Why is the maximum volume so low?

  • 26 February 2014
  • 62 replies
  • 43705 views

I just purchased a single Play:5. I have to turn it about 3/4 of the way up to hear it much at all, and at max volume, it is not nearly what one would expect from a speaker of this quality. I have the volume setting all the way up, plus the bass and treble at max. Nothing seems to help. Is there another setting I'm missing? Thank you.

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62 replies

Badge +18
That is unusual, the PLAY:5 should certainly be audible even at the lower volumes and at 3/4s volume you should have no problem hearing it.  It will be quite loud and you should not need to adjust the treble / bass much at all.

What's the music source you're playing from?  
That is unusual, the PLAY:5 should certainly be audible even at the lower volumes and at 3/4s volume you should have no problem hearing it.  It will be quite loud and you should not need to adjust the treble / bass much at all.

What's the music source you're playing from?  

I have just set up the Play 5 and I agree it,s not loud at all on full volume , when I read the write up,s I thought I was buying a too powerful speaker for the room , not the case at all ! oh and I,m using an ipad !
My Play5 is volume deprived also. at 1/2 volume I can barely even hear it. I'm using an iphone 5s with both iTunes and Pandora. What's the fix here?
Userlevel 3
Add me to the list, very quiet at half volume.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
As John said, what you're describing is quite unusual as the PLAY:5 can get very loud. Local iTunes music could be encoded quieter, and at times Pandora tracks might be low as well. Sonos players don't edit the volume encoded in the tracks themselves, so you could have a few that are digitally set lower than others. This shouldn't be the case will all of your Pandora or local songs however.

If you're using the Line-In on your PLAY:5 will want to adjust the Line-In level as shown on this page. This adjusts the gain level on the Line-In connection to be louder when you have the cable plugged in from your iPad (for example) to the PLAY:5. The higher the value, the higher the volume. 

You can also turn on the Loudness setting inside the Equalization settings. Tracks usually are louder with the Loudness turned on.

If the PLAY:5 still seems low on multiple Sonos sources, can you please submit a diagnostic from your system and reply back here with your confirmation number?

Thanks
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
That is unusual, the PLAY:5 should certainly be audible even at the lower volumes and at 3/4s volume you should have no problem hearing it.  It will be quite loud and you should not need to adjust the treble / bass much at all.

What's the music source you're playing from?  

What is your music source
3972472
3972472
I just set up a new PLAY 5 and have same issue. I have PLAY3s, Sound Bar and Base, and all work beautifully. New PLAY5 has just been set up in different room and is inaudible at anything lower than half volume. Loudness button is on, and problem exists no matter whether iPad, iPhone or MacBook Air is used as controller, and whether Pandora, Beats or my own music from iTunes is played. Call me a disappointed Sonos customer.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
3972472
If same source is playing fine on the Play:3 and Soundbar but very little sound out of the Play:5 I would tend to think the Play:5 is defective that you got.
I'm having the same problem. Just set up PLAY 5 two or three weeks ago. I also have a couple PLAY 3's and the y sound fine. The PLAY 5 is inaudible until the indicator is between 1/2 to 3/4 Max volume.
I have two Play5's as Stereo pair and about a quarter up is more than enough. But then, when I'm in one of those moods and SWMBO is not around I crank it up higher, still not reaching half though.
As John said, what you're describing is quite unusual as the PLAY:5 can get very loud. Local iTunes music could be encoded quieter, and at times Pandora tracks might be low as well. Sonos players don't edit the volume encoded in the tracks themselves, so you could have a few that are digitally set lower than others. This shouldn't be the case will all of your Pandora or local songs however.

If you're using the Line-In on your PLAY:5 will want to adjust the Line-In level as shown on this page. This adjusts the gain level on the Line-In connection to be louder when you have the cable plugged in from your iPad (for example) to the PLAY:5. The higher the value, the higher the volume. 

You can also turn on the Loudness setting inside the Equalization settings. Tracks usually are louder with the Loudness turned on.

If the PLAY:5 still seems low on multiple Sonos sources, can you please submit a diagnostic from your system and reply back here with your confirmation number?

