Sonos "Connect" option for WHA? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Couple quick questions...I am not to familiar with Sonos products but have been looking into a relatively "cheap" option until I can fork over the big bucks for a Nuvo, etc. Was thinking about trying to implement a Sonos Connect that way I can control the music source from my phone / tablet / etc.

Current setup is about 4 zones of 2 speakers each with VC's at each location connected centrally to reg A/V receiver (w/speaker selector). Right now I control via a pc's output into the A/V receiver but I have no way of selecting music from my Server HDD's remotely. I've tried a few apps like g-mote, etc and they work but are shotty at times.

Just curious if you think the Connect will work for the time being? Was planning on just using the existing old A/V receiver as the amp instead of going with the Connect Amp version.

Suggestions / Comments / Advice?

Thanks,
Michael
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 09:06 AM
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You will need 4 Sonos Connect amps if you want 4 separate sources in those 4 zones. Connecting them to you receiver won't really accomplish anything unless you only want 1 zone feeding 4 rooms.
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ifor View Post

You will need 4 Sonos Connect amps if you want 4 separate sources in those 4 zones. Connecting them to you receiver won't really accomplish anything unless you only want 1 zone feeding 4 rooms.

That is the setup now...I have one source feeding all zones. So no big issue there......anything else I should know?
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 02:56 PM
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If you plan to have one Connect feed four pairs of speakers, you will need some kind of impedance matching in the chain to keep things stable. The Connect handle up to 4 ohms, so if your speakers are 8 ohms, then 2 pairs is done easily. More than that, you should look at speaker selectors that have the impedance matching function. Unless your VC's have them already, in which case your speaker selector can be a basic one. You will also need an internet connection where you place the Sonos unit. If you don't have one, you can get their Bridge unit.

One caveat - once you use Sonos, you will most probably give up any thoughts of other systems! It rocks!
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-13-2013, 05:46 PM
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He already has a speaker selector.

You can use the Connect as a source feeding the receiver, or the Connect Amp feeding the speaker selector directly.

I wouldn't double up the speakers assuming that 8 ohm speakers are 4 ohm speakers when doubled up. Impedance fluctuates and can easily dip below 4 ohms and when doubled up, will drop below the thresh hold and likely clip or shut down the amp. This is bad Mmmmkay.

Just make sure that you use the volume controls on the wall and not the volume built into the Sonos as you want to feed the receiver with as high as signal you can and use the receiver volume to set the upper limit for your room volumes.
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-14-2013, 07:39 AM
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I have a very similar setup and am considering the Sonos Connect -- I would have the Sonos Connect hardwired to the home network, and am considering running it into a multi-channel amplifier like the Emotiva UPA-500, then going to 4 zones (1 pair of speakers in each zone). I am fine with having just one source to all 4 zones. Would this work? I considered using a Connect Amp into a speaker selector, but as ifor stated above, worried about the load on the amp.
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-14-2013, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by strong95 View Post

I have a very similar setup and am considering the Sonos Connect -- I would have the Sonos Connect hardwired to the home network, and am considering running it into a multi-channel amplifier like the Emotiva UPA-500, then going to 4 zones (1 pair of speakers in each zone). I am fine with having just one source to all 4 zones. Would this work? I considered using a Connect Amp into a speaker selector, but as ifor stated above, worried about the load on the amp.

If you're just using a single source, there's no benefit to all those amps (you'd need two of them) vs. a single amp and a speaker selector. But if your budget allowed for a Connect plus two UPA-500's, you should be considering a WHA system instead. Which could be a pair of Connect:Amps each feeding two rooms, as a minimum suggestion.

Also, for WHA amps, you want to choose one that has auto-on/off signal sensing so it's not running 24/7...

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post #8 of 19 Old 06-14-2013, 10:15 AM
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I was referring to the notion that, the Sonos was good driving two pairs of speakers rather than using a speaker selector, as another poster suggested.
When using a speaker selector, the load I have seen the most is around 6 ohms, more than enough for a single Connect Amp to drive.

But if an amp or receiver has treble and bass controls, that might be a reason to use them. Other than that, it really won't make a difference either way.

