Question

Recomendations for workshop

  • 18 June 2020
  • 6 replies
  • 169 views

I’m looking for recommendations on a music setup for my workshop. It’s a 25x35’ space with 12’ ceilings. I need to be able to hook up a auxiliary SirusXM radio to it, our internet is really bad and I use the XM when the internet is down or my wife is working from home to save bandwidth. I do have a reliable mesh network in place. I would also like to hook my TV up to it if possible, but not necessary. Not for watching tv or movies, mostly YouTube. 
 

Currently I’m using an old 5.1 system with tiny speakers that aren’t large enough to place around the shop so they’re all placed in one spot. It works ok for my needs, but the receiver is failing and I’d like the sound to be better and spread out, ideally a speaker in each corner. I don’t have outlets there, but can add them, another consideration. I don’t need super loud or huge bass from this, but I do want quality for a workshop (I know the limitations!). It will be used strictly for music/podcasts. I do like some bass heavy music, rap/rock, no electronic stuff. So a sub may or may not be required.
 

My current considerations:

Four Play Fives and possibly a sub. Maybe overkill for the space? I worry about the Sonos Sub in the shop, could possibly be placed in a cabinet? The most expensive route but super easy to add on to if I expand the workshop or if I want to place a speaker outside.


Sonos Amp with four speakers and possibly a sub. Limited power for four speakers and expensive if I decide to expand the workshop, buying a second Amp. Simple setup and could use a sealed more durable sub. 
 

Sonos Port to an amp with four speakers and possibly a sub. Slightly cheaper than the above setup. Easy to add on to and replace the port of it becomes outdated. Takes up the most space, only affordable if I use two channel amps. If I expand the shop would potentially need 3-4 amps rack mounted. 
 

I’m 100% sure I’m overthinking it. Thanks for any and all input!


6 replies

Userlevel 3
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I’d be tempted by the play Fives. I’d actually start with 2 and a maybe a sub. See how it sounds. 

You may then only need to ‘fill’ in some of the sound in the workshop after that, maybe even with some play one speakers? 

That’s the beauty of Sonos, start with what you think the minimum is and then build. 

Same could apply to the Amp - get an amp, speakers sub and then if needed fill in the sounds with some play one speakers. 


I’d lean to the play fives + Sub and start with two. 

 

 

 

 

I’d be tempted by the play Fives. I’d actually start with 2 and a maybe a sub. See how it sounds. 

You may then only need to ‘fill’ in some of the sound in the workshop after that, maybe even with some play one speakers? 

That’s the beauty of Sonos, start with what you think the minimum is and then build. 

Same could apply to the Amp - get an amp, speakers sub and then if needed fill in the sounds with some play one speakers. 


I’d lean to the play fives + Sub and start with two. 

 

 

 

 


Do you think mounting the fives middle of the short walls or long walls if I use two? I’ve never heard the fives and live hours away from anywhere that sells them. I could always run them from extension cords before mounting them and adding outlets to see how they sound. Thanks for the input!

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

Yes I would play with some extension cords. My feeling is that if you mounted them horizontally in the middle of the long wall you’d get a good spread of sound. But - your millage may vary depending on acoustics and preference. So I would hold off putting in new outlets until you find a setup you prefer. 

 

FYI you can also get a wall mount for the sub (google FLXSUBB) which might help if your going to the ‘clean’ look. Double check it works with the Gen3 sub. Looks the same but… I like to double check. 

Thank you for the replies everyone! The internet is pretty bad reliability wise, that’s why I need the auxiliary for the XM. I don’t know anyone that has any Sonos stuff other than me. I know that the Ones are too small, I tried them from my surround system. It was just two, but I could tell that four wouldn’t do it either! At this point I’m leaning towards two Play Fives and adding a sub later if needed. I do have a sub at the house that I could experiment with. Will I have any issues connecting my tv to the Fives via the Aux port? And any thoughts on mounting the sub to the ceiling? I know not ideal, but it would be protected and out of the way!

Forgot to add… my shop is insulated and will be dry walled, so I feel like I can achieve pretty good sound. And sound levels don’t need to be huge, not throwing parties and won’t be trying to compete with tools and will be wearing ear protection. This is mostly for when I’m not running tools. More ambient sound than anything else. 

