Looking for a wireless audio setup throughout the house...

Block215

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First off I'm a complete amateur and am just looking for some tips and advice on what I am trying to accomplish. I basically want to an audio system that will play audio from the tv, cd's, bluetooth from android phone, mp3, whatever and for the audio to play wireless-ly throughout the whole house with speakers in multiple rooms in the home.

Can you guys please give me some knowledge, advice, tips or anything that can help me going forward? Thanks.
 

Rogue Leader

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Dec 22, 2014
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+1 on Sonos.

In my home I have 16 in ceiling Polk speakers (18 speakers total if you include my surround center and sub) which are run by a 12 channel Episode amp and 3 Sonos connect boxes.

The Sonos connect boxes (~$349 ea) can be synchronized to all play the same thing or different things. They output to different combinations of channels on the amp which triggers on and off depending on sound. One of the boxes also outputs to my surround sound which is the last 4 speakers + center and sub, so that I need to manually turn on and set the volume to match the other speakers. Now this setup was a bit expensive and required wiring the speakers up before the house was complete.

Sonos also offers powered speakers or even connect boxes with amps to run your own speakers. So you could put powered speakers throughout the house and sync or run them independently (the Sonos app makes this easy with grouping). You could also use 1 connect or connect amp box as your "input" basically it has an RCA, coax digital, as well as optical input which you can plug in a CD player, tv, whatever and use that as an additional source (aside from the built in apps which is like Pandora, XM, Spotify, Amazon, and can play music stored on your phone or on a computer set up as a media server in your home).

It all depends how much you want to spend and how open your house is.
 
Look into Sonos. Not the cheapest but very easy to set up, Works great with well developed software, good tech support and can be done in stages. They have stand along speakers, a soundbar, or boxes that will connect to existing systems or passive speakers. Very reliable and supports all the streaming service. Free app for control.
 

Rogue Leader

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Dec 22, 2014
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+1 on Sonos.

In my home I have 16 in ceiling Polk speakers (18 speakers total if you include my surround center and sub) which are run by a 12 channel Episode amp and 3 Sonos connect boxes.

The Sonos connect boxes (~$349 ea) can be synchronized to all play the same thing or different things. They output to different combinations of channels on the amp which triggers on and off depending on sound. One of the boxes also outputs to my surround sound which is the last 4 speakers + center and sub, so that I need to manually turn on and set the volume to match the other speakers. Now this setup was a bit expensive and required wiring the speakers up before the house was complete.

Sonos also offers powered speakers or even connect boxes with amps to run your own speakers. So you could put powered speakers throughout the house and sync or run them independently (the Sonos app makes this easy with grouping). You could also use 1 connect or connect amp box as your "input" basically it has an RCA, coax digital, as well as optical input which you can plug in a CD player, tv, whatever and use that as an additional source (aside from the built in apps which is like Pandora, XM, Spotify, Amazon, and can play music stored on your phone or on a computer set up as a media server in your home).

It all depends how much you want to spend and how open your house is.
 

Block215

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May 31, 2016
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The house is being fully redone soon buy in going to avoid the contractor of tearing the walls done. That setup does seem a bit pricey for me. Someone recommended the Yamaha music cast. Is that any good? I'm also looking for wireless speakers, if that's possible.

 

Rogue Leader

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Yamaha is ok, but Sonos is the best even if it is pricey. How many rooms do you want to have sound in?

So you won't be installing speakers or wiring correct (your first comment was a little confusing)?
 

mjslakeridge

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With wireless speakers, you are still going to have to get power to them to recharge the batteries so they aren't really wireless in that sense. For permanent, installed speakers, you should really consider passive, wired speakers if at all possible.
 

Block215

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Sorry about confusing you guys. I'll just tell you what I want to accomplish.. I want a system that connects to the tv and have the sound of the tv being played in multiple rooms at once. Also, the receiver I would like to have to play cd's, Bluetooth, whatever as well..

If I wanted to play different sounds in different rooms at the same time, would I need multiple receivers in those rooms?

This is my first time with home studio so bear with me please
 

Rogue Leader

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The easiest way to do different sounds in different rooms would be separate Sonos speakers. They plug into a wall outlet and in the app operate independently. If you have 5 speakers you can have 5 different things playing, or link them together in the app if you want to play the same thing between 2 or more speakers.

The only other way to do this involves a lot of wiring, and far more expensive equipment.

Theres also a way which would be to have a receiver in each room that you would connect to the phone via bluetooth. This would probably cost the same or more than Sonos speakers and you would lose the distributed approach (same source for all, if you want).

