Question

Looking to set up Sonos for first time in open concept living area.

  • 17 September 2020
  • 10 replies
  • 162 views

Hello, 

I’m new to Sonos, I own none of the products yet. I would like to get a set up in our open concept living space. I’ve attached a drawing. It’s approximately 800 sq ft with 8 foot ceilings. 

I don’t know if it makes sense to try and set up any stereo pairs of speakers with the way the layout is. It’s basically a living room with a dining area and kitchen at the end of it. We would sit on the couch listening to music sometimes, but tend to be busy doing things throughout the space. 

I’m not interested in anything for the television, it would be just for listening to music. 

I’m open to options of any number of combinations, all fives, all ones, mix of fives and ones, a sub thrown into any combination of those. Whatever you think might be the best option. I’ve put green stars at 7 potential spots for sonos devices to sit. 

I’m interested in hearing from others that have experimented with music set ups in an open living space. 

Let me know what other information I may need to provide. 

Thanks

 


10 replies

This space provides an excellent opportunity to utilise a feature that Sonos still does better than any other: multi zone/room music play in perfect sync so that the music fills the entire space without being too loud in any part of it. And this can be done via a combination of any Sonos units - it is only stereo pairing that needs the two units to be identical.

All identified locations are good ones, before adding any shelves/tables. But not all are needed for the space to be filled well - experimenting to see the minimum needed is therefore the way to go, with units got on a returnable basis. And I suggest the use of a Sub, centrally located in the space, alongside a wall near a mains power socket. Music played at low volumes filling the space will sound richer with the Sub in the mix; the Sub also goes loud, but that is not all it does. Trueplay via a iPhone is recommended for all units, but especially so for the one bonded to the Sub; I have found the Sub to be the unit that benefits most from this tuning, to control bass bloat.

Since there will be group play involved, I also suggest that at least one Sonos unit in the space be wire connected to the router, even if that means laying ethernet cable from the router to a jack in the room.

I get the lack of interest in the TV, and for years I thought on the same lines, and therefore have zero exposure to any of the Sonos products for TV. But recently I landed up with a spare TV and installed it in the patio adjacent to my similar open space - and use it mainly for music videos from YouTube, either in the patio or also heard via Sonos audio units across the open space, from most parts of which the screen is visible, which is a nice addition to the experience. Also, the Spotify app on Netflix is a cool way to get album art for music playing on the TV via Spotify, that can then use Sonos to fill the space. So, it may make sense for one of the units to be a Sonos TV product under the TV. However, others here will have more to offer on how well that will work - for instance, does the TV need to be on for its unit to play on its own, or as part of the group? And, what product will do this while meeting value for money criteria seeing that it isn't meant for movie sound effects - as I have said, I know nothing about these Sonos products.

My ideas for your space:

  1. One 5 unit on the console behind the couch or on the shelves that hold the TV, placed such that it is at the ear level of someone sitting on the couch. Preferably the latter.
  2. Single One unit on the floor to ceiling shelf to the right of the fireplace at the ear level of those in the seats in front of the fireplace.
  3. Single One unit on the desk facing the dining table.
  4. Single One unit in the kitchen corner, addressing the counter and the island.
  5. Sub bonded to item 2 above, on the floor between it and the console table.

Budget permitting, item 3, facing the dining table, could be a 5.

Item 1 could also be a beam if that could integrate with the TV. 

Can anyone tell me if they foresee an issue with a Sonos set up using my current wireless modem. I’m in western Canada and use Shaw fiber optic as my internet provider. The modem is an Arris Hitron Cisco Model TM602G. I was told it has dual 2,4GHz and 5 GHz wifi bands. A photo is attached.

I can upgrade to the newest Shaw’s Bluecurve Gateway modem also an Arris model TG3482ER3 with dual 2,4GHz and 5 GHz wifi bands, but supposed to be the latest in technology. Not sure what this means but they said it’s Shaw’s first DOCSIS 3.1 gateway. A photo is also attached. 

Arris TM602G
Arris TG3482ER3

 

If you set it up so that one of your Sonos speakers is wired to the router as @Kumar suggested, then Sonos will use it’s own wireless network (Sonosnet) for communication. Then, the quality of your WiFi network isn’t really relevant, other than using your phone or tablet as  a controller.

 

Also, I would treat this as two or three spaces and try and get a stereo pair in each.  For the couch area, I’d put one Five near the TV an the other on the blank wall to create a sound stage for that area.  You could add a Sub at a later date, but try without at first.   I’d then consider put a one in the kitchen area, and one in the dining room.  Probably best as separate rooms as a stereo pair.

