Sonos by Sonance Built In Speaker Review

Sonos by Sonance: Built in quality sound paired with the latest technology

We were excited to hear Sonos was launching a new lineup of built in, in wall & in ceiling speakers. For the built in speakers Sonos teamed up with Sonance to launch a lineup of in wall, in ceiling and outdoor speakers engineered to work with the Sonos Amp to optimize the sound quality of the Sonos System.

Sonos is probably one of the most well know smart speaker brands and they have kept pace launching great new products like the Sonos Amp, Sonos Beam, Sonos Playbar and the updated Sonos One speakers with Alexa built in. I personally have Sonos speakers throughout my home and love the amazing sound quality they deliver.

Most people are blown away with the sound quality and ease of use of Sonos speakers and once you get one you end up wanting more.

I’ve also retrofitted houses with existing built in speakers and connected them with the Sonos Amp to deliver high powered premium quality sound using built in speakers many higher end custom homes come with.

However when it came to designing new homes with built in speakers and pairing them with Sonos devices like the Amp we had to choose between different 3rd party built in speaker brands and literally the selection was endless. You wouldn’t believe how many brands of built in speakers there are and choosing the right combination of speaker and amplifier to maximize sound quality for a given space was always a challenge.

Sonos now offers a solution to this challenge and has paired up with long time built in speaker maker Sonance to engineer the perfect built in speaker to work as part of the Sonos System with the Sonos Amp.

Sonance has been around a long time and was one of the higher quality speakers manufacturers that we ended up gravitating too for built in installations prior to the announcement of their partnership with Sonos, so it’s a great thing these two companies teamed up to create an amazing sounding product.

We love that these two companies took their collective knowledge about sound systems and sound engineering expertise and purpose built product to solve the challenge of selecting the right speakers, sound system and amplifier to maximize in home sound quality. No more complex speaker calculations or worries that the built in speakers you selected will sound good with your amp or sound system, just pair the built in Sonos by Sonance speakers with a Sonos Amp and you will have high quality sound streaming throughout your home.

Sonos Amp  designed to power built in speakers

Sonos Amp designed to power built in speakers

How Sonos by Sononance Built In Sonos Speakers Work

If you’re not familiar with built in Sonos Speakers they are designed to work with Sonos Amp to power the speakers and stream music from your phone and are paired with built in speakers like the in ceiling or in wall Sonos by Sonance speakers. The pair of speakers is then hard wired with low voltage speaker wiring to the Sonos Amp that will then provide power, volume control and streaming music directly to the built in sonos speakers.

Sonos Built In Speaker Features

  • each speaker features a pivoting 6-1/2" woofer and 1" tweeter

  • frequency response: 44-20,000 Hz (±3dB)

  • 8-ohm nominal impedance

  • sensitivity: 89 dB

  • maximum power handling: 130 watts

  • power up to three pairs Sonos by Sonance Architectural speakers ( at total of 6 individual speakers) with a single Sonos Amp

  • compatible with Sonos Trueplay advanced custom room tuning to your specific room and layout.

  • paintable grilles included

  • warranty: 1 year

How to Wire Sonos by Sonance Built In Sonos Speakers

Each Sonos Amp can control up to 3 pairs of built in Sonos by Sonance speakers which is a total of six individual speakers. Pairing sonos speakers with the Sonos Amp allows control of 2 more speakers per Sonos Amp than using 3rd party speakers not compatible with Sonos.

Sonos Amp Connection View. The  Sonos Amp  can power up to 6  Sonos by Sonance built in speakers .

Sonos Amp Connection View. The Sonos Amp can power up to 6 Sonos by Sonance built in speakers.

The Sonos Sonance speakers are designed to work specifically with the Sonos Amp and come with a left and right channel for full stereo sound. The diagrams below show the typical wiring that would be required for for whole home audio. The example below shows how you would connect 4 speakers to a Sonos Amp. If you want to connect 6 built in Sonos by Sonance speakers you wire in another speaker on the left channel and another speaker on the right channel, using two wires for each of the additional speakers connected directly to the back of the Sonos Amp as shown.

Sonos Wiring Diagram (3).jpg

If you have 6 speakers in one area of your home you want to control, you could install 6 Sonos by Sonance speakers either in ceiling or in wall speakers and they can be all controlled on one Sonos Amp even if it is a mix of in wall and in ceiling Sonos speakers.

If you want to have individual volume and music control of each room your are placing the Sonos speakers in you will need separate Sonos Amps for each room or zone you want to control. But if you want to group all the speakers in one zone you can use one amp to control six speakers in one zone and they will all be playing the same music at the same volume level from your control on the Sonos Amp.

