUB was £700 and I could end up wasting my money. That is a LOT of money to throw at a SUB.

Their main reason was that I don't keep my room tidy enough and it would be too loud - especially for the neighbors. So we compromised, and I literally changed my ways and kept my room pristine for 3 months (still to this day too) and I managed to get the SUB on a post-Christmas deal (£549 instead of £600) which is also £150 less than the day I asked my parents. So the wait was worth it! I would have used my 10% colleague discount at the electronics store but the SUBs were selling like crazy and I could never find an unreserved one. So Amazon it was.

I paired it with the two Play:1's which was as seamless as ever and...
I can't be happier with the sound! I would take stereo 1's over a single 5 any day. The 1's go louder, clearer, and the sub booms. I put the sub to max volume (neighbors and family were out, luckily!) and my whole room was rattling, my deodorant cans were sliding off the shelves and the tiles outside my room were rattling. For sure, a good portion of the street could hear the thumping bass. Funny thing is, that rattle was from the differing air pressure. The physical unit itself doesn't move due to opposing drivers. How crazy is that?!

Bass aside, after Trueplay tuning the speakers, and setting the SUB level to 0 the detail is phenomenal. I look forward to coming home from work every day and listening to some tunes. Everything sounds fuller, drum kicks are louder (the 3.5" woofers in the Play:1's made drum kicks like taps on a table), vocals clearer, soundstage is huge, and every track feels warmer and deeper in a VERY good way. I love it - I think the money spent was worth it. I am a casual listener, I love the convenience of Sonos, Trueplay, less wires, native music streaming integration... It ticks all my boxes. And now, it sounds AMAZING.

Now I really want a Playbar for a surround sound experience. I could hook my PC up to it through the digital connection... gaming would be just too good, I can only imagine! AAAH! I only just got by with the SUB with my parents and they for sure don't want me to get any more Sonos equipment for the benefit of everyone else! We'll see... I might give it a few more months and ask when the time is right! :'D

5 replies


Bass aside, after Trueplay tuning the speakers, and setting the SUB level to 0 the detail is phenomenal.

Good report, that is close to my experience that also contains ten years of use of audiophile kit. Don't have golden ears though:-).

The thing about the report is like all others, in a week or so it will be buried under all the new posts and few will access/have access to it. For both lack of trying and because the search function here sucks.

A clarification on the quoted - by level 0 for the Sub, presumably you mean the centre position with as many pluses above it as the minuses below.
Userlevel 4

Bass aside, after Trueplay tuning the speakers, and setting the SUB level to 0 the detail is phenomenal.

Good report, that is close to my experience that also contains ten years of use of audiophile kit. Don't have golden ears though:-).

The thing about the report is like all others, in a week or so it will be buried under all the new posts and few will access/have access to it. For both lack of trying and because the search function here sucks.

A clarification on the quoted - by level 0 for the Sub, presumably you mean the centre position with as many pluses above it as the minuses below.


Yes, it's the neutral setting. Very centre of the SUB level slider!

Google does a fair job of finding threads like these which was my target. It does suck that the forum itself doesn't do a great job of promoting older threads. :'/
Badge +1
Wow that's awesome! How do you rank the play5 with sub?? Or do you think its better for me who already owns the play5 to buy a pair (or even three) play ones?? 🙂
Userlevel 4
Wow that's awesome! How do you rank the play5 with sub?? Or do you think its better for me who already owns the play5 to buy a pair (or even three) play ones?? :)

In all honesty I would use a Play 5 by itself! The bass in the 5 is comparable (albeit objectively worse) than the SUB. It's only when you want to go full blast with the Play 5 that the SUB can replenish the missing bass as the bass rolls off at 70%+ volume... Also I would 100% use the SUB with any combo of Play 1 as the bass just isnt great at any volume above 50%+ let alone the fact it rolls off heavily at around 40Hz. The SUB is an excellent combo in that regard. 🙂
For once ( but only once, after reading many, many of your posts) I disagree with Kumar. Only about posts being buried. I found this thread first time asking google, and it answered all my questions!

And in a really clear reporting style - thank you JackWright.

The trouble is I now want a sub....

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