You could also consider using ceiling speakers.  two pair and Sonos amp could cover the space.  That may make more sense if the space does have clear areas to focus the audio.

If you set it up so that one of your Sonos speakers is wired to the router as @Kumar suggested, then Sonos will use it’s own wireless network (Sonosnet) for communication. Then, the quality of your WiFi network isn’t really relevant, other than using your phone or tablet as  a controller.

 

Also, I would treat this as two or three spaces and try and get a stereo pair in each.  For the couch area, I’d put one Five near the TV an the other on the blank wall to create a sound stage for that area.  You could add a Sub at a later date, but try without at first.   I’d then consider put a one in the kitchen area, and one in the dining room.  Probably best as separate rooms as a stereo pair.

You could also consider using ceiling speakers.  two pair and Sonos amp could cover the space.  That may make more sense if the space does have clear areas to focus the audio.

May I ask what you feel would be the benefit to treating it as different rooms and doing stereo pairings? 

 

In my experience the Arris TG3482ER3 has more effective WiFi if you are using your Gateway as the WiFi access point. 

Each speaker, pair of speakers, or SUB+single/pair is a “Room”. You can “Group” Rooms to play the same music and the Rooms will be time aligned. SONOS will support up to 32 devices and 32 simultaneous controllers.

Placing a speaker in the the kitchen corner behind the cupboard is not a good choice. Also, placing a single speaker behind the couch will create a “hot spot” for the listener sitting on the couch. Is there any space between the cupboard and the ceiling?

Adding a SUB will provide more bass, however, a single SUB can only be “Bonded” to a single speaker or pair of speakers. The Volume in each Room can be individually controlled. If all of the Rooms are running at the same Volume, the SUB level will track the Group Volume. If you adjust the Volume only in the Room with SUB, then the bass level for the other areas may or may not be reasonable. For example, if you have SUB as part of the Room near the TV and decide that you want that area to be quiet, SUB will be quiet too. If you always run the speakers at the same Volume, this will not be an issue.

In my experience the Arris TG3482ER3 has more effective WiFi if you are using your Gateway as the WiFi access point. 

Each speaker, pair of speakers, or SUB+single/pair is a “Room”. You can “Group” Rooms to play the same music and the Rooms will be time aligned. SONOS will support up to 32 devices and 32 simultaneous controllers.

Placing a speaker in the the kitchen corner behind the cupboard is not a good choice. Also, placing a single speaker behind the couch will create a “hot spot” for the listener sitting on the couch. Is there any space between the cupboard and the ceiling?

Adding a SUB will provide more bass, however, a single SUB can only be “Bonded” to a single speaker or pair of speakers. The Volume in each Room can be individually controlled. If all of the Rooms are running at the same Volume, the SUB level will track the Group Volume. If you adjust the Volume only in the Room with SUB, then the bass level for the other areas may or may not be reasonable. For example, if you have SUB as part of the Room near the TV and decide that you want that area to be quiet, SUB will be quiet too. If you always run the speakers at the same Volume, this will not be an issue.

There is a one foot space between the top of the cupboards and the ceiling. 

As the saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words. Hopefully these give a better sense of the space and why I think it’s better to have music playing throughout the entire area. I love open concept, but it can be challenging to work with in many aspects. 

sitting area, tv is in the shelving at the far right
sitting area looking toward hallway and entry, kitchen and dining area are behind the fireplace

sitting area showing another area to house speakers in the built in wall shelves to the left of floor lamp. There is an electrical outlet in there and lots of them on the wall behind the couch where the console table is. 

kitchen and dining area that is on the other side of the fireplace seen in the other photos above. 

 

You don't want to sully a great looking home like this one with the mess that the wires needed for a legacy system will entail, and Sonos, in addition to meeting your needs for space filling music, will also blend in well with the aesthetic.

I suggest getting a Sonos One and ensuring that your WiFi foundation is good enough for it. Then get one 5 and one Sub, and play around with the three units in different locations/combinations. That will give you a good sense of how many more Ones/Fives you need to meet your definition of filling the space, and if the Sub adds enough to justify its price. At each stage, be sure to use the returns window if needed.

A Beam under the TV may also be one of the units also used to fill the space with music, but I don't know how it works with TV at the same time, hopefully someone here will know the necessary on that subject.

Well after much deliberation I have made my purchase. 2 Sonos fives and two Sonos ones are on their way! I thought about all kinds of combinations, but felt this gave me a lot of flexibility. I really wanted to get the Sub as well, but my wallet was crying hard enough so it can be a purchase for down the road. 

 

If anyone has further suggestions or tips on setting them up I’m all ears. 

 

 

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