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I have a Denon AVR1601 receiver and JBL S26 speakers that I don't use much at all lately. What Sonos should I get?

  • 22 January 2019
  • 3 replies
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Our living room is 20x16 feet. I have Denon AVR1601 Dolby Digital Audio/Video Receiver and JBL S26 speakers that I bought used 15 years ago. They still work but we don't use them much at all. We mostly use Spotify with the TV (Samsung Electronics UN40KU7000 40-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV -- 2016 Model). We are Apple users and would like to update the sound system setup, which has been clearly neglected.

Our kitchen is 20x11 feet. The kitchen is close to the living room (no doors in-between).

I just discovered Sonos and need advice. What kind of setup Sonos should I do for the kitchen and the living room?

I'm thinking Sonos One for the kitchen.

For the living room, I'm still confused.

On one hand, I think Sonos Beam would be more than enough for the living room. Maybe expand from there later. In this case, I'll probably get rid of (sell?) my old speakers and receiver.

On the other hand wouldn't it be better to get a Sonos Amp and hook the TV and the existing speakers? In which case I'll just get rid of my receiver. Or are the speakers nothing special?

Any other ideas?

I'd appreciate your comments and ideas!
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Best answer by AjTrek1 23 January 2019, 18:09

Hi peq

If you want to scrap your Denon AVR1601 Dolby Digital Audio/Video Receiver and JBL S26 in whole or in part here are my recommendations.

Non-Sonos equipment-Required

1. Router with 2.4Ghz and 4Ghz bands
2. iOS or Android device with Sonos App. Sonos app supports Spotify and other music services as wll as music stored on the device.

Option 1_Maintains some current equipment

Living Room
The Sonos Amp will connect to your TV via HDMI or optical using the HDMI optical adapter (not included). You could keep your JBL S26 speakers and power them via the Sonos Amp.

If you have a sub it can be connected to the Sonos Amp via coaxial cable; or you could invest in a Sonos sub and go wireless. Sonos Amp will set the crossover.

Your IR remote can be programed to adjust the level of the Sonos Amp.

AppleTV will stay connected to your TV via HDMI

Surrounds (and sub) can be added later to offer DD5.1 sound

Kitchen

Sonos Ones x 2 in stereo pair with Alexa voice assistant. Will also allow you to send music to the Sonos Amp via voice command.

Option 2_No current equipment maintained

Living Room
Sonos Beam for TV. Connects via HDMI_ARC or via optical adapter (included). Has Alexa voice assistant. Alexa voice assistant disabled to control TV if Beam is connected via optical; otherwise Alexa voice assist works for all other commands.

Your IR remote can be programed to adjust the level of the Beam.

AppleTV will stay connected to your TV via HDMI

Surrounds and Sub can be added later to offer DD5.1 sound

Sonos Play 5’s x 2 for music setup as stereo pair

Kitchen
Sonos Play 1’s x 2 in stereo pair. Use Alexa via the Beam to command the Play 1’s.

If Kitchen is not within ear shot of Beam; then use Sonos One’s with Alexa

Option 3_Maintains all current equipment

Living Room
Sonos Connect employed using available line-out from Denon to Line-in of Connect and Line-out of Connect to Line-in of Denon. This typically a tape loop.

Kitchen
Sonos Ones x 2 in stereo pair with Alexa voice assistant. Will also allow you to send music to the Sonos Connect via voice command.

Note:
Play 5, Sonos One, Beam and Sonos Amp support Apple Airplay2
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3 replies

Userlevel 7
Hi peq

If you want to scrap your Denon AVR1601 Dolby Digital Audio/Video Receiver and JBL S26 in whole or in part here are my recommendations.

Non-Sonos equipment-Required

1. Router with 2.4Ghz and 4Ghz bands
2. iOS or Android device with Sonos App. Sonos app supports Spotify and other music services as wll as music stored on the device.

Option 1_Maintains some current equipment

Living Room
The Sonos Amp will connect to your TV via HDMI or optical using the HDMI optical adapter (not included). You could keep your JBL S26 speakers and power them via the Sonos Amp.

If you have a sub it can be connected to the Sonos Amp via coaxial cable; or you could invest in a Sonos sub and go wireless. Sonos Amp will set the crossover.

Your IR remote can be programed to adjust the level of the Sonos Amp.

AppleTV will stay connected to your TV via HDMI

Surrounds (and sub) can be added later to offer DD5.1 sound

Kitchen

Sonos Ones x 2 in stereo pair with Alexa voice assistant. Will also allow you to send music to the Sonos Amp via voice command.

Option 2_No current equipment maintained

Living Room
Sonos Beam for TV. Connects via HDMI_ARC or via optical adapter (included). Has Alexa voice assistant. Alexa voice assistant disabled to control TV if Beam is connected via optical; otherwise Alexa voice assist works for all other commands.

