Discovering Sonos Trueplay Tuning

Our Sonos speakers sounded great out of the box, but with Trueplay tuning they sound even better! In this post I explore how this feature works, and why everyone should do it.  However, I also outline how you might not be able to use this feature.  Read on...

Out of the box, Sonos speakers sound really good.  I keep repeating in these posts that I'm not an audiophile, but to my untrained ears, this stuff is great.

Sonos offer a feature to make their speakers sound even better, called Trueplay.  The idea is simple, each room in each house has it's own acoustic characteristics.  How your music sounds will depend on these characteristics, plus other factors like how many speakers you have, where they're positioned, how they're oriented etc.  To really get the best out of your speakers, you need them to optimise how they play their sound for your room.

So, to do this, Sonos provide Trueplay tuning.  You do this in each room where you have a Sonos speaker installed.  You use the Sonos app on your iPhone. You begin the process in the 'room settings'. The app walks you through everything on screen.  When prompted, you begin gently waving your phone around, moving through the room as you do, whilst the speaker(s) play a repeating tone.

The microphone in your phone picks up the tones being played, and the app analyses the various subtle changes to how this 'sounds' to the phone in various different places in your room.

Once done, 'Trueplay' mode for your speakers is then activated.  With our Play 1 speaker, we tried this and noticed ...some difference.  Hey, it's a Play 1 - not the biggest speaker going.

When we did this with the Playbar however, the difference was noticeable.  When flicking Trueplay mode on and off you can really hear the difference to the quality of the sound.  It just sounds better.  The playbar also has a double-tuning mode, first asking you to sit still in the place where you would normally sit and listen (or watch TV & Movies), whilst the app listens to the tuning tones.

The whole process only takes a minute or two to complete.  Just make sure there are no other background noises in the room when you do this.  It's so good that I'd recommend anyone who uses Sonos speakers takes a moment to set this up.  There's just one drawback.

It only works if you have an iPhone.

Yup, no Android support.  This is because there are just way too many Android handsets out there, and Sonos need to know the full profile of the microphone in the device for Trueplay to work.  Easy with a 'known quantity' like iPhones, not so easy with Android.  Having said that, I'd have thought that Sonos could at least support the more popular Android handsets out there.  Leaving out even the leading manufacturers seems like an oversight.

Still, if you're looking to use Trueplay (and you really just do want this), find yourself a friend with an iPhone and ask them to help!

If you move the speakers around, change the layout of your room etc, you'll need to rerun TruePlay Tuning, since the acoustic charecteristics of your room will have alterered because of the change. Plus your speakers adjust based on their position in the room.

Of course, if for some reason you don't like how things sound after you've run Trueplay, you can turn Trueplay off on a per-room basis.

Although the lack of Android support is going to be a disappointment for many, those with access to an iPhone or an iPhone yielding friend, will really appreciate the difference that Trueplay makes.  If you have Sonos - give it a try!