Sonos Playbar, Sub, Play 1 5.1 vs Vizio SB 3651-E6 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-07-2017, 03:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Sonos Playbar, Sub, Play 1 5.1 vs Vizio SB 3651-E6

I just purchased 2 systems and I'm wondering is the Sonos is truly worth the difference in price?

In my Living Room, I have the Sonos Playbar, with Sub and just added 2 Play 1's, to complete the system and make it 5.1 surround.

In my Bedroom, I just picked up the new 2017 Vizio SB 3651-E6.

I must say the Vizio sounds wonderful and was bought under $250, it has true 5.1 surround.

Although the Sonos system sounds great, it's a 5.1 virtual system ( No HDMI ARC )

But cost over $1500??

I'm thinking of returning the Sonos system and getting another Vizio for the Living Room?

Am I missing something , is it worth spending 7 times the price?
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-07-2017, 04:18 AM
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The Sonos does have true 5.1 with optical. It can decode Dolby Digital which is available through optical. Some TVs are not capable of sending Dolby digital via optical or ARC but that is not Sonos fault. Usually, if a TV can't send 5.1 it will not be able to send it whether it is ARC or optical and just sends stereo.

Sonos is pricey but it works flawlessly, is easy to set up and operate and integrates nicely into a whole house music system. If you don't need that integration then the vizio could definitely save you a few bucks. I'd set up the Vizio in the living room first to compare because different rooms sound different and then see if it performs to your satisfaction before returning the Sonos.
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-07-2017, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
The Sonos does have true 5.1 with optical. It can decode Dolby Digital which is available through optical. Some TVs are not capable of sending Dolby digital via optical or ARC but that is not Sonos fault. Usually, if a TV can't send 5.1 it will not be able to send it whether it is ARC or optical and just sends stereo.

Sonos is pricey but it works flawlessly, is easy to set up and operate and integrates nicely into a whole house music system. If you don't need that integration then the vizio could definitely save you a few bucks. I'd set up the Vizio in the living room first to compare because different rooms sound different and then see if it performs to your satisfaction before returning the Sonos.
Thanks...anyone else ?
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-07-2017, 05:51 PM
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With my limited experience when I still had their top of the line 2016 soundbar, I found their rear speakers to be extremely subpar. And I mean $20 cheap PC speaker-level of subparness.

In comparison, the Play1's would obliterate those tiny Vizio rear speakers.
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-08-2017, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oledtech View Post
With my limited experience when I still had their top of the line 2016 soundbar, I found their rear speakers to be extremely subpar. And I mean $20 cheap PC speaker-level of subparness.

In comparison, the Play1's would obliterate those tiny Vizio rear speakers.
Yes, the SB3651-E6 rear speakers are weak. I use the rear speakers of the 4.1 system it replaced (Cambridge Soundworks). They sound so much better, but they don't have the screw hole for mounting on the back. That's the advantage of having the rear speakers plug into the wireless subwoofer - you can change them to whatever you want.
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-08-2017, 06:47 PM
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went through 3 different higher end soundbars before landing on the sonos 5.1 system. I love it , yes it's pricey but It works
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-09-2017, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfid View Post
Yes, the SB3651-E6 rear speakers are weak. I use the rear speakers of the 4.1 system it replaced (Cambridge Soundworks). They sound so much better, but they don't have the screw hole for mounting on the back. That's the advantage of having the rear speakers plug into the wireless subwoofer - you can change them to whatever you want.
I didn't know you can connect other brand speakers with the sub. LOL that's a nice value to consider then
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-09-2017, 03:13 AM
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For what it's worth, i have the same Sonos setup as you for my movies. I have not had any exposure to your Vizio soundbar but recently had a dedicated demo of 2 Yamaha soundbar systems - Yamaha YSP-2700 (with own wireless sub) & the new YSP-5600 (with REL sub).

Both sounded great for movies especially the 5600 (which it should for £1,500 - without sub) but when i got the guy to play some music 'Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms' i was shocked. To my ears they had no real musicality and sound horrendously bright, especially the 2700, I was expecting so much more! Even playing around with the DSP controls didn't help. When i mentioned the fact that i would have to replace my various Play 1's & 3's which i have around the house for music i was told that i could plug a 'Connect' into the 5600 and use it that way so negating the need to bin all my Sonos products, which i admit got me thinking until i got home.
I played back the same movie tracks that we used in the demo using just my Soundbar and Sub and they sounded amazing. OK not the quite the soundstage of both the Yamaha's or the Atmos effects of the 5600 but, in my opinion, a much more cohesive sound and the SUB absolutely killed the REL sub used in the demo. I then added my Play 1's and it really took it to another level for me.
I agree with 'denslayer' that it is pricey but it does work and it is so easy to add other Sonos speakers to it for music in other rooms if you want. Grouping all the speakers in the house for a party is INSANE!
Also as ElleBob said "The Sonos does have true 5.1 with optical". So make sure that your Sonos system is receiving Dolby 5.1 as that can have a dramatic effect on how it sounds - It will only output 2 channel PCM if it's not receiving a true Dolby 5.1 stream. Assuming you're connecting your TV to Soundbar via optical - some TV's only output PCM via optical even though they're receiving Dolby 5.1 via their HDMI input.
Hope i didn't bore you too much ?