But personally, I like using multi-channels amps if the budget allows.
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post #9 of 19 Old 06-14-2013, 11:05 AM
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So, I could either go Connect Amp + speaker selector, or Connect + multi-channel amp for about $100 more. Worth it, or should I save my hundred bucks? I am a rookie here, so I appreciate your help.
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-14-2013, 11:14 AM
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Well, the Emitova is only a 5 channel amp when you need an 8 channel for 4 pairs of speakers.
I would go with the first option. Or a Connect into a stereo receiver like the Pioneer Elite A20 and have bass and treble controls, then into a speaker selector.
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post #11 of 19 Old 06-14-2013, 11:34 AM
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Aha, got it. Misunderstood the 5 channels on the Emotiva. Thanks!
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post #12 of 19 Old 06-14-2013, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Man, I don't respond for one day and my thread gets hijacked (kidding) smile.gif

So just to reiterate for my original question, going with the connect or connect amp would work in my particular case? I was thinking about just using my original A/V receiver that I use now for my distributed audio but wondering if I should just go with the connect amp instead?

Another option I have tossed around, instead of forking money to get Sonos just buying a better HT receiver (newer / mine is ancient) and using zone 2 to power my WHA stuff? They come these days with the ability to do internet radio, pandora, etc and a lot are even networked (which should in theory allow me to reach my HDD filled with music) and can even be controlled via app on smartphone / tablet? Any thoughts on this as well.....

Thanks for the help....and feedback

Michael
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post #13 of 19 Old 06-14-2013, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1chael View Post

So just to reiterate for my original question, going with the connect or connect amp would work in my particular case? I was thinking about just using my original A/V receiver that I use now for my distributed audio but wondering if I should just go with the connect amp instead?

The Connect:Amp would be a better solution, as it will handle power on/off/volume much easier - all from the app on your mobile device...
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Another option I have tossed around, instead of forking money to get Sonos just buying a better HT receiver (newer / mine is ancient) and using zone 2 to power my WHA stuff? They come these days with the ability to do internet radio, pandora, etc and a lot are even networked (which should in theory allow me to reach my HDD filled with music) and can even be controlled via app on smartphone / tablet? Any thoughts on this as well.....

Definitely take a look at that option - there has been a huge increase in AVR features/functionality in the last few years alone. There's probably a number of features you'd like for your primary zone, not even counting the Zone2 functions.

In terms of WHA, the choice will probably come down to the usability of the mobile app used to drive the system (either the Sonos or the one from the AVR), and what Internet music services are supported on the product. Not a clear winner given the choice, but in terms of "future additional services or features", the Sonos would be my bet. But if the AVR covers your needs, net cost is probably lower. However, the Sonos path has a cleaner upgrade path as you can buy more units to expand into a "real" WHA setup.


Jeff

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post #14 of 19 Old 06-14-2013, 03:13 PM
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As Jeff mentions above, Sonos:Connect Amp would be much more straightforward and easier to use as you would have volume control in the app itself.

I currently have a single Connect Amp feeding 8 - yes, 8 - pairs of speakers, as I just need a single source everywhere. Using this through speaker selector and impedance-matching volume controls in each location. Have never had the amp shutting down or anything, and everything is controlled from a single app for the last 3 years. Can't make it much simpler than that. And oh yes, the sound and flexibility is absolutely amazing (depends upon the speakers you have as well, of course).

Here is the speaker selector I use: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006JQ62/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #15 of 19 Old 06-16-2013, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rishi76 View Post

As Jeff mentions above, Sonos:Connect Amp would be much more straightforward and easier to use as you would have volume control in the app itself.

I currently have a single Connect Amp feeding 8 - yes, 8 - pairs of speakers, as I just need a single source everywhere. Using this through speaker selector and impedance-matching volume controls in each location. Have never had the amp shutting down or anything, and everything is controlled from a single app for the last 3 years. Can't make it much simpler than that. And oh yes, the sound and flexibility is absolutely amazing (depends upon the speakers you have as well, of course).

Here is the speaker selector I use: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006JQ62/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Rishi76, I'm very new to this sonos connect thing, but from what I've been reading through it sounds like the connect is what I'm looking for....Just need a little clarification to be sure, I currently have a an older AVR in my garage with just a single zone speaker output going to a speaker selector very similar to yours (but just a 4 pair set-up) with one pair for in the garage and then 3 pairs going out to the pool area in the backyard along with a sub output from the AVR in the garage only (haven't figured for a 2nd sub out back yet?)

So please correct me if I'm not right on this, If I get the sonos connect (without amp) I will be able to hook the line out from the sonos to an aux input on my AVR and stream from the Sonos to my AVR and select my streaming media via an android app along with the volume output of the sonos, so as long as I set my AVR volume level to 50%(or whatever) that would basically be my volume limit the app would have control over via the sonos volume output to the receiver ? Or am I way off ? I'm also under the impression the internet connection to the sonos needs to be cat5 to my modem, or will it connect wifi as well ?
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post #16 of 19 Old 06-19-2013, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by roadking00 View Post

Rishi76, I'm very new to this sonos connect thing, but from what I've been reading through it sounds like the connect is what I'm looking for....Just need a little clarification to be sure, I currently have a an older AVR in my garage with just a single zone speaker output going to a speaker selector very similar to yours (but just a 4 pair set-up) with one pair for in the garage and then 3 pairs going out to the pool area in the backyard along with a sub output from the AVR in the garage only (haven't figured for a 2nd sub out back yet?)

