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Outdoor Set-up Question

  • 10 August 2018
  • 3 replies
  • 344 views

I want to connect outdoor speakers to Sonos and am working with an uncommon set-up.

I have a connect:amp inside the house connected to underwater speakers to the outside pool (let's call that C:A1). I also have a cat5 feed available from where the C:A1 unit is to a casita in the yard (I use it to extend wifi to the yard).

I am adding outdoor speakers and my current options are:

1) run the outdoor speaker back to C:A1. I don't love that option for practical reasons to do with my yard + I am not even sure that C:A1 can handle both pool and outdoor speakers
2) buy a Connect:Amp (let's call that C:A2), place it in the casita and connect it to C:A1 via cat5, then run the outdoor speakers to C:A2.

Since I don't need to control the pool and outside speakers independently, option 2) is a bit more than I need. Is there an option where I can buy a cheaper unit (Sonos or other) that can connect to C:A1 via cat5, and would only be used to power the outdoor speakers and that I can still control via Sonos?

Appreciate your insights.
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Best answer by melvimbe 10 August 2018, 21:35

First, sounds like a great setup! Underwater speakers? Awesome. Wish I'd thought of that.

How far away is the casita from the main house? You said it has wifi, are you using an access point or you using a wfi satellite system? I'm asking because I don't think you necessaryily need to wire cat5 between the house and the casita. Sonos doesn't have to be wired, but the devices do need to be on the same subnet.

Anyway, to answer some of your questions. You can run two sets of speakers off the same connect:amp as long as they are the same impedance. If not, you can get a speaker switch to match impedance.The connect:amp has enough power, but you can definitely get amps that will get more out of your speakers than the connect:amp can. I was running 2 pairs of speakers off a single connect:amp for a couple years, but recently switched it out for a connect+ 3rd party amp and I do notice an improvement. My reason for the change over wasn't to improve the sound though.

As far as cheaper units, you can get a Connect, but you have to get a 3rd party amp which will surely push the cost above just getting a second:amp.

For the speakers with the casita, will they be indoors and/or well protected from the elements? If so, you may want consider getting of play:1s. If inside, you could likely just leave them there. If outside, you could just bring the speakers. If you feel comfortable leaving a connect:amp out there, I'd guess play:1s would work as well.

So I'd say the cheapest option would be to use a pair of play:1s if you can. It's likely cheaper then passive outdoor speakers and wiring. Next would be to just wire a 2nd pair of speakers to the existing connect:amp. The other options are probably going to cost you over $500, and the best choice really depends on what resources you have with the casita.
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First, sounds like a great setup! Underwater speakers? Awesome. Wish I'd thought of that.

How far away is the casita from the main house? You said it has wifi, are you using an access point or you using a wfi satellite system? I'm asking because I don't think you necessaryily need to wire cat5 between the house and the casita. Sonos doesn't have to be wired, but the devices do need to be on the same subnet.

Anyway, to answer some of your questions. You can run two sets of speakers off the same connect:amp as long as they are the same impedance. If not, you can get a speaker switch to match impedance.The connect:amp has enough power, but you can definitely get amps that will get more out of your speakers than the connect:amp can. I was running 2 pairs of speakers off a single connect:amp for a couple years, but recently switched it out for a connect+ 3rd party amp and I do notice an improvement. My reason for the change over wasn't to improve the sound though.

As far as cheaper units, you can get a Connect, but you have to get a 3rd party amp which will surely push the cost above just getting a second:amp.

For the speakers with the casita, will they be indoors and/or well protected from the elements? If so, you may want consider getting of play:1s. If inside, you could likely just leave them there. If outside, you could just bring the speakers. If you feel comfortable leaving a connect:amp out there, I'd guess play:1s would work as well.

So I'd say the cheapest option would be to use a pair of play:1s if you can. It's likely cheaper then passive outdoor speakers and wiring. Next would be to just wire a 2nd pair of speakers to the existing connect:amp. The other options are probably going to cost you over $500, and the best choice really depends on what resources you have with the casita.
Thanks! And yes, the underwater speakers are fun!

The casita is a solid stone's throw away ... I extend the house's wifi with an airport express in the casita wired via the cat5. The outdoor speakers are going to be the "outside in the elements" type, passive and wired so I was not considering any Sonos products (I wish they made something like that!). I don't really want to connect those to C:A1 because the wiring has to make it underneath concrete walkways, which I'm not excited about undertaking. Also, I can't protect the speakers in the casita (trellis roof), but I can protect an amp there (like I'm protecting the airport express).
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Given that, I think you're best option is a connect:amp. A connect + 3rd party amp won't save you much money if at all.

I would also make sure you'll be able to wirelessly control Sonos from around the casita, using the airoport express's wifi signal. If you can control the pool speakers signal from out there, you should be able to control additional sonos equipment without issue.