Question

The play 5 sounds terrific i small rooms but mediocre i my kitchen/dining/living room.

  • 19 August 2017
  • 9 replies
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Hi!
I have now owned the play 5 for a couple a weeks and I like it a lot, but I didn't realized how good it was until I moved it to a smaller room in my house. The bass really come out and the sound quality was amazing. However, in my kitchen/dining/living room which is over 60 sqm (645 sqf) its closer to mediocre in terms of sound quality. The high's and mids are still decent but the bass is pretty much non existens, especially over 50 % volume. And I often need to raise the volume to over 90 % to fill the room with music. It seems like its going to be more expensive then I thought to get a rich sound in such a big room.
I don't want to return the play 5 since I love the usability and the sound quality when in smaller rooms, but

I feel like I need to to something because of the size of my main living area where most of my listening is happening. Either add a sub or another play 5? I thing it depends a lot of the layout of the room which you can see below.

Here's my floor plan and possible places where I can fit my speakers:
https://i.snag.gy/HV3Xtz.jpg
https://i.snag.gy/sEkJF2.jpg

I also have a very high ceiling, I think its close to 5 meters (16 ft) If that's something to take in to consideration when comparing another play 5 or a sub? Here's another view:
https://i.snag.gy/yo5wKg.jpg

Thank you very much for your help! 🙂

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9 replies

Any single speaker of the size of the Play:5 would have trouble fulfilling that task in a 60sqm room. Get a SUB.
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Any single speaker of the size of the Play:5 would have trouble fulfilling that task in a 60sqm room. Get a SUB.Or a Connect:Amp and some decent sized speakers. The base and bar would also work well with your TV, but sticking with integrated Sonos speakers only (including a base and bar), you need a Sub and a second player.
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Any single speaker of the size of the Play:5 would have trouble fulfilling that task in a 60sqm room. Get a SUB.

So you think its better for me to get a sub rather than another play 5?
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Any single speaker of the size of the Play:5 would have trouble fulfilling that task in a 60sqm room. Get a SUB.Or a Connect:Amp and some decent sized speakers. The base and bar would also work well with your TV, but sticking with integrated Sonos speakers only (including a base and bar), you need a Sub and a second player.
My priority is music since I barley watch any TV/movies.
Would a pair of bookshelf-speakers with the connect amp or a sub do a better job with the play 5 I already have? Or one more play 5 for the same price?
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It depends on how you listen to music. Another Play:5 will be timbre matched to your first, so you can use them as a stereo pair, and for more continuous sound it'll be better. Timbre has to do with speaker design and crossover frequency, and getting two different speakers, even from the same manufacturer, to timbre match is very difficult. Ergo, if I just wanted one giant room of sound, a second Play:5 most likely.

However, in absolute terms, it doesn't take much to pick up a competent pair of bookshelf speakers that will handily outperform a Play:5, even with an added Sonos Sub. The Sonos Sub only has a pair of 6" drivers, which means that a good pair of bookshelf speakers with 6" or larger woofers will give you the same or nearly the same amount of bass in a format that's actually better for music listening (as it's directional). And something like a Connect:Amp and a pair of Definitive StudioMonitor 65's is less expensive than a Play:5 and a Sonos Sub.

Ergo, as separate zones, I'd use bookshelf speakers in one and the existing Play:5 in the other.
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Another Play:5 will be timbre matched to your first, so you can use them as a stereo pair, and for more continuous sound it'll be better. Timbre has to do with speaker design and crossover frequency, and getting two different speakers, even from the same manufacturer, to timbre match is very difficult. Ergo, if I just wanted one giant room of sound, a second Play:5 most likely.

I agree with the advice to get a second PLAY:5 (on a returnable basis), since you like the sound but just require more volume. Depending on placement and where you like to listen, I would probably not set them up as a stereo pair but group them instead. It's worth some experimentation. Just adding a SUB to a single PLAY:5 will not really solve your problem.

However, in absolute terms, it doesn't take much to pick up a competent pair of bookshelf speakers that will handily outperform a Play:5, even with an added Sonos Sub. The Sonos Sub only has a pair of 6" drivers, which means that a good pair of bookshelf speakers with 6" or larger woofers will give you the same or nearly the same amount of bass in a format that's actually better for music listening (as it's directional). And something like a Connect:Amp and a pair of Definitive StudioMonitor 65's is less expensive than a Play:5 and a Sonos Sub.

