Connect with existing 2-zone receiver + Dot vs One vs ____?

  • 10 January 2019
  • 3 replies
  • 142 views

Badge
Hi All,

New to the forum and to the Sonos product!

After a week with the Beam...first Sonos speaker and first Alexa product...I'm in love guys! Already ended up...after just a few days...ordering a 2-pack of Ones for the kitchen and probably the bathroom after I had to turn the sound bar up too loud to hear it in the next room. Who wants that? haha. We have a small bungalow house with a pretty non-open floor plan, so the sound doesn't carry too well and it doesn't seem like speakers in adjacent rooms will be overkill. My next expansion to get the Sonos infrastructure everywhere I know it'll get used a lot...is to bring the Sonos game to my garage and back yard.

Currently I have a pretty basic 2-zone receiver powering a pair of speakers in the garage, and 3 speakers in the yard (2 mounted on the garage and a rock lookalike in the landscape). Before anyone asks the impedance works...I did the math. haha. In order to extend Sonos out here, I'm thinking about a couple of options:

1. Connect + Echo Dot.
The benefits: this would give me better streaming capability out there...big upgrade over using Bluetooth like I have been. I walk too far in the yard and it cuts out, someone texts me and it comes through the system, etc...lame. This would give me all the benefits of the Sonos operating system, and the Dot would give me Alexa for control. (Not sure if the Connect can be configured to control volume with Alexa? I found some conflicting info when I googled this...).

The drawbacks: I'd have to leave the receiver on all the time in the non-winter months in order to use the system without manipulating it every time, and I'd have to use the existing remote to switch zones (yard and garage). I'd also not be getting any better in terms of sound quality. What I have is decent at low volume which is mostly how I use it outside though...so as not to piss off the neighbors.

1. Connect + One. Or maybe Connect + One + Play:1
The benefits: this would be less cost effective but would be cooler! I'd have a One for the garage which would give me a separate garage zone, with Alexa, and then 2 additional inputs on the receiver I could use to add another outdoor speaker or 2 (replacing the pair currently in the garage). I'd also have separate volume control between the yard and the garage which would be great.

The drawbacks: Cost, but meh. It's still a 3rd party Alexa device...maybe not too big of a deal out there seeing as how I probably won't need too many routines or anything out there...but still it's a limiter on capability.

1. Connect + Play:5 + Dot
The benefits: would give me everything from the options above...plus that sweet sweet Play:5!

The drawbacks: The sound in the garage might be drastically better in quality than the yard which could make the yard sound really noticeable and disappointing. Cost.......

Anything I'm missing here? What would you guys do??

Curious to hear how you guys started your outdoor systems!

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

1. Connect + Echo Dot.
The benefits: this would give me better streaming capability out there...big upgrade over using Bluetooth like I have been. I walk too far in the yard and it cuts out, someone texts me and it comes through the system, etc...lame. This would give me all the benefits of the Sonos operating system, and the Dot would give me Alexa for control. (Not sure if the Connect can be configured to control volume with Alexa? I found some conflicting info when I googled this...).

The drawbacks: I'd have to leave the receiver on all the time in the non-winter months in order to use the system without manipulating it every time, and I'd have to use the existing remote to switch zones (yard and garage). I'd also not be getting any better in terms of sound quality. What I have is decent at low volume which is mostly how I use it outside though...so as not to piss off the neighbors.


The echo dot is optional here. You would be able to request music and control volume on the Connect by giving commands to your Beam or Ones and adding the target "On Outside", if Outside is what you named the Connect. You definitely use the echo dot if you want it in the garage, or backyard or both, but not necessary.


1. Connect + One. Or maybe Connect + One + Play:1
The benefits: this would be less cost effective but would be cooler! I'd have a One for the garage which would give me a separate garage zone, with Alexa, and then 2 additional inputs on the receiver I could use to add another outdoor speaker or 2 (replacing the pair currently in the garage). I'd also have separate volume control between the yard and the garage which would be great.

The drawbacks: Cost, but meh. It's still a 3rd party Alexa device...maybe not too big of a deal out there seeing as how I probably won't need too many routines or anything out there...but still it's a limiter on capability.


You can test out how you like the One in the garage since you're already getting some. That will determine whether this makes sense or not. And I'm not sure where the Play:1 would go. You can't (officially) stereo pair a play:1 with a Sonos One, if that was your thought.



1. Connect + Play:5 + Dot
The benefits: would give me everything from the options above...plus that sweet sweet Play:5!

The drawbacks: The sound in the garage might be drastically better in quality than the yard which could make the yard sound really noticeable and disappointing. Cost.......


I feel like the play:5 is overkill for a garage, unless it's your favorite room in the house. I'd rather get a pair of Ones or Play:1s in their if it were me.


Anything I'm missing here? What would you guys do??


