Question

Whole home Audio and future expansion


I am planning a new house with three floors and would like to use Sonos connect amps and one Sonos connect to set up the audio zones. The house would be configured this way:

Upper level
Bonus room – 1 pair of speakers
Sitting room – 1 pair of speakers

Main Level
Living room – 1 pair of speakers
Kitchen– 1 pair of speakers
Mater– 1 pair of speakers
Master Bath– 1 pair of speakers
Porch – 1 pair of speakers
Garage – 1 pair of speakers
Front porch – 1 pair of speakers
Pool – Sonance array (this would use a separate amp and Sonos connect)

Lower level
Rec room – 1 pair of speakers
Gym – 1 pair of speakers
Game room – 1 pair of speakers

I would in the future like to add 5.1 leveraging the ceiling speakers in the following rooms by adding a playbar and sub.
Living Room
Bonus Room
Rec Room

Questions:
Is this too much for a Sonos system?
I read the 32 device limit and am under it. Should I have a separate network and hardwire all the connects and in the future the playbar’s?
I read in order to do the 5.1 with the play bar and the connect Amp’s I will need to have a Boost Set up – do I need a Boost in all three areas where I plan to do the 5.1 ? they are on separate levels of the house.

12 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +4
Since building new I would future proof with Cat5 running to all the locations where you are going to have Connect:Amps. You will not need any boosts. The Connects being hardwired essentially each become boosts.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
Regarding the rooms where you want to do 5.1 setup, I wouldn't combine the connect AMP with a play bar. I couldn't confirm that is even possible, but if it is, I don't think you'd get all you can out of Sonos. I have my main living area setup with the playbar, sub, and two play:3s and it sounds spectacular. One bonus advantage is that whiling sourcing from musuc, the play 3s are no longer surround, they provide additional full stereo.

For your other rooms, and since this is a new home, I assume you're doing in ceiling speakers? I think that's great for most of your rooms, but for the tv rooms, instead of installing speakers and wiring, maybe provide electrical outlets and shelving where you want speakers to be placed?

Also, where are you planning on putting all those connects in a central location, or in multiple locations. I think you are good either way, but if your rooms with playbars (or other sonos speakers) are not relatively close to the central location if you go that route, you won't be taking advantage of the mesh wireless network. So yes, definitely plan on providing cat5 for those speakers.
Sorry I was not clear in my setup- I will centralize all the Sonos Connect Amp's and Connect in the lower level mechanical area.
thanks for the replies so far - any concerns about the number of connect amps?
Userlevel 6
Badge +4
As long as below 32 you are fine.

As far as melvimbe questioning the Connect:Amp.

For a Sonos 5.1 system you need playbar, sonos sub, and then 2 speakers for the rear speakers. That can be 2 Play:1's, 2:Play:5s (gen2), 2:Play:3s, or a Connect:Amp hooked to wired speakers (you could use in wall or in ceiling then). The only thing you have to make sure of if using a Connect:Amp is that the Connect:Amp has to be wired not wireless (so needs Ethernet cable to it).

So if you have thoughts of using a Connect:Amp for rears in 5.1 room then be sure and run Ethernet cable to it (you can actually run the Ethernet cable up to plug in the Playbar and doesn't have to run all the way back to router unless you want to).
Note, for a Connect:Amp used as surrounds, both the Playbar and the Connect:Amp need to be wired, either to each other, or to the network.

Setting up CONNECT:AMP as surround rears
Userlevel 6
Badge +4
Sorry yea left that part out
Not the number of Connects, but how close you are considering placing them to each other. The WiFi radios could be a problem if you don't have a few feet of separation between them.

Wiring the Connects would be a good thing in any case. Possibly disabling the WiFi radio on any mounted too close together might be a good option if you have interference issues, I'm not sure Sonos normally recommends that though.

I'm not a fan of long speaker wires, I'd rather have my amplification close to the speaker's location. Your planned wiring will probably work as long as you use adequate speaker wiring.

Which Ethernet cable to use is worth researching a bit, Sonos is only 100 MBps so it isn't going to be pushing things but thinking to the future, better cable might be a very safe bet. If I do this again I'm taking the advice in the "Best Answer" there and running conduit for my communications wiring making upgrades or repairs a lot easier for not that much more money.

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1662661/house-cat6-cat7-cables.html
Thanks for all the replies community!

So sounds like I am fine with the number of devices.

I am also planning on hardwiring the connects and the players in the future so good to go there and will make sure I have adequate speaker wire for the length of run.

Will disable wifi on the connects as there is no need for it.

So in the documentation for doing the 5.1 it says it must be a boost setup. What does this mean ? does wifi need to be enabled on the connect amps to do this?
Userlevel 6
Badge +4
Boost setup means you have at least one unit hardwired. So your good. If you do have any wireless you can just enable wireless on the wired unit closest.
Userlevel 6
Badge +4
When it comes to 5.1 you just can't use a connect:amp for the rears unless the connect amp is hard wired to router (and playbar is hard wired to router) or the connect:amp is wired to the playbar.

Otherwise if you use plays for rears you don't need to be concerned.
Thanks everyone!!

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