help - existing 6 speaker setup 2 zones

  • 28 November 2021
  • 5 replies

I’m trying to figure out how to configure a Sonos system in my dads pole barn.  He is older and the current denon Avr receiver just confuses him too much.  He has 4 speakers inside the pole barn and 2 speakers outside.  He can currently choose whether or not to have the outside speakers on or not (multi zone).  What would be the best setup to get him going on Sonos?

5 replies

Userlevel 7


No offense intended but if your dad is confused using an AVR…Sonos may not be an alternative solution as it will require him to use a Smart phone either iPhone or Android to control Sonos.

I have no idea what a “pole barn” is. What I can tell you is that there are multiple Sonos options for INSIDE. The outside  would require a Sonos Amp using his existing speakers (if compatible) or  Sonos outdoor speakers by Sonance.

Let us know what you think and/or provide more info as to your dad’s ability to understand Sonos. 

Totally understand what you’re saying.  I should clarify, he’s tech savvy enough to use an iPhone and stream.  The denon just confused him and frankly has been a pile of garbage that rarely seems to work.  A pole barn is an outside structure which country folk store their tractors and such in ;-).   So basically I would want to power 4 speakers inside the pole barn and 2 outside.  I would like to be able to have all 6 playing at the same time or choose which zones I want

In SONOS lingo ‘Zone’ is a ‘Room’, Each SONOS unit is a Room. Identical speakers, such as two ONE’s, can be ‘Bonded’ together as a stereo pair and this pair will become a Room. Up to 32 units can be included in a system.

I assume that the 4 inside speakers are passive and would be driven by one AMP and the outside speakers would be driven by a second AMP. There would be two SONOS Rooms. Rooms can be ‘Grouped’ to play the same music and each Room has its own Volume control in the SONOS App. 

I recommend installing Volume controls for each pair when multiple pairs of speakers connect to the same amplifier. In-wall is the best approach because the controls can be installed near the controlled speakers. Volume controls can also be installed at a central location, near the amplifier, but the operator must travel to this location for adjustments.

Another approach is to use a single AMP and three speaker Volume controls. Conceptually this may be easier for your Dad to deal with, The main disadvantage of this scheme is that there is less power available for each pair of speakers and that outside “Room” is rather large and will need more power than the inside room.

Wow thank you so much for that reply.  That explains a lot!!

Userlevel 7


Thanks for clarification regarding a “pole barn”. 😂

I do know a little about “barns” in general. LOL

Most are open to the beams and rafters. For simplicity I’d install 4 Sonos Fives set as two separate zones in stereo pairs. The stereo pairs could be grouped to play the same music or ungrouped to play a single zone.

For the outside I’d use a Sonos Amp to power either the existing speakers or Sonos Outdoor speakers by Sonance. 

After all setup you’d have 3 Zones that could be grouped in any combination or same music inside and different music outside. You might even consider adding an Alexa Dot intergated with one of the Sonos Five stereo pair. That would allow your dad to control all Zones by voice to play the desired music.

He might say “Alexa, play George Strait outside (assuming the outside speakers are named as outside). Then he might say “ Alexa, play Led Zeppelin ” on Zone 1 (which is one of the inside stereo pairs). Afterwards he could group both Inside Zones to play Led Zeppelin. 

Hope this helps 😊