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Sonos Wireless Sound System

Sonos Play Bar

Sonos Play Bar

SONOS – A Problem Solver

At ConcordCarpenter we are all about improvising, adapting and overcoming obstacles or problems that plague the home remodeling industry. We recently took a close look at Sonos, a flexible and functional home sound system designed to work with wireless and existing wired speakers. We wanted to see if Sonos could “remove the pain,” with two remodeling conundrums we often face when considering adding music on a remodel:

  1. Filling a home with music, without having to rip open walls, and install wires everywhere.
  2. Utilizing an existing wired speaker system; to be more simplistic, versatile, easily controlled and enjoyable.

Before we jump into these two issues, let’s first tell you a little about Sonos.

What is Sonos?

Sonos, a US company founded in 2002, manufactures a smart system of HiFi wireless speakers and audio components and allows the user wireless control of their digital music collection. This system allows individual or synchronized multi-room listening and control, “in every room” of your home.

The Sonos wireless sound system works by connecting one single device to your home network to play music, from either online or in-home sources.  It then allows you to add more Sonos devices, up to a maximum of 32, that all connect using a secure wireless mesh network called Sonosnet.  Adding the element of portability to your home computer-based music collection is easy, using wireless technology and this is the premise that Sonos works off of.

A free Sonos controller “App” lets the user browse and play music, over your Sonosnet from almost any device over, such as:

Wireless Control of Wired Speakers

How Sonos Solves Problems

As mentioned earlier there are two issues that present itself when faced with adding music into a home.   Either you choose a wired speaker system, wireless or a hybrid mix of both.  Whatever you choose Sonos has equipment to control them wireless, synchronized and with multi-room listening and control.

Adding Music During a Remodel

When remodeling a home or portion of a home, we often have the luxury of open stud walls or floor joist bays to run speaker wire.  These cavities obviously allow for easier installation and of speaker wire and speaker placement and we often take advantage of this when remodeling TV and formal entertaining rooms.

Additionally, clients seem to favor installing low profile ceiling or flush wall speakers, claiming they are more desirable to the decor of the room than shelf or surface mounted models.

During a remodel, we often only need to open up certain walls, leaving others in the house untouched.  That brings us to the problem of deciding whether to open the untouched walls to run speaker wires or go wireless.

When trying to fill your house with music you have scenarios to choose from:

All Wired Speakers

Oftentimes people will opt for a hardwired permanent speaker location due to having a solid-wire connection.   Many folks already have quality speaker wire installed in these areas, and choose to reuse it, or they’re looking to save money by re-using their current speakers.

Sometimes connecting to an existing wired speaker system, or shelf speakers is less expensive, and can result in less wall or ceiling patching repairs.


Sonos Play-3 Wireless Speaker

All Wireless Speakers

Many times older homes, or homes with certain structural framing or aesthetic trim or wainscoting features prevent or make installing a wires system a poor option. Cutting into these structures is often too much work, cost or trouble to reap the benefit of a wired speaker. In these situations a wireless speaker technology is a perfect solution.

Sonos wireless speakers are powered by an electrical outlet and can be placed in any or all rooms you desire. The simplicity and ease of use is what make this an attractive solution to the “music anywhere concept.”

Wireless speakers are an outstanding solution for people looking to add music to their home without the difficulties and problems that wired systems present.

Being able to fill a home with music without having to open up the walls is a desirable option in our book!   The Sonos system removes the pain of having to deal with a wired system and the complications that often result from retrofitting wires into existing finished walls. Wireless definitely saves time, and money from having to patch and paint walls or ceilings.

Mix of Wired and Wireless Speakers

In many higher end home remodels, we often find certain rooms already have quality speaker wire and high-end speakers installed.  Sonos is capably of controlling both wireless and wired speakers, and has the ability to mix and match the speakers.  This opens more solutions for the user and allows for opportunities to place music in areas that were once not an option .

In these situations we see clients using their existing wired speakers and deploying wireless speakers in more difficult to access or remote areas of the home, workshop, garage and patios.

Continue reading . . .

Music Everywhere Concept

How Sonos Make Music Listening Better?

Wireless technology, such as Sonos, allows you to stream audio from a range of devices to all types of speakers, in multiple rooms, simultaneously using a wireless connection.   Sonos gives users complete control over their music and the ability to listen to all of their music, no matter where that music is stored.

Additionally, people are finding that they listen to more genres and older “forgotten” music, more music options than they’ve ever experienced before.  The addition of a streaming music services gives our client’s a better and broader music experience.

Sonos also lets you listen to any of your computer or storage devices, and additionally allows you to easily customize playlists with Internet based music subscriptions such as:

Sonos Video Review

What People Are Saying?

Rob, an architect and client of mine, has Sonos running his entire house and connected to pre-existing wired speakers in all but two areas. He uses his office desktop and iTunes as his music library.

He is using the following Sonos gear:

We did a lot of work on Rob’s pool house, it’s timber framed, and was difficult to hard wire, so instead we had the electrician locate outlets in inconspicuous areas for the Connect-Amp & Play 3 speaker.

Sonos Play-1 Wireless Speaker

Rob’s family is into music and everyone listens to different music at the same time.  He loves that he can stream the internet for music, has access to more Internet radio, and can usually find any song he can think of to listen to in a matter of seconds. He finds that he is listening to way more music than he normally would with Sonos and his subscription to Spotify.

Rob feels that the best part of Sonos is being able to change volume individually for each zone. Adding to “queue”, “playing next”, playing music from your own device.

For example:


What Else Are People Are Saying?

Brian, a executive in the high tech industry, installed a Sonos bridge, 3 Amps and 1 Play bar in his newly constructed home. For his music library he utilizes his iTunes account, Rhapsody and Pandora.

According to Brian, “installation and functionality could not have been any easier, it took less than 10 Minutes to unpack and set up. Adding an additional room after the fact and the sound bar was also very easy. I no longer have any stereo equipment in the house, it’s without a doubt the best feature of Sonos.”

Brian dedicated an old iPad as a main controller to the system but all family members have the Sonos App on their other devices. “The iPad stays on our kitchen counter and everyone in the family uses it. We have music in 4 rooms plus the patio. I love the fact I do not have to look at music controls on the wall, the entire wireless aspect is awesome.”

“I was thrilled to get rid of six large audio boxes and I now use an iPad and the Sonos App as my new entertainment system. “

When I asked Brian how has Sonos changed the way he and his family listen to music he said, “Its music literally in every room of our house. The ability to choose and play background music when guests come over, and allow the kids control of their own music in their bedrooms is amazing.”

Brian describes his Sonos experience as an exploration. “My music listening has gone from listening the same old stuff to an exciting exploration across multiple genres.  With music subscriptions and ability to access different genres through the Sonos App, its super easy to listen to long forgot favorite songs from twenty years ago. “

Brian jokingly referenced the holiday music playing in his house while using Sonos and subscription-based channels. “With the holidays coming, my wife wants all holiday music playing.

I no longer have to go and look for the same old Christmas CDs and fire up the CD player and hope they’re not scratched.   The department store music loop is gone!   Now I have a huge holiday music queue and listen to clear, crisp music.”


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