I told Joel from the beginning – the only thing he needed to figure out was whatever wiring he wanted for the house, ethernet, cable, speakers. I basically gave him 1 1/2 years to figure it out. So he mulled over different thoughts that he had, but when did he actually figure it all out…yep, this week. Better late than never 😉
So he finally nail down how he wanted the audio & video to run throughout the house and integrate with TV’s and Ethernet. After much research, we decided that we wanted to use as many Sonos products as possible. Sonos offers a large amount of flexibility when it comes to moving speakers around the house as well as the interface with a good ipad/phone App (ie: no new remote is needed to run the system – LOVE that!), and the ability to add on more speakers as we want/need them. Another major bonus is that Sonos has created their own “wireless mesh network” to run all of the speakers. This is a separate independent network that the speakers are connected through, so that we don’t have to use Wifi. This means that if the boys are downloading something using wifi, it won’t interfere or ‘drop’ our speakers’ sound. That was a big selling feature for us…such a great idea/technology.
This is a screenshot of Sonos’ mobile app. On the left they have three different zones for the house, and all 3 are playing different things. Alternatively, it’s easy to make them all play the same thing. User interface is extremely important…I definitely don’t want to be figuring out a complex system just to play some background music.
Here’s the plan that we’ve come up with room by room:
We’ll have a TV mounted in the built-in to the left of the fireplace; and have 4 built-in speakers in the ceiling. The main purpose for the speakers will be to listen to music, not particularly for the TV’s sound to come out of it. This room really isn’t the main TV watching room (that’ll be downstairs), so hopefully the sound coming out of the TV will be good enough. If we do end up wanting more/better sound, we’ll add Sonos’ Playbar underneath the TV. The built-in speakers will run to a Sonos Connect Amp located in the tech closet. This will make the speakers compatible with Sonos’ system and will enable the great room as a “zone” and be able to be controlled in the Sonos App. With the addition of the Playbar at the TV, we can then tie the ceiling speakers to the Playbar and the TV sound can come out of all the speakers in the great room.
This is the Sonos Connect Amp which will connect hardwired speakers, and make them integrated with the rest of the Sonos system.
We’ll have two built-in speakers in the ceiling which will run to another Sonos Connect Amp in the tech room – then this will be a “zone” as well.
Rec Room (Downstairs)
We are going to immediately purchase a Sonos Playbar to play the TV’s audio in the rec room. This will also enable the Rec Room to be it’s own “zone” in the Sonos App. We’ll also run CAT6 ethernet cable and power to two spots above the bar cabinets where eventually we’ll add Sonos Play Speakers. And at some point, I’m sure Joel will convince me that we NEED a Sonos Subwoofer downstairs too. Maybe when the boys are older 😉 With this setup, we won’t need to have any built in speakers in the ceiling, and it gives us the flexibility to add speakers as we go.
This is the Sonos Playbar which we will have downstairs in the rec room. It will sit directly underneath the TV. I hope at some point it will be offered in white like the rest of their speaker products!
We’ll have speakers both on the deck upstairs and the patio downstairs. Sonos doesn’t currently have an outdoor speaker, but there’s talk of them creating one. With that in mind, instead of buying and mounting ho-hum outdoor speakers, then buying a Connect Amp to tie it into the Sonos system, we decided to build a shelf (or bracket) for a Sonos speaker to be mounted outside, and power outlet where we want the speakers placed. That means that on most days we’ll be able to use the Sonos Play Speakers inside the house (maybe in the master or the office), and when we’re hanging out outside, we’ll just put them on the shelf out there. Then eventually when Sonos creates an outdoor speaker we’ll be ready for it.
Currently, Sonos offers three different speakers, the Play1, Play3, and the Play5. Starting with the Play1, they get larger and more powerful. Sizes are chosen depending on the size of the room and/or how loud you want to play music.
Other rooms will have ethernet and cable run for TV (although we won’t actually have TV’s in other rooms…just planning for future use). And if we want to add in speakers for music or the TV, we’ll just plug into an outlet more Sonos Play speakers…no extra speaker wires needed!