Another Outdoor Audio Thread

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
152
NE Oklahoma
Okay - I am trying to plan my outdoor audio setup. I know that there are literally hundreds of outdoor audio threads already on here and I have read through a ton of them already. I have gotten lots of good information from those threads, but I am still struggling a little bit to grasp exactly how to configure my setup. Just a little background on me, I am an industrial controls/instrumentation engineer. I design control systems for combustion equipment that goes into refinery/petrochemical facilites. So my ignorance here is around understanding what I need to use, hardware wise, to make this system do what I would like. Just not my forte.

Reading through these threads, I have decided, based on the actual reviews, and bdavis466 comments regarding his experience, that I am going to use the Monoprice Sycamore 2.1 system, for part of my setup. I am considering using 2 of these systems with the the maximum number of satellites added (8).

So I have included a layout image of the pool and backyard area. I have added several colored items around the pool depicting several things. Here is the legend:

light blue circles - Monoprice subs
red dots - monoprice satellites, facing the pool
green stripes up at the house - yet to be determined outdoor speaker mounted under the eave
Orange area - new patio and we are extending the gable out to create a covered area.
Purple stripes - outdoor TV's - one facing the pool, one facing the patio area.

Audio Mark ups.jpg


The main question I have, is what do I use to drive all of this? I know I need an amp of some sort. I primarily stream music, although I also have an extensive iTunes library from the CD's I collected as a teen/young adult back in the late 80's and through the 90's. I am bought in to the Sonos platform at the moment. I don't have a ton of stuff, but I am running 3 of the Play1's and the Beam sound bar. Obviously, in this day and age, I would like to be able to control with my iPhone. May not be possible, I dunno.

I think, based on my research here, that I would like to control the volume levels separately between the satellites around the pool and the eave mounted speakers up at the house. Not sure if the satellites should be able to have volume control from one side to the other or not. I don't really think so.

I would also like to be able to tie the TV's into the audio.

Would the Sonos Amp be able to handle this setup? How would I go about adding the individual volume control?

Thanks everyone for taking a look. Hope you aren't reading through this thinking "oh geez, another one!"

--Jeff
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
871
West Palm Beach/Florida
You have almost answered your own question.

2 - 3 Sonos Amps should do what you want. The number would depend on how much individual volume control and power you want.

So ideally you would want the Sonos Amps right beside the TV so that you can use them as an input. Otherwise you will need to wire input wires from the TV to the amps wherever you put them.

Depending on what you want to spend you could have 1 amp drive each of the green speaker pairs or drive all 4 green speakers on one amp and have another amp for the monoprice speakers. Each of the new Sonos amps have about 100 watts of power so they should be find to drive what you want.

You will have to wire the amps to all the speaker so I assume you are running that wire or have done so already.

You can continue to use your Sonos app and echo/google devices to control the amps just like you control your existing Sonos stuff. The only downside on Sonos is it is expensive.
 
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bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,490
San Clemente, CA
You can run 2 of the Monoprice systems off one Sonos amp. You need a second amp for the patio which can power (4) 60 watt speakers.

Only one amp needs to get hooked to the TV via a HDMI ARC setup, the other amp can play the TV audio just like your other Sonos speakers can.

8 satellites is a lot. Maybe start with the 4 and see if that meets your needs.
 
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Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
152
NE Oklahoma
@bdavis466 - Thanks for the feedback on the number of satellites. I will get 2 of the systems and hold off on the additional ones for now. And you anticipated my question about the TV. I was going to ask if I would need to connect to both amps or if I could go to one and then link them together through the Sonos app.

@Katodude - I have not yet run the wire but I know I will have to pull cable for everything. Not looking forward to that!

Thanks for the advice guys. Greatly appreciate your time.

--Jeff
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,810
NE/Pa
I run conduit with break out boxes for each speaker in my installs. I don’t use direct burial. I don’t like it. Preference. If u run conduit. No need to worry.
I agree with brain. 4 sats for now. My pool is 35 long and I’m doing 4 to light it up.
setup sounds good that u have planned. Spend the money now on multiple zones the right way so u can controlvolume properly. Multiple units is the way to go.
 

