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Moving. Take older equipment or not


I had a system installed when building a home almost a decade ago. Open walls. Lots of Cat 6 run. Moving to new home already built. Assuming I'd have to go wireless. Are current connect amps any good?
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Best answer by Airgetlam 16 May 2017, 02:30

Any Sonos equipment is compatible with all. So if you're going to use Connect: Amps to power some already installed speakers, yes, they would work in synchronization with any Play:X units you would be using. It doesn't matter if they're connected with CAT-6 or wireless, they'd work.
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They're just as good as the old Connect: Amps. There's been no revisions that have been made public, although I suppose it's possible that there were substitutions of chip suppliers. But no internal upgrades that we've been made aware of.
Based on the information in this thread, it appears I am wrong:

https://en.community.sonos.com/components-228996/on-my-wishlist-a-modern-connect-6787119/index1.html#post16122553
Maybe I didn't ask the question correctly. Even though my current system is wired, and I'll probably be going wireless, ate these
connect amps compatible?
Any Sonos equipment is compatible with all. So if you're going to use Connect: Amps to power some already installed speakers, yes, they would work in synchronization with any Play:X units you would be using. It doesn't matter if they're connected with CAT-6 or wireless, they'd work.
Awesome. That'll crave a few bucks. Thx
Most welcome. Have fun moving (as much as you can, it's a pain!)
Yeah. But it's years in dreaming. Oceanfront to nestling amongst the Rockies. Ask me next winter. Thx again
Think play units instead; IMO they have obsoleted Connect Amps because these are needed to drive obsolete passive speakers. Except for outdoor use, where Sonos don't have a speaker product.
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There are still a lot of very good passive speakers for sale and a lot of folks have some really fine older passive speakers that would be expensive to replace so the Connect Amp has a place in the lineup.
Sorry, but that's Greek to me. Prob a better way to phrase the question is to ask if my current connect amps (which are hard wired) would be compatible with a wireless system. Thx
Only with a Sonos wireless system. Not any other speaker's wireless (like BOSE, for example). They'll hang off of wifi (both Sonos speakers and Connect:Amps) and talk to each other, but they won't play nice with other company's speakers.
Thx. That'll save a few bucks. Appreciate answer
There are still a lot of very good passive speakers for sale and a lot of folks have some really fine older passive speakers that would be expensive to replace so the Connect Amp has a place in the lineup.
Of course; that is one reason why obsolete stuff is used in every sphere today. But buying new passive speakers to make use of existing Connect Amps could very likely be bettered economically via play units.
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Of course; that is one reason why obsolete stuff is used in every sphere today. But buying new passive speakers to make use of existing Connect Amps could very likely be bettered economically via play units.

Bettered economically I'd agree, the Play 3s and v1 5s that I have sound pretty good for the price, they are also a winner in the space used and lack of complexity arenas too.

But for sound quality a Connect Amp or Connect and external amp powering dumb speakers is hard to beat. My ZP-80 (previous version of the Connect hardware) in our living room, driving a Denon receiver and a 5.1 Infinity TSS 4000 speaker set seems to have a lot better sound to me. Still we tend to use the Play 5 on a plant shelf for general listening or a Play 3 on an end table for low level listening a lot more often than we do the big system. A smaller system in my computer room with another ZP-80, Yamaha receiver and a 5.1 Infinity TSS 800 5.1 set usually sits idle while I listen to a Play 3 too.

All the legacy stuff will go when we downsize again, it will be missed but our Sonos Play units are good enough at this point. I still miss my Klipsch La Scalas that the wife refused to let me bring to this place but things change.

But for sound quality a Connect Amp or Connect and external amp powering dumb speakers is hard to beat.

To my ears, a 1 pair + Sub bested at least three well known makes of passive speakers. I took the same care with placement with these as I would with a passive pair. And then ran Trueplay on the Sonos set up.
I think you will find others that will say the same about the gen 2 5 pair, even without the support of a Sub. With a Sub, that will go head to head with many more passive makes.
There are also good engineering reasons for this state of affairs. Passive speaker tech is almost entirely a few decades old, and the usable amp tech that can be used to drive this is even older - perhaps 50 years old.

Active speakers such as the play units can dedicated amplifiers to each driver - the 5 units have 5 amps inside - and utilise crossovers that work in the digital domain that allows use of DSP for optimising driver performance, better use of small volume speaker boxes, and room response tuning algorithms of the kind used in Trueplay. All of this provides many more degrees of freedom than what the boxed in designer of passive kit has. A very useful benefit of this tech is how it allows costs and price points to be driven downwards. There is a reason why professional studios almost entirely use active speakers now - for both quality and cost reasons.

