Room too big for Sonos Home Theater? Expansion possible?

  • 1 February 2019
  • 4 replies

Hey Folks!

I'm a happy owner of five Sonos speakers throughout my current home, three play 3s and two play 1s, older models. We love the functionality. Our original home is fairly small. But not anymore.

We have just added a 22'x22' great room to the house. It has a 14' cathedral ceiling with 8' high walls and will feature hardwood floors with area rugs and traditional skim-coated plaster walls. There are a few large windows. I'm considering a 70-80" television just due to the size of the space. The framing is completed and rough electrical will be installed in the next three weeks, so my time to select home theater for wiring, etc, is getting tight, and I'd like to stick to Sonos, but had a couple of questions for this community:

1) Does anyone who currently has the Sub/Playbar/Play 1 configuration have it in a room about this size or larger (480-500 square feet) and if so, is the system sufficient for this size of a space? (It feels like it might be small, especially with the cathedral ceiling), and

2) What add-ons can I make to the home theater system to improve or increase the sound? If we can't go 7.1 as I understand from this forum, can I add Play 3s or Play 5s to the system at all? and if so, how many? is the theater system itself expandable or would i just be adding speakers to increase sound coming from the playbar as a center speaker?

I really don't want to deviate from Sonos. We love the functionality too much to leave it.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Most appreciated!

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4 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +4
My room isn't quite as big as yours (24ft x 14ft) and I currently use a beam, sub, and play:1s. It fills the space nicely. As far as I am aware you can use play 3s and play 5s as rear surround speakers. However, you can not add additional front left and right speakers to the system. The playbar would act as centre, left, and right in this case. Unfortunately Sonos only does 5.1 at the moment with no room to expand to 7.1. Maybe this will be added in the future.

I would suggest to demo this type of set-up. Although the Sonos sound it good, it will not compete with a dedicated wired AV amp and speaker set-up (depending on the quality of the speakers of course). This option will allow you to achieve front left and right separation with a dedicated centre channel, and to go for a 7.1 or an Atmos system (e.g. 5.2.4). It would also decode more audio formats. You would have to weigh up the convenience of Sonos against the sound improvement you can get from a wired set-up.
Userlevel 1
Badge +4
My room is very similar to yours. It’s a semi open floor plan and the listening area is approximately 23x18 feet with cathedral ceilings,very close to the listening area you described.

I bought the 5.1 Sonos Home Theater System a month ago (Playbar, Sub and 2 Play:1s) Mostly used for TV/movies. I don’t subscribe to any online music service but I do listen to music I have stored on my iPhone.

The setup fills my listening space easily. But as the above poster said if possible you may want to demo the setup you’re thinking of. IMO Play5s would be a bit overkill as surrounds
Userlevel 1
If this was my house I would get a "Works with Sonos" receiver from Pioneer or Onkyo and put a Connect on it and use speakers that lean towards home theater.

I would wire for a 7.2.4 setup (maybe even wire it for atmos and aurora 3d sound) and go with whatever fits your budget for now, but this would allow you to upgrade in the future assuming you don't go all out. Wiring at this stage is so cheap and easy do it to keep those options open.

1) Assuming you pre-wire it, you can always use a return policy to test equipment to see if it works. The Soundbar, sub, and play 1's might be good enough, but if they aren't you have the hard part done already.

2) You can use a set of Play 3 or Play 5 as the Rear Left and Right Surround Channels just like you would the Play 1's. The Playbar will act as the Front Left, Front Right, and Center Channels. You can always group other speakers with your surrounds, but it won't send the signal as additional channels.
These are phenomenal comments - I should expect no less from fellow Sonos owners. Thank you!