Set up 5.1 and multiple room music streaming

  • 19 November 2022
  • 3 replies

I just bought a new place and want to replace a Yamaha RX-A720 with 2 Sonos AMPS. I have 5 wired speakers for surround sound in the living room and 2 additional zones (1 outside and 1 in Bedroom). How do I set this up for surround sound and multiple zones. Can I stream music through the surround speakers.

Thanks for your help. 

3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @SetupLaQuinta 

Thank you - and to you!

All Sonos devices (except for the Boost which is a different beast, and the Sub which needs help from another device) can stream music at any time - it’s what we do.

The two Amps comprising your Home Theatre setup (which will show as one room in the app) can play streamed music with or without your other two planned Amps in other rooms being involved. All will play in sync. Of the two in the HT room, you will be able to play streamed music to only the front pair of speakers, or to both pairs, but not to the rear speakers alone. The Amp driving the rear speakers has no independence from the front Amp.

Of the 3 rooms you’ll have in the app, you can play one stream to one, two or all three rooms, or you could play 3 different streams to three different rooms, or anything in between - it’s up to you.

You can play the TV audio to the other rooms too, but this will induce a delay and possible audio interruptions in the other rooms. Interruptions can be reduced or eliminated by increasing the delay.

As for alternative setups, you could only replace the front Amp with a Sonos soundbar - not add to it. Whether to do that or not is really down to personal preference, but the Arc certainly has some advantages over the Amp when it comes to Home Theatre - Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 support for one (the extra .2 are vertical channels), an in-built microphone for voice assistants being another. If you only so far have 2 of the 4 Amps you’re planning to have, you could consider a pair of Sonos One SLs for the surround speakers instead of an Amp - mostly for aesthetic reasons, but also because you don’t want too much power in the rear (um, yeah 😁).

I hope this helps.

Thanks for your response and Happy Thanksgiving!

I already have 2 Amps so can set that up. One clarifying question on streaming music on the surround sound speakers. Are you saying the speakers connected to the tv and the other surround can not stream music?

Any alternatives set ups you recommend? Maybe add a sound bar?



Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @SetupLaQuinta 

Welcome to the Sonos Community!

For the Home Theatre setup, you’d need two Amps - one connected to the TV, and one bonded wirelessly to the first as surround speakers during setup. There will be no connection for a centre speaker available, though Amp takes this channel and reproduces it through both front speakers, creating a “phantom centre speaker”.

You’ll also need an Amp for each additional zone, so two more are needed for the full setup you describe. All four Amps (eight speakers) will be able to play music in sync through Grouping, though you will not be able to only play to the surrounds.

Add surround speakers to a Sonos home theater

I hope this helps.