Upgrading options

  • 24 October 2016
  • 16 replies

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I got turned on to Sonos a few years back when I went to a couple of parties and they simply ended up being a Sonos party; you know the ones where you take turns in putting a single song and your life thereafter is judged by everyone on the single song you chose! (I still claim that Starship are an awesome group!)

Currently I have a single Play 1 (no idea on what generation) which sits in the dining room and will either play there at parties in the winter or will get moved into the garden (though range is an issue) in the summer. Whilst it is suitable for the smaller rooms I do want to build on it.

I also have an older (and at the time expensive) separates AV/HiFI home cinema setup that I do not really use.

The general idea was to purchase a Play 3 for the dining/garden rooms (ie for the parties) and another Play 1 and a sub for a 2 x play 1 + Sub. Eventually I would move to a sound bar and then move the play 1's into separate rooms.

So my questions are:

1. Will a 2x play1 and a sub work? for the TV (or thinking about it, do I need a bar to get the P1's to work?) as the front main speakers.
1a. If I need a bar, will a bar + play 1's work?

2. I see very little on the forums about play3's. Why is this? Are they a good choice?

3, Assuming the above works the long term strategy was to then move the P1's into smaller rooms separately and purchase a bar.

What do you think and would it work?

Best answer by AjTrek1 29 October 2016, 22:45

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16 replies

1. No, not for TV, there's no way to get the TV audio into the play:1s that doesn't involve buying an additional piece of expensive equipment which still leaves you with a 70ms delay on the audio. If you get a Playbar you can only use the play:1s as surrounds for it, not as additional front speakers.

2. The play:3 isn't considered enough of an improvement on the play:1 to justify the cost increase. The play:1 is extremely good, especially as a pair.
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The LHC is correct regarding the Play 1's for TV use. The argument regarding the Play 1's vs Play 3's IMO is a subjective issue and will depend upon what you HEAR (or not) if the cost increase over the Play 1 is justified. Here's brief comparison between the Play 1 and Play 3

Play 1 is mono as a single speaker
Play 1 is moisture resistant (not water resistant) suitable for use in a shower room
Play 1 x 2 work great as a surround speakers and can be switched to full on stereo mode for music listening
Play 1 x 2 as stereo pair is excellent and even better when bonded with a sub

Play 3 is Stereo as a single speaker in horizontal position. However the Stereo effect will become less noticeable beyond 6ft
Play 3 is mono as a single speaker in vertical position
Play 3 x 2 is great as a surround speaker and can be switched to full on stereo mode for music listening
Play 3 x 2 as stereo pair (in either horizontal or vertical position) is excellent and even better when bonded with a sub
Play 3 x 2 as stereo pair in horizontal position offer a wider sound stage than when in vertical position

My suggestion is to audition both at home and decide if the cost increase for a Play 3 is worth it vs a Play 1.

FYI, Here's my setup:

Sonos Boost
Play 5 (Gen2) x 2 with Sub for music
Playbar, Sub and Play 3 x 2 as surrounds for HT setup
Play 1 x 2 in stereo pair in bedroom
Play 1 (single) in two other rooms
Connect attached to CD player

Good luck with your decision...Cheers!
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Ajtrek good consolidation post.

There is only one generation of Play:1 so you have the current version.

I like the play:3 myself for more mid range compared to 1s. 1s to me as a single speaker is more for background music. A play:3 as single speaker can fill a regular sized room.

Playbar for TV or play:5 (knowing slight delay added but I don't notice from lip sync prospective).

Is your current wired system decent. If so what about a connect hooked to it to make it a full Sonos system.
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Ajtrek good consolidation post.

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Is your current wired system decent. If so what about a connect hooked to it to make it a full Sonos system.

You should consider Chris’ comment as you may find new life to repurpose your AV setup…here’s how...

Introduce a Sonos Connect and set it as a Zone…See link:

Use an open Tape Output (if you have one available) to link it to the Sonos Connect Analog Input using RCA cables.

Any source you select (i.e. CD, Tape 2/DAT, Phono) will play as part of the Sonos System if selected via the Sonos Controller App. You do not need to select Tape Monitor nor the Tape source on your AV system where the Connect is connected to. *

The speakers connected will also continue to output audio.

* You probably all ready know this but for anyone else (and those unfamiliar with a Tape Deck :)) reading this....

