Whatever the reason, Sonos has decided to acknowledge that the careful calibration it does with all of its all-in-one speakers at the factory might not actually be the right settings for your particular room set-up. Last week, they released a new version of their software which includes the “Trueplay,” option for the Play 1, Play 3 and Play 5 speakers (the company says it will be available on other products “soon”), which gives users an entirely new way to customize the sound of their Sonos speakers.
How it works
Trueplay uses the microphone built into iPhones and iPads (sorry Android users, you haven’t been included in the Trueplay party yet) to analyze the specific acoustic properties of the room in which you’ve placed your Sonos speaker(s). It then ”smartly tunes that speaker so the music sounds its very best,” according to the company’s press release.
When you embark on the Trueplay process, the app first asks you flip your phone or tablet around so that the mic (which is at the bottom of these devices) can have unfettered access to room sound. It then measures the ambient room noise to see if it’s quiet enough to proceed with the next step. If it is, the Sonos speakers in your room will start to emit a loud, repetitive sound pattern.
While the speakers emit this sound, you must walk slowly yet efficiently around the room while you wave your iDevice up and down. You must do this for 30-45 seconds so that the app can get a feel for how sound bounces off the various surfaces in the room. The app encourages you to spend the most time near the area that you will be doing most of your listening from (say a couch or dining room table).
Once the Trueplay tuning process is complete, you can go back into the room settings and flip Truplay on and off while music is playing so that you can hear the before and after. If you think it sounds better on, great, leave it turned on. If you don’t hear much difference or decide to change the location of your speaker, you can run through the tuning process again. Or you can just leave it turned off.
So does all of this walking and waving make a difference? Yes, it does, but how much of a difference will depend on the room and your chosen speaker placement. We have two Sonos rooms at our dealership, one of which has two Play:5 set up as a stereo pair. Trueplay made almost no difference at all in our properly treated demo room. To be fair, it knew that it wasn’t going to be having a big impact and stated as such at the end of the tuning, noting that “only subtle adjustments were needed.” In the untreated room, however, Trueplay’s tuning made for a distinctly different sound.
If you’ve got some unusual speaker placements going on at home, or perhaps your room isn’t exactly a text-book box shape with lots of open space, Trueplay will definitely give you a cleaner, more vibrant and brighter sound delivery that does a particularly good job of enhancing vocals or higher-end frequencies. But your mileage will vary based on just how non-standard of a set-up you’ve got. The Trueplay tuning process is an easy way to adjust the EQ on any Sonos speaker to better reflect the acoustic properties of your space.