Play 1 holds its own compared to a Play 5 gen 2!

  • 31 December 2016
  • 14 replies
  • 4479 views

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I have finally gotten around to performing a side by side test of my Play 5 gen 2 to a Play 1. I am really surprised but with my ears, I was hard pressed to tell a significant difference!! While the Play 5 sounds slightly richer, the Play 1 really holds its own even in the bass department. So much so I am considering returning the 5 and replacing it with a 1! Really goes to show what a great piece of kit the Play 1 is. Just my 2 cents.

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14 replies

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Hello,

Very interesting investigation indeed - i haven't tried Play 1 vs Play 5 at my home area,but in the media shop when i was testing these both sounds, Play 5 performance much much better compare with Play 1.
As i know Play 5 equipped with more speakers, more bass and etc..
In my opinion Play 5 must be a winner in this category!

Let's wait for others members to compare these 2 sounds
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I found that while the play 5 has by default more bass, a slight increase to the bass EQ of the play 1 made up for this. I tested them at normal listening levels both with loudness on and off but without trueplay activated. I expect that while the play 5 will offer a significant improvement at high volume, but for regular listening the play 5 offers only a slight audio advantage compared to the play 1. Also I found that for all intents the play 5 acts as a single source speaker, I could hardly make out any stereo seperation, although I do normally listen to a play 1 stereo pair.
Userlevel 1
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To be honest, each time i am listening to one of the play1 speakers i own, they surprise me.
However in a biger room a play 5 especially the 2nd generation is simply a more complete speaker.
For me a good mix of both is an optimal solution
In my view the P:5 is a significantly better sounding speaker at all but low volumes. Even so, i thibk the P:1 is exceptionally good for its size and as a pair sounds great.
I have 5 plays 1, and just bought a play 5, and I must say that I do not agree with you. The play 5 delivers a much deeper bass and more powerful, which the play 1 can't get even close to.....after my opinion 😃
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As I currently have a sub bonded to my play1s in the same room as the play5, I am seriously considering exchanging the 5 for a 3rd play1. As my living dining room is not so big and as the 5 is normal grouped with the 1s and sub, I guess the extra fidelity offered by the 5 is somewhat lost. Maybe a 3rd play 1 would also give adequate room coverage for less cost?
I found that for all intents the play 5 acts as a single source speaker, I could hardly make out any stereo seperation, although I do normally listen to a play 1 stereo pair.
On a price point basis, this - a single 5 v a 1 pair - is a more suitable comparison, and one in which the 1 pair will get many votes. As would the 1 pair + Sub compared to a 5 pair; again for a similar price point.
But the 1 would win hands down for being the most versatile speaker that Sonos has produced till now. IMHO.
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But hey, I'm sure we can all agree that sonos offers something for everybody!
Userlevel 4
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But hey, I'm sure we can all agree that sonos offers something for everybody!

Yes, they do. All of their speakers are excellent and the play1 really is a stand out. I personally think it is their best speaker.

Kris
In terms of cost: Keep in mind that a PLAY:1 consumes almost twice the energy of a PLAY:5 when in standby.
So if you use two PLAY:1, they'd consume 7.6 watts altogether, while one PLAY:5 would only consume 2.2 watts. The difference of 5.4 watts equals an energy usage of 47 kWh per year in standby only.
If you pay 45 cents per kWh, it would be about $22 dollars a year that you pay extra.
Just to give you the full picture, in case you care about this. 🙂
I own 5 Play 1 and recently bought a Play 5 and do agree that the Play 5 is nice, however the volume needs to be set higher than my Play 1's to achieve the same room filling sound. In fact if i place a Play 1 and Play 5 beside one another and have the volume at the same level on both units (separately or grouped) the Play 1 is louder at almost all levels until about 75% then the Play 5 begins to show its chops.
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I noticed similar behaviour. Don't get me wrong, I think the Play:5 is a fine speaker but not necessarily 300€ finer than a Play:1!
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Agree with author, but not that bass ends at 50% and begins to sounds small after that. Also, vocals are superior on play 1. Just wrote my review of the two as well. Glad its not only me who came to this conclusion. Probably returning the play 5.
I really enjoy reading all of your thoughts and opinions. I also have several pair's of ones and a single pair of fives (second generation). When you compare the price point of a pair of play one's vs the 5, its a no brainer, the sound is amazing. How ever, when you pair a play five at a reasonable volume, the sound is that much better.