In-Wall Prewired Speaker Set up with Sonos

  • 14 March 2023
  • 1 reply



I have 3 different areas with in-wall prewired speakers in my home, with the cables running bundled (but seperated) individually to one location in the basement


  1. Outdoor living space with 2 speakers (TV outside as well)
  2. Family room with 5 in-wall ceiling speakers (TV mounted in front)
  3. Basement with 5 wired speakers


My questions is how and with what equipment would I use to utilize these speakers for the respected TVs (to output sound) and to use for music. 

I will also note their are Ethernet Cat6 cables run to the same locations behind all TVs (at wall plate behind the TVs)


The media company for the builder said to use Sonos, but how would I go about using this (so that there is no lag in the audio from the TV). 

Would I use just Sonos or use it with existing amplifier?

Do I need seperate amplifiers for each set of speaker?


Really look forward to any help! Thank you.


Best answer by Corry P 15 March 2023, 15:05

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Hi @rahuls 

Welcome to the Sonos Community!

I’ll address each area separately, but you would need Sonos Amps for all the areas you mentioned, as Amp is the only device we make that can utilise passive speakers.

  • Outdoor living space with 2 speakers (TV outside as well)

One Amp can power 2 speakers by itself (unsurprisingly). It also has an HDMI socket for connecting to the HDMI-ARC socket on the TV. However, if the TV is near the speakers and the wires go to the basement, it may be a struggle to get the HDMI connection from the TV down to the basement, though with the addition of a device for delivering HDMI over Ethernet, it may be achievable. Note that the HDMI-Ethernet device would need to support ARC (Audio Return Channel). You could avoid this if you have a source HDMI device also located in the basement, which you could connect the Amp to directly with the assistance of the Sonos HDMI-Optical adaptor. This would, however, mean that there would be no audio for sources built into the TV (apps or broadcasted TV). You would also still need to get the HMDI connection from the source to the TV, but in this case, it wouldn’t need to support ARC.

Here are a couple of community threads regarding HDMI over Ethernet:


  • Family room with 5 in-wall ceiling speakers (TV mounted in front)

Amp, in combination with a second Amp (configured as “bonded” surrounds in the Sonos app), can deliver 4.0 surround sound. The Sonos Sub or Sub Mini can be wirelessly added to deliver 4.1, but it would need to be located in the room with the speakers, and within 5GHz WiFi range of the Amp connecting to the TV. Again, there’s the problem of getting the HDMI connection to the Amp in the basement, and one speaker (the centre channel) would not be utilised.

In this case, I would recommend relocating the wiring for the speakers so you can position the two Amps in the same room as the TV.

In the interest of covering all your options, another would be to forego Sonos for the Home Theatre setup and use a third-party AVR (Audio/Video Receiver) instead for 5.0/5.1 sound. You could then connect a Sonos Port to the AVR for streamed music playback via Sonos, though please note that the AVR might induce a delay that would put it slightly out of sync with other Sonos rooms playing music - this would not happen with Amps. If the AVR went in the basement, you’d still need to figure out a solution for the HDMI connection.


  • Basement with 5 wired speakers

You don’t mention a TV here, so I’ll presume it’s music-only for the basement.

As long as the speakers are 8 Ohms impedance, you can connect 4 to each Amp - note that all 4 will always play the same thing (2 stereo channels), and at the same volume. So, you could have one Amp powering 4 of the speakers, or two Amps “grouped” together - one powering 2 and the other powering 3 speakers (to share the load).

I hope this helps. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate.