Please make a sonos multi zone amp!

  • 6 January 2013
  • 64 replies
  • 5798 views

I really like my sonos equipment. However, my whole house was wired for speakers in every room (ceiling, walls, patio) with the wiring centralized in a wiring closet/built in audio rack. Instead of purchasing a separate zone amp for every room/speaker pair, I would much rather buy one or two multi zone amps from Sonos. Any chance there is a multi zone amp on the horizon? Please, please, please!!!!

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64 replies

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If you use a multi zone amp you will typically lose the ability to play different music in each zone. This issue has been discussed on the SONOS forum numeous times. I have not heard of SONOS developing a SONOS multi zone amp and I have been a user of their system sicne 2008.
I thought that if you had multiple Sonos Zone Amps, you could play different music on each of the amps or zones? What I'm looking for is basically Sonos to put 4 or 5 of the zp120's in one enclosure. So it would be integrated from physical standpoint, but not from a single source to multiple zone standpoint. I just don't want to buy a bunch of individual zone players? Make sense???
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You are correct, I was thinking about a SONOS connected to a multi zone external amp. Typically these were used in centralized music distribution systems. The issue of a SONOS Multi Amp solution has compe up on the forum numerous times since I started using the system in 2008.
I ended up buying a bunch of ZP120's. Annoying to have so many boxes, but they are in a closet and if something dies I only need to replace one box. More expensive to buy, looks untidy in the closet, but cheaper to replace if any faults.
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I'll add to the chorus.  

I built a home with hardwired speakers in many rooms.  All are 8 ohm speakers, so each amp I have can drive 2 pair.

I understand the issue of not being able to have different music sources on each zone/amp.  But it would be nice to be able to connect 2 pair of speakers to each amp, and only drive one pair if I want to shut off the music in another room.
Yes, please make this!
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Yes!  I am a home automation contractor and I use Sonos products in almost every home audio install--either as a source to another brand multi-zone amp--or using one or more Connect:Amps.  Customers love the Sonos controller app and they love to be able to control their whole-house music from the Sonos app--even when they have a whole-house automation system that can control the Sonos.  I would love to see Sonos release a line of multi-zone amps--like a 4-zone, 6-zone, and 8-zone.  It would be great if you could bring the cost-per-zone down into the $300 (retail) range--and still retain the ability to stream different sources to each zone.  I would install these in every multi-zone project!
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Mark - if running 2 rooms off one connect:Amp and want to be able to turn off one or the other you could do a volume control on wall of each room that the speaker wire runs through.
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such as https://www.google.com/shopping/product/13931552994009212502?q=volume+control+in+wall&safe=activ...

There are also some a little more expensive onces that have impedence matching where you could actually run 4 speakers off the volume switch with the line coming from Connect:Amp (in that case you could actually run 2 rooms of 4 speakers each off one Connect:Amp).
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I'll add to the chorus.  

I built a home with hardwired speakers in many rooms.  All are 8 ohm speakers, so each amp I have can drive 2 pair.

I understand the issue of not being able to have different music sources on each zone/amp.  But it would be nice to be able to connect 2 pair of speakers to each amp, and only drive one pair if I want to shut off the music in another room.


Not a very timely response for you Mark; however, in case anyone else is looking to do this, you might check out this speaker selector line (2, 4, or 6 room) with what Aton calls "Dynamic Level Adjustment".  They claim that it doesn't just do impedance matching--but rather, it monitors how many rooms are on and delivers the maximum amount of power to each room in use.  These devices can be controlled by a control system using IR commands.  Here's a link:  http://www.atonhome.com/dla2room.html
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Yes! This, right here! If there was a company that would create a multi-zone amp like Sonos that could also:
a) control multiple zones through one device (without having to buy one device fore each zone)
b) allow different sources through any combination of zones (for example, I want to listen to source A in the kitchen and living room zones, the wife wants to listen to source B in the bathroom while having a bath, and the kids want to listen to source C in their bedrooms)

If someone would build THIS (with the ability to add more zones of course by connecting additional devices to allow for expansion) they would make a killing! This is where requirements are moving towards in a lot of homes and it is odd that nobody has come up with a solution. I have seen posts going back 8 years asking for something like this! I don't think Sonos is going to be the company that will deliver it, so I'm going to keep looking.
So, let me get this straight. You want the company that made it possible to do multiroom audio without the wiring to build a product that requires wiring? How does this make any sense at all? What am I missing here?
So, let me get this straight. You want the company that made it possible to do multiroom audio without the wiring to build a product that requires wiring? How does this make any sense at all? What am I missing here?

The retrofit market. Many houses are already wired this way and people want to replace the older equipment with a Sonos system.


The retrofit market. Many houses are already wired this way and people want to replace the older equipment with a Sonos system.


There has always been a small, but vocal clamoring for this from the custom installers, and Sonos has not yet indicated they have any interest in a multi-unit box. I doubt they are going to change their mind now, gives the relatively small amount of postings in this years old thread.
Not saying the Custom Integrator market is all that big. Just answering the question of why the request makes sense to some folks.
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So, let me get this straight. You want the company that made it possible to do multiroom audio without the wiring to build a product that requires wiring? How does this make any sense at all? What am I missing here?

Well, I'm renovating my house, so I have the opportunity to wire in some speakers in each room. I like the fact that I can have some nice, sleek, flush high-quality speakers in each room (plus, a lot of new homes offer pre-installed in-ceiling sound systems with a custom build. A lot of my family went with this option).

