Home Audio Set Up (How to design)

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I will have a large open plan living area in my extension and am looking at the audio install to this area so that i can wire now for an easier life later down the line.

The room will be where any entertaining happens and will open up onto our garden deck so somewhere where music will be played quite a bit. The room will also be where the main TV is located. To date i have always used a decent 5.1 system but as it is only a section of a far larger room i dont want to be running cables across the floor to the satellite speakers etc.

What are the options for a set up in this room?

I have been looking at a sonos system so that i can add solo speakers to each of the rooms to give a hole house system but i need to get the main room right. The others can be stand alone if required.

Would this work and are there any better/more cost effective options of similar set up

TV Area
Sonos 5.1.2 Entertainment set (Sub and front speakers)
Sonos In ceiling set (can this be linked to the entertainment hub for full surround sound)

Living/Kitchen Area (in same room as TV Area)
Sonos In ceiling set (Can an additional set of speakers be added to this?)

Rest of day
Sonos one units to each room

Sonos seems to have good reviews. Big prices on them though and individual sets so wondering if there are any better systems that operate in the same way.
 
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I would liken the Sonos operating system / ecosystem a bit like the Apple iPod: Both set the standard by which others are judged. There have been plenty who tried to steal those crowns with cheaper alternatives, but when the chips are down the kings still rule. Each has been bettered, but usually at a higher cost.

Sonos though comes at a cost, and that cost has just risen by an average of 10% across the board because of - according to Sonos - the world shortage in silicon chips. This first reared its head with PC graphics cards being used for mining bitcoins.

There's nothing wrong with Sonos; and as a brand it holds its prices well in the used market. There was a little bit of a disturbance about 18 months or so ago when Sonos announced they were going to stop support for the earlier generation line-level- and amplified- media players which would have rendered them useless after a while, but the outcry was so huge that they altered their plans. That aside though, it's been reasonably good news from the brand in most other areas.

The ARC was a welcome update for the tired and woefully out of date Playbar. Even when Playbar launched, many of us in the industry questioned the lack of HDMI ARC support. Thankfully, the new ARC sound bar addressed that. The ability to run ATMOS overheads was welcome too, but the cost of the two speakers and amp to drive them is pretty colossal. £1300 just for these three bits. You'll need some fire hoods as well if there's a room above when people live of sleep.

The complete Sonos package of ARC + Sub + Play speakers as surrounds + the in-ceiling pack and some fire hoods tips the scales at roughly £3.25K. This opens up a few alternatives and even a hybrid system that still retains the Sonos ecosystem.

Both Yamaha and Denon/Marantz make multiroom systems using wireless speakers. For Yamaha, the multiroom enhancement feature is called MusicCast. For Denon/Marantz, they call their version Heos. Both companies make sound bars, and each can have wireless side surrounds using their own versions of Play One and Play 5. Of the two alterative brands, Yamaha is the more complete.

The top-of-the-range sound bar was the YSP5600. That's recently one end-of-life. IDK if the replacement has been announced yet.

Where the 5600 scored over the Sonos ARC starts with the fact that this is basically a mini AV receiver inside a sound bar. You have multiple inputs, and the latest version of HDMI input for full HDR DolbyVision compatibility from external streamers and UHD disc players. The bar uses upfiring directed audio beams for virtual ceiling height speakers, so you don't need to spend on speakers or rip the ceiling apart to fit them. As well as a connection for Yamaha's own wireless sub, the YSP5600 also has an RCA phono out for a wired sub. This opens up the possibility of using some very good (and potent) aftermarket subs from BK and SVS that are more capable of pressuring a large open space with much deeper bass than the Sonos sub can generate.

The next step up is a full AV receiver with a speaker package. Once again, Yamaha MusicCast and Denon/Marantz Heos have some options. Wireless side surrounds as part of a 5.1.2 system are still part of the game plan. The inceiling heights would be run from the AV receiver via speaker wires. It's a less costly and less complicated solution than running power for the Sonos Amp and then still having speaker wires.

This time, Denon is possibly the brand to offer more choice in AV receiver. For speakers, you could go floorstander, or stand-mount, or on-wall, or in-wall. Subs: BK and SVS remain the strongest contenders.
 
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If you want whole house audio in Sync Sonos can't be beaten imho.

They have supported all players from the beginning (and still do with the S1 app), all new kit is on S2.

I have 10 Sonos units including the Move and never had a problem.

Bare in mind the ARC will not support DTS audio natively, and it it reliant on your TV to pass though Dolby and Atmos correctly (there is an Arcana add on box but that is none Sonos).

Apart from a few niggly App Updates I've had no problems at all with Sonos, it is expensive but just works..

Google integration is reportedly a bit poor but we use Alexa and it's great.

Spotify can control Sonos through the Spotify app directly.
 
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Thanks that gives me a bit of info to go away and research further.

I dont really have an option for wall mount or stands due to the room layout and not wanting cables everywhere. Are ceiling speakers any good or do the high end sound bars give the full surround feel without additional speakers?

The living/kitchen area will probably need ceiling speakers as there are no other options
 
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You can run Sonos Amps with Sonace? ceiling mount speakers.

As for the sound bar you really want the Sub and surround speakers to finish it off if you are into your audio.

With the Sonos Amps and ceiling speakers you will still haven the "whole house" in sync, you can pipe music from any player so if you are watching TV you can have that through the whole house.

As said it's not cheap but they have supported their players far longer than any other smart speaker manufacturer.
 
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