You could get a Sonos Amp for the backyard and One for the garage. Technically you could power 4 speakers for garage and backyard if you wanted to, a speaker switch if you want to control them separately. It will give you plenty of power. The Amp will also work with a TV, if you ever want a tv in the backyard.


Curious to hear how you guys started your outdoor systems!


I used to use a Connect:Amp to power 4 speakers in the back and 2 in the garage, with a speaker switch. I upgraded the backyard to the Sonos Amp and the Connect:amp just handles the garage now.
Badge
Thanks for the awesome reply!!

Darn...didn't know I couldn't pair a One and a Play:1 in stereo...looks like it would be a One or a pair of Ones for the garage then for that option.

I do realize I could command "play whatever in the garage" or "outside" from the house, but I like the idea of having Alexa outside for control while already in the garage so I'd have either a Dot or a One outside.

Question, if I just set the volume on the receiver up pretty loud and leave it on, can I then use a Dot (or One) to control the volume with Alexa by essentially just using the Connect as an attenuator? Set at 50% or something and then have some headroom in each direction? From my reading I think this may be possible especially at rather low volumes because the receiver wouldn't need to be cranked as high.

Right now I think I'm leaning towards a pair of Ones in the garage, and a Connect to run my existing equipment for the yard. This of course is a little more $, but the more I think about it, it gives a few BIG advantages over just adding the Connect + Dot. With the One(s) covering the garage and the Connect covering the yard, I'd be able to move an additional speaker or 2 outside for more coverage, gain separate volume and content control for each zone, with Alexa (or my phone) I'd no longer need to manipulate on-off/volume/etc with the receiver remote, and another I just thought of...I'll avoid the ducking issue going through the whole house if I give Alexa commands in the garage on the One instead of a Dot. Win, win, win, win!!

**I'm also planning on adding a Boost to my system when expanding out to the garage/yard.

And for future planning, maybe at my next house, if I decide to use an Amp for my yard as opposed to the old receiver, I can always move the Connect inside to my basement wired 5.1 home theater receiver. We don't really do much music down there now in this house, so as of now I'm not planning on adding Sonos capability to that system.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Thanks for the awesome reply!!

Darn...didn't know I couldn't pair a One and a Play:1 in stereo...looks like it would be a One or a pair of Ones for the garage then for that option.

I do realize I could command "play whatever in the garage" or "outside" from the house, but I like the idea of having Alexa outside for control while already in the garage so I'd have either a Dot or a One outside.


I keep a dot in the garage as well. It's nice to have, but I find that I typically set the music from the inside as I'm about to spend some time in the garage area, so it's not quite as useful. For the backyard, I haven't figured out the best option yet. I don't want to leave a dot out there, so I have to move a dot out there every time. But it's not that useful as it can't hear me when I'm a good 20-30 ft away. I may go with an Alexa remote as it should be fairly simple to keep a remote in my pocket, and I wouldn't be too heart broken if the remote was damaged. Ideally, I'd like to have multiple dots spread out across the yard, in weatherproof enclosures...but that's a lot of work that may not even be that effective.


Question, if I just set the volume on the receiver up pretty loud and leave it on, can I then use a Dot (or One) to control the volume with Alexa by essentially just using the Connect as an attenuator? Set at 50% or something and then have some headroom in each direction? From my reading I think this may be possible especially at rather low volumes because the receiver wouldn't need to be cranked as high.


Yes, this is very doable.



Right now I think I'm leaning towards a pair of Ones in the garage, and a Connect to run my existing equipment for the yard. This of course is a little more $, but the more I think about it, it gives a few BIG advantages over just adding the Connect + Dot. With the One(s) covering the garage and the Connect covering the yard, I'd be able to move an additional speaker or 2 outside for more coverage, gain separate volume and content control for each zone, with Alexa (or my phone) I'd no longer need to manipulate on-off/volume/etc with the receiver remote, and another I just thought of...I'll avoid the ducking issue going through the whole house if I give Alexa commands in the garage on the One instead of a Dot. Win, win, win, win!!


A solid plan. Worth pointing out that though that the ducking issue has been resolved with Alexa Group functionality. You can specify which Sonos speakers should duck by default for each echo device.

https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/sonos-now-playing-with-alexa-groups-6817588

**I'm also planning on adding a Boost to my system when expanding out to the garage/yard.


And for future planning, maybe at my next house, if I decide to use an Amp for my yard as opposed to the old receiver, I can always move the Connect inside to my basement wired 5.1 home theater receiver. We don't really do much music down there now in this house, so as of now I'm not planning on adding Sonos capability to that system.


Yep, let's face it. Part of the appeal of Sonos, for me anyway, is...new toys. I find myself planning ahead like this is well, moving older units to new spaces, even though the use case is rather limited. I'll likely be putting up speakers for the side yard soon, which currently is really only used as the dog's bathroom.