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Wired indoor/outdoor, how to connect to Sonos?

  • 27 August 2018
  • 3 replies
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I just purchased a house that had 2 rear Cambridge SoundWorks speakers wired in the family room. There are also 2 pool side speaker wires ran but no speakers connected yet. Both speaker sets come into one centrally located area where the TV is in the family room. I'm thinking of getting either Polk or Bose outdoor speakers. My questions are, if I get a Sonos Soundplay or Beam and a ConnectAMP, can I connect all of the speakers together running Sonos? What about a subwoofer, would I need to get a Sonos sub or could I buy some cheaper one and integrate that as well? Wondering if I need to get a receiver (thinking maybe the Denon Heos) to connect everything then add a Sonos Connect or can I run everything through a ConnectAMP and not need a receiver?

Thanks in advance!
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Best answer by melvimbe 27 August 2018, 16:20

There are a few points to discuss here.

Regarding the existing speakers and future outdoor speakers, this support article should help.

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/265?language=en_US

Regarding using a playbar or beam, that can work with the connect:amp in one of two different ways. The normal way is the connect:amp is set up as a different room. Then the two rooms can be grouped together to play music in sync, and TV close to in sync. You would not want to play the two rooms in syncs if the speakers are in the same physical room as you'd get an echo effect.

The other way is to setup the connect:amp as rear surround speakers for the playbar/beam.

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/2237?language=en_US

If you do this, you can't really use the connect:amp to power both your indoor and outdoor speakers.

As far as a subwoofer, you can connect any subwoofer to the connect:amp, except when you've your using the connect:amp rear surround speakers.

Going with a receiver + connect is not a bad choice either. Heos is a different multiroom product, so I wouldn't really try and mix Sonos with Heos products as it could get complicated. Sonos does have a 'works with sonos' program that allows extra features with Onkyo.

https://www.onkyousa.com/sonos/

In a previous home, I also had wired speakers for rears and for outdoors, and went with a receiver + connect to run it all. The only annoying part is I had to manually switch inputs on the receiver to utilize the connect. It sound like the Onkyo changes fixes that, but I'm not sure if it's live yet. Any receiver will be fine though. Are you thinking of using the receiver for home theatre, or just to power one or both of your wired speaker locations? You mention the Cambridge speakers were in the rear...I assume you intend to use them for surround sound?
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3 replies

There are a few points to discuss here.

Regarding the existing speakers and future outdoor speakers, this support article should help.

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/265?language=en_US

Regarding using a playbar or beam, that can work with the connect:amp in one of two different ways. The normal way is the connect:amp is set up as a different room. Then the two rooms can be grouped together to play music in sync, and TV close to in sync. You would not want to play the two rooms in syncs if the speakers are in the same physical room as you'd get an echo effect.

The other way is to setup the connect:amp as rear surround speakers for the playbar/beam.

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/2237?language=en_US

If you do this, you can't really use the connect:amp to power both your indoor and outdoor speakers.

As far as a subwoofer, you can connect any subwoofer to the connect:amp, except when you've your using the connect:amp rear surround speakers.

Going with a receiver + connect is not a bad choice either. Heos is a different multiroom product, so I wouldn't really try and mix Sonos with Heos products as it could get complicated. Sonos does have a 'works with sonos' program that allows extra features with Onkyo.

https://www.onkyousa.com/sonos/

In a previous home, I also had wired speakers for rears and for outdoors, and went with a receiver + connect to run it all. The only annoying part is I had to manually switch inputs on the receiver to utilize the connect. It sound like the Onkyo changes fixes that, but I'm not sure if it's live yet. Any receiver will be fine though. Are you thinking of using the receiver for home theatre, or just to power one or both of your wired speaker locations? You mention the Cambridge speakers were in the rear...I assume you intend to use them for surround sound?
Thank you for the quick information. I ended up going with a Onkyo receiver that is listed as compatible with a Connect (not amp). I'm using it for the home theater set-up in the family room as well as the 2 outdoor speakers by the pool. We already have the Cambridge Soundworks rear speakers for the home theater, but needed a soundbar. The guy at Magnolia in BestBuy sold us a KEF soundbar that I can't find any reviews on. He stated we would need a passive soundbar or speakerbar to connect to the receiver in order for it all to sync seamless, if I went with a regular soundbar it would be independent of the rest of the speakers in the room. My question is, will a Sonos Beam sync? I'm thinking of returning it and going with a different soundbar, probably the Beam. I'm just a little hesitant to spend $500 on a soundbar with no reviews.

One other question is, we are purchasing Polk Atrium 5's for outside, since we went with the connect and not the connect amp, I'm assuming we will have to toggle zones on the Onkyo receiver, but I was wondering if this might be one of the added features of going with a Sonos compatible receiver? Anyone have experience with this?
Thank you for the quick information. I ended up going with a Onkyo receiver that is listed as compatible with a Connect (not amp). I'm using it for the home theater set-up in the family room as well as the 2 outdoor speakers by the pool. We already have the Cambridge Soundworks rear speakers for the home theater, but needed a soundbar. The guy at Magnolia in BestBuy sold us a KEF soundbar that I can't find any reviews on. He stated we would need a passive soundbar or speakerbar to connect to the receiver in order for it all to sync seamless, if I went with a regular soundbar it would be independent of the rest of the speakers in the room. My question is, will a Sonos Beam sync? I'm thinking of returning it and going with a different soundbar, probably the Beam. I'm just a little hesitant to spend $500 on a soundbar with no reviews.


What the BestBuy guy told you is essentially correct. For TV audio, you would not be able to get audio in sync between a playbar/beam and your receiver. You could do this for music sources, but not TV. Personally, I would test out the soundbar you were recommending before returning it.

'Regular' active soundbars already have amps built in, and therefore don't need and are not designed to work with other receivers very well. Typically, regular soundbars will coordinate with other active speakers (usually need to be the same brand) to get the right audio channels on the right speakers. Passive soundbars don't have amps built in, and therefore need a separate receiver/amp in order to function. In that scenario, your receiver is effectively in control of all the audio, sending the right audio channels to the right speakers through the speaker wires. The reason is a bit more complicated then that, and there are exceptions, but I'm trying to give a high level summary.


One other question is, we are purchasing Polk Atrium 5's for outside, since we went with the connect and not the connect amp, I'm assuming we will have to toggle zones on the Onkyo receiver, but I was wondering if this might be one of the added features of going with a Sonos compatible receiver? Anyone have experience with this?


From what I've read about the 'works with Sonos' features, I don't think so. I believe you'll be able to switch receiver inputs and control volume (maybe only the main zone) through the Sonos app, but that's it. Your receiver may have it's own app for controlling the zones, I don't know. And of course, if you don't like the way it all works operating everything off the one receiver, you can buy a connect:amp for running your outdoor speakers, playing those speakers insync (for music) with the receiver+connect.

Again, I don't even know if the Onkyo receiver works with Sonos just yet, and I have not seen anyone report using it on here.