Background: Her home was wired for in-ceiling speakers with volume controls in the rooms during construction, including outdoor speakers. She apparently had another room added after the fact, and she mentioned that after that, the sound wasn't very good in other rooms (not loud enough I guess) and didn't really work outside (although it did when I was just there going over this). It looks like the whole house connects via one wall plate, which is currently connected to an old Onkyo receiver. I should have pulled the model, but it doesn't exactly appear to be the top end of the line.
She wants to get rid of that poor performance, and be able to use an iPad to control everything. I guess she also wanted to add some in-wall speakers in a room for TV that could have a different source simultaneously while music is in the ceiling in another room.
My initial thought about the volume issue was that she just didn't have enough juice after she added those extra speakers. I imagine any time she would use the outdoor speakers for entertaining, she'd also have speakers elsewhere in the house going too, meaning she needed every watt that receiver could kick out. There just simply wasn't enough. She probably has at least 15 speakers I can think of.
She contacted a A/V pro to draw something up and she sent me the proposal. I was thinking he would propose a high-end multi-zone AVR with an app to control via iPad. Then an Apple TV could control her music if she wanted.
Instead, he is proposing Sonos products. Here is the proposal:
- Sonos Connect Amp to connect to whole home speakers
- Sonos Bridge for router
- Sonos Controller for control of music source and volume for whole house.
- Verify that volume controls match impedance, replace if necessary.
- Another Sonos Connect Amp for the outdoor speakers. The way he wrote the quote, it looks like the outdoor speakers have their own connections on the wall.
- Another Sonos Connect Amp for new family room in-wall speakers.
Now I know Sonos products are supposed to be pretty good, but I was wondering if they are really the right product for a whole home system. Really the first one. The Connect Amp is 2x55W @ 8 ohms, and it is going to need to drive 13-14 ceiling speakers (if the outdoors have their own amp)? It just sounds like too much to ask of that device. Connect it to two outdoor speakers and it is probably well suited. I'm also thinking that Sonos Controller is redundant if you have an iPad? The Sonos site makes it seem like an iPad can control everything, and it described the controller as....a way to control everything.
So, long winded message, but does anyone have another direction to go? Or do they think this A/V guy's proposal sounds like it would work. It is probably about $3k for all the Sonos stuff and his time to put install. That does buy a nice "traditional" AVR, but it might also not do everything she wants since it isn't all wired that way. Or maybe $2k for a strong AVR with two zones (one indoor, one outdoor) then add a Sonos Connect on top of it, with a Connect Amp for the extra in-wall speakers in the family room? My Aunt isn't an audiophile, she just wants a system that works, so that is what I am trying to figure out. Thanks for reading if you made it this far, and thanks for the help.