Solution for wired speakers

  • 13 May 2017
  • 8 replies

We had our house built last year, with it came 2 pair of wired speakers with the wires run to the cabinets under the tv in our living room. Knowing I was going to have a Sonos setup in our living room, I had 1 set of the speakers installed in the garage and 1 on the screen porch. A year later I still haven't connected them to anything but recently have been wishing I had. So it seems I have 2 scenarios.

First - purchase 2 Sonos amps, 1 for each pair of wired speakers - but paying $1000 for these 2 pairs of wired speakers seems ridiculous when I could buy 2 Play 1's or 3's (1 for each of the 2 areas mentioned) and spend much less. And then just forget about connecting the wired speakers.

Second - and this is the one I'm not sure about. It seems as though their are home audio receivers that I can play my Sonos app on my phone through and have it connected to the 2 pair of wired speakers. We do not have any component home audio equipment at this point - simply use the Sonos. We have the playbar, sub and 2 Play 1's in our living room setup and that is it. So we would be buying a new receiver in this scenario. (anything else required for this setup?)

While tping this I guess I am also thinking of a 3rd scenario - doesn't the Boost provide it's own wireless network for Sonos so that you aren't using bandwidth on your regular wifi network? If so, I could buy 1 Play 1 or 3 and set it up as a portable and move it between the garage and screen porch - and anywhere else I wanted some music. I could also add the boost to get Sonos off my home wifi - and would probably be the least expensive option.

Any other options you can think of or problems with my scenarios above? Thanks in advance!

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8 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +11
I'd personally go with the Sonos Play speakers and forget about the fact that the wired speakers exist. In fact, for the same $1,000 you could get 5 Play:1s (or maybe even a 6th if you score a sale) or 2 Play:5s. Plus, and of course not knowing what the existing speakers are like for quality, it is quite possible that the Play:1s will sound even better.

On a separate note, you likely could also wire the 4 speakers to a single Connect Amp if you did not mind them being treated as 1 zone. I say likely because again you did not state what the speakers are, the power requirements, etc.

Any other method of cobbling together an AVR or separate amp is likely going to lead to a less-than-perfect user experience.
Option 2 (buying separate amps to run the wired speakers) works if you also buy two CONNECTS. Not the CONNECT:AMP. The connects don't have internal amps, so they are much cheaper. You'd run the output from the CONNECT into the input in the back of your third party receivers, which would then power the speakers.

There can be some latency issues when you run sonos CONNECT outputs into third party amps/ receivers. If they have digital sound processors, they can delay output slightly and then play out of sync with the rest of the system. It's no big deal if your wired speakers are far away from the other zones.

If you do this, either buy third party receivers with no signal processing, or take care to hook the CONNECT outputs carefully to the inputs on the receiver. 1. Use old fashioned RCA analog cables. Don't use the CONNECT's optical/digital output at all. Analog tends to skip the DSP processors in receivers and AV equipment. 2. Use the AUX input on the receiver. Don't use DVD or SAT/cable. Those inputs tend to go to DSP processors in the receiver and you really don't want them slowing down the signal. That's what make the system out of sync with all the other zones. Believe me, it's maddening.
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
So Sonos works in a WiFi mode called "standard" but works best in "Boost" mode or also called SonosNet. Click below.

Make sure if you have a hard wired Sonos product to your router that Sonos and your router or on different channels


And that product is at least a few feet away from the router. Keep any other wireless devices as far away as you can.

All you need to do is "wire" one of your Sonos products and you activate SonosNet. You only need a Boost if it is not easy to wire a speaker.

You can check your mode

The “About My Sonos System” screen displays all of the Sonos products connected to your household, and whether they are connected to your home’s WiFi (Standard Setup) or the dedicated Sonos network (BOOST Setup). Look for a row under each player that says “WM” (Wireless Mode).

“WM=0” means your system is in a BOOST Setup
“WM=1” means your system is in a Standard Setup
"WM=2" means the device is bonded as a surround speaker or SUB to a PLAYBAR or PLAYBASE in Standard Setup
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
I would do what jag says. Keep it simple and all Sonos speakers.
Great options ricdaw but I'm leaning towards the solution jdag for the reasons he said. I have no desire for a lot of component A/V equipment and am enjoying the Sonos user experience and quality of the sound. The wired speakers are basically garbage I'm sure. One in-ceiling pair in the garage, one wall mounted pair on the screen porch - both standard with the house (this is a track builder) - both are contractor grade. So why spend the $1000 for garbage sound. Best Buy has Play 1's on sale - may go pick up 2 of them and the Boost so I don't end up with a playbar, sub and 2 Play 1's running in the living room, another pair playing in other areas of the house and the typical wifi demand of our other devices on our single wifi router.

Thanks for the help everyone!
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
You don't need a Boost unless it is not easy to wire a speaker. All Sonos products have a Boost in them. All you need to do is wire one speaker and keep it at least 2' from the router
You don't need a Boost unless it is not easy to wire a speaker. All Sonos products have a Boost in them. All you need to do is wire one speaker and keep it at least 2' from the router

None of my speakers are "wired". Isn't this possible because the Playbar will work without being connected to my router or an active ethernet switch (through it's own "wireless wifi system" - probably the wrong terminology) and the rest of the Sonos system piggybacks off the Playbar? If this is the case, would the Boost help take some pressure off the Playbar and/or my wifi system?
I don't understand option 2. You can't 'play the Sonos app on your phone' through a third party receiver. It requires a Sonos player to actually do anything.

Using a BOOST setup does indeed relieve your WiFi of audio data, utilising the extensible SonosNet wireless mesh. This may help reach a distant PLAY unit, say in the garage.