So please correct me if I'm not right on this, If I get the sonos connect (without amp) I will be able to hook the line out from the sonos to an aux input on my AVR and stream from the Sonos to my AVR and select my streaming media via an android app along with the volume output of the sonos, so as long as I set my AVR volume level to 50%(or whatever) that would basically be my volume limit the app would have control over via the sonos volume output to the receiver ? Or am I way off ? I'm also under the impression the internet connection to the sonos needs to be cat5 to my modem, or will it connect wifi as well ?

That is correct, your Sonos setup will work fine as you described. Just be sure to set the impedances correctly in the speaker selector.
Cat 5 connection to modem (or router) is ideal. If they are not close by, you can get the Sonos bridge and connect that to the modem/router, and the Sonos Connect will then connect to internet via the bridge wirelessly. Note that you cannot connect the Sonos Connect directly to the modem/router wirelessly - you need the bridge for that.
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post #17 of 19 Old 09-03-2013, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Just wanted to bring this thread back to life do to a few more questions surrounding the Sonos options for WHA....

1. I understand that Sonos can "see" music files on network but what about if you have a USB HDD connected to a pc with all your music files on it? Will it be able to access that data? Reason I am asking is because that would be the only option for myself. I have my music on a network internal drive but access permission are set so that people that join my network do not have access. I did not want to open it up to "everyone" due to these reasons. So was thinking about just putting all music on an external usb hard drive and using that.....?

2. Those out there that have newer AVR's that are controllable by various smartphone apps....is there a lot of functionality that can be controlled via the app? (i.e. volume)

Thanks,
Michael
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post #18 of 19 Old 09-03-2013, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1chael View Post

1. I understand that Sonos can "see" music files on network but what about if you have a USB HDD connected to a pc with all your music files on it? Will it be able to access that data? Reason I am asking is because that would be the only option for myself. I have my music on a network internal drive but access permission are set so that people that join my network do not have access. I did not want to open it up to "everyone" due to these reasons. So was thinking about just putting all music on an external usb hard drive and using that.....?

A USB hard drive attached to a PC is just a hard drive - you make it into a shared network drive the same way. And any network share drive (PC or NAS-based) can have username/password credentials assigned to limit access. Which you should do regardless. My shared music is open to the network as READ-ONLY - any device / person on the network can play the files, but you have to login with my credentials if you want to modify the files or add anything.
Quote:
2. Those out there that have newer AVR's that are controllable by various smartphone apps....is there a lot of functionality that can be controlled via the app? (i.e. volume)

Um, if the AVR's app didn't at least control volume, what do you think those apps were for? rolleyes.gifbiggrin.gif

Yes, all of the do a good job of exposing all the basic functions (volume, source selection, sound modes, etc.), and most expose a LOT of the functionality of the AVR. Look at the screenshots in the app stores and you get a good idea of how much is there.

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post #19 of 19 Old 10-10-2013, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Just wanted to update this thread in case anyone cares....lol or for future reference for someone thinking about the same options (new a/v receiver vs. sonos connect)

I bit the bullet and picked up a "used" sonos connect zp90 (non amp model) and figured I would use my existing ancient receiver to power (which is current setup).

So, just so I have this correct...wiring should be rca out from connect to any input (prob will use CD) input on receiver? Can't use the digital out on the connect because my receiver does not have digital connections...just analog, thus using the rca outs.

If I have the hook up correct as stated above, I would guess everything else in the setup would stay the same (right now I have a speaker selector feeding off my receiver that connects all my VC zones)?

Then I was also reading you could go out of the receiver and back into the connect rca in if you wanted to feed radio stations or whatever from the receiver...but I prob won't do that because we rarely listen to just reg radio (everything is either networked music or internet radio..i.e. Pandora).

Other misc questions about the connect:

1. Do you have to install software on pc even though all I want to do is control through smart device?
2. Do they regularly update software / firmware running on the connect and how do you update if they do? Will it prompt you an update is available or do you go out and download somehow?
3. I assume you have an option to port forward a specific port on your router so you can control the functionality of the Sonos app on your smart device from outside your network? Don't ask why...LOL
4. Can you assign a static IP to the connect?

Anything else I may be missing....I am new to the whole Sonos environment?

Thanks,
Michael
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