Sonos Built In Speaker Review: Multiple Rooms Per Zone vs One Zone Per Room

So how do you know if you should have individual zones for each room or if you it will be ok to control multiple rooms with one zone?

The truth is you don’t until you’ve lived with an installed Sonos Amp and Sonance built in speaker system and played around with how you use the system. Here’s the thing, if you follow our general guidelines for wiring below you could always add separate Sonos room control later by adding more Sonos Amps to your existing system without opening walls or adding wiring in the future.

With the Sonos app you can always group or ungroup multiple rooms to sync music with the touch of a button but having multiple zone control is determined by how many Sonos Amps you have in your system. One Sonos Amp = one group with anywhere from 2-6 Sonos by Sonance built in speakers.

To make your Sonos built in speaker system future compatible you should do the following:

  1. Wire each speaker independently with a minimum of 2 conductor 14 gauge speaker wiring if you wiring run is less than 80FT and if your wiring is more than 80FT you should use 12 gauge wiring which will work with speaker runs up to 120-150FT. If you have a wiring run further than that it’s probably best to just dedicate another closet space closer to the speakers to place the sonos amps. Below we have two recommended brands of high quality speaker wire in both 12 gauge & 14 gauge wiring. We recommend these two speaker cables because they have 2 conductors but they also have an outer sheath on them that will protect the wire for in wall and in ceiling installation in a construction environment. With the sheath the cables are easier to pull in wall and will be more resistant to damage which can often occur durring installation.

  2. With the exception of surround sound for a TV or Entertainment center setup you should wire all of your wiring to one common location like your basement, garage, or IT closet. This will allow you to pair up to 6 speakers on one Sonos Amp, and then upgrade with more Sonos Amps in the future to create more zones. If you have runs longer than 150FT then create two common closets for placing the Sonos Amp equipment and try to group the wiring by rooms that you would like in one zone.

  3. When you or your contractor is doing the wiring they should individually label each 2 conductor speaker wire using easily identifiable names like (Master Bedroom Right, and Master Bedroom Left) then they should use zip ties to group wires from the same room together. This will save you lots of headaches in the future and allow you to easily install and troubleshoot the built in speaker sound system.

  4. If you are planning on creating lots of zones it’s a good idea to get a wall mounted power strip with surge protection like this one from trip lite that will make it easy to power the Sonos Amp or other electronics.

  5. . With all of the wiring now run to common locations you can wire up each Sonos Amp with either, 2 , 4 or 6 Sonos by Sonance built in speakers. Remember each Sonos Amp is one “Zone” to add more zones you can add more Sonos Amps and connect the speakers you want in one zone to that amp.

  6. The Sonos Amp is designed to fit nicely in AV Racks but can also be placed on a shelf or wall mounted with a wall Sonos Wall Mount Adapter like these. If you have less than 6 Sonos Amps in one location and you have the wall space, wall mounting the Sonos Amps is a good option because it allows for easy access to the wiring without needing to pull a rack out or fumble with cords on the back side of an AV cabinet. They look nice on the wall so as long as you use cord management like these self adhesive or screw in wire management clips

Recommended Speaker Wire For Sonos Built In Speakers - 14GA

Sonos Surround Sound Wiring Location

If you are planning on installing a surround sound system using built in sonos speakers you have a couple of options for powering your system but in this case you should either locate the the Sonos Amp near the TV and run your surround speaker wires to it, or you can run your surround speaker wiring to the common location, and you should run and 2 HDMI cords from your TV to the common location where your Sonos Amp is located.

Sonos by Sonance Built In Example Speaker Layout

Laying out where you will locate your built in Sonos by Sonance speakers is important to optimize the sound quality you are getting out of your built in speakers. For most rooms 2 built in ceiling Sonos Sonance Speakers will provide more than enough sound for the room. If you have high ceilings, a large room or a large open space more speakers may be required. Below we have an example speaker layout for Sonos by Sonance in ceiling speakers. When positioning speakers you should attempt to place them near the location that a person would be sitting, laying or standing while doing their daily activity. So that means the speakers don’t always go in the center of a room but should be located far enough from walls that the sound will travel and fill the room.

In the bedroom we place the speakers above the bed and slightly offset from the center of the room to optimize listening in while in bed, yet still filling the entire room with sound.

The Kitchen/Living room is the largest room and here we placed speakers in a location that would fill the room and provide some traveling audio through the hallway and tie into the dining room well.

In the diagram below we designate the “Right” channel speakers as Red and the “Left” channel speakers as Green. In the location where the Kitchen and dining room connect we placed two of the “Right” channel speakers next to each-other because it will make it sound like “one” larger right channel speaker rather than going from Right channel audio and abruptly switching to left channel stereo audio. Positioning the Sonos by Sonance in ceiling speakers with back to back right channels as shown at the Kitchen-Dining room interface will help create a more seamless sound transition.

