Setup, Install, and Getting the most from Sonos Amp

  • 18 March 2019
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When you remove any speaker from a “room” in the Sonos software, it automatically strips any TruePlay tuning from that room. 
 

Depending on your setup, that may, or may not be an issue. Since there is zero cost in the experiment, beyond your time, I’d suggest that you try it, and see how it works for you. 

...another thought.

 

If I only had Beam, Sub and Amp (powering 2 passives), I could easily switch between these two setups just by using the 'remove sub' and ' add sub' button if they are set up as individual 'Rooms' (even though they are in the same physical room) :

Beam and Sub in 3.1 surround (for films)

Amp and Sub in 2.1 stereo (for music)

 

That way I wouldn't need to reapply Trueplay each time as the Beam settings wouldn't change and it would just be a 3-4 button press operation to switch, which would only be when we watch a film once or twice a week (for normal TV I'd leave the Beam disconnected).

Is that right?

Thanks Bruce, that's what I suspected. I'm not sure I always want the TV coming through my main speakers/with full surround (e.g. when our daughter is watching something) - so if I went for the Amp+passive speakers Front L/R, Sub, and possibly Sonos Ones as Rear L/R, can I easily disable/enable the entire Sonos routing so sounds just plays through the TV. I know that is dependant on others things like the TV but I guess I just keep the Optical connection between the TV and Amp unplugged, and plug it when we are going to watch a film/want full surround sound...

  1. I have found that unbonding and rebonding the SUB, and then re TruePlaying the room to be onerous. You may feel differently.
  2. If you’re using one of the Sonos sound bars, you are not able to also have Left and Right speakers. All Sonos sound bars contain the right, center and left channels in the single box, and the software doesn’t provide an opportunity to split them out. You could instead use the Sonos Amp to drive third party speakers as right and left, and have the “phantom” center created by Sonos. In that situation, you could use a second Amp to drive the surrounds, or use other Sonos speakers as surrounds.

I am looking to impliment this variant, similar to some others here but (I think) slightly different.

In the same room I want to have a music setup and a surround setup, that shares some components but not others.

This is what I am thinking.…

 

Music (2.1) System: Amp powering 2 passive 3rd party speakers, Amp bonded to Sonos Sub.

Home Threatre System: Beam bonded to Sonos Sub, with 2x Sonos Ones as Rear Left and Right, and IDEALLY using Amp/2 passive speakers as front left/right BUT this is sacraficible as those speakers are not equal distance from the tv (one is quite close, the other 2m away). I suspect I will have to ditch these OR the Beam in this set up.

If I need to compromise/adjust this that's fine but the one thing that I definitely want is to utilise the Sonos Sub for music AND home threatre, even if that means going onto the app to remove it from one and add it to the other when necessary.

TV does NOT have ARC (sadly)

What do you think, is this possible:

1) switching the use of the Sub between the Amp/passive speakers and the Beam when needed.

2) with the passive speakers acting as Front L/R with Beam, Sub and Ones completing the full surround.

Cheers in advance for any input/thoughts.

 

Hi,

I’ve been using my amp and I love it.  It has great versatility, and I’ll use it with external speakers and group it with the rest of my house simultaneously to play LPs.

A couple questions:

  1. given that it doesn’t have standard line in, what would be the best way to connect my PC to it?  Is there a way to use the HDMI arc port, given that the RCA line in is taken up by my record player currently?
  2. any benefit or best practices to using the amp to support streaming services such as spotify premium?

Thanks!

Thank you!  I do recall that it can do 4.1 and the 5th channel ends up being a virtual channel?  Don’t really understand the how or why but I get it. 
 

I’ll go read the links you’ve provided and let you know how it goes. Thanks again for the quick assistance. 

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I’m looking for a “How to” in setting up my home theater surround sound.  Here is what I have:

1 Smart TV with the HDMI ARC cable run to a central location

2 Polk Audio Front speakers, already run to the same central location

2 Polk Audio Rear speakers, already run to the same central location

2 Sonos Amps (new, not Connect), located in the same central location

 

Can anyone provide me with the steps to create a 5.1 surround sound, please?  Thanks so much for the help.

 

Hey Mike,

The two amps can't do 5.1, they only actually do 4.1. You probably know that, just wanted to point it out since you mentioned 5.1.

 

Sonos has some docs online on what you are looking for

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/4717?language=en_US

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/2927?language=en_US

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/2237?language=en_US

 

I’m looking for a “How to” in setting up my home theater surround sound.  Here is what I have:

1 Smart TV with the HDMI ARC cable run to a central location

2 Polk Audio Front speakers, already run to the same central location

2 Polk Audio Rear speakers, already run to the same central location

2 Sonos Amps (new, not Connect), located in the same central location

 

Can anyone provide me with the steps to create a 5.1 surround sound, please?  Thanks so much for the help.

