What Sonos setup for this open plan space?

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Hi, I am having a kitchen refurb done in a couple of months and I'm thinking ahead about a sound system.  Sonos seems like a good solution, but I have no sonos products and could do with some advice please on what to get. The space is fairly large and open plan - see pic.  What I am looking to establish is:-

  • What type of speakers?  
    • Should I consider ceiling speakers?
  • How many?
  • Where would they be positioned?
  • Do I need an amp?

Some random info:-

  • Stereo or Surround - I'm not into home cinema and so I reckon a stereo system will do unless surround sound will offer some advantages in filling the space? That said, will it be possible to even create a stereo field in a room of this shape? Perhaps surround is the best option?
  • The system will need to be good enough to support a party so fairly loud!
  • I like house, techno, D&B, bass, chillout, and ambient. Mainly electronic.
  • Maybe ceiling speakers would help, but I thought (maybe incorrectly) that I'd need 6 of these and got very confused when trying to find an amp that could power these. 
  • The budget is about £1500 - £1800.
  • I could maybe add to the initial system later on, maybe with a sub-woofer or something else
  • I am an Apple phone, Spotify and Alexa user

Any advice is greatly appreciated!



Best answer by AjTrek1 22 June 2023, 22:05

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11 replies

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Hi @Broxhead, welcome to the Sonos Community!

This is a perfect project for our sales team, so I would recommend you get in touch with them to discuss further.

If you email them with all this information and provide the floor plans, or give them a call and discuss these details over the phone, they’ll be able to provide the answers, provide a layout for your new system, and provide an overall price quote.

I hope this information helps!

Are you wanting the system to do TV audio as well? Getting an Arc or Beam will give you the best setup for TV audio and be good for music, but if you don’t care about TV audio, then you can get better setups.

For music, you generally want a stage with left and right audio coming to a selected listening area.  Ceiling speakers are not ideal for that.  However, if there is no specific listening area and you don’t want speakers along the wall(s) for aesthetic reasons (like a kitchen), then ceiling speakers make sense.

Based on your music choices, I would definitely include a sub.

If this were me, and I do care about TV audio, I would get an Arc + sub, and probably a pair of Era 100s to start with in a surround sound configuration.  Later on, I would consider adding a second sub and a pair of Era 300s (as surrounds) and move the Era 100s to the dining area or a bedroom.  

If you don’t care about TV audio at all, or atmos music, then a pair of 5s + sub.  

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Thanks Danny.

I'm not into home cinema and so I like your idea of pair of 5s and a Sub.

Where would you place the two 5’s though and would you reckon I may need to accompany them with a pair of 1’s?


Thanks Danny.

I'm not into home cinema and so I like your idea of pair of 5s and a Sub.

Where would you place the two 5’s though and would you reckon I may need to accompany them with a pair of 1’s?



I would put them along the right wall in the snug.  Even though you aren’t interested in TV audio, that’s probably still the ‘stage’ of your space. That will cover the snug and kitchen very well.  I think you’ll find it covers the dining area well enough to, but you can always add a speakers to that area later on if you wish.

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Please feel free to take the excellent advice of @melvimbe and/or @Jamie A. I’m just adding my opinion for what it may be worth 😊

As it appears your main concern is music I’d look at Sonos in-ceilng Architectural speakers by Sonance.  One Sonos Amp can drive six (6) speakers although it will not support independent zones. However you can wire attenuators to each pair to control the volume levels independently. If you want to create Zones you’ll have to acquire another Amp or two to create a Zone for each pair. Understand that by creating Zones a sub can only be applied to a single Amp/Zone. 

If all six (6) speakers are connected to a single Amp you’ll want send a mono signal so that no matter a persons position in the area the sound will be the same. In that manner if an instrument in the original stereo recording is localized to a left or right speaker a person on one side of the room will not lose the audio content. A sub my not cover the entire area so you’ll would want to place it where it would do the most good.

The above solution may be budget prohibitive. However, if you like the idea you can run the wiring to the respective location and precut the holes (or not) covered by speaker grilles until your funds permit.

