10 zone multi room setup

  • 4 May 2017
  • 5 replies
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Hi there guys I would like some information on how to set up a multi-room setup for a Sonos system. I am looking at having around 10 zones in total. I just wanted some advice on on what power amps to use in ceiling speakers. And also if we can connect up to 10 zones on one Sonos system with 10 power amps.

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5 replies

Userlevel 3
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A lot of factors have to be considered when planning to install several zones. For Sonos, a zone is defined as a specific area that plays music coming from one source. If two separate rooms have a pair of speakers each and connected to the same Connect Amp unit, for example, that is still considered as one zone. Both rooms will always play the same music at the same volume level and tone settings. Bear in mind that grouping 2 zones will also allow you to play the same music, but they can individually have different volume levels. So strictly speaking they remain as 2 separate zones.

For multizone installations, one important thing to have is good wifi connectivity for the whole house. If the house is under construction, structured LAN cabling may be included to allow you to mount network access points and preferably wall I/O ports in specific areas. Wifi connectivity will depend on your house's structure as there are those that are built primarily using wood with dry wall divisions (typical in the US; easier for signals to go through), while there are modern homes that use concrete and glass. For retrofits, you will often have no choice but to use Sonos bridges or boosters because you may not want to open walls and ceilings to insert data cables and speaker wire.

Then, another thing to ask yourself is - "do i want a permanent installation, or do i want to be able to move my Sonos unit in another room, anytime?". For permanent installations, I would recommend using the Connect Amp or the Connect (attached to an amplifier). Depending on the size of the house and its design, i would ideally centrally place all my Connect Amps in one cabinet. Then i would use high-grade speaker wire to connect to in-ceiling/in-wall speakers that homerun to the Sonos cabinet/shelf. Of course, you may also localize their placement in individual rooms. However, you have to make sure that each unit can "handshake" with each other wirelessly or through LAN cable.

If the installation isn't permanent, then i would assume you would have Sonos models with built-in speakers-- One, Play1, 3, or 5, Playbar, Sub. I call them portable units because you can move them anywhere within your Sonos network's reach, anytime. Again, you may need to add a bridge or booster depending on your desired placement.
Userlevel 2
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Hi there guys I would like some information on how to set up a multi-room setup for a Sonos system. I am looking at having around 10 zones in total. I just wanted some advice on on what power amps to use in ceiling speakers. And also if we can connect up to 10 zones on one Sonos system with 10 power amps.
I’d need more info on your exact desired set up and end use. Ie. same music in all zones, is each zone a room, all zones wired to the same central point.. independent volume control in each zone. etc.
for starters, there are multizone or multichannel amps. In a very basic setup, you could run a Sonos Connect to a multizone amp which would allow independent control of each zone, but not different audio sources. Anything more than this gets more complicated, but it’s possible.
I have a multi room that my late husband set up. It hasn’t been used and I want to get it going again. He had originally set up either 4 or 5 zones using the existing surround speakers in the ceilings. We had a couple of free standing ones we could move, also. I tried updating my app and resetting the system up, but I’m not sure what I am doing. We may have upgraded our router, so I tried to reconnect by doing the “setting up a new system.” I follow directions pretty well, but I’m not having any luck. I got one stand alone speaker to play, but lost it. Any suggestions. Or should I call in an expert.
It depends on your definition of a zone; playing the same music in all 10 zones is easy; playing different music in each zone from one source, be it local or from the broadband pipe into the home is a different ball game, that Sonos is good at doing if you equip each zone with a Sonos front end.
Niro,

You may want to look at what Sonos offers. They only have one type of amp, called a Connect: Amp, which can power up to 4 speakers, depending on the ohm rating, as a single zone/room. If you're looking to hook up the Sonos system to an external amplifier that will run those ceiling speakers, then you'd need a Connect, instead of a Connect: Amp. Each Connect would be a single point of data, so if you wanted each of the 10 rooms to be able to play different streams at one time, you'd need 10 Connects.