Surround sound without a playbar or beam...

  • 9 April 2019
  • 7 replies

I don't have a decent space for a playbar and beam and wanted to know if I can make the following set up work for surround sound with my TV?

2 Sonos Play 1 front left and front right (head level on stands)
2 Sonos Play 2 rear left and right (high on the wall)

I do also have a Sonos Amp (the new one) which drives my outdoor speakers.

In an ideal world I would make the above work.

Thanks for any input

7 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +4
Sonos does not support surround on any setup that does not include a Beam, Playbase or Playbar. You can group two Play:1’s as a stereo pair, or in your case two stereo pairs, but surround has to include one of the mentioned speakers. This has to do with the digital connection to the TV, that only those speakers have.

Your Amp can be used for surround (it creates a center from two passive i.e. non-Sonos speakers, can drive passive rear speakers and it can connect to a sub), but using that would leave your outside speakers useless.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
@106rallye, the Sonos amp also can be used as the 'master' device in a home theatre setup, as it also has the HDMI-ARC/optical port with it. It can be used for surrounds as well (not the amp though), as you mentioned.

@vonmarshall If you don't have room for soundbar than perhaps a Sonos amp + passive speakers in the front, and 2 play:1s in the rear would work. If it works logistically, you could even use the same amp that you are currently using for outdoors. The amp could power both pairs of speakers, with a speaker switch to specify whether you want to play inside, outside, or both.
Thanks I quite like the idea of using my AMP for more than just the outdoor ones. I feel like I am getting better value for money and I als have a rather nice set of passive speakers that I was about to put on ebay... maybe they have a future after all!

What sort of speaker switch would you recommend?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
The is the switch I have.

It operates just fine, but the speaker ports on the back are rather small and a pain in the rear to deal with. It won't take 12 gauge wire, maybe even 14. You only need two speakers for your case, and perhaps you might want to add volume control, so maybe this is better?
Thanks very helpful.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I should note that you can connect two sets of speakers directly to the amp under certain conditions.

I didn't mention this earlier as it doesn't make as much sense to do this when you're sets of speakers are inside/outside. I currently don't even use my speaker switch, as I'm running 4 speakers off the same amp, all outside. I'm considering reinstating it though as I do find that I'm using one section of the yard more than others, and it may make sense to turn the other part of the yard off when not used. Then again, wiring up that switch is an annoying task....
Thanks for all the input.
I have been offered a Connct:Amp at a great price so will now use my AMP solely for indoor / surround and the connect:amp to drive 4 outdoor speakers.
Should be a nice set up.