Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Very nearly fantastic
on 17 February 2016
Pros: aesthetic design; space saving; great handling of all manner of music and sound tracks; easy to set up; enough power to break your windows if you wish.
Cons: although you can position the sub flat under something, not advisable as sound is seriously modified; I expected more customisation for this price; no power saving mode, an issue for all products in this range.
If you've read this far, you are probably a Sonos devotee so I won't take up time bemoaning the lack of Bluetooth or challenges playing some music services…
I have linked my sub with all of the Plays, so the following observations are based on experience with more than one system and with multiple rooms.
Out of the box, the sub is unforgiving and rather brutal with all types of music and soundtrack. It needs playing in - I noticed subtle handling of bass after about 4 days and I found I needed to re-calibrate each day so that I felt happy with the sound - I have some of the most unforgiving ears you will find. If you're familiar with great quality 'speakers - this lovely unit fits in to that category - you will be familiar with that process, so give it some days and a good airing with a variety of music.
The pairing of sub and other 'speakers in the range will depend on where you have come from in the listening world. Pairing with Play1 is an interesting combination close to enhancing a reasonable pair of bookshelf 'speakers with a sub. If you have Play3, and I wouldn't advise buying one if you don't, pairing is ok although I actually prefer the balance of the pairing with Play1 as it's more lively with a cleaner sound. Pairing with the Play5 in a medium to large size room gives an impressive sound stage for all varieties of music and I would particularly advise this if you regularly listen to acoustic/classical music where recordings aim to capture the scale of the performance as well as the music.
I don't like Trueplay as I prefer to know more about what is being modified. With this in mind, set the EQ for your Play setup while turning off the sub, then bring it in to play through calibration and subsequent adjustment of advanced settings to suit your ears and style of music. I would prefer to see greater control over sensitivity and frequency response available through the app, as advanced settings seem to focus around level and sub placement only. Wired subs often have far greater control and a smart unit should replicate this, however maddening this then makes getting set up right.
Overall: fantastic product once played in and seriously enriches the range with competent handling of lower frequencies. If you have a small to medium room and are not worried about loss of mid-range and some sound stage, Play1 and Sub are superb. If you have the bank balance, go Play5 and prepare to seriously enjoy your music.