Please help me understand how you're using the 5.1 system. Is that an AV receiver that you can replace the speakers on? Are you currently using 2 small speakers, or 4? Is there any reason why you couldn't re-use that existing receiver if you can get the features you want?
Are you limited to bookshelf speakers, or are floorstanding towers an option? Do the speakers need to be sealed like the sub, or can they be ported?
When you say that you have really bad internet, is that the entire house, or poor wifi to the garage?
So 4 speakers (sealed?), an amplifier to drive them, a sealed sub if necessary. Bluetooth, wifi and/or USB connectivity for your phone.
I'm making the assumptions that the current 5.1 receiver is fine except for wireless connectivity, and that bad internet means poor wifi connectivity to the garage, but the rest of the house is fine.
Keep the AV receiver. If for some reason it needs to go, get the cheapest stereo receiver that can run 2 pairs of speakers. If new, you could get a Yamaha, Sony or Insignia (looks Sony made) stereo receiver at BB.
You can probably find used stuff that's equivalent. You just need to make sure that the receiver has enough inputs for everything you run already plus 1 more stereo input available.
To get better wifi and ethernet to the garage, get a powerline/homeplug kit to extend the house network to the garage. There are several models on Amazon from $60 and up.
TP-Link AV600 (TL-WPA4220 KIT) is an example.
Add a streaming device to to the receiver. A used Sonos Connect can be found on ebay, craigslist, fb marketplace, etc, integrating the garage with the house system. They seem to go for $140 and up.
If you don't like that price point, add an inexpensive (<$50) wifi streamer to the receiver. One of these may do the job:
Phorus PR5 - WiFi only, but can add a USB-based ethernet port. It basically adds much of, if not all the Play-Fi functionality that the Onkyo receiver has built-in to any receiver via analog input (which is why you needed 1 more free).
Dayton Audio WBA31 - WiFi or etherenet. It uses a different ecosystem, but it works the same way as the others. Available at Parts Express.
Both of these devices are also AirPlay compatible. The Sonos system in the house may have gotten firmware upgrades to make them AirPlay/AirPlay2 compatible.
For speakers, try 2 pairs of Yamaha NS-6490. They are large, sealed (so no critters), 8ohm impedance (so easy to drive with an amp), and have a relatively high sensitivity, consistent with their reputation to play loud.
They are inexpensive (their build reflects the price), but no real complaints about audio quality, and they play fairly low.
Check out some youtube reviews of them (just search 'Yamaha NS-6490')
Since they are pretty big with an 8" driver that makes it relatively easy to reach inside, there have been several modifications that have made the rounds to improve them if interested.
They're available via Prime if you want to try them with a relatively hassle-free return if needed.
If you make the 5.1 receiver work, get better internet to the garage, add a Phorus, get 2 pairs of Yamahas, that's about $350, leaving a lot of room for a sub if needed.
Originally Posted by Eaneumann
I’m trying to upgrade my current garage sound system to something better. Currently I’m using an old 5.1 system that I have mounted on my wall all in one spot. The speakers are too small to separate. The garage is 34x24 with 12 foot ceilings. Insulated and heated. Budget is around $1000. More is ok, less is better. It’s just a garage.
I would like to have a speaker in each corner and avoid a subwoofer if possible. I do like bass heavy music, but don’t need this to be booming and bother my neighbors. If I do run a sub, I’d like a sealed unit. I live on a small farm and they’re critters that sometimes get into the garage. This will be for 95% music and 5% tv.
I was looking at four BIC DV62si speakers and a Onkyo 8260 receiver. The speakers get good reviews, but don’t sound like they have much bass. I spoke to Crutchfield and they recommended four Definitive Technology AW6500 speakers and a Cambridge Audio AXR100 which came out to $1,355.
I don’t really need a bunch of fancy features. Bluetooth or WiFi audio would be nice, but I can plug my phone in.
I have a Sonos system in my house and really enjoy that, but I need auxiliary inputs in the shop for the tv and xm. We have really bad internet, so fm radio and xm radio are nice to have in the shop. Plus the Sonos is pricey for what you get. It works well for my wife and guests.
Thanks for any suggestions!