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Play:5 orientation

  • 15 March 2019
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I'm planning to pair 2 Play:5s for stereo playback. The document "Selecting a location for your Sonos speakers" includes this about vertical vs. horizontal orientation:

"While positioning the speaker in vertical orientation may be necessary for certain spaces, it should be noted that there is no stereo playback in this orientation. The speaker will play in mono."

Why is stereo playback not possible with a vertical orientation?
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Best answer by ratty 15 March 2019, 21:45

A single Play:5 in vertical orientation plays in mono. In a stereo pair, each unit plays the appropriate L/R channel as you would expect.
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4 replies

A single Play:5 in vertical orientation plays in mono. In a stereo pair, each unit plays the appropriate L/R channel as you would expect.
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So a single Play:5 in horizontal orientation plays in stereo?
So a single Play:5 in horizontal orientation plays in stereo?
Yes, it attempts to. It's surprisingly good at giving the impression of a stereo image from a single unit, with its angled tweeters. Of course two discrete units in a stereo pair is far superior.
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The Play 5 stereo image is very apparent to me, I was using a Play 3 as a desktop speaker and wanted to use it elsewhere so I borrowed a Play 5 to fill in while it was gone. The Play sounded so good I couldn't go back to the Play 3 so I bought another Play 5. Sound sounds so much more lifelike, no more flat, lifeless mono.

Any pair is going to give you better stereo imaging than a single 5 but for what it is the single 5 is pretty good.