The best equalizer settings in Sonos come down to multiple factors, including your preferred sound, the room size, and the equipment you use. There is no one signal EQ setting that works for every Sonos application.
I’m Donovan, a lifelong musician who now works as an audio engineer and producer. I’ve used many different stereo setups and have a vast knowledge of working with and adjusting EQ settings in various formats.
This post will take a look at the best Sonos equalizer settings. I’ll explain why there is no one do-all EQ setting and why you likely want to change your settings based on several factors. My goal is to help you get the best sound from your Sonos system.
Let’s get started.
- Key Takeaways
- Initial Thoughts
- Best Sonos Equalizer Settings
- How Can I Make My Sonos Sound Better?
- Final Thoughts
- There is not a single best Sonos equalizer setting for every audio application.
- The best EQ setting depends on multiple factors, including how you like your audio to sound, the size of your room, and the equipment you are using.
- You’ll likely want different settings for listening to music and watching movies or shows with your Sonos system.
- Learning about EQ and experimenting with how it changes your listening experience is recommended for anyone using a Sonos system.
- The Trueplay Tuning feature of the Sonos app can help you automatically adjust EQ settings.
If you really want to get the best sound out of your Sonos system, or any other speaker setup, it’s critical to understand what an equalizer is and how it affects the sound. I’ll refer to equalizer and equalization as EQ in this post, as that’s how it’s often seen in the audio world.
Check out the video below for a better understanding of what EQ is and how it affects your listening experience. In a nutshell, it’s basically any adjustment you make to the audio frequencies of amplified music.
Bass, treble, and mid are the frequencies you’ll often see on a graphic EQ on a stereo, recording program, or anything else where you can adjust the sound. These are also known as lows, highs, and mids.
There is no single “best” EQ setting. This applies to Sonos and anything else where you can adjust those settings. Instead, you should always adjust the EQ to your liking or to match the room you have your audio set up in.
Best Sonos Equalizer Settings
Now let’s dive into exploring EQ settings for Sonos speakers and systems. Knowing how and when to make changes to your Sonos EQ will set you up for having the best listening experience, no matter what you are listening to.
Again, keep in mind that there really isn’t one best EQ setting, but rather best settings for various purposes. But the best setting might also come down to how you like to listen to music or other audio.
EQ is a preference to adjust based on your ears or the type of audio you are listening to. There are no hard rules regarding how you need to adjust your Sonos system. But there are some guidelines that will help you improve your listening experience.
You can access the EQ for your Sonos system through the Sonos app. Just navigate to the Settings tab, select Room Settings, choose your Room, and then click on EQ. You’ll see sliders for each EQ parameter you can adjust here.
Here’s a quick breakdown of all of the quick EQ settings you can adjust through the Sonos app, as mentioned above:
- Bass – these are low-end frequencies. This would be the bass line, kick drum, or any other super low sound when listening to music. For movies and shows, the low end is explosions, rumbles, and roars.
- Treble – Treble is the higher-end frequency of audio. Think of the cymbals on the drums or high-pitched singing. Treble covers a pretty wide range within the Sonos app and can be clumped into anything above the low end.
- Balance – Balance indicates which side of the stereo field audio will be heard from. This basically boils down to left and right. If you slide the balance to the left, you’ll hear more audio from that side and vice versa.
- Loudness – This setting boosts the low end and high end at the same time, which can help the audio you are listening to stand out. It’s kind of like a 1-2 punch type of EQ setting that is common in many setups.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the various EQ settings you can adjust in your Sonos system, how do we figure out the best EQ setting?
Well, there isn’t one way to do this. I’ll show you how to use Sonos TruePlay Tuning in the section below, which functions to adjust the EQ to match your room automatically. But if you want a hands-on approach, you should explore the settings to find what you like best.
Basic EQ Settings
I like to boost the low end, keep the mids relatively even, and slightly boost the highs. This is my go-to for a new system setup and a good starting point for working on from there. It’s a relatively standard approach and one that pleases my ears.
Boosting the low end will give you more bass and rumble. I like an immersive audio experience, and I always like the bass bumping. If you use a subwoofer, you probably won’t need to boost the bass as much within the EQ because the sub will do this naturally.
The middle frequencies of music always seem to come through, and I don’t usually boost them much. Sonos doesn’t really give you a way to adjust the mids directly, which is fine for most people just learning how to make adjustments.
Boosting the high-end frequencies will help lyrics and words come through better. It can give the audio more overall presence and help you distinguish various sounds from one another. Just don’t boost them too much, or else things can sound sharp.
