4 zone system w/ Ceiling Speakers

Userlevel 2
I am doing a project for someone and need some experienced advice. Here is what we are looking at:

2 Floor Apartment
4 Zones (Hard Wired/CAT5)
Apartment is being built so, will be running cables etc.

8 Ceiling Speakers layed out on one side of the first floor spread throughout 4 rooms.

Zonos ZP90 will connect to 5.1 Audio Receiver for output in Living Room. 2 speakers will be connecting to this zone from the kitchen.

2 speakers in one room

5 speakers spread throughout 3 rooms

After speaking with a Sonos PreSales rep, i was told that the only way this set up is going to work is by Purchasing a Multi-Zone audio receiver. Upon looking into Multi-Zone receivers (DENON AVR-4311CI) i was told by them that i will also require a Power Amp to handle all of these speakers.

I am looking for someone who is experienced in this kind of set up an would be able to assist with the specs needed.

Note: Zone2 will be connected to its own Receiver since its for the Family Room and this room requires the Surround Sound System.

From my understanding, i will need the obvious 4 Zone Players for each Zone. Those Zone Players will connect to the Multi-Zone audio Receiver. From that Audio Receiver, i will need to connect an Audio Amplifier which will connect to the speakers.

This sounds about right, but my concern is about the zones going out through the Amplifiers. WIll i need one amp per zone? if not, how will the amp know how to separate the audio to each zone.

What kind of Receiver and Amp would you recommend. Speaker recommendations are welcomed as well.

thanks for your input!

4 replies


First post! Welcome to the forums.

While I hate to be blunt, I think that my best advice would be to suggest that you seek professional advice. The advice that you have received so far or your interpretation of that advice is not working very well.

The first consideration is how many different programs you might want to play simultaneously. You'll need at least one ZonePlayer for each independent program.

Next, how granular do you want the control? The four sets of speakers on the first floor could be connected to the same zone, but without some sort of additional volume controls, all of the speakers would emit the same energy and, unless the rooms are identical, one of the rooms would always be too loud relative to the others. In addition you may want to simply turn OFF one room or alter the volume in one or more rooms due to a change in mood.

How do you want to control the system? You can use any combination of SONOS handheld controllers, iPhone, iTouch, iPad, PC, MAC, or Android controllers. The optimum physical layout of the ZonePlayers and WiFi wireless access points depends on the mix of controllers that you will use and the density of the walls and floors. If you have concrete floors, I doubt if a single access point will suffice.

A ZP120 will directly support two pairs of 8-Ohm speakers. You can move beyond this limit if you incorporate an impedance matching volume control for each pair of speakers.

Yes, you could connect the kitchen speakers to the second zone of an A/V receiver, but I think that this will present operational difficulties that you will not enjoy. I recommend using separate ZP120s for the livingroom and kitchen. Use an automated speaker switch to change from listening to music or watching video.
Badge +2
If it was me I would go with additional zone players to get control over each individual room. This will provide you with the most flexiabilty in music selection, source selection and volume control.
Userlevel 2
My personal setup includes a NuVo whole home system with the Sonos ZonePlayer 90 used as one of the sources. I have 10 zones and I simply need to select Sonos on the in room keypads to have full control via my iPad or iPhone. 1 pair of in ceiling speakers in each room provides fantastic sound. For a four zone setup you might look at the NuVo Essentia. Good luck!
Userlevel 2
Multiromm IP controlable with independent zone volume


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