 

No, I was unable to create a wireless connection to my Amp Connect for surround sound. I went with a Sony Soundbar plus two wireless Sony bookshelf speakers in back.


Was it a fault with your particular unit?

No, I was unable to create a wireless connection to my Amp Connect for surround sound. I went with a Sony Soundbar plus two wireless Sony bookshelf speakers in back.


Was it a fault with your particular unit?

Niraj, no, it was not a problem with my unit — the Amp Connect is an older design that has limited wireless abilities. But it’s great for my wired connections!

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No, I was unable to create a wireless connection to my Amp Connect for surround sound. I went with a Sony Soundbar plus two wireless Sony bookshelf speakers in back.


Was it a fault with your particular unit?

No, I was unable to create a wireless connection to my Amp Connect for surround sound. I went with a Sony Soundbar plus two wireless Sony bookshelf speakers in back.
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Hi AjTrek1

Thanks for your reply, some really good points. It seems the best option is to look either having the amp run a pair of speakers at the front (unlikely given need for wife approval 🙂 ) so I can switch off surrounds, or go with a separate stereo set up.

Based on your bio at the bottom of your reply you have a lot of sonos gear including 2 amps! In your opinion would I get a better sound out of a Sonos amp running a more 'hifi' (if that is the best way to describe them) pair of speakers than I would from say a pair of play 5's or Play 1's and a sub, with the benefits of Trueplay? Alternatively I could go with some separate powered speakers and a Sonos Connect.

Be keen to hear your thoughts, and thanks again for the reply.

Cheers

Hi there,
Just wanted to check were you able to try the setup(Sonos amp with bookshelf speakers for TV)? Interested to try this setup with Amp and 2 passive speakers plus Sonos sub and Play 1s as surrounds.
Thanks
I just moved my tv to a room where I have an Amp running a set of wired speakers on the back wall. If I get a Soundbar, can this be configured wirelessly as a home theater set up? Our do I have to run a wire from the Soundbar to the Amp?

If it is the Amp and not a Connect:Amp, then there is no need for Ethernet wiring. The Connect:Amp would require wiring both units to the router, or to each other.
I just moved my tv to a room where I have an Amp running a set of wired speakers on the back wall. If I get a Soundbar, can this be configured wirelessly as a home theater set up? Our do I have to run a wire from the Soundbar to the Amp?
No worries. And honestly, I have no idea how much weight it could take. Oddly, it seems to be designed to be rack mounted as well, but at 1U, I would think there would still be at least an inch between the top of one and the bottom tray of the next.
I wouldn't want to. The top of the Sonos Amp is designed to act as a heat outlet, I would think stacking something on top of it would be counterproductive.. Thanks, I couldn't tell if the only ventilation was underneath but I just found a review that stated the top is ventilated.
I wouldn't want to. The top of the Sonos Amp is designed to act as a heat outlet, I would think stacking something on top of it would be counterproductive.
I am considering a Sonos Amp for my study but wanted to know if it is possible to stack a LCD monitor on top of the amp? The monitor weighs about 5kg...
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would I get a better sound out of a Sonos amp running a more 'hifi' (if that is the best way to describe them) pair of speakers than I would from say a pair of play 5's or Play 1's and a sub, with the benefits of Trueplay? Alternatively I could go with some separate powered speakers and a Sonos Connect.

It's all subjective. The Play 5's are great speakers and deliver an excellent sound stage. I use mine as a stereo pair with sub. Might I get a better sound stage with a Sonos Amp and a great pair of floor or bookshelf speakers....it's highly possible. But as I said the listening experience is subjective to the listener.

To be honest I use one of my Amps with a pair of Definitive Technology BP 500's. The BP stands for Bi-Polar as they have front and rear firing mid-range speakers. The complete setup also includes a Sonos sub. That setup has a slightly different acoustic presentation than the Play 5's with sub. IMO it's a little more open in the mid-range. However, since they are in different rooms I'd be hard pressed to say that one setup is better than the other. Each room has it's own characteristics.

So back to your situation. It would seem that you really want a true stereo experience and quite frankly I'm not keen on listening to my music via a Playbar as I feel it colors it. However, that's not intended as a knock on the Playbar as it wasn't designed for music but for TV and cinema.

Based strictly on cost the Sonos Amp will set you back $600 plus speakers and maybe a sub at $700 so your cost is $1300 plus $????. Two Play 5's will set you back $1000 and maybe a sub at $700...total cost $1700. Overall cost-wise IMO two play 5's with sub is more cost-effective. In fact some say that the Play 5's in stereo pair don't require a sub.

