What is the correct way to set up my *Single-Room* Sonos Sound System?

  • 19 January 2017
  • 3 replies

Trying to correctly set up a Sonos System in my Man Cave (Only ONE SINGLE ROOM) with a TV, Playbar, Subwoofer, Connect or/and Connect Amp, Sony Receiver and 6 In-Ceiling Speakers.

Here's my situation:

I am in one room and one room only. It is a very large Man Cave.

For starters, I have 6 In-Ceiling Speakers all hardwired through the ceilings/walls back to one universal location on my bar. I also have an ethernet cable hardwired back from my router to the same location as all of the speaker wire.

Along with these 6 In-Ceiling speakers, I have a TV, a Sonos PlayBar, a Sonos Sub-woofer, a Sonos Connect, and a Sony Receiver.

My plan was to take all of my speaker wire (6) and hardwire those into the back of my Sony Receiver. Then I would place my Sonos Connect right next to the receiver, hardwire the Connect into the Receiver, and hardwire the ethernet into the Connect.

Then simply plug in the subwoofer to a wall outlet. And lastly, direct connect the sound bar (PlayBar) with an optical cable into the TV.

This plan all went to garbage when I was told that my TV sound would be delayed when played over the In-Ceiling speakers. In a Perfect world, I obviously want all of my equipment to be synced up for a great audio experience. That would mean my soundbar, my subwoofer, and my 6 in-ceiling speakers playing great sound simultaneously for both music wants and TV sound wants.

Sonos Tech Support told me that I could solve my problem doing this (below), but the point of my post is to get second opinions from all of you wonderful "techys"!:

1) Buy a Connect Amp.
2) Hardwire the two closest in-ceiling speakers into the Connect Amp
3) Hardwire a separate ethernet cable ONLY from my sound bar (Playbar) to the new Connect Amp
4) Keep my Connect hooked up to my receiver, but only hardwire the 4 remaining in-ceiling speakers into the Sony Receiver.
5) Leave the ethernet hardwired from the Connect to the router.

I know this is all over the place, but hopefully you guys can make sense of it all and give me some advice. I'm in desperate need!

Again my biggest desire is to make these 6 in ceiling speakers not only function great for music but all of my TV/Playbar sound as well with no delays.


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3 replies

Again my biggest desire is to make these 6 in ceiling speakers not only function great for music but all of my TV/Playbar sound as well with no delays.
I don't think this is possible. But then I don't think it is a good idea either. I don't think ceiling speakers are a great idea for TV sound , and with six you are going to lose a lot of the surround effects if you do make it work.
You are a bit over-endowed with equipment as well. Do you want a Sonos system or a conventional one? A Playbar and a conventional receiver is arguably overkill (is that an AV receiver? Sounds like it.)

There is no correct answer here. That suggested by Sonos tech is a very sensible one. I would suggest a slight variation:

1. Just have a Sonos home theatre system for the TV, and buy two Play:1s to act as surrounds, positioned at "ear level". This will allow you to enjoy "cinema surround sound" at its best. It will also be good for music.

2. If you want to use the ceiling speakers you might, as you suggested, wire all the ceiling speakers into the receiver, then you could use a Connect into the receiver to play music through there too (assumiong the receiver is capable of driving all those speakers). To play music through everything you could group the Connect and Playbar, The Sonos units will sync perfectly, but there is a risk that audio processing in the receiver will throw the sync out. Often this can be turned off so it may be OK.

This is just another possible suggestion and I am sure that others will have different configurations for you to consider.

I hope that helps, though.
Actually, there is a way you could sync the Playbar and all ceiling speakers for TV and music, although I think the result might be disappointing.
1. Abandon the receiver.
2. Get a Connect:Amp and an impedance managed speaker switch. Connect the Connect:Amp to the 6 ceiling speakers with the switch in between
3. Ensure that both the Playbar and C:A have Ethernet connections to your router, or run an Ethernet cable from the Playbar to the C:A
4. Set the C:A as the surround speakers for the Playbar

My concerns would be whether the C:A could effectively power that many speakers, and my general concern about the audio qualities of ceiling speakers for a surround sound setup.
Number one rule of audio: More speakers does not equal better sound. A surround sound setup is carefully mastered to a certain number of discrete channels (5.1 in the case of Sonos). If this mix isn't played to each discrete channel specifically placed in the room (Front Left-Center-Right, Rear Surround Left-Right) then the carefully mastered effects are muddied. Set up the way you wanted with 6 extra channels playing the Front Left-Right and they are not just muddied, the effects are ruined.

My advice, use two discrete ceiling or wall speakers set up as surrounds according to this diagram at Dolby:

Use the Connect:Amp to power the ceiling/wall surrounds: