Two Play 3s or Two more Sonos Ones

  • 23 January 2018
  • 5 replies
  • 1780 views

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My current setup is a 5.1 with a playbase, sub and two Sonos Ones in my living room. I've decided to add Sonos to a couple of other rooms. One room is an office, the other is my bedroom. I thought about getting two more Sonos Ones, but then considered maybe just moving the current Sonos Ones to those two rooms and purchasing two Play 3s to use as surrounds and music in the living room.

Any thoughts on the sound quality of the Play 3s vs the Ones and whether it is worth the additional cost?

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5 replies

Sonos ones for surround sounds is sufficient, also Sonos one for Bedrooms/Offices gives you great sound. I placed our Sonos Play 3 in the kitchen (was once in the bedroom) and then got a new Sonos One for the bedroom. Even though its a smaller speaker i prefer the Sonos One (new version with Alexa) in the bedroom.
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Yeah, I guess a better question was what improvement in sound I would see when two Play 3s are used for music over a pair of Sonos Ones.
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Yeah, I guess a better question was what improvement in sound I would see when two Play 3s are used for music over a pair of Sonos Ones.

As FYI, My 5.1 setup consists of Playbar, Sub and Play 3's as surrounds. I switched to Play 3's from Play 1's. IMO there is very little sonic difference between a Play 1 and Sonos One that will make you say WOW!

Now to your question about music on a Sonos One vs a Play 3. As a stand-alone speaker in Horizontal position the Play 3 produces a stereo output versus mono from a Sonos One. However, after you move about 10-12 ft away from the Play 3 the stereo effect is less noticeable. Generally speaking a Play 3 will produce slightly more low end than a Sonos One.

In a surround setup the reocmmended postion for a Play 3 is vertical. However in a Vertical position the Play 3 converts to Mono output. So given the slighlty larger speakers of the Play 3 the surround channel IMO sounds more robust than with the Sonos One. That said even though in vertical position the Play 3 output is mono... it acts like a stereo pair when switched to full on speaker mode when used in a HT setup.

Therefore in IMO...you will achive more robust surround effect with Play 3 's and a better sound stage when swiched to full-on speaker mode for music.

Note:Some in his forum may object to the sound differences I've referenced. However, that's all well and good as the ear hears what it hears and is a subject experience. Furthermore, the engineers must think there is a Sonic difference between a Sonos One (Play 1) and a Play 3..else why continue to include the Play 3 in the line-up? So you may want to do a trial audition of your own within the return period to be sure. Cheers!

Therefore in IMO...you will achive more robust surround effect with Play 3 's and a better sound stage when swiched to full-on speaker mode for music.

The first part is probably correct and I say probably only because some here prefer the sound of the 1/One over the 3.
But the 3 units, like the 5, conform to what needs to be in place for the sound stage illusion to happen in the brain - there needs to be about as much distance between the left/right channel sound sources - speakers - as the distance from the speakers to the listening area. Seeing how little the distance that can be afforded by the one box units to left/right speakers within, the soundstage illusion will disappear long before one is 10 feet away from them. At that distance, from a sound stage point of view they will sound similar to the mono 1/One, although the 5 with its angled tweeter will extend proportionately further out than a 3.
And all the above said, there is nothing like a trial audition with kit bought on a returnable basis.
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I would (and this is my opinion) go for Play One option. This give you Alexa, more compact speakers, asthetically nicer looking and as they are in the same room as the Playbase will be helped by the bass if used in full mode. A Play One standalone is better than anything commpatable price wise.