My old whole house audio is dying, and it’s time to replace it all. What I want to accomplish:
Primary source will be our PC. We do not have or want a TV; we watch movies on the PC & large monitor, and listen to music mostly at background volume levels. Music files will be stored in Apple itunes. I want to be able to control volume and on/off for 3-4 zones remotely, preferably with a smartphone.
The receiver I’m most interested in is the Onkyo TX-NR717. I chose this model because it has 3 powered zones, can be controlled by a smartphone, and is in my price range. I haven't bought anything yet, so I’m open to substitutes on everything.
Zone 1 is a 15’x24’ family room with the PC/monitor. I want 5.1 surround, and I’m most interested in Mirage Nanosat 5.1, connected to the surround outputs on the receiver.
Zone 2 is a living/dining/kitchen about 15’x35’, lazy L shaped.
Zone 3 is a bedroom 14’x16’.
I would like to have a subwoofer in Zones 2&3. Zones 2&3 will be music only.
I want the new speakers to be less conspicuous than my old ones, particularly in zones 2&3. I like the small Nanosats, but the sub with the 5.1 system does not have “speaker out” connections. I’m thinking about buying just the satellite speakers, and separately buying different subs with speaker in/out. I would connect zone 2 and zone 3 on the receiver to the subs in those rooms, then connect the satellites to the subs. Also, especially in zone 2, I want more than two satellite speakers. Can I connect the speaker out wires from the sub to a multi-channel speaker selector and add more satellites after the sub? Is there a better way of doing this? Will this even work?
To complicate this further, if possible I’d like to add a 4th zone outside with a pair of outdoor speakers. Could I use a speaker selector to add the outdoor speakers to one of the zones, even if that zone will have another selector after the sub as described above? I realize I’d have to switch it on/off manually at the selector, but the volume could still be controlled with a smartphone, couldn't it? Another option would be to have some sort of either/or switch that would select between the bedroom & outside: I don't see a scenario where we'd need both of those zones playing at once.
My budget for this is around $2000; more if it makes a big difference, or if it simply can't be done like this. The above mentioned components can be bought for that.
Any guidance you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Its been 25 years since I did the old system, and I'm having a hard time catching up. I've learned a lot snooping around this forum, and it seems like a great place to find unbiased advice. Thanks!