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Receiver Help for Indoor/Outdoor Speakers

216 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  jdsmoothie
Hey guys, I'm new here and looking for some guidance on a receiver. The house I just bought has two speakers in the ceiling right above/behind the couch, and another two speakers outside on the patio. I don't have any surround sound speakers currently, I just have a sound bar. I also don't have a receiver, so I want to get one to take advantage of the four speakers that are built in. Additionally, I'd like to leave the option to add a full surround sound system in the future. I've done a little reading, and it seems for a 7.1 system, the two speakers that are built into the ceiling would act at the Dolby Atmos speakers, is that right? Either way, I'd like the option of adding two front, two rear, and a center speaker to replace the sound bar in the future, while still being able to control the outdoor speakers. I went to Best Buy, and was told I would need a 9.2 receiver, seven channels for the indoor speakers and the additional two for the outdoor speakers. Is that right? I saw a few receivers that have second "Zone", so I was under the impression I could use a 7.2 receiver if it had a second zone.
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Most 7CH receivers can generally only do either "5.1 + Zone 2" or "5.1.2 Atmos" which is why a 9CH model was suggested to support "5.1.2 + Zone 2". If the 7CH receiver has Zone 2 pre-outs, you could use it along with an external 2CH amp (or old receiver) to power the Zone 2 speakers. On some 7CH models with dedicated Zone 2 speaker posts (eg. Yamaha A1080), you have the option of either Zone 2 or the Atmos height speakers, but not both at the same time. So you need to determine your main zone and Zone 2 requirements in order to make the appropriate model selection.
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