Sonos Setup

  • 30 September 2019
  • 2 replies

I am moving into a new construction town home soon and need advice on getting pre-wiring done in the living room. My goal is to have surround sound for TV/Movie watching and being able to play music when I have friends over, etc.

I prefer on going with in-ceiling speaker setup with a Sonos amp and wanted to know what is the best setup option with the size of my room.

  1. Should I get get pre-wiring done for 2 speakers Only? (Room is 23' by 15.2')
  2. Should I get 4 In-Ceiling Speakers?
  3. 2 In-Ceiling Speaker + Soundbar?

What I plan on getting:
  1. Sonos Amp
  2. Sonos In-Ceiling Speaker Pair (or x2 depending on setup)
  3. If I go the Sound-Bar option, then a Sonos Sound-bar as well
Picture 1 - 4 Speaker Setup

Picture 2 - 2 Speaker Setup and maybe a sound bar

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2 replies

Userlevel 7
Hi Hemang

Congratulations on your new home!🙂 My recommendations assume the use of Sonos supported Architectural speakers, although 3rd party speakers can be used as well.

Picture 1_A - Fine if you are only going to play music.
  1. Requires Sonos Amp x 1 to drive 4 speakers
Picture 1_B - If you are going to incorporate a Sonos HT your options are
  1. Change the two foremost overheads to in-wall speakers on either side of the fireplace.
  2. Position the rear most overheads slightly behind (12 inches max) the seating area.
  3. This set up calls for two Sonos amps one for the rear overhead surrounds and the other for the in-wall speakers up front.
  4. You can add a sub to the Sonos amp that drives the in-wall speakers.
Note: The center channel is created by the left and right front speaker commonly known as a phantom center.

Picture 2
  1. Sonos soundbar (Beam or Playbar)
  2. Sonos sub can be added to the Beam or Playbar
  3. Sonos Amp to drive the overhead speakers as surrounds positioned over the seating area as described in Picture 1_B
Note: Beam and Playbar generate a true center channel

Additional Information
  1. The Beam and Sonos Amp allow use of HDMI-ARC connection to TV as well as optical. The Playbar is optical only. Beam also supports either Alexa or Google voice assistant natively.
  2. The options discussed assume you want to stay with in-ceiling or in-wall with the only speaker not embedded being the Beam or Playbar as indicated in Picture 2.
  3. In either drawing the surrounds could be changed to Sonos floor standing speakers in matching pairs (Sonos One / Sonos One SL or Play 5's)
  4. All configurations allow the use of Sonos Trueplay to tune the speakers to the room architecture using an iOS device.
  5. All configurations allow you to set the surround speakers to Full for music playback and auto switch back to surround mode when the music stops.
Let us know what you decide.

I wanted to reiterate what @AjTrek1 was saying in that you really want to avoid ceiling speakers for 5.1 Home Theatre. You want to audio to come from the direction your ears/eyes/brain expects the audio to come from. You can get away with ceiling speakers, but it will sound a bit odd.

Using floor stands are a great option for surround speakers, especially if you can place them right behind the seat area. If your seats are against the wall, great. If they are few feet from the wall, you can still have speakers against the wall, but aesthics does come into play. In that case, you could do in-wall speakers for rears (which would require a separate Sonos amp to power), or wall mount Sonos speakers. You would want to prewire for in-wall speakers or have an electrician provide power outlets where you want to wall mount Sonos speakers.