Is it worth it to add a Sonos SUB to a GEN 2 PLAY:5 stereo pair?

  • 14 January 2016
  • 59 replies

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59 replies

Userlevel 1
“An objective answer is possible to only the first question with a Yes”

Hey Kumar, thanks for your reply. From a binary perspective I agree. Yes, some of the value of the 5s is wasted. But if we can consider it on a spectrum I think a valuable dialogue, imo, is to what degree. It is my sense (and forgive my lack of any technical rhetoric) that while the SUB is handling the lower frequencies, the woofers in the 5 are still active to a degree and playing bass frequencies that don’t quite fall into the lower register that the sub handles. So with that it seems the 5s are still offering a clarity and prowess that a pair of 1s still would be unable to handle.
Userlevel 1
^in regards to the bass.
There is no spectrum in the statement that more of the price paid for the 5 is wasted as compared to that paid for the 1. One can debate the dollars wasted, but that isn't useful.

As to how the 5 pair seems to offer something that a 1 pair cannot handle, it again gets down to the only thing that matters in home audio - what one hears, which is always subjective, while also depending on the room acoustics. Instrument measurements or technicals are only a guide to what may be heard and are more useful for designers/makers.

If a 1 pair + sub in my room with my music sounds better to me than a 5 pair + sub, it IS better as far as I am concerned. And vice versa.

Which is why listening tests remain the supreme decider. All else is just an aid to short listing the candidates.

My guess though is that the difference between a 5 pair and a 1 pair would be more than 5 pair + Sub and 1 pair + Sub. With the same dollar difference.
Userlevel 1
Just to be clear, I’m not referring to ‘money wasted’ as so much as ‘bass wasted’ which I do think is a spectrum and worth considering.
Userlevel 1
Badge +2

I am new to the community, Sonos and audiophile in general. Been following the community silently for a few months now, thank you all for the great insights.

I recently upgraded my Play5 Gen2 to a stereo pair. Rearranged the relatively large family area, ran TruePlay and the results were amazing. However I found there was a lack of bass especially at lower volumes even with EQ adjustments.

I decided to invest in a sub for the pair and have no regrets. EQ is all set at neutral now except for the sub which is as 65%.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I'd suggest folks try the Loudness option under the room settings as it can help the low end at lower playback levels, if that doesn't do the job then the Sub is the way to go.
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
FWIW here's my experience. My 5 gen2 stereo pair replaced a Hegel amp, a pair of ATC SC40mk2 and a JH audio sub about 2 tears ago, and whilst not as powerful sounding, the midrange and detail was right there with my old system. I've just added the sub, as sweet as the 5 bottom end is they struggle to fill my lounge when you crank it up. The sub makes a huge difference to my ears, and it's easy to over do it. Mine is set to mid level, no EQ bass boost and definitely no loudness. It's punchy, taught and extended without getting boomy or bloated. OK, the 750W JH could shake the walls and floor literally, but sonically the sonos system is not far behind it at a fraction of the cost. Personally I live it, and the house is slowly filling up with play 1s in every other room.
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
Update #2: put some acoustic foam underneath the feet to decouple from my suspended floor. Made a big difference has cleaned up the bottom end significantly. Lack of rigid mounting unimportant due to opposing firing drivers, unlike conventional uni directional drivers that need to be rigidly fixed in space.
Absolutely add the sub in with your Play.5 stereo pair!! A single play.5 in my opinion has great sound across the board. Adding the sub into the stereo pair lets the speakers handle more of the highs and midrange, while the sub handles all the lows. My stereo EQ is set flat across the board with the loudness off, the sub is turned up 1 to 3 notches (depending on what genres playing). It's glorious, I highly suggest adding the sub.