"Tape Source on a AV component is always open an receiving audio from whichever source is selected. You might consider the Tape Source as a victim of an audio-drive-by :8 The only time one would actually select a Tape Source is for playback of recorded material on a connected tape deck. As the Sonos Connect is not a recorder (tape deck) there is no need to select it as a source - Ever".
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[/quote] As the Sonos Connect is not a recorder (tape deck) there is no need to select it as a source - Ever".[/quote]

There are two exceptions (but they still do not require selecting Tape (the Connect) as a source)...Streaming music services and tracks played from your tablet or computer to have them play through your AV system. To do so requires an additional hook-up with the Connect to AUX Source. If you want to know how...just post back. For now there's no need to add more to "convolute" this discussion 🆒

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Thanks for the replies.

I'm still thinking about all of the options. Mainly because I can not afford to do it all now I want to try and get the best now whilst future proofing my spend if that makes sense.

I'm thinking maybe a P5 now for the dinning room (and outside), which I trust will give me my depth and volume and shift the current P1 to the upstairs.

Will the connect allow me to control the volume on the HI-FI?

Can you please expand on the AUX source comment? I was assuming that the connect would simply allow me to play music through the Hi-FI. I'm not entirely sure I want to spend that kind of money on something that I looking to phase out.

I have a side issue with my Hi-FI setup and that is the speakers are reversed. My wife, in her wisdom, reverse our room layout last year which meant my large main speakers are now at the rear and the smaller (though not small) are at the front.

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The connect is an input/ouput device it cannot communicate to your hifi kit, so no it cannot control it's volume or anything else.

The connect output will let your play sonos music/internet through your hifi. The connect input will let your play anything your hifi is playing on any sonos speaker in the rest of house as well, or turn hifi volume down and only sonos will be heard.

You can always sell the connect later on, but you might still want it to get music from vinyl records, cd's etc into sonos system.
What make av stuff do you have?
Sonos is not into the visual side of av, so playbar only has 1 optical input, cannot decode DTS, and tv has to pass through DD5.1 to get true surround as per your current set-up (if you have at least 5.1)
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Despite calling it my HI-FI, the only time in the last 10 years I have played music through it is from MTZ on sky or when I discovered my Smart TV had a spotify app. Other than that it is purely a cinema setup.

Despite it costing a small fortune and being a great piece of kit, it is not truly a cinema system as they are music components not cinema components.


Just been looking at 'boost' too as when I move my speaker into the garden I start to lose range.

It says on the youtube video that it is used to connect the Play:bar and bass. Is it an additional peice of kit that is required for PB&B?


Thus you may see my dilema. I've got the kit but don't really use it so I'm kind of sitting in no-mans land.

My two mains are KEF SP3310.
My two Surrounds are Mission 760's (old)
Centre and bass were not accessible so couldn't check models.

So If I was to purchase a 'connect' would that allow me to control the music volume through the sonus. I'm working on the assumption that my AV volume would be set at mid range and then I would control the input to it from the app?!?! (Kinda like Spotify through a PC - speaker volume set to mid but app controlling the input).
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If you kept what you have and added a connect, then bought more sonos speakers for other rooms, then sonos app would fully control those sonos speakers.
The connect would use :-
a) phono LR inputs from your ONKYO phono outputs (check it has phono outputs, or optical outputs), to send music to above sonos speakers.
b) phono LR outputs to your ONKYO phono inputs (labelled AUX) to send internet radio etc to it. Sonos app controls music sent and volume control through AUX.

You could try the connect for 100days directly from sonos, and then send it back if you didn't like it. Then sell the lot & buy all sonos solution with playbar etc
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Hi Leemonk

Let’s attack your issues by the numbers:

Refer to my previous post wherein I outlined the differences between Play 1 and Play 3 speakers.

Sonos Playbar can only be used a speaker connected to your TV via optical input. You would set it up as a Zone (eg. TV Room). Add a Sonos Sub to amplify the low-end sound effects of movies. Add Play 1's or Play 3's as surround speakers to achieve DD 5.1 (No DTS or Dolby HD). To get DD 5.1 your TV must be able to send DD 5.1 over optical. Check your owner’s manual and/or research it at manufacturers website or elsewhere on-line to be sure. Since the Playbar is set as Zone it can be selected to play music. TV does not have to be turned on.

Sonos Play 5 is at the top of the Sonos speaker line-up. It will fill a room with sound and play louder than a single Play 1 or Play 3. However, if you are wanting a stereo effect beyond 6ft (2m) a pair of Play 1's or Play 3's configured as a stereo pair most often equal a single Play 5. You may still lack a bit of the low-end unless you pair a sub with the Play 1's or Play 3's in stereo pair.

