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TV sound: Playbar and Sub vs. stereo (new) Play:5


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I know most people haven't heard the new Play:5s yet but I was curious what people thought about these setups. My tv has an optical out that DOES pass through 5.1 so I would get full use of the Playbar. The tv also has a headphone jack so I think a pair of Play:5s would give great stereo sound and I've read that they have plenty of bass and you might not need a sub. The Play:5 option would be cheaper. I'm also thinking that because the Play:5 is the newest speaker it would theoretically be up-to-date the longest. I'm just wondering what you guys think.
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Best answer by Chris 5 November 2015, 16:22

I would say it depends on what you plan to listen to most often on the setup.

If it is going to primarily be TV with a little music listening mixed in then Playbar all the way.

If your wanting to listen to a lot of music in the room with the benefit of boosting TV sound at times when want - then the Play:5. There will be a about 70ms delay of the TV audio using the Play:5 - whether that is noticeable is up to you (I don't find noticeable unless leave TV speakers on and then there is echo).

The Playbar is a pretty recent speaker and internally as far as the wireless etc. I think the Playbar isn't too far removed from the internals of the Play:5 so I wouldn't worry about longevity.
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I would say it depends on what you plan to listen to most often on the setup.

If it is going to primarily be TV with a little music listening mixed in then Playbar all the way.

If your wanting to listen to a lot of music in the room with the benefit of boosting TV sound at times when want - then the Play:5. There will be a about 70ms delay of the TV audio using the Play:5 - whether that is noticeable is up to you (I don't find noticeable unless leave TV speakers on and then there is echo).

The Playbar is a pretty recent speaker and internally as far as the wireless etc. I think the Playbar isn't too far removed from the internals of the Play:5 so I wouldn't worry about longevity.
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If your wanting to listen to a lot of music in the room with the benefit of boosting TV sound at times when want - then the Play:5. There will be a about 70ms delay of the TV audio using the Play:5 - whether that is noticeable is up to you (I don't find noticeable unless leave TV speakers on and then there is echo).


I'm not too worried about the delay with the Play:5s because I would turn off the speakers in the TV and it has a lip sync setting that I should be able to adjust.
I would say it depends on what you plan to listen to most often on the setup.

If it is going to primarily be TV with a little music listening mixed in then Playbar all the way.

If your wanting to listen to a lot of music in the room with the benefit of boosting TV sound at times when want - then the Play:5. There will be a about 70ms delay of the TV audio using the Play:5 - whether that is noticeable is up to you (I don't find noticeable unless leave TV speakers on and then there is echo).

The Playbar is a pretty recent speaker and internally as far as the wireless etc. I think the Playbar isn't too far removed from the internals of the Play:5 so I wouldn't worry about longevity.


Hi Chris,

Will the analog output from TV to new play 5 produce less sound quality than the optical output from Playbar? Could you please also explain a little bit about sound quality of playbar vs new play 5 regardless TV connection? Thank you!
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Oretty much the playbar having surround sound ability and the play:5 just stereo.
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I'm not too worried about the delay with the Play:5s because I would turn off the speakers in the TV and it has a lip sync setting that I should be able to adjust.

Be aware though that most (all?) lip-sync adjustments in TVs only delay the audio relative to the picture, which won't help to lip sync the Play:5. That would require the TV to delay the picture instead, which is a whole different challenge.

FWIW, I have my TV sound coming through a pair of Play:1s, via a line-in from TV to a CONNECT. So the 70ms delay applies. I can say I can just about perceive the delay compared to my previous setup where I had the TV playing through an analogue amp and speakers. But I can live with it. And I think trying to achieve perfect sync is a losing battle anyway, as different sources and TV channels have varying quality of sync in the first place.
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If you wire all of your players with Ethernet that are streaming or receiving the line-in signal you will get less delay. In the app, set the compression to uncompressed and with everything wired you will get about 50 to 60ms delay rather than 70ms. Not a huge difference but trust me, it is noticeable.

And of course the PLAYBAR will receive a higher quality digital signal, in comparison to what the PLAY:5's would receive over analog. Mostly the digital signal has no processing needing to be done but the PLAY:5's will still compliment the analog input with their own high quality playback.

Sound quality wise, the new PLAY:5's basically do what a PLAYBAR would usually. So you can achieve a super wide soundstage, with a lot of depth and accuracy, as the PLAYBAR already does. Meaning you are a lot more surrounded in the music. - The bass response is slightly better than the PLAYBAR as a new form of custom driver is being used which from what I've seen and heard act half and half between a mid-woofer and a sub-woofer driver, although without the size and air pressure to blow the doors off. If you add a SUB to either of the two setups you will achieve basically the same outcome, one is just built for TV/Movies first (PLAYBAR) and the other for Music (PLAY:5). They both excel at achieving the same things, but for their necessary content.

From my own personal listening experience, the new PLAY:5's blow the PLAYBAR away when used on it's own, good for TV and movies, but especially excel for music as they were designed for that. These things are a mile ahead when it comes to music and the truthful reproduction of it. Although at the same time, a PLAYBAR and SUB together blow the PLAY:5's away for both TV, movies, and music, as there is a lot more power to work with and a lot more distance for the stereo to seperate. Then again, two PLAY:5's and a SUB demolish the PLAYBAR and SUB (again specifically for music). So really, they're all on the same level somewhat once SUB is in the equation. But if music is your main thing then I definitely recommend the new PLAY:5's and a SUB down the line. Absolutely.

Best regards!

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