Amp and Sonos Ones Variations?


I have a Sonos AMP connected to an in ceiling speaker in the Master Bathroom.  I wanted more power and sound out of it as it gets drowned out by the shower running.  I put up 2 Sonos Ones.  The option is for surround sound, but now the surround sound base doesn’t make it sound as clear.  It sounds heavier base, like the volume from the surround is stronger than the main AMP in Ceiling speaker.  So my thought was to have 3 speakers - like a center, and 2 bookshelfs.  Is there a way to create 3 speakers (and not surround speakers) so its the same quality that can produce higher volume and sound?  I would prefer not to have the speakers listed as 2 rooms in my app to get that result, or should I just deal with it?  I probably should have just put in 2 ceiling speakers but this is where I am at.  I can adjust - most important to me is the quality of the sound and not the cost.


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Userlevel 7
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With your current setup, are the two Ones connected as surround speakers to the Amp or are they just set up as a stereo pair and grouped with the Amp?

Userlevel 7

Hi @Tom in Dallas 

First let’s get a clear understanding of what you are describing. 
 

Surround Sound as you state with Sonos involes an Arc or Beam connected to a TV with two Sonos Ones or Sonos SL’s or two speakers (Sonos In-wall, In-ceiling or 3rd party) wired to a Sonos Amp. The latter are placed at the rear of the room. The Arc or Beam creates the Left/Center/Right front channels.

What you have described in your opening statement does not make sense. You keep referring to the in-ceiling speaker as a single speaker powered by an Amp?? That can’t be correct. Please explain your setup.
 

 

Userlevel 7
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@AjTrek1 It is possible to have a single in-ceiling speaker powered by an Amp.

Userlevel 7
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That single speaker option is correct but I don’t think that would allow surround mode operation if it was set to mono so the single speaker got both channels of stereo sound.

I could see the Amp in mono driving the single speaker and the Ones paired as stereo or as mono units grouped with the amp.

The three speaker room the OP mentioned, I don’t think (I don’t have an Amp top check) is possible.

What might be possible is to go to a dual voice-coil ceiling speaker running in stereo from the Amp with the Ones then used as Surrounds in Full Mode. No clue how that would sound though.

Userlevel 7
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My Amp, set to dual mono, is powering a single outdoor speaker. And, surprisingly, the option to add surrounds is available.

I have a Sonos AMP connected to an in ceiling speaker in the Master Bathroom.  I wanted more power and sound out of it as it gets drowned out by the shower running.

I thought this was a typo and you meant bedroom, till I read the reference to the shower:-).

Assuming that you have a safe way of using the One units there, I would delete the ceiling speaker, leaving it unused in the space, and redeploy the Sonos Amp to another part of the house. I expect a One pair on its own to more than meet the needs of even a large bathroom.

Easy to test this, by playing just the One pair and see how it serves; the ceiling speaker is probably degrading the overall sound quality perceived.

Userlevel 7

@Stanley_4 @GuitarSuperstar 

You’re both correct. However, my thinking of surround as it refers to Sonos is probably a bit more true to home theater. 
 

The OP is using the term loosely; but I do understand his/her thinking. However, given the equipment there will be two rooms not one as the OP would like. They’ll just have to group them.

Userlevel 7
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@AjTrek1 Let’s wait for Tom to clarify his setup. I’m thinking he actually might have the two Ones connected to the Amp as surround speakers which is why he probably isn’t happy with the sound he is getting.

Userlevel 7

If you want music IN the shower you might consider the Roam...available for pre-order.

Userlevel 7
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My Amp, set to dual mono, is powering a single outdoor speaker. And, surprisingly, the option to add surrounds is available.

That is interesting!

The ability to do dual mono might prove to be better than the dual coil option as that hopefully would eliminate any attempt by the amp to generate the phantom center I’ve seen mentioned.

