Two Sonos Play5 vs Sonos Amp + 500$ speakers

  • 11 March 2017
  • 6 replies

I'm looking for a home-office stereo solution in the 1000$ range.

I wonder if anyone tried this and can help me choose between 2 x Sonos Play 5 (in stereo mode) and a system using a Sonos Connect Amp + standmount speakers of about 500$. If the latter... what speakers to use to better the Play5s?


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6 replies

Speaker sound can have subjective preferences, but that said it would be hard to find a new pair for that price that would be better than the 5 pair. But there can be possibilities in the used market if you can access it - there is little risk in buying used third party speakers and you may land a pair that goes for USD 1000 new with sound quality that you may prefer to that from a 5 pair.

For sure the 5 pair is a neater solution with one box less to accommodate.
Thank you for the reply.
I was thinking of Elac Uni-Fi B5 (about 500)... very good reviews and credentials. Or, on the cheaper side, Q Acoustic Concept 20 (about 400). What do you think?
I only heard one Play5 - never as a pair.
I think the 5 pair will do better than these; note that I too have only heard the 5 as one speaker for just a few hours. But I am sure that a 1 pair + Sub would do much better than either of the two speakers you mention, for perhaps a little more, and I say that because I use that set up extensively along with - in other zones - Connect Amps with Quad 11Ls and Dali Zensor 1. Both the latter are good speakers, but can't keep up with what the 1 pair + Sub does. So I doubt the Elac or QA, good as they are, would fare much better.

The 5 pair would easily do all a 1 pair + Sub does except perhaps not deliver bass content as robust as the Sub would at high volume levels.

There is another thing to consider; only a play unit based solution will offer the Trueplay room response tuning feature, that can be quite useful in many circumstances.
The Zensors are nice little speakers... I know them. Not too much bass at that size, of course.
The Play5 sounded very good to me. Just 10 minutes of listening, but it went deep without loosing cohesion in the upper frequencies even with more complex pieces + a pretty wide soundstage. I will try to find a place to hear a pair for more than a few minutes. And also look a little bit on the used market for some bargains: some KEFs R300 would be nice at 500-600 🙂.
I didn't think at "used" before you mentioned it. Thanks for the comments.
Even a Q300 would do well, if you must have more bass. But from just a technology standpoint, the Connect Amp + Passive speaker set up is now obsolete, compared to the active speaker+DSP tech that play units have. IMO, Connect Amp now makes sense only if one already has quality passive speakers, or for driving external/outdoor speakers.
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I must say, a Connect:Amp paired with some Klipsch bookshelf speakers and a small powered sub sounds pretty damn good in my office.
@Kumar, I wouldn't go so far as to call it obsolete.. The Connect:Amp still has much use, not just for outdoor or garage use, but also for in-wall or in-ceiling speaker installations