Should I buy one Amp or two Connect:Amps?


Hey guys,

I currently have a Connect:Amp wired up to two pairs of Polk Atrium 4 Outdoor speakers. I have the speakers mounted in the four corners of my deck.

Everything works well, but it doesn't have enough poke for a real party. I can't turn the volume right up because when a decent base note comes along the amp will cut out - presumably to protect itself.

So, I'm faced with a dilemma - do I sell my existing Connect:Amp and pony up for the new Amp which has more than double the power - or do I buy a second Connect:Amp and have each Connect:Amp drive two speakers?

Thanks in advance!

Chris

12 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I would buy the new Sonos amp. I'm currently running 4 atrium 6's off the Sonos amp with no complaints.

One thing to consider is that adding a connect:amp is going to cost you $400, plus 2 new speakers, wiring, and possibly the labor. That should easily put you over $600. And you have the option of adding additional speakers later if you wish, or possibly and outdoor TV, plus airplay compatibility.
I'm a little confused - why would adding the new amp require me to add new speakers? I already have four and the wife won't let me get any more! :-)

I'm in Canada so the numbers are $800 +tax for the new Amp vs $600 +tax for a new Connect:Amp - or $400 for a second hand Connect:Amp. So, I figure if I sold my existing Connect:Amp for $400 then it's going to cost an additional $500 for the Amp - vs buying another (second hand) Connect:Amp which will run me about $400. Either way, I expect the cost difference between the two options to be $100-150.

One other thing to consider, I have a TV set up outside which feeds into the line-in for the amp, so I can have the TV played through the speakers on the deck - and typically in the kitchen too on my Play 3 (if there's a big game or event on).
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
My mistake, I thought you only had the pair of speakers. I still like the Sonos Amp over 2 Connect:amp but the decision isn't as clear as I was originally thinking, since you're already happy with what you get with the Connect:amp.
Ok, so I guess I should ask the question another way - what are the pros/cons of buying a second Connect:Amp over the Amp?

And most importantly, which approach is going to give me the best/loudest sound that will sound great with 20-30 people on the deck?
The Sonos Amp is significantly more powerful that the CONNECT:AMP, in terms of watts. The Sonos Amp has AirPlay 2 capability, HDMI-ARC input, and probably newer CPU, memory, and wifi antennas.
But how would it stack up against two Connect:Amps?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
So, I'm faced with a dilemma - do I sell my existing Connect:Amp and pony up for the new Amp which has more than double the power - or do I buy a second Connect:Amp and have each Connect:Amp drive two speakers?

But how would it stack up against two Connect:Amps?

Hi bicster

Airgetlam gave you the basics which IMO should have answered your follow-up question. :? That said let me try...

Your question is really academic. Ask yourself..."if the Sonos Amp were not available and you're having the clipping issue with 4 speakers on one Connect: Amp what would be the logical course of action?" Wait...let me answer this for you...Buy a second Connect:Amp to split the load.

Fast forward to now...The Sonos Amp is available and offers twice the power of the Connect: Amp; therefore in theory it should resolve your clipping issue. In theory one Sonos Amp in certain situations could possibly negate a need for two Connect: Amps. In your situation you'll have to purchase the Sonos Amp to be 100% sure.

Asking how the Sonos Amp stacks up against the Connect: Amp is also academic. The Sonos Amp is better than the Connect: Amp for present and future needs. To be clear if you don't need the extra power provided by the Sonos Amp and/or it's features (click the link for more on feature comparison) then save some money and buy the Connect: Amp.

https://en.community.sonos.com/components-228996/sonos-amp-vs-connect-amp-feature-comparision-6815459

Deciding between a Sonos Amp or Connect: Amp is not the same as deciding between light duty and heavy duty lawn tractors; either you need one or the other. Power aside (i.e. 125 wpc vs 55 wpc) the Sonos Amp gives you so much more in terms of features and user interface than that of the Connect:Amp. Only you can determine if you want or require (as there is a difference) all that the Sonos Amp has to offer beyond power. I hope this answers your question.

Cheers!
Userlevel 4
Badge +8
[...]or possibly and outdoor TV, plus airplay compatibility.
One other thing to consider, I have a TV set up outside which feeds into the line-in for the amp, so I can have the TV played through the speakers on the deck - and typically in the kitchen too on my Play 3 (if there's a big game or event on).

You asked a question that Danny already answered - for TV audio, the new Amp also provides better support, technically, although it may work through the line-in, the Connect: Amp does not support TV audio input.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
The Sonos Amp is significantly more powerful that the CONNECT:AMP, in terms of watts. The Sonos Amp has AirPlay 2 capability, HDMI-ARC input, and probably newer CPU, memory, and wifi antennas.

Sonos Amp: 125 watts
Connect:Amp: 55 watts

So, in those terms, 1 Sonos amp is better than 2 Connect:amps.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
If power, loudness and clipping are issues maybe another direction? A Connect and a large multi-channel external amplifier.

The difference in perceived loudness between 55 and 125 Watts is not huge, picking an amp at or slightly above your speaker's power rating will give you the most sound possible. Went back and looked up your speakers, says: "handles up to 80 watts" so you could use a 160 watt per channel stereo amp but the loudness difference between 125 and 160 is minimal.
Badge +1
Hey guys,

I currently have a Connect:Amp wired up to two pairs of Polk Atrium 4 Outdoor speakers. I have the speakers mounted in the four corners of my deck.

Everything works well, but it doesn't have enough poke for a real party. I can't turn the volume right up because when a decent base note comes along the amp will cut out - presumably to protect itself.

So, I'm faced with a dilemma - do I sell my existing Connect:Amp and pony up for the new Amp which has more than double the power - or do I buy a second Connect:Amp and have each Connect:Amp drive two speakers?

Thanks in advance!

Chris


Below is what I did and it sounds excellent.
I have a hot tub that came with built in 6.5” speakers of very low quality.
When I set up the Connect:Amp to these it sounded ok. As you describe no “poke”.
I added the Polk Audio Atrium 10” sub with a 100watt mono amp connected to the sub out of the Connect:amp.
Using the built in crossover of the Connect:amp sends the low frequencies from the speakers to the sub allowing to play more efficiently.
If you have a powered sub from a home theatre system you could try this with your set up before investing.
IMHO, my backyard rocks!
Badge
From a more user-oriented perspective, two Connect:Amps will show up as two rooms in the Controller. As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong), you will not be able to permanently link these two Connect:Amps. Of course, you will be able to form a group, but that group may seperate again, causing hassle and potentially confusion for the family.

Hence, I would absolutely, regardless of any watts/audio fidelity issues, go for the Amp, in order to keep usage complexity as low as possible.

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