Cephrael

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2019
255
Massachusetts
I was just about to ask a similar question. I have 2 sycamore 2.1 system plus the 4 additional satellites and am literally staring at my pool trying to plan the layout. I bought 2 of the Monoprice unity 450w(bridgeable) amps to power my system. I have an echo input to plug in for an audio source. Any suggestions? Sprinklers just got done so sod going in after speakers get placed.
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
456
Thornton, PA
Nice setup! Do you happen to have any measurement equipment to help with placement of the subs? SPL meter, measuring mic like omnimic or REW? You can go by ear but easier to do with some type of measurement gear.

I have a similar setup with a number of channels/zones and after some research picked up a Sonance multi-channel amp on ebay to drive all the different channels/satellites. I'm running the Sonance DSP8-130 (among a few others including DSP2-750 and DSP2-150) which is an 8 channel amplifier with onboard EQ (controlled via mobile device) with 130 watts x 8 channels at 8 ohms and can also run at 4 ohms as well. The DSP/EQ is a fantastic feature to dial in the sound, especially outdoors. They can be found easily on ebay for 400-500 and would take the place of about 4 Sonos amps. They also have auto power on/off via the audio signal. Connect one of them to a sonos connect (or port) and you're good to go.

As far as speaker/subs - Curious to hear your feedback on the monoprice sat/sub combos. I almost went that route but decided to use a combination of rock speakers, Sonance SR1 subwoofers (2, soon to be 3), and outdoor wall mounted speakers. Really happy with the setup so far but always tweaking trying to improve.

As far as the wiring - I do direct burial under landscape fabric since I expanded the setup after everything was built with the exception of conduit under paver surfaces, etc. If I knew where I wanted to place everything prior i may have had the hardscape crew drop in more conduit but you know what they say about hindsight. :)
 
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Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
152
NE Oklahoma
Hi Gorilla - I do not have any measurement equipment. To be honest, that didn't even occur to me.

That Sonance amp is nice. And is very tempting, especially with the price of the Sonos Amp. Still not sure what I am going to do on the amp(s). I'm still mulling that over. I think, for me, the ease of use of the Sonos Amp will win out.

Speakers were ordered from Monoprice and should be here within a week or so. I ordered their 6.5" weatherproof speakers for the patio speakers (Monoprice 6.5in Weatherproof 2-Way Speakers with Wall Mount Bracket (Pair White) - Monoprice.com). I'll see how they are. For the money, I can use them for a couple of years and upgrade later. With as many projects as I have going on, it will probably be a month before I get everything installed.

I'm planning on just running direct bury cable. I would like to do conduit and break out boxes and everything, like Jimim does, but the direct bury should work just fine.

--Jeff
 

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
152
NE Oklahoma
Got the 2 monoprice sycamore systems wired up today to the Sonos Amp. I ended up going with all 8 satellites. I didn't try it with just the 4 satellites so not sure what the difference is, but I don't feel like having all 8 is too much. Step number next is to get the eave mounted speakers installed.

These sound great! I am so stinking happy with them! Thanks to @bdavis466 for posting his experience with them, because that is what drove me to them.

Thanks,

--Jeff
 

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
152
NE Oklahoma
Finally got out and finished burying the cables. Here are the Monoprice speakers situated around the pool. Trying to figure out what to put in for the planting/rock bed around the pool. Don't want to be weed eating around the speakers and lights if I can avoid it.

Amazing how long all of the beautification takes. I suppose time/money makes it happen faster but I'm out of both after the pool and the sound system, and now we are moving on with the covered patio expansion, so the money is drying up even faster!!!

A few pics of the speakers to share. I'm waiting until the patio expansion is done to hang the speakers under the eaves.

A question that I kind of hit on earlier, never directly asked... I am wanting to put 2 televisions out here, one visible from the pool and one up under the covered patio (purple lines on the original post picture). How can I run those so that they can be synced together for viewing the same program on both screens? Do I need to bring them both into some sort of server/hub? They will be smart TV's. I will probably have a DVD player mounted next to my Sonos amps as well, in the event what we want to watch is not available for streaming.


Audio 1.JPG


Audio 2.JPG

Audio 3.JPG

Audio 4.JPG
 
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