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Options for wiring Sonos ceiling speakers into Sonos surround system


Hi, I’m an electrician wiring in a Sonos setup for a customer.

We did a kitchen remodel with 2 sets of in ceiling Sonos speakers tied to a Sonos amp with speaker wire. One set are in the kitchen and another in the living room between the kitchen and the TV. The kitchen and living room are in an open room setup with no walls in between. And both sets of speakers are visible from the TV. This was laid out by the owner and is primarily for listening to music.

I believe that he has another older style Sonos amp and speakers that he will pull out and add at some point.

Now he has set up a Sonos soundbar and sub-woofer at the TV and I want to tie in the ceiling speakers as rear speakers in a surround setup for him.

The TV will be the source for sound on this system. I have not seen it but have been told it (the TV) has quit a few HDMI ports. I will see it tomorrow but right now I don’t know if it has fiber or other digital output options.

From what I have been lead to believe is we have to tie the Sonos amp (ceiling speakers) to the TV with a HDMI cable. The problem here is he didn't want this Sonos amp viable in the living room so we put it on a shelf in the attic. The cable run from the attic Sonos amp to the TV is about 60 feet so regular HDMI cable is not going to work. I went with a “J-Tech Digital HDBaseT HDMI Extender:

J-Tech Digital HDBaseT HDMI Extender

Does this solution look OK?

Only I read on some of the reviews of the J-Tech that there was a noticeable lag to the sound output. So I was thinking that if there is an optical output on the TV maybe that would be a better option. Though I dread the cost of a 70 foot optical cable is there some decoder from optical to HDMI (for the Sonos) or something like that?

Anyone have any other ideas on how I could wire these?

I don’t know how he will tie in the rest of the system yet but since it’s close to the TV I think it will be simpler.

 

Thank

Marc

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Best answer by Corry P 12 April 2021, 12:10

Hi @mxlplx00 

Welcome to the Sonos Community!

The guys have basically covered it all - I’m just going to quote them so it’s all is covered in one post and can be marked as Best Answer:

If it is a new Amp not an old Connect:Amp then the Amp will connect wirelessly to the soundbar, provided it's in range. No need for an Ethernet or HDMI connection. 

Edit: the ‘provided it is in range’ may be a significant caveat here.  The soundbar will want to connect directly to the Amp using their 5GHz radios.

One thing is for sure: in no circumstances is an HDMI connection from the Amp (used for surrounds) needed or usable.  Only the soundbar connects with an audio cable.  All the rest is about networking.

@mxlplx00 If you only want to use the set of in-ceiling speakers in the living room as surrounds for the Sonos soundbar, you would need to add another Amp (or use your customer’s existing Connect:Amp) to power the set of in-ceiling speakers in the kitchen. Each Sonos Amp (or Connect:Amp) acts as one zone. Two pairs of speakers wired in parallel to one Amp cannot be separated into two zones.

Sonos soundbars do not use RCA cables.  If it’s playbar or playbase, then it’s using an optical cable.  If it’s a Beam or Arc, then it’s using HDMI-ARC/eARC, although there are optical cables available.  My guess is that your customer has an Arc, based on the size of the room, and probably has a TV with at least HDMI-ARC capabilities.

I wouldn’t compare the 5GHZ wireless connection to zigbee, as it actually is more of a private WiFi signal. You are correct though, that you can use an ethernet connection through a router instead of the wireless connection.

 

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If it is a new Amp not an old Connect:Amp then the Amp will connect wirelessly to the soundbar, provided it's in range. No need for an Ethernet or HDMI connection. 

Edit: the ‘provided it is in range’ may be a significant caveat here.  The soundbar will want to connect directly to the Amp using their 5GHz radios.

One thing is for sure: in no circumstances is an HDMI connection from the Amp (used for surrounds) needed or usable.  Only the soundbar connects with an audio cable.  All the rest is about networking.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

@mxlplx00 If you only want to use the set of in-ceiling speakers in the living room as surrounds for the Sonos soundbar, you would need to add another Amp (or use your customer’s existing Connect:Amp) to power the set of in-ceiling speakers in the kitchen. Each Sonos Amp (or Connect:Amp) acts as one zone. Two pairs of speakers wired in parallel to one Amp cannot be separated into two zones.

Wow, that’s amazing guys! So the soundbar connects to the TV with RCA audio cables? The (new series) Sonos amp connects to the soundbar through a Zigbee like 5GHz private RF signal. Then you do everything through the app.

I read on another post that the stated distance for the 5GHz signal is 50 feet. I’m at 60 and through the ceiling. This other post says that if the soundbar doesn’t see the amp that I can connect both devices to the router with cat6 (Ethernet) and that will work::

Playbar and Sonos amp Max Distance

 

Thanks

Marc

Yes you've got it. Except that the connection to the TV is optical for a Playbar, HDMI-ARC for the Beam or Arc.

I thought you might be a relieved man to learn a 70 ft HDMI was not needed!

Wow, that’s amazing guys! So the soundbar connects to the TV with RCA audio cables? The (new series) Sonos amp connects to the soundbar through a Zigbee like 5GHz private RF signal. Then you do everything through the app.

I read on another post that the stated distance for the 5GHz signal is 50 feet. I’m at 60 and through the ceiling. This other post says that if the soundbar doesn’t see the amp that I can connect both devices to the router with cat6 (Ethernet) and that will work::

Playbar and Sonos amp Max Distance

 

Thanks

Marc

 

Sonos soundbars do not use RCA cables.  If it’s playbar or playbase, then it’s using an optical cable.  If it’s a Beam or Arc, then it’s using HDMI-ARC/eARC, although there are optical cables available.  My guess is that your customer has an Arc, based on the size of the room, and probably has a TV with at least HDMI-ARC capabilities.

I wouldn’t compare the 5GHZ wireless connection to zigbee, as it actually is more of a private WiFi signal. You are correct though, that you can use an ethernet connection through a router instead of the wireless connection.

Userlevel 5
Badge +14

Hi @mxlplx00 

Welcome to the Sonos Community!

The guys have basically covered it all - I’m just going to quote them so it’s all is covered in one post and can be marked as Best Answer:

If it is a new Amp not an old Connect:Amp then the Amp will connect wirelessly to the soundbar, provided it's in range. No need for an Ethernet or HDMI connection. 

Edit: the ‘provided it is in range’ may be a significant caveat here.  The soundbar will want to connect directly to the Amp using their 5GHz radios.

One thing is for sure: in no circumstances is an HDMI connection from the Amp (used for surrounds) needed or usable.  Only the soundbar connects with an audio cable.  All the rest is about networking.

@mxlplx00 If you only want to use the set of in-ceiling speakers in the living room as surrounds for the Sonos soundbar, you would need to add another Amp (or use your customer’s existing Connect:Amp) to power the set of in-ceiling speakers in the kitchen. Each Sonos Amp (or Connect:Amp) acts as one zone. Two pairs of speakers wired in parallel to one Amp cannot be separated into two zones.

Sonos soundbars do not use RCA cables.  If it’s playbar or playbase, then it’s using an optical cable.  If it’s a Beam or Arc, then it’s using HDMI-ARC/eARC, although there are optical cables available.  My guess is that your customer has an Arc, based on the size of the room, and probably has a TV with at least HDMI-ARC capabilities.

I wouldn’t compare the 5GHZ wireless connection to zigbee, as it actually is more of a private WiFi signal. You are correct though, that you can use an ethernet connection through a router instead of the wireless connection.

 

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