How many ceiling speakers ?

  • 21 October 2019
  • 7 replies



I have an open plan kitchen and living room. We want to put the ceiling speakers in for music mainly but also for television. We would also like the music to play into the garden so suggesting 2 external speakers on the outside wall. Could someone check the layout and let me know if this will work ?

Thank you in advance for the help.


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7 replies

Userlevel 7

Hi siomtaylo

On the surface your layout will work. However, there are some things you need to condsider.

If you want to play the same music in the Kitchen and Living Room you can do so with one (1) Sonos Amp using six (6) Sonos approved Sonance Architectural Ceiling speakers. The Garden area would require and addition Sonos Amp witn Sonos Sonance outdoor speakers or 3rd party speakers of your choice.  

If you want any two areas to play the same music it would require two (2) Sonos Amps each running four (4) speakers.

If you want to play diferent music in all areas that will require three (3) Sonos Amps.

  • Living Room = Sonos Amp x 4 speakers.
  • Kitchen = Sonos Amp x 2 speakers
  • Garden = Sonos amp x 2 speakers.

Notes I:

You would want to set the Sonos Amp to run in dual mono-mode so that the sound would be the same no matter where the listener was positioned in the room or garden area.

I would argue against using overhead speakers for TV as the audio ideally should appear as if it’s eminating directly from the screen. You may also have lip-sync issues. My recommendation for improved TV audio versus the TV built-in speakers would be to explore a Sonos Beam, Playbar or Playbase. The former two can be wall mounted below the TV.

Notes II:

Another option for better TV sound assuming you want all speakers to disappear would be as follows:

Sonos Amp with two (2) Sonance in-wall Architectural speakers on either side of the TV. They would replace the two in-ceiling speakers closet to the TV in your diagram. You would have the option to run the remaining two (2) ceiling speakers in the Living Room on a second Sonos Amp and include the ceiling speakers in the kitchen. The Garden area would require a 3rd Sonos amp. 

Notes III:

In any of the scenarios above rooms could be combined in the Sonos App to play the same music (including the in-wall speakers) or different music. TV audio could also be sent to other areas albeit with a slight delay of about 70ms. Doing so might cause a stadium (echo) affect if in-wall speakers used for TV were grouped with the remaining two in-ceiling speakers in the living room. 

Let us know what you decide. Cheers!

Thank you for the reply and detailed options. Loads to think about there :)

Regardless of what I do for the TV, are the 4 in ceiling sufficient to give good coverage to that living room space ? I am hoping not to have to put 6 across that ceiling.


Userlevel 7

Regardless of what I do for the TV, are the 4 in ceiling sufficient to give good coverage to that living room space ? 


Yes!. The coverage should be quite adequate. 


Awesome, thank you :grinning:

If you are planning to use one of the speaker bars for the TV (recommended), rather than a left and right half of the room, consider alternating left and right channels such that a person is more likely to be standing between a left and right.


I’m not keen on your arrangement if the ceiling speakers will be providing audio for the TV. TV speakers should be close to the TV if you will be sitting in the Living Room, watching TV as the main activity.

Hi Buzz,

I will not use the ceiling speakers for the TV .. will get a speaker bar for that. Would you lay the ceiling speakers differently for just music to fill the room ?


Ceiling speakers are great for filling a space with background music or to support social gatherings and your arrangement would work well. If you are a serious music listener, then a more traditional arrangement of floor or bookshelf speakers would be best and the speakers should be about as far from each other as you are from the speakers.

Do you want surround sound with the TV? If so, and you keep the four ceiling speaker arrangement in the Living Room, system layout and operation become a little more complicated because you would not want to involve the ceiling speakers near the TV in the surround sound.

In any case, make sure that you can individually adjust the level of each pair of speakers. This could be done with separate AMP’s or in-wall Volume controls.. For surround sound you would normally attach the rear speakers to their own AMP, but you could use same AMP for all of the Living Room ceiling speakers and mute (with an in-wall control) the speakers near the TV when using surround sound.

I don’t know the size of your garden or your listening position. If you tend to sit in a particular spot, consider placing the speakers symmetrically with respect to that spot.