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4-zone Sonos implementation - Need advice on speakers

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My budget is about $300 a pair for in-ceiling speakers for 3 rooms, and $500 for a pair of outdoor speakers (can be installed, mounted, free standing, whatever). Anyone have any good suggestions for best bang for your buck? I would spend a little more if someone points me to a better quality speaker.

Thanks!
post #2 of 14
I recommend the Polk RC85i in ceilings. Good bang for the buck and easy to install. These are rectangular speakers.

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-RC85i-In-Wall-Speakers/dp/B00006I5O6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354130942&sr=8-1&keywords=polk+85

I have 8 pairs throughout my house. Very happy with them.

If you would rather have circular speakers, the RC80i is the equivalent.

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-RC80i-In-Ceiling-Speakers/dp/B00006BMQT/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1354130942&sr=8-2&keywords=polk+85

No experience with these, but I would assume they're very similar. Great reviews, too.
post #3 of 14
There are too many brands and models to suggest anything.

Head to your local a/v store to see what they offer. And you can see what a $300ish speaker sounds like. They will all be similar sounding.
post #4 of 14
Can't go wrong with Sonance for distributed audio.

Although I"m not sure what they have in your price range. But, like ifor said, most speakers that $300 range sound roughly the same.

Are you using Sonos for amplification? Or are you getting an external amp with Sonos connects?
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrif08 View Post

Can't go wrong with Sonance for distributed audio.
Although I"m not sure what they have in your price range. But, like ifor said, most speakers that $300 range sound roughly the same.
Are you using Sonos for amplification? Or are you getting an external amp with Sonos connects?

The funny thing is I thought you just misspelled Sonos in the 1st sentence, but then I searched and found some very good reviews for them. The price is actually cheaper then $300 if I buy from BestBuy, so I will head into a local store and see if they have them displayed so I can listen to them. As far as amplification, I am considering Sonos, but it gets pretty expense very quickly. Do you have any good suggestions? I would probably be willing to spend $1k - $2k on a good multi-zoner amplifier. I looked at Nuvo and Russound, but they are on the high side.

Thanks for your input on the speakers!
post #6 of 14
Well, NuVo is supposed to be shipping their new P3100 system (and the two wireless P100/P200 units) starting today. IIRC the P3100 was MSRP $1499, and would provide similar functionality to 3 Sonos units with amplifiers. I've only seen the NuVo at the trade show, so no real world experience yet (really, from anyone) on how well their app and user interface work as compared to a Sonos.

http://www.nuvotechnologies.com/wired-systems/p3100/overview

Jeff
post #7 of 14
We should be getting one of these units in for demo soon but the one thing about hte Nuvo is it has ARC! Can't waite to try it out, just wish it also had a keypad option.
post #8 of 14
4 x Sonos Connect Amps and you're good to go. No need for an external amplifier. They go for $500 a peice so you're at 2g's before speakers.

I can't speak to the Russound stuff. But we do a ton of Sonos systems and clients love it!
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by programmergeek View Post

We should be getting one of these units in for demo soon but the one thing about hte Nuvo is it has ARC! Can't waite to try it out, just wish it also had a keypad option.

Agreed - I really want them to make an un-amplified source version of the P3100 and give it a NuVoNet interface. Would be a great match for the GC and would make them all consistent in terms of streaming/digital content...
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrif08 View Post

4 x Sonos Connect Amps and you're good to go. No need for an external amplifier. They go for $500 a piece so you're at 2g's before speakers.
I can't speak to the Russound stuff. But we do a ton of Sonos systems and clients love it!

So do I just need 4 Connect Amps for a complete system? Will I need a bridge if all my amps are hardwired? All of my hardware will be in the same closet so I have that option. Crap - I will need the bridge for the ipod dock, right?
post #11 of 14
Nope. No need for a bridge. The bridge is only necessary if none of your players can be hardwired.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
So the wife and I took a trip to Best Buy this evening and now I have to change all my plans. She was so impressed listening to the Play:3 and Play:5 players that she no longer wants in-ceiling speakers, but would rather have 4 Play:5s. This is actually good and bad - I don't get my traditional whole-home audio system with speakers in the ceilings, but I do get the added flexibility of being able to move the speakers around wherever I need them (and the whole system will be much cheaper). So the gist of this - I guess I no longer need to look for speakers.

Thanks to everyone who commented - it really helped!
post #13 of 14
Ha! You know there's a common saying in the biz. It's got to pass the WAF (wife acceptance factor)

The free standing stuff is great. Enjoy!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
As a test we purchased a Play:5 (and got the free bridge), and the sound is quite good. I don't know if in-ceiling speakers in the $300 (pair) range would compare favorably or not. My wife is loving the app and being able to choose local radio stations, Pandora radio,, songs from our server, or local songs from her own iPhone. Very nice!

Anyone have any thoughts on PLAY:3 vs. PLAY:5? The PLAY:3 sounded a bit clearer/detailed in the store, while the PLAY:5 is a bit warmer sound. I know the PLAY:5 has two more speakers and speakers, but the PLAY:3s might be enough for our needs. WE would also have the option of adding a Sonos Sub in the future to add some low end bass to the sound. Anybody using two PLAY:3s and a Sonos Sub? Just wondered how they sound together.
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