Get Your Built In Sonos Speaker System Professionally Laid-out

If you would like us to to plan your sonos speaker layout for you and provide you with all of the Sonos equipment you need for your home you can email us at info@onehoursmarthome.com and we can optimize your Sonos built in speaker layout for your new home.

Sonos Wiring Diagram (1).jpg

Sonos by Sonance In Wall Speaker Layout

In the example above the home had enough ceiling space to fit Sonos built in speakers the ceiling space. For people who live in lofts, high rises or condo buildings with concrete ceilings or floors it may not always be practical to locate the speakers on the ceiling.

Oftentimes in a high rise or loft the ceiling is solid concrete and it would ruin the structural integrity of the floor to create a hole for a built in ceiling speaker. I ran into this issue while planning a sound system setup for one of my friends here in Chicago. He lives in a high rise and was doing a gut rehab of a Condo they had purchased, the building ceilings were solid concrete so it limited where built in ceiling speakers could be placed. For his unit we ended up using in wall speakers connected to the Sonos Amp for built in sound.

With in wall Sonos speakers you need to make sure the wall you are placing them in thick enough to place the speaker and in a high rise or multi unit building you should be aware of what walls are fire walls. The speaker depth is 3.5” so it will fit in a standard wall framed by 2” x 4” studs.

When working in a high rise or condo building you must maintain the integrity of a fire wall to protect the occupants of the building so cutting into a fire wall for a speaker is not acceptable. Typically fire walls are the ones between units or the hallway and your building engineer or condo association probably has a document describing where the walls are or regulations for making modifications to interior walls.

If you wan’t to add built in in wall Sonos by Sonance speakers to wall that is a fire wall a simple solution is to build a “false” wall or “false column” in front of the fire wall to house the in wall Sonos by Sonance speakers.

You typically want to place the in wall Sonos speakers at ear level to provide the best listening experience. This is not always possible but the ideal height when placing built in, in wall speakers.

Sonos Wiring Diagram (2).jpg

Sonos By Sonance Built In Speaker Review Sound Quality

If you already have Sonos speakers you know why people end up with a whole house of Sonos speakers. Sonos speakers are known for their high quality, ease of use and direct integration with streaming music services.

The Sonos by Sonance built in speakers have the same high quality build as other Sonos products with the built in speaker engineering from their partner Sonance. The first time I listened to a Sonance system it was set of outdoor speakers paired with a Sonos amp and I was truly impressed by the sound quality the provided. The Sonos Sonance In Ceiling and In Wall speakers are no different, they pump high quality sound and streaming music throughout your house with ease and elegance.

What I have noticed with built in Sonance speakers paired with the Sonos Amp is that they have great low range and exceptional clarity. The Sonance ceiling mounted speakers in particular seem to do an exceptional job of filling a room with sound that sounds balanced and full.

If I were building a new home, the built in Sonos by Sonance speakers would be the speakers I would choose for my new home, you can’t go wrong with them and you will be impressed the first time you turn them on.

Sonos Built in Speaker Review Ease of Installation

Both the in wall sonos speakers and in ceiling speakers offer easy installation with “Dog Ear” toggles that secure the speaker in place by tightening the toggles with a screw. To install the speakers you cut the appropriate size hole per the instructions in your drywall, mount the speaker and secure with the “Dog Ear” toggles located on the backside of the speakers.

The two conductor speaker wire wires directly to the back of the speaker then should be routed to the Sonos Amp.

If you’re installing the speakers yourself you can use a drywall saw or reciprocating multi tool to create the hole for the speaker. I use a Milwaukee multi tool for speaker installations and it cuts through drywall like butter, allows me to make precise cuts and cuts down on the mess made because dust is generally pushed into the cut by the multitool. If you have never used one of these before it’s amazing the first time you use it how much easier it makes cutting clean holes in a wall. It also significantly cuts down on patching time because the holes are so clean you can put the old piece of drywall back in and apply patching compound for a quick patch.

Sonos Built in Speaker Review Trueplay Tuning Supported

What truly sets the Sonos by Sonance speakers apart from other built in speaker systems is the Trueplay tuning that allows allows you to custom tune your Sonos sound system to your room. This is the same technology that is built in to the entire line of Sonos products.

The Sonos Trueplay system works by using the microphone on your iPhone to detect how sound travels through the room your Sonos speakers are setup in and makes minute adjustments to the Sonos speakers to optimize the sound for your your room providing you with a custom tuned sound system for your home. To setup the true play tuning you walk through the steps in the Sonos app, then you walk throughout your room to take sonic measurements of your home to optimize the sound coming out of your Sonos Speakers.