That's all I can offer. Good luck with whatever you decide. May be you can get the wife to give-in with a nice mother's day present. It doesn't matter if you don't have kids...they (wives) just like getting gifts :)

Cheers!
Hi AjTrek1

Thanks for your reply, some really good points. It seems the best option is to look either having the amp run a pair of speakers at the front (unlikely given need for wife approval 🙂 ) so I can switch off surrounds, or go with a separate stereo set up.

Based on your bio at the bottom of your reply you have a lot of sonos gear including 2 amps! In your opinion would I get a better sound out of a Sonos amp running a more 'hifi' (if that is the best way to describe them) pair of speakers than I would from say a pair of play 5's or Play 1's and a sub, with the benefits of Trueplay? Alternatively I could go with some separate powered speakers and a Sonos Connect.

Be keen to hear your thoughts, and thanks again for the reply.

Cheers
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Hi Lpatch

Maybe this will help.

Hi, I currently have a sonos home theatre set up with playbar, sub and play 1s. I’m looking at picking up an amp running a pair of passive speakers as surrounds, not sure if bookshelf or floorstanders, mainly for listening to music, I don’t expect any better for surround sound.
This part of your question is a bit confusing. You stated "I currently have a sonos home theatre set up with playbar, sub and play 1s". Assuming your Play 1's are used as surrounds why would you want a Sonos Amp to power third party speakers as surrounds? When playing music you may get better sound from the 3rd party speakers used as rears instead of the Play 1's; but the Playbar would still be part of the mix.

The only logical reason IMO to purchase a Sonos Amp to power 3rd party speakers would be to have a dedicated two (2) channel stereo system.

.My questions are; will my sonos sub bond with the amp for tv (assume just the sub line out doesn’t work); and is there any way I can easily switch off the playbar so I get a straight stereo set up from the rears and amp? Only a sound bar is suitable at front.
The sub can only be bonded to one configuration at a time. There is no way to switch off the Playbar. FYI, This was also answered above.:8

Also, does anyone have any speaker recommendations to pair with the amp? Not unhappy with current set up other than not being able to switch off playbar, just looking for a change and hopefully an improved stereo experienc
I don't have any speaker recommendations other than to say to be sure to follow the recommendations in the link regarding impedance and wiring. https://support.sonos.com/s/article/265?language=en_US

There are a lot of good sounding floor and bookshelf speakers depending upon how mush you want to invest. I'm sure someone in the community will offer their opinion.

When I was shopping for speakers (back-in-the-day) I'd audition the best sounding speakers in the room typically $6,000 per pair (which I couldn't afford :8). Then I'd listen to speakers within my budget that would approximate (to my ears) the stereo acoustics that came as close as possible to that of the $6K pair. Not very scientific but I found that Definitive Technology speaker's were a good fit at typically $2000 per pair. WoW, I just made a recommendation ;)

Note: I might also add that when I was seriously shopping for speakers there were a lot of audiophile stores in business with speakers setup in listening rooms. That made auditioning speakers an enjoyable experience. A far cry from the big box stores with speakers all around playing the same sample loop. My point (if possible) is to locate a store with a listening room to really get a feel for what type of speaker sounds best to you.

Cheers!
Hi, I currently have a sonos home theatre set up with playbar, sub and play 1s. I’m looking at picking up an amp running a pair of passive speakers as surrounds, not sure if bookshelf or floorstanders, mainly for listening to music, I don’t expect any better for surround sound.

My questions are; will my sonos sub bond with the amp for tv (assume just the sub line out doesn’t work); and is there any way I can easily switch off the playbar so I get a straight stereo set up from the rears and amp? Only a sound bar is suitable at front.


Also, does anyone have any speaker recommendations to pair with the amp? Not unhappy with current set up other than not being able to switch off playbar, just looking for a change and hopefully an improved stereo experience

Thanks
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Setting the Amp to mono will affect all sources of audio you're playing. If you have the TV input on, it'll still be playing mono out of all speakers wired to the Amp.
Thanks for the answer Ryan.

So I can't even use them as a stereo pair for the TV-sound?


I've got the same question. I'd like to use the Amp connected to an Apple TV which is also connected to a projector. Would the audio coming out of the AMP necessarily only be the front L/R channel? Could you have mono go to all speakers?


The amp would be the front L/R phantom center channels only. I don't think mono is an option for TV. Regardless, you could connect 4 passive speakers (2 pairs) to a single amp if you wish. If your goal is to be wireless though, that won't help you.