Thanks

Hi I've just purchased 2x play 1's and a Play 5, I can hear every word and sound from the play 1's at the lowest volume, yet the play 5 I can hear nothing on low and when I turn it up full the sound is to say the least pathetic, have I got a faulty Play 5 as I cannot imagine it to be functioning properly with such awful sound and no way a £169 Sonos speaker can sound 10 times better than a £350 one... My diagnostics confirmation number is 4560923. Thanks
As John said, what you're describing is quite unusual as the PLAY:5 can get very loud. Local iTunes music could be encoded quieter, and at times Pandora tracks might be low as well. Sonos players don't edit the volume encoded in the tracks themselves, so you could have a few that are digitally set lower than others. This shouldn't be the case will all of your Pandora or local songs however.

If you're using the Line-In on your PLAY:5 will want to adjust the Line-In level as shown on this page. This adjusts the gain level on the Line-In connection to be louder when you have the cable plugged in from your iPad (for example) to the PLAY:5. The higher the value, the higher the volume. 

You can also turn on the Loudness setting inside the Equalization settings. Tracks usually are louder with the Loudness turned on.

If the PLAY:5 still seems low on multiple Sonos sources, can you please submit a diagnostic from your system and reply back here with your confirmation number?

Thanks

Hi.  The Play:5 sound is really good so you may have a faulty unit.  It may (or may not) take Sonos a while to pick up a diagnostic number buried in an old thread like this.  If convenient for you, I'd give them a call if you don't hear anything today.  They are very helpful.
I have not been happy with my Play:5.  I bought two to use as a stereo set in my main room, and took them both back in favor of two--wait for it--Play1s.  They sound much, much better!  Sound not as muddy, and I can crank them up higher.  I never did try a Play3, but no need to now.

I eventually had to go back and re-purchase a Play5 but only so I could play music from YouTube, etc. with a direct plug in to the computer.  Too bad Sonos only made  the Play:5 capable of doing this.  Even now, the sound is far inferior (to my ears) than even a single Play:1. 

Since then, I have added a pair of Play:1s to several other rooms, and have been happy with the sound quality and level.  My problems since then have concerned drop-outs, and I'm still working to get those fixed.  I've had the system for a little over a year.  I got a Seagate NAS drive in order to play my music without having to turn my computer on, only to have problems and to learn from Sonos that Seagates are not the best for this purpose.  Too weeby to push the sound of large audio files out.  Now I have a brick, and will need to buy a different brand (possibly WD, which Sonos says is better.)

Wish I'd known this before. 

Good luck, all.
I have not been happy with my Play:5.  I bought two to use as a stereo set in my main room, and took them both back in favor of two--wait for it--Play1s.  They sound much, much better!  Sound not as muddy, and I can crank them up higher.  I never did try a Play3, but no need to now.

I eventually had to go back and re-purchase a Play5 but only so I could play music from YouTube, etc. with a direct plug in to the computer.  Too bad Sonos only made  the Play:5 capable of doing this.  Even now, the sound is far inferior (to my ears) than even a single Play:1. 

Since then, I have added a pair of Play:1s to several other rooms, and have been happy with the sound quality and level.  My problems since then have concerned drop-outs, and I'm still working to get those fixed.  I've had the system for a little over a year.  I got a Seagate NAS drive in order to play my music without having to turn my computer on, only to have problems and to learn from Sonos that Seagates are not the best for this purpose.  Too weeby to push the sound of large audio files out.  Now I have a brick, and will need to buy a different brand (possibly WD, which Sonos says is better.)

Wish I'd known this before. 

Good luck, all.

Interesting post.  I agree the Play:1s are amazing for their size, but wouldn't personally be so hard on the Play:5.  Just personal opinion though.

I am extremely sceptical about the suggestion that a Seagate NAS would not work OK with Sonos, unless is the Mirra Personal Server, which does not support the type of file sharing that Sonos needs - but I would then expect it not to work at all, rather than work badly.  Before you ditch the NAS I would make sure your problems aren't caused by wireless interference or IP address conflicts first.

Do you only have problems when streaming from the NAS? 