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Hi eaneumann.

You have a nice problem to solve and it’s not easy to give perfect advice so will explain my setup from where I’ll give a couple of recommendations.

I have a smaller garage / workshop / cave than you that’s ~5.5 x 8.5 x 2.5m and fed by a single phase 240V 30A supply run over an armoured cable.  As it’s too far for ‘normal’ wifi, to get ethernet and wifi in I use a Devolo 200MB EoP device by that’s generally hardwired to a single Play 1 for music, radio etc. 

Yes, just a single Play 1.  Mostly this is around a quarter to two-thirds volume and it fills the space quite well.  It’s also about head height and near the main work bench.  For extra oomph I sometimes add a second (non-ethernet) Play 1 at the other end of the long wall and sometimes pair these as a stereo pair.  While EoP isn’t supported by SONOS I’ve not found either of these arrangements to cause issues.

This arrangement is easily enough to fill the space when big powertools are not running and can cope with quite a lot of background noise.  The Play 1 is a decent speaker and far better, I think, than the Play 3 on the few occasions I heard them.

I have on occasion run two Play 5s in the space and this can generate a lot of sound but if you like your hearing then you’ll wear ear defenders when using power tools anyway, so overcoming a high ambient noise- level isn’t really the plan, surely?  The SONOS speakers do have the flexibility to be easily moved about, which is great.

The Play1 is supposedly moisture and dust resistant (a bit) so this might be a factor, but I use it/them in fairly crude plastic bags/wrapping to keep dust (particularly) down a bit, but the bags sometimes buzz a bit.  Also, some big powertools do interfere with the EoP signal in the power supply or cause any and all wifi devices to cut out but generally these re-establish themselves without much of a problem.

So, the music arrangement isn’t perfect or something I really planned, but is a far better setup than the previous Panasonic stereo system or powered speakers that ran off either a phone or mp3 player.

You might find a single Play 1 insufficient for your workshop.  At ~7 x 10 x 4m it’s a big volume and sound will probably get lost above head height, too.  That will depend on its construction, what you do in there and how much wind blows through (can be a big factor).  You might find two Play 1s enough but maybe only around the work bench area.  It might be quite echoy anyway?  If you go for Fives, then I think two of these will be fine and a good start if you want to add even more, but I don’t think they are as environmentally sealed as the smaller units.  They are also a lot more expensive and might be sensitive to electrical and signal spikes.  Having two of any SONOS speakers is a good, flexible system that work well apart or together.  I presume the Five still has a line-in so you can also stream into your SONOS from a plugged in device, but I’ve found this quite sensitive to interference, even when the Play 5 (in my case) is ethernet wired.  The Play 5 has a good sound, though.  I can’t advise whether to add a sub except I’d say they do add a fantastic extra sound, but at the upper end of the value scale.  Do your workshop acoustics warrant this?

As you also want to run other inputs, I’d be quite tempted to go for a better, old hi-fi system than you currently have with multiple speakers, especially if this is a low cost option.  You can then position the speakers at your will and it’ll be flexible for TV/AV/Youtube etc and with SONOS capability from a Port.  I have a Denon stereo hooked up to a Connect and this can both play SONOS source out through the Denon’s speakers (with far more oomph than any SONOS speaker) or stream a signal into the SONOS, such as your TV?  I think the newer Port can work in two directions, but check.  I’ve been very pleased with the Connect.

Last thing to consider is just how good or bad your internet really is?  If really poor then you’ll be relying on an analogue input signal a lot and if that’s the case then SONOS’ strength is only in the synchronisation between speakers as you’ll have to get your input from elsewhere, anyhow.  The SONOS synchronisation is great in a house when you want to move from room to room and hear the same thing as wiring up separate amps and speaker is an expensive option that SONOS made simple (and still quite expensive), but in a workshop this is easy to achieve with a decent multichannel amp a few speakers and lots of speaker wire (best run in the rafters) without using lots of additional power sockets, which you never have enough of in a workshop.

Finally can you borrow someone else’s gear or use SONOS and consider their fair-use return policy if that’s available to you?  If you already have some then try it in your workshop.  If not, buy some and try it.  You might find it’ll end up in your house, too!

HTH.

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