IMO

Lets say you have 5 rooms, in 4 of them put Sonos speakers like these:

http://smile.amazon.com/SONOS-PLAY-Compact-Speaker-Streaming/dp/B00EWCUK98/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1464724045&sr=1-2&keywords=sonos

Or this if you want to go fancy:

http://smile.amazon.com/SONOS-PLAY-Ultimate-Speaker-Streaming/dp/B014LFINIA/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1464724045&sr=1-4&keywords=sonos

Then in the 5th room (where the TV is) if you are not going to use a surround sound setup for watching movies buy this:

http://smile.amazon.com/SONOS-CONNECT-Wireless-Amplifier-Streaming/dp/B001CROHU4/ref=sr_1_8?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1464724045&sr=1-8&keywords=sonos

And connect the TV to it and also buy a pair of regular speakers, such as:

http://smile.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-T15-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B002RJLHB8/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1464724144&sr=1-1&keywords=polk+bookshelf+speakers

This last unit because you connected the TV to it, you can distribute that TV sound to the other Sonos units using the app.
 

Rogue Leader

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Right exactly they work over your home wifi, and "talk" to eachother. Each one is its own "receiver" in reality.

They can play any apps that are included (Pandora, XM, Spotify, Amazon and more) as well as whatever is connected to the RCA or Optical connector on the CONNECT:AMP I mentioned, or any MP3's on your phone, or if you have a media server with music (can be as simple as a network shared folder on your PC).
 

Rogue Leader

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Well, it depends.

My initial suggestion was for a CONNECT:AMP, which will give you 2 channel sound through the speakers I mentioned.

However if you have the space (and money) you may want to get a surround sound setup, which would consist of a receiver, 5 speakers (or 7 or 9 depending how nuts you want to go) and a subwoofer.

In addition you would want to get an unamplified CONNECT:

http://smile.amazon.com/CONNECT-Wireless-Receiver-Component-Streaming/dp/B001CROHX6/ref=sr_1_1?s=aht&ie=UTF8&qid=1464725657&sr=1-1&keywords=sonos+connect

This has no amplifier for speakers like the other one I posted. You would connect this to an auxilary input (like CD or TAPE) on the Surround Sound Receiver, and you would want to connect a line output from the Surround Sound to it.

This will allow you to push the tv sound throughout the house, and/or push your sonos music to the receiver.

Does that sound doable or are we getting a bit too complicated/expensive?
 

Block215

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A bit complicated. I don't need anything crazy. 5 small speakers would do or just a sound bar or whatever by the tv and a couple speakers on the sides of the couch.

If I bought a different brand of a surround sound receiver would I be able to run that with the Sonos as far as the tv sound goes?
 

Rogue Leader

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Yeah you can get whatever sound setup you want, and then just buy the CONNECT box I just linked to integrate whatever you are using into your system.

However if you want to go small, instead of a sound bar, you can use the CONNECT:AMP and 2 bookshelf speakers as I mentioned before, which you can operate as a sound bar, the deficency is you don't get the "surround sound" effect, but TBH the quality of the speakers and amp is way higher.

In going large you need 5 speakers, so you would need a center and then 2 fronts and 2 on the sides of the couch. A subwoofer as well.

This is a low end example:

http://smile.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S3700-5-1-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B00LU0GPAI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464726523&sr=8-1&keywords=home+theater+in+a+box

Does the job then add the aforementioned CONNECT to it for connectivity to the rest of the Sonos speakers.
 

mjslakeridge

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Another thing to consider is the acoustics of the room. When surround became popular 20+ years ago I went all in on the 5 speaker setup - center, left, right, left rear and right rear. Even after balancing (adjusting) the levels of the speakers on each channel using the receiver's built in pink noise generator, the sound from the rear speakers could never be balanced correctly. At the time my main TV was in a 20 x 30 foot room with marble tile floors and 20 foot high ceilings. No matter how much adjusting I did, the sound was terrible. So I gave up on the rear speakers.

I still have the receiver upstairs in my office and am listening to AM radio broadcast of baseball now!
 

Block215

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One more question...I'm reading through the internet and the Play 1 has no way of connecting to the tv's audio from what I've read.. So, I have to buy the connect amp and hook the Polk speakers to the amp and tv making the play 1 in the living room useless for tv purposes? is this true or false?
 

Rogue Leader

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Right the Play 1's would be your speakers you would put throughout the house, so don't even buy one for the livingroom since you have the connect amp instead. The Connect:AMP is where you would plug your TV into its input, and hook up the polk speakers for sound. The Connect:AMP behaves exactly like the Play 1 units (in fact all Sonos units behave the same), its just that it allows you to select that additional external input, and of course it has no speakers so you use normal speakers you would buy.
 
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