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how to set up three zone system

  • 1 February 2024
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We are renovating our home and plan to put in new Sonos speakers in three areas: 1) living room with Beam and in ceiling sneakers; 2) covered outdoor patio with two speakers; 3) And pool area with two outdoor speakers. What is the best way to go about setting up this three zone system with Sonos? Will the Sonos Amp allow me to set up three zones? 

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Best answer by nik9669a 1 February 2024, 15:00

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Sonos “labels” speakers or sets of speakers as “rooms” (or zones per your question) since this is a logical representation of where the speakers are located. So, for example, a home theatre system comprising an Arc, Sub and 2xEra 300’s for surrounds would all be seen in the app as one room - maybe called Living Room or whatever you choose. Similarly you could use an Amp called Patio - I’m sure you get the idea? 

If you read the FAQ’s on the Amp, you’ll see a single Amp can only control one zone, though multiple speakers are supported from each Amp. 

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You can use Amp to drive your in-ceiling speakers (assuming these are for surround duties?) bonded to the Beam. For your pool and patio, Move2 are rated IP56 water resistant. Or more Amps with your choice of Sonos, Sonance or other speakers. 

I do think I get most of the idea. A couple quick clarifications. 

Being unfamiliar with how Sonos bonds, is it as simple as the fact they are on the same Wifi system and the app picks it up due to their interconnectivity on the Wifi? The part I am unfamiliar with is how the speakers bond without an amp. It would seem the wifi system does that and an amp is only needed for specific Sonos speakers (ie ceiling). 

So the home theatre system you list above would be bonded and controlled via one grouped “room” on the Sonos app? Then the outdoor speakers (patio and pool area) could be separated into individual “rooms” whether they require an amp or not. If the individual speakers we choose do not require an amp, they would still all work through a Wifi connection as separate “rooms”? 

You designate the ‘bonding’ when you set up the ‘rooms/zones’ in the system.

Yes, the other ‘rooms’ would operate separately, usually across WiFi, but also , if desired, Ethernet. But in order to connect to your Sonos system, they would need to be Sonos speakers (or third party speakers driven by a Sonos device). 

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Think of the Sonos devices as computers, if that’s easier. Soundbars like the Beam contain multiple amplifiers and speakers in a single cabinet, together with computer, wifi, etc to give front left, front centre and front right channels in a home theatre system. Most Sonos “speakers” are active speakers containing Sonos-designed-and-tuned-to-match amp-and-speaker combinations. Amp is different in that it is designed to drive passive speakers. 

So if I already have a Beam, when I set up the ceiling speakers, I could “bond” them with the Beam after setting up the room designation? 

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So if I already have a Beam, when I set up the ceiling speakers, I could “bond” them with the Beam after setting up the room designation? 

If you want them as surrounds: yes. That’s presuming they’re passive speakers, and of course you’ll need the Amp to drive them. (You actually bond the Amp to the Beam, but that’s being a bit pedantic.) 

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