Originally Posted by deemac76
Hello all I'm looking to expand my WHA setup in my house and need some help with my setup. I've been reading thread after thread and still with questions for my particular setup. Right now I have a Denon AVR powering 5.1 in the FR and Zone 2 powering Kitchen (open to FR) and LR. Another Denon powering 5.1 in the media room and Zone 2 powering hall/master bath and Zone 3 is not being used. Ideally I would like to have 4 -6 zones starting out and build up to about 10 zones.
Besides the 5.1 in the Family room and Media room, I would like a Zone 1 kitchen/dining, Zone 2 living room/entry (can be combined also), Zone 3 Pool/Patio, Zone 4 Garage (future), Zone 5 Hall, Zone 6 Master Bed (TV audio/music), Zone 7 Master Bath, Zone 8,9,10 Spare Bedrooms (future). My sources would be local media, Pandora (2 accts), Mstr Bed TV, Family room TV (sporting events). I would like individual speaker controls but it's not necessary if I can control source and volume with phone apps. Wiring for keypads will not be difficult upstairs but some places on the 1st floor could be a challenge, so Ipad controlled audio would be ideal since I have a couple laying around.
I don't have a problem adding to my existing setup to achieve the other 3 or 4 zones but I would like to utilize one device/program to better functionality. My budget isn't super crazy but I do understand it will not be cheap either. I appreciate the replies in advance. Thanks
If it were me.
1st, separate Home Theater/TV Zones from the picture. WHA and 5.1 locations are two different things. The only overlap I can see is the potential to re-use speakers in the 5.1 zones. Your "rears" in your 5.1 setup, could do double duty in the room as WHA speakers.
WHA is in the ceiling. I know it doesn't have to be that way, some people envision it as L/R speakers too. But WHA is heard not seen.
So identify locations where your want WHA. Do not power zones from two different receivers, that is just confusing, WHA system goal is simplicity.
If you want each room to have its own volume control (and you do), then you need to look to HW. Old days this was a single source, feeding an impedance matching speaker selector, that fed speaker level wires to volume controls in each zone, and up to the speakers. Modern systems have smarter controls that communicate over cat5 wire from the keypad back to the WHA "brain". This allows for more sources and more control.
Sonos and Chromecast take a slightly different route. They move the "Control" from a "wall mount keypad" to a "iDevice". This is good as some keypads get quite expensive per unit, and you don't have to get up to control the zone. These "smart" devices though are meant to be added for each zone.
I like Sonos, I went with a traditional WHA setup with "Sonos Connects" in a central location feeding directly to speakers throughout the house. My friend did that too for his 4 original zones, but has added Sonos Speakers like the Play1 and Play3 to newer rooms. The whole Sonos system can work as WHA solution, which is pretty cool. He has gone further with a playbar at a TV location, when not watching TV, that playbar acts as another zone. (funny thing is that room has old ceiling speakers connected to a Sonos:Amp that can be grouped with the playbar to create a pseudo 5.1 system (he has the Sonos:Sub too))
Sonos is very flexible, but not inexpensive. Trust me, you get what you pay for, and Sonos has done a good job of keeping the equipment software up to date.
Jautor here will recommend you plan for both ways, and wire up keypad locations. I did this too. Before Sonos, when I built my house, I thought I wanted a "Concerto" system. But I wasn't sure. So each zone has a wall plate location with a Cat5 cable at it, plus the speaker wire for the zone passes through that wall plate too. This way I could go any route when I installed my system. Sonos has meant those wall plate locations have never gotten used.
Typically a zone is 2 speakers in a pair. I have a couple zones with 4 speakers, there are some impedance concerns when doing this, but those can be addressed later. Most my WHA speakers are 6.5" JBLs, a couple work zones are Monoprice speakers, and I have rock speakers outside.
Sonos doesn't have to be "home run", that is an advantage. It can be located close to a source, in this case your receiver. The Sonos Connect and Connect:Amp have line-in options. I'll pause for now.