Your IR remote can be programed to adjust the level of the Beam.

AppleTV will stay connected to your TV via HDMI

Surrounds and Sub can be added later to offer DD5.1 sound

Sonos Play 5’s x 2 for music setup as stereo pair

Kitchen
Sonos Play 1’s x 2 in stereo pair. Use Alexa via the Beam to command the Play 1’s.

If Kitchen is not within ear shot of Beam; then use Sonos One’s with Alexa

Option 3_Maintains all current equipment

Living Room
Sonos Connect employed using available line-out from Denon to Line-in of Connect and Line-out of Connect to Line-in of Denon. This typically a tape loop.

Kitchen
Sonos Ones x 2 in stereo pair with Alexa voice assistant. Will also allow you to send music to the Sonos Connect via voice command.

Note:
Play 5, Sonos One, Beam and Sonos Amp support Apple Airplay2
I appreciate the answer! I also figured out the possible theoretical setups but my question was (and I didn't make this explicitly clear) what's preferable in terms of quality of sound? I don't have experience with sound systems (my existing system was bought impulsively, without research and based on a good deal -- used) but I have sensitive ears. I don't wanna buy/return equipment if I can get advise in advance. Since you're advising Sonos Play 5's for music in addition to the Sonos Beam it sounds like the Beam itself is not sufficient for music.
Userlevel 7
Hi peq

Let me preface my statements by saying that sound quality is a subjective decision that I can't answer for you. Only YOU may determine what is acceptable to your ears. It also depends upon the type of music you enjoy. I like smooth jazz, R&B and a little bit of country. My Play 5's with sub do an excellent job to MY taste. I believe they produce a decent/acceptable reproduction of classical; although the hardcore audiophile may disagree. Overall the Play 5's are a good fit IMO for any music genre. All said at the end of the day only you can decide by listening. Sonos offers a 45 day return policy ...just remember not to damage the packaging.

To your question regarding the Beam. The Beam like it's larger counterparts (Playbar and Playbase) is designed first to render a better listening experience other than what can be provided by a TV's built-in speakers. The Beam incorporates Left/Center/Right channels; as do its larger counterparts. It is designed for smaller spaces such as a bedroom (or just slightly larger). The Playbar and Playbase can handle large spaces short of a gym or concert hall :8

Music can be enjoyed by any of the three with the Playbar and Playbase providing an expanded sound stage versus the Beam. However, IMO none of them will provide a sound stage comparable to separates such as the Play 5's in stereo pair; which BTW is designed for music. Full disclosure, some have used the Play 5's for TV audio via a line-out from a TV to the line-in of the Play 5's in stereo pair. I, however would not recommend Play 5's for use with a TV (JMO).

You could also use Play 1's or Sonos One's in stereo pair for music in the living room augmented with a Sonos Sub. The sound characteristics of the Play 1 and Sonos One IMO are identical and I believe most would agree. The difference being that the Sonos One has Alexa voice assistant and offers Apple Airplay2 compatibility.

The package cost of Play 5's x 2 versus Play 1's x 2 w/Sub is currently $1198 vs. $897 respectively (USD). The latter is a Sonos limited time direct sale price otherwise the cost is $997 (USD). However, if you are a serious music listener the Play 5's x 2 (even without a sub) will out perform the Play 1's x 2 w/sub. A sub can be added to the Play 5's x 2 at a later date for enhanced low end.

Also, in my first post I mentioned using either Sonos One's or Play 1's in stereo pair in the kitchen...a single Sonos One or Play 1 may be adequate. You can make that determination by A/B comparison.

Please don't take this next statement as a dig...Sonos will change the way you have been listening to music not just by sound; but also by technology differences.

Sonos is relatively easy to setup as the Sonos app will walk you through the process. However, having a knowledge of how a router works in regards to Wi-Fi which is a wireless Sonos setup; or choosing a Wired setup via one product being connected to your router via Ethernet (aka Boost) is helpful. Therefore, I suggest you take some time to review the various Sonos configurations in the links below (1 thru 3 highly recommended and also 4 if considering Alexa / 5 optional):

1. Setting Up Sonos
https://www.sonos.com/en-us/support/setting-up-sonos

2. Using the App
https://www.sonos.com/en-us/support/using-the-app

3. Adding Music Services
https://www.sonos.com/en-us/support/adding-music-sources

4. Voice Control with Alexa
https://www.sonos.com/en-us/support/voice-control

5. Home Theater
https://www.sonos.com/en-us/support/home-theater

I hope I've answered your questions. Now get out there and go listen to Sonos ;)

Cheers!

Edit: The link below gives my opinion of the Beam vs the Playbar and Playbase
https://en.community.sonos.com/wireless-speakers-228992/beam-vs-playbar-playbase-my-opinion-6814520