Question

Which setup to go for??

  • 20 July 2020
  • 8 replies
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Sonos-philes, help me out! 

 

Ive got a medium-small bedroom , but I love to feel fully immersed in surround deep, rich sounds. 

 

Should I go for a Sonos 5 in the centre (carrying most of the base) with two Sonos 1s in stereo making a triangle OR Should i just go for two Sonos 5’s in stereo?

 

Opinions very welcome, cheers


8 replies

Opinion: two speakers in stereo sound better than three.

I would go with a One pair+ Sub for best results. The Sub does the heavy lifting for the bass, and allows the One pair to project a better sound, with a stereo image that is not degraded by the presence of the Sub.

This, if there is a place between the two speakers to place the Sub. If not, a 5 pair.

And presuming always that this is for music and not TV.

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A stereo pair will give you a more ‘immersive’ experience than a single speaker - the suggested set-up of three speakers seems a non-starter and would create a rather curious sound stage and not really add much for the money. A pair of Sonos 5s would give a detailed, well-defined sound stage with good bass and for a music only setup as good as you can get from Sonos. A pair of Sonos Ones in a small room is also pretty decent. Adding a sub to a pair of Sonos Ones would seem like overkill and money better spent of the 5s. Whether a Sub would add much to a pair of 5s really depends on what you listen to. By the time you’re spending that much money on a music only setup, there are other serious contenders for your cash.

Cheers guys!! - based on this and other info im leaning towards a pair of Ones with a Sub now. May be overkill , but i do love that depth - and ive gathered that at low-med volumes in a small room the ones can do highs & mids almost as good as fives if you take the bass load off them via that sub

Something that is less known since it is counter intuitive - The Sub also adds a lot of presence to music played at low levels by allowing the bass to not disappear making the music sound thin as what happens otherwise at low volumes. So it is not just a big sound thing, the Sub, though it can do that as well.

In up to a medium sized room I would alway prefer a One pair+ Sub over just a 5 pair.

Make sure to place all units optimally, and then run Trueplay tuning. This set up is one where the tuning can do a lot to correct bass bloat for a more natural bass sound.

By the time you’re spending that much money on a music only setup, there are other serious contenders for your cash.

I agree that a 5 pair + Sub is serious money, and perhaps an overkill in a small room. But I am curious to know what you rate as serious contenders for the price, that do all that this Sonos set up does. Not questioning your view by this question, just an interest in alternatives.

Thinking of alternatives though, here is one that can work very well for the price of a one pair + Sub if you have access to used quality HiFi passive speakers that have decades of life that is wasted by audiophiles on upgrade trips. 

Wire a decent amp to these - and if you want Sonos features, this can be the Sonos Amp, though you will pay a much higher price to get these features. Money that perhaps can be spent on better speakers if you don't need the Sonos feature set.

Then, wire something like the value for money Echo Show 5 as a source and you can get album art for music played on Amazon Music/Apple Music with full voice controlled music play. You might even consider the Echo Show 8 for this. 

Or, if you prefer to stay retro, add a turntable as a source and if you chose a typical stereo amp, you will have the ability to add more than one source and switch between sources per need. The Sonos amp has just the one input pair of jacks.

The key to getting a good set up this way is speaker quality. Even something like Dali Zensor 3 or equivalent can serve a small room very well. And I referred to used kit because at not too much more outlay than the Dali, better sounding speakers should be available. Whatever speaker you do select, do this after listening because preferences for how they sound are very subjective.

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By the time you’re spending that much money on a music only setup, there are other serious contenders for your cash.

I agree that a 5 pair + Sub is serious money, and perhaps an overkill in a small room. But I am curious to know what you rate as serious contenders for the price, that do all that this Sonos set up does. Not questioning your view by this question, just an interest in alternatives.

In terms of multiroom, Naim Mu-so, Bowers and Wilkins, Bluesound spring to mind but there are others depending on budget and features. Some of these brands are more audiophile than others though I only have experience of the Naim Mu-so, which is a superb, if expensive, speaker. For a single room, a network streamer from the likes of Nad, Marrantz etc. could form the basis of a very good system, but without some of features that make Sonos what it is. 

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