Question

Sonos equipment & setup for 3 zone system

  • 30 August 2017
  • 7 replies
  • 3022 views

Hi. So i am currently in the process of renovating my house and I would like to create a 3 zone sound system. Zone 1 would be my 5.1 surround sound system (Sonos 5:1 Home Theater). Zone 2 would be my outside patio area where I will have Polk RC80i in ceiling speakers along with a TV, and Zone 3 will be solely for playing music in my kitchen/dining room. I would like to know what equipment would be necessary to run this setup? Zone 1 (Home Theater I think is pretty straight forward), but I am not sure what equipment to use for Zones 2 and 3. If I had to guess Zone 2 would consist of a Sonos Amp, and the speaker wires would run to the Sonos Amp. Now if I wanted to have the sound from my TV come through the in-ceiling speakers what types of wires would I require, and do they get plugged directly into the Sonos Amp? Lastly for Zone 3 would I just require two Play:1 speakers, or would I also need the Sonos Connect? Apologies for the multi layered question, but I want to make sure that I am fully educated prior to purchasing this equipment. Thank you!

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7 replies

Zone 1 is fine. Zone 2, you would need analog output from the TV to the analog line-in on the Connect:Amp. If your TV does not have analog output, you can buy an optical to line-out DAC. Note: The line-in on Sonos devices is delayed by about 75 ms in order to buffer the input for syncing to other devices. This delay will be most noticeable when the TV speakers are playing along with the Connect:Amp, causing a distinct echo effect. If you turn off the TV speakers and the Connect:Amp is the only audio from the TV, most likely any lip-sync problems will be negligible (unless you are super sensitive to such things).

No Connect needed for Zone 3, the Play:1s are fine on their own
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
To piggy back off this question, if Zone 1 has TV1 audio and Zone 2 has TV2 audio, concievably you could have Zone 1, 2 and 3 all out put either TV1 or TV2 audio, right? For example, if you're watching football on TV1 but you want that TV sound to play in all your zones so you can hear the action if you're moving around, that would be possible just by the mere fact that Zone 1 has the TV1 audio.
Yes, any source can be played on any and all other Sonos devices.
Userlevel 2
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Yes, any source can be played on any and all other Sonos devices.

Thanks!
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
EGV812 - I'd recommend you look at a 3rd party AV receiver, like the Denon AVR-X3300W. This will likely meet all of your needs and more. The Sonos home cinema options are very dated and limited to functions from the 1990s.

The Denon referenced above will fully support your zone 2, and even allow you to play the home cinema picture in a different room - not just the audio. You'll gain support for DTS, DTS-HD MA, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos and HDMI audio. You could even watch a blu-ray from zone 1 in zone 2 whilst watching something else in zone 1.

Sonos is very behind the times in this area and I'd highly recommend you look at alternatives.
Badge +20
Whilst I would love to recommend Sonos RO53BEN's recommendation is a very good one and probably the best option you could choose. The Denon also has streaming options.
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
Whilst I would love to recommend Sonos RO53BEN's recommendation is a very good one and probably the best option you could choose. The Denon also has streaming options.

Indeed, with Spotify Connect built in I rarely use Sonos for music in this room.