Saturday, March 7, 2020

Sonos - Pairing with outdoor speakers and balance

To cover our patio and pool areas I have been running two Sonos Amps and some speakers. I want to give everyone some options and opinions on the set up.

I did just upgrade my soon to be outdated amp to the newest version. The top speakers I have were from a promo Crutchfield ran some years ago that were free with an Amp purchase. They are these

Honestly not great speakers. They are very bright and treble heavy. So I have mixed them with these

Now these are great speakers and for the money, amazing. I have compared them to the similar in style Bose versions and they match up. Let me be clear, do not buy the smaller woofer units. They do not have the same sound and the pair I did have went bad. I am curious about the new "Premium" versions. If anyone knows about them, let me know!

The issue is that when the above speakers are put to one amp, the white speakers are much louder. So if you look in the middle of the amps you will see this volume control (Only on the white speakers)

This allowed me to set the volume a bit lower and bring better balance.

So now I have a rocking set up on the patio and the pool area! 6 speakers with 2 amps and volume control by each pair of speakers. I am also adding (See previous post) the Move to the back of the pool for Alexa and more sound!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Sonos Connect (And the little amp that could)

Recently I upgraded my main system to the Sonos 5.1 where before I had a receiver and it was connected to the Sonos system with a Connect. In addition the Amps I had for the pool, garage and patio are going end of life in May so time to do the Trade up for the discount and upgrade. However the Connect I had was not end of life but I needed an amplifier that would work with the Connect. I decided to put the Connect on the speaker on the garage and off to research an amp. But hey I didn't want to spend a ton of money, it is just the garage.

I landed on THIS amp bought from Amazon. Now it says on the description it is 100 X 100. There are a couple of things that effect this number. First is the voltage/amps of the power supply. It does not come with the power supply so I wasn't quite sure what connector it had till it arrived. What worked perfectly was an old Lenovo laptop power cord (The small connector not the larger one) That puts out 3 amps at 20 volts so perfect!. The second thing that effects this is the Ohms load. I had it at 4 ohms (Each channel has two 8 ohm speakers) 4 Ohms produces a bit more power. The honest power output is probably around the 60 watts per channel

Before I hooked up the Connect and new amp I had the original Sonos Amp rated at 50 X 50 which is my comparison point. Honestly this little amp (By little I mean like two decks of cards little) is amazing. I have two Polk speakers and two old higher end book shelf speakers. The sound was a bit bright (But hey the largest woofer in this set up is 5") Bit of boost from the connect and away we go! In fact the amp is set at half volume and the Connect at a high level is less than half so lots of power left!

With all of this said, I do believe the onboard amp of the Sonos is a bit higher quality (Just is warmer than my little amp) but for the price difference and in the garage what the heck.

I would highly recommend this combo!