Hi, I'm going to try to install some ceiling speakers in my house and wanted some ideas on how to set this up. These are mainly for my wife to stream music to these speakers. For now there will be two zones, my kitchen and the master bedroom, both with two speakers each. The question is where to wire them to and how to appropriately connect them to a streaming device, especially one that can be voice controlled such as with using Alexa for example. Here as some options I can think of.
1. The easiest solution would be to wire the speakers so that the connections come out of the same zone in which they are playing and just connect them directly to an amp, which itself is connected to some streaming device such as an echo dot. I can use a small amplifier such as the one linked below:
Aesthetically I'm not too keen on having speaker terminals coming out of my kitchen wall somewhere and having an amplifier sitting on the countertops. That's partly why I listed a small amp to minimize that effect somewhat. Other than that it could work. My bedroom I probably don't mind too much how it looks aesthetically as compared to the kitchen.
2. This option I also wire the speakers to come out of the same zone they are playing in, but instead of having terminals coming out of the wall I connect them to an in-wall bluetooth amplifier such as the one linked below:
I don't know what the quality is but I wonder how great the amp really is. It's nice that it'll just be a bluetooth panel with its own built in amp which will be cleaner, though that particular model isn't exactly nice to look at. I'm not saying aesthetics is everything, but is it one of the bigger subjects in which I'm trying figure out the best layout. I can use the bluetooth or aux line to connect my streaming playing device whether echo dot or other.
3. I have a media panel box in my closet which there will also be a surveillance camera system. Perhaps I can just route the speaker terminals in that closet and connect it to a nice, big, robust amp in there. I have a few spare AVR receivers sitting around collecting dust which I can make good use of. The nice part is that I don't have to worry aesthetically about any speaker wires, terminals or panels in the kitchen walls or any amplifiers connected to them. It may end up sounding the best because I can use a better amp. The problem is how to I remote command whatever streaming device is sitting in the closet from whatever room, whether the bedroom or kitchen, that I'm in. One option is using Sonos Connect or even Sonos Connect-Amp to play the music. I know there is a phone app you can control it with, though again I'd rather be able to use voice activated commands such as Alexa. Sonos is supposed to integrate with Alexa via firmware update at some point this year so maybe that's worth waiting for. The other option is using Alexa to control a Harmony hub which directly controls the streaming device and AVR. I'm not sure which streaming device to use in this case. I wish that each echo could control each other to play music and therefore I could have the kitchen or bedroom echo tell the closet echo to play music.
While I have been mainly using Alexa to stream music from Amazon's collection, I haven't subscribed to Amazon Prime Music, though I am a prime member. I'm also willing to explore other streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, etc. Also future ceiling speaker locations may be in other locations such as the outdoor patio so figuring out a whole home solution plan may be a big factor. Anyone want to share their ceiling speaker streaming setup or offer me any suggestions? Thanks.