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post #9 of 19 Old 06-09-2017, 09:00 AM
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I recently returned sonos 5.1 system
For the money a wired system was better sound for my theater room. If you refuse to do wired with a receiver I think it is in the top, the issue was the price.
  • Do you get 1000$ worth of additional enjoyment out of it? - for me no, I am going to buy a cheaper soundbar for living room
  • Do you like the mobile app setup for whole home audio? - for me no, I prefer using spotify direct and other sources direct VS using their app, I have android, wife ios and the wife prefered the sonos app
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-09-2017, 11:55 AM
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The SB3651-E6 also can link Google home and any other Chromecast audio devices for whole home audio. I link the stereo in my bedroom with the living room and it syncs well.

I can cast Pandora in 5.1 surround to the SB using the G. Home. I tried the Pandora app on the Nvidia Shield and from a bluray player and both only played in stereo through the SB.

And another bonus - It has a USB port that I can plug a flash drive into. I like to store my music in .wav format to get the best sound. The SB found all my music files automatically even though they are in folders for each CD. It shuffled them and started to play. I use this feature for when the internet is down.
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post #11 of 19 Old 06-09-2017, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfid View Post
Yes, the SB3651-E6 rear speakers are weak. I use the rear speakers of the 4.1 system it replaced (Cambridge Soundworks). They sound so much better, but they don't have the screw hole for mounting on the back. That's the advantage of having the rear speakers plug into the wireless subwoofer - you can change them to whatever you want.
Correct. I have used 8 ohm Infinity Minuettes as the rears on my 2014 54 incher for the last 3 years.
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post #12 of 19 Old 06-15-2017, 07:04 PM
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Can a CD player be connected to a Sonos 5.1 system? I am considering a wireless system to replace my current surround sound system but the wife doesn't want to lose her CD player.
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post #13 of 19 Old 06-15-2017, 08:31 PM
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No direct analog input on the playbar. You could connect it through the TV or one of Sonos other devices and it would be available on the playbar system.
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post #14 of 19 Old 06-16-2017, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kofloyd View Post
Can a CD player be connected to a Sonos 5.1 system? I am considering a wireless system to replace my current surround sound system but the wife doesn't want to lose her CD player.
Yes, just use a Sonos 'Connect' to which you can be connect your CD player and add to the Sonos network

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post #15 of 19 Old 06-16-2017, 02:57 AM
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I forgot to mention you could just rip your CDs onto one of your computers or a network hard drive and it would be available to Sonos all the time. I did that with my CDs. There are services that do it for you as well.
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post #16 of 19 Old 06-16-2017, 07:23 AM
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Thanks for the info gentlemen. I think I need to look at and listen to in a store before I jump in. It would be displacing a very good wired system I like very much but won't fit into the new TV stand the wife bought without a little cutting to which the wife says "Hell No"!


Thanks again!
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post #17 of 19 Old 09-07-2017, 02:02 PM
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Any idea where I can listen to a Sonos in a 5.1 setup. I went to a local Bestbuy and can only listen to the soundbar and subwoofer.
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post #18 of 19 Old 09-08-2017, 02:54 PM
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I'm throwing in a third option. I briefly considered the Sonos 5.1 system when I agreed to give up discrete separate speakers after moving to a new house, but was put off by the fact that it can only decode dolby digital 5.1. My TV can send 5.1 over optical as well as Dolby and DTS lossless over ARC. I decided to stick with a wired system. I first tried a Vizio S5451w-C2 54" 5.1 soundbar but was ultimately dissatisfied with it after a year of use. It sounded decent but lacked clarity in the voice channel and dynamic range, as well as a shrunken soundstage.

I had kept my receiver, sub, and speakers in mothballs all last year. In the spring I acquired a Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50, so brought out the receiver, sub and two satellites. The soundbar itself is 5 channels and generates a soundstage equivalent to my old LCR speakers, as well as some surround effects. The satellites I use for surround back channels in a 7.1 configuration like I used to have.

Now, back to the point at the beginning of this reply. There is a palpable difference in the sound of DD 5.1 and DD-True HD lossless. I also have the option, which I am experimenting with, to take advantage of Atmos soundtracks. I have heard the Sonos 5.1 system demoed at a friends house but I much prefer the sound and flexibility of my semi-wireless setup. The soundbar is wired to my receiver but the subwoofer and rear sats are connected to my receiver using Rocketfish wireless kits.

The system I setup can be put together for far less than the Sonos 5.1 system. Well under $1000 if you are judicious. I got my soundbar on ebay for $350 for example. One could get a good mid-range receiver either new, used or refurbed for $300-$400, as well as your subwoofer and satellites for a few hundred more. You could always spend much more but you don't have to. Incidentally, I do have two Sonos play 1's that are excellent speakers in their own right. The only thing I don't like about them is, as someone else mentioned, the necessity of using the Sonos app.

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post #19 of 19 Old 09-25-2017, 11:22 AM
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different rear speakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfid View Post
Yes, the SB3651-E6 rear speakers are weak. I use the rear speakers of the 4.1 system it replaced (Cambridge Soundworks). They sound so much better, but they don't have the screw hole for mounting on the back. That's the advantage of having the rear speakers plug into the wireless subwoofer - you can change them to whatever you want.


Can you please give some details on how you connect other brand rear speakers? Which connection plug do you use? I have 2 Klipsch mounted on the wall I would like to use and they have red/black wires with banana plugs.
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