There is a whole art that goes behind positioning speakers in a room. Whether it’s an audio system for listening to songs or a home theatre, you have to put some thought into where and how to place the speakers for the sound to be clear and flow in the room. There is a whole field called “home acoustics” that studies the positioning of speakers and they have actually come up with a rule called the “golden triangle.”
Now, you can either spend your precious time on learning more about the golden triangle and all the other factors that should be taken into account or keep reading this article to learn more about an elegant solution to the speaker position problem called Sonos Trueplay.
What is Sonos TruePlay
In short, Sonos TruePlay is a special software designed for Sonos speakers that allows for them to be positioned anywhere in the room without compromising the quality or volume of the sound. Sonos Trueplay analyses acoustic factors including room size, layout, decor and speaker placement, which tend to impact a speaker’s sound quality. The software then uses this data to optimise the speaker for its surrounding to ensure the speaker sounds as good as possible regardless of its location. It is essentially a speaker tuner that spares you the trouble of getting tangled in “a golden triangle.” So, whether your speaker is hidden behind the sofa or placed under the table, it will still sound great.
TruePlay is compatible with single speakers as well as two speakers or more speakers configured as a stereo pair or as a home cinema setup.
How does Sonos TruePlay work?
To understand the actual science and engineering behind Sonos TruePlay, we need to have a number of crash courses in physics and acoustics. To satisfy your curiosity, here is a brief and less science-heavy explanation of how Sonos TruePlay works. Currently, Sonos TruePlay is available only for Apple products (hang in there Android users!). When you install and run Sonos TruePlay, it makes your speakers emit a sequence of tones, sweeping across the frequency range, the microphone of your idevice receives the results.
The goal is to listen to soundwaves and the way they move and bounce around that particular room. The software analyses the specific acoustic properties of that room and tunes the speakers accordingly, so that the sound is as good as it possible can be given the acoustic surroundings.
How to use the software to tune Sonos speakers?
For starters, to use the Sonos Trueplay software you need an iDevice (e.g. iPhone, iPad) and of course, Sonos speakers. After you download the app, it’ll give you a set of directions to get the software working. First, you will need to flip your device and raise it to the same height as your head so that the mic has free access to the room sound (make sure you’re not covering the microphone with your hand). The less noise there is in the room, the more accurate the data collection process, so minimize the noise. TruePlay will emit a series of tones to measure your room, then tune your speakers accordingly. Once the calibration is done, your Sonos speakers will emit a loud sound.
If you wish, you can move your speakers and try out the TruePlay in a number of different positions and choose the one that sounds the best to you. It’ll be a combination of old-school speaker positioning and an innovative approach that Sonos call TruePlay.
Does Sonos TruePlay make a difference?
This software has been around for the past 5 years and generally speaking, it has received a positive response from most Sonos users. It’s safe to say that the software does make a difference in the sound but people have different preferences, so it’s up to you to decide whether you want to leave it on or not. Going back to our previous suggestion, you can try to run the Sonos TruePlay feature with the speakers in a number of different positions and choose the one that works best for you.
It’s also worth mentioning that some users have reported that TruePlay made some questionable changes to bass performance in home theatre setups, but considering that it uses the mic of an iDevice as it’s primary data collection tool, I guess it won’t be perfect, If you dislike the changes it made my suggestion is run it again. For more review and feedback, you can follow this Reddit thread and ask your questions to TruePlay users.
Unless you’re a musician, chances are low that your house is constructed and decorated based on acoustic architectural principles. But it doesn’t mean that you should have crappy sound or spend hours of your time figuring out where to put your Sonos speakers. Give TruePlay a try – you’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain!