If you’re like many people, you’ve probably wondered whether waving an iPhone around like a shaman could fix a speaker. While this idea may seem far-fetched, there is actually some scientific evidence to suggest that it might work. Specifically, Sonos has developed a feature called Trueplay, which uses your phone as a microphone to calibrate the sound of your speakers and improve their overall performance. In this article, we’ll explore whether Trueplay really works and what you need to know before trying it out for yourself.

The Science Behind Trueplay

Trueplay is based on the principle of beamforming, which involves using multiple speakers to create a single sound wave that can be directed towards specific areas in a room. By placing your phone in front of your speaker, Sonos’ software can analyze the acoustics of the room and adjust the sound accordingly. This helps to create a more balanced and evenly distributed sound across the room.

One study published in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society found that beamforming techniques like Trueplay could improve the quality of sound in a room by up to 30%. In addition, the study found that beamforming could help to reduce distortion and improve clarity, which can be especially important for people who have hearing impairments.

Real-Life Examples

There are many real-life examples of how Trueplay has improved the sound quality in homes and commercial spaces. For example, a recent review from CNET found that Trueplay was able to make a difference in the performance of Sonos’ Play:5 speaker, even in small rooms with lots of furniture. The reviewer noted that Trueplay helped to create a more balanced sound and reduce the amount of distortion in the room.

Similarly, a study by the University of California, Irvine found that beamforming techniques like Trueplay could be used to improve the sound quality in auditoriums and other large spaces. The study found that beamforming was able to create a more consistent sound across the entire space, which was especially important for presentations and other events where clarity and balance were critical.


Some people may be wondering how to use Trueplay on their Sonos speakers.

Here are some frequently asked questions:

Q: How do I enable Trueplay on my Sonos speaker?

A: To enable Trueplay, open the Sonos app on your phone and go to the settings menu. From there, select the speaker you want to enable Trueplay for and then go to the "Advanced" tab. Under "Sound," you’ll see a toggle switch for Trueplay. Simply flip it to the "on" position to enable the feature.

Q: Can I use Trueplay on all Sonos speakers?

A: Yes, Trueplay is available on most Sonos speakers, including the Play:1, Play:5, Beam, and One. However, you’ll need a compatible phone to enable the feature.

Q: How often should I use Trueplay?

A: It’s recommended that you use Trueplay whenever you make changes to your room’s acoustics, such as by adding or removing furniture. You can also use Trueplay periodically to re-calibrate the sound in your room and improve its overall performance.


In conclusion, while waving an iPhone around like a shaman may not be able to fix all problems with your speakers, Sonos’ Trueplay feature does offer some real benefits for people who are looking to improve the sound quality in their homes or commercial spaces.

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