However, doing the latter - Play 1s or Play 3’s in Stereo pair with or w/o a Sub – rivals and/or surpasses a Single Play 5 in price. So, at this juncture I’d go with a single Play 5 for the dining room and use the Play 1 in the garden. IMO moving a Play 5 around is a risky proposition as it is a substantial speaker by weight.

Sonos Boost can improve signal strength as it sets up a dedicated wireless signal only used by Sonos components. However, I suspect your weak signal is due to your WiFi. Every Sonos speaker except for the Sonos Sub can be placed in a “Boost Mode” by connecting it directly to your router via Ethernet. Doing so can save you the cost of a physical Sonos Boost. Click the link to learn more about Boost mode.

If a direct connection to a speaker is not convenient because of your routers location or you just want more flexibility in speaker placement, then a physical Sonos Boost may be the better option.

Sonos Connect can be used to bring a non-Sonos component into the Sonos environment such as a CD player or in your case your ONKYO TX-SR875. View the diagram below on how to make the proper connections to Tape and AUX.

When all connections are made set the Connect as a Line-In Zone in the Sonos Controller App. Select a play source connected to the ONKYO TX-SR875 then from the Sonos Controller App select the Connect Line-In Zone and group it with other Sonos speakers to have them play the same music. As I said in a previous post…

"Tape on a AV component is always open and receiving audio from whichever source (CD, Phono, Radio) is selected. You might consider the Tape as a victim of an audio-drive-by . The only time one would select Tape as source is for playback of recorded material on a connected tape deck. As the Sonos Connect is not a recorder (tape deck) there is no need to select it (Tape) as a source - Ever.” Do not select Tape Monitor either.

Speaker Volume control for the ONKYO TX-SR875 when playing a source connected to it (CD, Phono, Radio) will remain with it. Using the volume slider in the Sonos Control App will only affect Sonos speakers.

AUX connection as a source on your ONKYO TX-SR875 will only be selected if you are streaming music to your Sonos from something like Spotify or on-line radio services. Here again there is no need to select Tape nor Tape Monitor.

DO NOT plug the Connect into the Phono Inputs. The only device that should be plugged into Phono Inputs is a phonograph, record player or vinyl disc player (whichever name you chose to call it).

I hope this gets you where you want to be. Good Luck!
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WOW AjTrek1, that reply is most detailed ever, must have took you ages to research, well done matey!!
That Onkyo puts my sony recievers connections to shame 😳
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Thanks for the kudo's. Not a lot of research on my part…I’ve just been around for a LONGGGGG time. :8 Been using Audio equipment (today known as AV) when the only inputs were Phono, Tape, Receiver, and AUX either as Separates (Pre-Amp, AMP & Receiver) or Integrated AMP. No Video inputs of any sort were present (Analog, S-Video, Component and/or HDMI). In fact I still have recordings that are Hi-Fi only - pre-stereo :)

Although, I‘ve only enjoyed Sonos for a little over 2 years I’ve embraced technology (and electronics) since before the days when a business class office computer (B4 being called PC’s) had a storage drive that used Flexible media measuring 7 inches (17.7cm) - they were called Floppy Discs. The forerunner to the 3.5 inch (8.9cm) rigid disc that has since disappeared. LOL

You’re right - the ONKYO TX-SR875 is an impressive piece of tech. All the bells and whistles (i.e. 7.1 audio, HDMI switching and wired Dual Zone - just to point out a few).

Sonos is a great product and this Community offers a wealth of information. Thanks for your contributions as well! 🆒
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Thank you for the really detailed response.

After all that I think I have settled on a P5 and another P1.

P5 will do the living room my two 2 P1's will be distributed around the house. In the meantime I'll try and ascertain what the value of my kit is and perhaps sell it off and fund all or part of a bar & Sub setup.

I had the large floppy disc for maybe a year! (not sure if that makes you feel any younger or not!!) Then I had the Acorn Electron (gotta love Elite!)
Is this the place to admit I used to use paper punch tape to store my programs? And then punch cards as well, when I went to college. At home I had a cassette tape machine hooked up, until we finally got a floppy disk.

Hello, my name is Peter and I too have used punch cards. I even experimented with "mark sense" cards. One of my first programs did the calculations to land the lunar module on the moon. It crashed. Never again will I use a variable name starting with "l" to represent a float variable in Fortran. I then became a regular user of 8" floppies until the supply dried up. I still have a secret stash of music CDs. Old habits die hard... 😳