Surround/Multiroom Conundrum

gjd000

Active Member
So, the carnage of a house move is largely behind me, but have had some real fun and games with trying to find the best solution to allow both a full 5.1 System for AV needs and a simple system for the other half to not freak out about everytime she wants to watch TV or listen to music.

I originally had to settle on a Sonos solution as the idea of wires and mess created in hiding them from sight was too much, therefore I was given the OK to buy a Sonos Arc, Sonos Amp for the Ceiling Speakers and reuse our existing Sonos 1's for the surrounds. Unfortunately, the Sonos system didn't cut it as it had bad audio dropouts on the TV and the newtorking capabilities of the Sonos system didn't play nicely with the in-home structured wiring. I'd like to think i'm not really pleased about this, but actually it does mean I get to use my KEF/BK setup and find a new solution!

So to the challenge.

1: I want to have full 5.1 surround, so will have to run cables to the rear surround locations but that will allow me to add height speakers in time.
2: I want to be able to play ALL speakers at once in a multiroom scenario, in-sync and with no fuss.....i.e. Spotify connect needs to work 1st time, every time or my life gets painful.
3: I want to run as few cables as possible. The current wiring for the ceiling speakers terminates at the back of the kitchen.....so connecting to the AVR is not really an option.

My current thinking is to use a Denon AVC-X4700 for the AV piece, and a HEOS compatible Marantz/Denon device for the Ceiling Speakers. Both the AVR and Ceiling Drive units will be connected to structured wiring and a Managed Switch in the Garage, so want to avoid WiFi if at all possible.

Interested in opinions of other ways to achieve this, as well as ideas of other ways to get what I want? Is HEOS better/worse than Musiccast/A.N.Other multiroom solution?

Diagram below......all help appreciated!!!!

Gareth

AV Layout.jpg
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I guess the biggest question here is what caused the Sonos to drop out? What is your official broadband speed (use Ofcom's Speed Checker to find out) as i suspect that something must be wrong if you was having issues with Sonos as it creates it own network in the house and really only drops off when signals are an issue.

If you control things via a smart phone, you can also download the Ofcom Speed Check for many mobile devices ((iPhone version) - (Android version)) which will tell you the internal wifi speed of your router to (try it in all the different areas of the house where you expect to use the device). Without this being of a good solid speed, you can never expect any product to deliver a reliable solution where you don't get ear ache from the missus

So before moving forward, try and figure out why you were having issues with Sonos first as I can see that without checking this first you are going to have headaches along the way no matter what you buy. If the speed is good from the router, yet its wifi is poor, you can uses another router and hard wire into it via the Ethernet port. I use the older 1Gb version of this AC1900 at home and use my BT Home hub as the modem. I switched all the features off inside it that was possible and since then I can receive hi-speed wifi even at the bottom of rear garden which is some more than a couple of house widths from the router and it has to go through walls (and yes I can play music to my Sonos Play 3 here). Prior to that, I couldn't even get a solid wifi signal upstairs and if more than one of us was using it, the speed dropped to a snail and that was infinity 2 which show how poor the Home Hub really is. Since then I've dropped my speed to just infinity (superfast fibre is what I think they're naming it now) as I wasn't unable to achieve the higher speed thanks to Ofcom app bring that to my attention.

I know during lockdown, its been getting some hammer with my lad streaming COD, us watching 4K and my daughter streaming YouTube whilst us all on our phones and none of us notice any speed drop offs, so that should tell you something about how important a good router is
 
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gjd000

Active Member
So the speed to the home isn't the issue. I've got a rock solid G.Fast connection, 300 down/50 up, with regular speed tests actually giving 310Mbps down. The Cabinet is literally at the end of the drive and I work for an ISP......with 1Gbps being installed on the 23rd March! WiFi speed tests from everywhere in the house giving consistently over 150Mbps with Plume Supoerpods.

The Sonos issue was to do with the way Sonos have implemented their mesh solution. It's absolutely fine if you've got a single router providing WiFi around the house, but as soon as you need Mesh/Cabled connections, it doesn't like it. Our place is 50% 1920's Semi and 50% New build......need to use Cabled connections to get full coverage and Sonos basically have a retarded implementation of Spanning Tree that belongs back in 1983.

Anyway, the Sonos gear was returned yesterday and looking to pull the trigger on some Denon gear Monday I think. Hopefully the audio synchronisation can cope with both units being hardwired to the same managed switch!
 

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