Well, I'm not sure about any of that. You have to work quite hard to improve on a pair of PLAY:5s in stereo configuration, at an equivalent price point including amplification. And, the SUB is capable of room-shaking levels of bass, even if it 'only' has 6" drivers, because that's what it's designed for. No bookshelf speaker I've ever heard comes close.
Any single speaker of the size of the Play:5 would have trouble fulfilling that task in a 60sqm room. Get a SUB.

So you think its better for me to get a sub rather than another play 5?


You mentioned a lack of bass in particular, so I'd improve on that part before adding additional speakers to fill other parts of that rather large room. It's up to your preference though.
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Well, I'm not sure about any of that. You have to work quite hard to improve on a pair of PLAY:5s in stereo configuration, at an equivalent price point including amplification. And, the SUB is capable of room-shaking levels of bass, even if it 'only' has 6" drivers. because that's what it's designed for. No bookshelf speaker I've ever heard comes close.For music? It's actually pretty easy to do, and it ends up being the Connect:Amp holding you back significantly. The Definitives I mentioned are easily capable of outperforming a Sonos Play:5 if connected to an A/B amplifier and good source. The limit of the Connect:Amp with good bookshelves is the amplifier itself, which at higher frequencies approaches the Nyquist limit, while the speakers themselves prefer smoother sine waves. It leaves the sound feeling punchier and artificial, but leaves out a lot of the nuances. The Sonos Play:5 (and all Sonos amplifiers) rely on the same techniques that make MP3 compression work so that the differences are not immediately apparent to the untrained listener, but definitely exist - and this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just necessary to understand why and how Sonos works so you can use it better. :)

Room shaking bass isn't part of a music track, and isn't the point of a subwoofer, anyway. You should feel the bass, but it shouldn't shake the room - such levels are achieved when you have something like a Sensurround track, or someone a bit heavy with the sound mix and an LFE track. If you need a subwoofer for music, you don't have big enough woofers, or are just straight up listening to artificial bass. My primary listening speakers have only 5" woofers, but the subwoofer only kicks in less than 2% of the time while listening to music, even heavy metal, and maybe as much as 5% of the time on heavy techno. They're towers, but bookshelves offer many of the same advantages. Throw in a movie with a good sound track though, and that sub becomes critical to the experience.
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Well, I'm not sure about any of that. You have to work quite hard to improve on a pair of PLAY:5s in stereo configuration, at an equivalent price point including amplification. And, the SUB is capable of room-shaking levels of bass, even if it 'only' has 6" drivers. because that's what it's designed for. No bookshelf speaker I've ever heard comes close.For music? It's actually pretty easy to do, and it ends up being the Connect:Amp holding you back significantly. The Definitives I mentioned are easily capable of outperforming a Sonos Play:5 if connected to an A/B amplifier and good source. The limit of the Connect:Amp with good bookshelves is the amplifier itself, which at higher frequencies approaches the Nyquist limit, while the speakers themselves prefer smoother sine waves. It leaves the sound feeling punchier and artificial, but leaves out a lot of the nuances. The Sonos Play:5 (and all Sonos amplifiers) rely on the same techniques that make MP3 compression work so that the differences are not immediately apparent to the untrained listener, but definitely exist - and this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just necessary to understand why and how Sonos works so you can use it better. :)

Room shaking bass isn't part of a music track, and isn't the point of a subwoofer, anyway. You should feel the bass, but it shouldn't shake the room - such levels are achieved when you have something like a Sensurround track, or someone a bit heavy with the sound mix and an LFE track. If you need a subwoofer for music, you don't have big enough woofers, or are just straight up listening to artificial bass. My primary listening speakers have only 5" woofers, but the subwoofer only kicks in less than 2% of the time while listening to music, even heavy metal, and maybe as much as 5% of the time on heavy techno. They're towers, but bookshelves offer many of the same advantages. Throw in a movie with a good sound track though, and that sub becomes critical to the experience.


We'll agree to disagree. (Especially the signal processing stuff.)