If all are Bonded into a surround setup it would give him the single room the OP was looking for. In full mode they should get good sound from all three speakers once the individual volume levels are matched.

My last remaining question is the quality of the single speaker, it might just not be up to doing what is asked of it.

Hopefully we’ll hear back.

HI, I am the original poster for this thread and thank you everyone for your answers.  I am new to AV; Still learning- ha

Let me elaborate a little more.

So early last year (pre COVID) I bought In-ceiling dual core speakers for almost every room in the house liking the clean look of what in wall and in ceiling delivers.  That meant lots of AMPS, and lots of costs.  

So, this year I decided to finish out rooms that were missed and tweak my original work.  I got the ARC’s and subwoofer for bedroom and living room with 85” TV’s in both.  Amazing.

**So here is the thing:  (now realizing the Sonos Ones mounted look acceptable) I decided:

My office, dining room and entrance foyer are all connected in an open layout.  I originally put 2 dual core in ceiling speakers (1 in office, 1 in dining room).  I added 2 sonos ones to just the office and 1 to foyer.

In bathroom, I had 1 dual core in ceiling speaker (powered by an AMP); and it sounded good but just did not have enough volume for when in the shower.  So I added 2 Sonos One Mounted in corners of the bathroom.

The only difference between these setups is the size of the rooms by comparison and # of speakers, but the AMP to dual core ceiling speaker and 2 Sonos Ones is the same.

When using the app, it asks which room.  So I said the appropriate room, and then it asked if these are surround sound or not.  I said yes to both.  The office sounds great.  I get the in ceiling directly above my desk chair, with the 2 Sono’s Ones behind me in the Sonos App Surround mode.

For the bathroom, the shower is in the corner and the in ceiling is in center of room.  The 2 Sonos Ones are mounted further away in each bathroom corner.  It appears the Sonos Ones are putting out more sound volume then the dual core speaker; and since I chose surround sound on the Sonos App (In app under system it appears Bathroom AMD (+LS, +RS) they are not pushing as much vocals and more base and background and it sounds awful.

So one setup sounds great, and the other sounds horrible.  There is no difference in the speakers or app setup.  The office is quiet and the ceiling speaker is above my head.  The bathroom is not quiet and the ceiling speaker is not above my head but center of the room (and surrounds further past), but all I hear is drowned out vocals and base.

The suggestion I use the AMP in another room, although good, well I have 7 AMPs already.  I don’t need another (maybe FB marketplace does).  So what I probably should have done was put in a second in ceiling and placed them appropriately, but I am past that now.  So I was thinking how do I break up the App created surround sound and just make them a stereo pair and also work with the dual core in ceiling speaker.  I could make Bath 1 and Bath 2 and just choose 2 rooms and volume each time, but I was hoping there was either a solution to put in one room, or tweak it the way I have it.  Its strange the office is great, and the bathroom so terrible; but that’s what it is.

Userlevel 7
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@Tom in Dallas Thanks for clarifying your setup. I think your best option is to disconnect your Ones as surrounds from the Amp, set the Ones up as a stereo pair, and then group the Amp and pair of Ones together when playing music in the bathroom. This setup should make your Ones sound MUCH better with your ceiling speaker.

Be sure to perform Trueplay after you pair the Ones as a stereo pair.

Thanks GuitarSuperstar.  I changed them to a stereo pair and they do sound better.  When you say group the amp and pair of ones together to play; you mean have one ROOM-Stereo pair and one ROOM-AMP and have 2 volume controls on my app, and adjust together as needed.  I turn both on and set volumes for ONES and AMP separately.  I assume you mean that when you say group.  I could not find a way to make all 3 work on one room with one volume bar.

Userlevel 7
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@Tom in Dallas Read this article to learn how to group rooms: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3391?language=en_US

When two or more rooms are grouped, sliding the volume slider in the app will adjust the volume of all rooms in that group. If you tap on the volume slider, it will give you the option to adjust each room individually.

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