Turning on the Loudness feature of Sonos EQ will have a similar effect to the basic settings I just described. This is also a good place to start if you want to boost your audio to sound better but don’t want to adjust the EQ directly.
There isn’t usually much reason to adjust the Balance of the EQ. During the mixing process of recording music, I certainly play with the stereo field. But once you are listening back to things, you’ll want to keep everything right in the middle, as it’s intended to be listened to.
When to Adjust EQ
If you use my above tips to get started with setting your EQ, you can expand from there based on your personal preferences, the size and shape of your listening room, or the equipment you use.
Your personal preference comes down to how you like audio to sound. If you want less low-end, turn down the bass frequencies. Turn up the treble if you can’t hear people talking or want more sizzle.
Just play around with the sliders in the Sonos EQ app until you dial in a sound you like the best. This can help train your ear to pick up subtle frequency changes that will improve your overall listening experience in the long run.
You will also likely want different EQ settings when listening to music compared to when you are listening to movies and shows. I like more mids when listening to movies and often cut those when music is playing.
The size and shape of your listening room will also impact your EQ settings. You might need to adjust things if you have a very large or small room. A smaller room will have more reflections and can sound louder.
And the type of equipment you use will also impact your settings. If you have a subwoofer in your setup, you probably won’t need to boost bass frequencies as much. You might want to cut the mids and lows if you have surround sound speakers.
Again, these are all subtle differences that can have a significant impact. But some people won’t even be able to hear a slight change in EQ. My best advice is to spend some time playing with the EQ settings to figure out what you like the best.
How Can I Make My Sonos Sound Better?
Sonos has a built-in feature that can help you make your entire system sound better and take some guesswork out of your EQ settings. This feature, called Trueplay Tuning, will help you get things dialed in and sounding better.
I prefer to adjust my EQ settings manually, but this is mainly because I have experience with this and understand how to improve things to my liking. If you don’t want to learn how to do that, you can utilize Trueplay Tuning to automate the process.
You need to have the Sonos app to take advantage of Trueplay, but the steps to settings things up are easy from there.
1. Open the Sonos app.
2. Tap the Settings tab.
3. Tap System.
4. Select the speaker, speakers, or Room you want to tune. This will vary based on your specific setup and equipment.
5. Tap Trueplay.
6. Tap Trueplay Tuning.
7. Follow all other in-app instructions from there. The app will guide you through the tuning process and help you get things dialed in for improved audio quality.
Pro Tip: Once you establish Trueplay settings, you can easily turn them on or off. The Sonos app will save these settings, so you only need to go through the tuning process once, and the system will keep the settings saved.
Trueplay is a pretty sweet feature if you want to improve the sound quality of your Sonos system but don’t really know how to do so. The process will measure various reflections and sound characteristics of your room and make adjustments based on that.
I still think you can get better overall sound quality dialed in manually, but this is really only true if you have experience with doing so. If you aren’t a musician, producer, or audiophile, the Trueplay feature can be a game changer.
Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to the best equalizer settings on Sonos.
What is the Sonos EQ Loudness setting?
The Loudness setting on your Sonos EQ works by increasing low and high-end frequencies at lower volumes. This helps you to hear certain aspects of an audio mix better and can enhance your listening experience quite a bit.
How do I set up the best sound on my Sonos ARC?
You should experiment with various EQ settings in the Sonos app to get the best sound for your ARC. These can change depending on the size and shape of the room you have things set up in, as well as the type of furniture in your room.
What is the difference between ambient and full in Sonos?
The ambient setting in Sonos sets EQ parameters to lower the overall audio volume and reduce the frequency range for surround sound speakers. The Full setting will have everything play at normal volume, including the surround sound speakers.
How much better is Sonos ARC with a subwoofer?
You’ll get much better low-end and bass performance by using a subwoofer with the Sonos ARC. The ARC on its own, has decent overall sound quality, but it doesn’t have great low-end performance. Using a subwoofer will enhance listening to music and home theater videos.
Should Sonos ARC be at ear level?
You typically want speakers in your home theater setup to be at ear level, no matter which brand or product you use. But since setups can vary, you don’t need the Sonos ARC to be exactly at ear level. Getting it close should provide solid all-around audio during playback.
There is no single EQ setting that works best for Sonos. You’ll want to make changes to EQ based on your personal preferences, room size and shape, or the equipment you are using. EQ changes are typically a personal preference more than anything else.
Take advantage of the Trueplay Tuning feature within the Sonos app if you want a quick and easy way to effectively and automatically adjust EQ settings. This feature will analyze your speakers or room to make adjustments on the fly.
Do you have any favorite EQ settings you like for specific purposes? Let me know in the comments below.