Also, I'm not a fan of dropping bulky speakers and equipment in each room, and I prefer wired over wireless (usually more reliable and better quality) for everything.

This way, I can wire everything to a small closet in the basement, and control everything through our devices and not have anything visible. Also, by having all of the speakers going through one device, I was hoping that it would allow for the same feed to go to multiple zones. For example, you're having a house party, you could have the same songs go to the living room, kitchen, and basement. Right now, Sonos only option is dropping shelf speakers and a sonos box in each room and having a different feed coming through each one. I suppose an all-in-one amp may not have a huge need, but I know a lot of people that might buy it and people seem to keep asking for it in these forums.

I could get away with just buying a CONNECT:AMP for each zone, but then I wouldn't be able to do the same feed to multiple zones (and would cost a fortune!).
I could get away with just buying a CONNECT:AMP for each zone, but then I wouldn't be able to do the same feed to multiple zones (and would cost a fortune!).


Don't know where you got the idea that a Connect:Amp for each zone wouldn't let you do the same feed to multiple zones. That is exactly what you can do using Connect:Amp for each zone. Simply Group all your Zones together and they all play the same source. In addition, you can also have every zone playing a different source, if you wish.

As to it costing a fortune, the same functionality in a multi zone amp wouldn't be much less, if at all. The most expensive components, the amps and wireless, would have to be duplicated for each multi-zone, bringing the cost of production to about equal and, given the small demand; the lack of economics of scale means it just may cost more than the same number of Connect:Amps when all is said and done.
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Others who have done a multi-zone amp tend to be more expensive (do to lesser sales volume) than just using multiple single zone units.

As jgatie said - what functionality to you get by having them all in one box vs. multiple boxes?
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Others who have done a multi-zone amp tend to be more expensive (do to lesser sales volume) than just using multiple single zone units.

As jgatie said - what functionality to you get by having them all in one box vs. multiple boxes?


Being able to have the same feed going to multiple zones. That's really my main goal. The lower cost of having everything in one unit (8 zones per box or whatever it could be) would just be a huge bonus.

If I bought a CONNECT:AMP for each room, it would be fine (they would be tucked in the basement, out of the way), but I wouldn't be able to have the same feed going to multiple zones. Plus, it might be nice to put more than two speakers on an amp. I'm wondering about putting 4 or more in one zone.
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I could get away with just buying a CONNECT:AMP for each zone, but then I wouldn't be able to do the same feed to multiple zones (and would cost a fortune!).


Don't know where you got the idea that a Connect:Amp for each zone wouldn't let you do the same feed to multiple zones. That is exactly what you can do using Connect:Amp for each zone. Simply Group all your Zones together and they all play the same source. In addition, you can also have every zone playing a different source, if you wish.

As to it costing a fortune, the same functionality in a multi zone amp wouldn't be much less, if at all. The most expensive components, the amps and wireless, would have to be duplicated for each multi-zone, bringing the cost of production to about equal and, given the small demand; the lack of economics of scale means it just may cost more than the same number of Connect:Amps when all is said and done.


Sorry, jgatie, I read your reply last.
Hmm, from what I read on the website a few months back, I got the impression that you couldn't do the same feed through multiple CONNNECT:AMPS, now that I read the page again, it looks like it can be done with "SonosNet". I'll have to look into this (do you know if zones can be grouped on the fly, using the app depending on where you are in the house?). Also, reading further I see they can do up to 4 speakers! Jeeze, I don't know what page I was reading as I got completely wrong information. So really, all I would be getting is having them all into one unit rather than a large bank. I think I'm ok with that (as they'll be buried in the basement).

Thanks guys!
It can be done whether you're using sonosnet, direct Wi-Fi access or completely wired. Perfectly synced audio across any and all zones is Sonos' raison d'être, it was their usp for years and arguably still is! Up to 32 zones, all playing exactly in sync, nobody else can do that.
Any Sonos unit can be Grouped with any and all other Sonos units (up to 32 total), with all units playing the same source. This can be done in WiFi mode or Sonosnet mode, though Sonosnet mode is better for larger installations. And yes, you can connect up to 4 speakers (must be 8 Ohm speakers) per Connect:Amp. Each pair will play the same source at the same volume. If you wish separate volume controls, you have to wire in manual wall controls.
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Any Sonos unit can be Grouped with any and all other Sonos units (up to 32 total), with all units playing the same source. This can be done in WiFi mode or Sonosnet mode, though Sonosnet mode is better for larger installations. And yes, you can connect up to 4 speakers (must be 8 Ohm speakers) per Connect:Amp. Each pair will play the same source at the same volume. If you wish separate volume controls, you have to wire in manual wall controls.
Whoa! That is perfect! Do you know if there are limitations on what Sonos can use as a source? Say I'm playing a video (whatever app, doesn't matter) on my mobile device, can I send it to the Sonos to play through my speakers? I'd like to know what the limits are (make sure that it doesn't only support Spotify or iTunes as a source) before I put down over $500 bones. 😃
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You can play sources within the Sonos app. Not programs outside Sonos app. Only way to play sources outside app right now is via AirPlay, Google chromecast, or Bluetooth. Each of those require a single attached to a Singke Sonos unit (like play:5) to input as source into Sonos.
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You can play sources within the Sonos app. Not programs outside Sonos app. Only way to play sources outside app right now is via AirPlay, Google chromecast, or Bluetooth. Each of those require a single attached to a Singke Sonos unit (like play:5) to input as source into Sonos.

Chromecast or Bluetooth would work, but I need another device for that? That's unfortunate.