As far as I know there are no other smart sound systems on the market that have the true play real time custom digital tuning capability like the Sonos system. It truly is amazing the difference the Sonos Trueplay tuning can make with Sonos speakers and instantly provides better sound quality.

Sonos by Sonance Built in Speaker Review Value

At first glance it might seem like the Sonos by Sonance built in speakers are pricey but in reality for the audio quality they provide they are an exceptional value. Both Sonos and Sonance have been in the premium audio space for years and the Sonos by Sonance speakers provide the age old adage of “you get what you pay for” and in the case of Sonos that’s exceptional quality, rich sound and custom room tuning with Sonos Trueplay tuning.

My experience installing Sonos products has been that people don’t return Sonos products they just but more of them to complement their system and with these built in speakers I imagine that will be the case.

One thing that should be noted is that you can connect 6 Sonos by Sonance built in speakers to a Sonos Amp vs you can only connect 4 Non-Sonos speakers to a Sonos Amp. So if you have a house with a lot of speakers in the long run you would be able to power 12 speakers with 2 Sonos Amps vs if you use non Sonos speakers you would need 3 Sonos Amps for 12 Speakers.

Sonance Sonos Speaker Review: Should I Put Built In Sonos Speakers In The New Home I’m Building?

If you are building a new home and want to have the latest sound technology the Sonos by Sonance built in in ceiling speakers are probably one of the best choices for whole home audio. The thing that differentiates that Sonos Systems from other sound systems is that Sonos Systems are digital receive software updates overtime to unlock new features and improve their systems with each update.

Most competing systems and speakers don’t have this capability and with other systems what you purchase on day one is what your stuck with for the next 20 years. With Sonos their systems will receive over the air updates and continue to improve. Installing built in Sonoance by Sonos speakers will help you future proof the sound system for your home and provide you with great quality sound. If I was building a new home the Sonos by Sonance speakers connected to a Sonos Amp would be the built in speakers I choose to incorporate into my home.

Sonos Built In Speaker Review Summary

The built in Sonos by Sonance speakers are among the most powerful and capable architectural built in speakers on the market and when paired with a Sonos Amp offer smart features like Sonos Trueplay sound tuning that is unmatched by any other sound system. The Sonos by Sonance speakers also offer a full line of speaker options with in ceiling speakers, in wall speakers and outdoor speakers to fit the needs of your home. Sonos has provided high quality sound for years and their built in speaker lineup is no different. I’m listening to a Sonos sound system as I’m writing this and couldn’t be happier with the amazing sound quality provided by their speakers.

With the Sonos by Sonance speakers you get the collective knowledge and engineering skill of two of the greatest companies in the audio market pooling their resources to provided you with some of the most advanced technology in audio engineering to deliver superior sound. We wish more companies would collaborate like because the results of the Sonos by Sonance partnership are truly remarkable.

One Hour Smart Home Rating: Sonos by Sonance Speakers 9.8/ 10.00

Sonos by Sonance FAQ:

What Speaker Wire Should You Use For Installing Sonos Built In Speakers?

The built in sonos speakers accept bare speaker wire so you don’t need any connectors on the speaker wire. If you leave this up to your builder or general contractor they will most likely use inexpensive 16GA speaker wire. It costs a little more but if you are doing a new build we recommend using stranded 14GA speaker wiring for runs up to 80FT and 12GA wiring for runs over 80FT.

Can Sonos by Sonance Speakers be paired with a subwoofer?

Yes, sonos by sonance speakers can be paired with a subwoofer when connected to the Sonos Amp. They can either use a built in, in wall subwoofers, or they cab be paired wirelessly to a freestanding Sonos Sub or connected with speaker cable to a freestanding 3rd party subwoofer.

If you choose to go the in wall route you can use an a super high end Klipsch Pro Subwoofer or this dual 8” subwoofer from Klipsch which is a little more budget friendly and will sound great with built in Sonos by Sonance speakers. Both are flush mounted speakers with flat paintable grilles.

Paring the speakers with a wireless Sonos Sub is a great option because you can place the Sonos sub anywhere the room.

You can also use a traditional style standalone subwoofer with the Sonos built in speakers and the Sonos Amp but it will require that you hardwire the subwoofer to the Sonos Amp. Free standing subwoofers are typically less expensive than built in subwoofers and this Klipsch R-120 freestanding subwoofer is a good pair with the Sonos Amp and Sonos built in speakers.

Are there outdoor Sonos Speakers?

Yes, the Sonos by Sonance lineup includes outdoor Sonos speakers that can be powered by the Sonos Amp and paired with other Sonos Speakers or used as standalone speakers.

Sonos by Sonance Outdoor Speakers