If you are running in wifi mode consider getting a Bridge or a Boost and using SonosNet.  As a short-term experiment first, you could wire one of your speakers to the router to see if using SonosNet helps.
I have not been happy with my Play:5.  I bought two to use as a stereo set in my main room, and took them both back in favor of two--wait for it--Play1s.  They sound much, much better!  Sound not as muddy, and I can crank them up higher.  I never did try a Play3, but no need to now.

I eventually had to go back and re-purchase a Play5 but only so I could play music from YouTube, etc. with a direct plug in to the computer.  Too bad Sonos only made  the Play:5 capable of doing this.  Even now, the sound is far inferior (to my ears) than even a single Play:1. 

Since then, I have added a pair of Play:1s to several other rooms, and have been happy with the sound quality and level.  My problems since then have concerned drop-outs, and I'm still working to get those fixed.  I've had the system for a little over a year.  I got a Seagate NAS drive in order to play my music without having to turn my computer on, only to have problems and to learn from Sonos that Seagates are not the best for this purpose.  Too weeby to push the sound of large audio files out.  Now I have a brick, and will need to buy a different brand (possibly WD, which Sonos says is better.)

Wish I'd known this before. 

Good luck, all.

Thanks for your suggestions.  I will call Sonos again and have them work with me on it, then.  I have a Bridge (since the beginning) and am using it.  And now, more and more, music directly off my computer (through a Sonos folder) isn't working very well, either, and I am getting more drop-outs with YouTube, etc. as well, than I used to.  So, I'm beginning to agree with you that the problem isn't necessarily the Seagate NAS drive.  But Sonos has worked with me extensively to try and figure out the problem, and that's the only thing they could come up with, in the end.  My furthest speaker is in the garage, and that may be causing problems, too.  But I have a 1200 SF house, all on one level, and the garage speaker is less than 30 feet away from the NAS/Bridge/Router.  So, doubtful again.  I just need to devote some serious time to this (again), when I can, and hopefully will figure it out eventually.

Thank you for writing.  I'll keep trying! 
I have not been happy with my Play:5.  I bought two to use as a stereo set in my main room, and took them both back in favor of two--wait for it--Play1s.  They sound much, much better!  Sound not as muddy, and I can crank them up higher.  I never did try a Play3, but no need to now.

I eventually had to go back and re-purchase a Play5 but only so I could play music from YouTube, etc. with a direct plug in to the computer.  Too bad Sonos only made  the Play:5 capable of doing this.  Even now, the sound is far inferior (to my ears) than even a single Play:1. 

Since then, I have added a pair of Play:1s to several other rooms, and have been happy with the sound quality and level.  My problems since then have concerned drop-outs, and I'm still working to get those fixed.  I've had the system for a little over a year.  I got a Seagate NAS drive in order to play my music without having to turn my computer on, only to have problems and to learn from Sonos that Seagates are not the best for this purpose.  Too weeby to push the sound of large audio files out.  Now I have a brick, and will need to buy a different brand (possibly WD, which Sonos says is better.)

Wish I'd known this before. 

Good luck, all.

I have a Bridge, Playbar and two Play 5's as a Stereo pair. Almost all music is stored on a Netgear ReadyNAS 314 and I must say this works very well.

Normally my volume doesn't go over about one third, because that is loud enough for me. But then, I can turn it up very, very loud, so that works fine here. Great sound too!
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Wife got one Play 5 as a gift from a friend to add to our entire Sonos setup. Having same issue as OP. Have to turn up volume 50-75% to hear well. All other Sonos components are working fine.
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Wife got one Play 5 as a gift from a friend to add to our entire Sonos setup. Having same issue as OP. Have to turn up volume 50-75% to hear well. All other Sonos components are working fine.

I did factory reset and still same issue. My diagnostics # is: 6010066
Are you listening to the line-in by any chance?
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
No. All wireless.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Open a support ticket with Sonos. Maybe worth submitting a diagnostic and giving Sonos a call
Userlevel 2
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Yup. Will do so soon. Thanks!
Userlevel 3
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Yup. Will do so soon. Thanks!

I reviewed the diagnostic and will send you an PM in a moment.
Userlevel 2
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Is this problem still not resolved?