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Thanks AjTrek and others

The ceiling speakers I reckon would need to be paired with a sub too and so likely outside my budget.  There are a bunch of restrictions with these too, like attenuators, back boxes, drilling, cables and in ability to move them.

My preference so far is Sub Gen 3, with dual 5’s and poss later, dual 1’s in the dining.  Not sure about placing both 5’s down the snug end of the room personally, but the great thing about Sonos, is that I could try them elsewhere!  One of the 5’s may be best at the complete opposite side of the snug, near the cooker maybe(?).

For completeness, I did contact Sonos Sales team and I sent them the same details posted here.  Their advice was to get 3 pairs of Era 100’s!  This surprised me, given my criteria for a system that is party ready, able to handle bassy electronic music and no desire for cinema/Atmos.  Unless I am missing something, this setup would be a little weak for my usecase.  Right?


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Hi again

don’t know why Era 300’s were mentioned by Sonos Sales unless they are being directed to push the new product (which happens). The Era’s do sound great but IMO lack the full low-end of the Fives when used in stereo pair without sub. They (Era 300’s) come close...but no cigar 🙂. BTW, I own both Era 300’s and Fives in stereo pairs but prefer the Fives for serious music listening.

In my revised diagram I recommended the following:

  • Fives x 2 (stereo pair) with Sub in the Snug room. BTW, it’s first time I’ve heard the term Snug to reference a room 😅
  • Five x 1 in the dining area for ambient sound while dining. Then crank it up for parties!
  • Sonos Move in the Kitchen area. It’s portable and humidity resistant and can also be cranked up for parties!

The above component cost is 2,231.72 in British Pounds.

  1. Removing the Move and dining room Five gets the price down to 1,488 in British Pounds.
  2. Removing the Sub and Move gets the cost down two 1,291.97 in British Pounds

I believe Option 2 is within your budget. It’s a setup that offers the following benefits:

  • Plays loud or soft
  • Has good bass response
  • Will overflow into Kitchen area
  • Dining room Five can be moved about for parties
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Thanks again AjTrek1 for the great advice and even pricing it!

I think the Sub and a pair of 5's is a given and will likely be where I start and build from there after I've had a play and investigated positioning

BTW the solution Sonos Sales came up with was for 3 pairs of Era 100's, not 300's.  Just doesn't make sense to me.

Definition of 'Snug' - "Snug is a term often used to describe a small comfortable room in the home where one goes for peace and relaxation. In the UK it can also refer to a small private room in a pub where one goes for a quiet drink and chat with friends"

Thanks Again

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You’re welcome! Keep us posted on your initial setup.

Best Wishes!!

For reference, I have a pair of Fives and sub in my main living area, which is about a 25x25ft (700x700 cm) space and I don’t find  it lacking at all. I don’t have the  L shape that you have, so can’t say for sure what sort of impact that will have.

In the past, I’ve had..

Playbar + play:3s+ sub = this was also very good for music, but retired products now

Arc + Ones + sub = this just wasn’t as good for music IMO,  partially because I moved the Ones forward out of kitchen area for better surround.  And it just feels like Arc isn’t as good for music as the playbar was.  

Fives (no sub) = The Fives do handle bass better than other Sonos speakers, but I just felt like it was lacking.  And given your taste in music, I think you’ll want the sub as well.

That said, I don’t think the Sonos sales recommendation is bad. I’ve had the Sonos Ones + sub in a bedroom ( ~15x10 ft  / 450 x 300 cm) and was pretty impressed with that as well. I think you’d be happy with this setup, and it’s go to see that Sonos isn’t trying to oversell you.  One thing to consider with Era 100s setup is you would gain  bluetooth input.  I have Era 300s in the room now and it definitely fills the space.  I switched to Era 300s = sub for the atmos audio capabilities, and to a lesser extent the bluetooth, not because the Ones were not enough.

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BTW…here in the US Sonos offers Klarna (for products not on backorder) as a deferred payment plan overtime. I’ve used it with excellent results. Options are 4 payments with 0 interest or 6 months with a small amount of interest. Just FYI for the budget conscious…like you and me 😂