How to connect Outdoor speakers to Sonos

  • 25 May 2017
  • 5 replies

What is the best way to hook up my outdoor speakers to my existing Sonos network? I have a Sonos Connect in my living room for my home theater and 2 Play1's throughout the house...Is there an AB selector that I can get to install between the Connect & my outdoor speakers / home theater? I was thinking I could use this to separate the signal or have both "zones" play at the same time. Then I would buy a cheapo amp to power the outdoor speakers. Any help would be great!

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5 replies

If your Connect is wired to the home theatre via its digital outputs, you can run stereo RCA cables from its analog outputs to an amp, and speaker wires thence to outdoor speakers.
If you google "rca audio splitter" you'll see plenty of devices that do what you're asking for.

However, you may not need it. What sort of home theatre setup do you have? If you have a receiver, perhaps it has A&B speaker selectors. You could drive your outdoor speakers off of 'B', eliminating the need for a separate amp or any sort of splitter. if you don't have A&B speaker selectors, you can get a separate speaker selector, splitting the speaker wire coming off your receiver. Some splitters even have volume controls. I wouldn't recommend it (and never done it), but you skip the selector and directly wire both your outdoor speakers to the same posts as hour home theatre. You would lose the ability to turn outdoor off your outdoor speakers when the home theatre is on this way. A lot of receivers also have a line out of (possibly HDMI) which could be the source for a second I've done all 3 setups in the past before.

Of course you could just get a CONNECT:AMP, but it sounds cost is a big factor here. The last option is to just get a PLAY:1 and take it outdoors when you need it. When you consider the cost of outdoor speakers and the wiring, it probably won't cost much more if at all.
Thanks. I actually already have the 2 Bose 151 outdoor speakers and wiring but never installed. I am trying to make it as easy as possible so I thought a splitter off he Connect would be the easiest. Unfortunately, my Denon AVR-S510-BT receiver does not have the A/B selector option which is why I was thinking a splitter. I figured I could control the volume from the app and then the indoor speakers (if on at same time) i can control from the receiver volume...

Do you recommend any specific selectors?
I don't have any recommendations for an rca splitter as I've never used one. I don't know if your volume control plan will work that well. Changing the volume on the Sonos app is going to change the volume on both your amps. Having 2 different points of volume control for speakers can get rather confusing, from my experience anyway. You can set a fixed volume on your Connect, and then control through volume on your two separate amps. I have 2 Connects setup this way.

I took a look at your receiver and it does not have an analog audio output, but does have an optical output. You could use that as the input to a 2nd receiver. Although I think it may be harder to find a cheap amp/receiver that takes an optical input. I did a quick look and so one for $200. The main difference you'd get from this is that you would be able to play audio from all your sources (cable, Blu-ray) outside, not just what's on CONNECT. I personally like that ability as it's nice to have sports audio outside during a game sometimes.

You could use both options, the rca splitter and optical. That would allow outside to listen to whatever is playing inside or play directly from the CONNECT. That's going to be a slightly more complicated setup though as far as ease of use.

Your cheapest option might be a speaker selector. I have the Nile SS-4 ($70). The only issue is connecting the wires are kind of pain and you won't have independent volume control. The Niles SSVC-2 is just 2 pairs of speakers and with volume control...but at a price of $ aren't much cheaper, if at all, then getting a separate amp/receiver. You aren't going to have a remote for this either, but it will be pretty easy to operate.
I thought a splitter off he Connect would be the easiest.
The Connect has two digital output jacks and one for analog output.