Sound quality and preferences are subjective I agree, but there is some very tasty proof of the active speaker/digital tech pudding in the eating of it. There is lot that can be done in the realm of small size satellites + Sub set ups than what is possible with passive speakers where most of the choices are often about what veneer to use/buy.

I agree that there are excellent examples of passive speakers of varying ages, and the Connect/Connect Amp addresses how to still use these, but I would not buy or recommend buying a new pair today.
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Besides outdoors, Sonos also doesn't have any in-wall/in-ceiling speakers. For good reason of course, since it's difficult to get power to those locations. In a previous home, I went almost entirely with in-ceiling and loved it, particularly in a room with vaulted ceiling. I might have gone the same route in my current home, except that the Sonos home theatre was thrown in with the deal, and the floorplan doesn't lend itself as well to such a setup.
Yea, I'd be a fan if they were to produce an in-wall speaker. Although it might be challenging in a retrofit, getting power to them, I can see a lot of benefits in new construction. And certainly so in a vaulted ceiling.
Oh, it might be potentially challenging to get a wifi signal into a "box" in the wall. I wonder if you could make the speaker grill an antenna? I guess it depends on what the box and grill are made of. Metal would be problematic, but plastics might pass the signal better. Huh. Maybe I should do some research about signal penetration through drywall and other materials.
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If you can run speaker wire running power or Ethernet would not be much more of a challenge. There may be code how you can run the power though, but it should work. My home was new construction, and although I wanted to wire it myself after the fact, I had to get the electrician to do part of it since there was no attic space where the rear speakers were at. Wiring after the fact was not possible.

I don't know why wifi would be a problem in particular. The signal is already going through walls in the house, so it should be able to hit what's in the wall. But, as I mentioned earlier, if I'm going to wire power, I'm wiring cat5 or 6 as well.

It would be smart to wire speaker wire to the locations as well. If you sell your home, everything attached must stay. I would not want to lose sonos speakers in a home sale, so I would replace with cheaper speakers during the sale.

And while I'm dreaming, where you wire the power to? would the power line come out of the wall near an outlet or perhaps tie the whole system to the breaker box?
If we're talking about them making new speakers, I'd have to assume it would be like a light fixture, i.e. you'd have a place to connect power line to wires on the device with those screws. I sure wouldn't want the power to be coming out of the wall (like I have set up currently (forgive the pun) in my kitchen. But yea, doing structured wiring to all those locations would be key.
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I was think it could be similar to how my alarm control panel is setup. It's plugged into the socket below where the panel is installed.

Having a junction box (or whatever it's called) sound good, but it's not how speakers are typically installed. I would definitely want it done to that passive speakers could be installed. As well, it sound like you're going to require professional installation for sure now
Well, it's the power that's the issue. I had an electrician install plugs near the ceiling for my Play:1s that are mounted with Flexson speaker mounts, but if I've got an "in-wall" speaker, I sure don't want to have any power plug/line coming out of it and trailing down the wall. So, yea, pretty much professional installation.
I went almost entirely with in-ceiling and loved it, particularly in a room with vaulted ceiling.
While I have no experience of audio with such ceilings, why should a vault make any difference other than for the worse where the sound from ceiling speakers will have to come from further away and be subject to more bouncing around and diffusing before it reaches you? Conventionally mounted speakers, lower in the room and firing horizontally towards your ears would not have this problem; and if that kind of sound projection is more effective in delivering sound quality in a normal listening room compared to ceiling speakers, all the more reason for this to be the case in such rooms.

IMO, ceiling speakers make the most sense in bathrooms, and perhaps in passages if you must have music there. Yes, they are discreet but I would prefer a conventionally placed play 1 unit/1 pair any day for sound quality. And if filling the space is the need, 1 units scattered in different parts of the space, that can still be done without they being visually obtrusive. The other disadvantage of ceiling speakers of course is location inflexibility.

All that said, I agree that Connect Amp still has a role with them, but not as much as it does with external speakers. Everywhere else inside the home, I prefer the play units approach.
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My statement wasn't really about audio science, more of personal preference. I'm sure your correct on your analysis. The sound was more than good enough for my tastes. I liked having the speakers out of the way and coming from a different angle than typical. The ceiling went up to 16 ft, but the speakers themselves were actually at around 9 feet. They were neither horizontal or vertical but around 60% angle (front and surrounds, center channel was not).

As far as the bathroom goes, I did have a single stereo ceiling speaker in there and liked it somewhat. I currently have a play1 and like that a bit better, but I also have a relatively dry spot to place it now.