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Which Sonos Speakers are Best for Surround Sound Rears?
Which Sonos speaker performs the best as surround sound?
Complete your Sonos home cinema with full surround sound
Are you looking to add surround sound to your Sonos home cinema but not sure which Sonos speakers will work best for you?
You've come to the right place and the answer is more straightforward than you might think!
What are my sonos surround sound options?
It's important to know, all of the Sonos home cinema speakers and Sub are wireless and just need a mains socket for power. The surrounds will automatically receive the audio from the Beam or Arc when added to the same zone.
Depending on budget and your aesthetic preferences, there are 3 options:
Option 1 - Sonos One SL - The Most Popular Choice
The Sonos One SL for £179 per speaker is the most popular and cost-effective choice for rears to the Sonos Beam or Arc as they offer the necessary amount of power and bass to fill the room.
As a result, the rears don’t need to be particularly bassy as a lot of the sound that passes through them will be ambient / surround effects. The sound is crisp and clear and separates the sound from left to right perfectly.
One SL is also very discreet as they are compact and can be attached to a floor stand or wall mounted with a range of Flexson accessories.
Important to know!
You might be wondering if the One Gen 2s are worth the upgrade as surrounds? Well, as the Beam & Arc both have voice control built in, there is no need to have voice control built in to the rears, so you may as well save yourself the extra cash and get the One SLs unless you're in the 2 following situations:
- You own the older Sonos Playbar or Playbase and want to add voice control
- You want to future-proof yourself in case you want to move the Ones to another room and still benefit from voice control
Option 2 - Sonos Five - The ultimate rear speaker
The Sonos Fives offer the biggest capabilities in terms of bass and depth of sound so if you are going to be regularly switching between using the Five as rears for your TV/Films and as a stereo pair for music alone, this would be ideal for you as you would have the best of both worlds.
In our opinion, a stereo pair of Fives offers one of the best performances on the market for sound quality and audio accuracy.
However, they are more at home in larger living spaces and some users have reported it is a bit overkill in smaller sized rooms so unless your room is indeed large or you are an audiophile in pursuit of the best sound and potential that Sonos has to offer, the One SLs would be adequate.
Important to know!
The Fives must be in a vertical orientation to act as surround rears and the line in is disabled if used as surrounds.
Option 3 - In-ceiling or In-wall speakers - the most discreet option
It is possible to use a set of ceiling speakers or in-wall speakers as the rear soundstage in a Sonos surround sound set up. You first need a Sonos Amp which is wired directly using speaker cable from each ceiling speaker.
Then you'll need to choose which ceiling speakers or in-wall speakers you'd like to use for the surround sound. Sonos do their own in-ceiling and in-wall options, custom built for the Sonos Amp, for £599 a pair, however you don't necessarily need to install Sonos' own speakers on the Sonos Amp.
There are plenty of other cost-effective options like the Monitor Audio C265-FX for example, which is custom-built for surround sound due to the dual-opposing tweeters for extra dispersion.
Do reach out to us if you'd like some help choosing the right ceiling speaker for you in this scenario as we can make your budget go as far as possible.
Important to know!
You can only take advantage of the TruePlay tuning feature by opting for Sonos' own in-ceiling speakers. TruePlay is where you can acoustically optimise the speakers for the room they are in. With other brands of ceiling speakers installed on the same Amp, they will definitely save on cost but won't have the same effects as Sonos' in-ceiling.
Quick tip: choose the rear speaker surround sound level
If you prefer to have a stronger surround sound effect behind you, the Sonos app gives you the flexibility to turn the volume up and down on any of the surround speaker options you go for.
There is also a distinction between music volume and surround sound level to allow the user to create the perfect set up for TV audio as well as your music collection.
If budget is not a concern, the Sonos Fives will undoubtedly offer the best and most immersive surround sound option for TV, movies and music. But on balance, the One SLs win it for us as they offer fantastic value for money, and although small, they are incredibly powerful and make the ideal rear speaker pair.
Need a hand?
Smart Home Sounds are a Sonos specialist and can help decide the right speakers for you. We offer an extended 6 year Sonos warranty, interest free pay monthly options, a generous loyalty scheme and always free delivery. Contact a member of our friendly team today for personal advice.