New to Sonos....What do I buy?!?

  • 21 January 2018
  • 3 replies

Looking for a birthday present for my husband. Want to get started on a Sonos system in the house.

We have a very open concept house. Living room, dining and kitchen all open to one another. Ethernet cable only comes in by tv in living room. WiFi throughout but we have century link dsl internet which isn’t amazing all the time. One bedroom on this floor we’d also like sound in. (Potentially one bathroom as well.) **The components needed for this floor is what I’d like to start with.**

Eventually we want to be able to add surround and speakers to our family room in the basement. (And speakers to our kids rooms so they can play their own music as they desire.)

I’d also like to add a turntable down the road - but am open to either integrated with the sound system in the basement or with the first floor.

What do I want to get started?

We don’t have any dots/echos by an open to incorporating if that’s what I should do.

How far away does the voice pick up w/the Sonos One? Will it work from one side of living room 30 feet over to kitchen? Or do I need to devices to “talk” to?

Best answer by AjTrek1 22 January 2018, 03:42

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Userlevel 7
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A couple sonos ones are a good start. I like the play5 for filling good sized open area (and has an input)

Sonos one can hear a good 30ft away if fairly quiet.
The problem with a distant One is it would be playing too loud close to the built in mics for them to easily pick up what is said to them from the listening places and here a Dot would serve better, placed close to the listening places. The con of a separate listening device is to always have to specify in the voice command the Sonos speaker to be played on. Another pro for a separate device is that the tech in these will change faster than what Sonos will ring in on its hardware - witness the Echo Spots that are video enabled and will be a lot cheaper in a year. The One will never have a video interface.

Play 1 units are good building blocks; very versatile and a lot cheaper since the One was launched at their erstwhile price point. All they lack is a line in jack that you will need for a turntable, where a 5 will serve better.

Note though that Sonos needs a foundation of a stable WiFi environment for it to work well.
Userlevel 7
It’s great that you are considering Sonos…it’s an excellent whole-home system. Speakers placed in different rooms can play different tunes independent of what’s playing on speakers placed elsewhere or they can all play the same tune simultaneously with no audio lag.

Here is a short run down on all Sonos speaker and typical use:

- Sonos One – Music with Alexa Voice assistant
- Sonos Play 1 -Music
- Sonos Play 3 – Music
- Sonos Play 5 – Music w/Line in for external audio source
- Sonos PlayBar or PlayBase – TV Audio (can also play music)
- Sonos Sub – Handles low end frequency for TV Audio or Music when bonded to other Sonos speakers *
- Sonos One / Sonos Play 1 / Sonos Play 3 / Sonos Play 5 – All can create a stereo pair when bonded with a like speaker…No mix and match.
- Sonos One / Sonos Play 1 / Sonos Play 3 / Sonos Play 5 – All can be used as surround speakers when bonded to a PlayBar or PlayBase…No mix and match.

* Typically used with a PlayBAR or PlayBase or Sonos speakers bonded as stereo pair. Also creates 5.1 Home Theater sound when used with Playbar or PlayBase and surrounds

Given the room layout and your desired coverage area here is my suggested configuration:

- Play 5 centrally located for the Living room, dining and kitchen area.
- Play 1 or Sonos One (w/Alexa) for the bedroom and bath. Incidentally, the Play 1 and Sonos One are the only speakers that can handle moisture and are therefore the only speakers you should place in a bath or other high moisture area.

Alexa as a voice assistant on the Sonos One is not as mature as Alexa on a dedicated Amazon Echo, Tap, Dot or Echo Show. However, the Sonos One w/Alexa in addition to controlling music will also control lights and a few other devices. If you have no experience with Alexa I don’t recommend the Sonos One as the device to learn with. You’ll have enough to deal with learning to navigate the Sonos App. Therefore, I recommend the Play 1 for the bedroom and bath. You can acquire an Echo Dot to get familiar with Alexa without spoiling your initial experience with the Sonos product due to frustration.
The Dot can also be integrated with Sonos!

Weak Wi-Fi signal strength can be overcome by setting up your Sonos in Boost mode (recommended). That is accomplished in one of two ways:
- Ethernet to a Sonos Speaker
- Ethernet to a Sonos Boost component ($99 USD) which eliminates having a speaker placed where you don’t want it to be.

Read up on setting up Sonos here:

After you are comfortable with Sonos in the configuration I’ve suggested then I’d considered a 5.1 Home Theater setup and acquiring a Sonos One. Of course you can choose to jump into the deep-end of the pool and learn to swim:8. Good luck and Cheers!

A turntable can be added with additional setup and/or components. Again I recommend getting familiar with your initial setup first.